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Volunteer Spotlight for Presidio Trail Run

VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHTInterview With Colten Hitchcock, Youth Volunteer 
The Presidio Trail Run has always had a broad scope of youth involvement in volunteering or racing our trails. This year we invited Colten Hitchcock, a 17-year-old junior at Ruth Asawa School of the Arts (SOTA), to design the trail run graphic for the t-shirts.  


Caption: Colten’s graphic from start to finish 

J: How did you get involved with the Trail Run/Presidio Y? 

C: I’ve been involved with the Y for as long as I can remember. I’ve done Y camps for most of my summers, swim lessons, YBike, and Y Makers program. I’ve also helped with events and done fundraising phone calls. Last year, the Y was looking for a design for the Trail Run event and I thought it would be nice to offer my services! I’ve been drawing and doing graphic design for a couple years now, and over quarantine I started an Instagram account for my art (@Netloc_Studios). This year I’m excited to work on the Trail Run design for the second year in a row. With the help of the Y’s marketing team, I was able to transform my personal design so it fit with the Y’s brand voice. 

J: What made you interested in graphic design? 

C: Speaking from the heart, I follow a lot of artists on Instagram and have always admired how they are able to take something from their head and make it real, or take something real and make it beautiful. At first, I tried to emulate those other artists, but then I branched out into my own style. 


J: Walk us through your design process./How did you come up for the concept of this year’s design? 

C: To start, I collected reference photos of the Presidio from along the trail run course. Then I sketched a rough concept piece using ProCreate. From there, I checked in with the Y to make sure I was on track and created my own personal design. With the help of the marketing team, I “Y-ified” the logo by using their brand colors and rounding edges. Then after some back-and-forth edits, we got our finished product. 



J: What do you do to improve your design skills? 

C: Practice. Practice! PRACTICE! 


J: What are your favorite sources of design inspiration? 

C: I am inspired mostly by music and video games. Some of my favorite series that I’ve created are album covers, tarot cards, and podcast characters. 


J: How do you deal with creative blocks? 

C: I DON’T! I let them simmer… I give my blocks space. 


J: What advice do you have for other kids interested in getting into graphic design? 

C: Ok, here’s some advice: 1) Practice makes perfect. I draw most evenings for more than two hours. 2) Find little things to inspire you, it doesn’t have to be big. For example, I have a whole series of just drawing different outfits on an Otter. 3) Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. I was nervous at first, but it opens doors like designing the Y’s Trail Run shirt! 

J: What’s your favorite project you’ve worked on? 

C: By far it’s my tarot cards! I spent so long drawing the entire deck, and I am incredibly proud of them because of the effort! 

Ready to get running? We’ve created a playlist for you and the whole family! 

REMINDER: Registration closes at 11:59pm on Thursday 4/28. There will be registration on race morning (05/01/22) from 6:30 AM – 8:00 AM. 

Julia Ludwig