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Dangerdust on Creativity and Making It Happen

DangerDust Dangerdust (aka Dan and Dusty Danger) are a Columbus College of Art and Design duo who started anonymously creating large-scale chalk murals on-campus – just to take a break from their computers. Each board brings to life a famous quote, moving those who happen to stumble upon it.

We asked Dan and Dusty to create a board for us, and they did, choosing a quote by Adobe’s Scott Belsky: “It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen.” We love what the created, and asked them to share some more of their thoughts about the design process in a quick Q&A:

How did you come up with the idea for the board?

Finding the right quote is half the battle. We usually pick quotes that we can relate to; each board is like a mini diary. This quote spoke to us because we are currently starting our own business, and we know from experience that it’s making the idea happen that is most important.

Our initial ideas for this board were obvious light bulb-type imagery. But this concept felt overused and we weren’t excited about it. We pushed further, and eventually landed on the concept of crumpled paper. The idea of crumpled up ideas, tossed in the trash, seemed to represent the quote well. Those ideas are never realized, and the quote encourages you to make them happen.

Can you provide an outline of the process you went through (ideation to completion of project)?

We wanted to make the board about business, so we started our research there. Once we found the Belsky quote, we researched him to get a better understanding of what the tone/mood of the board should be. The next step is looking for lettering / typography inspiration and sketching out some of our ideas. Once we had a couple of ideas we ran them past each other to see how we could improve them and if they were worth pursuing.

We landed on the crumpled paper idea. We used Illustrator and Photoshop to help us plan it out. First we created our type layout in Illustrator and shared the file on Creative Cloud so we could both play around with the layout. Once we had the final layout we printed it out, crumpled it up, and photographed it. Then we brought the photograph into Photoshop to edit and uploaded it to Creative Cloud for final edits.

After we had the general layout we gridded out the board to start chalking. This board was very detailed and required a reference image the whole time. Tedious. Finally after layering and blending for hours and hours the board was finally done. We photographed and tada! It’s complete. Like Belsky says, having an idea is one thing, but making it happen is a quite another.

 Did you find any specific features or products within Creative Cloud that helped or enhanced your creative process?

The goal of starting Dangerdust was to get off the computer and work with our hands. So it might sound crazy coming from us, but we use Creative Cloud quite a bit. Don’t get us wrong, we always start by sketching, but often we bring our designs on the computer to edit. For our purpose we mainly use Photoshop and Illustrator to help flesh out our ideas. What makes Creative Cloud really beneficial to us is the sharing file system. We can upload files, share them, and comment on them. We are long-distance business partners, so being able to easily share files helps us stay on the same page, and allows us to make changes throughout each project.

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