Thursday, May 31, 2012

Link Dump #2


A fascinating read, even though I'm not married: 15 Ways to Stay Married for 15 Years.

If you're in your 30's like me... here are 48 things will probably make you feel old.

Some of these Adobe Illustrator tips may seem simple, but even I learned a few tricks here!

Ever wondered how to make long-exposure star trails? Here is my attempt:

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Is being creative important?

Every creative thing you do is valuable, and don't let people tell you otherwise. After all, where would we be without the creatives in this world? There would be no movies, no music, no art... and that would be a tragedy. So do what you, and do it well... because it's important. It really is.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

3 Tips for Better Blog Posts

#1: Write good post titles.
I'm much better at writing the body copy of a post than in figuring out what to name it. My instinct is to make a title vague and creative, which has been my go-to method in the past, despite the fact that "How to Blog Better" articles tell you never to do that.

This weekend I realized that these articles were probably right... I mean, do I even know what my previous posts are about, based solely on their titles? And if not, how can I expect a new reader to come in and feel like they know what's going on?

Great question...

Here's a post that I re-titled recently. It was originally called 20 Different Shades of Yellow. Can you guess what it was about? No?

Whatever your guess is, I would bet that you're wrong. It had nothing to do with painting or even about anything yellow. It was actually about how glad I am that I'm a design student instead of a medical student. Clearly evident by the title, right? I think you see my point.

#2: Edit yourself. Then edit yourself again.
I read an excerpt from Stephen King's book "On Writing" awhile back and am reminded of it every time I write a post now. Basically, he says the best writing lesson he ever learned was how to edit himself. Get to the point and leave out all the long and flowery descriptions!

I ramble quite a bit when I write and for the most part I don't edit myself while I'm writing, but I make myself go back and do it afterwards now. This forces me to figure out what I'm trying to say and how to say it most clearly, and also helps make sure other people are going to follow what I wrote without getting bored.

Here's what I wrote originally for this tip, before the editing:
I ran across an excerpt from Stephen King's book "On Writing" awhile back and it has stuck itself in my head pretty deeply. To sum it up, he says that the best thing he ever learned about writing was that he writes better when he removed extraneous words from his writing. That means all those flowery adjectives, long descriptions, and over-explanations. Get to the point! 
I find myself rambling quite a bit when I write, and for the most part I don't edit myself as I write, but when I go back and read what I've written, I try to remind myself of this point and edit myself severely. Generally this forces me to figure out the point of what I'm saying and how to say it most clearly and succinctly. The posts that I haven't done this on generally don't get comments on, and the posts I have generally do, so... it seems to work.
#3: Use "Preview" mode.
Whatever you do, don't just hit "Publish" as soon as you're done writing! Always re-read your posts at least once in a Preview mode.

Similar to how essays always read differently when you print them out, reading over your post in a preview window rather than in your editing window will make you aware of things you might've missed otherwise. I quite often find weird formatting, misspelled words, and awkward sentences in my posts when I check them this way.

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What are your favorite tips for making better blog posts? Share them below and I'll make a list of the best ones in a future post!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Stop-Motion Animation: How to Build a House

Yesterday I spent the afternoon working on my stop-motion project. After a couple failed attempts, I finally came up with something that actually kind of works.

Stop-motion has been a really fun video technique to learn, and I'm sure if I had more patience I could make something even better. As it is, this video took me nearly two hours!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

My Musings on the Creative Mind

I'm beginning to realize that creative people are crazy. And wonderful. And prolific. And all kinds of not normal. Which is a good thing.

I'm not talking crazy like "needs to go in a home" crazy, but more like, they are people who aren't afraid of looking silly or trying new things. They sing, dance, act, draw, play with clay, make videos, create things out of yarn. Creative people see life differently. They are kids at heart who don't mind getting down on their knees to play with little green army men. I'm being to realize that most (all?) creative people are like this, too. (I mean, have you ever watched the outtakes from a movie? Even a serious movie? They're all nuts!)

The more entrenched I become in my graphic design training, the more I realize that I'm one of those creative people! So long have I mainly interacted with logical, solemn, "normal" people that I'd forgotten what fun it is to play and dream and be silly. It feels nice to settle into my right-brain a little more.

It no longer blows my mind to find artists that can cross mediums with some measure of success: for example, I just ran across a well-known actor who also plays the violin quite well (recognize this guy, House fans?). The more different creative things I try, the more I want to try, and I no longer feel weird about that. I used to think you had to stick with one thing, but I'm beginning to realize that it doesn't work that way with creative people. I'm getting good at graphic design, but I'm also good at many other creative things as well, and that's perfectly "normal" for creative people.

Will I become a prolific actor someday? No, that's highly doubtful. But I will try watercolor, stop-motion movie making, writing, knitting, doily-making, and whatever the next creative thing that comes to my mind will be. It's endlessly fascinating to me to try new things and this world of creativity is blowing the doors wide open!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Looking for June Sponsors

Are you ready to sponsor Living the Creative Life? I have 1800 page views per month, 61 readers on GFC, 102 Pinterest followers, and 180 Twitter followers (as of May 2012).


To keep this hassle free, I will post one sponsor highlight post a month, highlighting every sponsor at once, but I cannot guarantee that I'll have time to do much more than that. I will grab content/photos from your blog to make a quick blurb about you for this post -- if you would rather send me different content, please do as soon after purchasing your ad as you can. Email is the fastest way to reach me.

For those of you doing swaps, please look for the DISCOUNT CODES above. If you are needing a button, please check my Buttons page. If you need some "About Me" copy, check my About Me page and feel free to grab any of that. If you need anything different, please ask, but remember that I am a busy student right now and won't have time to do a lot of special arrangements, interviews, etc. Of course if you need a different size button for your blog for the swap, shoot me an email and I'll try to get that to you w/in 24 hours.

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Disclosure: I only support and promote things I personally believe in, love and stand by. I reserve the right to terminate any sponsorship at any time without refund due to unethical business practices. (Please don't worry, it hasn't happened as of yet!)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Stop-Motion Animation: The Mysterious Orange Blob

We're learning how to do stop-motion animation this week at school. I have to make one on my own yet, but here is one I did in a group in class. I'll probably have my own movie done this weekend, so I'll be sure to show you!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

3 Creative Sites You Might Enjoy

Better Blogger Network

Yeah for getting to know other introverted, creative types like myself! I liken it to a Facebook-style site that's exclusive to bloggers. We chit-chat, ask questions, help each other build readership, etc. If you're a blogger, won't you join us?

Forever Young Adult

Are you an "adult" who can't stop reading YA novels? Or maybe, despite the fact that you're over 30, you've seen every episode of Gossip Girl, Make It or Break It, and Felicity? Oh wait... that's me. ;P

This site is for readers/watchers like me who love this genre despite being older than the target demographic for it. It's pretty fun to find other people out there who aren't still teenagers and yet love this genre too!

Pottermore

I've already spoken about Pottermore, but it's still a fun site. It will be more fun when more content is added, but it's worth mentioning here. You should check it out!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

4 Reasons Why I'll Unsubscribe From a Blog

I'm a pretty ruthless blog un-subscriber. It's nothing personal, I just want to save my energy for blogs I care about. I'm constantly browsing around and picking up interesting looking blogs, but to make it into my long-term reading rotation, you have to make through several rounds of cuts.

1) You don't motivate me to want to comment
Whenever a post catches my eye long enough for me to A) finish reading the post, and B) actually comment on it, I will flag that post in Google Reader with a star. About once a month, I scan back through my subscriptions and see which ones have more "marked as read"s than stars and I unsubscribe to those. Basically what it comes down to is... if I scan through more of your posts than I read... I'm moving on.

2) Your feeds are cluttered with ads or truncated off
Especially on newly-subscribed-to blogs, if I'm reading through a feed and there are ads in it or if the feeds are truncated... I unsubscribe on principle. I won't support bloggers who purposefully make it difficult on their readers to read their blogs. End of story.

3) You post way too often or not often enough
Posting too often or not enough gets you on  the "Probably Will Cut Soon" list. You might make it out alive if you get on that list, but probably not. Let me explain...

If it's been a month since I've had time to read your blog and you STILL haven't posted anything new... you're not posting enough. On the other hand, if I come around and you've posted 60 posts in that time... you're posting way too much.

Most blogs kind of fall into a happy middle ground, but just be cognizant of your posting frequency, that's all I'm saying. I tend to find blogs most pleasing when they post 4-7 times a week. Less than that and it's hard to get a feel for what they're about. More than that and I feel like they're spamming me.

4) Your posts are generic and not specific to you
Another thing that will get you on the "Probably Will Cut Soon" list is if you only post generic posts. What qualifies as generic? Photo posts, "what I wore today" posts, "here are my lovely sponsors" posts, blog hops, giveaways, Pinterest finds. Don't get me wrong, these are important things... just not every day.

I'd rather hear a funny story about how you dropped eggshells in your omelet this morning. I want to know what makes you you. Then when you share your favorite Etsy finds, I'll care. However, if ALL you ever show me are your favorite Etsy finds... I'm moving on.

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That being said, there's a reason behind my madness. I'm not cutting to be mean or to say that anyone's a bad blogger. A lot of times it just boils down to personality; we're interested in different things or whatever. But honestly, the main reason I cut so many blogs is so that the ones that I keep are the ones that inspire me, motivate me, and move me to build friendships with those bloggers. Because really, isn't that the whole point behind blogging in the first place?

Friday, May 18, 2012

Greys Anatomy: Season 8 Finale Recap -- MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD

Read no further unless you don't mind reading some major spoilers from tonight's episode (or unless you've already watched it, of course).


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So... Lexie died. I wish Shonda Rhimes would stop killing off my people. Almost more maddening than that though was that this episode treated her death like it was no big deal. It occurred w/in the first 20 minutes of the show, with no real build-up or anticipation, in between cutting back and forth to Seattle Grace doctors laughing and sniveling at each other and carrying on with their everyday lives. It all just felt very anticlimactic, despite stellar performances from Ellen Pompeo and Eric Dane.

Normally I find that the deaths of major characters on this show are very dramatic and well executed. I'm not sure what happened with this one. I almost felt like they were trying to cram a dramatic episode and a normal episode together and this is what happened.  There really wasn't a lot of continuity in the storyline and because of the heart wrenching stuff on the one side, I wasn't paying attention to the normal stuff, instead just wishing it would hurry up and get back to the heart wrenching stuff. And likewise, I wasn't given enough time to properly grieve the heart wrenching stuff because we only got about 20 minutes tops to deal with all of that in between all the other normal stuff. Why didn't they devote the entire 40+ minutes to the heart wrenching stuff??? That would've made a lot more sense to my mind and my heart.

When George died, we had a terrifying "what just happened and how did I not see this coming?" moment in the last few seconds of the episode. Though heart-shattering, it was a brilliant piece of writing. When Denny died and also when Noel, I mean, Henry died, it was a little more drawn out but was still properly climactic and dramatic. Oh yeah and when that one intern whose name I can never remember was shot in the most horribly horrible episode ever, it felt very real and sad and dramatic. But... when Lexie died... we have to wade through Jackson and Kepner arguing and Dr. Webber making dinner plans and all this mundane everyday stuff that I might ordinarily care about but today it just gets in the way of SOMEBODY DYING AND WHY ARE WE NOT PAYING ATTENTION TO THIS? Or maybe that's just me...

In other news, apparently Dr. Altman is outta here? And possibly also Drs. Avery, Kepner, Karev, Yang, Grey, Shephard, Bailey, and whoever Bailey's person's name is. They can't all be leaving, right? Right? RIGHT?

And did I almost miss it or did Bailey get engaged? I was totally distracted wondering if the Smoke Monster had gotten my favorite doctors. Oh wait... Was it just me or were you expecting the other engine to explode and suck some poor guy into it? Yes? No? I think maybe someone has been watching a little too much Lost...

Oh, also, I fully expected Mark Sloan to kick the bucket there at the end. Maybe Shonda's saving that for next season's premiere? Wouldn't that be a joyful way to begin? Arizona's little pep talk seemed to bring him around a bit, but he was looking pretty green, wouldn't you say? They wouldn't kill off two characters at once, would they?

On the bright side, if there is one, I just remembered one main character that they got rid of but didn't kill... Izzie! Maybe they'll bring her back? Please, oh please, oh please? We need some happiness around here, and besides, aren't her and Karev still technically married? She left too quickly and abruptly; we need a happy ending for those two, especially if half of Seattle Grace is migrating elsewhere next season. Sigh...

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

4 Tips for Creating a Color Scheme on Your Blog

Basically the rule of thumb is to pick colors that will "play nice" together. This can be accomplished by choosing colors that fall into certain categories. For best results, pick ONE of the following categories and stick with that for a given blog theme.

Here are the four easiest ways to choose a color scheme:

1) Complementary Colors-- this means any colors opposite each other in the color wheel. For example: Red/Green, Blue/Yellow, or Purple/Orange. For variety, you can also use tints and shades of the colors you've chosen: pink and light green, for example.

2) Analogous Colors-- this means any 3-5 colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. So, you could pick yellow-green, yellow, and yellow-orange, for example, since they are all right next to each other on the color wheel.

3) Split Complementary Colors-- this is similar to complementary colors except that you're choosing one color on either side of the complement to your main color. So let's say your main color is red, the two accent colors for your scheme would be blue-green and yellow-green, which are the colors on either side of red's complement of green.

4) Triadic Colors-- this refers to any 3 colors that are at exact distances from each other on the color wheel. One really obvious example of this are the "primary" colors of Red, Yellow, and Blue. You could also do something like Red-Orange, Yellow-Green, and Blue-Violet, or just use tints of primaries by using Pink, Lt. Yellow, and Lt. Blue.

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Just some other quick hints on using color in blogs and other design work:

  • Simpler is better. Keep your color scheme between 2 and 5 colors if you can.
  • Remember that you can always use tints (lighter values) and shades (darker values) of whatever color you picked to add some variety while still staying w/in the color scheme (this doesn't count in the 2 to 5 number).
  • Always REPEAT colors within your scheme throughout your blog template. This helps your design feel more cohesive. For example, if you have red in the header, add it again in the navigation bar or somewhere else around your blog.
  • Remember to consider contrast. A light text on a dark background is much harder to read so avoid that for your body text. Try to make your body text at least 4 shades darker than the color you use for your background. The higher the contrast between the colors, the easier it will be for people to read it.
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{This article was first published on the Better Blogger Network}

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Dealing w/ Negative Reactions to Your Creativity

Alycia wrote a great post the other day about how non-crafty people can sometimes imply that crafty people must have way too much time on their hands in order to create all the crafty things they do, like it's somehow a bad thing. I've definitely had this reaction from people and it always makes me feel a little weird.


I mean, have you ever tried explaining to someone what you do, only to have them exclaim, "Wow... you must be really creative! I could never do that!!" or "Huh, wow... I'm far too busy to learn how to knit!" as if implying that you must be some sort of super-human to be able to do these things. I never know whether to smile and thank them, despite feeling like I was just severely patronized, or to console what appears to be deep insecurities in them by pointing out that they, too, have talents to be proud of!

Maybe they can build houses or grow a garden really well. Who knows? There are tons of things people can do that I can't. I usually opt for pointing out something of this nature, while trying not to be patronizing myself, though this can get really awkward if they further insist that they have no talents whatsoever. I'm never sure if they're trying to implement a little false modesty, or if they really believe that. In either case, it makes it more than a little awkward to agree that, "Yes! I really am very talented!"

I also try to remind myself frequently that (at least my) creativity is influenced a lot by introversion. Whereas the extroverted people that I find myself talking to may frequent bars and parties and generally not have enough free time to do crafty things, I often have loads of "free" time because I tend to find to stay home alone with my thoughts quite a bit. Not that either tendency is bad; that's just the way we were designed.

So I guess my point is... don't apologize for yourself or your craftiness. People are going to get awkward around it sometimes. Try to be gracious, but don't over-think it. Even if they see what you can do and don't quite understand it, that's okay. Just smile and accept it as a compliment.

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Pretty Flower Picture for You

Today I have a pretty picture for you all. It was soooo gorgeous outside yesterday (actually it's gorgeous out there today too, come to think of it) that I had to go out and take pictures. This was my best shot. Also, Happy Mother's Day! I forgot to say that yesterday. ;)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Site Review: Pottermore

Have you visited Pottermore yet? I just got the email this morning that it was open. I'm not entirely clear if it opened today or if they're doing a staggered release, but in any case, today was MY first day there. If you're on there (and you're not a crazy stalker), send me your user name and I'll add you!

If you're an avid Harry Potter fan, this website probably needs no introduction, but for the rest of you, here's the deal: J. K. Rowling created elaborate backstories for every character, place, and situation for the Potter world, many of which did not make it into the books. So... Pottermore was conceived to let fans explore the Potter world and to learn about it more extensively!

The site plays out kind of like an exploring game. You enter a scene for each chapter of the books and then you meet characters there, find objects, buy your school textbooks, etc. So far, I think Diagon Alley has been my favorite spot to explore. It's pretty exciting to get to go inside and buy stuff. You start out with 500 Galleons to spend; I'm not yet sure how you earn more, but books, supplies, and owls don't seem to be very expensive, so that amount will probably last me awhile.

Anyway, if you're not on there yet, here are a couple screenshots to whet your whistle:

My very own magical wand!

I'm about to board the Hogwarts Express!! :D
{UPDATE}: Apparently only the first book has been added to this site yet. The second book is due to come out this year sometime... no release date known yet. I'm both slightly annoyed and slightly excited that they didn't release everything at once. On the one hand, I want it NOW! and on the other hand, this does bring back some of the excitement and anticipation of waiting for the books to be released. Ahh... those were the days...

Now for an actual review of the site/game. It's quite unclear to me what the POINT of it all is. You go around collecting wizard cards and library books but I haven't yet figured out why I'm collecting these things other than to get house points for my house. There are a couple tests/riddles to solve as you go along, but they have nothing to do with anything you've collected or learned thus far.

Oh yeah, I'm Ravenclaw, by the way. It was quite exciting being sorted by the official Sorting Hat! There's no re-taking this test either (unlike any of the plethora of "Which Harry Potter House Do You Belong In?" online quizzes that I'm sure you've taken and re-taken). Once you've been sorted here, that's it... you're sorted. I'm okay with where I was placed though. Sure it would've been cool to be Gryffindor, but at least I'm not Slytherin or Hufflepuff. ;)

Over all, despite the lack of a point, I still think this site/game is pretty cool. Every scene you explore is complete with sound effects / background noises that are appropriate to the scene (cats purring, engines roaring, students talking, etc). It makes a fun effect that helps you feel almost like you were exploring the Harry Potter world for yourself. It is pretty directed though. It would've been more awesome to just wonder around freely as if I were an actual student there, but... for what it is, it's still pretty cool. And it's fun learning some of the back stories of how J. K. Rowling came up with names, places, etc (you learn about Prof. McGonagall's family life when she was growing up, for example).

Friday, May 11, 2012

What I Like to Do on a Lazy Day

Happy Friday everyone! With my school schedule, I only have classes four days a week, so Fridays are pretty lazy days for me. Writing this blog post is about the most strenuous thing I've done so far this morning.

Which got me to thinking... I love lazy days! They're generally when I feel the most permission to be creative. After this, I'll probably go design something cool or break out my drawing pad. What do you like to do on a lazy day?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

New to my Knitting Shop: Toeless Yoga Socks

I just realized I haven't told you guys about the toeless yoga socks that I've been knitting lately! They're so fun I'm going to have to make some for myself too, but for now they're all going in my Etsy shop. I love how soft they are and they really keep your feet warm while still letting you grip the floor nicely w/ your toes. Perfect!

Here are the colors I have made so far, and I'm working on a blue pair next.



Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A little story about the day my gas tank was siphoned!

Ironically, I probably would've realized this sooner if I didn't live in Oregon, but my gas tank was siphoned probably about a week ago. My "Check Engine" light had come on, which can often mean that your gas cap wasn't screwed on properly (I know, weird right? I used to work for a gas station corporate office and that was one of the little tricks I picked up.) Anyway, so about a week ago I noticed that light come on so I checked my gas cap. Sure enough, it wasn't screwed shut. There was a (what I now know was a siphoning) hose there but I didn't know that it wasn't supposed to be there BECAUSE I LIVE IN OREGON where we don't pump our own gas. Lol. If I had ever pumped gas even once in my life I would've known that there isn't supposed to be a hose sticking out of your gas tank. But I haven't, so I didn't. ;P

So today I went to get gas and the gas station attendant was like, "Um... you might want to come take a look at this... you've been siphoned." Um, what?? Lol. I was surprised, to say the least.

He couldn't pull it out - it was jammed in there good. It looked like they'd just sawed the end off and left the one end down inside my tank. He didn't have a pliers either, so he suggested I go across the street to the Les Schwab (that's a tire-repair franchise, for those of you who don't live in the Northwest) and see if they had the right tools to take it out. Sure enough, they did. They're helpful like that. (If you ever have a flat, they'll fix it for free, too. We love Les Schwab around here!) That guy wanted to know if I wanted to keep the hose as a souvenir. Tempting... but no.

So anyway, back to the gas station I went after that to actually buy the gas that I had gone there to get a half hour previous but couldn't due to the hose blocking the opening. The attendant was really curious about the hose; how long it was, if they got it out, etc. (It was about 3 1/ 2 feet long, and yes they got it out). 

Long story short... I was late to school today.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Creating a Grungy Textured Look in Photoshop

I really know far less about Photoshop than I should, considering that I'm a graphic design major. For some reason we use Illustrator way more in our classes than Photoshop. To remedy my increasing sense that I really should be more familiar with this program than I am, I did what any 21st century student does... I went to YouTube.

This guy does an awesome video on how to create a textured, grungy poster look. Watch it if you like. It's pretty interesting.



Anyway, since learning doesn't do a lot of good if you don't apply it, I decided to play around with this technique on my own!

I started with this photo:

After adding several texture layers, playing around with layer masks, and adding some text about a fake gymnastics competition...

Here's what I came up with! Pretty neat, huh? I'll definitely have to keep playing with PS to get as comfortable with it as I am with Illustrator, but I'm starting to wrap my head around it's capabilities, and that's half the battle, right?

Monday, May 7, 2012

New to my Design Shop: Laptop Skins and T-Shirts

As promised, I've got some more designs to show you from my Society6 shop! I feel like I have a color theme going on here. Lol. Every design is available in a variety of formats, of course (canvas prints, laptop skins, t-shirts, etc), but I just listed a few of them here to give you an idea.





Sunday, May 6, 2012

Could dance walking make exercise interesting again?

I was attempting to catch up a little on my blog reading this afternoon and ran across this hilarious video. Have you ever heard of dance walking? Yeah, me neither...

But, if I knew how to dance... and if I didn't mind doing it in public... this might just be the perfect way to work out. Lol. ;P

Notice some of the funny stares he gets when he starts doing it (about a minute into the video). He is pretty good though, actually. By the end, when he gets other people to join him, it kind of reminds me of an exercise flash mob. Ha!

Friday, May 4, 2012

New to my Design Shop: I Like Watching Paint Dry

I was experimenting with drawing paint drops in Adobe Illustrator and this is what happened!

By the way, have you ever heard of Society6? That illustrator I stumbled upon the other day has a store there and it inspired me. Basically you upload your artwork and then people can buy prints through them, giving you a commission every time it sells. They can also put your artwork on t-shirt, iPhone cases, etc. Pretty cool, huh?

Below are some of the items that I have available in my Society6 shop. I'll have to let you know when I get some more items listed. ;)


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

What is Graphic Design?


I found this illustration over here and it sums up the blank stares perfectly that I get from a lot of people when I tell them I'm studying graphic design. I generally get some form of, "So... what are you going to do with that?" in this really open-ended tone of voice like they're hoping I'll fill in the blanks for them.

The funny thing is... and this is one of the reasons I chose graphic design... the possibilities are endless! How do you sum that up in two sentences or less without losing them to the minute details of what graphic design could be? I mean, I could work for a magazine doing page layout, I could sell illustrated prints, I could design fabric patterns, I could create a giant logo to go on the side of a food truck... just to name a few. And as I learned in my last project, sometimes even sleeping is working, while my brain figures out how it wants to arrange a composition!

Graphic design is about more than just getting things done... it also encompasses thinking and imagining and researching and trying new things. I experiment with different mediums (ink, marker, paint, photography, digital illustration) and styles and learn how to say the same thing a thousand different ways. It's a fun job and I'm sure it's not for everyone, but it's definitely right for me!

Designing is not always a linear process.

I've been having a two-week long design block. Well, maybe block is too strong a word. It wasn't complete blank-ness, like you would associate with "writer's block", but I had definitely hit a wall in my project.

We were supposed to choose a poem, story, recipe, song, etc... and then illustrate it. I chose a poem that has stuck in my head since high school: The Road Not Taken, by Robert Frost.

Then I started trying to visualize how I would illustrate it. I made sketches. I started and scrapped about half a dozen digital designs. I mulled it over in my head. I've even dreamt about it the last few nights.

Suddenly this evening... BAM! My brain suddenly figured out what it wanted to do and I finished it in about an hour. Fast? Maybe. But then again... I've been thinking about little else for two weeks. Just goes to show that design is not always a linear process. Sometimes you have to mull things over for awhile and let everything marinate before anything good comes out, I guess.

I may or may not clean this up tomorrow... rearrange some trees or do some kerning... but... not too shabby for a stroke of artistic fervor in the middle of the night, no?

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