Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Prayed for . . .

I prayed for you tonight
I woke up yesterday morning
and felt the urgency to pray

Perhaps it means something
perhaps it means nothing
I suppose it means that I still care
even though that hurt you created
has left a scar on my heart

But that being said . . .

though I may never see you again
though I don't know where you are
if you ever stumble upon this blog
at least you will know
that I have been praying for you

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Forget Me Not

I am not some porcelain vase
that sits in a china cabinet
to be seen, but not touched
"well, I don't want to hurt her feelings" is the common answer
As if I needed your concern

I am used to the hard knocks
I have broken
but I always heal

I am irreplaceable
I am beauty
I am creativity

forget me not

my tears mourn loss
the loss of creativity
that is what hurts
creativity isn't like a box of tissues
to be used at your discretion

it belongs to me
it is borrowed—yet never returned
you are discussing my soul
that's personal

verbally abused
when our creativity doesn't measure up
your words break the porcelain

long into the night
I pay the price
tears wet my cheeks
as I replay each remark

in the morning we begin again
forget me not
it whispers to me

a bud opens
forget me not

I sit on a windowsill
my creativity soaks up the sunlight
my porcelain is cracked
but I am beauty

forget me not

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Make it a blue. Make it red. Make it a Pony.

There are few things that annoy designers more than having non-designers telling us how to design.

I have this poster up in my office—it makes me laugh, on those days when I am being told how to design. Which is usually on a daily basis.

It helps keep the irritation down as you work on cover mock-ups and have people walk in on you and give their expert opinion. 

They aren't going to like that one. The certainty in their voice annoys you—the eye roll is quite appropriate at this point [as long as it is towards your computer monitor]—it isn't done yet, you find yourself saying—they might like it when it is finished.

Besides, you mutter to no one in particular, the final decision is the Art Directors, not yours.

We recently had a rush job that had to make a specific [unrealistic] deadline. It was one of those wonder jobs [that fell from heaven] where the upper-ups had been talking about it for months—and then "suddenly" decided that they wanted it now and could you hurry it up?

Make it blue.  

Oh, we like it—we really do. But could you add some leaves to the trees? We don't want it to look like winter, even though our audience will begin reading in January [minor detail]. Oh and while you are at it, could you make it a sunrise instead of a sunset? We just think it will make such a difference.

Make it red. 

 Make it a pony. 

Monday, July 1, 2013


You know that kitten you didn't want to take care of? The one that you dumped at the corner of White Hall and Beaver Creek Church Road—near that big red barn. He was going to be a beautiful cat with long white hair and black splotches along his back.

I'm the one who found your unwanted kitten. He was huddled on the side of the road—soaked from the early morning rain. He cried piteously as I scooped him up—he had been hit by a car not long before. I put him in a shoebox with a soft towel and scratched his tiny head as I drove to the vet.

He purred.

His injuries were extensive. He already had an upper respiratory infection and was bleeding from his nose—but we suspected that was more from the impact than from the infection. His left femur was crushed and the base of his tail had been ripped open.

You disgust me.

He wanted to live—he was fighting . . . hard.

I wanted him to live. I wanted to see him grow up into that handsome cat he was going to become. But no, I had just seen his x-rays. There was no hope for one so small, not with the broken femur and the possible internal bleeding.

I left with a quiet box and drove out to my parents' house. Out in the country, under a big poplar tree I buried him. Quiet rain drops rained down from the tree. He wont be alone there, out under the tree where daisies grow and birds sing. 

My heart aches.

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Art of Redesign

The word redesign makes me cringe. I don't like redoing anything—it should be done right the first time—not five times past the first.

Inwardly I grieve for what can not be. But what can one do? The Committee has spoken—the change must be made, even if I strongly disagree with their decision.

Once you get over your disappointment—you have to decide what to do. Artists have to have thick skins in order to survive—but that doesn't mean that we are immune to the hurt. After all, what does one do with a rejected design?

Sometimes you can salvage the design—such as in the case of the cover Looking for a City—I was able to utilize the original background image from the rejected cover in the final design. This didn't make the redesign process any easier—but at least I was able to focus more on the type design instead of worrying about what was going to go behind it.

Then there are times when you can't salvage anything from the rejected cover. And you wonder, as you stare at your computer screen, how you could ever top your original design—especially when it fit the topic so perfectly. You end up asking yourself: What am I going to do with my rejected design?

This is what I have found—it might not work for everyone, but this is how my creative brain works—you never throw out any idea . . .

You re-shelve it for later use

Spend some time with your imagination

Think of the things that make you laugh

Let your child with-in recover



Visit your creative library

 Sit in the weird artistic chair

Slide down the whimsical staircase

Make yourself comfortable


Switch rooms

Take a walk

Drink tea

Recharge [with a cat]

Find a left brain friend to run ideas by
[if they don't understand it—idea might be too brilliant,
to the point that no one—except yourself will truly ever understand it]

Except the challenge and let your creativity flow.
After all, if the committee can't see the brilliance behind your design—it's their loss.

Remember that you are unique . . . don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

I am the right brain.
I am creativity. A free spirit. I am passion.
Yearning. Sensuality. I am the sound of roaring laughter. 
I am taste. The feeling of sand beneath bare feet.
I am movement. Vivid colors.
I am the urge to paint on an empty canvas.
I am boundless imagination. Art. Poetry. I sense. I feel.
I am everything I wanted to be.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Roses are Red

When I was growing up, I was taught that . . .

Trees are Green
Roses are Red
Sky is Blue

Barns are Red

Clouds are White
Flowers are Yellow

Violets are Blue

My crayon and marker drawings stayed true, until my parents enrolled me in a two week summer painting class. Our teacher (bless his heart) was very traditional and always said "like so" after every instruction. Apparently, I was the rebellious child and he saw it as his duty to curve my unruly artistic ways.

"Barns are not green." He emphasized the last word as he studied my masterpiece. Our assignment had been to copy his painting. The rest of the class had done just that—and to them he gave praise. But as I was dutifully coping his painting, I decided that a red barn would blend in with the burnt umber treeline. And so, mine was green.

It was my first artistic rebellion, but it was most certainly not my last.

Trees are Whimsical
Roses are Elegent
Sky is my Backdrop

Barns Protect

Clouds speak Emotion

Flowers bring Happiness
Violets show Comfort

And lastly, in the line of art—rules are meant to be broken.

© 2008 by me