Upcoming Show

08/31/12

Somehow, amidst finishing illustration deadlines and preparing for my three-week journey to the northern part of the planet, I am also preparing for an upcoming public show of my work at my alma mater, Rare Device (the store I used to own & operate with Rena Tom, now owned by our friend Giselle). The show (which opens November 2) is called “This is My World” and will include a selection of small paintings, hand-painted objects and hand-made zines and books.

Here are the details:

Hope to see you there, SF & Bay Area friends! Have a great weekend, all.

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365 Days of Hand Lettering: Day 243

08/31/12

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Frequently Asked Questions :: Why Don’t You Allow Blog Comments?

08/30/12

{Gemtastic, graphite and gouache on paper, 2010}

Today’s FAQ: People can’t leave comments on your blog. How come?

My answer: Let me say first that I think comments are great. I think blogging is an extremely valuable forum for discussion about all kinds of issues–about politics, child-rearing, art, design, life, etc. etc. So if you have comments on your own blog and value them, I get why you do. If you enjoy commenting on blogs, I get that too.

Here’s a bit of my personal story: In 2005 I started my first blog which I kept for a number of years (it no longer exists on the internet). That blog allowed comments, and I found that I got way too wrapped up in:

a) Whether people were commenting at all. For example, if a post had no or few comments, did that mean it sucked? Or was boring? Did it mean that piece of art I posted was horrible? I put much more weight on comments than I should have.

b) Whether I was obligated to respond to all comments and questions. I just didn’t have time, and yet I felt a responsibility as a show of appreciation to my readers. If I went to bed without responding to my commenters, I felt horrible. I didn’t like feeling that way.

c) Occasional negative comments. I didn’t have many, but they would appear every now and again, some from trolls, some from earnest but cantankerous readers. I felt like I gave those comments way more attention in my own mind than the hundreds of positive comments I would receive in a month. I didn’t like that either.

So, in the end, all of this caused me to close down my blog. Instead of being enjoyable, blogging felt stressful.

So when I decided to start blogging again, I asked myself what would keep it enjoyable and sustainable for me. The answer? No comments. And you know what? I’ve kept this blog for almost a year and it hasn’t felt stressful once. Not having comments helps me avoid get too wrapped up in what other people think about my work or my life decisions.

What I love is that if folks want to tell me how a post made them feel or if they have questions, they usually email me. After this past Tuesday’s post, I got six lovely emails the same day from readers. I also get a lot of feedback on Twitter and Facebook.

The lesson here? Make your own rules for your life, and let what feels right for you be your guide.

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365 Days of Hand Lettering: Day 242

08/30/12

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Wedding Invitation Design

08/29/12

As I mentioned last week, I love making artwork for + hand lettering interesting and unique wedding invitations. My most recent invitation project fits perfectly into that category. When my friend Charlie asked me to design a hand-painted + hand lettered invitation for her upcoming wedding, I jumped at the chance. I’ve known Charlie for many years, and she and I share a love for the Golden State & all things California (e.g. we both have California tattoos!).

As part of the design process, we shared our favorite California imagery and batted our ideas back and forth until we settled on the imagery, which I drew in the composition you see above and painted in gouache. Once the design was complete, we had the invitations printed at the amazing Pinball Publishing. The backside includes all the formal invitation info (all hand lettered).

Thank you for this wonderful opportunity to be part of your special day, Charlie!

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365 Days of Hand Lettering: Day 241

08/29/12

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On Waiting

08/28/12

{Christmas, 2011}

Today is my partner Clay’s birthday. I don’t really expect you to care much about that. But I will take this as an opportunity to tell you a story about my life if you happen to be interested.

I am 44 years old, about to turn 45 in the early part of 2013. I did not find a relationship that made me feel good and loved and happy until I was 40 years old. I was in many relationships before that, all with good people. But in each of those, something or another was very wrong, and in each of them I ended up, sooner or later, feeling awful.

Maybe it was bad luck, or maybe it was just that I didn’t know who I was yet or what I wanted in my life.

So in 2004 I ended my last unhappy relationship and decided that I was going to stop dating entirely until I figured out who I was and what I wanted. It was that year that I started sewing and painting and drawing prolifically. I still worked full time, and so this happened mostly after I got home from my job at the end of the day and all day on the weekends. I started sharing my work on the internet, and I made friends with other creative people. After awhile I stopped feeling lonely and started feeling genuinely happy. In fact, so happy that I’d forgotten about dating entirely.

Fast forward four years to 2008. The year before, I had left my job to make art for a living and open a store with my friend Rena. Life was good. I was living my dream. It is really true (maybe some of you have experienced this) that when you are single and also happy, it can feel like the perfect life. Why would you want to bring anyone else into it who might mess it all up? But I also knew deep down I wanted to be in a relationship again, and this time I needed it to be different.

So I made a list of all the qualities that I wanted to find in a partner and I tried to envision what a happy relationship might look like. I didn’t hold back from listing everything that seemed important, everything that had previously been missing for me. And then I waited.

I’m not going to say how Clay and I met, but I didn’t have to wait long. In a way, I’d been waiting for four years, but really it had only been a couple of months since I made the list. The moral of this story isn’t that Clay has, oh, 99% of the qualities I had on my list. The moral of the story is that I was finally completely ready for magic to happen, and then POOF, it happened.

This coming summer Clay and I are getting married. While gay marriage is not legal in California (yet), we’re having a wedding and a big old party to celebrate our life together (you can read about Clay’s proposal to me here). Whenever I have the opportunity to celebrate my relationship with Clay, I take it. And today, her birthday, is one of those days. Clay made possible for me what I never thought possible: that I could be wholly loved, wholly appreciated, wholly myself. She has an enormously kind heart. She is brimming with love, not just for me, but for everyone in her life. I love her so much, and I feel so incredibly lucky to have her by my side every single day.

So worth the wait.

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365 Days of Hand Lettering: Day 240

08/28/12

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I’m in the Next Issue of Mollie Makes!

08/27/12

I’m so thrilled to be in the upcoming issue of the British Magazine Mollie Makes! Mollie Makes is published thirteen times a year. They curate craft from around the world into a gorgeous magazine, and in the current issue they’ve featured my studio!

You can subscribe to Mollie Makes here, and you can download the iPad version here.

CATEGORIES: My Studio | Press
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365 Days of Hand Lettering: Day 239

08/27/12

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365 Days of Hand Lettering: Day 238

08/26/12

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365 Days of Hand Lettering: Day 237

08/25/12

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365 Days of Hand Lettering: Day 236

08/24/12

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Why I Love My Job

08/23/12

{Image by Anna Dorfman // Door Sixteen, 2012}

I talk a lot about how lucky I am to work on amazing projects with amazing clients. I wrote about one such project several months ago here on this blog. It was a book cover I made with Anna Dorfman, who happens to be a dear friend, but is also a book cover designer at Simon and Schuster.

That book is about to come out, and today Anna wrote a post about it too. She includes a lot of information about how the collaboration came about, along with images of the progression of the cover from comps to sketches to final. You can check out her complete post + all the images here.

I feel really lucky to be part of a community of creative people are not just talented designers but also really fantastically kind, easy-to-work-with human beings.

Thank you, Anna!!

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365 Days of Hand Lettering: Day 235

08/23/12

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