Not the average canvas

    UW-Eau Claire art students chosen to design bus wrap for Eau Claire Transit in celebration of university’s 100th anniversary

    More stories from Alyssa Anderson

    Getting Weird
    December 13, 2018

    Photo by SUBMITTED

    Art Students Lukas Carlson and Roslyn Cashman have been designing a bus wrap sticker for the Eau Claire Transit that will be unveiled in the fall to commemorate the 100th anniversary of UW-Eau Claire.

    After months of preparation, hours of sketching and a whole lot of dedication, UW-Eau Claire art students Roslyn Cashman and Lukas Carlson will soon unveil an art project like no other.

    In November 2015, Carlson and Cashman were chosen to design a permanent bus wrap sticker for the Eau Claire Transit in celebration of the university’s 100th anniversary in 2016.

    Carlson, an illustration student, said he was initially approached by his advisor and digital painting professor, Ned Gannon, who thought he had what it took to work on a project of this caliber, he said. Cashman, who is studying graphic design, was selected to partner with Carlson to tackle this monumental project.

    “The design is going to be very illustrative,” Carlson said. “It’s going to represent campus, student life and how the past and present intertwine and how campus has grown over 100 years.”

    The bus wrap is only one of many ways Eau Claire plans to celebrate its 100th anniversary, Cashman said.

    The centennial celebration, which will officially begin on May 21 of this year, marks Eau Claire’s 100th commencement ceremony. According to the Centennial Committee’s website, those interested can look forward to celebratory events throughout the fall semester around the Eau Claire campus and community.

    So far, the Centennial Committee plans to celebrate 100 years of Blugold history during the annual Alumni Day on Sept. 30 and throughout the homecoming festivities on Oct. 1.

    Additionally, the committee has announced the date of the Centennial Gala, a brand new event that will take place on Oct. 8 and showcase the university’s various musical ensembles who will perform compositions commissioned especially in honor of the centennial celebration.
    On Oct. 19, campus will celebrate Old Main Day in honor of the 100th anniversary of Schofield Hall, formerly known as Old Main. The Centennial Committee website will continue to announce the dates of other special events, which are planned to take place throughout the year until Spring 2017.

    Carlson and Cashman’s bus wrap design will serve as a permanent memento of this significant year in Blugold history.

    Carlson and Cashman plan to disclose the final design this week in a meeting with the Centennial Committee and Cashman said the bus will be taken off line to wrap later this month.

    “I have a good feeling they’ll be pleased,” Carlson said. “It definitely took a lot more effort than I originally thought … It’ll be nice to have it finished.”

    Not only did they have to come up with a completely original design, but Carlson and Cashman had to work with several different groups in order to make this project come to life. Along with the Centennial Committee, the duo had to incorporate a sponsorship from Erbert’s and Gerbert’s into their design.

    “We had to make sure we incorporated their brand in the way that they want while staying true to the message of the Centennial,” Cashman said.

    In addition to the actual designing portion of the process, Cashman said she and Carlson had to handle a lot of technical issues regarding the logistics of putting their design to work.

    Whether it was learning how to write a contract with another company or learning how to integrate a brand into their design, Cashman said they had to learn how to communicate and take all parties’ opinions into account.

    “A lot of times as an artist, you think you know what’s best,” Cashman said. “But when you’re working with all these different people, they all need to have their opinions taken into consideration and it’s a very difficult thing as a student artist to distance yourself from your artwork.”

    However, both artists said the process wasn’t all fun and games. Carlson said the workload was often overwhelming and they would check one thing off the to-do list only to realize there was much more work to be done.

    “There’s no saying ‘this is good enough,’” Cashman said. “You really have to go the extra mile because you’re representing your university, your brand and your art.”

    After developing the initial concept, the duo had to continuously pace themselves, stay motivated and maintain a level of focus over the months and Carlson said the most challenging part was staying inspired and motivated to keep the same level of finish throughout the artistic process.

    “This experience has given me strength in areas I didn’t think about before,” Carlson said. “It gave me a different perspective on what a career in this field will be like and having a unique experience like this can go a long way on a resume.”

    Despite many challenges, both Cashman and Carlson said this unique experience has been valuable overall. Cashman said the opportunity to work on this project has encouraged her to always take the extra mile, that the extra hour of work will always be worth it.

    “No matter what I do in the future,” Carlson said, “this will have benefited me.”

    In the fall of 2016, residents of Eau Claire can keep their eyes peeled for the product of Cashman and Carlson’s long months of blood, sweat and tears before the duo graduates in the spring.

    While it is unclear what line their bus wrap design will appear on, the evidence of their hard work and talent will not go unnoticed.
    You’ll know it when you see it.