Thursday, November 26, 2009


Thankful hearts are cheerful hearts.

On this Thanksgiving Day, 2009, I want to share my list of 10 things I'm thankful for:
1) to God for another day of life and celebration
2) for my beautiful wife and being able to spend our first Thanksgiving together
3) for my close-knit family and parents that have endured through time (and 6 kids), and whose marriage is inspiration to many
4) for my in-laws who put up with my silliness
5-6) for an exciting job, designing for my clients
7) for a home to live in
8) for all my friends in Cincinnati, Continental, and all over the world
9) for our freedom to worship freely in this great country
10) for my education from Continental schools and the Art Academy of Cincinnati

I could keep listing, but I'm getting a strong wift of the stuffing and turkey.

Be thankful for what you have and you'll be able to enjoy life better. A thankful heart IS a cheerful heart.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Going Revolutionary

As a designer, we typically think of ways to promote, rebrand, enhance, or engineer an image, person, company, or event, so that the perceived audience can have a better understanding of what it is, and/or how to use it (get involved in it). Many times it presents puzzling circumstances, coupled with risky situations. Yet, our creativity isn't silenced, and our ability to think outside of the box, triumph once again.

So, why, as seems to be the case quite often, is it such a hard thing to get someone to notice that we can help them out? As a Visual Communication Design graduate of the Art Academy of Cincinnati, one might think that offers would be knocking on the door. One could imagine the possibilities are greater with a bachelor's degree, attached the the prestigious Academy. But, then again, it's not the only school with a great design program.

What I've come to realize is that there are many like me who offer their services as a freelance designer to companies, shops, and agencies, trying to do what they know best. And in this economy, who can blame them? People are getting creative—they have to in order to survive.

I have always been a follower of Christ. Raised in the church, sang in the church, performed in the church, and worked in the church. What I've realized is that through volunteering and now working on staff at my church, there are just as many avenues inside the "church" to use my VCD knowledge to help others, as there is outside the church. Yeah, the competition may have some better benefits outside the church, but inside, you're working with family.

The difference between designing for a church and designing within a church is simply this: you must go beyond trying to be relevant to 21st century America. You have to be revolutionary—to think beyond the four walls of a building, to see the masses of hurting people and help them find peace, hope, joy and love again. I posted this today on my Facebook status: We walk different roads, but they all lead to the same place: the feet of Christ. From there, it's judgement and eternity.

Designing something just to make money is worthless if that's all life is about. It just get's thrown in the trash and left in a landfill for hundreds of years. Designing for Christ—that's where it is for me. Don't just be a revolutionary. Be revolutionary.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Stepping Out and Going Big

Design is an ambiguous term that refers to the creation, development, and/or establishment of something, whether through print, web, environment, interactive, written, or thought. This is my working definition, compared with that of


–verb (used with object)
1. to prepare the preliminary sketch or the plans for (a work to be executed), esp. to plan the form and structure of: to design a new bridge.
2. to plan and fashion artistically or skillfully.
3. to intend for a definite purpose: a scholarship designed for foreign students.
4. to form or conceive in the mind; contrive; plan: The prisoner designed an intricate escape.
5. to assign in thought or intention; purpose: He designed to be a doctor.
6. Obsolete. to mark out, as by a sign; indicate.
–verb (used without object)
7. to make drawings, preliminary sketches, or plans.
8. to plan and fashion the form and structure of an object, work of art, decorative scheme, etc.
9. an outline, sketch, or plan, as of the form and structure of a work of art, an edifice, or a machine to be executed or constructed.
10. organization or structure of formal elements in a work of art; composition.
11. the combination of details or features of a picture, building, etc.; the pattern or motif of artistic work: the design on a bracelet.
12. the art of designing: a school of design.
13. a plan or project: a design for a new process.
14. a plot or intrigue, esp. an underhand, deceitful, or treacherous one: His political rivals formulated a design to unseat him.
15. designs, a hostile or aggressive project or scheme having evil or selfish motives: He had designs on his partner's stock.
16. intention; purpose; end.
17. adaptation of means to a preconceived end.

1350–1400; ME designen < class="ital-inline">dēsignāre to mark out.