Haiku spree

I am inspired by song lyrics sometimes, and I’ve thought about trying my hand at songwriting. (I once took a songwriting MOOC.) But when I sit down to write something meaningful, I often write a lot of mundane blah blah blah —the stuff my journals are filled with. (I recently had the revelation, when I thought to go back and read them, that my journals are most definitely NOT for reading. They are so boring. What they are for is for me. To write. To get my thoughts out. So I can move on with my life.)

I decided to write some of the nuggets of what I think about, what I care about, what makes me tick and what makes me ticked off. And what emerged was haiku. It’s very satisfying. Small contained packets, just manageable enough.

And here’s the interesting thing: I feel compelled to share this writing. I haven’t wanted to share my writing before. Unless I did years ago —back when I was part of a poetry group. (I believe that was a previous life. Ah yes, it was— it was pre-motherhood.) So here are a few of the ones I like best:


I note each hello.

Especially absent ones.

Nothing personal.


A once-friendly peer

smoothly avoids eye contact.

No need to say hi.

They are somewhat negative. Okay, maybe a couple that are on the more positive, or at least neutral, side:



I should not have to seek it.

Drop adult. Be child.

4. (on Sandy)

She is comfort, just

like the quilts she makes— care in

every stitch and word.

Well, this is not great. I don’t know how to code poetry so there aren’t great big spaces between each line. And I could probably go look it up, but it’s time for bed. For now, I will just let this post have to remain imperfect. This is not a happy thing for me. (Perhaps the subject of my next haiku!)

Imagination, Not-Imagination

“What do you think is going to happen?!” my daughter asks me when I express anxiety about her traveling alone in Europe.

“I’m not even going to begin to tell you the things my imagination can come up with, ” I answer.

Today I have changed my mind. It is not my imagination that provides terrifying scenarios. It is the news, movies I’ve seen, fears expressed by other people. These things fill my head when I start to worry.

Imagination, on the other hand, is a positive. It’s what creates solutions to problems. When fears make your heart thump, your shoulders stiffen and your breath stop, a little imagination can ease the pain. First, you imagine angels and allies all around. You imagine everyone safe and sound. If you must, you imagine heroic and clever escapes. You imagine the day you see each other at the airport after months apart. You imagine eating breakfast together when you’re 10 years older.

Imagination, Not-Imagination

Knowing when to stop —and when not to

How to know when a piece of art is done, that is a question I’ve had in my mind off and on for a very long time. On one hand, I’ve made some artwork that I finished quickly and I liked it. Other times I try to put more time into it and it gets to a point where I wish I had stopped earlier. But is it right to stop at the first point of being pretty happy with it? With design, it’s rarely a good idea to go with the first draft. And when I look at other artists’ work—artists I particularly admire, I get the feeling that they have worked much longer and more intentionally than I ever do.

So how to go forward? This is a time that I feel the need for a mentor. I’m not sure where to find one, so I guess I will just make a commitment to force myself to work past the moment I would otherwise stop, even if it means I’m “ruining” what I’ve done. I know I can do better. (Can’t I?)

This blog idea came to me through looking at a book of Illustration. I’ve just discovered an Illustrator whose work I absolutely love: Bernard Buffet. Wow! How have I missed this work? I predict a fair amount of my time in the near future will be spent on the bernardbuffet.com site! Check it out! (I’ve added the link to the Inspiring Artists links on the right.)

PS. Sorry —no image this blog. Next time, I promise.

Not-cute Faces with Adobe Draw

At work I saw that my coworker was creating some graphics of people, but they were a little too cute for the audience. With my new Apple pencil and an iPad, I thought I’d see what I could come up with. So keep in mind: I’m new to drawing on the iPad, and new to Adobe Draw. Here are two beginnings I made, not in any way cleaned up. Adobe Draw is quite fun! And sharing it to Illustrator…oh my gosh! It’s fast and amazing! My jaw dropped. Seriously.

New Year, New Fun

Photohop Shape and Texture Experiment

It’s a new year, and I’ve been thinking about resolutions, although I haven’t committed to any one. There are so many good resolutions to make. Take play, for example. That’s a great resolution. Play every day. For today, at least, that will be my resolution. Of course, today is almost over, but then, I’ve already had lots of play time. I think I’ll make it a resolution for tomorrow, too. Join me?

Photoshop painting

It’s hard to know how to even get started with software as powerful as Photoshop, but I’m determined to learn how to paint with it. I’ve been working in Illustrator so much that I’m having trouble remembering Photoshop again. It’s time to refresh my memory.

Here is a drawing I did (digitally) in October. I just added a new layer of color to it. I’ve got a lot to learn, but I’m having fun as I go.


Personal Design Project: Business Card Redesign

A goal of mine is to be more conscious of the design I see around me, to study the choices made and to decide if and how I would do it differently. Here is a business card I was given:

And here is my one-hour redesign:

I couldn’t find the same image they had used, but I tried to keep to the same theme with what I found in the public domain. I can’t decide if I like the border or not. Perhaps not. It’s funny how different it looks here on my blog interface compared to in Illustrator. If I were going to have these printed, I would definitely do several iterations and test prints first.

Ups and Downs

Two months since I last posted! This does not give me a warm, fuzzy feeling. How does one finally face a task that has been put off for so long that it becomes something to avoid altogether?

I question whether “task” is the right word for posting to this blog. Sadly, it has become a task, because honestly, I see no benefit to doing it —except for occasionally looking through my past projects and having that moment of —hey, I did accomplish a few things!

What I would love for this blog to be is a place where I am communicating with someone (or several someones) and that a dialogue begins; where I can hopefully inspire or motivate someone out there, and where perhaps knowing that someone put a tiny bit of effort and time into looking at this will give me a little extra motivation for posting more.

But for now, I will just keep plugging on —sharing this with the vastness of outer space and hoping to hear signs of life from beyond!

At work, I am often given the task of creating some page headers for online courses. After a while, they mostly all look the same —a pretty picture and the title of the course. This time around, I’ve been trying to push it to be a little more interesting and creative. Also, I’m studying to take the ACA test for Adobe Illustrator. ACA=Adobe Certified Associate. It’s a goal to work towards —and I’m learning a lot of little tricks I didn’t realize were there in Illustrator. Yay!

Somewhat typical:

Typical Course Header

Experimenting with clipping masks:

Slightly less typical header

Experimenting with opacity masks:

Less typical course header

My favorite, made in Photoshop:

The header I like best

Notice the inconsistency of the I vs 1? Yeah, I don’t know which one they want. It bugs me, too!