WCL5
Bokehlettering
© Alma Hoffmann, 2017.

Hello reader!


Can you believe how fast time flies by? Today is the first day of September. We just finished the third week of classes. And wow, what a week it has been. The hurricane has caused much devastation to many and in a way, it makes you feel powerless. Nature is such a strong force to contend with. Our church is helping by providing flood buckets with supplies to clean. Even these efforts make you feel small. If you have any friends and/or family in Texas, do reach out. Even a phone call to say that you are thinking of them is encouraging. I have a very dear friend who relocated to Texas several years ago. He has been my brother in times of confusion and fear. Thankfully they are doing okay.

How was your week been? You probably noticed that there was no newsletter on Thursday. When I started out the newsletters, I picked Thursdays because it seemed like the perfect day. Just when the week is almost over and we are thinking of the weekend. But, it has been challenging since classes started. This week was particularly challenging. When I came home from work, I was beat. Therefore, I am thinking I will need to change the day these come out to you. I am still trying to decide. What day would be best for you? Help me out and fill this very, very short survey. It will not take you more than 5 minutes!

Updates

Well, some of you know that I will be in Germany in a week! I will be presenting at the Smashing Magazine conference. If you want to go straight to the page that shows my face, click here! Well, that is if Irma does not come this way. I am praying that she stays away and dissolves itself in the water. I have been waiting for this trip for such a long time! I shared with you last week how I have been preparing for it. All of those index cards! I thought I would share the title of my talk: Harnessing the Creative Mind. The image above is my opening slide. I did the lettering and the background.

Fun fact about the background: In 2015-16, I was appointed by the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences to be the Chair of the Diversity Committee for the college. We had a campus wide event to foster an open dialogue about diversity. Since I was the designer, I created the poster.

While I was brainstorming on what to do for the poster, I came up with using the concept of the bokeh lights, which is a photographic effect. It is very popular now. But I did not want to use a template or a stock photo so I created my own. I wanted a range of color to communicate the idea of diversity. Well, it is this background above as you can see. I thought it would serve me well once more to talk about the creative mind. Below is the poster where I used it the first time in case you want to see it:

posterdiversity2
© Alma Hoffmann, 2016
So, what did you learn this week?

I have been learning about the power of honesty and transparency. At the same time I have been thinking how that is a gift that not everybody appreciates or even understands it. It saddens me to see and feel how some don't appreciate or offer the space for that kind of dialogue. Or worse, some think that they are indeed being transparent or giving the space but it is not really there. And you may be thinking what is the biggest problem? Some may say that it is because of hidden agendas, unresolved issues, and/or unwillingness to recognize when something or someone is a dead end and move on.

The unwillingness to move on is perhaps the most powerful. Because it is also a tool we have but we don't use it. We keep pushing when sometimes the best gift you can offer is to move on for the well being of both. This is hard for me to do and it is like my wise friend Kay said one day: “it is letting go or breaking up with the illusion of what that relationship could have been.” Wiser words have been spoken but right now these feel like the wisest. I have had many losses in my life. Perhaps too many to count. And every time I have to teach myself to let go or to admit that something or someone is not working out, it takes a toll on me. I am not afraid to share this. It is who I am. I think that has served me well as a designer and an artist; having a deep desire for things to be better.

We, designers, can be described as idealists looking at how we can make the world a better place. We are always asking questions about processes, performance, thoughts, policies, and precedent. That is our creative mind processing the information in front of us. Yes, we harness our creative minds, all the time. ?

Couple of things before I go:
  • I am slowly able to work on new pieces but please do let me know ideas for my next show!
  • Also, do you want me to design your Christmas cards? If so, let's talk!
  • Don't forget to visit my new store! Click, click, click on the beautiful blue button below! ⬇️
And with that, I wish you a great weekend and a fabulous week ahead! Until then my friends!
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