Sunday, October 18, 2015

A Bookish Weekend

Books, books and more books.

The big industry book fair was in full swing this week in Frankfurt and Minnesota had their regional book fair and my local library had their book sale this weekend.

While I would have loved to be in Frankfurt, who wouldn't, I had a lot of fun buying author signed Christmas presents locally and picking up twenty books and ten cd's at the library for a whopping five dollars.

My favorite by far is Behold the Bold Umbrellaphant by Jack Prelutsky, a cleverly written collection of prose, gorgeously illustrated by Carin Berger.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Brand Loyalty: Cars We Have Known and Loved

Unless you're a New Yorker (or so I'm told) I imagine everyone has a fondness for a certain brand of car, whether it's your first car, a family members car or if you grew up in a car family, like me.

My first car, a much more loved (read: used) version than pictured, of course. The roof and cracked back window leaked a LOT.

To grow up in a car family means I was raised amongst people who care a great deal about vehicles to the point of them being a part of the family, like pets. We didn't actually have any pets growing up (my brother is terribly allergic) but we had a lot of cars over the years, especially once my siblings and I surpassed the age of 16.

Kicking off my 3rd birthday celebration in the back of the Dodge wagon. I still love Mary Janes to this day ;)

In fact, when my family gets together the conversation often turns to the talk of cars we have known and loved and the many adventures we had with them, much like normal families talk about a beloved pet who has passed on.

I'm thinking it would be a worthwhile and meaningful project to create a fabric pattern for my family featuring some of the cars we have known and loved inspired by the fabric design from Heather Ross where she features goldfish she has known and loved.

Copyright Heather Ross

Specifically, mine is a Dodge family per my father. My cousins are a Ford family per my uncle and my second cousins are Chevy families per my great uncles. Other brands are allowed into my immediate families car mix so long as they are not Ford or Chevy. So says my dad and my brother. My brother, by the way, is a master mechanic. That was his and his friends hobby growing up and that is his profession and hobby to this day - he can fix anything with a motor.

What is most interesting to me, as a designer, is the level of attention my dad and brother have for every single aspect of a vehicle. They are also total snobs about their car related apparel and mementos and make their selections with great care. And why wouldn't you? Fashion is about each persons unique take on a new collection and the pieces they choose to add to their personal brand, the same holds true for car brand apparel, tenfold.

This extends beyond cars for my dad. As a farmer he has developed a very deep relationship with John Deere.

My dad and I on his John Deere gator in the back 40

Although my dad's true love will always be a green vintage Dodge Charger, his first true car love.

What car was your first true love?

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Creativity Boost

We are all inspired by the things around us including other people's creative work. It's important to respect the origins of the inspiration, you know, don't rip off someone's work or even their marketing language verbatim, that's pretty slimy. But other's work can be the source of wonderful inspiration even for a larger, more complex idea.

I personally like to read and take classes to keep the creative juices flowing. I've posted a lot about books I've been exploring that charge my batteries but I don't often post my class projects.

This past Spring I took a monoprint class at my alma mater Minneapolis College of Art and Design.


I love monoprint. You can come to the table with ideas but you have to create on the spot and what you get after putting it through the press is always a surprise.

My inked brayers, you can see I'm getting a little crazy with my layers

I find monoprint to be a creativity boost because you have to think through your creation process on the fly and the single piece you're working on evolves with each print you pull off of the press. You are also inspired by those working around you and the fresh techniques they're employing and the effects they are achieving on their pulls.

My working 'canvas'. After each pull you come back to this and work it some more.

This a partial account of my monoprint evolution, my muse was an amazing solid sliced geode.

Don't forget, classes like these make for GREAT team building, especially for creative teams!