Friday, September 26, 2008

A Break, Worries and Hopes

…and if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you...

Last week Lindsay and I took a much needed break from work, business and the world in general. We escaped to the outdoors of the Grand Canyon taking only what we could fit in the trunk of a Miata. For those of you who have never witnessed one, it barely fits one small suitcase. We trekked through the beautiful vistas of Northern Arizona, traveling through the always stunning Sedona along the Oak Creek into the backside of Flagstaff. Heading north out of Flagstaff you are greeted with tall pines mixed with stunning aspen trees almost ready to turn bright golden yellow from the waning fall days. On northward we traveled, moving up onto the Colorado Plateau through Tusayan and finally to the abyss of the canyon itself.

My photos clearly do not do this magnificent place any justice. It is an overwhelming place to visit for both its immense size and trying to take it all in just how long this canyon took to develop. Lindsay and I camped within Mather Campground for 3 nights (cold nights at that - 38°!) and on our last night sat out on the rim by ourselves and looked at the stars. There is no light around the canyon and there were so many stars it was hard to make out the constellations. Being in the outdoors always gives me great appreciation for what we have. Clean clothes, a soft bed, and warm dry feet. All is right in the world when you can sit on ancient seabed rock while wishing on shooting stars at the edge of the abyss.

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So that brings me to my worries. This past week was my first week of - for all purposes - self inflicted unemployment. Every day I read about a new bank collapsing, a city having gas shortages and politicians questioning if this will be the next "Great Depression." I think to myself, "what have I done?" I've thrown away a perfectly decent job where I made good money at one of the most volatile times I've witnessed in my lifetime. All that I can do is keep on swimming.

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So, now my hopes. I have always believed that people are basically good. Yes, there are a lot of really bad people out there, but most people I meet are very sincere and helpful. If things really go bad, you better believe I'll be one of the people out there to help give a hand. So, I move forward with confidence that if my business or my plans do not succeed it is not for lack of trying.

These photos were taken in quick succession as I scrambled onto the side of the canyon with a 1,000 foot drop almost immediately behind us.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A Transition In Life

Well, only one more week to go at my current employer. Part of me is sad to go. I've been with them for 4 years now and have learned a tremendous amount in that time. But I am very excited with this next stage of my life. It is now up to me alone to be successful in this endeavor and while I can tell you it scares the bejeezus out of me (what if I fail, what if I succeed?), I am thrilled that I have this opportunity. I wouldn't have it, were it not for Lindsay's pursuit of his own career that we've been through these past 4+ years.

I appreciate everyone's kind words over the past few weeks. It was a very stressful week at the office, especially with one employee in particular who took my leave as a sign of me purposely wanting to hurt my company. I only hope that someday they are able to get past their own neurosis and look at the bigger picture. I just wish I could shake their remarkably unkind words.

Anywho … my whole point of this post is that I will only post here things that are not illustration related as I have started a new blog that is only illustration related. That would be here: Kerrie Robertson Illustration. I hope you all can check it out and give me some feedback.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Business Cards…

As a designer I find that one of the most challenging things out there is creating an identity for yourself. It is so much easier with other companies. How do I come across sincere, but professional without looking like I have too much self importance?

So, I present to you 3 business cards that I've worked up over the past couple of days. These are just temporary that I have to print out so that I can hand them out to some people at an upcoming event next Thursday. After that, I really work on my identity! Yikes.

As you'll see to the right, there is a poll. Hmmm… I guess I really should have added in a "none of the above."

Choice 1:

Choice 2:

Choice 3:

Monday, September 8, 2008

Post Script

Well, I did it. I got some strange responses, some upset responses and one "so you just chose this time to quit to screw us?!?" Hmmm … that was actually the polite way it was put. No, I didn't do that to hurt anyone. Anyone who knows me, knows that I always put others before myself.

Anyway, my Creative Director looked visibly upset but understood why I was leaving. Now, I have two weeks to survive!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

A Great BIG Desicion for Me!

Well, with a title like that one might think children, divorce, moving … well, children are already on the RADAR, no way am I divorcing - my marriage is quite strong, and moving? Well, we've already started our countdown on that one, but that'll be a few more years.

No, today (actually tomorrow, as I've pre-written this) I will be handing in my letter of resignation. This is a big decision for me – read BIG – because I have no other concrete job lined up. I've been working nearly non-stop since I was a 15 year old kid burning fries at McDonald's by Crossroads mall. Does that place even exist anymore?!? I have been working at establishing my career as a Graphic Designer over the past 10 years, and one might say I've been successful. I have often worried that Graphic Design has a short shelf life as a career - as you work your way up in the field, people either don't want to pay you for what they believe they could get out of a recent hire, or you simply cannot continue to work under a Creative Director. The latter is where I stand. I have to find my own voice as a designer.

Why would I leave a company one might ask? I have a steady paycheck and well, let's see, that's about all. I'm not growing as an artist, and I need to see if I can hack it out in the big bad world of freelance. Plus, I have been getting increasing ill from this job. It's not a bad place - in fact it has some great aspects to it, but the stress level is becoming increasingly intolerable. Why continue to put up with it if I don't absolutely have to?

So, the first day after I have left my current company I will go downtown, get my business license and start my own illustration business.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Playing with the camera…

This photo was taken looking north
towards the Catalina Mountains.
I even caught a little bird in the shot!

Lindsay and I went to check out the new (pretty cool!!) Dodge Challengers today and on the way I stopped and took some photos of the fabulous cloudscapes around Tucson. I'm still learning how to use my camera – a Canon Powershot A530 – and thought these images would look good in black and white. I tried to find a setting for a black and white mode on the camera itself, but no such luck. Just sepia. So, into PhotoShop they go and here they are.

This photo was taken on the manual setting with a 1/500th shutter speed, which is probably why it is so grainy. I then took it into PhotoShop and added curves, levels and a bit of hue/saturation. I opted to due a saturated blue, rather than a black and white on this image.