José had a cool job this summer!

Amazing things can happen when the right person (or people) cross your path. Just ask José.


We first met José in 2015 when he was a student in Deva Watson’s art class at Wissahickon Charter School. He was one of two who won the Choix de Chef award in our Palates to Palettes program, which introduces middle schoolers to the creative careers of executive chef, food stylist, food photographer and restaurant designer. Pretty cool.


The next year he participated in our summer Design Camp sponsored by Crate & Kids.  His illustrations were incorporated into the line of children’s bedding that went into their stores, website and catalogs. Pretty cool.


José was gaining skills and confidence. And he was hungry to learn. His dream job: to become an animator.


This past summer we invited him to be a paid intern in the studio. His job was to print and ship out the annual “thank-you” packets we send to all children who have donated their art that year. This year the job meant assembling almost 300 gift packs containing a tote bag, sheet of decals, certificate of appreciation and thank-you letter. Managing this big task gave José real life experience working on a team, in an office, and using state-of-the-art print studio equipment like the Sawgrass dye-sublimation printer, heat press, Mutoh vinyl cutter, Ergosoft RIP software, Foster rotary cutting tools, photocopying machines, postal scales and Adobe Photoshop.


The highlight for him, he’d be quick to tell you, was meeting Rachel Headlam, a Philly graduate of CAPA, now a savvy animation student attending the prestigious Art Center College of Design in Pasadena CA. Rachel volunteered to teach José the basics of MAYA, the software program used by all animation professionals, his dream job. Very cool!


As if all of this weren’t quite enough, he and Rachel were then invited to do the backgrounds for a YouTube video for writer-educator-activist Lorene Cary to promote an ambitious voter registration drive for Philly Z-Gen kids called “Vote That Jawn.”  The Rachel/Jose team also designed a promotional poster for the kickoff event, which was held at the studios of Philadelphia’s public radio/TV station, WHYY. 


José attended (of course!) and was able to see a large group of high school and college-age kids watch the premiere of the video and then receive gifts of their poster!


What a summer! You never know what will happen at Fresh Artists when the right people cross your path!


To follow this innovative voting project, follow "Vote That Jawn."