Saturday, March 28, 2015

File this under... friends are awesome, exhibit #4,579: Chieko left doughnuts on my doorstep this morning!

Vintage diving cartoon

In honor of my dive instructor training today, some dive-related art:
   Kelly ran across this on the web and sent it to me today. Really nice drawing (not quite as nice as Kelly's art, but nice), and the person's blog is great... lots of fun vintage art!

Friday, March 27, 2015


   Check out the news that my partners at Bent Image Lab revealed this morning:  GO POLARIFFIC! GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
   The Annecy International Film Festival is the Cannes of animation. I'm so very proud of everyone at Bent Image Lab​ and Hallmark​ who helped bring this rich world and these delightful characters to life! Watch it here on the Hallmark Channel website.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Inspiration: that moment

   This one, above, is the end of an incredible video a man assembled of photos he took of himself at every single mile of the 2650 mile Pacific Coast Trail hike. Wow.
   And my friend Vicky shared this one:

Professional Journey

   A slide show of my professional journey, courtesy of SlideShare. You can make your own by visiting this page: , connecting to your LinkedIn account, and posting the resultant link as media on your LinkedIn profile. Have fun!
   PS: I am SO. BLOWN. AWAY. by the support and responsiveness of my colleagues... 32 incredible endorsements from some of Hallmark's best leaders, and counting. You guys know how to make a creative strategist feel loved, that's for sure!

Care package

   Another amazing care package from David: three different kinds of homemade biscotti, a huge homemade brownie, an even huger dark chocolate bar, a bag of gummy bears, and two very thoughtful cards. 
   I'm getting by with a little lot of help from my friends. :)
   And looking forward to seeing my friends tomorrow for Wayne's homemade pizza. And my homemade lemon swirl cheesecake. Just pulled this out of the oven.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Inspiration: word lovelies

   My friend Andrew wrote the above, and my friend Lynn lettered it. And you can download your own here. And another friend shared this Hugo quote that I love. Works for artists, too, of course. I love that feeling that you're so full of ideas that you have to spill them out a little at a time, lest you drown yourself and the world in them. Nice work, Victor, Andrew, and Lynn.

Spring run

   I love winter running for the cold temperatures, but every time spring rolls around, it's such a miracle how quickly everything changes, and the splendor unfolds seemingly right before your eyes, even on a single run. This morning was the best of both worlds: 40° and blooming.
   Spring running is a feast for the senses: rich color, trees exploding with buds, sweetgum pods littering the suddenly green grass, goosebumps on your arms, drinking in the fragrant, cool breeze, toes squishy from running through wet grass and leaves, reflections of Canada geese and Mallard ducks in lakes, scent of flowers and freshly cut grass, and plenty of runway, time, and space to get lost in the expansiveness of it all.
   I left the house at nine, well after busy people headed off to work. Virtually had the streets of my neighborhood to myself; all was quiet and peaceful. Exactly what I needed this morning. Plenty of challenge in the hilly roads, and plenty of nature to distract me from them. 
   Nearing the end of my 7 miles, I snapped this abstract shot. There's beauty in everything, if we stop to notice it.
   My Adidas came back soaked, and covered with mud and debris from yesterday's rain. And I came back happy and refreshed.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Inspiration: Redirections + imperfections

   Couple good hits of inspiration to help me dream better tonight.
   And this very uplifting post from one of my former coworkers, Tara Frank. Especially:

6. Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right. - Henry Ford. Your mind can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Possibilities begin in your mind, then become feelings, then actions, and ultimately results. There is no tool more powerful than the thoughts you think, so choose them wisely. Can today be the first day of the rest of your life? I don't know...what do you think?
10. The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. - Mark Twain. We are purpose-driven creatures, aren't we? We want to make a difference. To leave a person, situation, or entity better than we found it. We spend a good part of our twenties and thirties and sometimes longer trying to discern why we're here and how we will contribute to society beyond our personal needs and wants. If we're fortunate, we figure it out...and life completely expands at our feet. 

Lunch with a yeti

   Today I had lunch with a yeti. And by yeti, of course I mean Charlie. It was just like old times, laughing, creatively strategizing, and me drawing cartoons on three by fives to crack him up. Made me realize just how much I miss my "work family." Most of them have spouses, but I come home and I'm alone with my pets. And I love them, but they don't say much.
   This afternoon was the first time since I left work that I experienced real pangs of loneliness. This too shall pass… Once I get my portfolio completed and can dive into thinking about what I actually WANT to do next, and start getting some applications out there. I'm just getting burned out from working on it so much this last week. And staying up way too late, because I get excited when I work on it and I can't turn it off.
   I can feel that I am going to be working harder in this phase of my life than I have ever had to work before. It is still more exciting than daunting--because for the first time in nearly 20 years, I am working for ME, but some days are easier and funner than others. I'm glad I have this photo from our lunch today to remind me of all the people I love. He is such a bright, positive light:
   Found this quote on Instagram. I'm lucky to be able to say the good people are not so hard to come by in my life. But Charlie is certainly one of the best!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Timely reminder

One of my contacts posted this image on LinkedIn. Truth!
   So, just to recap, I'm figuring out all that stuff underwater right now and will soon be summiting the iceberg. Thank goodness I'm dry suit certified! This sh** is COLD! ;)

Creative process + cartoons

   These cartoons probably won't make any sense to anyone but me and Charlie, but I'm sharing them because they cracked us up. Charlie is a dear friend and former coworker; we were laid off on the same day. Along with Gretchen and Amy, Charlie is a big reason why I have loved going to work the last couple of years. Even in the most frustrating of times, the four of us always had fun. Those three each had a wall of my cartoons displayed in their office... Just like Jeff did, until he retired. It made me so happy to crack them up, and have them want to keep and display my drawings. :)
   We started calling Charlie a yeti after the character named after him in our animation, "Polariffic!". And Charlie made me promise that even though we don't see each other every day, I can never stop sending him cartoons. I agreed to do so, as long as he never stops inspiring me. It was a deal.
   Charlie is married to Phillipe, who we all call the hot French guy, because he is. Charlie coined the phrase "yeti logic" in a recent text conversation, and I think this will be a new series for us.
   A few days ago, we had a conversation about how our stress has melted away now that we are out of the office, and that we have to be careful not to get too comfortable, and never want to go back to work. I asked him where I could find a sugar daddy. And he responded with something like "Bitch, please… He's mine!" And then I said I would arm wrestle him for it. He said it wasn't fair, that I would win because he has the arms of an eight-year-old girl. So I reminded him that I have the entire body of an eight-year-old girl. He said the closest he gets to exercise is lifting his wine glass. So I decided it was time for Charlie to get to work. This is the cartoon that resulted:
   Okay, so you can see how randomly I get my ideas. Welcome to my creative process. ;)
   Similarly, I sent this cartoon to Erik this week, after he told me that his mom was upset with him when he dissected his Sony sports stereo when he was a kid. He likes to take things apart and put them back together… Something beyond my skills. BUT! I can make fun of it.
    It's just a quick sketch, drawn under the table during the resume clinic last Thursday (yes, I swear I was paying attention), but I was pretty happy with the changes in expression and the build to the third panel. As soon as I get my darn portfolio done, I need to get back into sketching every day. It makes me happy, and it sharpens my skills.
   Here's a great video that Madeline shared with me of Takashi Murakami talking about his creative process and character development.

Must be Kismet

   Have a great day… With a cat on your head.

Wet weekend

   Had a very wet weekend, with IDC class from 8 to 5 on Saturday with Scott, and a rebreather trial at the Blue Springs YMCA with Erik and the group from TD scuba. It was my first time trying a fully closed rebreather, a Poseidon 6. Will take some more practice to get accustomed to it, but it was so cool to have a chance to try it out!
   For IDC we spent the day focusing on confined water presentations and demonstration quality skills, while Scott rated and berated us. (Not really... He did give us sh**, though... Must be why I like him.)

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Fresh start

   My buddy Dan shared this on Facebook today, and it resonated with me. Replace the word "relationships" with the word "career." My relationships were always the best part of my career; my company has struggled for so long that I feel in my heart it's right for me to move on.

Swim free or dive!

   Remember the octopus-in-a-kilt painting I posted back in January? My dive buddies Adam & Dana turned it into stickers for our dive gear & stuck them all over Cozumel last week!
   (They did ask my permission to repurpose my art, in case you were wondering. This wouldn't have been cool otherwise!)