Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Ranger U Experience! Part 1

Ok folks- I'm back. Rested. Unpacked. Getting back into the rhythm of things.

Lets jump back a few days.
When last we saw our main character.
He was awe struck in his travels at the wonder factory called Ranger Ink.

Found deep in the heart of Tinton Falls, New Jersey.

He was being led in daily rituals of art creation and technique.

Being led by a mad man- with a bright smile.

It was all very Willy Wonka like.
I felt very much like the deserving kid who had a golden ticket.

Over the weekend would I meet a Veruca Salt? A Violet?

A Charlie Bucket type?

An Oompa Loompa perhaps?
Wait and see....

Day 1- Friday.
Meet and greet.
The Ranger Team. You meet them all.
Bonnie, Patty, Michelle, Debbie, Jackie, Janice, Teresa!
Who are they?
Marketing, Art Direction, In-house Artist, Logistics Manger, Reception.
Ranger is well stocked on talent these days.
As you walked in- you met them all.

A quick breakfast with everyone.

You meet the triple threat over doughnuts and coffee.

The mighty triad. Suze, Tim, Claudine.

As I was shoving a doughnut in my mouth I looked over and found the bright and shiny Claudine Hellmuth standing next to me. My mouth was filled with doughnut. She looked over at me. She flashed me that fantastic smile. I instantly felt like Lenny of "Mice and Men." I wanted to pet her hair. If you have ever seen her- you know what I mean.
I also wanted to say something really smart and clever.

I’m standing next to Claudine Hellmuth I thought. I’m a huge fan of her work.

I wanted to introduce myself.

I couldn't say anything. I was choking on doughnut. She moved on.

I swallowed my doughnut.

Good times… I thought. Good times… Classy brother. Real Classy.

Some days it’s really hard to be cool

I then looked for a good seat in the room. It was very much like the first day of school. Need to find the correct chair. Not in the back, not in the front.

Don’t want to get the bad chair.
I’m not sure where the bad chair was in this classroom.
But every classroom has one.


Found a good chair- this was going to be my station for the next three days.
Every chair had a workstation set up. Each station had a nonstick craft sheet, tools of the trade, Ranger apron, big fat folder of technique.

Name tags began to be passed around.

We then went on a tour of the factory. This was cool for a few reasons- you saw the size of Ranger Ink, you saw the heart of Ranger, you met the owners.
Plus we saw "Stickles" made.
Then it was back to the classroom. Where we were given a huge box of goodies. It was like Christmas. Seriously. It all became very ritualized.
You came in, received goodies, opened goodies, created with goodies.
I'm still unpacking Ranger supplies. My bag was way over the 55 pounds rule when I checked in at the airport. Had to pay a little more.
But that’s another story.

In three days we would learn seventy five techniques.
Friday afternoon we tackled 24 of those techniques. We covered melt art exploration with Suze. Then we rolled into Claudine's new product line of acrylic paint and more...

Tags, Tags, Tags-my pile of technique tags.

We then ended the day with a big old BBQ.
By the end of that first day.
I was jet lagged, filled with ideas, and totally wiped out.
I completely crashed. So here are a few pics. Most of these pics I have received off of some of my new Ranger friends sites. I hope they don't mind. I had the worst luck with my camera and camera related ideas. It was my hope to take many of my photos with a small figure in each.
The travelling gnome idea.
I forgot all my traveling com padres
at home (that morning I left for the airport).

Then once I arrived at Ranger headquarters some of the team members had heard about my need to take such photos. They loaned a few Powder Puff Girls for some great memory shots.
No such luck. The little digital camera that I brought with me had many a problem. I left my big boy cameras at home. To big, to bulky, worried about all my lenses. I wanted something small to carry. This little camera that I brought with me has a few problems. So not may of my photos turned out. So I have become a pirate and decided to borrow a few from friends. I hope they don't mind. Then I decided to add a little something extra to a few shots. Perhaps you recognize him? I will post again later this afternoon or tonight.

Thanks all. Talk soon.

Is this wrong? Perhaps in so many ways.... or really , really good? Hmm....
Things that make you go Hmmmm....... Thanks you three!

My new friend Janice at Ranger. She says she doesn't play.
Meaning she doesn't make art and creations. Pull my leg!

Hanging with the Suze. Talking wax and more....

Debbie, Lisa, and Michelle.

The sunny & bright Claudine!


CeCe said...

I have just had the best of entertainment and happy reading. I have not been doing much visiting of late. What a treat to stop by your place and catch up! I am living the Ranger trip through you vicariously. I think we definitely had a great time!

Anonymous said...

Very cool little story! Thanks for sharing the lovely photos of hr and friends.

Ericka23 said...

I'm totally jealous of your trip! It sounds like so much fun.

BTW-I haven't seen you in too many years to count but seriously you look great!

Heartinmyhand said...

Love your story. Lenny, from Mice and Men. You are to funny

JWood said...

welcome home mike! now get to work!!! lol...

claudine hellmuth said...

so super great to meet you at Ranger U!! Love your artwork!!

lisamitch said...

I totally giggled out loud over the doughnut part. too funny, Mike!
Can hardly wait to read the rest of your tale...Hilarious and wonderous and I'm so very envious. Those tags blow my mind. I'd just be flipping through them all, muttering "My Preeeeciousssss" with glazed eyes, you know? ;)) cheers!

michelle renee bernard said...

So great to meet you! Sorry the Powder Puff Girls didn't work out. Time for a new little camera!

Tina said...

Freakin' awesome Dude!! can't wait to hear more~

Little Black Scrap Cat said...

Sounds like a fantastic adventure. Glad you got the opportunity, you went and enjoyed. Can't wait to hear the rest of the story! Welcome home!!

Sweet Sage said...

blOg oN..... !!

MizSmoochieLips said...

Well WOW, so that's what Ranger U is =]

Tricia Samsal said...

You lucky dog! Looks like you had a great time. Can't wait to see more. Again, I am loving your hilarious comedic commentary. You crack me up. The doughnut story is great!Tricia

bonnie said...

Loved your post - so glad you had a great experience with Ranger U (bummer about the photos though, we were so looking forward to the Powder Puff Girls pics). We had a blast seeing all of you creating artwork in your own style.

Bonnie from Ranger

bonnie said...

Loved your post - so glad you had a great experience with Ranger U (bummer about the photos though, we were so looking forward to the Powder Puff Girls pics). We had a blast seeing all of you creating artwork in your own style.

Bonnie from Ranger

Raven Grimaldi said...

If you ever decide to leave art for a time, pretty sure you've got a career writing comedy. Nearly choked on my doughnut, man.

Suze said...

Damn Michael....there's nothing as weird as sitting alone in your bathrobe at your laptop, laughing your ass off reading your blog...that would be me this bright & sunny New Joisey morning!
Petting Claudines hair sent me over the edge in tears of laughter !
Forget the freakin need to be a writer for SNL....You completely crack me up...and up...and up! And, your funny little plastic 'friends" who show up in the photos....holy S--T ! Too hysterical.
I am going to have to make a POINT of doing a trip to Phoenix just for the sheer "fun of it".
Hugz XXOOO Suze

Teresa said...

Great meeting you at Ranger U, Mike, and even better sitting across the table from you! Loved reading your post(s).

-teresa (Ranger)

faerie enchantment said...

Love this post, what a story, you really captured the weekend at Ranger, too much fun! So glad we met!
P.S. I love this blog!
Magic and Joy!

Piera said...

This is great info to know.


Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More