A Few Projects I'd Like to Work On

Our culture has so many great things to offer it’s difficult trying to stick to only one project. That’s where I stand when it comes to creating. There’s so many different things to do for different reasons that it’s difficult to set one goal and accomplish that goal. The difficult things being, and this is my first weakness, patience needed for things to happen. My second weakness is being financially limited.

I have a good handful of ideas in my Idea’s Box I hope to accomplish one day. I’ve decided to post them; it’ll be like speaking them into existence. Some projects have been started while others are still being planned out.

Calendar App

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This project I’ve had for a while. I have an idea for a minimally designed calendar app that’ll have a very specific function that almost no calendar app has. The app would be a great way for people who want to keep track of everyday things without looking at a chaotic mess of a calendar. Hopefully it’ll help people be stress-free.

As can be seen, I made a digital illustration of how the calendar would look. It’s more of a rough sketch but the basic idea is there.

The main reason I’ve been putting this project on hold is because I don’t know how to code and I don’t have means to pay someone to code it. And I wouldn’t even know how to sell the idea to a company.

I think for now I'll keep designing the app, make it look presentable. Maybe I’ll come across someone who could help me out with it one day.

Newspaper

Two very close friends of mine and I want to start a newspaper company. The three of us worked on our school paper, one of us currently has a job at a local paper — it’s safe to say we have an interest in journalism. However, we live in different communities, cities away and we aren’t really sure how to get that going. We came up with a different system for how the paper would run in terms of editors and writers, but that’s about it. Oh, I also came up with a pretty good masthead design. That one will be very difficult to get going. We could always start online.

Design Book

After a couple semesters of trying to major as a graphic designer I wanted to write my own design book. Design is one of the few things that comes easy to me, one of the few things I’d say I was pretty good at. I understand it and I know I’m able to teach it.

The reason I haven’t been able to get on that is because I start out all my projects the same: I take out my iPad and begin planning and jotting down ideas; I organize everything into a perfect system; I do the research that has to be done to make sure I have things correct. But once it’s time to start actually writing it out I feel burnt out and decide to take a break and continue the next day. The next day however is a brand new day with more ideas and projects to work on.

I hope one day I can actually work on a design book — one I wish I had when I started graphic design.

Penny Press Novelty

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A couple months ago I had an idea to try and create an app that would simulate a coin flipping. It would help people make decision. Of course, apps are difficult to create so I let that idea go. A couple days ago however, I woke up and the first thing I did was grab my iPad and look up how to design custom coins. My partner asked me what I was doing and it was when I answered him that I finally realized what I was doing, “I’m going to design a custom Penny Press coin to flip for marketing and for fun.”

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This happened about a week ago so it’s very fresh in my head. I keep scouring the internet to find a company that can make coins for an inexpensive price but I’d still have to design it. Designing the coin is the easy part, actually 3D designing it on the computer is the difficult part. I like the idea of using the coin as a marketing strategy for my blog, it’s like a business card that can be used for other things. I also think it’s quirky like my blog.

Dinosaur Trading Cards

Here’s a fun one. I have an obsession with dinosaurs because…well because they’re amazing! Dinosaurs were real monsters that ruled the earth. How insane is that! I wanted to design fun trading cards that were educational and fun. But not the “fun and educational” that is promoted by cheap flashcards at retail stores. I wanted to design some with interesting illustrations and facts that also hold mystery. There’s nothing wrong with telling kids the truth — we are not 100% sure what dinosaurs looked like.

Tarot Cards Design

My final project idea is a bit more out there — custom tarot cards. I have a strange fixation on tarot cards and fortune-telling in general. I’m not sure if I believe it 100% but it’s fun being able to tell a narrative when reading the cards. Designing cryptic messages into beautiful illustrations sounds fun and challenging. My artistic skills aren’t where I could draw 78 different illustrations and they’d all look amazing but if I could partner with someone that’d be amazing.

In fact, if I found someone to collaborate with I’d prioritize this idea. I follow a ton of great artists on Instagram, I could easily message some of them and see if any would be interested. This idea might be more feasible than the others.

And that’s it

Those are the projects that immediately haunt my every thought. I’m sure if I went through my notes I’d remember more but that wouldn’t be a good thing. I hope to get started on at least one project and follow it through but that’s difficult.

It isn’t that I run out of steam; it’s that there’s always something new to do and new is exciting. I’ll have to come up with a way to follow through on my projects so that I have something to show my talent off. For now I'll keep planning and eyeing which projects are easiest to work on so that I could cross them off my list, soon.

Back to Being an Artist

Today I made the mistake of going to my favorite art store, Dick Blick. The plan was simple: buy five tubes of cheap acrylic paint -- one white, one yellow, one red, one blue and one black -- and one cheap paint brush. I was going to browse through the raw canvas rolls to see if they were affordable and then I'd be done. I took one step in and my knees buckled.

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It was as if I had seen my high school crush in all their mature glory. The smell of paint and plastic welcomed me. Indistinctive chatter filled my ears at a comfortable volume and a few art words stood out -- oil paint, sturdy canvas, Van Gogh's ear -- I teared up a bit.

I hadn't been to true art store since my time at an art school. And I didn't realize how much I missed it. Fresh out of high school I enrolled in a trade art school. I've heard all the criticisms and concerns about attending an art school but I'm known to make selfish and impulsive decisions. So off to an art school I went. Everything I learned at the school was pure magic. The friends I made were also great -- it was a one melting pot of good people with great ideas. 

I browsed the whole store, taking mental pictures of things I'd have to buy. Each section gave me ideas for projects. Then I stopped at the sketching pencils aisle and my simple plan suddenly changed without me realizing it. 

Have you ever held a 100% graphite pencil before? Or even better, a little block of graphite? It's like holding a tool that could change your whole life and make it into something more beautiful. When I picked up a pencil, however, it didn't show me my beautiful future -- it showed me my beautiful past. I was an artist and I hadn't realized it before but I missed it so much. 

I want to be an artist again. I can't remember the last time I sketched something that wasn't considered a preliminary sketch for a design. When's the last time I sketched something to just push-pin onto the wall?

I left the store with basic art supplies: compressed graphite blocks, a kneading eraser, opaque white paint and a small paintbrush. I'm going to be creating simple sketches with these for a few weeks before I go back and start buying more supplies. What if I stopped for a reason? I'll see how things go, first. 

The feeling of nostalgia is something nice to feel every once in a while but this wasn't nostalgia. This was a realization of a longing. All the art supplies are a beckoning to return to my roots. I'm sure I'll have to re-teach myself the basics of sketching but if it'll be anything like my drawing 101 classes then I'll enjoy it. 

That's it for now. I'll be posting my sketches on my Instagram account, @PennyPressBlog.