Every year, Anderson Design Group makes a point to send Studio-Store employees and artists on an adventure to the National Parks. Sometimes it's Creative Director Joel Anderson and his family who venture out into the wilderness; other times, it's ADG Studio-Store staffers and artists.
Why the annual trips to the Parks? For ADG, National Park poster art is best created out of inspiring, personal experiences in the parks. Ever since ADG poster artists began creating art of the National Parks about ten years ago, Joel has had the goal for ADG team members to visit every National Park on the roster. What better way to garner inspiration and excitement, reference photos and artistic material than by personally traveling to each park?
That's why, in September 2020, Joel sent ADG staffers Molly Mann and Ally Cizowski to four California National Parks.
- An ADG veteran, wanderlust-filled intrepid traveler, and Star Wars fanfic academic, Molly Mann heads the ADG social media department and also works in customer service.
- A master of the multitasking life, an artist of graphic design, and a pro at juggling the ever-exciting environment of ADG's Studio-Store and Fulfillment Department, Ally manages our art studio and also works in shipping and processing.
Why Yosemite National Park?
When Molly and Ally planned their trip, the goal was to see as many National Parks as possible in a nine-day trip. Their first stop was Channel Islands National Park, then Joshua Tree and Death Valley. Before they flew back to Nashville, they swung by Yosemite National Park.
ADG founder Joel Anderson (below) was not on this trip, but he lent us some photos from his 2018 trip to show you what Yosemite looks like when it's not obscured by smoke from wildfires! Unfortunately, Molly and Ally's trip happened during a time California was experiencing some horrific wildfires—and even though the fires were far from Yosemite, drifting smoke made visibility pretty bad as you will see in a moment.
While Anderson Design Group team members had been to Yosemite National Park before, both Molly and Ally had a strong desire to see what is arguably one of the most beautiful National Parks. Furthermore, it was located not far off the route they were planning on taking from Death Valley National Park to the airport in San Francisco.
When Molly and Ally left Death Valley National Park, their goal was to drive through the desert and up into the mountains where Yosemite National Park is located. They planned to stay at a hotel in Mammoth Lake but had to make a schedule change at the last minute due to nearby forest fires!
The ADG explorers persevered, venturing to Yosemite despite several nearby forest fires. In fact, the fires were so prolific that Molly and Ally struggled to see much of Yosemite due to the smoke. Below is their view from Glacier Point.
Above is what the view from Glacier Point looks like on a clear day! Below is what El Capitan looked like in the haze. And below that is a shot Joel took on a clear day a few years ago.
When asked, "What was most inspiring about the park?" both Molly and Ally agreed they were inspired to go back again! The nearby forest fires hampered visibility quite a bit. That had an eerie, mystical effect, presenting the girls with a version of Yosemite that few people get to see. But Molly and Ally are committed to going back when the visibility is better!
"Boots-On-The-Ground" Advice - Tips from Molly and Ally on Exploring Yosemite
- Yosemite is considered a very "drivable" park, meaning you can see much of the park without leaving your car. Be sure to bring good hiking boots, though, because there are several pull-offs with excellent viewing sites and nearby hiking trails.
- The famous Yosemite Valley is the most-visited area of the park. But don't neglect the less-visited but equally beautiful Glacier Point, Yosemite Falls, El Capitan, and Cathedral Rocks.
- Yosemite is stunningly beautiful. While you can technically see most of the park in one day, it's a good idea to reserve a campsite or off-park lodgings. That way, you can get the full Yosemite experience.
- Plan accordingly, and think about seasonal factors (like the forest fires, which usually occur in late summer/early autumn).
- Yosemite National Park offers stunning views, great hikes, lakes, waterfalls, forests, rushing river rapids, and abundant wildlife. This can inspire a hectic, mad dash to try and see everything before you leave the park. With that in mind, Molly and Ally strongly suggest slowing down for a minute, finding a nice rock to sit on (preferably with a view!), and just soaking it all in for thirty minutes. The zen is worth it!
Yosemite Art - Celebrating America's National Heritage in Vintage Poster Art
Over the years, Anderson Design Group poster artists have hand-rendered several vintage poster designs and illustrations of Yosemite National Park, depicting the park's natural beauty in timeless, mid-20th century design.
Some of our Yosemite art includes classic oil paintings by ADG artist collaborator Kai Carpenter.
And last but not least, creative director Joel Anderson worked with artist contributor Michael Korfhage to create a vintage design of Yosemite that includes a map of the park and its most popular attractions.
To learn more about Yosemite National Park, be sure to visit the website for the National Park Service. There you'll find up-to-date information on weather conditions and park closures/updates. And to learn more about important conservation work being done in Yosemite (to preserve the natural beauty of the park for future generations), be sure to check out the website for the Yosemite Conservancy.
Future Park Adventures? Absolutely!
After spending the day in Yosemite exploring a mystical land shrouded in smoke and smelling like a summer bonfire, Molly and Ally departed and drove to San Francisco. From there, they caught a flight back to Nashville.
Before their airplane touched down in Nashville, Molly and Ally were already making plans for their next National Park adventure.
Keep an eye on our ADG blog, as we'll be interviewing the girls and following their 2021 National Park adventures!
Anderson Design Group Writing Staff