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A few years back, I was asked to submit designs to Camelbak, who was developing a back-to-school water bottle collection for Target. I was excited for the project, as I lived in Northern California at the time, where Camelbak HQ is located. In their briefs, they were looking to create different bottles broken down by age-group, gender, etc. I was less interested in the categories and more interested in letting my imagination run wild, seeing what I would come up with.


The patterns had to be fairly simple as they would be screen-printed, a process I was familiar with in working with Great Arrow Graphics Greeting Cards for many years. While robots, dinosaurs and flowers were safe bets, I also create patterns of skulls, monkeys, elephants, cars and some abstractions. Eventually I made it to round 2, and they asked me to develop the robots, dinosaurs, ladybugs and surfboards.


They were generally accepting of my color palette in all of my designs, except for the surfboards. I originally developed the surfboards in red and yellow, which was revised to blue and red, which ultimately became all blues, which actually looked pretty stunning in the end. They needed very specific files for their printing process, and the turn-around time for the final art was fast. My favorite working process is a lot of work in a short time, so it was perfect for me.

In the end, the most exciting part was not getting my samples, nor was it going to Target and seeing them on the shelves. It was actually having my friends all across the country relay to me that they saw the bottles, bought them and that their kids loved them. And getting paid. Mission accomplished. 

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