Wednesday, December 29, 2010


I just finished my first knitting project ever! It's the second project I've started, and it only took 2 days! It's a pretty, multi-colored scarf!

Uuuum... Pics to come. My tragically specialized cord for my camera is AWOL. Both of them. They must be lost in the sea of still-packed boxes that is my bedroom currently. But it's totally pretty and I'm totally proud of myself!

So new skills learned:
Casting On
Knit Stitching
Casting Off

I supplemented the learning I already did with tutorials from a website called It's a DIY/How To site. My favorite part about it is that the search bar says "I want to be good at..." before you click on it to enter your keywords.

Disneyland tomorrow! XD

Monday, December 20, 2010

Happy Holidays Everyone!

I love business cards. They make me so happy. They are the smallest, most circulated piece of advertising that a person can have. The reason I love them is because they are always a challenge. The amount of information on that 2"x3.5" piece of paper ranges from minimal to staggering depending on the card, and it is all, usually, very important. Tetrising all of it into the small rectangle is fun and exciting for me, and, apart from logo building, it is my favorite thing to design.

I'll put some examples here later.

I moved into my new dwelling a couple days ago. Much love and thanks to all who carried heavy things and spent gas and time on me this past Saturday. : )

Now I have internet again! So I'll update off the clock. ; )

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Verdict... in.

The neurologist says that I have to keep the brace on until mid January. On the bright side, I'll be able to skip to the front of all the lines at Disneyland.

My trigger finger was helped, but not cured by the first shot. I suspect a second shot is needed. Not thrilled.

This week I'll see another doc about the nodule they found on my thyroid. Hopefully it's nothing. My Mom has one too so I'm not too worried.

I got moved into the big office at work! Now I'm in the room with all the other graphic designers. : ) It's not a promotion or anything like that, they just have room now.

Speaking of work, The Print Raven won Best of Flagstaff this year in the category of "Best Print Shop"! We didn't even advertise for the competition this year and we ended up winning. We rock.

Being back at work is hard on my neck, but I'm settling back into the routine again just fine. The doc told me to only work part time and not to do any lifting or bending. So I'm confined to my desk except for a few production tasks like binding, laminating and copies (as long as they're not heavy once they're done).

I'm looking forward to my move. Lots of painting space. And I have lots of new ideas for art, mostly involving Circus Bacchus publicity and print design. But paintings are coming to me as well. I know I've been complaining that I don't paint enough. I think all the painting space in the new house will fix that. They have a room with a south wall that is mostly windows looking out into a pretty back yard, perfect for natural light.

Lance Horton, the guy with the gallery in Winslow, will be picking up my Brain Babies for display on Wednesday. I can't wait for them to be up again! And I'm stoked that they'll be displayed in a tattoo parlor. That alone makes the distance worth while. The best part is that he's understanding about the car and willing to pick stuff up from me.

Onward and upward and toward the New Year!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Poop and Percoset

Some facts about feces:
  • The human large intestine is about as long as one is tall and about the diameter of one's wrist.
  • The large intestine can hold from 10 to 15 pounds of feces at any given time.
  • Normal bowel movements often measure from 12" to 18" in length.
  • The average, healthy person has a bowel movement 2 or 3 times, daily.

Some facts about opioid analgesics:
  • Semi-synthetic varieties (those synthesized from resins of the opium poppy) include heroin, vicodin and percoset.
  • Morphine and codeine are extracted directly from the opium resin.
  • Despite the risk of dependancy and severity of withdrawl, they have been declared the "most effective" of pain-killers.
  • The side effects of opioids include sedation, depressed respiration and constipation.

As you have all read, I have been on percoset for my injury for a good 10 days. I took a break for 12 hours one day because I hadn't had a bowel movement in 5 days. I ended up having two enormous bowel movements that day, and gave in to constipation again for the remainder of the time.

I am happy to announce that I am officially off of the pain-killers that impeded my potty! And I have lost 2 pounds today in poop! In the last 10 hours, I have pooped 3 (Update 9pm - Now 4!) times in various shades of green (which I believe to be the fault of the pills).

I hope this wasn't too graphic for you, dear readers. But I feel SO much better now. And sharing is caring.


Monday, December 6, 2010


Here's the car...

Here's a very medicated Christmas elf in a neck brace...
(this is the morning after the hospital visit)

I'm feeling better and better every day.
There have been tons of doctor's appointments.
And many failed attempts at bowel movements.
My opinion of opiates gets progressively more negative.
But they told me I can switch to ibuprofen now if I want.
Done and done.

Sunday, December 5, 2010


I was in a car accident on the 29th. It was snowing and we hit a particularly treacherous curve in the road that was covered in slick snow. The road kept curving, but the car didn't and my girlfriend and I ended up crashing into a telephone pole at somewhere between 35 and 40 mph. There was a crunch, a sensation of hardness that I'd never felt before in my life, and puff of black smoke filled the cab. Laura fled the car, I managed my seat-belt and discovered my car door was stuck. She rushed around the other side of the car to help me but I used my adrenaline to climb over the seats and out her door. Then the pain hit me. My shoulders and neck felt like they'd been sledge hammered and my waste felt cold in a few places. I chalked it up to ice until later when I found out that my seat-belt had given me two burns on my iliac crests (better burned than comatose!).

After getting snowed on for a couple minutes, the paramedics arrived and put us in neck braces, then an anbulence took us to the hospital to be checked out. Laura came away with a bloody nose and a mild case of whiplash. My injuries were worse.

At the hospital, they got me out of my jacket and sweater and cut my shirt off. Then they put me in a gown and took my vitals and started me on an I.V. for pain killers which I initially refused. As the evening went on, they gave me a CAT scan and took some blood. I finally accepted morphine, and found it to be absolutely no fun, albeit effective. Then they pumped me full of anti nausea meds and atavan for the MRI. That was no fun either, even the anti anxiety meds didn't help, and they wore off in the middle of the scan. They found a bump on my thyroid. I have to get that checked out now.

The final diagnosis was that I have damage to my ligaments on C5 and C6 in my neck and need to remain in a neck brace until the neurologist says I can take it off without fear of paralysis.

The last week has been a percoset "soma holiday" and I've gotten a lot of knitting done. I see the neurologist on Wednesday, and hope to get my brace off. I am not allowed to lift anything, take the brace off, move my head, or much of anything. They said I could return to work on the 13th, but I'm going to play it by ear.

The injection for my trigger finger went well and it's feeling a lot better now. I almost punched the Doc out when the shot was delivered; it hurt like a mother...

Here are my thoughts on morphine. It sucks! Everyone I've ever talked to and read about opiate based drugs praises "the rush" and says it's the greatest thing in the world. In Trainspotting they say "Take the best orgasm you ever had, multiply it by a thousand and you're still nowhere near it." My ruling, horse-shit. They are so incredibly wrong. The nurse described "the rush" as "a blizzard in my brain" which is surprisingly accurate. It isn't pleasurable in the least, and neither is the high afterward. The rush gives you static, like a snowy TV screen, then it's like you're normal, but with a balloon for a head with 3D glasses on. Nothing special, nothing especially pleasurable, just normal-plus. I'd like to take the opportunity to judge opium enthusiasts as retarded and in need of better drugs. Opiates are crap. At least I know I'll never die a heroin addict!

Today I get to begin the process of packing my house for others to move. I can't lift anything, so I get to rely on the goodness of my circus friends to move and place my things in my new lodgings. And since I tend to micromanage my moving, this is going to take a lot out of me. But I am touched by the amount of people that volunteered to help right away. Thanks, everyone. It means a lot to me. And I promise, the food and drink I give you in return will be excellent.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday

I hope everybody's holiday feasts were as spectacular as mine was! I judge a feast by its gravy, and let me tell you... It was divine. That's right, divine gravy. I said it. ; )

Wikipedia says that the term "Black Friday" was coined in Philadelphia in 1966, in reference to the heavy pedestrian and vehicle traffic that the city experienced as a result of the beginning of the Christmas buying season. Since then, it's become the money slinging free-for-all that we know it as today.

I first heard the term in the early 2000's from a friend that worked in a camera store in the Tucson Mall. I had known that lots of people started shopping for Christmas gifts then, but I hadn't realized that it was a national phenomenon with so much notoriety.

Further research indicated that "Black Friday" and subsequent "Cyber Monday" are local phenomenon. They have spread to other english speaking countries (Canada, England, and Australia) slowly over the course of the last couple of decades with the expansion of websites like Amazon and Apple.

A newer interpretation of the term defines it as the shopping day that puts everyones profits back "in the black".

My impressions of the holiday are far from positive. To me Black Friday is the epitome of consumer gluttony and decadence. It represents a social sickness that infects western culture. It is an orgy for big business. Sneaky corporations and producers of defective goods cheating sheep-like, lemming-consumers out of their savings, wages and assets. A couple of years ago people were killed and sustained heavy injury as a result of this ridiculous display (look here and here). Is a day of discounted shopping spree really worth human lives?

To not be robbed, to not participate in this event, is to be a rebel and an outcast. To not participate is to declare oneself "poor" and stingy. The way this is expressed can vary. I've noticed that if one does not take advantage of the sales, one is labeled a frivolous spender, because clearly, not taking advantage of sales means that one can't manage one's finances. I think people should be praised for buying gifts throughout the year, when one can afford them. Why have your budget take a giant hit for Christmas when you can easily find more meaningful presents all year long for friends and family? Why is participating in a consumer mania far more important than money management and thoughtful gift giving? I can only guess; it makes no sense to me.

Of course, for me, gift giving happens all year long. I don't confine the act to birthdays and gift-heavy holidays. Usually if I find something I like for someone, and I can afford it, I'll buy it and give it to them right away. Sometimes I have the presence of mind to check on when their birthday is or consider an upcoming holiday, but I usually forgo it in favor of not forgetting that I have bought the item. I'll call it a belated birthday gift or and early Solstice present.

If I had my way, and there was less stigma attached to the forgoing of gifts, I'd give only a couple of gifts per year. The need never strikes me to get gifts for everyone I know. I may send a card or salutation or bag of cookies, but that's usually as far as it goes. I trust my friends to know that I love them, even though I skimp on presents. I'm not stingy, but I am financially decrepit and forgetful. Luckily I surround myself with people who consider those reasons adequate excuses, and are sensitive to them.

The point is, that the act of giving is cheapened by holidays and social events of this kind. If you want to give a gift, do it! Don't worry about cost and sales and holidays and brands and trends. If you find a thoughtful trinket that you feel displays your gratitude for someone's friendship and support, get it and give it. Simply. Better yet, make it yourself! Paint a painting, knit a scarf, crochet a hat, sew a plushie, sculpt a chochkey, bind a journal, put a piece of yourself into the gifts that you give and have it be a labor of love!

Happy holidays to all. I hope your gift giving is heartfelt and genuine and filled with the affection you feel towards the receiver. Love!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Trigger Finger

Trigger finger is a kind of tendonitis. In my family, it is par for the course at around 50 years of age. Guess who got it early?

The treatment is an injection of steroids directly into the effected area. I hear it's painful. I hear it may or may not work. I'm thrilled.

Other than that, things are well.

I finally sold the car! This is awesome! It's presenting some interesting transportation concerns, but I'm taking them in stride.

I'll be moving into a house with room mates by mid December! Also awesome!

This all saves me mountains of money every month! So full of awesome!

I also have a place in Winslow to show my work! I'll be taking it down there before Christmas. I hope.

Prop 203 passed in Arizona. And I am very happy about that.

The tendonitis in my right wrist has disappeared and so have a few inflammation related complaints I've had for the last year. I'm guessing it is due to the severity of the trigger finger in my left hand. I hope the treatment works, it's really cramping my style and making it hard for me to work.

Lastly, I've discovered I have a knack for balancing plates as they spin on sticks! I'll be working that up for a circus act, I think. It's tons of fun and I'm already balancing it on my chin for short bursts.

Happy Thanksgiving, readers! Please enjoy your parties and feasts and be safe this weekend!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pears and Diabetes Re-education

It's pear season! I love pears. Pears are my favorite fruit. My other favorite fruit is pineapple, but it's never really pineapple season in Northern Arizona. : )

My favorite breakfast lately is, a bread-thing (roll, croissant, etc.), a bit of cheese, and a pear! Which, I have learned, is exactly what my silly diabetic self should be having for breakfast.

Which leads into my trip to the doctor yesterday. I visited a diabetes educator at North Country Health Care and learned that they lied to me in my childhood. I had been taught many things about my condition that simply aren't true, and have never been true. First of all, the glycemic index, while an excellent tool for overall health, has absolutely no bearing on what I should be eating as a diabetic. It's good for helping me pick foods with higher fiber, but that's about it where I'm concerned.

I also learned that my impression of "simple" verses "complex" carbohydrates was fallacious and I have been tragically misinformed this whole time. These terms do not refer to the structure of the carbohydrate, as I had originally thought; they refer to the availability of said carbohydrate. An example! Carrots have very little carbohydrate value raw, they have complex (hard to extract) carbohydrates because of all the fiber, and one cup is about 5 grams of carbohydrate. But when you boil them to mush, they have simple (readily available, easy to extract) carbohydrates! And a one cup serving goes up from 5 to 15 carbs! This is why, apparently, nutritionists like to demonize carrots. But they're still very good for you, and the cruder the better. The more raw and full of fiber, the less available the carbohydrate, and the more "complex" it is.

I learned that fiber is a very useful tool for stabilizing my blood sugars. Something I had never thought of before. I learned that having balanced meals and burying very sugary foods within the whole meal is better for blood glucose stability too. So if I want a piece of cake for dessert, I should eat it in the middle of my meal to avoid a spike in my sugars! I'm for it! "Life is uncertain, eat dessert first." Or in the middle of the meal.

I also learned a bunch about starchy vegetables, which had been a big gray are for me all these 15 years. And at the end of the appointment, I was gifted with a brand new glucose meter that promises $30/100 test strips! This means I can start testing my blood glucose regularly and get rid of my inflammation problems, which may be directly related to my poor diabetes control (why didn't I think of that before?...).

Also, I would just like to say, that the doctors at North Country Health Care are wonderful people. It's been so long since I've had a medical professional treat me like a human being. They see I have no insurance and they turn up their nose and won't look me in the eye when they condescend. But at North Country, they don't do that. They treat me like a human being among human beings. It is so refreshing to have my faith restored in the humanity of health care.

On the art front, I want to explore the idea of taking a few days off of work to paint. The paintings are commissioned, and I know the pay-off will cover the lost days of work. Or maybe I should try to get myself in gear after work and just paint then... Thinking, thinking...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

G is for Gallery, H is for Hermit

There is a tattoo shop in Winslow that will be opening up soon. We did some work for the owner, Lance, in the print shop and after viewing my fabulous facebook gallery "Brain Babies", he offered to show my work there! As soon as it opens, I'll be able to put some of my work up for viewing and sale. Happy! I'll let you all know more as I find out.

I've been reading this really great blog called The Hermitage, by Rima Staines. It's about fairytales, folklore, artmaking, nomadic lifestyle, and all sorts of other delicious things with which to feed your mind. It's beautiful in every way possible, and you all should take a gander if you haven't already.

Before my next gallery showing, I think I shall need to make a few more paintings. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


The latest creations from my mind-womb!!!!!

"Java Baby"

"Water Baby"

"Oil Baby"


"Moon Time"

I'm considering these sketches for future paintings. I've made stickers out of most of them. Let me know if you'd like some. : )

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Something that bothers me...

Everyone has opinions. Everyone has opinions that are rooted in ignorance. Lack of understanding makes fools out of people. I have had multiple instances this week when people have voiced their opinions to me and have sounded like cynics and idiots because they have no idea what they are talking about. If there is something you "don't get", ask about it. Make an inquiry. Read a book. Take a class. Have a conversation with an educated person that has answers. Don't make excuses for your ignorance by leaving it at "I just don't get it" or "that doesn't make sense" or "that's stupid" or "that sounds way too far out to be true". Standing behind your ignorance with statements like that just makes you sound closed-minded and under educated.

I have a hard time respecting any opinion that is voiced in ignorance, especially when it has to do with concepts that are known to be foreign to the person voicing them. For example...

If you aren't gay, don't know anyone that is gay, and don't want to branch out and at least try to understand what being queer is like, then don't say things like "Whatever, a man is a man and a woman is a woman. Just because gay people can't handle that, doesn't mean they are entitled to special treatment and media coverage. I don't get why they can't just can't be happy with their gender. They were born whatever sex they were born with, they shouldn't have problems with that." Congratulations, you've just lumped transgendered, transexual, transvestite, and homosexual people into the same categorie without even considering the vast difference between them. You've also labeled the entire gay community as abnormal and incorrect. Check yourself, you're about to sound homophobic and hostile.

If you have never delved into the vast universe of spirituality, don't say things like "So I saw this crystal today that said it was supposed to align my chakras and bring balance to my life. As if! I mean, how do they know that that rock even does that? There's no way they can know that. And where do they get this stuff anyway? I refuse to believe that any of that stuff actually works." Congratulations, you've just confirmed that you have absolutely no idea what you're talking about, and have completely failed to consider the history and tradition surrounding that spiritual system. Not only that, but you've also completely failed to recognize the validity that this system brings to the lives of its believers. It may not work for you (not that you've tried it), but that is no reason to belittle its significance to those who have faith in it.

These are very specific examples. And as such, I apologize to those people who have voiced these opinions for not having the patience and self-control to curb my anger and counter your argument when you voiced it. I hope you will excuse the snark and remember that you are my friends, and I am yours. We have both spoken strong words this week, and I hope we will both learn from them.

The moral of this story is: understanding and acceptance are the key to a peaceful existence. Read a book.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Creative Design

I don't get to do a lot of creative design at work, but when I do, coolness ensues! Here's what I've done in the last few months:

A postcard for Alchemy Salon & Spa. They didn't want to go with this design and we're still going rounds on the content of the card. I liked this one the best. And I hope to hear back from them soon on the other design I made for them. Once they approve the postcard, I'll get to work on the business card and use the postcard for inspiration.

A Banner for Exchange Club. They adored it! So do I.

This is the card for 103.7 The Eagle in Flagstaff! They loved it. I'll post the final once they approve it. It will have rounded corners and I've made some minor adjustments.

These are a few drafts of the card for RC Optical. I didn't make this logo. I've had this job since June. Their design decisions keep on getting worse and worse... But I live to please. These 4 are all rejects, but they're my favorites.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

I feel Autumn today.

Like I said. Today is ripe with the scent of familiarity. It's my favorite time of the year again. Despite the Fates' attempt to commandeer my feelings about Autumn, I still regard her as my favorite season. There's color, change, and promise of rebirth. Everything getting ready for the long winter ahead. It's as if the earth is breathing in after breathing out since the Spring.

I'm feeling very creative today, we'll see how that shapes up, but I definitely think some drawing is in order.

And now for something Gothic. So much color surrounds Autumn. Yellows, oranges, reds, browns, and clinging shades of fading green. There are grays and whites and blacks toward the end, and some blues. Then Winter, in all of its minimal white, flecked here and there in blacks and greys, like ash from an autumn explosion. The irony here, is that Autumn, for all its color and whimsical holidays, is first and foremost a season of death. The veil between the worlds is reputedly thin at this time, the earth seems to waste and decay, the color fades. Ghosts return to us in this season on holy days like samhain, halloween, El Dia de los Muertos, All Saints' Day, All Souls' Day, and a host of others. Harvest, the gathering of the fruit of dying plants for storage through the winter and the eating of harvested meat is celebrated on various feast days in Autumn. Underlying all of these joyful festivities is the theme of death, eturnity, blissful sleep, and faith that Spring will return after the Winter. All the life that is sucked out of the landscape will magically return as the Sun begins to show its face more and the days lengthen. A gamble, at best.

The theme of death has been shrouded more and more in the gradual evolution of the Autumn holidays. What used to be regarded as solumn celebrations of ancestors and lives lost has turned into the candy-flinging frolic of Halloween, and the gorge-fests of Thanksgiving, the Feast of St. Michael (one of the 4 evangelists), the Mid-Autumn Festival (celebrated in many Asian countries), Durga Puja (a feast for Durga, Mother Goddess and slayer of demons), and countless others.

But, also underlying the theme of death is a feeling of hope and deliverance. Why would we gather and store for the Winter unless we were sure we'd be alive after the sun "dies" on the eve of the Winter Solstace? We take solace in knowing, by faith, that it will be reborn again on the morning of the Solstace. And Spring will return, so we can do it all again.

This musing brought to you by... A faint scent, and a feeling. It is Autumn today. I love it.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Update and Burbling

Wow, so work has been so hectic that I haven't been able to produce any stickers for, like, a month now. Yay school starting. Apparently this is our peak season. At least it'll calm down soon.

I'm seriously considering the purchase of a vinyl cutter. They're expensive, but I really like it as a medium. I have plans. So many plans. *evil grin*

I have a girlfriend, her name is Laura. : )

She made me a bento lunch today that included a big rice piggy and little hot dog piglets! So full of cute! And made with love. You know how sometimes you can totally tell that your food was either happy or made with love? You eat it and it nourishes your soul and your body. I started my lunch happy and ended it laughing because I could feel the love. :D Best lunch evar! Thank you my dear! I'll post a pic later.

I've been artistically constipated. I haven't done anything in a really long time. It's time to get painting. And knitting. And sewing. And sketching. Anything...

The problem I've run into has to do with my energy level. It's non-existent. I've been trying to counter it with a little mind-over-matter exercise. I wake up, frown, and my first thought is "I'm tired, I want to sleep more, this sucks." I'm making a concentrated effort to wake up, smile, say an affirmation, and think "I'm awake, I'm happy, today is awesome!" It has produced good results so far, actually.

My dreams have been very vivid lately. One involved visiting Atlantis and seeing their water accumulator tower; it pulls water out of the atmosphere using polarity and drips it into a lake, all pure and drinkable. There is a force field that keeps contaminants out. If a large enough organic body falls in (ie. Me or another person), it teleports it onto a platform that is like a dock running out into the center of the lake. For the record, teleporting is SUPER FUN!

My inquiry into Hinduism had produced some interesting results. The more I research it, the more I am drawn to it. Not the Hare Krishna movement, but the religion as a whole. It is full of light, balance, love and tolerance. Not just tolerance, but understanding and acceptance. Cool stuff, and the deities are super cool.

I have a big happy today. : )

My cat caught his first bird a week ago! I was very happy for him, and he seems to have perked up a little since then.

I have an awesome potted vegetable garden now! It is doing well. Hopefully it will produce zucchini before the frost. There are tomatoes also, and lettuce and peas. Herbs too. Om nom nom.

I'll try to sell Argentina this weekend. My car and I have had some good times, but now we must part. I'll see how well I do with for sale signs and leaving it in a visible place before I go with craigslist.

I'm in Circus Bacchus as their official fire tech (LOL!) and I'm now the trumpet player in the Circus Bacchus Band! I'm having tons of fun with them and I'll start learning new skills soon. Juggling and fire staff are on the list. And I think I'll be able to coordinate group fire routines too.

I tried disc golf. I LOVE it.

That's all I can think of for now!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Life Seed Stickers!

Orange this time! 3" Diameter.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Flying Forward

No, I will not settle.
No, I will not compromise my comfort, health or well-being.
No, I will not go against my morals.
No, I will not live up to your standards, only mine.
No, I will not lower my standards.
No, I will not be satisfied with your excuses for falling short of them.
No, I will never give less than my best.

Today, I'm feeling empowered and bold. There's no reason for it. I have my expectations and goals and standards. And today, I feel like molding my life to them instead of molding myself to life.

"I shall not submit! I shall conquer! I shall rise!" --Gomez Adams

I am tired of things not living up to my standards. Most of all, I'm tired of falling short of my own standards. We're all guilty of it. Whether through laziness or defeat, sometimes we all slip under par. Today, I want to pull myself back up. No more lazy, defeated backsliding. I want love, intensity and to outshine expectations so brilliantly, that no one can deny my greatness!

Maybe this all sounds convoluted and egocentric. But today, I don't care.

"Rage, rage against the dying of the light." --Dylan Thomas

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Life Seed Stickers!


The gold is about 3 inches and the green and white have 3 and 4 inch versions.

Want some? Lemme know.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Oh clients... (a short rant)

...Why don't you listen to me? I have a degree in making you look good, but you insist that I design sub-par items for you because you think you are better at this than I am. You are silly. Stop it.

So R.T. Henderson and I are working toward creating a business card that utilizes their new logo. They are insisting on scripty, Victorian fonts with photos of a very modern kitchen, greens that clash with the green in their logo, and they want their Victorian font in burgundy... In burgundy and inside of a white box on top of the photo... They also want the format vertical on one side of their card and horizontal on the other... REALLY?!? I'd laugh if I didn't feel like banging my head against my laptop.

I really wish I could present my ideas to them so I can explain why having a specific, limited pallet of fonts and colors is very important to a company's identity. You want customers to associate you with a particular group of fonts and colors, it makes it easier for them to recognize you and separates you from other companies.

That's nitty-gritty. But seriously, I thought everyone knew how to match colors at least! Burgundy + Global Green + Lime Green = NAZTY!

It's little things like this that make me wish that I actually had written contact (at the very least) with the clients that I get to do creative design for. I'd absolutely love to sit down with them over a cup of coffee and go over proofs with them, explaining why I made versions of their card that didn't follow any of their directions but utilized the images and text they gave me. About why using the logotype is better than using a random swishy font to write their company name. And why one should use only one green at a time.

Maybe if I work on my bosses a little, they'll actually let me start sending out proofs so I can write all of these comments diplomatically in an email. I'm really good at being diplomatic when I am trying to persuade people to make good design choices.

That, and they usually end up going with my original suggestions anyway! Why can't we just listen to me the first time?

Oh clients... I love you, but you're silly.

Oh, and we have a vinyl cutter here at work. Life Seed stickers are SO happening! And others, maybe Ouroboros and Life Tree strips.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Tiny Update

Work is so fun! I get to make things every day!

A company called R.T. Henderson chose my logo out of the ones that the other designers and I sent for proofing. It was the first time my design has been chosen ever! I was super excited about it. Here it is:

I've finally gotten settled enough that I've started working on my own artwork again. And I even got hit up to illustrate a children's book by one of our clients! It's a cute story about a Moose and a Goose and a mystery bird with low self esteem. The mystery bird is very self conscious about the way he looks and is afraid that others don't like him because he is different. By the end, the Moose and the Goose present him in all of his glory to the other animals. The mystery bird is a Peacock and all of the animals crown him king of a festival because he is so delightfully unique and beautiful. Cute story, I'll be getting sketches of that done this coming week if all goes well.

Wow, life is good.

Monday, June 14, 2010

A Tiny Rant About Musical Notation, Graphic Design, and Clip Art

Musical notation is a language. Each note and rest represents a sound (or pause in sound) much like a letter or character represents a sound or syllable. As a musician, I am often frustrated by how artists and graphic designers abuse this language. And don't even get me started on the fictional instruments that populate clip art and canvas alike! I'll save that last point for another entry, for now, let's take a minute to discuss theabuse of musical notation in art.

Here are some basic note and rest values:
Without going into music theory, the above representations are correct in every way! If one were to turn the notes (not the rests) upside down, they would still be correct. The dots are always skewed as they are above, and the flags on the eighth and sixteenth notes always fly to the right:
Notes with flags ALWAYS have solid dots, or have x's instead of dots in the case of percussion.

The above notations are a far cry from this:
What is this? This is musical gibberish. Representations like this are about as ridiculous as making a bunch of random brush strokes on a piece of paper and calling it Chinese. Are those dots without stems and flags whole notes? Why are they all crammed on the page haphazardly? Why are some of the ledger lines purple, combined with their adjacent notes, and others yellow? As a musician, I have no idea. As an artist, I still have no idea.

Here's another example:
This one also falls under the category of fictitious instruments. Is it a clarinet? An oboe? A soprano sax? It has the attributes of all of them! But look at the notes... The first one checks out, but the one on the right is what I was talking about when I mentioned the fake Chinese earlier. It's gibberish, it means nothing. Obviously it was a sloppy attempt at an eighth note, but really? Some very BASIC research would have fixed this problem.

How about this:
Now, I'll admit that I don't know much about the musical notation associated with percussion, but I have never seen this note before! This is what I got when I googled "eighth note clip art". Unless I was asleep during the entire 14 years I was in school for music, I'm pretty sure this note doesn't exist! It's not a half note, and it's not an eighth note. The only way it could be worse is if it had a dot right after it and the flag was flying the wrong way. I'd describe this as a "half eighth note"... And "half eighth notes" do not exist.

In fact, here's a list of musical notation unique to percussion (click to see the whole thing):
I see no "half-eighth notes" here...

Graphic design is all about communication through imagery. Graphic designers who make unreadable images don't get work. Why, then, do so many designers and artists butcher musical notation? I'll grant that some artists will claim artistic license as a defense for their incorrect musical notation, and graffiti artists often distort text beyond the point of recognition. I respect artistic license and I have a deep love and respect for graffiti art, but even graffiti is readable. And if no artist in their right mind would butcher the beautiful characters of the Chinese language, why should they overlook the equally beautiful language of music?

I'm not saying that artists need to be 100% accurate with their musical notation, but please, one google search is all it takes to keep from embarrassing yourself in front of all of your musically inclined clients. Get a clue, folks. You wouldn't butcher the multitude of Asian, Ancient, Greek, or Cyrillic scripts, so stop making fools out of yourselves and learn what an eighth note looks like.

BTW, UA Presents... You might want to run your program artwork through a College of Music filter next year. Not to diss the artist, but this is EXACTLY what I'm talking about.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Insulin > Internet

Posts will continue to be few and far between for a while. I don't think I'm going to be able to afford internet for quite some time, but I'll try to update when I can.

I now work at The Print Raven in Flagstaff. I'll be doing graphic design and print production for them. I LOVE IT! Seriously, it's way fun and I actually don't wince at the idea of a normal schedule with this job. My bosses literally have to kick me out at closing time because I get so absorbed that I forget to check the clock! Totally digging it.

As far as my personal work, I'm just now getting unpacked to the point of starting work again. I'll write about it as it happens. Flagstaff is very inspiring, and I'll be talking to galleries about displaying my work soon. "First Fridays" is this week and there'll be gallery openings. Hopefully I'll be able to network a little.

My computer battery sucks, gotta go now. : )

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Long Awaited Update

  • I'm about to move back to Flagstaff
  • I got a job doing graphic design and print production for Print Raven
  • I finished Randy's shirts!
  • I've been insanely busy with modeling and packing
  • I'm totally on schedule with the move
  • Art will be on hold until I've settled in
  • Blogging for real will resume after I move in
Woot! Seriously, I'm running on pitas and geek beer. Insanity is neigh.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Zombie Jesus Day!

I've discovered that I've inadvertently taken up a collection of glass energy drink containers... I have 5. It's weird. I might continue the trend. Oh, and Bawls G33K B33R is the best root beer EVAR!

I'm listening to "Life of Pi" on audio book while knitting and/or bookbinding. I learned to pearl and knit all at once so I can make a proper scarf. Art has slowed down a little bit. But I'm still sketching and I have until May to wrap up all the little projects that I need to before moving.

The list is:
Trella (a character of my sister's)
The Elements (yes, still not done)
Oracle + Black Canary (because they rock)
Maisie + Siobhan (a vampire and ghoul for the game I play)
Galena (another vampire for game)
Tribute Tattoo (back piece)
White Knight's Family Crest (for a raver and his rave family)
Randy's stenciled shirts (still have to cut and spray them)
3 more embryos
Fetus de Milo

I've had my downtime. Now time to work again.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The figure journal goes as planned. I am first deconstructing and then reconstructing the figure to relearn it. It ought to work, and it might take a while.

I've been taking a break from sketching to write! Yes! I am using my words! I'm creating a background for a character concept I thought up over St. Paddy's Day.

Consequently, I have very few words left for here.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Smallish Update

I've been doing a TON of sketching lately. Mostly on the circus stuff. Which clued me in to a gigantic problem that's developed, probably over the last couple of years. My hand for the human figure has atrophied alarmingly. I mean, I can't even draw coherently these days. The reason I've been doing so much sketching is because that's all I can do!

In lieu of this, I've started a figure sketchbook. I'll be going through all of my Bridgeman books on figure drawing and human anatomy and movement, trying to recover the skill I've lost over the past couple of years. I'm begining with "Constructive Anatomy", the unofficial textbook for one of the most important figure drawing classes I took in college. That class helped my perspective a lot, but is responsible for half of the problems I currently have with the figure. Seriously, it should be a year-long class. The problem is that it takes you through the entire figure and then the semester ends, and you're left without adequate time to practice ALL that you learned. Half of it slips away over winter break, and then it's on to painting (which I took a whole YEAR late).

So, most of my figurative projects will be put on the back burner until I've addressed the problem of regaining my hand. Until then, I have plenty of painting to do!

Also, this is cool...

Monday, March 8, 2010

That's A Wrap...

Well, nothing sold at the show. Now I don't feel so bad about lining up buyers outside of the gallery for a couple of pieces. : )

I've been doing some character sketches of "The Burn Unit", my group of circus burners. There are 7 in all. Spitfire, Kindlyn Stokes, Smokey Pyre, Bombastian, Ignis-Agni, Berny (Bernard) Scalding, and Firestarter. Now I need a story... That's always been the problem with my characters; they never have a story.

I keep on telling myself that if I clean my room, I'll be able to work... Excuses, excuses...

Friday, March 5, 2010

Super Late Update

I'm an artist, and I rhyme! I can do it all the time!

Enough of that.

Flagstaff will be my new place of residence. California made itself unmanageable when my room mates decided to bail. No hard feelings though, I'm 90% sure I have a job waiting for me in Flag at a printing company called Print Raven. If (when) hired, I'll be an in house graphic designer and print producer! This, if I haven't mentioned it before, is the part of the field I wanted to get into in the first place. Hoorah!

I fixed my car all up! It is ready for sale! Almost. The new fender is white, the door panels are installed as best as I could install them, headlight is fixed, just waiting on the compressor. I'm going to want 'till the end of the month to put it up for sale officially to see if my mechanic friend can get ahold of the equipment needed to install the compressor, which may or may not work (install and/or compressor itself). But with all the changes, I can put it up for sale for more monies! Then some of the other goals on the previous post's list will take care of themselves.

Tucson is a giant energy suck that makes it hard to create things. Having said that, the Elementals will be done before the end of the month, I hope.

I've also been working on my circus series. I'm in the developmental sketches phase. Gotta make characters for the paintings. I think I should definitely figure out a fun place to work, I get my best sketching done away from the house.

Soon, I'll need to call my potential models to pose for reference photos for the "Love" series. Totally not going to actually call it that if I can help it...

MythoLogic is officially over. It was fun. I'll find out if I sold anything today. I have two galleries in Flagstaff that I'd like to pitch a show to, they seemed interested when I asked them about showing my stuff the first time, so we'll see!

Apartment hunting in Flag this month, and trimming the material fatz. Excitement.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Plans for Return

Okay, Flagstaff has cemented itself into my list of bus stops, once I get the bus. I'll definitely be sad to leave this time. That's unexpected, and welcome.

The plans for my return to Tucson art-wise are as follows:
- Finish the 4 element panels
- Begin first painting in Love series
- Start sketching characters for the Circus series
- Illustrate that neat comic book manuscript for fun
- Do Kristi's angels
- Buy caps for spraycans

Unartistic Plans:
- Pay off parking ticket
- Trim my material fats for the move
- Temp. Agencies
- Sell car
- Pay off CC debt
- Buy motorcycle? or wait until I find work in CA
- Once I have an address, switch phone # and be local
- Find work in CA and apply before leaving AZ

Sunday, February 14, 2010

MythoLogic: Visions and Patterns




"One Side Will Make You Grow Taller"




And there you have it! The line-up for the show.

Vacation is going well. I have gotten all of the things I wanted to get done finished.

Flagstaff has always been an interesting place for me. I grew up here, so, naturally, it is hard for me to separate all of that experience from the place. This time around, I decided to be objective about my stay and try to find a Flagstaff that I could appreciate; a Flagstaff I could actually call home instead of adolescent hell. As I was walking around downtown, sort of the alpine equivalent of 4th Ave., Tucson, I met a guy named Adam. He introduced himself with rose quartz, a giant hunk of non-crystaline, record-keeper mass as big as his fist. At first I thought he was trying to sell me something. I was wrong, and he was just out for conversation. We ended up talking for an hour or so and he introduced me to the "meditation bed" at Sacred Rites, a musical, metaphysics store downtown. The "meditation bed" is a wooden couch that acts as the resonator of a 3 octave monochord of strings running down the side of the bed. The owner of the store sang a beautiful mantra and played the bed while I reclined on it. It was very relaxing. Just the kind of revelation I needed.

So, underneath the Flagstaff I grew up in, there are small pockets of highly pressurized beautiful people and experiences. I had hoped that it was possible, and I think I've reconciled with the place on a very basic level. Now I understand why people live here, on a geologic hot-spot, at the foot of a sacred mountain that is due to explode any day now, just north of the vortexes, just south of the largest canyon in the world, in one of the coldest places in Arizona. It may draw a lot of snowbirds, and passers through, but the actual inhabitants of this place are what makes it beautiful. It's nice to be able to walk down the street and say a word to people and have them respond in a friendly way, without looking at you funny. I'd forgotten what small town life is like.

I've been doing a lot of journaling, reading, visiting old friends and brainstorming for my next few series. I also found two places that would quite probably display my work up here, once I make more of it (Black Hound Gallerie, and Animas Beads). Wouldn't it be fun to take my hometown by storm? I have a feeling I could rock this place.

Friday, February 5, 2010


My work is up in the gallery! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!!!! XD This is so exciting!

I never dreamed, even when I started art school, that this was even possible! It just didn't occur to me. But it's happened! And I'm so happy!

I'll post pics of the opening when I get them. : ) And I'll post nice images of the paintings after the opening.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The current fantasy is 7 pieces and prints for the show. My finger kinda killed my momentum, so the last 3 pieces will be finished after the show. Mr. Pinky says that I need rest and relaxation. And when fingers begin to speak to one, one must heed them. I'll have the 7 scanned tomorrow, make labels, business cards, an inventory sheet, and prints of the pieces. Booya.

In Flagstaff, I will do lots of hanging out downtown, tea drinking, drawing, and reading. I'm also going to hijack one of the cars and go to Sedona on Imbolc and the Grand Canyon. Chief Yellowhorse loves me, his signs say so, and maybe he'll cut me a break on jewelry costs. I'll be there for 2 weeks.

My next few projects will be a commentary on love. It will be cynical and sensual. I'll need some models... I think I know who to ask for a couple of them, if they're game. Excited! I think I'll try for 4 total.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Mr. Pinky says...

7 pieces down, 3 and change to go. Maybe.

I cut my pinky open today. Mr. Pinky is very sad after his 7 stitches. I broke a wine glass while washing dishes. It slipped and rebounded into my hand. Fatty tissue resembles yellow caviar. Who knew? At least it was my non-dominant hand!

I don't think it'll get in the way of my painting. But the deadline (originally tonight) has been moved to Tuesday.

I now have to get scans of the paintings, print business cards, format and print labels, and stencil some t-shirts.

Crunch time.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Healthcare Reform

Nothing makes me feel more helpless than the issue of healthcare in America. As a person with a preexisting condition, diabetes, this issue directly impacts my life. At present, I am a healthy, talented human being who contributes to society by having a job, participating in politics, and spending what little money I have on housing and basic necessities.

I also live in poverty, dependent on the state for the basic necessities of food and medicine. If I chose to have a job that would make me enough money to bump me up a tax bracket or two, I'd lose my medical coverage and I'd be faced with a huge, new set of problems. Problems like having to fork over $700 per month in insurance costs and medical expenses in addition to paying for rent, utilities, food, and other basic needs.

If I had a "real" job that covered all of my normal expenses, it would still cost me $33 per day just to keep breathing; that's the daily cost of my medication, the means to inject it, doctor's visits, and minimal food. That's $231 per week, and $924 per month. Individual insurance doesn't help me. In fact, with an average $450/mo policy and a minimum $5,000 deductible, paying out of pocket almost SAVES me money.

I've called for policy quotes from insurance companies many times. They have a list of questions that they ask. After determining your age and sex (and whether or not you are pregnant), they ask personal questions about your medical history, "do you have or have you ever had cancer/stroke/heart attack", "do you smoke", "do you drink alcohol", etc. At about the 4th or 5th question, they ask if you have diabetes. Then the questions stop. Once you confirm that you are diabetic (or have any other kind of chronic illness that needs medication for upkeep), they give you a quote between $450 - $550/mo with a high deductible between $5,000 - $10,000/yr. Even insurance companies that claim the cheapest rates never dip below a $400 monthly cost.

With the amount of money I have to spend on medical costs, I could be renting a 3 bedroom house and a small studio space outside of that, and still have money for utilities and food. Instead, I've been reduced to poverty and food stamps by a government and country that believes that one can only be sick and alive if one is rich. The alternative is to be either sick and poor, or dead. And with the audacity that the insurance companies display in their rising rates and premiums, their opinion is obvious; the sick do not deserve to live. Hospitals and pharmicutical companies share that opinion by refusing full and adiquate treatment to the uninsured, and with the high, rising costs of medications and medical supplies.

You might be asking yourself why I don't get a job somewhere, anywhere, with health insurance. The answer is simple, I am not guaranteed any sort of coverage that way. If I cost the insurance company too much, I will be forced to pay a higher rate to keep my coverage. The insurance company can also choose to drop me and cancel my coverage or simply refuse to cover me in the first place. This is not unheard of, nor is is uncommon. In fact, insurance companies are notorious for discontinuing their coverage if a healthy client falls ill. Also, the company I work for can also choose to not cover me. This is a little less common, but if I make it more expensive for the company to cover ALL of its employees, it can happen.

Writing about this issue is hard for me. Being objective and not losing my cool and screaming obscenities is the most difficult part. I wonder, who are they to tell me that I don't deserve to keep breathing? Who are they to tell me that I am an inferior human being? Words like "liability" and "high-risk" that are used to label the sick and disabled are insulting, demeaning, and thrown around by insurance companies as if they are harmless. I've made many a phone call for quotes that has ended in tears of hurt and frustration. Their negligence and ignorance are more harmful than any healthy person can realize.

The continuation of this line of conversation goes into the topic of how healthy people simply don't understand what it is like to be sick. This is a very basic observation, but you'd be surprised at how much it clouds their judgment and impedes the progress of reform. But I digress, and I'll refrain from going any further with this line of thought.

There are so many people in America who cannot afford insurance. There are still more who can't afford the medications that they need to live. If the government were to start regulating and charging for air, we'd all be in the same boat. Fortunately for us all, that won't happen any time soon. (Could you imagine oxygen insurance?)

The point I'm trying to make is this; our current method of health care in the United States IS NOT WORKING. It needs to be reformed, rethought, and radically changed. Even if it is done by baby steps over the next 75 years, it needs to be done, and it needs to start NOW. Discrimination against pre-existing conditions must STOP. And the impersonal treatment of the sick and disabled must end.

Write your congress people, both the senate and the house need to know your thoughts and concerns. Tell the house to pass the senate's bill, even if it does not include a public option, it may just be the baby step toward reform that people like me, people like your friends and relatives, pray for with every breath, every pill, every injection.

Healthy people of the free world, unite and help the sick. We need your support for the changes that must be made. Brothers and sisters with diabetes and the host of other invisible chronic illnesses, unite for change and reform. Together, we can make a difference and make breathing easier for everyone.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Couple of Side Projects...

This koalizzard is the product of an affair I had with my friend Natasha's crocodile pillow. I gave this little hybrid to Natasha so that she could raise it as her own. The crocodile pillow and I don't talk much anymore, so this is for the best.

I finally finished my first kandy-raver backpack, Flashback!
He's lined with black and white stripped fabric and closes with velcro.
His straps have two fine reflective stripes.

This is Peptopussy. She was my second attempt at a kandy-raver backpack. Unfortunitely, she became an accidental piece of feminist artwork when I added her pocket...
But I love her just the way she is. : )

This is my third attempt at a kandy-raver backpack, Frog-E!
His pocket is lined with blue velvet and he has a zipper!
I made him kandy today, and finished him today as well.

Frog-E will accompany me to Rainbow Brite and the Kandykids 2 this Friday. : )

I have officially finished all the backgrounds for my pieces for MythoLogic! Yay! Now I have to stencil and paint on them. Half this week, half next week, then the 4 Element panels.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Here's the front! I designed the front and the back. It was really fun, especially the drippy paint part. I wish the dates showed up better, but it's okay for a rushed job. All the information is on the back anyway.
The printers at Print Raven in Flagstaff were very impressed with my RePiet Massage logo. It got me a space on their list of referals for freelance graphic design. Which basically means that if they have a client that needs some design work, they'll send them my way. : )

Backgrounds will be finished today. Foregrounds will be finished in the next 2 weeks, hopefully allowing for a week between finished pieces and the show. Woot! (So should have started this in November...)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy New Year to all!

New Years resolutions are as follows:
1. Finish paintings for show with time to spare and begin the art hat projects in March.
2. Give kick ass presents to family in February.
3. 85% of cooking and food prepared at home, by me.
4. Islet Cell Transplant Clinical Trial App. accepted by June.
5. Exercise goals:
-Yoga 2x weekly
-Silks 1-2x weekly
-Poi 1-2x weekly
-Pull up bar, wrist exercises and hip exercises when needed.
-Bike more, stretch after.
6. Sell books (make 4/week to sell).
7. Listen to more audio books and classical music.
8. Practice trumpet and find musicians and music for Christmas Carols in Dec.
9. Take more hot baths.
10. Keep trimming my consumer fat (away with useless things I own!).
11. Arrange move to CA.
12. Concentrate on art, not love.
13. Go on ski trip in March.
14. Institute an anti-inflamitory diet.

I've had the post card done forever and have just been lazy about reorienting the picture... So next post will include the postcard, my sister's logo, and a progress report about the show, which is fast approaching!