Monday, December 31, 2012

Goodbye 2012

2012 was full of self realization, transformation, and the start of a deep and long overdue healing process.

Fuck 2012.

No. It wasn't fun. All that stuff sounds really positive when it isn't happening to YOU. "How lovely!", you might think. "You must feel so light and free!", you conclude.  "How wonderful it must be to go through such a process of rebirth!", you surmise.

Not in the slightest.

Healing processes are painful and time consuming, once the real healing begins. The wounds itch and twinge, invoking the memories of their infliction and depth. You remember the pain, the shock, the panic, how you bled. Proverbially, of course dear reader, have no fear.

So, fuck you 2012. I'm not sorry to see you go. You told me everything I didn't want to hear, and made it so I can't forget any of it anymore. Stripped me of my defense mechanisms so I could begin the real work of healing. Fuck. You. I cannot thank you enough, you've given me the greatest gift. And I hope 2013 will be a shot of morphine to counter the roaring of a system spurred into action after the shock of injury.

2012 redefined the notion of "tough love" the way my car accident in 2010 redefined the word "impact". And it was about as much fun. 2012, you will always hold a special place in my heart, and if I ever see your like again, it will be too soon. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.

And now, on to much bigger and better things! Plans for the evening:

Also, I've decided to forgo big new years resolutions this year in favor of just improving everything by 1 degree, a little at a time. I will celebrate the little victories and leave the lofty goals for those full enough of hot air to reach them. out Out OUT!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Stuff I Like

I like good food.
I like bending rules.
I like waking up laughing.
I like my cat.
I like all cats.
I like running my fingers over super soft things.
I like hot showers.
I like space foam mattress covers.
I like the colored glass.
I like smelling things. Everything.
I like goat cheese.
I like using music to explore my emotions.
I like tragically beautiful artwork.
I like minor keys.
I like feeling overcome with emotion.
I like touching your face.
I like dancing until I can't stand up anymore.
I like long walks.
I like getting lost in the woods.
I like listening to the crickets at night.
I like fire.
I like cuddling.
I like climbing trees.
I like feeling prepared.
I like being on time.
I like making music.
I like orange, blue and grey together.
I like black, grey and maroon together.
I like light grey, dark purple and olive drab together.
I like exhaustive sex.
I like the forests in Oregon.
I like Autumn.
I like having 4 distinct seasons.
I like sitting in the sun.
I like chocolate and tea.
I like yoga.
I like feeling the presence of things I can't see.
I like being alone.
I like feeling at one with the universe.
I like poetry.
I like stingy, not thuddy.
I like trying new things.
I like the wind.
I like the big slide at the county fair.
I like plants.
I like growing things.
I like cartoons.
I like making things with my hands.
I like doing things myself.
I like making people smile.
I like seeing things that you don't show everybody, like that look on your face after you tell me something personal.
I like being praised for my brilliance.
I like improving my skills.
I like being healthy.
I like sunsets.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The subject is illusive...

I'm not sure what I'm doing on this blog, but I feel like my best writing happens when I'm thinking about positive things. It's hard to do. There is a lot going on that is NOT right in myself, and even more that is NOT right in the world. It's easy to get bogged down by all that is wrong with the world. But there are news websites to indulge that, let's try to find something positive in this stormy sea of house fires, school shootings, fraud, robberies and rampant destructive capitalism...

Here's something.

I almost cried during Christmas dinner. But it's not what you think! I consider myself to be blessed in a way. (All positive blogs should start this way.) I have a great family. My family is my lighthouse in dark times. I know if I ever falter, my family will be there to right me. If I fall, they'll catch me. If I fail, they'll be there to support me. Good times and bad times, my family has been there to sustain me. I am lucky.

Most Xmases, I get together with my family. We open presents, have dinner, share stories, just be together. It's nice. We don't fight, we have very little drama, and the drama that presents itself usually happens when I am far away and the holidays are over. That whole scene where the entire family has a meltdown during Christmas dinner and angry members storm out into the snow in a huff is fiction for me. No one slams down their silverware in the middle of turkey and yells, no one gets cornered in the kitchen and lectured, no one is made to cry over their eggnog, none of that.

My holidays are filled with kind words and love. Like I said, I'm lucky.

I'm lucky because I have a support system as long as I have ties to my kin. My family is always there when I'm having a hard time. If I need help, they're there to assist me. If I need to talk, they're there to listen. If I'm confused, they're there to help me make sense of it all. If I'm sad, they cheer me up. If I'm angry, they calm me down.

That's not to say we don't have our differences by any means. I'm very different than most of the members of my family. I'm not a christian, I'm not a republican, I'm not straight, I'm not monogamous, and I'm not "Lawful-Good" by any stretch of the imagination. "But where there's love, dear, those are the ties that bind." And that's really the point of it all. I know that whatever happens, there will always be love. And that's a good thing to know.

Monday, December 24, 2012

The wrong things WERE important...

And now it's nearly a year later.

I've always been a terrible blogger, but if you read this, you know that already.

So, what's changed...

I ended up in San Francisco. I'm living with the first boyfriend I've had since High School and another guy who's turned out to be an awesome friend. I have 2 other women I'm dating as well. I had a job at Minted as a Print Quality Specialist. But it was only a seasonal contract. I'm unemployed and trying to hang onto my sanity while looking for work and not being able to do much else due to financial constraints.

That's the abridged version of the story.

This blog is going to be taking a new direction. I'm not sure where yet.

There is so much going on in my life that has absolutely nothing to do with art or design that I think this blog will have to be... Just more.

I tried really hard to keep this blog professional, but I think the time for that is over. What good is a symphony if it's only made of violins?

So on to the wonderful timbre of the other myriad instruments.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The wrong things are important.

I've been feeling artistically stifled lately. And a friend on Facebook made a comment, after I listed a bunch of important things I had to do instead of paint, that maybe the wrong things are important. He was right. And those things didn't even make it on the list.

I hate to admit it. I've had a ton of fun being a circus freak and redefining myself as a musician, but the expense for this fun has quite literally been my artwork. There's just been too much going on. My time with Circus Bacchus is drawing to a close soon, I'll be calling it a done deal after this next show. I had tons of fun. But I really miss my babies (all the embryos). And I need to get back on the horse and paint some more.

Portland is looking like a real possibility for relocation, followed closely by San Francisco and trailed eminently by Tucson. We'll see how it goes! Whatever happens, by June I will be out of Flagstaff and on to bigger and better things.

So long, small town. It's been... something.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Things I've been thinking about...

I'm an American. As ashamed as I am of that fact sometimes, I don't know anything else. My art needs some direction, and I've been thinking I should stick with what I know. So here's some subjects I've been thinking about.

Dia de los Muertos - I've been conceptualizing a tribute project to all my dearly departed in which I will make a skull portrait of each loved one I have that has passed. And maybe make actual candy skulls to go along with them. Having lived in Tucson for 10 years, this small part of Mexican folk culture has lodged itself in my bones, and I think I would like to explore it further.

American Folklore - Paul Bunyan, Johnny Appleseed, Pecos Bill, Davy Crocket, John Henry, Calamity Jane. Those are the mainstream ones. What others? Where are all the women? Who were they before they became the stuff of legend? Frontiersmen, Cowboys, Ranchers, Lumberjacks, Hobos, Railroaders, and stage coach drivers. Why the romance? What other romantic figures didn't make it into folklore (gangsters, militiamen, other rebels)? Are there any heros that chose harmony with nature instead of overcoming it? And what about our actual historical figures? George Washington didn't want to be president, Abe Lincoln didn't want to free the slaves, Martin Luther King Jr. didn't want to be used as an advocate for lower taxes for the rich... If we were still writing folklore, who would the modern characters be?

Embryos - I need to expand this concept into the political realm. And with all the stink being made about women's reproductive rights lately, that shouldn't be hard.

Immigrants - Unless you are a native American, you're essentially an immigrant. Doesn't matter how long you've been here. Or does it? How long does it take, how many generations, for a person's blood to be tied to the land they live in? Am I an immigrant? Immigrant spawn? Or am I too a native American. The short answer is no, but what is the long answer?

Little ramblings. I feel like I need to expand myself a little in the realm of creativity. I also feel like I need to attach more meaning to my art. What is my message? I'm not sure anymore. After 2 years as a designer, I feel like I'm working for/within a system that I fundamentally disagree with on multiple levels. How do I use my skills to raise my voice within that system? And what do I have to say?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

4 4 U

Birth announcements. They chose the one on the right.

Business card designs for Matt Kesler. He chose the big one with a blank back. The ones in the middle are 1.5"x3.5". I like to call them "skinny" cards. And I'm in love with them. I wish more people would choose them.

Here are some awesome logos that I designed for a student (who failed to pay us).

Business card designs for Brandon Smith at North Peak Photography. He chose the big ones in the middle (front and back).

I think I've mentioned how much I LOVE designing business cards. And I do. Truely. They are wonderful puzzles to solve. And there are so many things you can do with them! Round corners, dye cuts, varying dimensions, different stock weights, coatings, paper colors, foil stamping... Oh my god. At any rate, this is still my favorite kind of design project. Followed closely by logo generation. : )

Here's a question. I have had some designs that I've done that have been redone by others after clients have failed to pay for their design work. The designs are different, but very closely similar to the originals that I was responsible for. I'm having trouble deciding how to feel about these people stealing my ideas and generating bastardized versions of them. Do I have cause to feel jilted? I don't even get paid for my designs (as they are included in the printing costs...) Does anyone have any opinions on the morality (or lack of it) in this situation? I'd love to hear them.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Weekend Update!

A calendar magnet for my Mom.

Business card designs for The Glazer Law Office. They ended up choosing the one on the left.

And an ad for Frank's Daily Bread Deli.

I had a money hemorrhage today. Glad it's out of my system. : )

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Stardate 10183.6

Gotta love frequent buyer cards! Here's one for Frank's. He makes awesome hot dogs!

And now, a tangent...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Day 83

Or something like that.

I'll admit, it's basic, but here it is! I designed the back, my co-worker did the front.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Oops, that lasted less than a week. So you get 6 today!

Here are business card designs for Dais. They chose the top left one.

This is a magnet design for the Flagstaff Denim and Diamonds Gala.

This is the business card I designed for Dent Towing Services.

These are the business cards I designed for The Eagle, a local classic rock station. They chose the horizontal design. (And ordered 3,000 cards printed, and failed to pay us.)

Here are some business card designs and a flier for Epiphany Community School.

Circus Bacchus went to DarkCon in Phoenix and did a show during the event. Both the show and the convention itself were TONS of fun! I got lots of compliments about my trumpeting and the Bacchus Family Band and had a great weekend full of the nerdiest fun ever! I'll definitely be attending that event again.

Update Complete!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Day 4

I don't know why I'm numbering my days. : )

Here's a business card I designed for CREC. It was printed on recycled brown paper, which makes all the difference.

Do I want to move to Germany? I'm seriously considering it...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Day 3

In addition to just quitting alcohol, I have also accidentally quit smoking. Now, don't freak out. My decision to start again was taken under deep and careful consideration before I began. And now, I think I've gotten whatever it was out of my system. It's a pretty disgusting habit; I'm glad it's over. Besides, e-ciggs are a much brighter alternative.

Cue tangent! Here are two designs for the front of the announcement post card for Alchemy Salon & Spa.

And here's another. And the back.
I know, I know. I said I was only posting 1 per day. But in this case, waiting for the rest of the design would be silly. Enjoy.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Day 2...

Here are business card designs for Alchemy Salon & Spa. Unfortunately, the company no longer exists, but that doesn't mean I didn't do an awesome job on their identity! Yes, I did the logo too. And the pallet. And I gained a fun font into my library called HamburgSymbols. The other font is Anastasia.

On a completely tangent subject, I think I might have accidentally quit drinking forever... Oh well.

Also, I got a Kindle this Xmas and I'm super excited to start loading it up with CRUNCHY LITERATURE!!!!! OMNOMNOM! (And now this...)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

6 or so months pass...

...and nothing much has changed.

Here's a business card and alternate logo I made for 34 Electric and Communications in Flagstaff.

I'll be posting one image per day for the next couple weeks. Each image comes from the span of time that I have been employed at The Print Raven in Flagstaff.

6 months from now, I will be living somewhere else! I've decided that it is time to take my leave of this stifling small town, and actually get paid for my expertise at a more professional organization. I have had a good time up here, met many good friends and had many good times, especially the circus related ones. But it's time to move on. I am growing to hate this place, and that isn't what I want.

Ram Dass is my new guru. If you haven't heard of/listened to him, you ought to. His name was Richard Alpert before his awakening. He is in his 80's now. And my new goal in life is to meet him before he dies. He has beautiful thoughts. And an equally beautiful smile.

Speaking of goals, it's time for new years resolutions! Which I hate. So I've decided to have new year's guidelines instead:
Yoga regularly.
Begin juicing.
Eat more raw foods, veges, salad, fruits, smoothies.
Eat REAL breakfasts in the morning. (By real I mean see above and quit the mini doughnut and mountain dew combo I've been living on for a YEAR almost...)
Control blood sugars. (The docs tell me it will help my joint problems among other things.)
Regular meditation.
More sitting in the sun.
Control inflammatory pain.
More art for me.
Art as activism.
More poetry.
Better general hygene (eew, I know...)
"Be the lover you desire" and then start looking.
All easy guidelines to stick to.

My first plan for moving away is to move to Eugene, OR with my friend Natasha. The second plan is to just apply for jobs in whatever city I feel like going to and see what turns out. I definately need a job before I do any moving. Work cut me to part time, so now I have next to no income. And jobs in Flagstaff are hard to find unless you want to work food or retail. But even then...

I will, however be doing some figure modeling at NAU in February and March. Putting just a little bit of cold hard evil into my savings account for the move.

One last thing, I'm pretty sure I'm an anarchist. I'm also pretty sure I'm a communist. But I'm pretty sure I'm not an anarcho-communist. That community has a tendency toward violence and disrespect that I am not angry enough to get behind yet. I mean, sorry black bloc, but I don't have to believe in private property to respect it or accept people's addiction to it. Breaking windows only demonstrates your anger, it doesn't really make any kind of point beyond that.

Actually, that's not the last thing. The last thing is a "big think" (read The Island of Dr. Moreau). I'm an adult. I can make my life be whatever I want it to be. When I was younger, I used to get discouraged about being stuck in a rut and not being able to change anything. Now, I am seeing that it just takes a little more time than I want it to, and that is the source of my frustration. But, the time is necessary. Time presents the opportunity to grow, plan, change without growing pains, and make easy transitions. One of the things that I will take away from my time in Flagstaff is the ability to appreciate the baby steps in the process to bettering oneself. I have changed a lot since I've been here, and it has been too slow to account for all at once. But looking back on the last 2 years, I can see the progression. And only now does it all begin to make sense and fit together. Patience, as it turns out, is less of a virtue and more of a necessity. People only say it is a virtue because they are victims of their culture, too ADD to sit and wait, contentedly, for an outcome. Maybe patience should be on my list of new year's guidelines.

The end. For now.