Sunday, February 26, 2006

Illustration Friday Topic: Tea

I don't drink tea. I'm a hot chocolate girl.

Chasing a dream...

Wow. So, everything is changing. With the amazing support of my husband I have made the huge leap. I've put in my resignation at my full-time job. I've made the decision to work for myself be a freelance graphic designer (rather than work for a company). I am just ready for freedom and flexibility in my life. I'm ready to take my job into my own hands. I'm really excited and nervous all at once. I've always done things that are sure and planned. This is probably the first thing I've ever done where I don't have every detail figured out. I'm just sort of letting things lead where they may. My goal is to have a happier work life. It's scary leaving a corporate job where your pay is a sure thing, but if I never chase my dream I'll never be totally happy. I don't want to wake up one day and wonder "what if". I see so many other people taking creative risks in their lives and they are so happy and fulfilled. I have always sat on the sidelines watching others make their wishes come true...all while knowing that I could do it too.
I spent all last weekend working on my portfolio. No rest for me! Every night has been spent toiling away. And I've just finished designing my portfolio site...a simple one, but I like it and I think it does the job. It's
My goal is to help small businesses and individuals by providing my design services and expertise all at attainable prices (rather than going to expensive design firms and agencies). I don't know what will come of it, but I'm so excited and hopeful.

Putting my notice in to my boss on Friday was scary. I love the people where I work and don't want to hurt anyone. He was very understanding and supportive of my goals, so I felt really good about the whole experience. I'll have to tell my co-workers tomorrow...I hope everyone understands what I'm trying to do. Sometimes, a bevy of good things comes your way when you take a leap of faith. No matter what, I'm proud of this decision and it marks a new era in my career and in my life. Special thanks to my husband, Chris, for being so encouraging and supportive. He's been so understanding of all the extra time this takes, and he just wants to see me happy. He's my biggest cheerleader. Without him, I might not have found that extra bit of courage I've needed to make this decision.

I haven't been posting here much because of all the work I've been doing to get me where I am. Now I can be more regular with my writing. I'll keep y'all in the loop as we go forward! Wish me luck!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

a nice day

Chris and I went into Boston today to walk around and run an errand...the weather was so sunny and pretty. But FREEZING. Every time the wind blew I thought my face would crack off. Despite the cold, it felt good to get outside in the fresh air. I've been so tired and run-down. Burned out. There is so much changing in my life in so many ways. I feel like I am actually grabbing the wheel to steer a this giant ship that is my life. Lots more to come!
On another note, I am looking into teaching drawing classes at a local private art facility (part time). I'm not sure if it will happen or not, but something inside of me yearns to try it. To make a difference for a child. To feel good about what I'm doing. I'm excited and scared all at once. What if I'm not good enough? What if I hate it? What if I love it? There's so much in life we don't know about until we try it. That's part of the spice and the fun. I just know the old me would never consider this new gig. Times are changing and I like it. It's time to kick back and enjoy what life brings my smile and laugh and notice all the little things that make the day wonderful. To really live. To stop analyzing and spend more time DOING.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Illustration Friday: "Simple"

Yes. This is ugly. Very. BUT I was originally doing all kinds of things with typography and the word...and nothing was working. So, I kept it simple. I was about to start over when I looked at the word...(stared at it in a sort of bored and tired way really) I noticed that it looks like it's in some other language than English to me. Do you see what I mean if you sort of just stare at it for a bit? Oh well. I've gone nuts and tired and blah from work lately...look what it's done to me! I'm actually musing about this! Agggh! And I thought this would be simple.

The Movie Tickets

Around 7 years ago; I'd started my first job out of college at a small advertising and marketing agency as a graphic designer. It was sort of an "old boys club" kind of place where I was more than half of everyone's age and one of few females. I was very ambitious...more than the job even allowed me to be. I worked on all the projects that could be had...little postcards and mailers, advertising, and brochures. I was so excited to just get the chance to do that sort of thing (and as was normal, the cool projects went to the Senior staff...2 freelance guys who were very brotherly to me.) Unfortunately, the Creative Director usually had me burning backup cds for the senior-level folks or faxing things or fed-exing things. (Great use of my hard-earned college education.) Anyway, 6 months went by and I had excelled at the projects they had sent my way as I'd been promised better work and a raise after 6 months. Being that I was a broke recent grad, I dreamed of the time when I would get a raise and could actually eat something other than Spaghettios each night. With all my excitement, the big review day finally came. I sat down in the silent office across from the Creative Director and listened as he mumbled on about the work I'd done. He gave me criticisms and praises...the standard sort of faire for these occasions. He slightly grinned and put his fingers on a white business envelope that was resting on the table. He slid it across toward me and said: "Here's a little something for your hard work." As I slowly opened the envelope, I saw 2 pieces of thin card-stock material....and I realized that there were 2 movie tickets in there. I felt like time stood still as I tried to figure out if it was a joke or not. "You can go out to dinner and a movie with your boyfriend" he said. (Thus answering the whole joke confusion) I didn't know what to say; I just sort of peeked back into the envelope and said "Is there money for the dinner in here?" I remember he wouldn't look me in the eye. I sort of stumbled out of the office in a confused haze. What had I done wrong? Anyway, I never did get a raise with that company (no matter WHAT I did). I have to question if I were a 55 year old man, would they have given me 2 movie tickets? What if I were a 55 year old woman? You know what's worse?--I don't even remember what movie I saw.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Motherdaughter (mixed-media collage)

This is the second painting I've done in over 6 years. It's the first painting I've ever done that had such a personal touch. The focal point is my mother (it's a color-copy of a photo she was in from around 1971 or so). The idea of it is that she was about to get married, which obviously brings in many thoughts about what the future will bring. An altered photo of myself is up in the air...sort of as a thought of what I might be if she were to ever have a daughter...and it turns out I look a lot like her. I have little symbols throughout that remind me of my tricycle, Mom teaching me the alphabet through little "Flintstones" workbooks, a little tree/stick I planted in third grade for Arbor Day (which ended up growing into a GIGANTIC Japanese Larch in our front yard), and other little doodads. The painting overall didn't quite come out how I'd imagined, but I like it just the same. Having just gotten married myself, I can see how the circle of life keeps going 'round and maybe one day I'll have a daughter too...what will she be like?

Red Branch (mixed-media collage)

Well, I've made a few paintings recently which is big for me. It's been over six years and I'm pretty rusty. I've never done mixed-media before, so I decided to try it out. The first one I did was a sort of branch with red blooms on it against a blue background. I collaged in some text bits to add interest. I'm not thrilled with it at all since it wasn't the look I was going for, BUT the point of it is that I DID it and that's what matters. I know I'll improve with a lot of practice and time. I'm just proud I decided to take the risk and stop THINKING about it.

Illustration Friday Topic: Chair

Our beloved new overstuffed chair came to mind when I saw this week's topic. I've always wanted a chair like this. I can curl up under a blanket and just zone out. If I put my head just right, I can fall asleep at the corner of the arm and the chair back. I can take a nap without having to move to the couch which is perfect on Sunday afternoons...who wants to put in the effort to actually get up and move 3 feet over to the couch? Best of all, the material is stain resistant. Hey now! I DO put in the effort to use the ladies room when needed! I'm not THAT lazy!