Tag Archives: inspiration

Typeface Tuesday: Good Work Takes Hard Work

Hey kiddos. This poster by Brent Couchman is rad!

It’s a nifty compilation of lines and shapes to make up a clever and interesting typeface. And, the message itself is on point. Just as this design took hard work I’m sure, so do all things in life that are most rewarding. So enjoy this work of art and remember to WORK HARD at those jobs, relationships, projects, adventures, and endeavors that mean the mean the most to you and the direction your life is taking.

And, but of course, PLAY HARD. Life is long but in the end too short.

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Cuba Skate: Changing the world through sport

Last night, I met a terrific dude named Miles who is my brother’s high school buddy. Miles is doing his part to make the world a better place, and his passion about it is contagious. In light of the news about Steve Jobs, a man who did in fact change our world for the better, this topic couldn’t be more pertinent.

Miles (with his girlfriend, Lauren) started Cuba Skate, a start-up project aimed at bringing diplomacy to Cuba by helping its skateboarding youth get the resources they need. The project began after Miles and Lauren studied abroad in Cuba and discovered the immense need to support the country’s skateboarding scene, a channel for community, friendship, and growth. Well, their hard work and passion shows as Cuba Skate is taking off. I met with Miles to learn more about his story and what he’s doing with Cuba Skate to ultimately see how I could help out from a branding, communications, and design perspective. We had a great, inspiring chat. During our discussion we chatted about Cuba Skate’s logo, which was created by an outstanding NYC designer, Oliver Munday, a graduate of MICA. I was seriously impressed by Oliver’s work and looking forward to the prospect of collaborating with him.

I feel connected to the Cuba Skate project on a number of levels. First, I truly believe in my heart of hearts that sport does have the ability to change lives. I grew up in a household where sport was emphasized as a vehicle for physical and mental well-being. Being active wasn’t a choice, it just was, and it’s become a part of who I am. Running has kept me healthy, balanced, and confident. Second, my dad is the former President of the Washington Tennis and Education Foundation (WTEF), a successful non-profit with a similar mission as Cuba Skate except it focuses on tennis in DC. Knowing the impact WTEF has had on DC youth, I know the sky’s the limit. Also, I like that there’s an art aspect to the sport of skateboarding… everything from the people themselves (tattoos, clothing) to the skate gear. Since it’s an urban sport, graffiti tends to be a main backdrop for skate parks, and I am drawn to this kind of art because it’s visually impactful, vibrant, and exciting.

Keep an eye out for Cuba Skate’s exciting happenings, and definitely consider supporting their mission. Visit their site above or find them on Facebook.

In the meantime, watch this rad skate video from Cuba (not sure if Miles filmed it himself, but either way it’s good stuff).

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Designer Moment: Finding your inspiration

This past week, I had an AH-HA moment. My “discovery” was actually pretty obvious, but it was the first time I felt like it really clicked for me.

In an effort to take on projects for my portfolio and to gain experience, I started networking at work. I reached out to a few of my go-to graphic designers and told them I was looking for design opportunities. Two days later I had an e-mail in my inbox asking if I had time to work on a process graphic for some senior staff at the firm presenting at the Out and Equal Conference. OH BOY!

I started working with this very talented designer, Shawn, who graduated from the Corcoran. He is playing Art Director and I am the designer. Shawn recommended I go through each and every step of the design process, so I started by thinking/researching (really this is one step to me). I always try to sketch at the phase, as well.

Somewhere along the way while I did research online, I made the CONNECTION. Design conceptualization is not about the skies parting and the BIG IDEA idea magically landing on your lap (although I know some designers who disagree but they’re a rare breed). What I have learned is that it’s about creating a catalog of design ideas in your mind that you build through your entire design career. So as you are presented with design challenges with each new project/client, you reference your design catalog while also adding to it through research — unless you’re lucky enough to immediately come to your idea. Now that I understand it better I am able to look at other designer’s work and now better get how they connected the dots in their designing.

This was a CLUTCH designer moment for me because I’ve found coming up with good ideas to be quite tricky! This is a major step in the right direction and I feel truly empowered.

More to come on my process graphic adventure…going to save the details for a later post.

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Love at first site: Nikki Farquharson

Have you ever experience love at first site?

You know that feeling…

So, a friend stumbled upon this talented British designer, Nikki Farquharson’s site and and sent it my way.

I nearly fainted. This stuff is SO FABULOUUUUUUUUS.

Nikk’s aesthetic truly speaks to my own….colorful, lots of retro patterns, hand drawn, and even a little edgy. Hence my BertyCox CD design I posted a few months back. She clearly spends many hours perfecting her designs by hand and then bringing them in the computer. For the fashion spreads, I love how she blends the photographs and illustrators together to make one cohesive design. It’s also cool that her illustrations have made it to the commercial market and have been used for different mediums besides just print and web, like clothing, liquor bottles, and cars.

Wanna see more? I know you do, so check out Nikki’s Flickr account.

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Just do it, the results will be beatuiful!

This post is about having a no excuses approach to doing what you love. Following your PASSION. Listening to your INNER VOICE. Each and everyday.

Some people are great at this while others aren’t as disciplined or have other factors holding them back. I know I have a relentless ‘go big or go home’ mentality so something its hard for me to take just a little step…I want to leap!

This is not the case for my new art friend, Andrew. Andrew the Artist, as I call him. His artist tag is SAME. In fact, I don’t even know his full name, but what does it matter really? What I do know, is that he’s very passionate and dedicated to his craft, and he makes the time to go big. And, I admire that.

After I practically interrogated him about his art on the second occasion we met, he invited me to come check out his art-ASTIC apartment. And, below are some of the photos I captured after a number of cocktails last Friday.

Andrew has only been painting for the past few years, it’s a hobby he picked up and it really took off. Clearly, he is prolific….his entire apartment is almost covered! He likes to use found or cheap materials, like ply wood, old doors, and leaves from his banana tree. As for medium, he uses a variety of acrylic and spray paint. Lots of spray paint. I love his use of colors, patterns, and all the experimentation. My favorite pieces are the (#1) the banana leaves sculpture, (#5) the red double doors with poppies, (#6) the series of abstract, pastel paintings. Andrew is selling his pieces, so if you want the details on how to contact him, let me know!

Andrew is a lesson to any artist who has trouble getting started. Enough with the excuses…I am too busy, materials are to expensive, yadda yadda.

Get over yourself and JUST DO IT. The results will be beautiful.

(Guess what, I’m actually taking my own advice, and started painting a little again with my friend Oliver.)

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