1991 was a helluva year for me and Bryan Adams
Published 6/22/2021 | Chris Stagl | Prattville, Alabama

I began my creative life in 1991. My mother would argue that I have been finger painting since I was a baby, but, that logic is the same that makes everyone with a cell phone a photographer. I remember coming home from high school as a sophomore and saying to my dad, “Hey man, you’re not going to believe this software that we just got at school – it’s called Corel Draw.” I can vividly recall looking at the artwork on the box of this beautifully illustrated hot air balloon and thinking, good grief – whoever created that is a genius.

Ripping open the box I found a stack of 3 1/4 inch disks – and I mean a STACK! At the time, I had no idea what a Mac was, I was all PC. Adobe didn’t exist to me. I was rocking with Aldus Pagemaker and Corel Draw.

I was the only kid that I knew in Ocala, Florida (look it up) that was doing paste-up of magazine and newspaper spreads with hot glue – and so when that software showed up I was blown away. No more cutting out clipart and burning my fingers. I was about to be in heaven with Corel Draw – or at least I would get to heaven in about 6 hours when it was done installing.

Bryan Adams was topping the charts with “Everything I Do”.
Terminator2 was redefining cool movies on the silver screen.
And I was knee-deep in Corel Draw.
1991 was a helluva year.
Enjoy the work.

I stole this image from user “bernieandbensbargains111” on Ebay.

Three Photographs, Two Hours, One Kitchen
Published 6/21/2021 | Chris Stagl | Prattville, Alabama

In mid-June, 2021, I had some time to kill between client work, teaching classes online, and mowing the yard. I was jonesing to break out the camera but I need to stay around the house because I truly did only have a few hours to kill. Just so happened I received this email talking about this photo critique opportunity for anyone with photos of water drops. Well, I had never captured water drop or splash images before. But I’ll be dammed if that was going to prohibit me from trying.

I lit the whole scene with only the stove light (from behind obviously) and in the fruit shot, I used a warm bulb from a nearby lamp.

Here are the results.

Camera: Sigma SD Quattro H
Lens: Sigma 85MM ART
F: 1.4 – 5.6
Speed: 1/4000
Distance: 3 feet

What the heck is a YellowHammer?
Published 5/20/2021 | Chris Stagl | Prattville, Alabama

Technically, it’s a bird. The State Bird of Alabama to be exact. Honestly, this project was about challenging myself to do something I could never really wrap my head around in my 20 years in education: writing a grant! I had no idea what that entailed and no clue what I would do with said grant money. My fiance’, Stacey, her kiddos and I, use to be active members of the 48 Hour Film Project in Jacksonville, Florida and we’ve been missing it. CUT TO: GRANT IDEA! Hey, if we can’t be in the 48 anymore, why don’t we make one?! And that’s essentially how the YellowHammer Film Fest was born.

The YellowHammer Film Festival is a free and enriching interactive experience for high school and college students which will consist of workshops, a keynote speaker, student film exhibition, and an awards ceremony. Anyone can attend the day long festival but only students can compete in the exhibition!

Alabama Humanities Alliance
Troy University
DTI Center

Kickin’ around in the backyard
Published 4/28/2021 | Chris Stagl | Prattville, Alabama

It was a beautiful spring day in Prattville, Alabama. I could literally hear the birds calling to me from inside. Cardinals, Blue Birds, and Ostriches oh My! Okay, maybe there were no ostriches but that Mourning Dove is a beautiful creature. Little did I know two weeks later a tornado would come through and destroy that fence – now the birds are non-existent. Timing is everything!

I suppose my love for birds began at a young age. My parents had three birds as pets at one point, and my grandparents had two love birds. Bird watching is certainly a hobby of mine but it is rare that I find three distinct species in one setting so close to home.

Camera: Sigma SD Quattro H
Lens: Sigma 24-300MM
F: 5.6
Speed: 1/4000

Leveraging the creative process for tenure
Published 4/9/2021 | Chris Stagl | Prattville, Alabama

In my other, less creative and yet in some ways MORE creative, life as a professor often times I present ideas to various groups. I was excited to learn this concept I had to “Leverage The Creative Process in Tenure Seeking” was accepted as a presentation at TROY University’s College of Education Research Conferece.

Proposed Title
Understanding How To Leverage The Universal Creative Process In To Your Classroom, Service and Research Efforts

This session will be an integrated learning experience where members of the audience will provide narrative from their own experiences that I will then leverage to show them how to consider the universal creative process when approaching education as a whole. This widely accepted universal creative process involves critical thinking and problem-solving skills. From songwriters to television producers, creative individuals generally go through five steps to bring their ideas to fruition—preparation, incubation, illumination, evaluation, and verification. More often than not, many educators are already taking part in these steps and simply need a little guidance on one or two of the steps along the way – this session will provide just that. Lastly, I will bookend the the entire showcase with real world examples they have probably all seen in practice and not even realized. Creativity can seem like a foreign language and this session will help debunk the myths that pose it as unattainable and realign your sights on adding the creative process to all of your academic endeavors.

This format would be an alternative session format that included presentation and workshop components combined with live audience interaction and bookended with real world examples. Ideally 45 minutes would be a good fit for something of this nature.

Objectives, Goals, and Takeaways
By looking at real world and practical classroom examples, participants will walk away with a much clearer understanding of what it means to bring the creative process in to a seemingly uncreative discipline and how to leverage it in future practice.

Target Audience
I would say the demo for this session would be anyone looking to bring an element of creativity in to their educational pursuits.

American Advertising Federation: ADDY Awards
Published 3/5/2021 | Chris Stagl | Prattville, Alabama

From Fall 2020 to Present I have served as the Education Chair, and now ADDY Chair, for the Montgomery Chapter of the American Advertising Federation. In 2021, I created this elaborate video for all the winners. This reel streamed online where participants of the ceremony could log on to watch it – due to CoVid the ceremony was virtual in 2021. While I didn’t personally win an ADDY award for any of my work I feel honored for everyone to have enjoyed this video and look forward to being a part of the AAF Montgomery chapter moving forward.
Click image for video.

LTRFRMS: a typography experiment
Published 2/16/2021 | Chris Stagl | Prattville, Alabama

What if everything we know and think about typography is based on a flawed system? Take that clickbait of an intro and set it to low in your design crockpot brain. Businesses rebrand often. Because they’re not successful. Because something’s wrong. To simply refresh a visual. To roll out a new product, brand, or idea. To distance themselves from previous mistakes in order to say, “look, look how far away we are from those ideals that dragged us down in the mud.” This is not a new or novel idea. So, why are we basing the most fundamental teachings of children on a system that hasn’t been rebranded well, ever? Why do we accept a premise of communication, that frankly, maybe completely ineffective? Are letterforms, word shapes, aesthetic of communication properties – are they correct, now? Were they ever?

LTRFRMS examines a simpler way of communicating by narrowing down one square region of each current letter and allows us to read, think, and process information in a faster and more streamlined fashion, in theory.

A gallery…outside: IDEATION X GALLERY
Published 2/11/2021 | Chris Stagl | Prattville, Alabama

Troy University’s graphic design students now have their award-winning art displayed at the IDEA Bank “to bring life and art to Downtown Troy.” The Ideation X gallery is a partnership between the Sorrell College of Business’ IDEA Bank and the Department of Art and Design’s DTI Center.

Chris Stagl, an Associate Professor of Graphic Design, Judson Edwards, Dean of the Sorrell College of Business, and Ed Noriega, Director of the Design Center and a Professor of Graphic Design, worked together to create the external gallery around the walls of the IDEA Bank.

The murals were designed in Stagl’s Fall 2020 typography class. Stagl later met with TROY First Lady Janice Hawkins, who liked the projects the students created. “She then gave me the thumbs up to move forward with getting them installed on the outside of the IDEA Bank’s walls,” Stagl, the creative director and designer behind the gallery, said.

Stagl created the identity of the outdoor gallery and worked alongside the students to get the designs created in the proper format and size to be displayed at the bank.

Going Global with the IC3: International Center for Creativity & Collaboration
Published 2/1/2021 | Chris Stagl | Troy, Alabama

In this new role at TROY University I am, happily, tasked with wearing many hats. One of those is being the Director of the IC3. Primarily, and notwithstanding covid limitations, my role as the director focuses on building relationships overseas to further expand TROY’s International reputation and to deliver high-quality design education to those who otherwise may not have the opportunity to experience this incredible field. Currently, I have nearly a dozen International students who I mentor on a semester basis. In order to give the position and office a fresh feel, I redesigned the identity of the program focusing on TROY colors and negative space.

Elementary My Dear Watson…Troy Elementary
Published 1/1/2021 | Chris Stagl | Troy, Alabama

In the Fall of 2020, my Paper & Screen students were tasked with creating infographics for Troy Elementary’s new nature walking path. After many visits to the future site, about 30 acres of dense woods, they were tired of the spiders and wanted to see more deer and rabbit. I just wanted to see them pull together some amazing graphics and illustrations for the kids. Serving as creative director while teaming up with an important group in the community was definitely a nice welcome to the area.

Featured Students:
Kris Ballard
Abigail Irwin
Hannah Hogan
Tori Carpenter

TROY University Office of Civic Engagement

What remains when we are gone
Published 10/21/2020 | Chris Stagl | Prattville, Alabama

“What Remains”
Photography Series

Photographs highlight the waste that humans leave behind for nature to deal with.

Camera: Sigma SD Quattro H
Lens: Sigma 85MM ART
F: 1.4
Speed: 1/4000

Brown Lady Magazine
Published 4/14/2018 | Chris Stagl | Murfreesboro, North Carolina

Honored to serve on the Editorial Board as a Design Editor for this amazing publication.

While I was teaching at Chowan University, an HSBCU, in Eastern North Carolina, serving on college and community boards was a part of the role I truly enjoyed. Being able to help Brown Lady curate an art and literature magazine is an experience I will not soon forget, truly inspirational.

A Conversation about Diversity & Inclusion
Published 2/21/2018 | Chris Stagl | Como, North Carolina

Honored to be asked to moderate this event for AIGA Charlotte.

The world changes when we change our perspective.

Join us for a casual evening of conversation at Free Range Brewing as we host a diverse panel of designers, thinkers, and creators from the Charlotte community.

With open minds and hearts we’ll be sharing stories of diversity in design and discussing the value of inclusion in the workplace, what it’s like working with members of different backgrounds, and how everyone can contribute to a broader community perspective.

AIGA Charlotte is committed to creating an inclusive environment where diverse voices are active in all aspects of our organization. We aim to inspire a culture of inclusion in which all individuals feel respected and are treated fairly, and different viewpoints, opinions, thoughts, and ideas are encouraged and embraced.

“Research has shown that diverse groups are more effective at problem solving than homogeneous groups, and policies that promote diversity and inclusion will enhance our ability to draw from the broadest possible pool of talent, solve our toughest challenges, maximize employee engagement and innovation, and lead by example by setting a high standard for providing access to opportunity to all segments of our society.”
President Barack Obama | October 5, 2016

24 Months in Eastern North Carolina
Published 1/21/2018 | Chris Stagl | Como, North Carolina

From 2016 – 2018, while working as a Design Professor at Chowan University, I documented the beautiful landscapes in Eastern North Carolina, AKA God’s Country. The images are some of the highlights from those days.

Camera: Sigma SD Quattro H
Lens: Sigma 14MM ART
F: 1.8
Speed: 1/4000

So, What Is Your Story?…