Exercise your creative mind: Chompathons

So, as many designers know, sometimes the day to day can be a little… dry. While we take pride in the work we do for our clients, the Bluewave designers came up with a way to exercise their creativity outside of billable work – what we like to call Chompathons! Chompathons are creative exercises intended to squeeze those creative juices, to learn new skills (as despite your level, you should never stop learning) and get us to think differently about how to approach design in different situations.


The Process Puzzle design exercise

In a recent Chompathon, we had an exercise that was two-fold: Learn a new skill (and share the process with the team), and create a promotional piece for our company. We called it The Process Puzzle (open to other names – please).

If you want to try it yourself, here are our rules – but feel free to add your own flavor!

  1. Go to YouTube, Adobe, Vimeo, etc, and find a tutorial on a process or a style that you’ve not used before that seems interesting.
  2. Create a piece of art using your new-found skill. The art should be sized for print (suggest 16×20 in. at 300 dpi, but choose a size that works for your piece), and include your company’s logo.
  3. In two weeks, reconvene as a design team to share your work and the process you learned.
  4. Open it up to the whole agency to vote on a favorite. Once a winner is announced, have it printed as a jigsaw puzzle at a site like Shutterfly, and display it proudly in the office, send to your coworkers for their home office, or to clients for a fun bit of swag.


Our winning piece by Sherry Sutton

Using a double-exposure effect

Grayscale image of woman, her hair morphs into a crown-like forest
“Enchanted Forest”


Our runners up

Two designers used the same tutorial about creating an engraved money texture, but produced wildly different pieces!

Duotone photo of a man in glasses, processed to look like engraved money
“Mr. President”
Duotone photo of a cat in a dress, process to look like engraved money. Colorful paint splashes and graffiti type are layered on top.
“The Screeching Madam”


Chrome effect: 

Bluewave logo and word mark with chrome effect over a black and purple starry sky
“Super Wave”


Customized camouflage pattern:

Black, blue, and neon green camouflage pattern with bold neon green font reading "A Disguise for When You Want to Be Seen". Image includes a QR code.
“A Disguise to Be Seen”


Convert a scene from day to night:

Photo of office building at night with moon above, streetlights and interior lights shining out of top floor windows
“Bluewave Night-light”


Create 3D type:

Blue 3D text pops out of a blue background, reading "SLIDE WIZZARDS"
“Would You Like Fries with That”

These projects are fun, exploratory and inspirational exercises that help us flex our design muscles and show off our chops even outside of the day-to-day. We look forward to showing off more of them here in the future!

Office wall with mockup of a framed puzzle, a few pieces are missing

By: Ben Grefsrud | Art Director

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