Type Camp always surprises me. Even after 10 camps in all parts of the world, I am constantly impressed by the people that attend and who they have evolved into by the end of our time together. One of the most touching experiences that I’ve had at a camp was this past California camp in Templeton that focused on Type Design. We had a new chef, my awesome island neighbor Jamaica, and a very cute sous chef, her 10 year old daughter, Gemma.
The aim was for Gemma to assist Jamaica in the kitchen, in preparing all 3 meals for the campers and instructors. She kind of did that . . . but most of all, she was being the ideal 10 year old. She was the pawn in a I-can-braid-hair-better-than-you-can contest between campers Erin and Daria, she swam (and sang while doing so) in the pool daily, but the best was that she snuck into our workshop as often as possible so that she could learn what we were doing.
On the second day, she shocked us all by announcing that not only did she not know cursive, but that her school didn’t even teach it! Everyone was outraged (don’t say them words around lettering artists) and vowed to rectify it. Laura, Erin, and Remy, 3 of the best letterers that have ever attended a Type Camp, all took it upon themselves to help her to learn, which is the ultimate goal of Type Camp.
Needless to say, she picked it up quickly in an afternoon – thanks to the new-found joys of brush pens and tracing paper – and she practiced all week.
The farewell snack bags on Friday were cleverly illustrated and lettered, making us all tear up just a bit more as we said good bye. It reminded us that we didn’t need to just focus on advanced typography, that the beginning stuff is just as important.
She also had her 10th birthday during camp, and what happens when you’re around a bunch of typographers? You get a beautifully-lettered birthday shirt, with extra fancy stuff drawn by instructor Ken and camper Laura.
Gemma was one of the joys of the camp and we hope to have her attending more camps in the future!