Archive for the ‘Design’ Category

Scarecrow-Bride2Take a walk with me … on the pebbled brick paths through Peddler’s Village … and see what we found along the way to the carousel.

Each year the merchants hold a scarecrow contest, and in front of each shop or restaurant is a scarecrow – or two or three – which is their entry. Although I know there are different entry levels, as I noticed some were the handiwork of children, I don’t know much else. I was just appreciating the creativity of those who put these amazing, sometimes funny and sometimes scary, scarecrows together.

So come and dawdle along, and here are a few of the ones that caught my fancy.





Both the above sat on hay bales outside the shop’s window.



This maître d’ stood outside one of the well-known restaurants.


The scarecrows may have been the main attraction, but every shop was completely decked out for Fall.


And what a fetching bride she was!

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Did you know that Google holds an annual contest – Doodle 4 Google – whereby children in 5 different school grade groups design the Google logo on a specific theme? I just found out, and the voting ends May 10!

The contest is sponsored by the New York Public Library, Crayola, and, of course, Google. This year’s theme is “If I could travel in time, I’d visit ….”   There are several tiers of prizes but the National Winner can really clean up! That person “will have his or her doodle featured on the U.S. Google.com homepage, will be awarded a $30,000 college scholarship to be used at the school of his or her choice, a trip to New York for an event on May 17, 2012, a Google Chromebook computer, a Wacom digital design tablet, and a t-shirt printed with his or her doodle on it. We’ll also award the winner’s full time school a $50,000 technology grant towards the establishment or improvement of a computer lab or technology programming.”  Holy moly! Go vote and help out some talented kid!

Check out the Doodle 4 Google web site for information, but be sure to vote for your favorite. In New Jersey in the Grade 10-12 group, Cynthia Cheng, an 11th grader from Edison, NJ, is our state’s winner, and chose the Vikings. Her artwortk is really fantastic, featured above in smaller format, and you can vote for Cynthia here.

What a great chance for young artists — and perhaps future illustrators — to be recognized. Signing off … I’m going to vote!

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FONT-inaHere’s a fun little diversion for those of you who are mightily drawn to cheese and/or fonts. Play the Cheese or Font Game – it’s quite the challenge!

You are given the name of a cheese or font, and you have to decide which one it is. Sound easy? Guess again! The game seems to have an endless amount of selections, (can you say addictive?), you will be told after each choice if you were correct or not, and what percentage of players got it right.

So give the Cheese or Font Game a go, and let the cheese begin! (Gotta go – getting some crackers.)

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Kerry Blue ProfileStalled? Change your venue!

I prefer the word stalled to blocked, because sooner or later we always get going, and blocked is so …. well, final. One of the things I have found to work when I am feeling stalled is so simple it sounds like the obvious – do what you’re doing someplace else. If you normally draw in your studio, but the space now seems as arid as the desert, take your sketchpad and your materials someplace else. Try the kitchen table, the back porch, the patio, the park, a favorite restaurant or someplace further away.

If it’s writing, and you, as many of us do, write at the computer, but it’s staring back at you with all the blank stare it can muster, shut it off. Grab a notebook and your old-fashioned pen or pencil and go elsewhere. If in the house isn’t far away enough, go further, maybe even for a drive or a subway ride to some other part of town. Sit in a gallery or the library; go eat someplace with fabu food. Hang out with your friend’s dog or cat. You get the idea.

When we have associated our art with a particular location, that very same location can seem the antipathy of inspiration when we have something really BIG to do or are looking at a looming deadline or want to get back to something we started a while ago. Perhaps you haven’t spent time in your creative space recently. So jump start your project somewhere else and you may just find your self rolling along in no time. Works for me; hopefully, for you, too.

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LetterJust a quick entry … for all you graphic designers/artists as well as those who have a fondness for a well-designed page of any sort, but ESPECIALLY for all of you who have a lifetime love affair with fonts – this little video is for you. You may want to play it twice, (or listen very attentively),  because there’s a bit of funny dialogue that isn’t spoken as clearly as it could be in a couple spots. Enjoy!

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As creatives, we often find ourselves stuck – like there’s something in front of us that we know we can only trip over. We don’t want to risk hurting ourselves so we don’t go forward. While staying in place is the seemingly safer path, in the long run it is far more painful. When we don’t try, we don’t grow. Not pushing through ultimately makes us frustrated, depressed, anxious – all the emotions that we don’t want to feel. Ironically, these are good things in the sense that they are signposts showing us the way …when we look at our writing pads, computers, sketchbooks, cameras, canvases, etc and feel those emotions, we see right where our issues are. Thank them and let them go.

As both an artist and a writer, I need to make time for my craft one way or another every day. Because I journal every morning, my writing skills are always kept well-oiled and in gear. While I do need to get new things down, edit and refine, it is much less effort because the fluidity is there. Or I blog, all so I can focus on my real craft, writing for children.

As for my drawing, that takes more effort. Many years ago, when I was in Pratt, our instructors had specific requirements of us students. From when we first took 2-D (drawing) in freshman year, we were required to have our sketchbook with us 24/7. And so we did. When I began to become more involved with photography in my junior year, we were required to carry our camera with us 24/7. Both these exercises had the same result – if you had it with you, you used it.

We began to draw and photograph each other, the cat, the campus, the subway – didn’t matter – it became a routine because that sketchbook or camera was attached at the hip. Admittedly, one felt like a fool after awhile having it there and ignoring it even when going through a dry patch. The bottom line is, make it easy for yourself, be kind, and without criticism, just do it.

All the moaning and excuses in the world won’t get any project advanced, but tinkering about with our craft will. What I’ve found is that even while we’re busily avoiding exactly what it is we truly need to get done, we can trick ourselves by doing something else. For example, I have a heap of work I want to do to strengthen my portfolio. It’s a big task and a lot to do. I really am psyched. But the enormity of it sets me back a bit. Should I do nothing? No – I decided to just draw other things – a little oil in the gears, and then I’m going.

This tree frog I drew has nothing to do with portfolio requirements. It had everything to do with actively kicking aside whatever might be there to trip me. So for all of us – take the back door approach if you will – draw, write, paint, doodle something … anything … just do it!

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