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Archive for the ‘good peeps’ Category

Hart of iron

July 28th, 2010

Last Sunday, my buddy Hart completed his first-ever Iron Man race. Cheering him on all the way were 40+ of his closest friends and family (a.k.a. The Red Army) dressed in matching t-shirts that I had the honour of designing.

I know Hart through my wonderful friend and his superstar sister Liz, who hired me to do this project — one of the most fun and rewarding jobs I’ve ever done. This is what I came up with:

If you’re wondering about the bare feet, it’s something Hart’s known for… though he did wear footwear for the event. Here are a few photos of his day, taken by his stepdad, Rod MacIvor:

I can’t possibly comprehend what must go into preparing for an event like this — what makes someone even want to undertake it, what sacrifices go into training, how surreal and grueling the day of must be, and how proud one must feel after having done it. Hart did a wonderful job writing about part of his journey here, but as a spectator-from-afar, all I can do is be in awe. I mean 16 hours in a row of anything is nuts, right?

As for the Red Army, here’s a shot of part of the team (apparently, this is only half the group!):

Thanks, Rod, for sharing your photos and generosity.

Thanks, Liz, for bringing me onboard; I only wish I could’ve been there and suited up with y’all.

Thanks, Hart, for being a huge inspiration… and for having fun eyebrows to draw :)

good peeps, horn tootin' , , , ,

Mice in the nursery!

June 26th, 2010

I’m so excited for my friend Meg and her husband Pat, who very recently brought home their adopted son Van, from Vietnam. While they were overseas, I worked on a mural in Van’s room-to-be. Before they’d left, I’d done a full sketch of what I was going to paint, accommodating the room’s specs and the furniture placement:

Meg has a book called “Ten Mice for Tet“, which is about Vietnamese New Year, and she wanted to use it as inspiration for the room. Also, Van is a water buffalo in Vietnamese astrology, so I wanted to include something to that effect too.

I used acrylic paints for the colours. For the outlines, I used a Sharpie Paint marker (the biggest size: Bold), and it worked like an absolute dream. Here’s one of the mice before and after I outlined him… huge difference!

The markers come in water-based or oil. I chose the oil-based at the recommendation of various stores I asked — it’s opaque (the water-based one isn’t) and more permanent. It does mean that Meg and Pat should sand the outlines down if they ever repaint the room.

Wall 1 — with Van’s name and the dragon:

I used a silver acrylic paint for the scales… so it was a little tough to photograph.

Wall 2 — which is mainly window, but I did put this lantern up near the ceiling, overtop the shelf of stuffed animals. The gold flowers are also Sharpie marker.

Wall 3 — the musicians and the foodies!

Closer up…

And Wall 4 — the water buffalo and the flagbearer.

And this is Pepper the cat, whom I kinda fell in love with. I think she approves…

[Technical detail for anyone who plans on painting a mural with acrylic paints: the paints are transparent, so if the wall is not white, you'll need to put on a few  extra coats of acrylic for the colours to show up properly.]

Welcome home Van — you are a lucky kiddo to have such fabulous parents as Meg & Pat!

good peeps, horn tootin' , , , , , , , ,

Snail mail amazingness

May 15th, 2010

Most of what lands in my mailbox these days are bills… so what a nice surprise to get this from one of my clients last week:

In the age of e-communication, there’s something special about getting a tangible (and fully unexpected) thanks through the mail. This put a grin on my head all day!

(As an aside, Spread the Love is a non-profit group that battles hunger “through the simple power of the sandwich”. Founder Miles Rob Aronson was a 2006 recipient of a Top Twenty Under 20 Award. I’ve been working on Spread the Love’s printed materials and designed their logo a couple of years ago.)

A couple of days later, I got another fun mail package — this one from Ngan of eNVe Designs:

It’s called the Warm Hearts necklace, and I’m just one of many people who has received it in the mail. My job now is to find a creative way to wear this versatile piece, take a picture, and send it to the next person on the list. It’s part of a campaign for cancer awareness, and to raise money for St. Jude’s Hospital. Looking through the cards of people who participated before me was very cool — I know some of these ladies online, and to know this passed through their talented hands made me feel like I was part of something bigger.

And finally… I was doing some cleaning in my parents’ basement recently, and bumped into this letter I got from a local advertising agency back when I was in school:

It’s dated March 29, 1995, so I had just finished my first year of university and had applied for a summer position. I’m pretty sure this was typed out on a typewriter, and it was signed by the company’s president — before the days of email rejections and non-responses! Finding this letter sent my brain back to post-secondary nostalgia, made me laugh that I had the gall to apply for a position (while completely unqualified), and also gave me a sense of pride that I’ve come a long way in 15 years.

So… lots of recent humbling, happy feelings from snail mail.

I urge you to take a half hour out of your week and mail something to someone you care about, and see just how much it’s appreciated on the other end.

And for anyone who might want to receive something, I’ll send a little package to the first three people who send me (through the contact page) their full mailing addresses :)

And because I’m curious: what’s the best snail mail you’ve ever gotten?

general rambling, good peeps, in the memory bank , , , , ,

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