— sojourning, us

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52 Weeks of Blogging

it’s Tuesday, which means a bit of typography is in order. unfortunately, today is going to be a bit selfish—i’m working on a personal logo for my freelance identity, if you will. i think i’ve got a name nailed down, which i’ll leave a mystery for now, and i’m currently trying to polish up the type here. i fell in love with the font verna from MyFonts.com for its alternative letters and ligatures. now, i just need to decide between these two treatments for the same word (the second word is the same in both).

just as a note in case you’re like me and prone to get hung up on certain details—the colors aren’t final nor are they an indication of where i’m leaning in terms of color at all. i just didn’t feel like black & white today. it’s been one of those days, i guess.

any influencing my decision is totally welcome!

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dear blog,

i miss you, too. please stop making me feel guilty in the middle of the night. you and i both know things are busy right now, but that means that better things are in the works for both of us. thanks for your patience. i’ll be back soon.

xoxo,
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p.s. some of those new things include updates to my etsy shop and portfolio. stay tuned.

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little big man

little big man

the garden of my heart is overgrown again. it has been for quite some time. untamed. left to fallow. full of weeds and wild things, growing and twisting without guidance or care. i’ve left it there. it’s my fault. i left the gate open and let everything tangle and run rampant. it’s hard to find the fruit. there are no offerings here. not lately.

sometimes, i just tell myself there’s nothing worth giving, so why bother?

sometimes, i just tell myself i can’t get this garden back under control, so what’s the point?

most of the time, however, i just don’t think about it any more.

somewhere along the path from where i was to where i am now, i’ve totally become comfortable with the thorns and the weeds. for shame.

does it bother me? sure, it does. enough to want to change? only sometimes. typing that makes me feel terrible, but only because i can remember just how awesome those golden days of my faith and my relationships were. complacency has become easy. comforting, even. i know i’m here and i may not be proud of it but it’s where i’m at. everything else—anywhere, anything else—seems too intimidating, too far away, too difficult to reach.

i feel stretched so thin, i’m surprised i’m not transparent.

i feel so worn, but not smooth and beautiful like a river rock. just worn.

i feel undervalued. underappreciated. overused. some of it is my fault, sure. i’ve let my spiritual life, my personal discipline, my ways of relating to others run rampantly away from the better path. this has snowballed into many things. like my marriage. but, i can’t just sit here and blame myself while i wallow in pity. it takes two, and part of my restlessness is only encouraged when i feel unattended to. uncared for.

and i do.

i feel really alone.

even though i know i’m not.

having a baby—even an adorable, awesome, well-behaved baby like Elisha—is hard. it changes your whole life (lives) in ways previously unimagined from the easy side of labor. once the beautiful drama of birth is over, there is no looking back on your life that was. it’s not even a new chapter, it’s a whole other book on the shelf.

i think i’m coming to terms with that at the moment. it hurts a little. is uncomfortable.

however, and i will admit this, i hope that i’m not the only half of my marriage bond that’s willing to come to terms with these things. i’m not the only one who needs to step up to the plate. it’s lonely here, attempting to play the game when you’re not sure there’s anyone there to knock one out of the park so you can slide onto home safely.

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Seasons Come And Seasons Go

simply put, without too much detail (yet), i have a goal to be working for myself from home as a graphic designer/maker/crafter by 2011.

i know that’s not too far away from now. trust me, i know.

six months into motherhood, ten years into a graphic design career, and i know what i want for myself, for my husband, for our family, for our future. i know now that it’s not only totally do-able from a financial standpoint (though, i have accepted that it’s rough to get started), but potentially profitable (ignoring the cost of self-employment taxes and insurance … blah). not only that, but i could procure the occasional assistance of my husband, especially for big printing projects. he’s also a musician, a dj, and a really great “idea man.” he might even be able to handle more of the business end with a bit of careful planning between the two of us.

this is what i want. this is why i went into design in the first place—to be myself.

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when i was in college almost a decade ago, i thought i wanted to be a veterinarian. i’d taken all the science AP classes in high school, choosing to pass up AP art for AP chemistry (they were both at 0 hour … which was o’crack thirty in the morning, let me tell you). i’d gone to summer camp the summer before my senior year at Cornell University (on scholarship, even. as in, for free) and taken two three-week crash courses in organic chemistry and a pre-vet lab. i got straight A’s. i loved it. i thought i’d love it as a career.

my first semester of college was hard and my GPA got ugly. i had been an honor student without fail in high school. i thought i had been made for becoming a doctor—my parents had even reminded me my entire life.

i had also drawn and written stories in every class in high school.

i was still doing so in college.

it was time for me to reconsider. it was time for me to reconsider without my parents’ presence or input. it was time for me to think for myself.

i was taking summer classes. it was july. i skipped my chemistry lab and went to one of my favorite hidden spots on the University of Florida campus. i sat there all day and thought hard. as hard as i’d probably thought since my mom got sober (for the first time) or my dad died or my little brother was born. i really tried to get outside myself and look at my life from outside the box.

art school. i wanted to be an artist. not the starving kind … but was there an artist who didn’t starve and was appreciated before they were dead? i had no idea.

so, off i went to the advising office of the College of Fine Arts. the woman* was happy to look at my records, smile as insincerely as possible, and tell me i should reconsider art school and graphic design entirely. she told me i should go into agricultural advertising (a separate major through the Agricultural College) or just stick with “what i know already” in pre-veterinary medicine. she gave me only one nugget of hope to cling to (well, two, but i only recognized one of them at the time) … she told me to go take a career test at the Student Union.

off i went, determined to accomplish her requirements that day. unlike herself, i’d already spent some time considering. this woman didn’t know me, didn’t know my skills, hadn’t seen any notebook covered in art or read a single line of my writing. she just saw my records on a computer screen—As, Bs, a C. a scholar in science.

i visited the Ag School and talked to the lovely guy in charge of the Advertising Major (i would meet him again just a handful of months later at my very first church service as a Christian, but that’s another story altogether …). he laughed with me and encouraged me and sent me on my way feeling like this advising lady had no idea what in the world she was talking about.

i went to the Student Union and took that darn aptitude test for career options. it was long. and boring. but mostly, it was long.

what were the results?

graphic design and veterinary medicine were printed on the same page.

no joke.

what did i do?

business card from the Ag School and career print out in my shaking hands, i marched myself right back up to the College of Fine Art’s advising office and presented my findings without mercy or kindness. needless to say, the woman was rather taken off-guard by my persistence.

i dropped out of my summer chemistry classes and signed up for fall semester art classes.

two years later, my portfolio was accepted out of hundreds to join the class of 2002’s graphic design studio. 21 students for 2 years sharing a classroom, a printer, and our lives. two years after that, i graduated with honors with a BFA in graphic design.

the moral of this little tale in my life?

don’t tell me i can’t do something.

or else i will. exceedingly so.

* as a note, by the time i had started my first semester of the graphic design program i was accepted into, the woman who told me i couldn’t was no longer the advisor for the school of fine arts. i’m hoping someone caught on to her attitude of negativity and asked her to leave before she discouraged a whole graduating class worth of eager art students.

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