January 2016 marks five years of Tracie Ching designing jerseys for us! Tracie has made some amazing designs across the years, in particular the sublimated designs from our international World Flying Disc Federation tournaments. Check out her story: a glimpse at what it's like to be an artist in the ultimate community! Should we call it artimate? Probably not, but still.
What was it like when you joined VC 5 years ago? What's the story - how did you get connected with the company?
In 2011, VC hosted one of its first sublimated design contests. I didn't know it then, but the contest was one of the earlier attempts to suss out talent for VC's first design team. Funny thing is I lost that contest, but I guess VC liked my design enough to invite me back to submit something for a team. Once again, my design wasn't chosen, but I was invited to join the team regardless, which should serve as a lesson that success does not always manifest as you might think. Talent and a good work ethic can and will be rewarded!
How did your history as an artist and ultimate player uniquely suit you to designing for VC?
I actually had no official design training. I went to school for fine art with a concentration in mixed media sculpture. I had a minor in printmaking but somehow never managed to touch silkscreen. But in being the "artsy" one, I was often asked to help designing jerseys for my college team, and later my league teams. It was one of my old captains who recommended I submit to the VC contest and it was at that time I had started to dabble in design. VC really helped me hone those skills so in truth we grew together.
Has the company changed a lot in 5 years? What's been the biggest change for you?
I think VC has always had a reputation synonymous with quality, and that really hasn't changed. The big difference is that reputation is now international. I think VC's strong presence has been felt, and resonated, in many corners of the world. I feel grateful to be part of a company that has grown into such an excellent ambassador to the sport of ultimate frisbee.
Who in the whole world, past or present, would you most like to design a jersey for, and what would you put on it?
Since starting this job I have always harbored a dream of designing gear for one of the first ultimate teams to play in the Olympics.
Good luck achieving that dream Tracie, we believe in you! If you'd like to see more of Tracie's art, you can check out her website
or Facebook page