Monday, December 21, 2009

Austin Skyline

I was hired by the wonderful Austin based Phan Law Firm, P.C. to design a holiday wine label. I'm posting the illustrated silo of the Austin Skyline that was part of the design solution.

I've been in Austin just long enough to have a strong opinion about what to include and what to omit. I especially wanted to included the Ann Richards' Bridge and Lady Bird Lake, which I hadn't seen in many other silos.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

"Visiting Everyone at Christmas Time"

My mom was ready to go last night.

Me: "So you feel good, do you want to give me an idea for the blog?"

Mom: "That sounds good, the blog....'the blog,' is that how you say it 'the blog?'"

Me: "Yup, that's right, 'the blog' or 'a blog.'

Mom: "Well since we are getting ready for the holidays, how about trying to get to see everyone around the holidays? We just got a card from Ann and she said she'd like to get together, and we haven't really seen her since just after Al died, and my friend who has MS worse than me right now, her husband has cancer."

My mom is the big Christmas card sender of the family. She sits in her wheelchair at the head of the table and painstakingly fills them out and as Christmas draws closer you can see the double doorway behind her slowly fill with cards she has received in return. They seriously run out of room by the end of the season.

As she has lost her ability to write with her right hand, she has learned to write with her left and eat with her left, and she has also cut back to signing her and my dad's name on the card, instead of their names and a note.

I'm pretty good at forging my mom's signature, I remember practicing it. I would write it at her request on my late to school notes and when using her credit card while shopping for her if she wasn't feeling well. Signing her name felt like pretending I was her. While I got pretty good at it, it's never quite the same as when she signs it. I will miss her handwriting when she can no longer write.

I did a few variations of this illustrations idea. They almost look like snowflakes. I imagined the dot in the middle as the visitor, an aerial view, and dots going out to where her loved ones lived.

I did one for me, my dot is at the bottom of the page (Texas) and I thought there wasn't anyone below me that I knew and would want to see and then I remembered that my friend Andres is in Uruguay. So his line runs off the page.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Telephone Game

Sometimes when I call home my sister is there, visiting or watching my mom. I love talking to my parents but my sister's input from the background often ads a special zest to the conversation.

A few weeks ago, I called and my mom was telling me how much weight my dad had had lost on his post surgery diet.

Mom to me: "You should see your father, he's down to nothing, he's hardly eating."

My sister from the background: "He looks the same."

Mom: "What? he's lost like 20lbs."

Sister: "Maybe 5."

Art Personified

Before my life as a university designer, I was an editorial designer in NYC. My favorite job was working at "Travel and Leisure Magazine" as an Associate Art Director. I worked for the brilliant creative director, Pamela Berry and with a group of young hip artists who were as fun and kind as they were talented. Editorial design remains my favorite to this day. I've been blessed because while working for The University of Texas at Austin a few magazine projects have fallen to me. I'm posting designs from one of my projects: "Philanthropy at Texas."

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

"Double or Nothing"

Sometimes when I call my parents they are solving a disagreement with a bet. My dad will say, "Wanna bet?" He'll bet my mom $20 million over any seemingly insignificant fact, that neither of them will give an inch on. It could be the color of something or something someone said. Sometimes I'll call home and ask my mom how much she owes my dad, and he'll yell from the background "54 million!" He always lets her go double or nothing, that's how the numbers get so high, but every so often she's right and I'll call and she'll suddenly owe nothing! My mom says its good to be silly in a marriage.

It took me a while to come up with a visual for this, but here it is, "Double or Nothing."