Saturday, January 22, 2011

Small violinist, big room

Meet Nick.

He's trying to be my next postcard image. We'll see how that goes after he gets some color.

P.S. The horn player's name is Clarice.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The gift of a Web site: Priceless

So for Christmas, the present I gave that made the biggest splash was a Web site I built for my husband. He's a potter, a sculptor and a painter, and the site was designed to showcase his work. The gift included a domain name and perpetual updates. He's never had a Web site before and was so impressed with the idea that I could have gotten anything I wanted for about a week.

In hindsight, I realize I should have taken more advantage.

He spent the next few days taking new photos of our studio space along with shots of some pottery he had been working on. He also spent a good bit of time looking up information including titles, sizes and exhibit information. Some of the portfolio pieces I had initially marked with dummy text like $priceless and with sizes like really"xbig" which didn't really fly.

I included a lot of dummy text all over the site. It was meant to be funny on Christmas morning, but then replaced with information my husband was supposed to give me later. And the idea did spur multiple readings and a lot of out-loud laughing, which was the whole point of not using "Lorem ipsum" everywhere.

What I wasn't ready for was how much he liked that silly dummy text. He liked it so much that he chose to keep the bulk of it on the site. As is. He said if people couldn't handle his sense of humor, that wasn't his problem. I protested at first, but eventually gave in, and we ended up keeping all the references to beer and how much his wife totally rocks.

Really, I'm just the designer. Who am I to argue?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Napkin doodles @ Leo's

This is Space Boy.

I drew him on my napkin at Leo's Pub & Grille, Mount Pleasant, PA.

He says not all space boys are from Mars.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Things I'm learning about myself while cleaning

I started a massive throwing out of (what is turning out to be) the junk in our office space, and I'm finding out some things about myself as I go.

First of all, until the last few years I didn't feel I had actually created an illustration until I held it in my hands, so I printed out everything I did, and sometimes in several copies. What, exactly, did I need those for anyway? Now I have a huge stack of illustration pages that are waiting to be recycled sitting illustration-side-down at my printer. The rest are in a box until there's room on the stack.

Second, my mother typically bought things in relative bulk just because it's cheaper, especially if whatever it is you're buying isn't going to go bad anytime soon (like in your lifetime). The problem I seem have with that theory is the "isn't going to go bad" part. I bought stuff that wouldn't go bad physically, but that went terribly bad personally, digitally, stylistically...
  • I went and got married in the middle of this career which, of course, is a good thing, except for all the business cards that state otherwise.
  • Shortly after I ordered a new batch of promo postcards—and shortly before I received the shipment—we changed from a street address to a post office box.
  • Somewhere in the middle of all these things I changed my illustration style.
  • And as if that weren't enough, I also updated both my graphic design and illustration branding.
So domain names and contact information all needed to be updated which now means, along with the old business cards, I need to throw out any old postcards that I could have used as handouts.

I also spent a good bit of money to participate in a directory that the Pittsburgh Society of Illustrators sent out which included giving me a stack of 500 tear sheets of my page to use as self-promotional pieces. With my old name. And old contact information. And old style. Those pages were printed on glossy paper, so I can't even recycle the backs of them in our printer. Another stack for File 13.

And third, add to all of this the fact that computers and their programs have a half-life of around 13.7 days, so after they've sucked in their last breath, you're the one left holding the coasters. Yes, that says "Windows 95."

What a waste.

What have we learned?
  1. I don't need to print things out unless I need to.
  2. It isn't necessary to take advantage of printer deals that offer twice as many of something for just $3 more.
  3. My husband is stuck with me, if only for the sake of the environment.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Napkin doodles @ Dino's Part 2

This is Giant.

I drew him on my napkin at Dino's Restaurant in Latrobe, PA.

He doesn't like when you refer to him as "jolly."

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Napkin doodles @ Dino's

This is Ted.

I drew him on my napkin at Dino's Restaurant in Latrobe, PA.

He says "hi."