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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Kickball Logos

Its been awhile since I posted anything, so I'm going to add some logos I've designed for some kickball teams in my area. The first is of my original kickball team - Crazy Kickers (which I hope we put back together again!). The other two are logos for the other teams I have been on. The Frosty Logo is one of several I've given them, they hadn't made a decision on a final yet, but here is just one of them. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Loss of a Great Man

Robert McCullough was one of my college Professors back at Old Dominion University. He was a very intimidating man, that's for sure. I first had Robert when I started Graphic Design in summer school. I had changed my major 3 times at ODU before I finally decided what I was going to do. I loved art, always have, but didn't want to be the "typical starving artist." So when I got to ODU, I started majoring in Computer Science and minoring in art. Since there was never anything in the Course Catalogue for Graphic Design, then that's what I did...kind of made my own. That didn't work out so well for me, so then I switched over to a different program that allowed you to "design" your own degree. So I started designing a graphic-design type of degree. Well, you had to get approval from other teachers to be able to do this. As I went around getting signatures, one teacher told me that I should be doing a degree in Graphic Design. I was like, "what??!!...there is one??!" Why hadn't anyone told me? So that's how I ended up in design. Anywhoo, back to Robert.

Since I still wanted to finish college in 4 years, I decided to take a lot of summer school classes to catch myself up after all those wasted classes from the previous majors. That's when I met Robert. He saw my schedule, I had Graphic Design 2 & 3 that summer and I believe Typography too. He said I would be overwhelmed and asked if I was sure I wanted to do that. I think since then, that's when I was added to his trouble-students list. He wanted me to take each class during a normal semester, not the summer. But I questioned, why offer it in the summer then? Oh yeah, for kids like me, who want to cram it all in...that's right.
So I had a full summer with Robert. I had graphic design, then I got married that summer on a Saturday, then started that Monday with Robert in design again. Folks to this day still tell me I spent my honeymoon with Robert...haha.

Robert was always especially hard on me. I always struggled with typography. I dont know why, I just didn't think "type" was interesting to me. It's just "words and letters right?" is what I'd say to myself. But Robert showed me "the light", he taught me that there is more to a font than just reading it. It can be an art. I still struggled in that class, but Robert would occasionally look over my shoulder, and he literally took my mouse one class and increased the leading on a poster to like 100 for a 20 point font. I was wondering what the heck he was doing. And after I saw it, I realized, it looked awesome! All that space just worked! He winked, and walked away, never said a word. I remember some of my projects being ripped from the walls due to their lack of "quality design" and well, lack of spray mount on the corners. Sigh...i hated spray mount, still do. I picked that stuff out from under my nails for days.

I never really got A's in Roberts class until I started doing the multimedia stuff, that's where I think I found my niche, but didn't realize it then. Robert realized it, but I still didn't see it. I took my first multimedia class with him called Hypermedia (I think that's what it was called....wasn't it Leslie?). Anywhoo, I did awesome in that class. I remember designing a webpage for Harley Davidson, and Robert came over and said, "that is excellent, now how come you couldn't do that in print class (meaning one of those graphic design classes)." I think I said something along the lines of "I dont know, I guess I just like it more?". He smiled and walked away. Wow...2 smiles!!! I was surprised. I had a 3D class with him where I would stay practically overnight some nights to finish projects. I would multi-task between rendering and printing monster posters for Design class. A group of us practically spent the night over there multiple times.
3D class was definitly a treat. He didn't know the program all that well himself, and said that if we had a question, to read the book, and he had it in his office. He said to "figure it out", and that's what we did. We would assist eachother as classmates, but we were always told to "Figure it out". That's what I had to do in my job now. When I first started, I did't know Flash, I knew Director (that's what we learned at ODU). But I tought myself Flash, Dreamweaver, and several other programs. I had to "figure it out" since nobody else at my job knew how. It was my responsibility.

Anyway, I actually graduated, but still pursued print design, I mean, I was a Graphic Designer right? So I did that for years, started at a local paper...where my friend Leslie and I worked together for a bit. That was fun, but just wasn't what I was looking for. Ads, ads, and more ads. Then I got a multimedia job working for the government. Robert, was that a sign? Was that where I was supposed to be?? Now I head up the multimedia crew, developing Flash courses all day, and I do web-design on the side as well as logo and business card design ever now and then. So I still do the print stuff, the art stuff, but I focus a lot on the multimedia stuff, and I love it.

You see, Robert, pushed and pushed, and he pushed because deep down, he really cared. He really wanted us to succeed in whatever we did, he didn't care, but he wanted to make sure he made his mark in our design lives, if we went that way. He was harsh and mean, because that's how the real world is, harsh and mean. Everyone thinks they are a designer. You create something extraoridnary, and they tell you its all wrong. But we didn't care, because we built a thick skin from Roberts rants about how crappy some of our work was, and how we wouldn't succeed unless we did this and this and this. We didn't care what people had to say, our feelings would never get hurt again, because we knew design, we know what we are doing, and the folks that don't appreciate it, aren't real designers, they just think they are. We shrug, fill in all the white space with gook, customer smiles, and that's that (while secretly we save the better design for ourselves for later).

I saw Robert a few months ago when Ken Fitzgerald asked me to return to ODU to help review student portfolios. I saw him there. I asked him "do you remember me?" And he said, of course, you were the one with 2 last names. (Since I got married when I was at ODU, I kept my maiden name at ODU, but legally changed my last name to my married name. So my paperwork at ODU still said my maiden name, less paperwork to deal with). He asked what I was doing, how my life was going, and just chit-chatted. I told him about working multimedia, and he kind of smirked, like a "I knew it" kind of face. He told me "good luck", got the smile/wink face again, and wandered around the room to make his rounds.

Above is a screen cap of a couple objects I've been drawing if Flash for work this past week. I wanted to post something I was currently working on for work to show how far I've come. I wanted to show Robert that I can still draw, while doing multimedia. I'm happy with what I'm doing, and I'm glad I was able to have such a great inspiration in my life.

I will always remember Robert, and I am enjoying everyone's post they have said about him. He was one of the best Professors I ever had and I will miss him dearly. Thank you Robert for all of your teachings, your wisdom, and you eagerness to push us. I'll remember you always!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Book Cover

I friend of mine wanted me to create her book cover for her book. She told me what she wanted on this cover. She wanted 2 women crawling, one bandaged around her head and one around her chest, but coming together to a woman who was reaching for God. This is what I came up with. Again, drew the original graphics in Illustrator then pulled them into Photoshop for some tweaking. This is still a rough, there needs to be some more details, such as highlights in the hair, and what not. But its a start.


So here is another entry for a t-shirt contest. This month's theme is "Forest". So I made a "palm-tree" with this, with the open palms and a tree growing inside of them. Mix of Illustrator and Photoshop for this one.
This is what happened when I made the shirt CMYK and tried uploading it here in made these crazy colors. It looks pretty cool some I'm gonna leave it on here too:

Friday, April 10, 2009


Well, I was asked to create another logo for a coworker of mine. So here are some I came up with. Again, it all has to start someplace right? So I have the original ideas, then I was asked to add more "teal" to one of the particular ideas he liked, so I did that. Then I was asked to come up with business card schemes. That's where I'm at right now, until I continue, here is what's been going on so far.

These up above were the original doodles for possible ideas. Below were the ones playing with the "Teal" color he wanted in the logo:

Then he chose the 3rd from the top row. That one he had me make the font color all the same. And had me think of business card ideas:

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Chesapeake Bay Bridge

A friend of mine requested that I help her mom with creating an image of the Bay Bridge for the back of a t-shirt. She gave me the photo she wanted to use, but the image was way too pixelated to use, so I redrew the image in Illustrator for her so that she could print it. She also wanted a blue crab for the front of the shirt, she is going to add the text later. So here is the illustration of Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Party Invite

I'm sure most of you know my father-in-law. Well, we are throwing him a surprise birthday party in!! Anywhoo, I drew this illustration of their dog in Illustrator with a sombrero on her head. Since the theme is a Fiesta. I cut out the invites so they are the shape of the dog. I bought bright primary colored envelopes to put them in. Bright bold reds, blues, yellows, and I think there was a green and orange colored one too? Not everyone received the actual printed invites, since there are so many guests invited, so these paper ones just went out to family members mostly and folks without computers. The rest were emailed. Hope you all like!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I won!!

Hey all,
I found out today that I won an Apple iTouch from the T-shirt contest I entered last month. I am sooo excited! I hope to get it some time this month. I had a choice between a Wii and an iTouch. And since I already have a Wii, the iTouch was my choice. And a kicker is, they may actually produce some of my designs!! Pretty cool eh?

Monday, February 23, 2009

Boy Scouts

A coworker of mine requested that I design a Boyscout Patch for them. They already had a hand-drawn sketch of what they wanted. It took quite a bit of time to draw this sucker in Illustrator and to keep it simple since it is going to be a stitched patch. This is the first iteration of the patch. Not sure if its the final yet since I sent it forward today. So we'll see what happens. But for now, here is phase 1. Hopefully when its all finished, I can get a photo of the actual patch.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

T-Shirt Design Contest - VOTE 4 ME!

I decided to finally enter an art contest. It's been a long time since I've done one, so I figured it's worth a shot. Hey, I even got a Free Tote Bag just for being one of the first 50 to submit a design!! The theme for this contest is Valentine's Day. The company designs eco-friendly clothing. So it had to fit the eco-friendly feel as well as the Valentine's Day theme. So this was the design I liked the best of all my submissions. I made a couple to signify Valentines Day, of course. They are enjoying each others company on a swing outside in nature. The tree branch of course signifies the eco-friendly attire. I added a "distressed" look to the t-shirt to give a little more of a modern feel to it. Below are also thumbnails of a few other submissions (the others were all similar so I grouped them together). I'll find out next month who the winners are. The winner gets a free i-Touch or a Wii. I already have a Wii, so I'm hoping to get the i-Touch. My poor i-pod is in desperate need of an upgrade. Anywhoo...hope you like it! Vote for my shirts!! Go to the link in the first sentence of this post and vote for my shirt. Please!! :) Thanks guys!

This one is called "Me & You on a Swing for 2":
These are some of the other designs:

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


So I was asked to design the 5ft posters for the I/ITSEC conference held every year in Florida. This was back in like Nov/Dec....around Thanksgiving or so when this conference was held. I ended up creating both in Illustrator to keep the file size down. I made them both complete vector-art posters. Everything you see is vector art...including the screen captures. I retyped the text on the screen caps and converted all the imagery to vector art. This is what I came up with. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Logo Design

So at work I was asked to design a logo for this group here. I want to go through the process I took to get to the final logo for those of you who aren't designers and don't know all the steps and time it takes to design a logo. This is just some of the steps I took (minus extra doodles, thumbnails, thinking, etc).

The group already had a pretty good logo to me, but they needed to match the branding of another logo. I had to stick with their same original color scheme of the red and gray, but match the new logo with the logo they were going to be sharing their site with. This shows the original logo and original name "ILES" and the logo they wanted me to make it kind of match (my bro took my original design and tweaked it with a new font and added the extra colors when he was a graphic intern here at work...go Dan!).
After I received the logo, I started playing with ideas. Here was my first set of thumbnail ideas until I later found out that they changed their name to SGST (go figure). You can click on the images to enlarge it.

After I made the above logo ideas, they liked stuff with the "swoop" since it matched the JKDDC logo best. They also wanted me to include more colors from the JKDDC logo. I remember them saying they wanted to keep with their original color scheme since they didn't want to have to recreate all the color-schemes on their website. So I decided to just include the color purple on it instead of all the reds, greens, blues, etc. I figured it wouldn't stray too much from the original gray and red they already had. Below is the next set of thumbnails. Some which include the title.
Then they chose some that they liked from the group above and wanted me to change the swoop around a bit more. So additional logo ideas are below.

After much thought, they narrowed it down to 2 logos....finally!!! So this is their new logo.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Creepy art

So, I read on this site about these famous artists who draw in Illustrator. I was messing with the Gradient Mesh tool in Illustrator to learn how to draw realistically. It is very difficult, that's for sure. Anywhoo, so here is the Mesh of Cali's face, then the gradients added with the Mesh tool, and the photo I based it off of. I gave up after awhile. I'm sure I could keep messing with it to make it better, but well, it was just for practice anyways. So this is what I have. Maybe another time I'll make a better one once I've practiced with the tool enough.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008


Well, I haven't done any art in awhile, but I have decorated my cube at work. Unfortunately I can't take any pictures of my cube since our building does not allow cameras in it (security risk). So, no picts of my cube, sorry everyone. But I have been playing in Photoshop at work and my coworkers and I have created some crazy photos of coworkers and family. Here are just a few of our creations:

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


I found this cool site to add pets to your Blog. As you can see on the right I have turtles and a hamster that need fed. Here is a Koi Pond you can also add to your Blog. They are so fun and will keep you occupied at work. Click below to feed my fish. Love it!!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Christmas Time!

Finally, our house is done!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Red Hat, Purple Dress, Funny Cat, time to Impress

A friend of mine saw the note cards I made for Emilie and wanted me to make some for her mom. Her mom is part of the Red Hat Purple Dress society. So she wanted me to take their cat and make some note cards for her as a gift. Here are a couple of ideas I created for her. I first took the cat in Photoshop and a picture of her mom. I cropped out her mom's fancy hat and stuck it on the cat's head. Then I brought the new image in Illustrator and just started playing. Here is what I came up with. The basic concept for the card is on the left, and different ideas for the front are on the right. It was kind of fun, something creative that wasn't too difficult and didn't take too much time (since I hardly have any creative time these days with Cali). Oh yes, and also, we lit up our house for Christmas last night...its nuts! Don't worry, new xmas photo to come soon!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Photoshop World!

I am entering a Photoshop World contest, so I thought I'd share my thoughts with all of you. One of my Top Ten reasons to go to Photopshop World Expo is that I would love to get my Portfolio reviewed. Being that its been awhile since I've had a Portfolio Review, it would nice to get some insight and thoughts on how to improve it, what is wrong, what is right, what is awesome, and what is plain boring, etc. At Photoshop World, I feel, can help me answer my questions and improve my portfolio. PHOTOSHOP WORLD will also have Help Desk LIVE!, which is where you can have all your Photoshop questions answered, one-on-one. I know we all have a million Photoshop Questions that need answered, since the program can do SOOOO MUCH!
The Photoshop World Conference & Expo will be held:
March 25-27, 2009
Hynes Convention Center
Boston, MA
Here is the link for more info:

Monday, October 20, 2008


My friend Emilie's birthday was on Friday last week, so I made her something small for her birthday. I figured there wasn't much "hanging" space to hang a drawing for her, so I decided to make her notecards as a gift of her doggy. Since she is a teacher, I figured she probably would write on notecards. So I made two different ones for her to use. Just something small. Hope you liked them Em!! Happy Birthday...again! We had a blast Saturday night!