Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2008 in Review: Design Work

I spent a lot of 2008 kvetching about how busy I was with so many projects, and I thought I should highlight the design work that I am particular proud of:

Logo for my old employer:
This was the last thing I did there as a staff employee that I was really proud of, and it spawned a couple projects, including several direct mail pieces, a binder and four banners.

Art direction for the Green Issue of California Real Estate:
It had been my dream for awhile to art direct a magazine and I got my chance when my old boss asked me to design this special issue. My favorite spreads include:

I really like the colors for this holiday card for my current employer:
I just noticed that I repeated myself in this piece...ha!...I promise this is the last time I juxtapose transparent leaves over a tonal geometric background. Anyway, you can't tell from this image, but the finish is matte with a UV spot gloss coating on the leaves and logo. (I love this coating combo!)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Out of the Past

I was talking to my best friend E the other day and he brought up something from the past that made me smile.

E and I have known each other for quite some time and went to the same junior high and high school. Though we weren't particularly close back then, usually our last names put him sitting right behind me during homeroom or other classes with alphabetical seating arrangements.

Anyway, E told me that something he's always remembered was that I once showed him this language I had made up and it really impressed him that I had even gone to the trouble of conjugating the verbs. I had totally forgotten about that! Gosh, what a little nerd I was (and still am)!

I'm going to raid my high school files to see if my petit language is still around. If not, I'm sure it will be fun to read all the stories and poems and other random scribblings. I was so in my own little world back then.

Until I report back, here's something that I do remember (it actually got an honorable mention in an LAUSD poetry contest...the theme was "Discovery"):

An Accident and a Discovery

An accident and a discovery

He saw it no other way

A new talent was found

For no-talent Jim Gray

The slip of the hand

The loss of a life

The fresh scent of blood

On his broken-in knife

Morbid thoughts unleashed

From his no-talent mind

A killer he is

What a wonderful find

Meticulously slashing

His newest ambition yet

The unassuming corpse

Someone he never met

No talent should be wasted
Says no-talent Jim Gray
Especially when you're so bored

And haven't any pay.

I wrote this as a sophomore, and I was pretty dark in my thoughts back then. Most of the winning poems had to do with discovering yourself, beauty, knowledge, etc. and there I was with a poem about discovering serial killer tendencies. I'm actually surprised my English teacher didn't send me to counseling.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Much like the rug that "really tied the room together" in The Big Lebowski, I think my newly acquired dresser really makes my studio apartment feel more like a home:
It's not perfect (there are quite a few scuffs and an actual chunk of wood missing), but I love the styling and because of its imperfections, I got it at a bargain price (for a vintage Lane dresser) on Craigslist, delivery included. Here's a close-up:
The carved-wood drawer pulls are so cool! They add a sculptural quality to the piece that is very reminiscent of Art Nouveau.

Photo notes: The phones are part of my collection and are not plugged in (though I wish they all were.) The photo collages are part of a series I did for one of my final assignments. And the Porcupine pendant has been changed into a table lamp to better effect.

Monday, December 22, 2008

My Holiday Card

This year, I wrote a little holiday poem and designed a card around it:
Click here for the larger version.

Here's the text of the poem:

Hope it's warm where you are
That your loves aren't too far
That you get gift cards galore
And tons of swag you adore
And that you have a more than memorable night.

Hope you have yummy treats aplenty
That you order peppermint mochas in venti
Hope you have sugar with your spice
And remember that being naughty can be nice
And let yourself live with all your might.

Hope the new year brings out the best
That you don't have to face another test
That you can to sleep in peace
That all your worries will cease
And that world again will feel right.

Hope we can see each other more
Hope we can rock it to the core
Hope I can give you what you need
Hope you can give me the same, indeed
And I hope that above all your heart stays light.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Happy Holidays!

Mini pumpkin bundt cakes, chocolate peppermint cupcake, carrot cake cupcake & mini snowman vanilla chocolate cupcake from Akasha. I'm so going to explode this holiday season!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Resolved, Reckoned

Here's a recap of my 2008 resolutions:

Resolved, that I will do my best to exude positive energy.

For the most part, I think this is true. I've met a lot of cool people this year, and I don't think I could have done that with a closed, negative attitude. Let me know if you think I haven't been generally positive this year.

Resolved, that I will be in bed before midnight on worknights.
This is definitely one that will have to carry over into next year.

Resolved, that I will be on time to work, leave to take my lunch break and leave on time unless I take overtime.

Resolved, that I will not wait until the last minute to do my work and homework assignments.
Ugh... I'm still recovering from the allnighter I had pull for this quarter's final project. So, here's another one that I can file in the "better luck next year" pile.

Resolved, that I will reach out to friends and family when stressed and not withdraw inwards.
I've definitely done better with this one and have worked to strengthen/reconnect ties to most of the people I love. I will continue to work on this throughout 2009.

Resolved, that I will find a physical way to blow off steam.
In addition to the purchase of my exercise bike (which has gotten somewhat regular use, though not as often as I'd like), I've started to take Pilates Plus classes, which are definitely kicking my ass. I'm also planning to take some more dance classes, since I've definitely come to realize that dancing just makes me happy.

Resolved, that I will actually do the things I put on my calendar.
I've been pretty good with this one, considering I've had a lot of chances to flake with a very busy schedule consisting of numerous work, school and social events.

Resolved, that I will go abroad this year.
As you know, I went to Paris this year, and now, I want to either go back to Barcelona or crack Japan next fall. We'll see...

Resolved, that I will make my home an inviting and comfortable place.
I've been successful in creating a cozy and well-lit space in my main living area and have definitely focused on keeping things somewhat tidy. Over Thanksgiving weekend, I finally bought a mid-century vintage dresser after more than a year of searching Craigslist, and it definitely pulls everything together. Now, I just have to make my workspace more functional.

Resolved, that I will pay down at least 15% of my credit card debt.
As I mentioned in the midyear update, I had already reached this goal and had revised it 60%. Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, I won't be able to make that number. However, by the end of the year, I will have paid off 40% of my credit card debt, which isn't too bad. Next year, it should all be gone.

Resolved, that I will write in my blog more regularly.
I managed to post at least once a month, with the exception of November. I do want to continue to blog because I find it very therapeutic and fun. I think what I need to do is make my postings more casual, less composed and shorter in order to knock down any mental blogging barriers.

Overall, I think I did pretty well with my 2008 resolutions. It's actually helpful to post the resolutions because I don't want to let anyone (including myself) down at the end of year. For example, in the case of the dresser, I really put my search into overdrive when I realized I had only a month to find one. I'm working on my 2009 ones and now know what makes a good resolution: complete buy-in and measurability. So, you have to really want to make the change and you have to able to quantify any progress.

How did you do on your 2008 resolutions?