Charting a new path

***I have been working on this post for a few days. I was nervous…okay, terrified…to release this. There are people who will criticize, or even laugh at me for this one. I had to push through my fear and convince myself that my dreams are worth more than these people’s opinions.***

I love Creative Pep Talk. It’s like Andy J. Pizza is in my head. No joke. It seems that the issues that I am contemplating end up being part of the next episode, AND he uses all kinds of comparisons that I totally get—like Fraggles! Oh, and did I mention, he has ADD, too? (All the cool kids do.)

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Owladay Fun!

So, I’ve been playing with my owls again. I think I’m having way too much fun coming up with new ways to let my silly little creatures take flight!

On Society6… (20% off and free shipping ends tonight at midnight PT)

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Happy Bird-Day: Owl-a-Day Turns 5


Five?!! Can you believe it?! Five years ago, I accepted a friend’s challenge to “do something” with my owl doodles. That “something” ended up being a 365-day challenge that resulted in 385 illustrations and over 400 owls (several posts had an extra or two as part of the story). I used that challenge to help me beat burnout and escape what had become a soul-crushing day job and to move on to my next big career adventure—what I thought was my dream job: working full-time for the nonprofit I had helped to found.

Short Story: I left graphic design for 4.5 years to run a nonprofit out of my home, only to be fired at a Panera without warning or cause, replaced by a friend of a board member, and left with no chance of a full-time job (thank you “confidential conversations” among friends) and no unemployment (small nonprofits are not liable in Ohio). While I’m hurt by how this was handled, I’m not angry or looking to place blame. It’s simply time for me to learn and to move on.

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Print 5: Owl Keep the Atomic Light On


After hours obsessing over all of the details of this print, it’s finally ready to go. It’s available for preorder at

For those of you who would like to have prints shipped to Canada, I’ve made that possible through my Etsy site:

You can also find details on how my prints come to be on my Facebook page:

Day 250: Finding My Owl


I’ve read the interview with Von Glitschka in Caffeine for the Creative Mind several times in the years I’ve owned this book. In the article, Von talks about the need for designers to create stuff just for fun, just as he does. I reread it this early morning and was shocked by the closing line:

“It seems if we desire to grow as creatives, we all need to find our baby owl once in a while.”

I couldn’t help but laugh at the number of times I had read this interview and (more than likely) created several owl doodles the same day. All those years of hearing my mom say, “How many times do I have to tell you…?” and I still haven’t learned to pay attention. At least I’m finding my owl every day now!


Day 142: Atomic Starburst Owl

Most designers hate starbursts. REALLY hate them! When it comes to my usual design projects, I am one of those designers. But when it comes to atomic/retro design, I actually prefer them.

And, in case you’re up for a design-related laugh about starbursts (and color, white space, logos and much, much more), check this short movie out:

If you’re not a designer, here are some tips you should know about design before watching the movie:

Gigantic logos are obnoxious and overwhelm your message. A well-sized logo is immediately recognizable, but does not overwhelm your message. Bigger is not better, we promise!

White space is good. The eyes need to rest. Anything with too much text set in too many typefaces, will drive your viewer away. No joke.

Starbursts are corny ways to attract attention. They make ads look cheap and poorly thought out.

As for colors, they should not “pop.” Pop is not something colors do. Too many colors crammed into a space or too many bright colors can frustrate your audience. Seriously. Colors should work well together and add to your identity.

And of course there’s the issue of unrelated images. Throwing in an American flag, a rose, or other unrelated graphic does not make your audience immediately link you to patriotism or love. Images should reinforce your message not distract from it.

Don’t agree with me? Try reading an ad that has every single space filled in with starbursts, ugly typefaces of all sizes, obnoxious colors, ridiculous images, and a ginormous logo. Not so fun, is it?