Armadillo Studios Inc.

Eating S’Mores At Calgary’s CAMP Festival

Earlier this month, I had the chance to attend the inaugural “CAMP Festival”: at Theatre Junction GRAND in my home town of Calgary. In conjunction with “FITC”:, this conference was an intense two-day sprint session revolving around the fusion of art, technology, creativity and new media.

CAMP Festival 2014

Throughout the two days, attendees were bombarded with traditional sessions and intimate studios conversations revolving around the emergence of art within the technology and creative sectors. Talks touched upon topics such as _Design and Happiness_, _Big Redesigns, Tough Clients and a Lot of Work!_, _Designing the Future of Augmented Reality_, _Rich Web Experiences and the Future of the Web_.

It was a mind melting two days of uplifting discussion and idea generating conversations about the direction of Web Design and the Internet. Artists such as _GMUNK_, _James White_, and _Sarah Blake_ delved in to their own personal style influences and how they create unique work for clients and their own personal pet projects that have driven their artistic voice. While creative agency veterans such as _Anton Repponen_, _Irene Pereyena_, and _Kim Alpert_ shared their collective experiences dealing with the business side of the creative industry; discussion such topics as client relations, project budgeting, the art of the pitch and team planning and resource management.

CAMP Festival was a fantastic two days and a breath of fresh air into an otherwise stagnant local conference scene. The fusion of internationally renowned speakers and industry shakers with some of Calgary’s own local success stories, really created a unique experience. As an event it was fantastic opportunity to catch-up with every single one of our local friends from the the Calgary design community, meet some new friends and to hang out and discuss the topics that were shown throughout the day.

If CAMP Festival’s goals were to challenge and inspire the growing Calgary tech and creative industry, then mission accomplished. It goes without saying that pretty much all of the 330 people who attended this conference left with something inspiring or challenging to incorporate into their own business models or creative endeavours. For a first run conference of this magnitude, it was a pleasant and energizing surprise. So a massive thank you to all who was involved in the planning and organizing of CAMP Fest.

Plus they had S’Mores. Nothing beats a conference with Beer and S’Mores.

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Welcoming Cody Thompson To Team Armadillo

Welcome To Cody Thompson

It’s with great pleasure I get announce that SAIT student Cody Thompson will be joining Team Armadillo Studios for the next two months. Cody is a great young and upcoming talent, who will be working with myself on a weekly basis to help complete the Practicum portion of his program. Over the next few weeks Cody will be working along side myself on a handful of projects, but mainly on corporate branding, WordPress theme development and mobile responsive site design.

Here’s Cody’s bio if you are looking to learn about him and his work.

Starting in elementary with basic typing and computer skills, then multimedia in junior high and senior high, and now into post-secondary with NMPD; technology has always been a huge part of my life. What made me want to aspire for a career on computers was simply the fact that I loved being on them so much to begin with. I remember when I was younger I would constantly view web page’s source code trying to decipher what all the mumbo jumbo meant and did. Thus it’s only natural that my chosen path would be a developer or designer of some kind. Coffee filled coding nights keep me happy it seems. And knowing that I am by no means an expert keeps me motivated and eager to learn. My interests don’t only lie within web however, although it will almost always influence what I do. I’m also incredibly fascinated with mobile design, and business, and one day hope to embark on both of those. I have a dream of owning my own business, and constantly find myself writing down ideas, reading articles, etc, all in attempt to achieve that goal. When I was in high school I partook in a leadership camp, and although strange at first, I personally feel it has made me realize what I really desire, and also made me stronger in the process. I am very passionate and dedicated when it comes to what I enjoy and what I want. I’m confident in my skills and what I know, yet am not ashamed to admit when I don’t know something yet. Learning and staying up to date, in this field especially, is essential, and I devote myself to that every day. In the end, I love design, I love developing, I basically just love technology and computers in general, it’s what I’m good at, and it’s what I’m aspiring to specialize in as a profession.

So in addition to welcoming him to the team for the next couple of months, I’d also strongly suggest connecting with Cody on Twitter, LinkedIn and Behance.

Lending A Hand To Feed Calgary’s Homelessness with Grow Calgary

A few months ago, good friends of mine were all a buzz about a new project that was making the rounds of the Calgary social network-o-sphere called “Grow Calgary”:

From the brainchild of Calgary-based food advocate “Paul Hughes”:, Grow Calgary’s goal is to take unused provincial land and through the generosity of Calgarians “transform it into 100,000 pounds of fresh vegetables for the cities’ less fortunate”: To say it is an ambitious plan is an understatement, but if there is a city that could pull it off, Calgary is the one. (Read More…)

Two New Blogs To Kick-off the Summer Months

The old Armadillo Blog has been rather quiet the past comple of months, as I put some of the finishing touches on a massive redesign of our web site and the finishing touches on a couple of campaign sites for the upcoming civic election in Calgary. In the meantime, I figured it would be good to do a dual post to catch-up with two really cool personal blog redesigns that were launched over the past two months for two incredibly smart entrepreneurs. Those sites of course are the redesign of “Leah Lawrence’s personal blog”: and the redesign of Sarah Blue’s Get Mommy Some Gin. (Read More…)

Stampede Wallpapers 2013: #WeAreCalgary Edition

Every July since 2009, Armadillo Studios has been crafting a set of humourous wallpapers to celebrate the always endearing “Calgary Exhibition and Stampede”: For better or worse, The Calgary Stampede is one of the defining elements of Calgary’s culture and identity. For many of us, it’s a huge aspect of our city’s stereotype and indentity and because of which it is always ripe for some good old fashioned ribbin’. And as I have done for the past few years, early last week I put out a call for sone witty suggestions for this year’s editions of the Wallpapers. We got sone great ideas and we had come up with a few witty ones ourselves.

Then “last week happened”:

With a province and a city literally decimated by mother nature’s wrath and thousands of people looking to rebuild and regroup from the devistation, making fun of the Stampede just doesn’t seem right this year.

Now many are already debating whether or not the Calgary Stampede should actually take place this year, with less than ten days from the parade kick-off. But like the “Calgary Stampede organizing committee”: and “many others”:, I believe that the city needs the Stampede (in whatever capacity possible) this year more than ever. After times of disaster and crisis, communities need a rallying point. A few months ago, Boston needed the Bruins and a few years ago New Orleans rallied around the Saints. This is why at this time, the city needs the Stampede. Now for most cities, putting on something like the Stampede is a gigantic and daunting task, to do it after the largest disaster to hit the region in over a hundred years would be near impossible for most communities. But this Calgary and it’s a beautiful beast of a city.

If anyone can do this, it’s Calgary and the amazing people of this city.

So in solidarity with the rebuilding of our beloved city and the great spirt of the thousands of volunteers and people all over this province, we’ve created a special Stampede Wallpaper this year.

The Stampede… It’ll take more than an epic flood to stop this party

The Stampede… It'll take more than an epic flood to stop this party

PG-13 Version

Download: Zip File All Formats
Download: 1600 x 1200
Download: 1920 x 1200
Download: iPhone

Old Cowboy Version

Download: Zip File All Formats
Download: 1600 x 1200
Download: 1920 x 1200
Download: iPhone

*Now*, If you do decide download the wallpaper *please consider* donating to the “Canadian Red Cross on behalf of Flood victims”: or joining the “”: project, spend sometime with your neighbours cleaning out or even pick-up “the Hell or High Water T-shirt”: or buy “The Nenshi Bad Portraits Print”: Let’s all band together and make rebuild this city.

*For those looking for the lighter versions* feel free to download the wallpapers from “2011”: or “2012”: