Well, since I call myself a designer and I’m talking a lot about what I feel and not what I do, I thought today I’d post one of my new logo designs.
I was hired by a local non-profit organization called “Friends of Pioneer Park” here in Calistoga to design a logo for their new organization. They formed to raise funds and do some of the work necessary to refurbish the old gazebo that is in our town’s park.
Below is a picture of the gazebo as well as of the preliminary design I just submitted to my client.
The gazebo in Calistoga’s Pioneer Park
The gazebo has an intricate metal Victorian-era scroll at the top which immediately caught my eye and mezmerized my thoughts around this logo. And, voila, here it is:
Hmmh. Introspection time again. Fessing up time, to be more correct. Today I actually was stupid enough to go looking for the gift of inspiration. STUPID. I was up on a mountain, Mt. Tam to be specific, and gazed over the panorama unfolding in front of me. “Oh, this would be a great shot for my ‘inspiration’ blog,” I thought to myself. Here it is:
Nice, huh? Yeah. And then I thought–WITHOUT FEELING–“now I’ll go looking for a little green leaf and take a picture, and then I have something brilliant to write into my blog, such as ‘the gift of inspiration can come in many sizes, large and small . . .’ and there’s my super-duper blog entry.”
Didn’t find the leaf though, felt rushed, expected something to just pop out at me, got a little stressed because we were on a time limit . . . bla, bla, bla. Corny is not inspiration. Pre-meditation, planning for inspiration–Does not work. Ridiculous.
Where is my authenticity? Inspiration is a gift. One that is freely given when one is PRESENT enough, authentic enough, at peace enough, to receive it. Going and looking for it–not gonna work. Not even for an assignment, much less a grade.
When I was working at a Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Program, one of their amazing addiction counselors shared a story with me that was one of the most beautiful I’ve ever heard. It is the story of love, of grace, of gratitude, and in that, a story of inspiration and the greatest beauty in life. It is called “The Window on the Heart” by Kent Nerburn, and you can read it here. It is part of his book Small Graces: The Quiet Gifts of Everyday Life.
In Loving Memory of our Bear
One of the reasons I love this story so much is that it reminds me of the beautiful gifts I receive many mornings when I step out and walk up the mountain a ways to where our dear big dog Bear is buried. Standing there, I take a deep breath and become present not by the nature that surrounds me but by the memory of the sweet, loyal, unconditionally loving dog Bear, feeling how much he would’ve loved to have been here this morning with me. Gently, as if guided by a loving heart, I begin noticing the grass swaying in the morning breeze, the sun gently extending over the sea of fog. Another day, and I get to be here. This is my window. I am alive, in love.
Today I moved my office from a professional building downtown back home, into one of the bedrooms left behind by our youngest, who is now a junior in college. She is the one who has held on to every little piece of paper that reminded her of something she had done and who hasn’t changed anything in her room since she moved off to college, so I was REALLY suprised when I asked her if she would mind if I set up a computer in her room. “No, Momma, make it your room, move your whole office in there, you deserve it!” was her response. WOW! Moving my office home, where I could work in my PJs if I wanted, have three little fat sausage dogs snoring at my feet, have lunch with my husband . . . oh, my heart be still!! So today, we did it. Moved all the furniture home, except for the conference table (anyone want to buy it–I’ll post pictures and a link to craigslist this week!). I am happy. Happy about moving home, happy about my daughter’s loving response and support, happy to be where I am.
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.
I have a crate. A pet carrier to be exact. Here it is:
No, no, no, I’m not going into that!
It is full of bits of paper – big bits, little bits, booklets, pamphlets, paper napkins, you name it – that I have collected over the past few years. All the things that I’ve come across that have stirred something in me, evoked some kind of emotion. It may have been the colors that caught my eye, or the font, or the composition, and often I don’t even know what it was that spoke to me, but something in the design did. I took it home and put it into my pet crate.
Once in a while, I open it up, and it’s like Christmas. Little memories, a flurry of different feelings, pour out of it, and I feel inspired.
Sometimes I sit at the computer and think to myself, “What the hell . . . you think you’re a designer? Yeah, right.” I turn the graphic this way and that, add the drop shadow, change the color, proportions, nothing–.
I get tense. I don’t take deep breaths. I try to force it. WRONG! Doesn’t work. Never did, never will.
Inspiration is a gift. A true gift. And a gift that I can only receive if I don’t look for it. If I am open. Breathing. Feeling.
I am an introvert. Opening up via this blog to share some of the gifts of inspiration I may be receiving, if I’m so lucky, in the next few months of this class, feels a bit risky to me. I am a little afraid, but I don’t know of what. We shall see how it goes.