I’m a creative, experienced, multi-purpose artist and art director
who can take projects start to finish in a variety of styles.

Good designs sell –
my designs sell out!

Friday, December 31, 2010


I've been posting something on my blog every week since last February. So not quite a year, but that has to count as holding up one of my resolutions. I decided to look back and see what I've done in the last year and pat myself on the head.

I'm not much for making New Year's resolutions. It seems like a false set up, and less likely to succeed than a determination I make at a random time of the year... but...? My friend Geof had to quit smoking because of his health problems, and that reminds me of the dangers of sucking nicotine -- something I've done myself for a very long time. I'm starting to feel the effects of it, and have been thinking about quitting, even before Geof had to go to the hospital. I had nonsmoking company this week and slapped a nicotine patch on my arm so I could be pleasant through the visit. Who knew? The things actually work. Now all I have to do is figure out how to make my brain work too.

The problem is nicotine patches can't eliminate my need to be contrary, self-destructive, or infantile about my addiction. I like smoking. I also like blintzes, ice cream, Pepsi, and who knows what else that isn't good for me. Obviously my oral fixation is my mother's fault for weaning me too young. Okay, Freud identified the problem, but did he have an effective solution for it?

Nonsmokers, and that's almost everybody else these days, often don't realize logic and lectures are ineffective methods of encouraging better behavior. If the source of the problem is neglect and criticism, lectures just reinforce the original issue. We all know smoking is a health risk. It says so right on the side of the pack. Lots of people will resolve to quit smoking tomorrow. Tell them you love them, then back away slowly as they nurse their hangovers and withdrawal. Or, keep them so distracted they don't have time to reach for old habits.

This drawing is old. I've kept it as my own internal nagging on the issue. Maybe, just maybe this time I'm ready to let go?

Friday, December 24, 2010


"Winter" brings up thoughts of quiet contemplation, poetry, snuggling my puppy by the fire -- but tomorrow is Christmas, and it's hard to ignore the thought that my day will be noisy and happy as I spend the day with friends and adopted family. (Thanks Mary Lou!) My kin are scattered to the winds this year, and I don't mind as long as they are finding happiness and laughter too.

This has been a hard year for me in some ways, but it's also been a year of rediscovering old friends, making new friends, and I'm grateful for it. To everyone, wishing you a very merry Christmas and a happy new year!!!

Please remember my friends Korki and Geof in your prayers. Geof started chemotherapy this week for liver cancer after resting from an aortic valve replacement. I would like to be able to list my gratitude for his recovery next year at this time. Thanks!

Friday, December 17, 2010


I watched "The People Speak" yesterday. Now I feel a need to foment rebellion and civil unrest. The movie is collage of famous people reading or singing from Howard Zinn's People's History of the United States, a book written from the point of view of real people instead of the politicians.

Never mind that I don't actually know which cause to foment rebellion about. I'm having trouble just convincing people to buy toilet paper made from recycled paper to save old growth forests. Bigger issues like fixing the economy and stopping domestic violence or wars are all important, but I don't know how to make a difference. I was a child when hippies were marching against the Viet Nam war and burning bras and flags, but nobody seems like marching any more.

Maybe an old-fashioned mail campaign is the way to go? My Aunt Hazel used to write lots of letters against pig farms, cutting down pine trees, or whatever else she was irate about at the time. I admired her energy. Too bad she isn't around to harass politicians any more.

I think most of us want to make a difference. We want to be good, and right, and courageous. We want to believe that right wins in the end, the bad are punished, and some day everything will be right in the world. Maybe what we want most is to feel empowered?

So, in the spirit of whatever holiday you choose to celebrate at this time of year, here are some inspirational quotes for us to consider...

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. ~ Anne Frank

Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does. ~ William James

Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope... and crossing each other form a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance. ~ Robert F. Kennedy

You must be the change you wish to see in the world. ~ Mahatma Ghandi

If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito. ~ Betty Reese

Friday, December 10, 2010


The eye doctor made me look at bright lights with dilated eyes today, and I'm trying very hard not to think of the phenomenon of lights = misery for me. He was quite unhelpful about my recent migraines. He said my eyes are healthy, and I should have someone check out my brain. Go ahead and laugh! I chuckled too.

Since I have bug eyes today, I'm going with the simplest answer for "phenomenon"
since I've already been working on this piece for another purpose. Snowflakes are magical and wonderful, and I love putting them together. Sometimes I like to cut them out of paper like we all did as children -- well, all of us snow-bound children. I like the surprise of how the opened piece of paper will turn out. These snowflakes all started out as little doodles like the one shown at left.

I shoveled my driveway for the first time of the year today. My guess is I'll have plenty to say about snow in the upcoming months, and since I wrote a lot last week, I'm taking my dilated eyes to a quiet corner and letting the world go by for now.

BTW, no matter what size I make the original, this blog wants to make it small. If I enlarge it in the layout mode, it looks fuzzy. Clicking on it takes it to another page which looks cleaner. Anyone know a way around this?

Thursday, December 2, 2010


I did this art for Mrs. Fields' cookies. You can buy it here (24-ct Tin, 12-ct Tin, or Gift Box), though I don't get anything other than personal satisfaction when someone appreciates my art. Maybe I should consider licensing and royalties? Mrs. Fields makes good cookies, so it's a win/win for you especially since the tins are on sale.

Do reindeers fall under "prehistoric"? Yes, definitely, after a quick trip to Wikipedia to look up Megaloceros. I think my reindeer look very similar, and I had already decided to post them since I think they're of the season and offer insight into the package design process.

A new banner for this blog was long past due, and I have lots of art for the holidays because I've worked years on Christmas projects, or Hanukah, or whatever holiday you'd like to celebrate -- which is pretty ironic since I'm not a holiday kind of person. (I'll just delete my ranting so it doesn't compete with the PBS soprano, Country Music Christmas, or kids singing Rudolf...)

Packaging is planned far in advance of the holiday. I showed my original design to the client at the end of February, and it was already too late for that year's catalog. My boss and account manager hated it. (Now I'm deleting my tirade about office slugs making design decisions...) Maybe it's my anti-Christmas sentiments, but I liked the graphic black with red and green. Luckily, the creative director at MF has taste and vision, or maybe I just think that because he often agrees with me, but in any case, the project moved forward the next year when I resubmitted it.

The original design only had 1 reindeer. Blue was deemed friendlier than black, and 2 reindeers deemed friendlier than 1. But wait! Maybe red was better after all? I was partial to my original design, but meetings were held, executive wives and the UPS guy were consulted, catalog layouts were revised, and I made changes accordingly over the next months. I'll admit some of these changes were even my ideas, and good direction from the CD yielded great results.

Final art was sent to China. This was a pretty straight-forward project except for my pleas to the Chinese printer for metallic silver ink and explanations to the customer that gradations of silver would be iffy at best, if not impossible. All of this was made more difficult due to a power move by the account manager, who instigated an in-house policy preventing artists from talking to clients. The policy was reversed after complaints by the customers, but reinstituted when a new guy was hired. (I'm sure you're already onto the fact that I'm deleting some more choice observations here...)

I, of course, handled all of this with grace and courtesy since nobody in Utah or China could hear my muttered profanities or how hard my fingers were striking the keyboard.

Printing samples came in the summer. You know how it goes by now. There were more meetings and more secretarial consultations. To tell the truth, I think this is a good time for secretaries' opinions because they can hold the product and represent the buying public. They understand objects better than layouts, and the questions to ask are "Would you buy this?" and if not, "Why not?". There's still time to adjust things if necessary, but usually things proceed with approval and final directions to the printer.

Real samples come in late summer, and hopefully everything is perfect. Once I hear everything is approved, I forget about the project until I actually see the catalog. Other people jump into a flurry of photo shoots, copywriting, and domestic printers. I've done that before, but this job was all about the packaging for me. I spend a blissful October looking at fall leaves and attending Halloween parties -- until November when they start with those incessant carols and holiday specials again.

-- Special note -- My friend Geof is in the hospital. He and his wife Korki are 2 of my favorite people. Prayers and healing thoughts for both are much appreciated. Thanks!!