Valerie

Middle Waves 2018 Gig Poster

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I love the festival theme—Live Your Life Alive. I find so much significance in this line on a personal level beyond its meaning about the festival experience. Life weighs heavily on us all sometimes, but be sure to do and experience things that keep you feeling human—whatever that may be. For some this weekend, it will be attending our amazing festival.
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After Fort Wayne Children's Zoo and their baby giraffe, Thabisa, made national headlines when she escaped from her enclosure (she was safe and still gated on the property—no worries), I knew I wanted her to be the subject of my poster. She's become somewhat of a celebrity here, and I just visualized Thabisa to be this starry-eyed rockstar rebel that lived HER life alive when she took us all on a rollercoaster ride that day.
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While doing some giraffe research, I read further into how these creatures were moved onto the "vulnerable" list by The International Union for the Conservation of Nature in 2016. They are not endangered yet, but they are silently slipping that way. Quoting Smithsonian mag "Years of habitat destruction and poaching have reduced giraffe numbers by 30 percent, placing them in the vulnerable category for the first time." I even went so far as to contacting big trophy hunting companies, like Somerby Safaris in Africa, to ask why they are allowing trophy hunting of giraffes when they are now on the vulnerable list (no response from them after I reached out twice). So, "Live Your Life Alive," took on yet another meaning. Giraffes are disappearing, and they deserve to be here.
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Additionally, the hand-drawn type is inspired by a Fort Wayne Trails monument dedicated to Ernest E. Williams, the founder of the Rivergreenway Consortium. I was on a run, loved the type on the monument, and used it as inspiration.

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