Thank You!

Yesterday was my birthday, and I received some very lovely good wishes and greetings from friends from all over. You all made my day! I want to thank you in the way I love best:

Here's to another year of fun, friends, and creativity!

Enchanting Animation

This makes me happy in so many ways.

Drawing Lab: 52 Creative Exercises to Make Drawing Fun

Drawing Lab for Mixed-Media Artists: 52 Creative Exercises to Make Drawing Fun (Lab Series)

I picked up an interesting book this weekend (hooray for trade credit). I've been drawing a lot lately, for fun and with the intention to hone my skills and maybe open new avenues for my career (I actually have a career! That is so exciting!).

The book is basically a series of assignments/exercises to create some structure and direction for the practice and creation of art. Why invite structure for creative activity? Pythagoras said "Limit gives form to the limitless." Even the most creative of games have some rules; even playground games of makebelieve involve making up some rules to follow.

The first exercise I took on was 34: Numbers Game. There's a list of animals and a list of objects. Without looking at the lists, you pick two numbers at random. Then see what you've chosen from the list. After that, you come up with some ideas for the drawing, choose the most interesting, and draw it.

My two picks turned out to be "bird" and "bathtub."

So much fun!

A Favorite Part of My Job

I have the pleasure of doing a lot of work for a wonderful company in Birmingham, Alabama, Agile Brands. Essentially, I handle most of the visual design, work closely with their web design guru, do a lot of social media work for their clients, generate html client email, and more.

One of our biggest clients is Stack's Rare Coins, one of the oldest, most respected numismatic companies in the country. Among other things, I format and post articles to their news site and create graphics to accompany the articles. One of the challenges to that is to keep things looking varied and fresh, finding different ways to highlight the beautiful coins that the news site showcases.

This is one of my favorite graphics that I've done for them. The coin is a beautiful Panama Pacific Exposition coin from 1915. Of all the many coins I see each week, these are easily my favorite. They are so beautiful! The background image is the front cover illustration for the official souvenir of groundbreaking by President William Howard Taft. I love it when I can work in some background imagery that involves historical provenance. It adds, I feel, to the historic interest of each piece.

Amazing Vintage Design Resource

The Library of Congress has a huge collection of WPA Posters online:

The By the People, For the People: Posters from the WPA, 1936-1943 collection consists of 908 boldly colored and graphically diverse original posters produced from 1936 to 1943 as part of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal.

Of the 2,000 WPA posters known to exist, the Library of Congress's collection of more than 900 is the largest. These striking silkscreen, lithograph, and woodcut posters were designed to publicize health and safety programs; cultural programs including art exhibitions, theatrical, and musical performances; travel and tourism; educational programs; and community activities in seventeen states and the District of Columbia.

The posters were made possible by one of the first U.S. Government programs to support the arts and were added to the Library's holdings in the 1940s.

I am so excited about this that it's almost silly. Good vintage design makes me really happy, though, and I've really been into art deco lately - an aesthetic that many of these pieces have. I look forward to much inspiration from this source in the future.