Our biggest honour…

Posted by on Jul 18, 2016 in Awards, Blog, Illustration, Opinion, Testimony | No Comments
Kelly Mellings and Corey Lansdell are wrapped in a blanket.

Corey and I being wrapped in a blanket by Elders as thanks for our contributions. What an overwhelming feeling of warmth, love and appreciation we felt. With other recipients we were also honoured with a song and drumming. What an honour!

Sometimes life plays out better than what you had in your head. If you have a career, or career path, chances are that you’ve set some goals and milestones to help you move along that path. It’s kind of amazing and knocks you about when you receive recognition for something you never expected, or are awarded something you never knew you could be in the running for.

We’ve set quite a few goals for Pulp Studios Inc. Some of them are financial goals like – don’t loose money, or – pay the rent( I kid…we totally pay our rent!). Many of our goals are craft related – getting better at what we do, getting peer and industry recognition. Corey and I sit down yearly and made a list of career goals…inside and outside of this crazy company. Nothing secret, most of them are goals that most people in our field would have. We want to be featured on Art of the Title, we want to win a Communication Arts award, win some more Applied Arts Awards. We’d love to win an Eisner ( the equivalent of an academy award for comics) and an Annie( an award for excellence in Animation). We’d love to have our work on book covers (coming soon!) and children’s books(also in the works!), to have big “fine art” shows in big cities, to have our work featured in industry magazines. Generally be creatively successful at what we do, have our work seen by as many people as possible, be recognized by our peers and to leave some sort of legacy with our artistic endeavour. We also have goals that are tied into our values. Giving back to youth, sharing our knowledge, using some of our profits to help those with greater challenges than ours. Those don’t have the same benchmarks or awards to aim for. We just set the goals like -It would be great to give more to Earth Group this year, or we need to make more time for non-profits in our work schedule.

So..while Pulp Studios has been working with cool clients and trying to hit these benchmarks, we slowly developed a relationship with Native Counselling Services of Alberta (NCSA for short).

NCSA is an important and positive group, started in the 70’s to try and understand/deal with a disproportionate amount of Aboriginals in the justice system. They have since grown to an admirable organization that acts as an advocate, helps Aboriginal Canadians to understand their rights and has been instrumental in educating people about intergenerational trauma’s causes and possible ways that we can heal the community. The people involved with NCSA are lawyers and doctors, community workers, people who give tirelessly of themselves to make things better for everyone.

The short of it is that NCSA are a force for good…and their employees and partners are good people who care about the community and making change for the better. We started with small projects with them and over the years we have worked on an American Indian Motion Picture award winning animation, the art direction and storyboards for a Rosie nominated Documentary , and an award winning national bestselling graphic novel. NCSA were so open to letting us push things creatively, to help get the message home, and let us be a part of the process…and it was that trust that has helped make the work we do together have the impact that we all hoped it would, and to have a lifespan beyond a normal video, animation or comic book.

The work has been a reward in itself, and offered us opportunities to learn and grow that would never have presented themselves to us otherwise. We never did the work for awards or acclaim, we loved making the best work we could, with good people for a good cause.

Thats why, when we were awarded the Native Counselling Services of Alberta Community Service Award…one that acknowledges going above and beyond, we were humbled beyond belief. The Plaque and Blanket mean the world to us, almost as much as our relationship with NCSA and the friendships that have come from it.

This is no brag or humblebrag as the kids say…we still feel unworthy. We just want to share this special moment, to show how proud we are to have received it, and to show how special an organization like NCSA is. They are that client who notices you. Who notices the love and sweat that you put into a project, because they put that same love and  hard work in every day.

Thank you for collaborating with us, for listening to us, and for giving us our most prized career honour, we will continually strive to be worthy of receiving it.


Allen Benson presents us with our plaque, acknowledging our contribution to Native Counselling Services of Alberta.

Allen Benson presents us with our plaque, acknowledging our contribution to Native Counselling Services of Alberta.


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