Archive for July, 2007

Sacrafice creativity…? Hardly.

July 31, 2007

I’m working on a suite of publications for a retiree event, and this was included in the project description:

Important Note: since retirees are the primary audience for all [event] materials, please make sure all text is large enough and designed in a way to maximize legibility. Even if that means you have to sacrifice some creativity, it has to be readable by this generally older group.

I appreciated the note and duly made the text bigger to meet the special needs of the audience. While “maximizing legibility” is more-or-less innate to graphic design and shouldn’t need a reminder, the special request on this project got me thinking….

The tension between function and form is what makes design an exciting field (and why I’ll probably never be a painter…). You can’t innovate as a designer just by relying on pleasing aesthetic forms. The form must respond to the project’s desired function (in this case, legibility for retirees).

Is this sacrificing creativity? Absolutely not. In this dance of form and function there is no sacrifice. In fact, you need more creativity, not less, to break out your moves on this dance floor…


Sleepless night

July 31, 2007

It’s 2:22am right now, and I couldn’t sleep because I’ve been researching web stuff all night (meaning someday I will have an awesome blog/portfolio site…) but that’s not my point here.

My point is: it’s almost 2:30am in the morning, and I’m still awake. My visions of running at 7am (which I’ve done about 3 times the past year), and 8am start-time for work are fading fast in favor the sleep I know I’ll need in the morning.

I wish I could say this is not common. I wish I could write a touching post that I’m one of those people who goes to bed when they need to, puts a new roll of toilet paper out before the old one is used up (doh!), or gets all the reading done before class. Surprise! Most of the time, I just don’t.

Instead I run with the sparks that motivate me: Photography, design, gardening, movies, swimming, research … This can be a wonderful trait, and has gotten me through school, mission work, and now piecing my life together again. Yet it’s also as irritating as heck when I know I need to go to bed, but I can’t stop thinking about freaking’ web design. I don’t want to think about web design anymore: Which domain name I should use? Who should host it? Is it ok for designer to use a template? What if I modified it? When the Art Center fall classes start? Can I afford to take one? Can I convince the professors to let me skip the intro media classes? Ack! I want to go to bed!

People say they wish they were more creative … do they really mean it? I know most of us have sleepless nights at some-point, and creativity is not solely at fault. But heck, it’s sure keeping me up. Err…

Day 11, Last day

July 30, 2007

Riverside Walk ends

Day 11
Zion National Park (pictured), Baker

It finally came … the last day of the epic road trip. Ellen and I visited Zion National Park, and drove back to Pasadena by way of Baker, CA and some incredible Greek food.

If you haven’t been to the Grand Canyon or Zion, some advise: Go peer over the edge of the Grand Canyon, but camp and hike in Zion. It’s amazing. I wish I’d had more time and knowledge of the park to hike farther up the canyon and get deeper in the picturesque Narrows. Someday, it’ll happen.

Over all, this massive 11 day road trip was amazing. California and the Southwest are beautiful parts of the country, but more than I realized, such an integral and native part of myself. Not only was I born and raised in Cali, but I’m a 6th generation Californian. My Mother’s family came west over the Sierras before the Gold Rush, and even rescued the Donner Party on the way out. They did quite well as farmers in the Central Valley (and now have shifted to become a family of dentists…but I digress).

While I loved living and traveling in Europe (and hope to see Asia, Australia and South America some day), California is definitely home for me. There is something to say for staying close to my roots that seems particularly applicable for this period of study and reflection in my life. And it doesn’t hurt that the west continues to offer a worthy answer to my travel and photography itch, and I’m quite happy with that.

Day 10

July 26, 2007


[note: Sorry for the lapse, I went on another mini-road trip this past weekend to Baja, and it’s taken a bit to catch into the photo editing/upload pattern again.]

Day 10
Grand Canyon, North Rim (pictured)

Oh the Grand Canyon … what can you say? It’s big … and it’s also a long way down. Some might say my refusal to walk to edge would indicate a fear of heights, but I think it’s common sense. I mean really … a mile drop off? Hey, I have an idea: let’s go up to the edge and peer over! Ugh, no thanks. At least my cautious self won’t be featured in the “Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon” non-fiction reading available in the gift shop. Geesh.

Day 8/9

July 20, 2007

Japanese dinner!

Day 8/9

Birthday weekend in Vegas, good times.

Day 7

July 19, 2007

big sky

Day 7
Bodie (pictured), Bishop

This was my favorite day – and scariest. But not for the same reason…

We got a break from the heat and explored the ghost town of Bodie in the morning. The wind (foreshadowing…) kept it cooler than the 100+ degree weather we were in the rest of the week, it also gave me trouble keeping my hat on, my skirt down and my camera in focus. I probably looked like a spastic fish out of water … nothing new right? I wish I was more graceful, but then again some of the other photogs were decked out in photo vests. Yikes.

The scare came later in the day as we were making our way down highway 395 in the Owen’s Valley where lightning had started several brush fires. The smoke was like a wall, and driving into it was like driving from the daylight straight into night. I was staying calm so I and Ellen wouldn’t be too bothered, but it was quite unsettling. Yet traffic kept moving, so I figured it was ok to keep going until it became obvious we shouldn’t. Sure enough, the fire jumped the highway and CHP closed the road and signaled traffic to turn around. We headed back to the last town we went through, Big Pine. With hotel reservations on the other side of the flame in Lone Pine, we were in a quandary… in the end Ellen voted to head one town further away from the flames, back to Bishop, which was good instinct as Big Pine was later evacuated. Whew! Not too dangerous, but enough to get our stomachs in a knot for a bit.

Day 6

July 18, 2007

Mono Lake wind

Day 6
Yosemite, Mono Lake (pictured)

Day 5

July 17, 2007

Shot for Grandma

Day 5
San Francisco (Fort Point (pictured), Japanese Tea Gardens, Beach Chalet, Beach)

Ellen came to California with a few itinerary items. This photo in San Francisco with flowers in her hair is one of them, as requested by her grandmother.

weird habits and random facts …

July 16, 2007

I’ve never been “tagged” to respond to a specific blog topic, but two different friends within days of each other tagged me for a “meme”. As it pertains to blogging, a meme is an idea spread from blog to blog. The object is to tell the internet random facts/habits about myself and then pass it on.

Brian from Avant shared 5 habits, and J.J. from Fuller shared 8 habits/facts. Now it’s my turn, but I’m combining the two requests to share 5 habits and 3 odd facts.

The Meme Rules:
1. I have to post these rules before I give you the facts.
2. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
3. People who are tagged need to write their own blog (about their eight things) and post these rules.
4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

Kristin’s Five Habits
1. I only buy orange soda in Europe. It just tastes better there.
2. I have to swim at least twice a week (unless I’m traveling). I can’t describe it, but I get antsy if I don’t.
3. I wait about two minutes before putting my seat-belt on when I get in the car and start driving.
4. I burp. A lot. In fact, I could probably burp louder than you.
5. I compulsively save coffee sleeves. This started after I made a wreath out of them last November. In addition, my friends started saving me their coffee sleeves, which I someday hope to use for another art project. People would just drop by with them, hand them off in class, and I’d even found them on my door knob.

Kristin’s Three Random facts
6. I love to travel on my birthday. I was in Miami at 7 years, Catalina Island at 9, London at 20, Paris at 24, San Fran at 25, and Las Vegas/Grand Canyon at 26.

7. On a houseboats camping trip in High School youth group, the cool thing was to do back flips off the houseboat into the delta. I was taking pictures, and realized I should seize the day and try the feat myself. Yet I’m not that cool and hit the water wrong. Ouch. By the time I made it out of the water, a two foot long bruise quickly formed down the length of my left leg. It was so gnarly, the camp staff deemed me “bruise queen” crowning me a few days later in-front of all the campers with a cut out brown paper bag. I still have said crown taped to my bedroom wall back in Concord. Nice!

7. Once my brother put soap in my green beans when I was about seven. I had no clue, and my parent’s didn’t believe me when I said they tasted funny. Thankfully when they started to foam and suds up, my claims were validated and they let me dump them out while my brother laughed hysterically. Strangely, I still love green beans.

The tagged ones:
Miriam – Let me help you procrastinate more…
Daphne – Write what you feel like! It’ll be good!
Libby – This will be good!
Ipp – I dare you to post from your iPhone…
Jamie / Kirsten – use it for a weekly ministry update!
Dean – It’d probably end up making me think
Tara – It’d make me glad I get to see you tomorrow for dinner! Yay!

Day 4

July 16, 2007

grapes on the vine

Day 4
Napa Valley (Clos du Val, Hess, and Sterling)

So it turns out … I’m not a wine connoisseur, or even really a fan. *Sigh* This is so depressing, and I feel slightly uncultured. Yet I can’t deny I’d much rather kick my feet up with a cold beer…

That said, Napa Valley was definitely worth the trip. It’s pretty unforgiving I’m from the Bay and haven’t been yet. Having Ellen around made it the perfect chance to try it out, and it’s even more beautiful than I thought. To top it off, my friend Beth came down from Chico with a packed picnic for us (she’s an angel who knows how to cook!). We visited three wineries, one of which had an art gallery (Hess) and took in some awesome scenery. Good times!