sketchbook: thank you, jack-o-lantern

food-page-first-placeFebruary is a weird time of year to bring up pumpkins.

But they’re what got me a first-place award on Saturday night.

My fiance and I went to the New England Newspaper & Press Association’s annual awards dinner, where I’d been nominated in four different categories.

One of those categories was Food Page design: Once upon a time, in October 2015, my manager Jon Root had asked if I could craft a jack-o-lantern out of pumpkin-flavored foods ranging from Oreos to coffee beans. Answer: This is part of my job?! Um yes please!

I did it. And it made it to my food page. My food page made it to the competition. And it got me first place.

Three other categories had my name in them, too – Illustration, for a Lizzie Borden game board, brainchild of my coworker Marc Dion; Infographics, for a town timeline; and Front Page, for a chart of the presidential primary candidates in 2016.

Of those, Illustration got me second place.

And the other two? First places.

Threeeee total first places. Three of them.

That’s a record for me, actually. I’ve been nominated in multiple categories before, but I’ve never walked away with more than one first place plaque under my arm at the end of the night. (My boss Lynne Sullivan wrote this article about it, btw.)

I’m lucky. I get to work with some great ideas – my own and my coworkers’ – and bring them to life. And apparently, some people think I’m pretty ok at it!

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