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, May 25, 2012


I designed this catalog to promote programs at the county park district.  It was pretty radical because prior to this naturalists typed their programs and mimeographed (yes, mimeographed!) copies for the handful of people who actually signed up for programs.  Old-timers were offended that I would do something as radical as color, let alone fuchsia.  Keep in mind that this was decades after most normal people had abandoned mimeographs as relics, but some people at the parks felt that it was more pure, less tainted by commercialism, than using a printer.  They wanted me to use “natureful colors”.  Hey, what color are flowers?  Aren’t they part of nature?  Life can be hard when you’re a trailblazer.  I got a lot of flak until the county-wide mailing started making the phones ring with hundreds of people who wanted to participate in programs.

I’ve had this old mail order catalog on my desk for a long time.  I kept thinking I wanted to post some of the pages so everyone can see that there was a time when you could buy a “regular corset” for $1, but up till now I didn’t know how to fit it into any IF words.  “Faded” fits because the catalog is definitely faded.  If I lived in the old days when artists slaved away making catalogs like this maybe I could’ve saved up and gotten a Manchurian Wolf  fur stole, complete with dead animal tails, for a mere $5.97.

But wait, I have worked on catalogs.  Lots and lots of them, and I couldn’t afford a Manchurian Wolf stole on my salary after figuring inflation.  Drat.  I could afford the corset, but that wouldn’t bring me any happiness.  Well, I’m not so sure animal tails would make me very happy either in reality because I’d feel sorry for the tail-less wolves.  The catalog just makes me fantasize about life in a different time, and since it’s a fantasy, I don’t have to think about any of the realities about actually living back then.  I can just think about the days when everybody wore a hat, and cool hats only cost $1.50.  It sounds a whole lot better than saying that I cleaned house today by finally taking the catalog off my desk, doesn’t it?  Excuse me a moment while I peruse the now uncovered origami book… hmm… I’m sure I must have a green piece of paper somewhere to make this frog…

Sometime later, I have rescued my good scissors from the car and put away yesterday’s project, and put away the pastels I used a few weeks ago.  Alright, I’ll admit I probably wouldn’t be any better about regular housekeeping in a different era, but at least I’d have cool hats.

Okay, here's a better frog for "faded".  Let it not be said that I was too lazy for Illustration Friday!  Housekeeping is one thing, but art is important :)


  1. Neat catalog, Linda. Although I couldn't look at the last page. Too racy for my constitution... imagine doing text wraps with cold type?

  2. Great blog, Linda! The only time I have worn a hat was in Hawaii - after I discovered the sun had burned my scalp where it was parted! But, I can see you in 'fancy' hats - no matter what the cost.

  3. That entertained me very much Linda. What a great old catalogue, I love the glimpse it gives into a world not so long ago. Imagine having to wear those corsets..ooowch!! I am sure your house is gleaming now and we got to see those fab clothes.
    Jane x

  4. I have to admit that I didn't find the corsets racy at all. I was thinking that all of them look terribly uncomfortable and not at all like what nature intended!

    We should both wear fancy hats Korki! I've got a head start. I have one with a blue heron feather :)

  5. I like your Parks Plus catalog design and I'm glad that others like it, too - at least the residents who are signing up for classes. I hope they paid you well... or at least fairly. :)
    I was wondering about your mood as you were delving into fashions of the past and making origami frogs; and by the way, I've got to try one with my girls. They're so cute. :)

  6. Hope those park people got used to the idea of color- coincidentally, we walked past scatterings of wildflowers this AM that mimicked the color you used on your newsletter cover. Thankfully, that's a lot more natural than stuffing one's self into one of those frightening corsets! Hope you have a carefree holiday weekend! :o)

  7. Do you think the corsets would allow me to fit into some of my dresses from high school? Being a pack rat, I probably have one around somewhere...a closet like your desk!

    I have to say you are a double talent - you write as well as you "artist." Love this blog!

  8. Your posts are always a delight to read. And I love the catalogue pages! (though I would never in a million years wear a corset, or a fancy hat either). And I approve of the pink!

  9. I always love your blog posts! Let me know if you ever want to rid yourself of some of those old catalogs, I have some wonderful ideas for them!! :) Have a wonderful and safe weekend! :)

  10. Hi, Linda, how are you? You know? something strange happens when I want to come to your post from IF. I appear mysteriously on the desktop of my blog :). Now I could access your blog from your previous IF.
    Ha ha, is perhaps the year 2012 and the Mayan prophecy? Ha Ha :))))))))
    Greetings :)

  11. Wow, that IS an old catalog. What was it doing on your desk?? It's kind of funny to see a catalog full of furs. A mimeograph, now that's something I remember, cranking out fresh blue-inked worksheets!

    Cute frog!

  12. Love how you used the catalog to make the frog. Those old images are so intriguing. I have a set of junior encyclopedias in the basement from the 60's that I would like to get rid of, but I keep thinking how fun they would be for someone to thumb through a hundred years from now.

  13. Corsets would only bring sorrow to me. And swearing fits of rage. I'm glad your parks flyer was a success. My Grandfather laughed at my Dad when he installed indoor plumbing. Crazy talk!

  14. I like hats.
    Those $1.50 hats were not only cool, but I'll bet they were made much better than what you can get now.
    Unfortunately, quality seems to fade as well.


  15. Thanks for the comments everyone! So sorry Indigene, but I already promised to give the catalog to someone. I hope you find some more someplace so we can see what your ideas are. Thanks for the laugh Sharon. I'm not sure which is funnier, your grandpa's attitude about indoor plumbing or sorrow at the thought of corsets. Some day I'm going to have to find more old catalogs. Garage sale season! Yay!

  16. I love old catalogs, thanks for sharing this one.