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, February 21, 2015


I think "Metropolis" is Cleveland, Ohio.  Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, Superman's creators, were from Cleveland so what other model would they use for the fictional city in DC Comics?  We're going to get statue of Superman by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame soon so I think that makes it official.  Just ignore those people who refer to NYC and Toronto as the Metropolis model.  They're just jealous.

I don't actually live in the city and hardly ever go there.  I live in the next county over, but I drive past the city sometimes, and sometimes avail myself of the cultural ops there.  I hear they have sports teams too, but I can't be bothered with that kind of thing other than being kind of pleased that LeBron James moved back home.  Okay technically he's from Akron, but close enough.  I include Akron in my world.

I find I have next to nothing else to say about cities.  I'm a country girl after all.  If I had my way I think I'd live in the woods with my dog and look at the night sky without street lights obscuring the stars while crickets and frogs sing me to sleep every night.

I used to work in the city though, and strangely enough enjoyed it.  First in Playhouse Square and later a block from the epicenter of the city by Terminal Tower.  There is an energy to the city when all the professionals run around at lunchtime or frequent the bars, restaurants, and festivals when they get out of work.

I loved working with creative people, and sometimes I got fun jobs.  One of those was driving around the city and taking photos of local landmarks.  I used the photos as reference for b/w drawings which I mounted on foam core for Sherwin-Williams' Christmas tree.  I think I got paid $30 each.

Imagine my surprise when my drawing for Cleveland Playhouse became their logo.  I suppose it's fair to say that SW paid me so they could give my art to anybody they wanted, but I felt stung.  $30 is insufficient for logo design, and both SW and the Playhouse have enough money that they could've given me a bonus and credit.  I've been grumbling about this for a long time.  I checked their website and they seem to have changed their logo again so I guess I should give up my grumbling.

Nothing lasts forever, not even a logo, but it is the main image for a company or organization.  They should treat it as an important part of the face they present to the world, and by extension, value the person who designs it for them.  Value = $ in my mind.  Of course I might be a bit biased about this since designing logos was my bread and butter during especially lean times.

At some point I embraced all of "corporate identities" into my portfolio.  I can write awesome manuals showing how to keep a consistent, selling image.  I don't know why other people don't get excited about them.  I include diagrams and other visuals.

Anyway, the life of an artist often has some side routes.  I suppose that helps keep us interesting?  Or more accurately, keeps us from actually starving?

Saturday, February 14, 2015


I had a dream when I was a kid.  I climbed a tree and turned into a hawk.  I looked out at the world from that high place and felt free.  I started flying, and another hawk joined me.  We spent a perfect summer day flying together and I loved him.  Eventually we went back to my tree but I didn't want to wake up or for him to go away.  He promised he'd find me when we grew up.  That dream gave me hope for a long time.

Flying dreams are the best, though I had a different kind of flying dream when I was married.  I was flying around with a friend and my husband wanted to join us.  I told him it's easy, come join us.  He kept jumping and trying but couldn't do it.  I suppose my subconscious was telling me he wasn't my hawk lover and the marriage wasn't right, but at the same time I felt so much joy in the flying.  Was my subconscious telling me to be true to my nature and find my own kind?

I value the information in dreams.  I wasn't ready to get divorced, but the message stayed with me.  I felt the inevitability of where the marriage was going.

Sometimes I wake up and write my dreams down.  Once, I got a pencil and paper and fell face first into my pillow, writing the dream left-handed in the dark as I fell asleep again.  That made for interesting reading in the morning, especially since I wrote several lines over each other.

...side trip into my dream folder.  I'm not sure what to make of "Chocolate fish hand.  Kind of pathetic, but sweet too."  Where did that come from?  My waking mind doesn't think stuff like this.  I don't think I'm creative enough awake to come up with a chocolate fish hand, but I think dreams exist to help us.  They give us a different way to look at things that we shove out of our day thoughts.

People long gone still haunt my dreams and effect my waking life.  I had a moment like that this week when people were talking about an 11 year old girl killing a baby.  That's horrible, and I remembered Vaughn.  He was a horrible boy who regularly threatened to kill me, kill my family, kill my dog and make me watch.  He left dead animals in my yard to emphasize the threats.

Vaughn has been in my dreams all my life even though he drove his car into a tree and died years ago.  When I have a Vaughn dream I know the fears I'm facing in the present are visceral, important.  The fear and rage I feel, but keep tightly clenched inside, hurts me.  Dreams provide the lesson that I have the power to do something about it.

We all have this -- the power to recognize our issues in our dreams, the power to face it, the strength to come up with solutions.  Our dreams are the product of our own minds.  We don't have to explain them to anyone else.  It is the most private of all aspects of our ourselves.  They are our joys and our fears.  They are us at the most essential level -- even if it's a chocolate fish hand, but mostly I like flying.

This eagle is ancient history.  I did it for a printer who wanted to show customers thermography, a heat process which makes a special powder turn into a glossy, embossed surface.  It's usually used on business cards.  This was printed as regular 4-color process, but the dark brown and white were added on top in thermography.  Even though I did this for a job, I think it's also a good example of how to get printed samples of your work.  Talk to a printer and maybe you can both end up with a sample to show potential customers.

Saturday, February 7, 2015


In a too small house with too many kids, my childhood was very noisy.  Fights over the bathroom, sisters' boundaries, parents shouting about chores, or whatever, I wanted them all to shut up.  Sometimes I wonder if my current hearing problems are because I shut them out too effectively.

It wasn't until I had my own place that I confronted silence.  I loved it -- for a few hours.  Then I couldn't stand it.  I turned on the tv first thing every morning and let it run all day.  It didn't matter if I actually sat down to watch it, I needed background noise. 

I was thinking about this while driving around in a world full of crazy drivers.  People on the radio talked about computer hacking, cheating, and lying to spouses about Nordstrom purchases.  It didn't occur to me to turn it off or switch the station until they threatened to inform me about buying and selling houses.  Quiet!!

When there's constant noise, we don't have to think our own thoughts, which is just as well because people are hard-wired towards discontent.  Or maybe I'm just wired that way.  If we're happy all the time then there's no reason to push ourselves to do anything different than what we're currently doing.  No progress, no growth, no creativity.

We build noise into our lives so we don't have to think about that because achieving stuff involves effort, and gee it's so much easier to lay on the couch and eat Tostitos.

I used to be good at quieting down and thinking about stuff.  Now it seems like all I do is obsessively think about my irritations.  I don't think that's going to get me anywhere good -- or maybe that's exactly what it takes to kick me off the couch and make my life better than it currently is?

The world isn't just out there to do things to us that creates situations we have to react to; we create our corner of the world.  If we spend all our time thinking about how we don't have enough money, then there will never be enough of it.  If we don't feel loved, then we aren't going to attract love.

Pick a topic, the same dynamic will still be true.  I'm thinking especially about someone I've dubbed "A2" who annoys me.  I expect him to annoy me, therefore he continues to do it.  I've played a part in this, and if I quiet myself enough to think about it all more consciously, just perhaps I can change the dynamic?  (Though I resent the fact that I have to be the grownup in this and other situations!)

Our thoughts create a constant chatter of noise in our minds and it's like the tv which is always on, but we aren't paying attention when our minds are impregnated with the desire to buy whitening toothpaste.  Our thoughts can run in endless loops of stuff that we fear instead of creating what we want.

I'm resolving to put more effort into turning off the noise and meditating.

Happy Valentine's Day!