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!

Saturday, March 2, 2013


I used to go on hikes with a herd of buffalo, um, hiking group, that didn’t understand my desire to keep my feet warm and dry in winter.  They also didn’t understand my personal belief that hikes should be 5 miles or less.  I’d console myself around miles 6-10 with the thoughts of going to a friendly lunch afterwards, but by mile 11 I was plotting the murder of the hike leader.

On one of these hikes, we were at about mile 12 or 15 when I became aware that we were crossing the same stream that we’d crossed before, and even more aware that the blasted hike leader was hopelessly lost.  I figured I’d be damned before I’d wade through ice water again, so I climbed a pointed and icy boulder, balanced myself on the toes of one foot for a split second, and neatly launched myself to the bank on the other side of the stream.  This was apparently an act of beauty (stupidity), and a guy following me tried to make the same seemingly effortless launch.  It didn’t go so well and he was soaked.  To tell the truth, we were both lucky we didn’t break ourselves in half in the attempt, and I scolded myself a lot for doing it myself let alone allowing someone else to follow in my footsteps.

So, this moment in time points out a number of my talents.  I can inspire others.  I have a great sense of balance.  I can forge my own path.  Of course this also points out a few of my failings, such as a lack of common sense and self-preservation, but what talent comes without a few pitfalls?

The thing about talents is that it’s hard to say if they are really inborn or developed.  Do I have a good sense of balance because of my genes or because I grew up by a river with slippery rocks and shale cliffs?  Am I an artist because of my parents’ influence, their genes, the neighbor down the street, or the endless time I had to draw pretty pictures?

Talent is a seed.  We’re all born with multiple seeds, but if we want any of those seeds to turn into something, we have to water and feed them.  Art is one of those things that take a lot of nourishment, and it’s too easy to let our talents die.

I went to an art college.  We didn’t have any math or science or soccer students.  We were focused on all-important ART.  It was fun to be fully absorbed in an environment where everyone talks the same language and passion.  You’d think that meant everyone in our class launched themselves into the world as artists, but it didn’t work out that way.  A lot of my classmates (maybe most?) ended up following unplanned careers.  Many of them now feel intimidated about picking up a pencil again after letting years go by without expressing that passion.  They have talent.  They have knowledge.  They just haven’t watered the garden for so long, they’re afraid nothing will grow.

I think they can all have beautiful gardens again.  I haven’t balanced myself on an icy rock for a long time, but the ability is still inside me.  The only way I’ll ever know if I can still do it is to try to balance myself on one foot for a while.  Maybe I’ll give that a try in my living room instead of hiking in winter with the herd of buffalo, but sometimes the smallest efforts feed our talents until we give them our full attention again?

Completely unrelated… My perfect little dog is recovering from surgery.  Apparently we’re supposed to get female dogs spayed when they’re young, not just to prevent pregnancies, but also to avoid breast cancer and infected uteruses which can kill them.  Happy thoughts for Penny appreciated!

I made the watering can box for Gift Corp.


  1. Talent's a slippery rock on a slope? Good vibes go to the pup. Cheers!

  2. Use it or lose it! Having talent isn't enough to keep it around. That's one reason I appreciate Illustration Fridays, they get me to "pick up a pencil" at least once a week. I haven't jumped off any pointy, icy rocks lately, though.
    I love the watering can box - stuffed with pampering things for after a long hike? And warm healing wishes going out to your Penny.

  3. I think we all have different talents Linda and if we nurture and use them they just grow and grow. Sending a virtual pat to your pup. Love your floral packaging, you certainly nurtured your artistic talent. Don't slip off any rocks this week and I hope that work is calming down.
    Jane x

  4. You are quiet right about being afraid nothing will grow in the Garden of Talent. But that is a self sabotaging thought, isn't it? At the start you have to be brave and jump, like you did. Backward looking comes later and with that, humility. It actually counts for every single art project: just jump and do it. Later evaluate it.
    You have written another perfect post.
    Well wishes for your dear dog.

  5. Oh dear, all the best wishes for Penny! My little guy is limping around in recovery from various ailments too.

    It's definitely a matter of watering your garden! And I believe anyone can do it. It's just that some folks give up too easily - maybe too used to instant gratification. It takes a lot of time and practice, same as any vocation or skill!

  6. Thanks for all the happy puppy thoughts for Penny! She's still not eating, but she does look a lot better than she did. She's also still piddling on the floor, but I'm trying my best not to complain too much about that.

    In full disclosure, I probably should've also mentioned that I slipped on the ice a few weeks ago and bashed my leg. My grace and balance can be somewhat selective :) But I agree with Abby, Illustration Friday gives us a reason to pick up a pencil every week, and keeps our gardens growing. Paula makes a very good point too about evaluating our art after the fact instead of letting our fears prevent us from making it in the first place.

    Best wishes for you puppy too Cindy!

  7. I agree - talent needs to be nutured. And I agree with Abby as well - that is *exactly* why I started participating in Illustration Friday challenges - to keep my hand in it, so to speak. I had been lax about that for quite some time....
    Best wishes for Penny!!!

  8. Thanks Mit! Penny looks better, but she's a long way from getting rid of her cone head. Yay for Illustration Friday for getting us all to draw more!

  9. I'm always impressed with your athleticism; especially the "height" thing that you've spoken about before. In my next life...

    I like you metaphor - "Talent is a seed..." We do indeed have to nourish it and not be afraid of it.

    Best wishes for Penny the Pup!

    (It's Friday. I should seek some of the items you have beautifully created and displayed above and have a Calgon bath. Hmmm...)

  10. Don't be too impressed with my athleticism Anita. I rammed myself into a counter this week and gave myself quite a bruise :) Thanks for the comment and the Penny wishes!

  11. I think talent is like any other human characteristics. It comes from a starting point set by heritage and genes and then develops throughout life by influences by the surroundings we live and grow up in. No doubt some people start out with more talents than others, but as you point out, one needs to work hard to make those talent really blossom. Generally I don't think talent or lack of talent is what limits most people. Most people aren't even able to scratch the surface of their talents because they don't put in the efforts it takes. And by most people I included myself. The positive side of it is that we can all in reality reach as far as we want to if we just put in the necessary work.