The Journey of a Halloween Jack-O-Lantern

Collage of multiple Halloween jack-o-lanterns carved with spooky face

“Mark grabbed his iPad and did what came naturally.” He drew. In this case a pumpkin.

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Executive Art Director at DKY, Mark Yaeger, had nothing better to do on a recent vacation to Montana. Sure, he could have simply soaked in the view from his perch atop Flathead Lake in Bigfork. But how long can you do that before getting restless?

Mark's view in Montana. Beautiful floor to ceiling window views of the lake, mountains and trees.

For Mark, drawing has always been his happy retreat no matter where he finds himself situated. So, to slightly alter a quote by Senior Art Director, Craig Claeys, “Mark grabbed his iPad and did what came naturally.” He drew. In this case a pumpkin.

Pumpkin sketch


However, this drawing was more than a fun doodle. It became the fulfillment of a request by Doug Roose, ADM’s Vice President of Producer Marketing. Over the years, Doug has poked and prodded Mark for a custom pumpkin. So what started as a sketch on vacation turned into a finished Mark-o-lantern in his living room a week later back home in Minnesota.

Photo of pumpkin

You’d think that’s the end of the pumpkin’s journey. But it was just the beginning. DKY Art Director, Naomi Long, took Mark’s creation to the basement photo studio at DKY and snapped a bunch of pics. She then stitched the photos together to make an animated GIF, perfect for ADM’s social media purposes. Now farmers across America could see Mark’s creation.

Pumpkin gif

But then our pumpkin tale took a sad turn. Well, more like a moldy turn. Because Mark’s creation stayed the weekend in DKY’s dark basement, it was discovered Monday with mold on it. And that made it simply unacceptable for us to deliver to ADM. So Mark made a sequel: Mark-o-lantern II.

Pumpkin on ADM's front desk

Today version 2.0 happily sits on the front desk of ADM’s office in downtown Minneapolis. Enjoy a safe Halloween and remember to gourd big or gourd home!

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