During college, I spent a few breaks from school as a youth worker. The importance of a good childhood education is not lost on me, and I try constantly to find ways I can help. When I lived in LA, I worked down the street from Venice Beach's 826 Time Travel Shop, and I asked how I could volunteer. The only openings they had were for tutoring during the day, which would not work with my 9-5. I was dejected, but I understood. Shortly after moving in Chicago, I was invited by a friend to a Designing for Good talk hosted by AIGA Chicago. I was then introduced to the volunteer coordinator for 826Chi, and I have been a member of their design cohort ever since.
Who Wants Love?
Since 2016, 826Chi has put on a Valentine's Day print show, organized in part by Tiny Bold Creative. I have had the pleasure of providing prints for the show two times. Both prints are based on poems by students in 826's writing programs. All money from the selling of prints goes directly to 826.
826Chi was putting together a new chapbook, and, instead of illustrations based on student work, they wanted to have illustrations that could inspire student work. So they reached out to a variety of artists to provide them with an initial set of illustration thumbnails. From there, they selected ones that might inspire students.
For the end of the year, 826Chi likes to send out postcards to various people who are deemed significant to the organization for a variety of reasons. Going off of their Secret Agent theme, I created a border in morse code that says "Happy Holidays," and the interior of the card has various shapes to be colored in. Some shapes are more traditional holiday shapes, and others are some of the accoutrements that 826Chi is known for, the magnifying glass and the mustache stick. I wanted to create a coloring card for them, because the mission of 826 is to empower the individual, so I wanted to create something that would hopefully spark some people's creativity.
Scrabble for Cheaters
Another fundraiser for 826Chi is their Scrabble for Cheaters event, where individuals compete in a scrabble tournament and buy cheats. These pieces were used in the promotional material for their 2018 event.