Everything in Time

Today marks the 21st anniversary of Studio Haus. Throughout the years, this anniversary has always felt like a perfectly placed day of gratitude for me in this month of Thanksgiving. This life of running a small business allows me to play some part not only in the path of how to live a creative life but also in promoting general goodness in our community as a whole through the work we partner together on.

This little studio has brought some of the most wonderful people I may have never known otherwise into my periphery and in relationship. It is quite clear to me that it's only because of all of these relationships with clients, companies, friends and family that Studio Haus has succeeded all these years. The teamwork we've built together has truly been an honor.

So in the month where many of us share our gratitude, whether around a Thanksgiving table, or as we watch the seasons change to quieter and more reflective days, or as we complete that fantastic project that allows us to continue to share what we love, I'd like to add my deepest gratitude to everyone who has helped build this foundation of roots so that our great heights of accomplishments could be achieved.

As I reorganize my office and art studio, my personal artistic pursuits have had the brakes on for a bit, but I was able to spend a little time with this theme below that fits nicely with the season of grounded-ness, and growth. May we all continue to reach great heights together. Best wishes for the holiday season.

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All Things Great and Small

A lot of us who are in a position where self-promotion is part of our business’s success find ourselves highlighting the greatest fruits of our labors—those that get the most recognition and accolades—what many in the world of graphics call the “WOW!” piece. But there are often projects that one rarely speaks of until something comes along and reminds what a special place that small and/or almost forgotten piece may have held in time.

Last month, as many of us here in the States were celebrating the great eclipse, which I also celebrated with great excitement, a beautiful soul crossed over into realms many of us have yet to see. The notorious Reverend Bill Barnes took his last breaths just as the moon began to pass in front of the sun. While I didn’t know him extremely well, his mark upon my hometown is beyond my comprehension. He was a tireless advocate for the poor and those who are hardest hit by circumstances that can break the spirit and will to remain in the light.

I met Rev. Barnes through his daughter, Amy, who has been dear friend for decades. While I had seen and heard glimmers and whispers of what a special man her father is/was, little did I know the scope of the legacy he would leave on this earth or the breadth of his acts of kindness. I may never know. All I can say is when he came to me in need of a book cover design, he was gracious and kind every step of the way and I always felt lifted up in his presence. He had a great impression on many who encountered him.

That cover design project took little of my time but I was so grateful to have been involved in the telling of his life’s great work. To Love a City, may not be a New York Times best seller but it tells of his great love for the people and places of our community. He personified the premise that even small acts of kindness can change the word. All of his small acts added up to a rather large life of humble generosity. What a gift to have been even a small part of this cog (what Rev. Barnes referred to as a Child of God) of life and inspiration. He showed many of us the best ways we could truly open our hearts and “love a city” by loving all of its citizens.

I've learned that people's greatest qualities are rarely seen fully by any one person. This gentle man, Reverend Bill Barnes, wanted a book cover with a simple snap shot of some of the citizens he loved working with. It was an honor to be a small "cog" in his inspiring life's story.

I've learned that people's greatest qualities are rarely seen fully by any one person. This gentle man, Reverend Bill Barnes, wanted a book cover with a simple snap shot of some of the citizens he loved working with. It was an honor to be a small "cog" in his inspiring life's story.

The Evolution of a "Slash" Career

I recently read an article from Forbes about millennials who have "slash" careers. While I'm not a card-carrying millennial, I certainly resonated with the article. It states how valuable someone who says things like “I’m a lawyer/writer," or "I work in marketing; I’m also a professional actor," or "I’m in tech, and I have photography business on the side," can actually be an asset to their employer (or in my case, clients), contrary to what some traditionalists may think. The article is a great read as it offers what I consider to be a new wave of the future that many creative types have long embraced, whether millenials or otherwise.

As a teaser, here are some of the reasons those with "slash careers" are such a valuable resource:

1. They are motivated and take initiative.

2. They have a diverse skill-set.

3. They are creatively fulfilled..... Their creativity spills out into your company.

Those that personally work with me soon find out how highly motivated I am to not only do my very best for each and every client and their customers, but also to live a life that makes a difference in the world. Much of the time, I do this alongside my treasured client(s). Other times, it's outside of the office walls of Studio Haus.

In addition to design and illustration work, I also practice and teach yoga. I'm an avid hiker and admitted nature geek. I love to read and hear live music. It's refreshing to find that many of my clients manage multiple interests as well and we support each others pursuits with heart-felt encouragement. All of this "extra-curricular" activity we embrace as individuals combines to make better team members and fellow earthly beings. And the benefits of all of these interests and pursuits we have within and outside of our primary career help to fulfill our collaborative endeavors in more meaningful ways.

I've been at this design thing for quite a while and it continues to amaze me how each and every project taken on has a completely fresh new feel to it and how enjoyable that process of discovering and uncovering its unique gems is. The pursuits of a creative career coupled with the ethics of business truly thrive when met with all the different perspectives that result from the collaboration on a project. It is a welcomed and valued opportunity every single time. Sharing the results of this process with the community it is offered to carries great responsibility that I'm proud to be a part of. It all comes down to mutual respect, honest communication and quality connection. I'm so very grateful for the opportunities to share these things we love to do.

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Save the Date for Upcoming Fall Festivities

Creating branding has always been a large part of my business history. I have gravitated to that creative process from the very first logo project assigned in college. We didn't call it branding back then; it was just logo design. Over the years though, many of my logo clients have come back time and time again to build on their logo's brand recognition.

After building the recognition of the Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival's brand over the years, my wonderful clients came back to me for the development of the Memphis Japan Festival's branding that they will begin to manage this fall.

Since these two festivals are being managed by the same group, we decided it would make sense to give the Memphis Japan Festival a uniquely recognizable look while also having some graphic affiliation with the Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival. Nashville's festival is held in the spring and the latter will take place in the fall. The colors and blossoms of Nashville's springtime festival didn't apply. Hence more fall-like colors and flora. The letting and compositions did make sense though.

We are so happy to display the fruits (or shall I say the Japanese Maple leaves?) of our labors with this new logo and the upcoming promotional materials that are to showcase this new direction.

Mark your calendar for Sunday, September 24th from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 at the Memphis Botanic Garden. We'd certainly appreciate your support in attendance. And we sure do love what we do together as a team!