Saturday, July 10, 2021

Journal On!

Last year, I designed a logo for a program I love: Journal On!, a collaborative project between the Portland Art Museum, Portland Public Schools, and OK You to assemble "one enduring art journal, made up of many, to capture our shared story of this unique moment in history." They offer up a new prompt every week all summer long for kids and adults to use to create their own entries in this living journal. In fact, I took one of last year's prompts (How Would You Capture this Moment in Color and Form?) and made an entry of my own using paper, pens, and paint. I made it during a particularly bad period in my last summer and something about putting my feelings down in art, in a way that didn't call things by name but spoke to my mindset, was a helpful exercise for me.

This year I was invited back to Journal On!, this time to create their web and social media graphics. At first, I was just thinking of the job as an opportunity to work for an organization I love, but it soon became a really fun project. One thing I love doing in design is taking a known quantity and making it different. With these Journal On! graphics, I got to take their existing style in shape and font and color palette and expand on it. 

Whereas last year their prompts contained video blocks at the right side...

...this year there would be simple illustrations instead. I wanted something that would help explain but not overpower the text, something super kid-friendly but also adult-friendly too. I started working with lines. Simple illustrations created out of linework, as well as letting my lines run all over the prompts, maybe circling or underlining important words, adding little touches of illustration here and there.

One element I liked from last year's design was the hatched lines in the background circles for the prompt numbers on the left side. This became a central element in my design and it was fun to see the different ways I could use it.

Journal On!'s first prompt goes up today. I highly recommend following along and even joining in with some art of your own. You can see all the prompts on their website here, or follow on Instagram @journal_on_everyone.

Or, here: I happen to have the very first prompt for you. From the website, and from Instagram. I hope you'll join in.

Sunday, July 4, 2021

a moment in the day: jazz

It's night on the third of July and Nicholas and I are camped out in the upstairs bathroom with the door closed and the overhead fan on: his safe place in fireworks weather.

As the fan and closed door aren't quite enough to keep the sound completely out, I'm singing to him. It's our fireworks ritual going back I-don't-know-how-many years. Well, probably as long as we've owned this house.

I generally sing him old jazz standards. Mean to Me. Lush Life. Don't Smoke in Bed. When the firecracker sounds kicked up into high gear a while ago, he got agitated. Started panting, looking distressed, so I grabbed my phone and dialed up YouTube to add backup to my singing.

Now, we've sung our way through the entirety of Peggy Lee's Blues Cross Country, Nicholas curled on his pillow, me on the floor next to him, my hand going down his back. I'm getting tired of jazz. I poke some letters into YouTube's search bar and bring up some Beatles tunes. Start one playing.

It won't be long, yeah






Nicholas's head comes up. He starts panting again. 

I don't think he likes rock 'n roll.