Friday, May 23, 2008


I was lucky enough to get some freelance work while I am in Sugar Land. A friend of the family contacted me to design some logos and a mousepad for his clients. I am so grateful for the work, and it is always good to get experience, but prepare yourself for a short rant.

The client wanted a gradient. They want a logo with 3-D Times New Roman or something boring. With gradients all over it, of course. I think they think it looks professional. I see dated. They're lawyers. They would probably win the argument.

On top of that, the Extrude & Bevel option in my Illustrator wasn't working right, so I did every gradient on that thing myself. And it looks damn good for being so ugly, thank you.

Did I mention there's a star? There's a star. Because we live in Texas.

I am terrible, I shouldn't be ranting about this. This is what I do, I give the client what they want. Even if I disagree. Can I help it if I disagree?

This is an age-old problem for designers. We know what we're talking about when it comes to design - most of us have studied or practiced it for years - yet rarely does the client really take full advantage of our design sense.

I think I'll allow myself this rant. Just this once. I swear. :)

I may be lying.

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Drive Home

The drive between Lubbock and Sugar Land takes 8 to 10 hours, depending on your road personality. I usually get looks of pity when I mention this fact to friends; however this drive is something that I am really going to miss. It's like I was telling a friend of mine yesterday, you just kind of have to accept that you are about to spend an entire day on the road, and give in to the experience. I am not very Texan, and have never felt that I really belong in Texas, but over the course of these trips across the state, I have fallen in love with it.

There are only about 15-20 small towns you drive through along the route that I take. They are all adorable and quirky in their own way. One town, Hamilton, boasts the slogan: "What a Hometown Should Be." And it is. Then there is Gatesville, where some of my friends are from, a town known for their high-security prisons. I also pass through Fort Hood. And there is one landmark I will never forget, which marks the halfway point in my trip. Believe it or not, this little ranch in the middle of nowhere just outside of Comanche is called Deep Shit Cattle Co. No joke. Don't blink or you're bound to miss it. There are also tons of antique stores, Dairy Queens, and town squares along the way (surprisingly few Starbucks), but none of these places take more than 5 minutes of your trip. The rest of the day is filled with open land and sky.

Thus, if you are driving this alone as I usually do, the majority of the trip is spent in your own little world. When you are not stuck behind a huge semi going 60 and trying (unsuccessfully) to stifle your road rage, you are left to your music and your thoughts. I went through about 7 CDs this last trip, a few of which I had not listened to in ages and brought back memories from high school, and one of which was "Learn to Speak Italian." This particular CD poses somewhat of a dilemma, as it supplies all of the names and locations for you. Thus, when someone asks me my name and where I'm from, I just know I'll answer, "Mi chiamo Maria Santoni; sono di Dondra," which means, "My name is Maria Santoni; I am from London." That's false, by the way. But I am learning more with every trip.

Other than that I thought a lot about my future. I just graduated, and I'm at this odd point in my life in which I have nowhere to go and nothing to do, but I could go anywhere and do anything my heart desires. So what does my heart desire? Too many things, I can't decide. I'm dying to travel, I have a degree in graphic design and am going to use it (how, I don't know), but I would also love to learn to cook, and maybe open my own shop somewhere, maybe teach somewhere down the road, and I definitely need to start that band. I figure I'll work it out along the way, for now I just need to choose one direction and go with it. I'm a big girl now, and if I find I am unhappy with what I am doing, I can always change it.

Anyway, I highly recommend this kind of drive to anyone and everyone. If you are ever presented with such a long "boring" task, dive in headfirst and embrace it. As with every other experience, you may get more out of it than you thought.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Welcome to Peptalk!

As I mentioned in my About Me section, I admit I am a bit odd. I am one of those people who sees and experiences the world differently than most. This comes out a lot in my design, but I have a hard time putting my thoughts into words. I know that, if only you could step into my head for one second, you could join my train of thought. But this is probably the closest you can get. Here you will find random thoughts, inspiration, moments, design, music, and everything that interests me as the days go by. This can be a good place to keep up with me and my life, to learn new things, to ponder different issues, to get inspired about what you do, or just to look at the world through new eyes.

I do hope you enjoy!