Finding Your Tribe
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Saturday Afternoon Eye Candy

I was supposed to meet a college friend in the city today, but at the last minute we called it off due to bad weather and the general agreement that it was a stay-at-home kind of day. We'll wait for a spring day when we can wander around the city and catch up. 

So Mr. Pom and I stopped at a new cafe to have a cappucino and a croissaint. (Meh. Not wild about it.) Then we (me) wanted to hang out in a bookstore, but short of driving into the city, lower Westchester County only has Barnes and Noble bookstores now, so we want there.

 I always head for the illustration and design magazines, such as this beauty:

PRINT Magazine with the 2013 Regional Design Awards for graphic design. 




So much eye candy! 





I pretended I bought it for the youngest to take back to her last semester of art school, but in reality I am not letting her look at it until I get finished drooling over all the pages. 

I have zero graphic design talent but I know what I like:

  • letterpress
  • foiled letterpress
  • hand/chalk lettering
  • watercolor lettering
  • lettering lettering lettering
  • vintage colors
  • handpainted anything esp -
  • hand painted backgrounds
  • vintage fonts
  • textured/collaged pages
  • product design that is from soup to nuts - i.e. hangtags to boxed sets

I am also dying to get my hands on this book:




Deb Millman is one of the deans of graphic design. I gave the youngest several of her books for Christmas. I have been waiting for the Christmas bills to buy this one as it is filled with her hand illustrated essays and poems. She is also the designer of the cover of this issue of PRINT and of the illustrations that separate the different regions in the awards sections. You can sign up for emails from PRINT and download a few excerpts from her book here. 


PRINT has great online content, also.

Check out The Image of the Day for daily inspiration. Here is one from 12/19/13: 


Image of the Day, 12/19/2013: 3D Type Illustrations

By:  | December 19, 2013
Lauren Hom creates beautiful 3D typographic illustrations from flat sketches and gave some insight into her process on the Daily Dishonesty earlier this year. Via We Love Typography.



Online content also included a blurb about this  poster design contest to celebrate America's National Parks. The exhibition will open soon and you can sign up here to get the link to buy the posters. I may have to make a day of it and go up to Hyde Park for the exhibition.


America, Call Home . . . 
Aaron Perry-Zucker, creator of the Design for Obama initiative, and the Creative Action Network are  launching a new campaign next week: See America. In partnership with the National Parks Conservation Association, they are inviting artists from all 50 states to create a new series of posters, reviving the legacy of the 1930s New Deal arts projects, while celebrating American’s shared natural landmarks and treasured sites. The campaign is launching today, 1/10, with an exhibition at the FDR Presidential Library & Museum in Hyde Park, NY.




See America is a crowdsourced art campaign, enlisting artists from all 50 states to create a collection of artwork celebrating our national parks and other treasured sites. “We’ve got nearly 100 designs so far and once the campaign goes live next week,” Perry-Zucker told me, “anyone will be able to submit their own, and prints of each are available for sale to support the artists. Here are a few and sign to see more here:


CAN See America




What do I take away from this magazine today? How does it relate to the art and writing projects that I am concentrating on? Normally, this might distract me into a whole new venture - for example - let's learn Illustrator! 

Um, no.

This is how my new aim low/underachieve mantra for 2014 works:

instead of putting aside what I am currently working on, spending a lot of money on new fun gadgets, eventually not having the patience to learn how to work or use the new gadgets, and eventually abandoning my project because I've lost the flow of it, I try to take away from this bits and pieces that I can easily  incorporate into my current work:


  • hand-lettered work is HAND LETTERED.

  • It is not going to look like digital hand/chalk lettering or even digitally-enchanced hand/chalk lettering. 

  • Is my own shaky hand-lettering good enough for my work?

  • Yes!

  • I am not aiming to be a graphic designer. I am aiming to develop a hand-lettering style that can complements my watercolor illustrations. 

  • Buying and downloading a program like Illustrator will be 1) expensive; 2) require me to get a laptop with more storage and a desktop monitor; and 3) take months for me to master, especially on my own.

  • Is any of that necessary for me at this point?

  • No!

  • Instead, how about I actually I  attend the 2 Skill-Share online classes that I signed up for in late fall, buy a few calligraphy pens/markers, and work from there.




How has your week been? What choices have you made in your creative life that have allowed has facilitated your work, your ability to have find time to work, and the enjoyment of the work you are doing? Let me know!