Last spring I bought a wonderful book called, "In the Company of Women" by Grace Bonney. It's filled with interviews of talented and successful women.
This morning over coffee, I read something from Debbie Millman, who responded to the question, What is your personal or professional motto? She said, "Busy is a decision. We do the things we want to do, period. If we say we are too busy, it is just shorthand for the thing being 'not important enough' or 'not a priority.' Busy is not a badge. You don't find the time to make things, you make the time to do things. If you want to do something, don't let busy stand in the way. I make the time to do it." Well said Debbie!
I then thought about busy, priorities and what am I doing and not doing. I also thought about the excuse often used, "I'm too busy."
Above is a photo of me last July up at North Star Resort, Lake Tahoe. My priority that day was to hike out to Sawmill Lake. No excuses that day.
I became a fan of John McWade while going to graphic design school and I've stayed with him ever since. He's clear, concise and knows his stuff. As a designer, it's important to stay educated and to keep yourself open to new ideas. John has published many books and also does a video educational series on Lynda.com Before & After: Graphic Design Best Practices. Click HERE to see some of his videos.
Every time I watch one of his videos, I learn something, or remember something I'd forgotten. During his presentations he's very thoughtful and poses questions or ideas that give me pause and make me think.
Where do you get your inspiration?
Learn more about John at www.mcwade.com
Check out this 3-minute video I created which shows how I made this image montage. It will help give you an idea of the metamorphosis . . . 9 images into the cover of my portfolio magazine.
As a graphic designer, I'm always focused on designing something beautiful for my clients. This past December I was back in Connecticut and going through a lot of photographs of my mother-in-law who had just passed away. I was helping put together a collage of images to be displayed at the service. At first it was difficult for me to let go of the fact that I was cutting and pasting photos onto a big display board rather than bringing them into my Adobe applications for design.
It didn't matter. For those who were at the service, looking at the photos meant a lot to them. It was a wonderful walk down memory lane.
It’s a treat to create something just for me. There’s nobody to please but myself which gives me a free artistic license to let my mind go. Whenever I update my printed magazine portfolio, I design a specific composite piece made up of many images for the cover. Sometimes the result is fun and playful . . . other times it's dreamlike.
This final piece is called "Flight," and is a combination of 9 different photos.
Check out some more of my creative pieces on my website via this link: HERE. You can only view this BEFORE & AFTER section of my website via your computer or tablet. The special slider feature is not available on a smart phone.
Yes, he does look like a bit of a back woods radical, but graphic design artist Aaron Draplin’s talent is boundless. I recently bought his book “Pretty Much Everything,” and was impressed with a paragraph he wrote about work that didn’t quite pan out. No matter what your career, I believe what he says below applies to all of us.
“There were some stinging moments along the way. I’ve had my heart broken a handful of times. Be it snowboard graphics that fell through, gigs applied for and handed to folks who didn’t give a shit or a logo job promised and then complete silence. I’ve had things taken away. At the start, middle and end of jobs. And I’ll never forget that feeling. It taught me to buckle down, savor the jobs I had and never, ever half-ass this stuff.”
Visit his website at www.draplin.com to check out his work and big adventures.
For quite some time I've wanted to update my business cards. With my new logo, and the square rounded corner design, the cards definitely make a statement.
It's nice to be able to work on a project for yourself. But for me, I'm my own worst critic, and it often takes time for me to "approve" my work. Sometimes you need an extra pair of eyes - perhaps a colleague - to take a look and give feedback.
Being your own boss comes with a lot of responsibility. Quality work, deadlines and relationships. But what about you? It's easy to forget about the most important person in your life. If you aren't healthy and happy it can be very difficult to continue to provide the high quality of work that you demand from yourself and your clients expect.
I've taken several vacations the past several years with my husband and have told my clients I won't have my computer with me. What a liberation to not do anything. Remember those days? And YES, your clients will understand and respect the fact that you are taking care of yourself.
Happy New Year!
Do you feel like things are spiraling out of control because your client has again not met their deadline? We've all been there. The client who always seems to wait until the last minute to get you the information you need to finish a job. They needed the finished product yesterday and you still don't have some key elements.
Sigh . . . count to 20 . . . leave your computer.
Is the client procrastinating or are they just short staffed and overwhelmed? Or perhaps they are waiting for some key information which you need. Is the deadline you both agreed upon when you first talked about the job still realistic? By talking to your client you will have a better understanding of what's causing the procrastination and perhaps create a positive solution, or some alternatives, that help both of you.
As a graphic designer, and a big fan of the Olympics, I was delighted when I saw an article in a recent publication of Eye on Design (a newsletter from AIGA, the professional association for design.) The iconic graphic designer, Milton Glaser, reviewed all of the past Olympic logos and rated them on a scale of 1 to 100 with a brief critique on each one. Who better to give his option than Glaser, one of America’s most celebrated graphic designers. Check out the beautiful, and not-so-beautiful, logo designs over the past 96 years. Click here.