A Fresh View

March 14, 2017



Breaking pace can feel a lot like failure or victory—-you choose. A season of taking back a little of freedom and focusing mostly on what’s in front of me has been sprinkled with some serious grace for myself and a huge appreciation for stepping to the side and letting everyone else run on by. What a whirlwind we all find ourselves in when there isn’t a quiet moment in the day or we’re scooting from one thing to the next, to the next and then dinner and then bed. I took back workout time (after a brief hiatus) and made it part of everyday for mental health foremost. What a relief to carve a portion out for what matters. It feels like singing “Amazing Grace” at just the right volume and doubling-up on fresh fruit in morning yogurt. I’m grateful these months for a few moments to marvel at plants budding and bounding up, up, up every new day. And I really like the mid-day light that streams over the table of green hugging our big dining room window. Enjoying such a treat means my keyboard pace picks up some speed and some pressure. It’s all feeling much more graceful instead of lacking and just about the right pace for looking back with a sincere smile.

p.s. This message brought to you by a soon-to-be Spring Break schedule (and a little day-dreaming.)

Fall Afresh

October 5, 2016


August (oh, August, you’re always so abrupt) was stagnant. I wasn’t present. In hindsight, a lot of hours were likely clocked sitting cross-legged in a chair well-suited for pondering or at a desk with my eyes wandering up and outside.

With a few creative hurdles jumped, I’m left with the glorious and well-packed calendar of the fall season and already wondering how this will be managed. I daydreamed back to our lake pace and have made a lot of calls based on what we were able to put first with ease while away from city life. I got good at margin there. Really good. Happy soul good. I floated, decked, read, adventured and napped weekends away. No one was waiting on me, and I was in no hurry.

Big dreams aren’t as friendly to margin, nor is life in a city with relationships and school and work, etc. I’ve had to make them learn to play together through trial of a few ridiculous formulas. A friend reminded me that amid what I considered a failure to achieve was simply the absence of a start. It was margin growing from the inside out. Us declaring time for rest and honoring play above work—because it’s what we needed, not always what we saw happening. Somehow that little heart prick sent me soaring into joy that big dreams and small living can co-exist. It takes margin, intentional downtime and choosing to be your best when it’s appropriate, not always (no matter your location.)

Fellow Southerners are rejoicing in slightly crisper air and I’m grateful to be back in a season of a lot of shower thoughts. Aren’t they great? Such gems of wisdom and creativity just waiting for you there where you’re held captive device- and company-free just long enough for them to surface.


#1 Breathe in a season of great smells.

#2 Reignite Bible study with peers.

#3 Dig into brand building and storytelling with great teams.

#4 Love the hard stuff.








The life of a former art director

January 5, 2012


This is what three years of work looks like in publishing. It’s a tangible, take-home proof of what you do day in and day out. This was my life for six years. Deadline. Rest. Deadline. Rest. Despite the cycle, I loved this work and still proudly include it in my portfolio (a few samples in gallery below).

I thrive under pressure. I’m driven by deadlines. I make lists to cross things off. Two months before graduating college with a Communications degree and minor in Art History, I needed a job. That’s the next step, right? I worked hard for my degree, learned the ins and outs of media law and history, took crash-courses in AP style and wrote many a research paper in Turabian. But no way was I working at newspaper. Long format was my one true love. Magazines it was. I found the one local publication I could tolerate and called the editor. It had four employees, published every other month (maybe) and the small team worked out of an equally small house.

A willingness to sell ads was my in. I had no idea it would lead to being art director and turn my career upside down.

That stack of magazines three years in the making shaped me into the designer I am today. Looming deadlines, late nights and way too many deli sandwiches were masked by practically free reign. I clicked and deleted and designed every issue to appease my harshest critic—me. I fell in love with page design. All along the way I was spoiled with the most wonderful counterpart and editor an art director could ask to know. We were on a mission. From 64 saddle-stitch pages six times a year to 112 perfect-bound pages every month, we were living the magazine dream all on our own.  Behind that desk I met one of the best friends of my life as well as a pair of colleagues that truly opened my eyes to the host of characters that inhabit the South. I found all of this in Montgomery, Alabama, at a city magazine. Anything can happen, folks.

Despite the freedom and friends this position afforded, after six years, it was time for a change. I was done distilling files. So I abandoned the post and became a photographer.

Four years of being behind a lens has helped my aesthetic as a designer continue to evolve. Marrying the ability to match images I see in my head with the end result I wish for on the page is both a gift and a challenge. Styling my own portfolio shots is pure freedom. I love traveling from idea to printed piece and tying back in the original inspiration to show the true heart and soul of a design. When it’s all done, what you see is so much more than ink printed on paper, folks. It’s a mere flicker of a concept made concrete and progressing through this creative process is why I love
what I do.


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