Earlier this year, I was working on a design for a MailChimp kids’ T-shirt. Searching for inspiration, I thought, “How would they design it?” So I decided to find out.
Fortunately for me, lots of MailChimp employees have children. I had my co-workers ask their kids to draw their very best versions of our mascot, Freddie, and to practice writing the word “MailChimp.” I asked them to use their favorite materials and to let their creativity take over.
Knowing that my own mother has always treasured my childhood drawings, and remembering how much her artistic encouragement has meant to me, I thought this would be fun for parents and kids alike. When the entries started piling up on my desk, I was overjoyed by how eager the young artists were, and how brilliant, unique, and strange their work was.
When the entries started piling up on my desk, I was overjoyed by how eager the young artists were, and how brilliant, unique, and strange their work was.
We received an Alien Freddie, an Underwater Freddie, a Freddie Made of Plastic Beads, and everything in-between. Some of my favorite pieces were the more “modern” representations of Freddie, which were limited to simple, colorful scribbles. I had planned to use the best entry for the T-shirt, but there were too many to pick just one. I took a few of my favorites and used them for our latest Krog Street billboard design, and picked out some of the most colorful scribbles for the T-shirt itself.
Considering that the drawings were all too good not to share, we decided to throw a special gallery show in honor of our talented artists. We turned our Coffee Hour space into an art gallery, displayed every single drawing by every single kid, and invited all our co-workers and their families. We served snacks and drinks (grape juice for the kids, wine for the grown-ups) and everyone milled around, admiring the works on display.
Amongst the balloons, chimp hats and T-shirts (of course!), it was ever-inspiring to see a group of artists, humble but confident, who were truly proud to share their work.
Check out our Tumblr archive of Freddie drawings.