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Monthly Archives: July 2012

When Superheroes Meet Typography – Design – ShortList Magazine

Please enjoy the nerdy goodness.

When Superheroes Meet Typography – Design – ShortList Magazine.


Quarter-life Limbo

Once upon a time, what feels like another lifetime ago, I was eighteen. I was graduating high school and therefore knew everything that one needs to know about life. I would start college in the fall and work retail part time just until my art career took off. I would graduate in four years (Ha!) then travel the world peddling my art, working on theatre productions, and writing bestselling children’s books. By my late twenties, I would have my shit together and be leading an exciting and romantic life. I’m quite the dreamer.

Oddly enough, this funny little thing called life happened. Now, suddenly I’m twenty-six (How the hell did that happen?) and I most certainly do not have my shit together. I’m beginning to wonder if I ever will. Don’t get me wrong, I have a good life. I’ve got a nice little house full of dogs and a great marriage, but I can’t help but think that eighteen-year-old me would be more than a little disappointed in present-day me. My life is nowhere near as exciting as I imagined it would be. I’ve become…dun dun DUNNN...domesticated! I do laundry and dishes regularly. I remodel rooms and garden (aka commit mass plant murder) with my husband. I enjoy baking. It’s shocking, I know. We’re even considering having *gasp* children in the near future. I’m also a sellout. I am now studying graphic art and advertising. I can’t wait to work for an evil corporation some day and be able to afford to indulge my wanderlust and clothing and makeup addiction. I may actually even have time to paint and write more because I’m not working a gazillion odd jobs to make ends meet.

While I do feel like my life is progressing, I also feel a little off-track. You see, I’m at that point in life where all of my friends have “grown-up” jobs. They are career people, they are married or in long-term relationships, and they are having children. There seems to be a surplus of babies around me. The people that I used to party with late into the night now need to be home by nine to relieve the sitter. The weird limbo I reside in is made evident by my student life. Two years ago, I went back to school to finish my degree. Not having any previous design classes, I was a born-again freshman. The vast majority of my classmates were straight out of high school.  I felt like I was visiting another planet. I didn’t have the first clue about popular music or contemporary teen celebrities. How do I, the old married lady, relate? Over time, a found a common ground with this eclectic, fun, creative group of people. We all shared an intense love of art, a deep dread of deadlines, and a shared nerdiness. In my classmates, I started to recognize something very familiar: My eighteen-year-old self. I saw in them the same dreams and ambitions I held at that age. There is a strong part of me that hopes these dreams come true for them. It has also awakened something in me that made me start to dream again.

I am hovering somewhere between impending adulthood and a Peter Pan-like self that never wants to grow up. They never prepared me for anything like this in high school. They just told us that if we really wanted something and worked really hard, we could do anything. They forgot to mention that one rarely knows what they want out of life at eighteen, or that life has a way of happening in unexpected ways. They never told us that you can still have a wonderful life, even if all of your wildest dreams don’t come true. A lot of the unexpected things in my life are the best things in my life. They don’t tell you this either.

I feel like life has a way of happening as it needs to. Some people may call it fate or Karma, but I believe that things and people come in and out of your life as they are needed. Everything is meant to teach and I’ve learned a lot in my life. Look at all of the little glitches and triumphs and surprises that cross your path and learn from them. You may not be where you thought you would end up, but is that necessarily a bad thing?

It’s amazing the kind of influence Hollywood would have over beauty and culture as a whole. The development of early Hollywood is a very interesting story. Take a look at these 1920s era publicity photos. They’re gorgeous!

CNN Photos

As Hollywood films replaced the live theater scene in the 1920s, producers responded to the public’s interest in the leading actors by photographing the rising stars.

Film historian and collector John Kobal was “one of the first people to turn the attention from the star of the photo to the person who created it,” said Simon Crocker, chairman of the John Kobal Foundation.

Initially, fine-art photographers made portraits of the main players, which often had a similar feel to photographs of Broadway actors. But in the mid-1920s, studios hired in-house photographers to help advertise upcoming films and stars.

“It was a pretty sophisticated set up,” including a marketing system to send the photos out to be seen by the public, Crocker said.

What began as promotional material for movies at the beginning of the century transformed into a historical lens looking at the early era of cinema. Kobal was…

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So, I’ve Decided to be a Wonderbra

I’ll always have a place in my heart for Hannibal Lecter. Don’t take this the wrong way, I’ve never entertained the thought of eating anyone’s liver, even with fava beans and a nice chianti. Or any kind of body part with any kind of side dish, now matter how well it pairs with the wine. I have no homicidal tendencies at all, actually. I’m just not that kind of gal. However, Hannibal only eats rude people. One can’t fully hate him for that. In today’s world, there seems to be plenty of them to go around. Am I wrong?

Dr. Lecter finds rude people to be quite delicious. I’m not culinarily adventurous enough to find out.

Today’s society seems to be embracing the rude and the crude. They populate the casts of popular TV reality shows, they appear in news shows, they are worshipped in the tabloids, and they surround us in our everyday lives, insisting on having their way…Or else! Why do we put up with this? The last thing this country needs is more nasty/self-absorbed/just plain rude people.

At this point in my life, I stand at 6’2″ tall and weigh roughly 200 lbs. (Give or take depending on how much chocolate I’ve had that day.) Ah, the vices you know. Anyway, I’m fairly happy in my image right now, but I wasn’t always. Growing up, I was always the tallest in my class and had next to no meat on my bones. I spent most of my youth as an awkward combination of knees and long arms, bad teeth and acne. How bad were my teeth you ask? At one point I looked like the result of the misguided romance between a shark and a vampire. It also didn’t help that I was really into wizards and vampires way before they were cool. I was a nerd. Needless to say, I was picked on. What’s the point of this little exercise in self-deprecation? Well, you weren’t surprised that I was bullied as a kid, where you? Just a brief description of my former looks and nerdish ways made the fact that I was bullied almost a given. Some people may even say that I brought the harassment onto myself. A lot of teachers actually said this to my face. If I wasn’t so awkward and weird, things could be different.

Like a lot of kids today, my self-esteem was in the gutter. All of these new school programs about raising a kid’s self-esteem can’t fix that kind of hurt. Lowering discipline and grading standards, telling everyone that they are special, yet crushing the kids that don’t necessarily conform is not helping the problem. I think it’s making the problem even worse. Today’s educational systems seem to be churning out self-entitled individuals who don’t seem to think that they need to work very hard to succeed. Our educational system seems to be designed for the express purpose of creating rude people. Mr. Lecter, if you’re out there, you’re in luck.

I grew up, got braces, filled-out, and developed a personal style that I love. I’m still a little awkward, I’m still a huge nerd, but overall I’m doing much better. I seem to have traded my self-esteem issues with masochistic tendencies, though. I’ve put myself through hell working in the customer service and retail industry for the past ten years of my life. During that experience, I’ve been yelled at, cussed out, groped, stalked, called every dirty name in the book, and had items chucked at my head. Rude people. There is no excuse to abuse a service worker just because you think you can, just because you know they have to just smile and take it and there is very little they can do to stop you. Next time you’re on a date, watch how your love interest treats the waitstaff. You’ll learn a lot about them. If they’re outright nasty to the help, RUN!

Burlesque beauty Dita Von Tease modeling her Wonderbra line.

So, what is my plan to save the world from all of the nasties? I’m going to be a Wonderbra. Seriously. Wonderbras are complimentary and supportive. They are uplifting to those who feel like they’re drooping and they raise confidence and self-esteem. They make women feel beautiful and give them the courage to put on that daring dress. I’m going to go out of my way to be NICE. It’s really not that hard. Please, thank you, smile. That’s usually all it really takes. Be patient with your cashier. It’s not their fault that the line is hellacious and you’re in a hurry. If someone seems down, try to pick them up. Hold doors open. Is someone’s project getting picked apart? Find something positive about it. You can make someone’s day just by giving them a compliment, you can destroy it by shouting at them. People hold a lot of power, but they don’t realize it. Take hold of that power and use it for something good. That’s my challenge to you. Be uplifting to humanity, like the Wonderbra.

True Colors – What Your Brand Colors Say About Your Business by Column Five – Advertising, Art Direction, Design Agency from United States

It’s interesting how much color can have an impact on how something is perceived. There are several studies linking colors to strong emotional connotations. Choosing the right colors for your logo could make or break your business. Would you use red to promote a charity? Think about it. My hair is blue and I frequently wear red. What does my personal color palette say about me? Take a look at this nifty info graphic to get some interesting facts about color.


True Colors – What Your Brand Colors Say About Your Business by Column Five – Advertising, Art Direction, Design Agency from United States.

Bigger is Better for Bikini Season?

I just stumbled onto this clip via the Cats Like Us Facebook page. It’s really interesting to think that advertisers promoted weight gain to women in order to be at their best for swimsuit season in the 30’s and 40’s. What a radical turn around in beauty ideals. I’m currently doing a lot of reading on the history of beauty culture and it’s incredibly interesting to see how beauty, advertising, and women’s rights are so tightly entwined. The history of lingerie is equally interesting and influential to women’s history in the same way. Look it up! I plan to write about both subjects in the future, but in the mean time, check out this clip.

TODAY: How the perfect beach body has changed.

The Golden Age of Burlesque

This is an interesting article on the history and revival of Burlesque. In this sexy little show, less is more and just the right amount of skin is used for maximum effect. Thank you Retrospective Magazine!

The Golden Age of Burlesque.

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