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A Creative Arcade Internship: The first 60 days – Creative Arcade

My name is Tate and I graduated from the University of Minnesota-Duluth this past spring. It has been two months since I began my journey at Creative Arcade as a design intern and over that time a lot has occurred and I’ve learned so much. I will try and recap as much as possible to keep you in the 8-bit loop.

Lab and Crew

Creative Arcade is situated in a beautiful Canal Park location that makes coming to the office every day something extra special. There’s something undeniably nice about being able to head out for a walk on the Lakewalk or grabbing a bite from one of the many wonderful artisan restaurants or cafes nearby. The office has a great atmosphere especially with the fantastic and indomitable duo of Jeff and Phil keeping things humorous and fun with their banter in the lab. At the moment there is also some exciting remodeling so a lot of changes are in the works inside the labs of Creative Arcade that I will only hint at.

Pushing Pixels

I was a little apprehensive about working in an agency space with others and wondered how that dynamic worked, since my previous experience was working freelance. I couldn’t be happier at Creative Arcade. I enjoy the structure, camaraderie and ability to easily bounce ideas off of everyone.

I have been able to work on different fun and diverse projects such as branding, promotional and motion graphics work. And even went on a photoshoot and took some product photography. Being able to wear multiple hats keeps things fresh and exciting, and the clients I’ve worked with are so incredibly wonderful and fun.

Plugging into the network

Last week Jeff and Phil let me off the hook to head to AIGA 2016 Design camp and connect with the Minnesota design scene at the annual professional meet up of creatives and people in the design industry. This is my third trip to this fantastic event and I hope to continue this tradition. Simply a wonderful experience. Going to Design Camp helps connect me to the whole design scene here in Minnesota and helps to keep me reinvigorated in design and energized to get back to work. This year was no exception, packed with amazing and emphatic speakers such as Alex Center, from Coca-Cola, talking about his experience as an in-house designer and how great this close connection with the client can be, Allan Peters, formally from Target, who talked about industry secrets and many other amazing speakers. As usual the event was emceed by the pragmatic Brent Stickels, who exudes such a great stage presence it really gives a lot of life to the whole event. In addition to the main stage, I also took multiple workshops such as one for Sketching Type with James Edmondson of OH no Type Company who I was lucky enough to connect with the previous year when he was one of the main keynote speakers. In this workshop he helped give some extremely helpful advice for anyone interested in illustrating type. Another workshop I took on UX for all: prototyping on cross-functional teams with Amy Aaron and Andrea McNett of Optum, The Garage who shared a bit of advice on their method for UX design and how to go about it, which was extremely helpful and interesting to learn. Additionally, I was able to meet and chat life with a number of creatives and speakers at the networking dinner, bonfires and other events. There is something so inspirational and humbling to be able to sit down with these talented professionals in the design scene. As always this event is so inspirational and worth attending whether you are a student interested in Graphic Design or a Professional in the field, I simply can’t say enough good things about it.


Outside of the lab here at Creative Arcade and when I’m not working on freelance work I enjoy playing around with programs and seeing how I can push my skills. One such project was creating the look of fluid animated vector style fire in After Effects. For my first attempt, I think it turned out well and helped me better understand how to create this style within the program. Next up, using a program like ToonBoom Harmony to actually create the hand drawn look of animated fire.

Final thought

Post college is definitely a period of time with many uncertainties and I’m so incredibly lucky to be working at such an amazing location with such a friendly and wonderful team at Creative Arcade. I couldn’t ask for a more ideal first agency experience.