Graphic Design

I am taking a Fundamentals of Graphic Design class through Coursera. I’m really enjoying it —no surprise. This is the perfect class for me: something in which I have to make or design something, not just learn facts. Sadly, the course is only 4 weeks and I am already into the 3rd week now.

Last week I ran into a friend who works in IT, but said he was busy with some extra work he’d taken on: some graphic design jobs. Wow, that would be so great to get some graphic design work! How does one do that? Do you have to have a degree? Do you just have to get your name out there? Just show what you can do?

So I’m going to show what I can do. (This was before I started the graphic design course, so maybe I’ll have some new ideas for the next assignment.) I was asked to make a flyer for the IU Tai Chi Club, whose practices I regularly attend. I made one for the folks that want tai chi for the health and meditative benefits of it, and one for the folks that want to learn how to kick some butt. (Many of the university students lean more towards the martial aspect.)

IUTaiChi_Relax_newtimes TaiChi_Martial_v2_newtimes

History, Family and Art

I have probably mentioned before that I enjoy listening to podcasts. I recently finished listening to the 15 or so hours of Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History podcast on World War I. I learned so much, and it made me curious about my grandparents’ and great-grandparents’ experience of the war. I wanted to know about my German relatives in particular, but I don’t have a written account of them. Whereas I do have a couple of written accounts of my father’s side of the family. They lived in Hungary. So I started reading —my own notes in the margin made it clear that I’d read it before.

I sketched out my family on a large piece of paper and was not terribly happy with what I’d done. But I told myself to just keep going. I worked on this over 4 or 5 days. Again, it’s not something I would hang, nor judge whether it’s good or bad. It just is what it is.


One of my biggest challenges is the grays. It seems I can do black and I can do white, but gray is not so easy. This is also the case sometimes in my attitude to life.

Inner creative unrest

Time goes by and I think I’m getting along okay, and then suddenly I feel like screaming because I haven’t created something. Something big.

I don’t know. I thought maybe I could be satisfied with those tiny drawings I was doing; and maybe I could if I were doing them every day, or multiple times a day. The other night at bedtime, when one more day went by without my sitting down and making something, with my making do with a little knitting, or a bit of writing in my journal, I felt like I’d just burst with frustration and anger. This is simply not enough for me.

Last night the house was all mine and I thought: hey, I could get some knitting in. I could watch a movie. I should clean the bathroom. It might be fun to bake cookies. It’s funny that I didn’t hear that voice that was screaming at me the other night to create. And yet that’s what I chose to do. I grabbed my big drawing board and put it in the middle of the floor. I grabbed a piece of Arches or Rives or whatever kind of paper I had once splurged on at the art store, and I just started.

This is what comes next: After I finish, I feel incredible relief —euphoria really. And I think: Wow! This is amazing! I should do this all the time. And then I promise myself to devote time every day to drawing.

But here’s the catch. I don’t. I let other things take my time. I make substitutions, like knitting, for true creating. Even writing, which is creative, but apparently I need more than that.

So here’s what I did last night. Part of me wants to judge if it’s good or not, but that is impossible for me to say because the end result is completely irrelevant.

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