Lately I've been thinking a lot about "The Ask." When my older brother and I were little, we watched many a Saturday morning cartoon. Road Runner, FogHorn Leghorn, Looney Tunes and Woody Woodpecker to name a few. Most of the characters at one point or another would say, "You asked for it!" and then POW! Right in the kisser. It struck me this week how both in our personal and professional lives we don't often get that proverbial punch because, well, we don't actually ask for it.
What I've learned is you have to ask for the work you want ...
I'm grateful to live in a beautiful neighborhood. For 10 years now, I've walked my kids up and down our street to the local elementary school. I always pass a house that is so southern, so neatly groomed and inviting that everyone who sees it tells me that it is their "favorite house" in the neighborhood. It's mine, too.
One afternoon, I saw that the homeowner was having her backyard picket fence taken down. It was old and rustic and had the greatest greenish patina to it. I could see fabulous signs being painted on that wood. I stopped to ask if she wouldn't mind if I had a few sections. She was thrilled to give them away and had hoped that someone could use them for something creative. She didn't want them to go to waste… ahh my kind of gal. From there, our friendship began. I would see her around town at craft shows and community events. I always wanted to paint a portrait of her home... finally I asked. Turns out, she had lots of custom paintings for me to do. I happily created 5 commissioned watercolors for these awesome homeowners.
In my art classes I share 7 Creatives Truths with the students. One of them is to "Do Something That Scares You!" Sometimes that just means asking for a job you want.
More on this subject next week. Anyone have any success stories to share of stepping out and asking? Inspire us!
This year I've had the privilege to work with a client who has just finished the long hard road of creating a children's book.
It was a pleasure to work with Candace Ruffin because this new fabulous friend of mine puts in the hard work and does not cut corners. She hired Mark Wayne Adams, an incredible illustrator named. She has created a beautiful website and hired me to consult with her on creating a logo for her brand as an author. We met at a local coffee shop and talked about her upcoming book. She shared planned pages of it with me, and as we sipped and collaborated, we found ourselves having so much in common. Candace is a lover of beautiful things, a driven, hard-working woman and most importantly, a lover of God. I left our meeting feeling so inspired and pleased that we had accomplished so much in a short amount of time. I couldn't wait to get to work on her brand-identity.
Candace comes from a history of writers and currently has a blog called The Writing Cane. She named it that because as a little girl growing up her nickname was Candy Cane.
She had an existing logo that she was not happy with. It had the title of her blog with a few graphics that were trying to accomplish too much at once, diluting her message. We discussed what she didn't like about her current logo, what image she wanted to convey to her audience and how to get there visually.
Since her active, thriving blog was already using this title, we discussed making it the tagline to her name, rather than the dominant text of the logo. This way she can promote her name as an author while linking the blog title to her name. We created a version of her logo with and without the blog title so she could alternate between the 2 at her discretion, depending on the environment. Below are 3 of the 5 concepts that I presented her with.
The logo that she chose uses the "f" in Ruffin to hint at a "writing cane." We studied color concepts and decided on a deep warm orange. The final color excites positive emotions and is associated with joy, happiness, intellect and energy. It evokes cheerful thoughts … perfect for an author of children's stories and perfect for Candace's personality.
The book she wrote is about a little boy named Eli. The main character was inspired by Candace's son, Eli. He believes he can be anything he wants to be. You'll have to read it yourself and experience how little Eli explores what it would be like if he were a balloon!
You can purchase her beautiful book online here.
If your company or personal brand is in need of a logo redesign, contact Caryn Dahm
Whether I am working with a client on their brand identity, teaching students or creating a custom watercolor piece, I hope to refresh and inspire others with my work. Read more ...