On the Art Trail

ARTrails of Southwest Washington is an organization full of amazingly talented artists.

For the third and fourth weekends of September of each year, they open up their studios for the public to get a behind-the-scenes look at how they work their magic. This year, my friend Yolanda and I traipsed around Lewis and Thurston counties to meet the artists, see their studios, and see their artwork up close and personal.

Word to the wise… do not attempt this is one day. While it is entirely possible to drive to each studio and gallery within the allotted time (10am to 5pm), you would miss the opportunity to visit with the artists. This was the best part for me. I enjoyed listening to their stories and learning about their creative processes. What wonderful and gifted people they are!

Although Yolanda and I took two days for this unique and inspiring experience, we were still unable to get to all the studios. My sincere apologies go out to those artists we didn’t get to meet! Next year I think we’ll do a three-day tour!

For more information about ARTrails, check out their website: You can learn more about the artists, see their work, find out how to become a member, and more!

Book Design

Live Life as an Opening Day!

One of my best friends, Edward Riley, recently published his second book, “Opening Day: A Big Idea in a Little Book.”

This heartwarming book is inspirational for everyone who owns a small business… heck, it’s inspirational for everyone! It tells the story of a successful store owner and why his customers keep returning. It’s all in the attitude – customer service goes a long way!

The ideas Edward put forward in this book help keep me focused on client satisfaction and appreciation.

His idea for the cover was a fun, challenging project. He wanted a wiggly balloon man, like you see at grand openings and sales. Easy, right? Not really. The images I found weren’t quite right. So when I finally found an image that could work, I had to tweak it.

Believe it or not, the original image had the balloon man in the foreground of a photo that included buildings, electric lines, trees, and other miscellaneous items you’d see in a city’s shopping area. The balloon man himself was red with big white words all over him. After I removed the background and words, I changed the color to turquoise and gave him more of a cartoony look to help the image pop off the cover.

I’m pleased with the final outcome, as is Edward, which is the important part 🙂

Read more about the amazing Edward here.


Marlaena Shannon: Award Winner

I’d like to give a shoutout to my friend and client, Marlaena Shannon! She is an author/illustrator of children’s books. Two of her books have won awards! In 2016, Black and White Cat, White and Black Dog won for cover design. This year, Bad Day for Baby Duck won for humor AND short fiction! Congrats, Marlaena!

As a side note, Bad Day for Baby Duck is not the typical children’s book… it’s really a story book for older children… it’s a bit disturbing.