37: A Pecha Kucha talk

For anyone who is unfamiliar with Pecha Kucha, it is an event held by designers for designers (or anybody at all really), as a way to share stories and network. It’s very social and laid back and serves as a great way to kickstart one’s creativity, while sharing your passions/ideas/work with your colleagues. The Manitoba chapter of the GDC holds 4 Pecha Kucha events annually. I was lucky enough to be invited to present at PK12, this past November.

The PK format consists of twenty 20-second slides. Each presenter delivers their talk while the slides roll out behind them. Each talk is exactly 6:40 long. Topics range from fine art to fine wine. The 20×20 presentation format was created in Tokyo by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Klein Dytham architecture.

The nice thing about writing is that it can be delivered in as large or as small a dose as the author desires. In that respect, I’d like to spread my PK talk over multiple posts, allowing me to expand on things I only brushed upon while on stage. I’ll confess, it has nothing to do about design, but everything to do with motivation, inspiration and life in general.

series of Individually, this may appear a bit disjointed, but when read together this Pecha Kucha posts should come to a logical conclusion. So please bear with me. To protect the privacy of some family members, I will be leaving out a small portion.

Here’s how it unfolded…

Welcome to my midlife crisis

I am 37. And the way I see it, I’m halfway done. This is my mid-life crisis in 20 second intervals. I’m looking for a support group, and you’re it.

I question what it is that makes me who I am. So maybe if I tell you a bit about my life, then together we can draw some connections between us. Together we might form some sort of “meaning of life” search party.

That's me on the left

That’s me on the left. No, I’m not picking my nose.

My mother tells me that when I was small, I wanted to be a garbage collector. That was until the mailman came by. Then I wanted to deliver mail. My vocation changed depending on who was at the door.

Now I design websites and magazines, posters and logos. In 2005 My wife Donna Lee and I took a leap of faith: I quit my job as media designer at CMU and started my own studio. As a business owner I do a lot of stuff that really can’t be categorized. I used to drive a forklift and many days I wish I still did.

I am not a rock star

These days it’s easier to determine what I am not. For instance, I am not a rockstar.

I am a Star Wars nerd

I’m a Star Wars nerd. Star Wars has been a part of my life for as far back as I can remember.

Donna Lee accepted this early and has embraced the Lucas—sorry I mean Disney—universe whole hardily. When we were dating we’d have Star Wars marathons. She even accompanied me to the re-releases. Lucky for her I was not in costume.

Many parents can attest that this is a cross-generation thing. My Star Wars addiction is further enabled by my children’s love for the saga. I may not be as big a fan of the prequel trilogy as they are, but it has certainly helped bridge the generational gap, and given us a lot of family time in front of the flatscreen.

Next chapter: Fathers and Sons

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Carson D. Samson

I do stuff. All kinds of stuff. And I really, really like Star Wars.