Dan, I continually come back to your thoughts about the design savvy of one of your 4-Slide Contest winners. Not bad for a 'kid', right?
I first ran into Ethan a year ago when he asked me a seemingly 'innocent' question about blog-linking. Still think saying, "No", then was the best possible answer either of us could have come up with. Especially given what he's done since. He never really needed some edu-blogger gift-link. He was gonna earn them the hard way: by being an idea super-junkie with a infectious instinct that can't be taught. And never looking back.
Have loved seeing his words, ideas, designs, and overall 'brand' develop since then. Not just because he was a 'kid'. But because he was talented and on the front-end of something really special.
Seems that your 4-Slide 1st-place co-winner has been nudged up a bit on the 'pay attention' design scale since then. One doubts that this will be the final rung, either:
Here's a quick description of book project from Ethan, which I've been keeping a delighted eye on for some time now:
I started this project last spring when I came up with the idea to have a collaborative visual book that challenged artists to explore their creativity.
Each of the participating artists from around the world is randomly assigned a "creative task" which is something they normally don't do, anything from photography to illustration to design. This random task is drawn from the "Grab Bag" and the artist is also able to submit a piece of their work that comes from their normal field of work.
It is a book about trying something new. It is about exploring your creativity and learning to do new things. It is about opening up to a new idea and gaining respect for it. It's a book of visual creations by people from around the world that have come together through the exploration of new things to create something beautiful.
The book will feature 100 artists, be around 200 pages long, and will come out in Spring 2009. Each artists will have two images in the book (one of the creative task and one from there current field of work), a biography, and a short paragraph detailing their experience with the creative task.
Might be worth checking out, don't you think?