I would never in a million years imagine how much my life has been enriched by the people that start off as campers and then end up as my friends and colleagues for years to come.
In the past month, I’ve been able to visit former campers from Galiano Island 2008 (Elyse), California 2011 (Remy, Will), Bauhaus 2012 (Marie), California 2012 (Tim), and India 2014 (Tania). I’m not even mentioning all the Vancouver folks who attend multiple camps (Michelle, Danica, Kristi, Erica May, Lumi, Sam, Jen, Fraser, Kristin, Jen K, et. al.) . . .
October’s ‘Type Camp Canadian Pointed Pen Tour 2015’ was an experiment. I wanted to see if there was a demand for more one-day workshops on hand lettering and I wanted to see what it was like to do them all at once. Yes, it was tiring, but it was worth it, as Xandra and I slowly figured out what worked and what didn’t (we no longer teach with the straight nibs, we now give out a different kind of paper with guidelines on it, etc.) and even what to say and how to say it better. I’d say it was a success in terms of figuring out how to improve on our teaching, which is a never-ending process.
But what was more important to me was rekindling connections that I had made in previous camps. It is so easy to let life fill in all those memories and we often can’t prevent that. However, my time in Regina (it snowed!!) with Tania and her family (and those kids) and my fleeting hours with Will in Toronto, before my flight to Edmonton, were truly memorable. I spend a sliver of time, an intensive emotionally-filled week with these people, these wonderful, intelligent, brilliant people, and then I often don’t see them in person again. The end of every week-long camp absolutely breaks my heart. This time, it was as if no time had passed – Tania and I and Will and I were just catching up and being silly just as we were in India or California.
Granted, the people that sign up for a week of type, whether it be in California, Germany, or India, tend to be early adopters and a bit more adventurous. I don’t ever expect them to become typographers, why would they? I just want them to have an experience where they can learn more about something that is vast and varied alongside other interesting and interested folks. I want them to be happy and to belong. I don’t know that I ever felt that when I was in Design School so I’m doing my best to make sure that others will feel comfort and confidence.
I always knew I wanted to teach but I never knew that I’d make some of the best friends of my life through this crazy thing called Type Camp.