Monday, July 26, 2010

What if Syndrome

"Happiness is a butterfly, which, when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you."
My favorite Aunt joined the wave of half million other Facebook fans last week. Her recent photos provided me the opportunity to longingly look at pictures of my family I have not seen in years. Cousins that have not grown up before my very eyes, but are so grown up I can't believe my eyes.
Living on the opposite side of the country was as close as I wanted to be back then. Family to employment slowly filters through my what if syndrome these days. What if I had not decided to 'see' the West Coast, and remained in my home town... or not leave my adorable cottage in San Francisco in order to buy a house in the country. Regret and happiness are like oil and water.
I can miss my family but just for today I will embrace the fact that I live in paradise here, the community, the events and even the weather I occasionally blog about.
Life is good.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Paying it forward

As I begin production on the August issue of Young at Heart I'm aware of the fact that over past year + that I have been redesigning and producing the paper, it has been an exercise in learning and earning ...even if the earning has been inconsistent. The previous owner retired in April and as a result, the past three months have been about creating a whole new standard of quality -mainly in content. Before the paper was filled with articles supplied by the advertisers, it was all part of the draw to SELL a display ad, now I am working with 'an Editor' (an Editor with integrity and creative passion) we have established themes and its a whole new ball game. This past issue was on travel and great places to getaway to in Oregon. The papers have flown off the racks and we have been flooded with emails and calls complimenting our efforts.
This August issue ahead is on Pets and Ms Kitty and Maggie will be the cover girls. There have been some fantastic submissions by our readers for the best pet picture contest we are holding and I am excited to be riding this wave of production on through to my press date in a week. Thanks for all the inquires as to 'what up? ...'I have had little time over the past few months to update my blog, I have been updating the Young at Heart website, sales sheets, email blasts and redesigning the Media Kit for the upcoming fair in October. Changes indeed!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Change and happiness

"Change is not merely necessary to life - it is life."
-Alvin Toffler

I have been questioning if my blog has turned into a whine-a-thon. A venting outlet of frustration with my clients and general unhappiness with the creatively under challenged part of my life and effective ability to make a living. In case any of you are wondering, despite my power of intention, plea bargaining with God, and candles lit, I have not heard a peep from Google, or any of the other two places I sent resumes outside of the Rogue Valley. My burning desire for a design position is evolving, by necessity into what I have been seriously considering for more than a year, sales.
Volunteering at the Britt selling raffle tickets was one of my most rewarding positions, I loved the people contact and especially outselling my competition by a landslide.
When I first contacted Young at Heart, it was with the intention of selling display ads for them, until the owner saw my design work. After a few months of revising their marketing materials and ad design, I was hired to redesign the publication, which snowballed into planning the content, photography and writing a monthly column. I think it was the pinnacle of personal and creative satisfaction, unfortunately it was also accompanied by a disturbing pattern of non payment and questionable business decisions made by the employer.
I am excited to be working with two new clients in a sales capacity, its taking a little time to get my creative side and my Muse along for the ride, they are throwing tantrums in the back seat like a couple of two year olds.
I am working on a new game plan that will allow for some creativity in other ways, like formulating marketing plans for my clients and helping them decide where their advertising dollars can be best spent. I am wrapping my mind around the fact that creativity comes in as many shapes as people, and my happiness depends on seeing my glass half full instead of half empty.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The BuG or the WindShield

"well it's a strange old game
- you learn it slow...
one step forward and it's back to go.
sometimes you're the windshield,
sometimes you're the bug"

I can't tell you the amount of times I have been taken in by the seductive lines of a client, the lure of the words: "unlimited budget, anything goes, need it right away".
Thinking I am the windshield I fly, throwing myself into the creative process with total abandon. Days spent immersed, swallowed up from concept sketches to the final designs sent off.
I think this won't happen again, and it does. I am again, a client not paying, not responding to emails, and in the middle a friend who called me initially to help out his son, and now... I am the bug once again.
Not thinking I needed a contract, money upfront, just thinking about their needs.
Ouch, squished again.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

American Woman

Randy Bachman explained the origins of this song in an interview with Words & Music magazine, Spring 2005. Said Bachman: "We were playing in a curling rink in Kitchener, Ontario (Canada), and I broke a string. I was up there alone, tuning up my E an B strings on an old Les Paul. I started playing that riff and in the audience, heads started turning. The band got up, and I said, 'Keep playing this, I don't want to forget it.' When Burton had run out of solos, I yelled out, 'Sing something!' So out of the blue Burton just screamed, 'American Woman, stay away from me!' That was the song, the riff and Burton yelling that line over and over. Later, he added other lines like 'I don't need your war machine, you ghetto scenes.' Before America knew it, it was a #1 record and it was a protest song."
Do you remember the song American Woman by The Guess Who? I wore the groove out of that vinyl album when I was in college and knew every song lyric by heart. I was just on You Tube looking for the video to add when I stumbled on a hot Lenny Kravitz version, smoking guitar licks ...and it makes the Guess Who version look like a bunch of overweight middle age geezers at a Tea Party rally. Now you are probably ready to leave and go looking for it so I will have to include a link in order to keep you here, so hang on.
Fact: due to the anti-American lyrics, The Guess Who was not allowed to play this when they performed at the White House for President Richard Nixon in 1970.
I have a new client, she came to check out my available studio rental and while it was not quite right for her we got talking and it turned into a business connection. She does online resource sites, successfully launching three over the past few years out of Denver, Colorado. Her next site is called American Woman and features products and services, yep all made in the USA. Her logo, website design, and social media application art are all in the works and here are two of the four designs for her logo I just completed. Not sure which one will be the pageant winner, but feel free to weigh in on your favorite.
Speaking of websites, I would like to thank Jess the gal who takes my designs and makes my clients' websites happen, not just an excellent html coder, but SEO expert who is a total joy to work with. Responsible for my latest website reincarnation, you can see some of her work linked HERE.
Fact:The song American Woman was featured in the Jim Carrey movie The Cable Guy, where it appears in a Karaoke scene, and American Beauty, where Kevin Spacey rocks out to it while going through a mid-life crisis.
Oh and that Lenny Kravitz video, fasten your seat belt, I WAS going to provide a link to YouTube, but instead the code embedded the video ....

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Life in the Short Lane

Every vertically challenged individual has seen it all and heard it more than necessary.
"How tall are you?"

"Ahhh.. are you writing a book, or is this just a random act of curiosity and rudeness motivated by needless insensitivity."

The man I have been with for eight years is above average in height, I often see the look, or their eyeballs going from one of us to the other, up, down....yep, we are a wonder to behold, a long tall drink, and a wink.
" Mom was tiny too he says, unfazed by my diminutive stature" lovingly unable to comprehend my insecurity packaged with a closet full of cruel shoes I never wear anymore and a lifetime of double takes, finger pointing and bad jokes.
Pocket size... I see myself through the eyes of others and compare myself more than I would like to admit. I'm so grateful for the love that lifts me up and helps me not take myself too seriously in spite of myself.
Recently there has been a story in the news about a high school girl who killed herself after being terrorized by fellow students- bullying has been honed to a whole new level. Thankfully I look back on my childhood and see a much easier level of emotional boot camp from peers than the current times require. My torturers were the eyes and cruel words from parents of my male friends who targeted me and my DNA, threatened by imperfect grandchildren and potentionaly destroying their future Christmas cards even when dating or kids wasn't even on the table or in our minds.
Why do the hurtful words stubbornly remain when the compliments don't.
"don't get too serious with her, I don't want midget grandchildren"
Forty years later those words still sting, but not like they used to. When you are young and impressionable one sentence from an adult can take you down a path of personal torture unparalleled by your peers.
A gentle reminder to teach your children to love and live as you would want to be treated in an world where we are all perfect, and loved just as we are.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Last evening was the second of a two night gig volunteering to paint signs for the upcoming Earthday celebration in Ashland. Magic Marker fumes aside it was a wonderful experience starting with discovering a fabulous new place, The Ashland Art Center. What a great resource for artists in the area, run by some awesome individuals and showcasing some amazing artwork from clothing to hand painted tiles, so incredibly inspiring.
Working last evening with a dedicated group of artists and non-artists it was a reminder of the power of community even on a small level. Production moved briskly along to some Tom Petty music on the boom box and Marsha Bashfords' support and enthusiasm. Leaving Ashland around 9 PM with the aroma of delicious food in the air from restaurants lit up like Christmas trees, I felt exhausted but delirious. Volunteering has that effect on you, its something you do for others but feeds the soul and returns the effort in an unmeasurable way, and its lingering effects are so richly rewarding.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Bird by Bird

"Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he'd had three months to write. It was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother's shoulder, and said, 'Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.'"

Ten years ago I read my first Anne Lamott novel, Traveling Mercies, Some Thoughts on Faith, it started a memorable summer of reading every book she had written. I reserved the best for last, since the last thing I thought I would be interested in, was writing. Bird by Bird, Some Instructions on Writing and Life, turned out to be my hands down favorite and had such an impact on me I subsequently ordered 6 copies from Amazon and sent them off one by one to my friends. I raved and also sent one to my main client at the time, David Pogue, editor and publisher of the Missing Manuals books that I was illustrating the covers for, who is now Tech Guru and columnist for The New York Times. In retrospect, I can't help but wonder what he thought, that I was suggesting he could use some writing help... fortunately, I distinctly remember discussing how floored I was by the hysterically irreverant prose and how applicable it was not just to writing, but to the creative process in general- and life. It was a hilarious and inspiring book to say the least, and her ability to be sarcastic and wise spoke to my heart and rattled my cages in more ways than one.
Lately I have suggested the book to two of my friends who I find to be fantastic writers, and have been encouraging them to start a blog. Normally I buy used books on Amazon, and this morning when I logged on, I was shocked to see the limited copies available and ridiculously high prices for the few available print copies for sale there. I did Google, locate and order one elsewhere but in the thrill of the hunt I spotted a link for a digital edition. There was Bird by Bird for Kindle and also a link for reading books on your Mac, the download for which I will link here for my fellow Mac users...Kindle for Mac
I have been researching the online digital publishing sites popping up on the web out there, and I am incredulously impressed with the ease of upload and advance in readability, its truly come a long way, and I think its about to take a giant leap forward with the release of the new iPad by Apple. Take a look at the software linked here, and if you don't have an Amazon Kindle, there is a link in the right column of my blog to check them out and order one. Thanks for reading my ramblings and have a fine feathered day.... click by click.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Intention and Resurrection

I have to wonder, is it irony or divine intervention that Wayne Dyer, The Power of Intention just started on our local PBS channel behind my laptop minutes before I hit the button to submit my online application to Google.
A colleague of mine recently rolled her eyes when I mentioned I was considering reworking my website and submitting my resume, "they don't hire old folks", only twentyearolds. "Its my dream job and they have to have a few boomers with experience to balance things out"... I patiently responded.
It reminded me of a transforming conversation a number of years ago, when I told my Mother that I was going to get a computer. Here was her response: "don't bother honey, you will never learn how to use one of those". Hmmm... those kinds of comments, they either paralyze you, or motivate you. Needless to say, I got a computer the following day.
In those days the cost alone was prohibitive, I know I'm dating myself here, but I remember spending over a thousand dollars on my first monitor (that took two people to lift) and a whopping fifteen hundred bucks on the used hard drive. Sharing software was not the politically incorrect sinister act back yonder and with a little help from my friends in that department, I was burning some rubber on my yellow brick road.
I never looked back, zealously encouraged by clients who felt my graphic style of illustration and a Mac would be the perfect marriage, and it was. My workload doubled, within a matter of weeks I had three ongoing jobs illustrating in-house newsletters for both Mervyn's and Pacific Bell, and 3 months later, ongoing illustrated charts for EPRI's quarterly publication rendering visual diagrams of the infrastructure of the internet. Thanks Mom!
I'm sending out two more applications today as well, one local business I would love to work for as a runner up on my wish list, and for a position in Chico ...just so I am not putting all my eggs in one basket. Even if I don't get an interview, I will at least feel I have tried, and that alone is far better than stuffing those random feelings of not following through.
I have never settled for less, or done less than my best despite the obstacles on my path. And just like me and the Mac, I can't help but feel like -Google and moi, well we too are a match made in heaven.
Today is Easter, there is that metaphorical resurrection association with this day and that powered by my intention is expecting the miracle.

Stay tuned ...and please consider hitting the Follow Me button, those five brave souls who have done so are getting lonely, and who knows...things might start to get interesting one of these days.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday and April Fools

I admit I am a serial problem solver, my minuscule engineering molecule that I was gifted with blissfully functioning in a practical methodology-except at 3 in the friggin' morning. Lately I find myself waking from restless sleep far more than I would like to admit, wacky dreams I briefly recapture for dysfunctional clues to what is going on in my sub conscious before falling back to sleep. Constantly reevaluating the waking dream I am living -sometimes becomes a challenge in itself. In all honesty it seems like every fifteen years my gypsy blood rises and wants a change, my life feels routine, my muse desires another palette.
These days I am not feeling creatively challenged enough and I throw myself-ass over tea kettle, into the smallest of assignments apparently unable to determine the clients who want quality results and are willing to pay a fair compensation, from the ones who I become a willing doormat to be taken advantage of. If there is a Cinderella complex for artists I am in the proverbial trenches.
I want to be working with other creatives, part of a team, yes, working a job, with a boss who appreciates the hoops I jump through and the passion I have for the process. I want to get up, get dressed... go to work and create, I want the daily grind to be the job I love, and love the job I do.
I don't want to waste precious sleep time waking with stressful thoughts about money and maintenance around the problem solving molecule in overdrive focused on the solution.
Today is Good Friday and here is what has been good, if not great about it, I finished reworking my website, expanding and updating my online portfolio, and now in earnest I will start applying for design jobs. Top of my list is Google, I know... good luck, I hear they only look at twenty something applicants, but I can dream. San Diego and Austin are also on my radar, another bleak winter here is all I need to send me over the edge, if I pull off a geographic I want it to be to a warmer climate. Hoping, praying and lighting candles in the spirit of write it down make it happen that next year at this time I won't be having another 'Groundhog Day' experience on Good Friday and feeling like another April Fool.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Good grief, good grillin'

In the winter months, helped along by the holidays... ones thoughts and free time turn to cooking, baking and packing on the pounds. This year is no exception, especially since I have yet to activate the three month gym membership won last month at the Siskiyou Film Festivals' silent auction, to work my extra baggage off.
My latest food creation addiction revolves around Italian panini sandwiches. Panini's are essentially grilled bread filled with meats and cheeses - originated in the sidewalk cafes of Italy. Its the perfect winter weather easy breezy gourmet treat. I found a fantastic cookbook and together with my Cuisinart grill press we are happily on the road to some serious weight gain. Grilled cheese sandwiches were a staple of my childhood and I must say, Panini's have elevated this to a whole new level.
The cookbook I bought has some great recipes to try, Turkey with Brie & Apples, Turkey Meatloaf with Spicy Tomato Sauce, Grilled Salmon with Chipotle Aoli, or for a morning delight, Eggs & Bacon Breakfast Sandwich. My grill is a small unit but have been wanting to upgrade to a newer Cuisinart model which I will link to on (free shipping) along with the cookbook.
See you at the gym folks!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

My Muse, myself...

"Be like the bird that pausing in her flight a while, on boughs too slight, feels them give way beneath her - and yet sings, knowing that she has wings."
-Victor Hugo

I am working on a new job, one of those jobs that I'd like to think I wished into my creative life. Ever thankful for assignments that my clients' desire to reflect another era, sort of like the wine label for The Train Depot, this one goes back even another decade or two.
My Muse must have brokered this job, there was minimal direction....the email said - Santa Rosa restaurant, roaring twenties theme, flapper with cigarette holder, elegant, older clientele.
These days in California there is no smoking in restaurants or bars so I wonder if one of my favorite facets of the artwork will be cut.
I am always interested to see if the selected artwork is the first design worked up, or the last. Here is the last of the six designs submitted ....and my personal favorite.
Stay tuned for updates and further musings.

A walk on the wild side

Yesterday was a teeny tiny glimpse of the season idling patiently ahead, a single day and window of sunshine wedged between a wall of rain and windy weather that has been dominating the Pacific Northwest and my mood swings. Dave talked me off a job I have been blissfully working on for a few days and we hit the road for the Illinois Valley to check out the spectacular wildflowers. Packing some snacks and the dogs, it was not lost on either of us that the last time we hiked Little Falls two years ago we were accompanied by our beloved duo we have since lost to cancer. Not a lot of time for reminiscing between keeping Peppers frantic barking and Maggies ear splitting yipping from spoiling our fun. We descended the rocks to an isolated slice of shoreline to crash and bake while the dogs played on the waters edge. I took photos of the multitude of flora blooming from every nook and cranny and we marveled at the erratically raging river. March Madness indeed...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

This past week I attended a free marketing class offered through RCC, our local community college. Thanks in part to the SBA (Small Business Administration) and private funding, it was very well attended by a wide range of individuals and impressively presented. The random diversity of local businesses and entrepreneurs was remarkable, 3 piece suits to flannel shirts, local Realtors to eclectic gardening tool inventors...and the age range of folks attending was striking too. Having worked in the advertising industry for years, PR and marketing is one of the key elements I have focused on to bring in new business for myself both as an illustrator and graphic designer as well as for my clients. What I learned in the class was not altogether surprising, one of the most extraordinary and impressive statistics in marketing centered around the social networking phenomena, and if you have missed the boat in this department its time to climb on board. Twitter and Facebook are the two most effective tools for generating FREE advertising. The class facilitator along with a slide show relayed a fascinating example of the way a new business can accumulate a "fan base" via FaceBook before their product even hits the market. I wrote in a previous blog post at the beginning of the week that I was considering setting up a page to do Digital Facebook Portraits after doing one for my new website that I am working on, and it is up. I sent out invitations yesterday and so far twenty friends have accepted ...and I will continue to blog about my headway... no pun intended, in addition I have set up a Facebook page for Joe Coble, architectural watercolor artist, and client, take a look at his amazing work.
Social networking, a riveting reason to make some assemblage art and blog about it.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Goin' Green

Tomorrow is St. Patty's Day and we are cresting the middle of March. My heart sighs with delight at the weeping willow trees pushing green outside my window. The first of our local trees to start natures' parade into April, they are the real deal and a sure sign Spring is almost here.
There will be a lot of surreal green surfacing tomorrow, green beer, green potatoes and green hair color. Chicago actually colored the river last year with a green dye that made me question their sanity. Maybe there are no fish in that waterway, but ya' gotta wonder who is at the helm in the windy city making those kind of wonky decisions.
Following close behind, and with another nod to going green, EarthDay 2010. I just finished up a minor revision to last years' artwork created for hard to believe the year has flown by soo fast.
Think Green y'all!

Monday, March 15, 2010

The old days, dust bunnies and the new Me

There was a time in my illustrious career when finding a job meant making an appointment and just showing a portfolio. Competition was not as fierce, and thinking back on my simplistic strategy, I would decide who I wanted to work for, (I usually aimed high) got an interview, regardless of an opening or not, showed my work and left with a position. Such was the case when I left the National Lampoon and went on to work for Time Warner, and years later landing on the West Coast- went to work for the prestigious design firm, Landor Associates, a full time freelance gig that lasted nearly five years.
Looking back, I was so fortunate to have the paid education I did, putting in those years in those two places of employment provided me an opportunity for hands on training, first in publishing and then corporate branding accounts, that I still benefit from today.
Things have changed radically, these days my portfolio has been collecting dust bunnies, and instead of cleaning it off, I am redoing my website and rethinking my creative strategic plan. I am optimistic in a whole new way about the challenges ahead, and still feel blessed to work with some incredibly talented individuals I learn from on a daily basis. This weekend I did an illustration of myself for my website Biography link instead of using the same tired photograph or taking a new one, and I'm thinking Facebook and blog portraits may be a fun new avenue of employment opportunities to pursue.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Driving Rain and Good Intentions

"The Road to hell is paved with good intentions"
Outside the wind is howling and the tops of the fir trees are blowing around with the kind of ferocity that coupled with the wild driving rain and overly saturated earth can bring these beauties crashing to the ground. A few years ago that is exactly what happened. A giant evergreen fell, breaking fifteen feet up the trunk. Had it come out of the ground like the other giant did two days later, by the roots, it would have been an unwanted guest in my kitchen and an insurance claim.
It was providence or something similar that Dave was working on re-roofing the fiberglass patio inches from its landing spot when I walked outside and asked him to help me carry a mattress into the house for my Brother who was arriving the next day from the East Coast. Walking back from the barn we heard a gigantic groan and looked up to actually witness the massive beast fall with a thundering aftershock, the top just grazing the roof of my house. Amazing grace on multiple levels, Mark arrived 24 hours later and fired up Mr. Chain Saw, my renter had all the firewood needed to stay warm for the next few months, and no collateral damage other than my worry meter needle shattered the glass ceiling and is still hovering overhead on mornings like this.

In other unrelated news just read, Carl Rove is releasing a memoir this week, Courage and Consequence, in which he has defended President Bush, saying that history would look favourably on the president's two terms. At times referred to as W's brain, he has even come out today and said he is proud of waterboarding suspected terrorists. His attempt to put a positive spin on torture is only surpassed by his defense of other atrocious actions including going to war despite the lack of weapons of mass destruction, a move whose consequence has contributed to pushing our national debt out of control and resulted in the financial mess the country is in, and yet he described the achievements of the Bush administration as "impressive, durable and significant". I think that I will stop here on this soapbox, politics are not a topic I feel the need to cover in my blog unless it means I can use one of my very favorite cartoons turning yellow on my fridge. And yes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
Along with the rain, the daffodils blooming and daylight savings two days away, I'm wishing you all a good weekend.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Here, there and everywhere

"Can you give me an idea of how long it takes to drop in another font? Is it like on a standard computer where you just highlight it and it drops it in so you can try different ones? If it takes hours I don't want to play with it any longer but if it is seconds like on my computer I would like to try something else."

Here in Southern Oregon, there seems to be an unlimited amount of employment opportunities for transportation and road workers. I'm reminded of this watching this mornings' news and footage of a rock slide on 199, the two lane to the coast. Multiple dump trucks working overtime to clear the path, projected to require days and over 200 loads until cleared. Scores of men in hard hats and day glo vests pushing around rocks and dirt with big boy toys and collecting fat checks. I'm thinking I'm in the wrong profession. Creative opportunities here are as scarce as hens teeth and appreciation for something well designed is practically non existent. Every job seems to come with either a silver lining or a workshop I didn't sign up for. Been working on a logo for two months now, once again I went overboard to please the client submitting rounds of designs, font modifications, client directed revisions and add a daughter in Sweden, a marketing professional that apparently needs to review my work as well, and I bet you have guessed which one this is.
In 1996 when I moved to this area from San Francisco, my friend and mentor Adam Brevius was heading to Southern California to work for Disney. He had attended college in Eugene, Oregon and wisely suggested I reconsider my plan to move to this area. He warned me, that this area was spectacularly devoid of creative positions and said that if down the line I wanted a job at least consider somewhere North of here. At the time I had multiple ongoing clients, three newsletters I did illustrations for and royalties from stock illustration sales. I was married and the novelty of moving to the country and living the rural life on 'the farm' with a computer to connect me to the "real world" thrilled me. Twelve years later, divorced, managing a high maintenance property on my own, and looking for a job, I can say yes Adam you were right.
I love living in Southern Oregon, the beauty of the area is only surpassed by my need for creatively satisfying work. It may be that this will be a silver lining after all because I think if nothing else I will start looking in earnest for a job back in the Bay Area where clients don't think design decisions take seconds and Logo designs shouldn't cost more than a hundred dollars.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Anonymity and its Virtues

I have been negligent with my blog, an entire month has flown by without a single post, not that I haven't attempted one. I can't get past my lack of inspiration, further motivated and matched by the weather. I really should not be whining about the weather, not that I'm whining. Outside of the Pacific Northwest, its been a Winter Wonderland, but here in this neck of the woods where that is normal... outside of ...'Theres no such thing as Normal- other than a setting on a dryer', we have had either spring temps or days of pouring rain and only a glimpse of snow back in the very beginning of December. My trusty snow shovel, which my Brother packed with him when he drove cross county a few years ago in the winter has shoveled and flung nothing but dog doo for months.

I have been working this month on a couple design jobs and getting over the disappointment of one, being denied a refinance by B of A, and two not getting a PT job I really wanted and tried like crazy to get. Life goes on, disappointments and all. The silver lining, no one has missed me, two people following my blog three counting my Brother, anonymity does have its virtues... the silver lining to the crazy weather: buds on the lilac bushes, birds singing in the morning and I guess one can post about nothing at all after all.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Show and Tell

Much of what has occupied my time these days, both mundane and work related has quietly conspired to keep me from my blogging desires. Darla, my client at The Train Depot Restaurant needed someone at the last minute for First Friday art night and I committed to create some eclectic Valentine Collages, and the more I work on them the more eclectic they get. I will start hanging the ones I have done so far tomorrow evening and be working on more until the opening reception this Friday the 5th. Live music will be happening and some awesome food is always cooking.
Other bitties, last week Ms Kitty got fixed after one week of her first heat and I won't even mention some of the slutty behavior going on around here at the Kinky Dog and Kitty show. A big thank you to the JoCo Spay and Neuter Fund for helping me out with the expenses, I will be doing some graphics in return and looking forward to giving more than I got. That is how it works...
That's all for now folks. Hope to see you this Friday night!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Necessity and reinvention

Art imitates Nature, and Necessity is the Mother of Invention.

[1658 R. Franck Northern Memoirs (1694)

In college, I had a hard time deciding which painting or illustration style fit me, I was a creative chameleon. As students we were strongly encouraged to focus on one specific direction and stick to it, diversity in your art or your portfolio and God forbid, no one would associate your name and your art. Truth be told, out of necessity, I have had to refocus and reinvent myself frequently over the years.
I love working in different digital styles, and learning new technology or software, discovering that what I initially stressed over, is actually a good thing. As is the fact that I don't have to decide am I an illustrator or a designer, it means I can integrate both to my advantage.
Recently recommended for a calendar illustration job, the client thought my digital style of illustration was too hard edge, past calendars had been rendered in a painterly style. So I offered to break out my pastels in storage and do some hand drawn samples. They liked what I did, giving me the go ahead to finish.
When traveling across country in 1977, my camera broke halfway to the West Coast. I didn't expect to land in Southern California on an avocado farm with a couple months to kill until leaving for Europe. I thankfully settled into a place of warmth and extraordinary beauty -with no art supplies and limited funds. Out of necessity I started tearing apart brown bags from the supermarket and I bought these same few pastels recently unearthed to document my surroundings...nature + art + necessity and just another random reinvention on the wheel of art and life.