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Monthly Archives: May 2012

You may hate me for this…


Pardon me while I rant. I promise that I will try to keep my political posts to a minimum. I was just reading the news today and became enraged by all of the articles about people banding together to overturn anti-descrimination ordinances that were passed in Lincoln, NE to protect the rights of gays. Apparently, a couple of Christian groups banded together to get people to petition against the new ordinance. They managed to get over 10,000 signatures. The new ordinance states that employers, landlords, etc. cannot deny employment and housing to individuals based on their sexual orientation. I think that sounds pretty reasonable. What was even more upsetting were the online comments left by the paper’s readers, with one referring to gays as a “tyrannical fetish group”. Seriously? Homosexuality is not a choice and is perfectly natural. Also, what is so tyrannical about a group of people wanting basic human rights and to be treated as equal in a country that was supposedly founded on those very ideals?

More and more I see American politics being overrun by the agendas of major religious groups. When did the line between church and state become so blurred? America is not a Christian nation. America is a nation of many cultures and many religious beliefs. This is what makes our country so beautiful. Imagine what it would be like if we actually embraced that diversity like we claim to. I have no problem with religion, I just don’t think that one should claim prominence over all the others in a country so diverse. One nation under God? That was actually added to the pledge during the height of the Communist scare in an attempt to liken patriotism to religious piety. I guess it worked, but it’s not what the founding fathers intended. What happened to E Pluribus Unum? Out of many, one. Now that’s beautiful.

Another point I would like to make is if a person insists upon clinging to one or two Bible verses, they should a) know what they are talking about and b) not just choose the verses that suit their cause. There are a lot of interesting rules in the Old Testament. Let’s look at a few:

– You can’t wear clothing of mixed materials.
– If a man rapes a woman, he has to marry her and basically pay her father a fee for the damaged “property.”
– There’s a whole lot of animal sacrifice. There are several occasions for sacrifice and specific animals prescribed for the occasion.

Now is the time when many would argue, “Well, times have changed. Those were written for that specific period.” Those rules are found in the same place as the verses that argue against homosexuality.

So, all of these rules are in the Old Testament of the Bible. The Old Testament actually has very little to do with the teachings of Christianity. Honest. In fact, there are several occasions where Jesus actually speaks out against the dogmatic old ways. Many scholars view Jesus as a great reformer and after his arrival, the teachings of the Old Testament become irrelevant. Jesus actually never mentioned sex, let alone homosexuality in his teachings. The only time he even speaks about marriage is when he speaks out against divorce. Jesus claimed that people who remarry after divorce are committing adultery in the eyes of the Lord because once they are married, the couple remains spiritually married in the eyes of God. How do you like that, America?

More than anything, let’s take a look at the core of Jesus’s teachings: To love one another. Remember that Jesus always cared for the outcasts of society? He associated with lepers, tax collectors, and prostitutes. All of these people were considered extremely sinful and were hated during that time period. This actually earned him a lot of enemies because people didn’t understand. Jesus’s message was one of love, acceptance, and understanding. Think about it. It’s disgusting that so many Christians are so filled with hate. It’s horrifying that such hateful acts are carried out in his name. I realize that it has happened throughout history, but that doesn’t make it right. Love one another. That’s all you really need to do.

When it comes time to vote on such things as gay rights, or anyone’s rights for that matter, I hope you at least take some of this to heart. What would really be the Christian thing to do? I realize that I probably won’t change any minds. In the end, people will believe what they want to believe. I’m sure that’s how this post will be dismissed. I do hope, however, that I offered you something to think about. If you stop to ponder for a second or two, even if it’s to write me hate mail, I will be happy. So, dear reader, thanks for hanging in there and sticking with me.

 

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Illustrator Humorously Reimagines Scenes Of ‘The Avengers’ – DesignTAXI.com


Illustrator Humorously Reimagines Scenes Of ‘The Avengers’ – DesignTAXI.com

These are really cute AND pretty hilarious.

How Famous Brands Got Their Names, Logos – DesignTAXI.com


How Famous Brands Got Their Names, Logos – DesignTAXI.com.

A friend shared this with me. It’s pretty cool.

Omaha named No. 1 spot to raise kids – Omaha.com


Omaha named No. 1 spot to raise kids – Omaha.com.

I realize that this doesn’t make us super hip or anything, but I’ll try to post interesting Omaha tidbits here and there. It’s not such a bad place to live.

The Thesaurus: This Designer’s Favorite Dinosaur.


I realize that I may be a little more bookish than your average designer. I love words. I love learning new words and I even like learning word origins. I am a nerd. However, I write this because words have gotten me out a the occasional tight spot and I owe this to them. I also believe that my fellow creatives might appreciate another method to getting themselves out of the madness of creative constipation. So, here are a few word-related ideas you might try.

1. I love my desktop Thesaurus! I own a Mac and one of the applications that comes with the computer is a dictionary/thesaurus. I use it so frequently, I keep it right next to all of my design software in my dashboard. This trick may be more helpful for copywriting and coming up with catchy headlines, but sometimes once you have your concept, the visual naturally follows. First, I make a list of adjectives for the type of “feel” I would like my ad to have. Say I’m working on a jewelry print ad, I want it to feel romantic and glamorous. I type “romantic” and “glamorous” into my handy dandy thesaurus and see what it comes up with. Read through the entries. I know it’s not super exciting, but your mind may latch onto something. Write down the words that your brain likes. Seriously. Your brain will usually latch onto something. Continue on with the next word. If nothing comes up, let it stew for a while. Your brain works in mysterious ways.

2. Abstract word search. This one is similar to the thesaurus method, but works better if you need something more visual. Go to Google Images or your favorite stock photo site and search for something abstract like an emotion or state of being. Simply scroll through all of the images that pop up until something sparks your imagination. WARNING: If you are at the office or anywhere else that you would prefer to not have someone walk in on you with penises on your screen, make sure to have your safe search turned on.

These next two come from my professor, James Catlett.

3. Random word association. Google “random word generator”. There are a lot of them out there. Choose one that has a format that you like. The trick to this one is to stick with the word you get and try to brainstorm your way back to your topic. You would be surprised what you can come up with.

4. Psychic Sidekick. This is just fun and random. Go to http://www.psychicsidekick.com. Just click the button and see what it comes up with. The design for this site is pretty cool and it usually comes up with something really weird. Play and have fun!

Next time you’re stuck, I hope these tricks help you out. Give them a try and let me know what you think.

Albert Einstein…


“The most beauitful experience we can have is the mysterious…the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science.”
–Albert Einstein

Creative Kleptomania


1. Steal like an artist.

2. Don’t wait until you know who you are to get started.

3. Write the book you want to read.

4. Use your hands.

5. Side projects and hobbies are important.

6. The Secret: Do good work and share it with people.

7. Geography is no longer our master.

8. Be Nice.

9. Be Boring.

10. Creativity is subtraction.

These are the ten rules to creativity that artist Austin Kleon introduces in his book, Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative. The major premise of this book is that nothing is original. Everything there is to be said has been said before. All great creatives study one another and steal from each other. Some may find this depressing, but Kleon points out that this is actually a good thing. He says knowing this frees one from the crippling need to be original. Kleon claims that in order to be original, study several people that you admire, then study those peoples’ influences. Once you’ve studied up, take bits and pieces from these peoples’ work and mix them together into something new. Take a look around art history. This is not a new idea. A lot of people forget this.

Being a slightly burnt-out art school student, this book was a much needed breath of fresh air. All of the advice offered in this book is very different from what I had been given throughout my college career. I am used to being under pressure to come up with something “different”. I also find that we all seem to be living under the artist stereotype. Yes, I am tattooed and have blue hair, but I really don’t lead some crazy lifestyle. This is probably why rule number six, Be Boring, resonated with me. You mean I’m not supposed to be going to wild parties and getting wasted all the time? I can totally handle that! I prefer hanging out at home with my husband and dogs anyway. Read a lot? I suppose you may have to twist my arm a little…

I also really appreciate rule number four, Use your hands. My background is in fine arts. I love to paint and sculpt. I’m slowly but surely making my way into graphic design, but going from fully interacting with analog media to just sitting in front of a computer screen has been difficult for me. I need to make messes. I love to be fully immersed in my media. Weird, I know, but true. Kleon says that art that only comes from the head isn’t any good. You have to try to involve your whole self into your work. Look out world! Behold the messes I shall make!

Steal Like an Artist is a quick fun read. It is filled with a lot of great quotes along with Kleon’s illustrations which help to bring home his points. I would recommend this book to artists and designers, especially students. It also has a lot of good advice for anyone who just wants to boost their creativity. Everyone is creative. Seriously. Don’t give me that “I can’t draw a straight line” garbage. I can’t draw a straight line either. At least, not without a ruler. Creativity’s not just about drawing or painting either. You can be creative in any area of your life.

Check out more from Austin Kleon on his website: www.austinkleon.com

Title: Steal Like an Artist
Author: Austin Kleon
ISBN: 978-0-7611-6925-3

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