Don’t turn around, wo-oh-oh Der Komives in town, wo-oh-oh

SND President Scott Goldman today announced that Stephen Komives, left, is taking on the role of SND Design Quick Course Director.

Stephen has a long history with SND: Savannah workshop site chair, an organizer of the Orlando workshop, Quick Course and workshop speaker, Diversity Co-Chair and a tireless recruiter for student involvement.

As Design Editor of the Orlando Sentinel, Stephen has helped that publication develop sophisticated alternative story forms. In his previous role at the Savannah Morning News, he was one of the architects of that paper’s brilliant transformation.

Stephen will be a key player in helping us retool our Quick Courses to meet newsrooms’ changing needs (keep your eyes on this blog for more news). He really understands the mission of the Quick Courses and has been learning multimedia himself to “prepare for now.”

Training and Education Director Denise Reagan asked Stephen a few questions to help you get to know him a little better.

Why are SND’s Quick Courses important to you?
It may be a bad time for newspapers, but it’s a great time, an unprecedented time, in storytelling and the presentation of journalism. A strong foundation in craft creates for us the flexibility to adapt to change, not be swept away by it. Quick Courses go a long way toward building that foundation and inspiring people to keep growing.

What’s the first Quick Course you ever attended?
Was in Seattle, in 1994. Bill Ostendorf, Deborah Withey and Nan Bisher presided, and they were amazing. It was my first realization that newspaper design was a very sophisticated and challenging realm, and that I knew next-to-nothing about what I was doing. It was also the first time I’d ever had my work professionally critiqued, and it was an eye-opener to see how bad my work really was (and projecting it on a screen in front of 50 people did nothing to help it). The experience was mind-blowing and humbling, but also very exciting because I was far out of my element and I came away knowing I’d have to push my mind to places it hadn’t been before if I was to succeed in this field. I also remember this: Deborah cranked up a boom box and gave us crayons had us draw the emotions we felt the music was conveying. She came around, glanced at my drawing and said: “Ew, that’s disturbing.” That’s when I knew I at least had some potential.

What’s the latest Quick Course you attended?
I’ve been to two quick courses this year: Flash training in Muncie, and a teamwork-oriented seminar in Jacksonville. Both served as reminders that 1. technology creates more possibilities for us, not less; 2. the educational mission of SND is as crucial as ever; 3. that great teachers (like Don Wittekind) and a pragmatic, hands-on approach (in both workshops) can demystify new technologies storytelling approaches and excite us about the future; and 4. that energy is everything, one person’s energy alone can transform a visual culture or a newsroom.

Why should someone attend a Quick Course?
In 1943 the chairman of IBM said “I think there is a world market for maybe 5 computers.” In 1981 Bill Gates supposedly said, “640K ought to be enough for anybody.” It’s just as easy for us to have an inaccurate notion of our own futures. But we are guaranteed the following: more is going to be demanded of us. We have to offer multiple skill sets and expertise, right now, if we want to be relevant to our newsrooms. Quick Courses are going to offer tightly focused skills-based learning and help visual journalists chart and control their own paths.

InDesign preferences: picas or inches?
Actually, my preferences are set to ciceros. Cicero is the unit of the 21st century. Did you not get the memo?

See you in Boston?
Actually, I was thinking I might go hang out with grandma at the dunes. No, I’ll definitely be in Boston. Not only for the workshop, but I’m registered for the Flash Quick Course the day before. Quick Courses are valuable. Did I mention that?


5 thoughts on “Don’t turn around, wo-oh-oh Der Komives in town, wo-oh-oh”

  1. “What the flip was Grandma doing at the sand dunes?!” Looks like there’s a lot I don’t know about her …
    Stephen, you inspire me every day at the Sentinel. I’m positive your dedication, passion and amazing leadership will make Quick Courses shine. Congrats!

  2. Stephen Komives was an SND judge the first year I volunteered at the competition — the 23rd Edition. And he was absolutely awesome to listen to during medal discussions and to talk to off of the judging floor. He’s a great visual leader, but he’s an even greater guy and a fantastic ambassador for SND. Congrats! Glad to have you on (the) board!

  3. Stephen, I’m so glad to be working with you on the Quick Courses. You’ll be a great partner, and your ideas will make SND’s programs stronger.

    And thanks to our outgoing Design Quick Course Director Greg Swanson. See you at the competition in Syracuse. I know you’ll have it whipped into shape!

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