By Eric on 2006-11-12

Cut + Paste Event Los Angeles
(the Los Angeles link will give you the contestants)

Hearing about this event from New York, it’s now in it’s second year, and it’s taking place across the country. I was asked to be a judge (thanks Mr. Stpl), and it was an amazing event. Starting with 8 competitors who’ve had previous “tests” to qualify them for the night, this tournament format was surprising. You can imagine this to be unorganized, poorly formatted, and unfun, but this was looking good as soon as I walked in. DJ booth, people, hustling organizers and volunteers, giveaways, beer, a decent venue, computers, Wacoms, and projected screens set up the night. For at least one night, the kid who designs the flyers, schematics, website, or works secretly in their bedroom are the stars for the night.

This bike by Puma was a giveaway. $800 retail, and I hear they make no money off of it. It breaks down, and you can shove it in your trunk.

Also judging was Andy Mueller (Quiet Life), Emit a graf dude, Roger Gastman, and Buffmonster. The above photo is the backstage room. Free beer, booze, and water.

Buffmonster and Andy Mueller

Dennis, the most animated of the bunch, smashes his laptop. This thing still worked. I hope he didn’t assume he was going to win the macbook 13″ first prize.

The competitors sit side by side going at it. They have 15 minutes, and they know their topics one week earlier. I wasn’t sure if that was the best way to do it, but it does insure that the work will be thought out with great quality. Turntablists do routines too. Freestylers may not, but they do have some chops set up. Us judges were introduced and stood right behind them. We looked over their shoulders. We were free to stand anywhere we wanted. Sometimes, we ventured on the floor to see the work on the big screen. I tried hard to pay attention to each workstation and to think about what concepts they were working on, what techniques they were using, and their overall final piece.

Hundreds came to check out this event. Some cheering, and laughter happened throughout. I’m sure a lot wondered why the heck they didn’t enter, and I’m sure they will next year.

Emit and Mr. Gastman.
Elvis (foreground) and Jim (background) were the finalists.
It was a classic battle of the underdog (Elvis) and Jim who seemed like the favorite. Jim has super pro quality illustration and Illustrator skills. He’s definitely schooled and definitely a working pro. Elvis, a working pro, has a raw style, he’ll draw with the tablet, make crooked lines, imperfect circles, and somehow turns out a final product that has a lot of soul. Jim walked away with the MacBook.

A lot of us have grown up with computers. We’ve become more isolated chatting via icq, aim, or email, while we’re working on our projects. People? Friends? We have them, but the definition’s been turned upside down. Some are virtual, some aren’t. How do we get together and see or meet other designers? The Cut and Paste event put the computer geeks center stage for a night.

Buff Monster king size.