Time Management

A major flaw in my time management – or lack there of – is a general belief about life I’ve recently noticed I have.

Noticing how I notice things about myself and my beliefs, I’ve noticed this before, but wasn’t quite sure what to do about it. Isn’t that the way it goes?
You notice something’s askew. Time passes.
You notice it’s still askew. Time passes.
Eventually whatever you noticed starts to really grate on your nerves and you decide that that crooked line needs to be straightened. Time passes.
After trying a little while, you fall into being okay with askew again. Time passes.
Then all of a sudden, the whole picture looks crooked and with all the energy of the first time you noticed it, something must change and you’re finally prepared to do something about it because apparently, it’s not just going to go away.
Time passes.
Spoiler alert: the same revelation happens at least 3 or 4 times before something actually changes. This is the 4th time.

Back to that time management issue. Being brought up in a hyper religious environment with super stress on how Jesus may come AT-ANY-MOMENT-SO-YOU-BETTER-BE-READY-OR-YOU’LL…have to stay on Earth with the rest of the godless heathens. This mixed with the “It’s no use to plan too far into the future because the rapture will probably come back before then anyway, do you want God to find you in church or studying for a Bachelors in Advertising?” helped create an Eat-Drink-and-Be-Merry (for tomorrow we die)! type of attitude in me.
Surprisingly, this hasn’t really helped me succeed or be very productive at all in what I want to accomplish.

So, just as the hampering and terrifying beliefs about sinning and judgement day and eternal damnation have lost their sting and faded away, I’ll allow this scapegoat belief of “What’s the point? Tomorrow we die.” die a quiet death.

Because worrying, being afraid, not trying, not practicing, not doing and being the things I want to do and be and know I can do and be (or will be able to do and be if I stick with it) IS eternal damnation.

Because my eternity is right now, this moment. It’s time to make the most of it.

That is my new time management strategy. Image



Wow, a LOT has happened since I last posted here.

  • Photographed 2 events : Roller Derby Bout & Easter Egg Hunt
  • Completed a Tshirt design
  • Printed my own business cards and decided ordering them from a professional is a better way to go!
  • Got a job working in a photolab/print shop
  • Working on a logo for said print shop

So, it’s time to love my wordpress a little more to keep my head straight. Congratulations, wordpress! You’re now my homepage.

In the past, using a blog has really helped me – which is why I’m trying to keep this baby alive. I only regret not showing it more love recently – all those tutorials I meant to do would have really helped. I was listening to the latest Accidental Creative podcast about how laying the groundwork and preparing for where you want to go as if it will actually happen (imagine that?) is so important. He compared this to the looney tunes episode where Wile E. Coyote actually captures the Roadrunner – but he’s the size of a bug and Roadrunner is way too big for him to actually eat him. Wile E. Is just hanging on his ankles as the Roadrunner speeds away. I feel a little a lot like this. Things are taking off and I’m hanging on by the skin of my teeth trying to cram everything I want to know in. That’s okay.

I’ll get there. Patience.




Logo No-go

Man. I am having a tough time coming up with a rockin’ logo design for Olive Thomas.

Or Olive Thomas Art?

Or Otart?

That could be part of the problem. I’m not even settled on the name.

I need to do some serious research in solidifying my identity as a graphic designer + photographer (should I just say graphic designer since photography is a type of graphic design? I don’t know, I like the plus sign.)

On the other hand, I might overwhelm myself with too much information and confuse myself further. Bah.. old habits die hard.





Embrace the Process – Act Without Expectation

I was talking to a good friend yesterday about how this year more than ever I feel so supported. I don’t remember feeling so un-isolated in my life.

There are so many people who want me to succeed and believe I will succeed that when I sit back and think of them all it’s like I can just ride on the conveyer belt of their curiousity of ‘how I’ll do it’ all the way to my goals. I really thought I’d be stressed – the more people knowing about my design, the more I’d feel like I was incapable and worried I would let them down. But there hasn’t been any of that. Sure my designs in the very beginning weren’t phenomenal and I know they can get much better than they are now – but that’s part of the process.

I’m really learning to embrace the process in several ways of my life. The process of developing as a designer, the process of research, the process of watching a design go from a blank screen to a finished-in-my-hand product.

The process of taking photos – being completely in the moment and savoring it for later. Going back to it and tweaking it to be as amazing as you remember, trying to capture emotions and a story in a picture. Later seeing the finished compilation of a series of stories and moments.

The process of working out and eating healthy – feeling the burn along the way, watching the cravings come and go, seeing the results in my body shape – It’s amazing to me we have so much power we can change our own body composition.

The process of watching my stepdaughter (the cherub) grow and learn and take care of herself. Reminding myself all along the way to stay presently myself and not morph into my parents or sisters or Brian – but stay with her as my authentic self and roll with the punches. The moments of frustration and irritation fade away when she opens up to me about a hard day or when she says something like, “I feel like I can talk to you about anything.”


Last week I ran across the phrase “Act Without Expectation” by Lao Tzu and it just stuck with me. When I act without expectation, there are no limits, no doubts, no worries. The possibilities are endless and I’m not tied to any specific outcome. I’m watching curiously like by cats do when for whatever reason, they stare at the lamp or the corners of the walls.

So time to start this up again – for real haha (see last post). Not because I’m worried of failing those who believe in me, but because I’m just as curious as they are as to what I can do. Image

Uh, Whoops!

How do I just completely forget something I’ve done for almost three weeks? Sorry, WordPress!

Well, I guess it started because the last week I assigned myself homework, it didn’t get completed. 🙂 So I avoided posting about that. Learned an important lesson. The more structured my assignments are, the better. Posting a bunch of things to be completed in a week doesn’t work right now. Maybe once I start doing things consistently, I can do that. Also, perhaps I need to be more patient with myself and cut myself some slack if I don’t do all of the assignments. I tend to beat myself up and hide from doing anything for a few days if I feel like I’ve failed. I must remember that failure is just a part of the process.

Easy assignments this week:

Tuesday: Start on give away iPad flyer

Wednesday: Figure out masks

Thursday: Finalize and print out business cards

Friday: Finish drawing about veteren

Saturday: Organize following weeks agenda

Although, the past few weeks definitely weren’t a waste. I’ve come a ways with my business card design, I’ve worked on logo design, I’ve edited photos, I’ve applied for a photo processing job ( and it looks very promising!). Not to mention all the reading I did about logo designing and such. I really hope I get the photo processing job. That would be really good to help me stay in the mind of a graphic designer and challenge myself to figure new things out. It would also be great to understand the printing process better.

Week 1 Down – Begin Week 2

Okay, so, my assessment of week 1. *Possibly* I aimed to do too much. 🙂 Friday & Saturday pretty much fell off completely.

Friday – Illustrator Zodiac – I tried to do this assignment, but that tutorial used stock photography which he paid for and I didn’t want to do that ;P not to mention it was in general very difficult, so I didn’t finish it. It’s 120% easier to complete a tutorial if you have the exact “ingredients”. The tutorial itself wasn’t very… well said? either. Oh well.

Saturday – I slept until almost 1 🙂 and then had a ton of crap to do outside the house (which I got done! Wooo!) So today I will be organizing this week’s schedule. I think I’ll try a slightly different approach by just laying out 4 assignments that need to be completed by the end of the week. That way I can work on my habits when I have no specific deadline – because presently the case is when I don’t have a specific deadline, or even one far away, I’ll put things off till the last minute and that will KILL me in the freelancer world.

Here is this weeks “To Design” list:

Sunday// Create assignments / Review Design bookmark folder

Monday – Friday// http://www.vectordiary.com/illustrator/how-to-make-an-icy-cocktail-tutorial/ ///  http://vector.tutsplus.com/tutorials/illustration/how-to-create-shiny-vector-dice-in-illustrator/ // http://www.digital-web.com/articles/the_process_of_redesigning_a_logo/ // Learn optimum saving for web/printing blip.com //

Saturday// Organize / Recap

So far today I’ve watched a few Blip photoshop vids, reviewed a few of my Destination Design tabs. So far so good. By the end of the day I’ll fill this out:

Favorite Digital Artist? Impossible to choose. I did find this great page though: http://www.snap2objects.com/2009/05/70-designers-that-shaped-the-world/
My favorites were : Tord Boontje, R. Buckminster Fuller, and Matali Crasset
I also found this very informative site: http://www.askart.com/AskART/interest/art_styles_1.aspx?id=78&pg=style

Favorite Digital Style? I’m not sure I can pick this either. I love vector illustrations, but digital paintings are awesome for a whole different reason. I think Paintings I would choose for realistic /dramatic purposes and vectors for the fun side.

Favorite Era Design? The one after this one.

Favorite Color Triad?
C100 M55 Y100 K0
C100 M0 Y100 K0
C75 M100 Y0 K0

Complementary colors?
C25 M0 Y100 K0
C30 M100 Y40 K0

Split Complementary?
C30 M100 Y40 K0
C0 M0 Y100 K0
C100 M0 Y100 K0

C25 M0 Y100 K0
C100 M0 Y100 K0
C55 M0 Y30 K0

C25 M0 Y100 K0
C100 M0 Y10 K0
C30 M100 Y40 K0
C0 M55 Y100 K0

Thursday – Language Arts

Thursday// Language Arts (writing, German, Speech, ect) – 2 hr

So, I think I should put a day of designing something in between Language and Photography. I want to do a tutorial. And I might anyway once I work on Eyes of Pearls a little more. I practiced my ice breaker speech for the next Toastmasters meeting for an HOUR. Without even realizing it. I’m anticipating that I’ll be much calmer this time. Hopefully I’m right about that. 🙂

On a side note, I started a comic titled Georgi the Bagpipette about a little girl who plays the bagpipes and lives on a sheep farm with a chocolate lab puppy and has a best friend teddy bear. I’m aiming for ridiculously cute. So far so good.

Wednesday – Photography Techniques

Wednesday// Photography techniques -http://www.mcpactions.com/blog/2010/03/22/how-to-avoid-over-editing-your-photos-in-photoshop/http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/ // Refresh what I’ve learned this week so far

I’ve read through the first link and am guilty of 70% of the things it talks about heh. So here’s a little list of things I need to improve on/keep in mind:

  • Keep an eye on the histogram – sneaking into the 200s is not a good sign
  • Do not blindly use Photoshop functions
  • Loosing details in the shadows is a sign to stop editing
  • Enhance what is already there without – blowing things out, losing crispness
  • Research the correct way of how to accomplish fake HDR… or figure out how to do the real thing.

A week or two ago I checked out this book titled “The Complete Guide to Light” which I have not even cracked. :} So today I will read through that and study the above websites. When I take photographs, lighting and shadows are the main things I look for, so reading up on that idea can only help me more.

So, reading through this Guide to Light book…. It looks like I need a lot more equipment to do anything extremely awesome. I hate having stuff. That’s why I like digital design. Everything is neatly inside the computer or sketched out in my compact notebooks. There’s all sorts of lamps and reflectors and umbrellas and yeesh. I did get a few good tips about positioning and times of day and what to look for in light. Good book over all. Not very big and lots of pictures = A+
This was an easy day. I needed an easy day.

Tuesday – Illustrator – Compass and Rocket

I’m already learning something about this process – if I open this page up at the beginning of the day, the chances greatly improve that I’ll complete the goal and post that day. ;}

 Tuesday// Illustrator tutorials –
H.o.l.y. CRAP that little space rocket was difficult!!! But I stuck with it and am quite pleased with the results. The compass was fairly simple and I learned a new trick on how to make the little lines so I’m happy about that.
It took me probably a cumulative 4 hours to do both these tutorials… I think next week, I won’t make my goals so lofty. 🙂 BUT I DID THEM TODAY!!! Wooooo! Yay for me!
Way cool gold gradient, I added the background to display it on.

Way cool gold gradient, I added the background to display it on.

TOOK HOURS TO FIGURE OUT. I was stumped on step 2 with the gradient mesh. Glad I stuck it out and am pleased with the results.

TOOK HOURS TO FIGURE OUT. I was stumped on step 2 with the gradient mesh. Glad I stuck it out and am pleased with the results.

“Thousands of geniuses live and die undiscovered — either by themselves or by others.” – Mark Twain

Monday – Photoshop – Castle in the sky

Monday// Photoshop tutorials – http://www.alfoart.com/sky_castle_1.html http://psd.tutsplus.com/tutorials/photo-effects-tutorials/how-to-create-a-fantasy-mother-nature-scene/

And through this tutorial I discovered THIS amazing resource : http://www.cgtextures.com/index.php Which I have a feeling will soon become my new freevector.com

So, I overdid it with the vibrance. I have that tendency. I also couldn’t find the exact picture they used for the sky, so I used one of my own. It doesn’t look exactly like the tutorial, but I think it’s at least a C+ for my first try! I couldn’t figure out the rainbow effect…Think I’ll redo this tomorrow and see if I can get it closer to the image at least in color. I have the bad habit of overdoing the vibrance. :S I might use a picture of a better castle too hehe.

On the plus side, I learned a few new techniques in photoshop and remembered a few old ones. The patch tool was especially helpful, as well as the selection marquee. Transform warp is also one I’ll remember.