News Blog - The Real Art news blog delivers everything you ever wanted to know about our projects and people. Plus up-to-the-minute announcements, accolades and anything fun that’s worth a mention.

News Blog - The Real Art news blog delivers everything you ever wanted to know about our projects and people. Plus up-to-the-minute announcements, accolades and anything fun that’s worth a mention.


Play Games. Heal Kids.

Fall is such an exciting time! Everyone’s stoked on pumpkin-flavored-everything, hayrides, and of course Halloween and Thanksgiving. But there’s one more event you may not know about: Extra Life.

On a beautiful autumn Saturday, tens of thousands of gamers join together to save the lives of local kids in a celebration of gaming culture astutely called Extra Life. Originally designed as a 24-hour marathon of gaming for charity, Extra Life has evolved to mean different things to different people, though most participants still attempt the marathon to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) hospital of their choosing. Participants can play anything they want, from console games, to tabletop role-playing games, mobile games, and even sports. Extra Life gives people that love to play a chance to do what they love to save lives and make a difference.

Since its birth in 2008, Extra Life has raised more than 8 million dollars, $4 million of which was raised solely in 2013! This year, in 2014, we’ve already raised over $1.6 million. The event starts October 25th, 2014 at 8am. 

So, where do you come in? 

Maybe you’d like to join in on the fun? Well, you can join an existing team, create your own, or fly solo! It doesn’t matter, as long as you do it “For The Kids.” All you have to do is register. I can tell you that not only is the event fun, but the community is outstanding and you really feel like you’re a part of something huge.  I’ve personally been a participant of Extra Life since 2011, and it’s not just me! I’m a member of an incredible team, too. We call ourselves the Rogues Gallery. Together, we’ve raised over $3,500 since inception. Gaming is a huge part of my life—from playing them, to helping create them, to dressing up as game characters at conventions—and having this chance to do what I love, while simultaneously helping thousands of kids, is the greatest thing.

But what if games aren’t really your thing, and you still want to contribute? All teams and players will be accepting donations until November 30th for this year’s total. You can search the community here.

Aside from joining or donating, however, the most important thing you can do is share. Share Extra Life on all your social media outlets. Spread the word about this incredible event, and what it does for your local CMN hospital. The more people that know about Extra Life, the more participants and money we get. Extra Life even provides some neat social media tools on their website to help you get the word out. You can find the official Extra Life team on Facebook and Twitter, too.

From the bottom of my heart, and on behalf of all the families and children your efforts benefit, thank you. Without your previous and future support, Extra Life wouldn’t be what it is today. #ForTheKids!

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Secret Santa Sandwich

Chris Wire "kind of looks like" the Earl of Sandwich
Evidence that Chris Wire “kind of looks like” the Earl of Sandwich

Each year, Real Arters nobly face the intense and arduous ritual of our Secret Santa Gift Exchange. The only rule? You must make the gift yourself.  Jake Sloma, the Senior Interaction Designer based in our Chicago office, has some experience and advice to share with his colleagues in need of a little inspiration.

What is your favorite gift that you made and what is the story behind it?

One time I made Scott a sandwich. I turned him back really fast so I don’t think there are any witnesses to corroborate the gift. Back story: I really like sandwiches, more than I like Scott. I thought making him a sandwich would help, but it didn’t.

What is your favorite gift that you received?

A do-it-yourself ham sandwich kit.

What is your advice for someone making a gift?

Sandwiches make a great gift.

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Commit to Craft

Creative Works Conference attendees had no chance of leaving empty handed. Pictured are items designed and sold by Aaron Draplin, Clark Orr
Items designed by Aaron Draplin, Clark Orr, Sasha Barr, Joey Ellis, Brandon Rike, Dana Tanamachi-Williams, and more.

This past weekend, two Real Arters ventured to Memphis to attend the Creative Works Conference, a three-day exploration into the roles and challenges of the creative community. The lineup that Josh Horton pulled together included presentations and events featuring a range of designers, illustrators, storytellers, and other creative professionals. Here are three of the top takeaways that Sara Hinegardner brought back to Real Art HQ.

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Real Art welcomes Thomas Spaulding

Tom S-2

Real Art welcomes Thomas Spaulding as the newest addition to our team. He is a Front-End Developer working out of Real Art’s Dayton headquarters. Spaulding’s expertise in JavaScript and CSS will inform the creation of exceptional interactive media at Real Art, adding his technical skill and experience to our web development group.

Spaulding graduated from Heidelberg University in 2010. While still a student, he interned at Wright Patterson Air Force Base, working on a flight simulator system. Soon after graduation, Spaulding was hired by Sogeti USA where he worked as a Front-End Developer for the iStable Horse Management system.

In college, Spaulding fell in love with the JavaScript programming language. Since that time, he has learned a number of third party JavaScript frameworks such as Bootstrap, Angular JS, Kendo UI, etc. While his love for Javascript is strong, it has not hampered his thirst for knowledge in other technologies such as Asp.Net, Java, and Mobile Application Development. In his time off, Spaulding likes to keep up to date on new technologies through Pluralsight and CoDrops.

Outside of work, Spaulding is an avid snowboarder. On weekends in the winter months you can find him at Perfect North Slopes or Mad River Mountain. When there isn’t snow on the ground, Spaulding enjoys mountain biking and playing video games.

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Real Art Welcomes Adlyn Morrison


Real Art welcomes Adlyn Morrison as the newest addition to our team. She is a Front-End Development Intern working out of Real Art’s Chicago Office. Morrison brings a knowledge of JavaScript frameworks and an eye for design to entry-level development projects.

Morrison is a senior at Columbia College Chicago pursuing a degree in Mobile Media Programming. Currently, she is completing her thesis developing a website featuring multiple JavaScript libraries on a WordPress platform. She graduates December 2014. Prior to working at Real Art, Morrison interned for a number of companies including The Chicago Architecture Foundation, Rise Interactive, and TSeC.

Morrison loves what she does because she believes that web and mobile platforms are the pipes that bring information to the world. She never tires of learning new technologies and hopes to make significant contributions to society with the power of code.

Originally from Mt. Prospect, Morrison resides in Skokie. When she’s not learning about web development, she likes reading nonfiction books, watching dark dramas, and listening to R&B, Highlife, and Soca.

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