Design Drama

documenting the delicate dance of design

I haven’t posted in a while, but I’m alive May 29, 2008

Filed under: FREE,inspiration,organization — Beth D @ 4:18 am
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I haven’t posted in a while as spring has sprung and summer is on the way.
I confess, I have a terrible case of spring fever and have taken every opportunity I can to get away from the computer. I’ve kept myself rather busy with two projects I am completely passionate about – that is when I’m not tied to the computer:

(1) working in the yard – I have had a nice flowerbed out front since I’ve lived here, but this year decided I wanted to expand it and that’s just what I did. I now have rose campion, hollyhocks, Moulin Rouge (red) sunflowers, moonflowers, sweet pea, day lily, zinnia, iris, asian iris and 2 mystery plants that I was generously given. I’ve always wanted a real herb garden too – so I made that dream a reality this year with basil, chives, mint, lemon balm, bee balm and oregano. There is nothing quite like walking out the door, clipping fresh herbs from the yard and cooking with them!

I have a dear friend who is a landscape architect and I’ve really come to appreciate the skill it takes to keep each plant straight, it’s individual needs and what looks good next to what. I guess if this graphic design thing goes by the wayside, I’ll at least be a glorified gardener of some sort – I’ve extensively enjoyed the challenge of designing this garden – with the help of a neighbor – and it’s really been amazing to get outside on a big canvas and create something beautiful with a palette of plants. I dig it, pun intended.

(2) My second project is one I’ve been dying to start for a while. Being a child of the 1970’s, the majority of my childhood photos are documented on slides. This year, I finally got my hands on them and am in the process of scanning them in and saving them to a hard drive. I have this massive fear that something horrible (fire) might happen and all those memories would be lost forever.

I have 15 boxes containing slide trays sitting here behind me in my office – I’ve scanned in one full box so far. That took me a whole afternoon on a rainy day. But I know the task and the time spent will be worth it. My eventual dream is to make DVDs of them and distribute them to my family and put an extra copy in the lockbox at the bank.

Yes, I’m anal retentive.

Anyway, I’m alive. I’m either digging in the dirt, admiring the garden, harvesting seeds for next year or scanning in and documenting photos. Not too terribly exciting, but it saves money from going out and I have goals that will be finished by at least winter time.

Enjoy the summer!


What to do… and how to decide May 15, 2008

This week I’ve had to make a tough decision on some work related stuff.

By some sort of synchronicity or serendipity, I stumbled across this blog link at “Hit The Back Button To Move Forward” via Music City Bloggers.

I have the same problem with saying “Yes” too often. And I’ve realized that I have issues when it comes to the need to please or not wanting to disappoint someone. That seems to be a trait that many women feel and it invades so many aspects of our lives – and I found it refreshing to hear a male say that it isn’t a gender specific handicap. I don’t know about everyone else but, for me, when I take on a task because of these feelings or a feeling of obligation, I almost always regret it.

I found the questions at the related link very helpful and find them to be worth repeating:
• am I actually passionate about this?
• does this give a benefit of is it an act of grace
• who/what does it take away from?
• am I actually a good person for this, or am I just the only person the asking person knows? and do I know someone else who would better be suited?

My own major question for myself is always “will this be an opportunity for me to grow as a person/artist or will I feel stifled?” That’s a major point of steering me in the right direction.

Strange enough, in my latest decision making process, I had run each of those questions around in my mind quite a bit. I think I’m going to print those out and refer to them often. Because those four simple questions are great guidelines & seem to really get to the heart of the matter when it comes to “which road do I take?”


Jack or Locke re: Opportunity? May 14, 2008

I have had a rather eventful week so far and it’s only Tuesday.

I have four projects on my desk currently – and I’m chipping away little by little at each one. One is a large project that encompasses a logo, press kits, and other collateral materials for a female music trio. The second is a newsletter for a local neighborhood. The third is a grouping of logos that include the master logo and three logos that fall under the master logo umbrella of an organization that focuses energy on the rescue of animals. The fourth is a project from a former employer, a project I am not at liberty to talk about as it’s only in planning stages.

Each, to me, are equally important clients and above all else are they encompass the loveliest four groups of people I’ve ever experienced working with in my professional life.

Here comes the sticky part: I had a pow-wow this morning in which I was offered a professional opportunity that is awfully tempting. The money and benefits are tantalizing. The employer, I find to be a good human being and a very smart person with a very solid business acumen. I respect the person very much that is offering this opportunity to me. and very flattered that I was the first person thought of and offered the position.

But, there is the “BUT”

For four years I’ve sat here on my own, at home at a computer, chipping away at the hopes and dreams of what I imagined when I first started out on this journey as a freelance graphic designer, I never, EVER entertained some fallacy that I would ever become independently wealthy as a graphic artist/art director. I do what I do because I find great joy in sitting at a computer with only my brain translating what flows around within my neural cortex toward a keypad that converts my ideas into ones and zeros where the magic happens.

The gig I was approached to take on is not really a creative endeavor. It’s actually a production job. And the money is good as well as the benefits that are attached. But in the four years of sitting in my own home, enjoying a barefoot commute from my bedroom down the hall, I’ve become rather spoiled. And in this time where I have had so many joys I’ve experienced very lean times – but I’ve filled those “oh shit, my phone isn’t ringing” moments with “oh, I can document these photographs of my life” or “iMovie — let’s explore this” — and in teaching myself new things I’ve rediscovered a whole new side of myself where I have an insatiable curiosity when it comes to the avenues of art and technology intersecting.

So, dear readers… the question is this: when you are offered a tantalizing opportunity but you know that your soul whispers to you otherwise… what do you do?

Do I play it safe and go for the money (Jack, in LOST)

— OR —

Do I follow my soul and dreams and take the path less taken and have faith? (Locke, in LOST)


Robert Raushenberg — 1925-2008 May 13, 2008

Filed under: artists,history,inspiration — Beth D @ 8:01 pm
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Another giant in the art world has left us. I just read today where Robert Raushenberg died at 82 years of age in Florida.

I’ve always been drawn to pop art and I really dug what RR did with art. He was limited financially in his early years, but that didn’t hold him back – he needed to create and he used things like quilts, fingernail polish and toothpaste for his most famous work “Bed”. And obviously his struggling years never left his memory as he founded Change, Inc which provided funds for artists to pay for healthcare.

I’ve always admired the work of Rauschenberg because it was a little off, but I guess that was his curiosity shining through. And his ability to jump genres was inspiring – from album art, to painting to sculpting and choreography, he did it all. That’s something I’ve always strived for – the limitless creation of art.


The Rather Difficult Font Game May 4, 2008

Filed under: fonts,HA!,time waster — Beth D @ 5:49 pm
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Ok, Font Fanatics, time to test your skills.

I Love Typography
presents “The Rather Difficult Font Game