Summer Produce In The Santa Ynez Valley

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It is HOT.  I mean HOT.  It is officially summer here in the Santa Ynez Valley. Every early Summer I think, it doesn't get too hot here, and then it happens.  The temperatures are in the high 90's day after day and I regret giving those tank tops away.  With heat, comes the ripened fruit from the wet winter and the windy spring.  

The bounty of produce that come from the Santa Ynez Valley is absolutely stunning. The summer fruits are starting to drop, and I'm scouring Pinterest, with the question,"What to do with extra...".  For me, I have a plethora of apricots and plums (2 varietals).  

The counter covered in fruit, and I love it. The colors that are produced from three fruit trees in my backyard is unbelievable.  Purple, orange, yellow, pink, and celery green, and more.  These colors are just a reminder of how intense natural colors can be.  I wish I could keep the fruit on the countertops all year long, but the flies will soon get to it and I can't waste all of this good food.  Next season there will be another color palette of produce to indulge in.  I just want to enjoy this color palette as long as possible.  Until next season...

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Wine Label Graphic Design

Wine Label Graphic Design

Creating a wine label must check legal requirements and as well as aesthetic preferences

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Cling to Freedom - Wanting freedom to create above all else.

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It's election season and you know what that means..... muting every commercial break.  Jokes aside, it means get informed and get out and vote.

Freedom (as listed in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary): the quality or state of being free: as

  a :  the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action  b :  liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another :  independence  c :  the quality or state of being exempt or released usually from something onerous<freedom from care>  d :  easefacility <spoke the language with freedom>  e :  the quality of being frank, open, or outspoken <answered with freedom>  f :  improper familiarity  g :  boldness of conception or execution  h :  unrestricted use <gave him the freedom of their home>

I feel eternally grateful for the freedoms that I have as an American and as an American Artist. Not being able to create the work I feel passionate about and purely enjoy doing would be heartbreaking, and it's happening to people all over the globe.  There are much larger world problems than people not having the freedom to create what they want, but what if every person in the world had the freedom of expression?  What do you think the world would look and sound like?  Building on the great tradition of freedom of expression is a privilege that I am thankful for.  Sharing and advocating for others to create is a privilege, and I have hope that one day freedom of expression will be encouraged to every person.

 

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New starts - Best practices to starting a new project

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Congrats!  You're starting on a new project, yahoo!  Now put that energy in to planning and doing.  

 - Building a road map on how you are going to tackle any new project allows you to prioritize and later on better explain how you got to your final designs with your client. 

 - Documenting and saving appropriately. Remember, you eventually will be sharing your work with the client, who will eventually be sharing that information with other vendors, media, and customers so name and save your work appropriately. 

 - Each variation of your work submitted matter.  Don't think that just because your first go at a new project was not approved for the final artwork that you wont reference the original version down the road.  Do NOT delete or overwrite any submitted project version, you never know when it will be reference later on, and who wants redo their work.

 - Enjoy the dialog.  Listening and expanding to a current design is all part of the fun, challenge yourself to listen and engage in the dialog.  Don't be afraid to ask questions!

 - Finish with finesse.  Be grateful for the opportunity to have had the chance to work on this new project.  You probably learned a little something along the way and the client trusted you with their project.

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Have Friday brain? Getting to the core of a project quickly so you can get to the weekend.

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Do you ever start a task and then realize you have been thinking of something far down the line which doesn't actually relate to the current task at hand?  Overthinking a project is normal, so get over it.  Write down all of your thoughts or concerns for the project, that way you don't have to spend time and energy reminding yourself of what the concerns are.

Cutting through all of this mind clutter is how to get to the core of your project.  Always ask yourself, what is the goal? Does "x" help me achieve this goal?  Even as a designer, it can be overwhelming when you think of all of the possibilities available for you to create.  Clear your mind and keep going back to addressing the goal, it will help navigate in the right direction.

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Viva La Fiesta! - Life is Vibrant

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Living in Santa Barbara County has many benefits.  One yearly reminder of just how beautiful living on the Central Coast is, is Fiesta.  Color fill the flag lined State street, and muti-colored confetti seams to rain from the balconies above.  It is a time to remember Santa Barbara's heritage and also to embrace the people and cultures which settled the Central Coast.  Dancing, costumes, food, art and craft are all on display and it's time to party.  The vibrant colors that fill the streets are my personal favorite part about Fiesta.  The amount of color everywhere just makes me smile, and I'm not alone in this feeling.  Showcasing vibrant colors actually makes people genuinely happy.  The evidence is right on the street.  I think this is why color is my favorite part of fiesta, people are just happier. Viva La Fiesta!

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Feeling Moody - Essential Mood Board Training

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Great design don't always just pop out of nowhere. Mood boards cultivate ideas, and when trying to develop, nothing helps bridge the gap between the idea person and person who creates like a mood board can.

Mood Board Essentials :

 1. Name - give your mood board a name that excites you about the project, and what it can become.  If you start with a boring name, the project will be come boring.

  2. The Hunt - Finding objects, colors, tones, language, lines, photography, filters, applications that inspire you for the project at hand.  Specifically identify the aspects of these items which you would like to bring into your new project.  The idea is not copy, but to use items from all aspects relating to the project to inspire you to create something new.

  3. Edit - Once you have collected all of the elements which inspire this project, edit them.  When you started hunting for inspiration, you may have been going in one direction but realized somewhere along the way there were better paths to take.  So delete or separate all of the items that no longer belong in this project.

  4. Implement - You may not use every idea that you found will on your inspirational journey.  Actually, please don't use every aspect in your mood board all at once.  Save some of the goodness that remains in your mood board for a rainy day, you never know when a few extra assets will need to be created.

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Page Density - Web design 101

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Density - the degree of compactness of a substance in an outlined area.

Some websites have a lot to say; and they should be able to say all of the things they would like to say.  When websites say too much, the page becomes too dense.  When a website become too dense with text or graphics, the messaging can be too overwhelming for the viewer.  Finding the balance of text, graphics, imagery, and blank space is tricky.  That is why most businesses hire someone like me to create their website.  

An easy rule to page density, is to create a small amount of copy which is rich in content.  Catching the viewer's attention with a short "want to learn more" tone leads people to continue reading and learn about all which your business has to offer.

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Sit, Stay, Rollover... Ad Rollovers

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Sit, Stay, Rollover... or something like that.

The rollover action is all so popular in online advertising.  A rollover is the action of a graphic changing when your mouse scrolls over the graphic.  

If you actually took the time to count how many rollover actions you encounter in a day using the internet, you may be surprised.  I was actually pretty shocked at how desensitized I've become to rollovers since I unconsciously encounter them so often online.  Does that mean they're not affective?

Rollover's are still an affective way to grab attention, but creating a rollover that is unique is much more affective than a simple color change or copy change.  As always though, the rollover that you create should still match the look and feel of the business that you are advertising for.  If it makes more sense not to have a rollover graphic in an online ad, that ad would probably be avant-garde at this point.

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Don't Go Chasing Waterfall's - The Waterfall Process

The waterfall process is a linear process of creating, done by only moving on to the next phase of a project once the prior phase is complete.  There are pluses to the waterfall process, but if you go downstream too far it is often hard to get back on track.

This waterfall process used to be the core development processes of website creation, leading to one phase of planning.  I have found though, that many businesses use this way of project management when working through any type project.  The waterfall process can build a ton of momentum and undivided attention towards a project, which is usually a great thing.  Though, when there is so much momentum behind a project from the early stages it can be really difficult to asses the projection of the project and allow for mid-project maneuvering.  

Laying out the foundation in which you prefer to tackle a project before you even start the ideation stage, can change the outcome of the project drastically.  

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3-Day and 6-Day Organic Paleo Cleanse Delivered To Your Door

GOGO Cleanse, healthy eating made easy.  Calle Bonita Studios (CBS) had the privilege of creating the GOGO Cleanse website along with the GOGO Cleanse Chef Irina Skories.  The GOGO Cleanse website allows customers through the US to purchase 3-Day and 6-Day paleo meal cleanses. With Irina, CBS created a fully integrated commerce site to showcases Chef Irina's beautifully created meals. Visit www.gogocleanse.com for more information and to explore the website. 

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