After a month of being back in the states, I just now finished editing and uploading the photos I shot in Rome, Italy. Many are typical tourist shots of monuments, buildings, etc., and are pretty but not unique. Despite this, I do have a few favorite photos that I thought I’d share! It’s been a long time since I’ve made a print, but these might be the ones that deserve it!












Posting all these make me want to go back to Italy. Good thing I threw a coin into the Trevi Fountain (which supposedly guarantees a return trip to Rome)!

Here are three awesome things I found on the interwebs today.

The United States of Good Beer is an infographic of sorts that shows each states’ favorite brewery. This combines two of my favorite things: well designed infographics and great local beer! Living in Bloomington, IN, I have the pleasure of being able to drink Upland whenever my heart desires.

 

I stumbled to this photo of a bookshelf nook and immediately fell in love. One dream I have for my future home is a fully-stocked library, and the only thing that could make it better would be an architecturally awesome reading nook, like the one below. I can just imagine getting cozy with a cup of green tea and and a design book.

This wrapping paper is fantastic. It’s creative and can be used for anything. Personally, I like to wrap things in newspaper (reduce, reuse, recycle!), but I still think this is awesome. I think Christmas and Birthday paper can get really cheesy, but give me anything covered in type and I’ll automatically love it. Unless that type is Comic Sans.

Late on your holiday shopping like I am? Get your friends, family, coworkers, and pets the best stache products around. I was very lucky to stumble across this post: “101 Mustache Gift Giving Ideas.” Here are some of my favorites from the list, but you should take a look at them all!



I’ve started a second blog, where I’ll post inspiration, images and work that I want to share with other creatives (and anyone else!). This will be separate from my personal blog (this one), where I’ll continue to post about my own projects and things I’m working on.

This new blog is called The Amperstache. The name is based on my obsession with both ampersands and mustaches. I’ll post about design, photography, art, fashion, typography, and any other projects I find inspirational!

http://amperstache.wordpress.com/

Like many typography lovers out there, I have an obsession with ampersands. The ampersand to me is the most unique, beautiful, and variable character of any typeface. I love using it as a design element in addition to is traditional use to represent “and.” So, here are all the ampersand things I’ve been drooling over lately.

 

I’m sure I’ll be posting more ampersand things in the future. Oh, and I also love semicolons.

 

 

Yesterday I attended a talk given by Matt Griffin of Bearded Studio; he graduated from IU in 2007 with a BFA in graphic design, and this week headed back to his school to talk about design and to print some letterpress posters. I was able to watch him print in the type shop, and actually got to chat with him about type, design, and life in general before attending his talk in the evening. I thought I would give a brief reflection on it, since it was quite inspiring and I don’t want to forget the great things he said.

“Everything is everything,” while also referencing a Phoenix song, refers to the way he thinks about his life in terms of design. Everything in his life thus far, including music, crappy part-time jobs, and random classes, all contribute something to his current status as a designer. I found this refreshing and helpful, considering I’ve recently felt frustrated with the seemingly irrelevant things that overwhelm my life and take most of my time. I find it hard to become invested in classes and extracurriculars that aren’t directly related to my passions, but hearing that others have felt this same frustration is comforting. Clearly, it didn’t waste so much of Matt’s time that he couldn’t advance as a designer, which has been my underlying worry as of late.

One more amusing, but very helpful, piece of advice he gave was this:  “If someone asks you if you know Microsoft Office, say no. No, I’ve never used those programs. You don’t want to be the Powerpoint guy.” I had always thought of putting Microsoft Office on my resume, just because everyone uses it, but as soon as he said this I made a note to remove it. I don’t want to be stuck doing things that I know frustrate me, and honestly don’t help anyone. I’m not sure why I had it on my resume in the first place, since I intend to never again use Microsoft Office as soon as I graduate; it is the worst combination of programs in existence. But I digress. This statement has a more generalized message that went along with something else he said which was, “If it doesn’t make you happy [or if it’s not fun], why bother?” I’ve heard this so many times in my life that it has almost lost meaning, but seeing it set in beautiful type projected on the wall, and in the particular context, woke me up from this daze. Despite this message being repeatedly pounded into my brain by parents, peers, etc. I had begun to ignore it. This makes me more motivated to start my job search now, and to build my portfolio into this incredible monster that will just wow everyone. I don’t want to be designing medical pamphlets, because I don’t think that would make me happy. Dammit, I’m going to fulfill my dream and avoid making decisions that will lead to unhappiness.

So, that’s my brief personal reflection and rant. There were so many more great points, but it would be tough to recap them all without writing a 17 page post. I will definitely continue to look to Bearded Studio and Matt’s work and words for design inspiration and guidance. For now, back to mundane tasks that I need to complete in order to graduate and get my dream job.

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Here are a couple of my recent doodles, completed during a lecture class to prevent me from falling asleep. I have a robot and mustache(moustache?) obsession, by the way.

I’m halfway through the first semester of my senior year of college, and I think I forgot how to sleep. I’ve never been this busy before: up before eight, class or work until five, meetings, homework, job searching, and projects until the wee hours of the morning. It never ends!

Anyway, I’m not here to whine, but I do regret that this intense workload has left me with no time for things I actually want to do, such as personal design/photography/video projects and blogging. However, I did just download the WordPress app for my phone, so I may begin blogging on the go. I will definitely be uploading some of my doodles that I draw nearly every day due to boredom, blank sketchbook pages, and to (hopefully) keep the creativity flowing.

I also recently purchased an intervalometer, so with luck (and hopefully free time) I’ll be working on some time-lapse and stop motion pieces in the near future.

4. Love your experiments (as you would an ugly child).
Joy is the engine of growth. Exploit the liberty in casting your work as beautiful experiments, iterations, attempts, trials, and errors. Take the long view and allow yourself the fun of failure every day.

(from The Incomplete Manifesto for Growth by Bruce Mau, 1998)

Dearest people playing volleyball next to the parking lot,
I greatly appreciate all 15 of you watching me intently as I sweat profusely struggling to carry large boxes to my car with weakling arms. It makes me feel special, and not at all uncomfortable. I don’t feel as though you are waiting for me to trip on the sidewalk.

Love,
Danielle

Doesn’t moving out sound awesome?