Bill Cosby and me

When someone asks me what I do for a living, it's always a hard question to explain.  Mostly because I do a lot of things and they all don't really fit under any one title in a neat and efficient way.  I started calling it 'creative freelance' and although it confuses people more than it satisfies - but for the most part it works.  This week I had an unexpected project come up requested by the staff at the Riverside Theatre.  It was to make a sweatshirt for Bill Cosby that said "Hello Friend" on it. 

I think that Bill Cosby is probably the only celebrity from my youth that I genuinely get nostalgic for when I see hear about him and what he is up to these days.  And explaining who Bill Cosby was to my son who is nearly four was a pure delight.  We sat and watched YouTube clips for the better part of the afternoon of the Cosby Show.  Watching the clips gave me a chance to reflect a little on how much that man was a part of my childhood - not to mention that he single handedly made me a fan of pudding pops as well.

Anyway, part of Bill Cosby's rider is for the venue to supply him with a shirt that says Hello Friend on it.  It's the phrase his son would use to greet friends and now Bill uses it as a way to memorialize him and keep him as a part of his life.  The people at the Riverside couldn't have been more enthusiastic about Bill coming to town for the show and even though his rider was complicated, they all dealt with it smiling with anticipation.  When I was contacted to make the shirt they said they wanted something special for him because he was such a sweet man. 

So I headed into a design process to applique and embroider the phrase Hello Friend for Bill Cosby.  When I dropped it off I was met with a crowd of people from the Riverside marketing department all huddled around to take the shirt out of the bag I had brought it in.  I hadn't realized until then that the shirt was such a big deal to everyone, before then it was just a big deal to me. 

Here's a photo of Bill Cosby in the sweatshirt, with a very classic Bill Cosby smirk.

photo by Eric Ljung

photo by Eric Ljung

It was great to see he wore the sweatshirt on stage -- and even a bit more of a triumph to learn that he really liked it. 

So that's my Bill Cosby story for the day. 

My weird little niche I have carved out for myself sometimes comes with some unexpected perks like this job.  So if you are reading this and thinking to yourself that you need something made and not sure who to call I'm your girl.  I have a laundry list of strange jobs that I have figured out - like how to make 25 gallons of jam in my home kitchen or how to make a 6x6' banner for a record label or if you need a sweatshirt for one of my childhood heros.  It's cool.  I can figure it out.