Was anyone else surprised at the snow storm Maryland got on Nov. 15? For the 4 hours that UB was open, I went out and grabbed a few candids around campus. Edgar Allan Poe could have used a sweater to keep him warm!
It’s a great day at work when you get the opportunity to spend the afternoon at the Maryland Zoo. Giraffes are my favorite animal so I was excited to get to spend time with this ‘little’ guy, Willow. Willow is the zoo’s newest addition to the giraffe house being born this past spring. I visited Willow shortly after she was born and she sure has grown since then!
Sunset over the duck pond in Patterson Park
Each summer I anxiously wait for the 12 best days of summer, otherwise known as the Maryland State Fair. For as long as I can remember, from the last days of August through Labor Day weekend have been spent in the Cow Palace at the Maryland state fairgrounds. From being involved in activities from my youth 4-H days of competing in dairy judging, dairy cattle showing, to still participating in the open dairy show and entering a few pictures in the photography competition, I always look forward to the days of the state fair each year. It is a time to catch up and hang out with friends, eat delicious fried fair food and have the opportunity educate the public on the importance Maryland’s agricultural industry.
This year I had 5 entries in the photography competition but unfortunately no ribbons were won. I also exhibited my red & white Holstein dairy calf whom I own in a partnership with my sister and two of our friends. We got a 5th place ribbon in the fall calf class.
I spent the other weekend at my best friend's family beach house in Sunset Beach, NC. Her parents has asked me a couple months ago to come up with a design to paint on a window frame that they had recently installed into their stairway. I came up with the idea to paint a sunset scene since their beach house is in Sunset Beach, NC.
A very rainy day over the weekend and I got to work on the painting.
A good friend of mine started a fitness instagram account that highlights her workouts, meals and daily life while educating consumers on the importance of including dairy products into your fitness routine. When she asked me to design the logo that would become her brand, I was super excited to be involved in the project. Growing up on a farm, I had been raised my whole life eating dairy products and educated on the importance of milk in your diet. I was pleased that I could be able of her mission to show the general public that dairy isn't a scary thing. Make sure to check out the good work Emily is doing on her instagram, @dairygirlfitness.
This past spring was the Light City Baltimore festival. It's a free festival of light, music and innovation put on by Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts. There are many exhibits along your way from Harbor East to downtown inner harbor. Lots for the public to look at. And makes for pretty pictures.
I just finished up a logo for a new client. A set of brothers were looking for a logo to represent their business where they bale and sell hay and straw.
This past weekend I traveled to Raleigh, NC for a close friend's wedding. A few months ago they had asked me if I would be willing to take on the task of designing the chalkboard wall at their venue, The Stockroom at 230. I said I would be happy to do it, not knowing what I really was signing up for.
When my friends told me the dimensions of the wall, I freaked out. I am very comfortable with doing chalkboard signs at 18"x20" where I can easily stencil out the design. This task however was a wall 8' x 10'. A large scale than I have ever tackled.
I did my prep work; came up with the design, got my supplies and gridded out the letters for reference points. And I decided I was just going to tackle this the best I could.
When I arrived on the scene I was very nervous now that I was actually in front of the wall and seeing how large it was. Once I got started, I got more comfortable at working at the large size. It took a few tries for certain letters, and i was pretty uneasy hanging off the side of a ladder but I managed to get it done.
I recently had the opportunity of attending the AIGA Design Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. As my first conference ever, it sure blew me away. Not just because I was in Vegas for the first time but because AIGA did a fantastic job putting together a program that was engaging, exciting and informational.
3 days of design filled activities had me busy from 8am to 8pm!
On Monday I went to a session called Emerging Designers Symposium which was really helpful to me personally since I am only just starting out in my design career. 3 speakers talked about how you juggle different job opportunities to lead you in a direction that works for you.
In the general session on Monday, the big main stage speaker was Paula Scher, who is a partner at Pentagram, one of the best design firms and she happens to be one of my favorite designers. I love the work she has done and it was truly amazing to be sitting in the audience listening to her advice. I had done a presentation on her in college so it was so cool to be sitting there listening to her present to me!
Through out the three days I heard from so many different speakers with talent in all sorts of design fields. It was so amazing to see how everyone depicts design so differently.
Some of my favorites that stood out were Gemma O'Brien, she is an Australian hand-lettering artist who dropped out of law school to start lettering. Now she does these amazing giant wall hand-lettering designs that are breath taking.
We heard from Michelle Stanek who decided to put her art history curating career on hold to become a pole dancer. And we even got a performance!
Chuck D, the rapper from Public Enemy gave a talk about designing album covers and then turning to performing music himself.
Quindar, which is a musical duo of two guys in business suits playing scores and sound bites from space and time.
And it was an amazing opportunity to meet people from all over the USA and even international designers.
My favorite speaker was Sebastian Padilla, co-founder of Anagrama studio in Monterey, Mexico. He does amazing design work and the best part is that he says that he isn't even passionate about design. He didn't even want to be a designer. He struggled in school and so he thought choosing design would be an easy way for him to pass school. But he has come a long way and Anagrama has a lot of top notch clients. But he struck a cord in my heart because he talked about how much he loves tacos.
I did have some time to enjoy Vegas as well! Like walking down the Vegas Strip, watching the fountain show at the Bellagio, going into the different hotels.
I even got to enjoy a west coast stable, In-N-Out Burger! I can now check that off my food bucket list.
The conference was an amazing time and I am thankful for my employer giving me the opportunity to attend.
For Cargill's campaign, Feed Your Dreams, they have been using artwork made out of grain, silage, feed etc. for their promotional pieces. To carry on that theme and since Cargill was the sponsor of the Supreme champion award at the All-American Dairy Show in Harrisburg, PA, they had the idea to design their logo in the middle of the show ring.
So that's where I came in. My friend Rebecca who works for Cargill asked me if I thought I could pull off designing the Cargill logo out of sawdust in the show ring. It was definitely a request that I had never had before and I was ready to give the task a try. After a practice round in our barn at home with a pile of sawdust, I felt confident that I could pull it off. Cargill was convinced as well and so the plans were set.
2 hours after we started, 2 bags of black mulch, 2 cans of green spray paint and I can say that I was extremely pleased at how the logo turned out. I had never done a 3D art piece at that large of a scale before. The logo looked great in the middle of the show ring and it was no question to the audience who the sponsor was for the award!
Thank you to Cargill for trusting me to pull this off and thank you for giving me an art project that I don't typically get to engage in. It was great to create some art away from my computer and get my hands dirty at a cow show!
I entered 5 photographs of mine into competition at the Maryland State Fair. I was excited when I went through the photography exhibit and saw that one of my entries had received a 4th place ribbon. The judges only place 1-4 and an honorable mention so I was pretty excited to be recognized with a 4th place!
It was a pleasure to work with the Mason's in Chestertown, MD. Valerie reached out to me looking for a farm logo for her family farm, Fawnwood Farm. It took us a few rounds of ideas back and forth but we were finally able to settle on a design that pleased everyone in the Mason family.
The Masons are so pleased to finally have a logo to represent their farm and animals. The cow is outlined from one of their jerseys, MFW Renegade Baron. In the logo they wanted to represent their farm name as well as their prefix MFW.