I’ve been on this search for an internship this Summer for about three months now. I’ve come up empty, and not because I didn’t inquire at ten to fifteen companies. So many places have been not interested, not communicated that they don’t even have designers, until after 2 weeks of reviewing my resume (*cough meredith *cough,), or simply hired someone else before I could get an interview. But there’s one place that took a close look at my work and my resume and asked for an interview. That is August Home Publishing. Although this is the last place that I’ve found, it doesn’t mean they are any less of a favorite of mine. In fact, they are the most interesting in the things they do.

Today was the day.
I took the three hour drive to Des Moines for my interview. I was really amazed at how large, yet small they are. They produce five magazines about woodworking, cooking and gardening. They also publish books with some of the same great articles in their magazines. The intern for this Summer will be working on a book for woodworking tutorials. Their office buildings are very unique: One was once a mansion, but now is three floors of offices and meeting rooms. The interior design is really cool too, and that might be because the furniture is probably all made by their in-house woodworking guys. I say they are large because they produce so many publications, yet their number of staff is small compared to what I would think they would need. They have a test kitchen, photography studio, gardening center and fitness center. It’s like their own little community.

Thank you.
I’d like to thank Randy (www.shebekart.com), for taking me to lunch and guiding me through the important information I needed to know before going into the interview. Also, thanks to Jeremy (www.crawlspacemedia.com) for his encouragement and random facebooking the day before I actually got to meet him.

I have heard many people in my design class say at one time or another that they are Illustrator experts but they can’t even use Photoshop.

I am the total opposite.

I can do almost anything in Photoshop, even use the Pen tool like it’s used in Illustrator. I just have never needed Illustrator to do my design. I haven’t needed it, but that doesn’t mean I couldn’t have used it to make things easier or to create something in vector rather than raster. So today, a day after receiving an email from a design firm that I want to work for this Summer, I set out to illustrate a guitar using Adobe Illustrator. The email I received inquired about my illustration skills. I know the concept of Illustrator, even the pen tool is easy to me, but actually creating things in Illustrator is something I’ve never done.

My freshman year we had to do a tutorial and create robo waitress in Illustrator, this thing was the demise of almost everyone. We were then threatened to have to airbrush this same image… If you’ve ever used an airbrush, (a real one, not a paintbrush in photoshop), you know how crazy this would be to do. So, I guess I found this tutorial unhelpful, since it told you exactly what to do and how to do it.

This is a side-by-side of the guitar I made tonight. It was a 3 hour job. I used the Gradient Mesh tool. for the body of the guitar and just other basic shapes.


I used a Wacom tablet over the summer to do illustration for my job, but having one at home allows more time for experimenting with the tablet’s possibilities. I recently used the tablet to colorize this sketch in Photoshop CS2. It took about 30 min. You might remember the original sketch being posted here.


I’m currently doing a freelance design job for the City of La Plata. Their website was in great need of a redesign. Check out a designed simulation of the homepage here. Currently, I am in the programming stage of this project. Website projects usually start with a discovery stage which involves meeting the client and finding out exactly what they want and who their target audience is. Next, I create a website design via Photoshop based on the discovery meeting. I then get their feedback based on what they feel will be a website visitor’s responses. It is important to ask not what “they” think of it but what their target audience will think. Personal preferences should never have a place in this stage, unless it is their personal website (even then, it is still about their audience). Then I get design sign-off and approval to go ahead with the website programming. After programming, the client should have a few days to look through the website as it will be when it goes live. At last the website is uploaded and live!

I got to shoot some photography for this project. Since it is for a small town, I took my camera down to La Plata and just drove around taking photos of their little town and all that it has to offer. It had just snowed the night before and made for some great photos. Look for them soon.

I was stopped by a fella while taking photos and he asked if I was redesigning the website (that’s how small the town is… everyone already knows me). He runs the Pulp Museum (the author of Doc Savage was born in La Plata) and is interested in a website for it. Funny how work just falls into my lap.


I recently created a newspaper ad for the Christmas gatherings at Meadow Heights Church. I went for a sort of web 2.0 style, combined with my own style of simple and clean design. Check out the design work for the Imagine Campaign I worked on for them.

Here are a few of my final Illustration projects:

World Record

This was done in watercolor and represents a world record. The world record I chose was a man who could balance a car on his head. I chose to make it seem like an everyday occurance


The prompt for this illustration was to represent the number 8 and also make it a personal statement. I hope you can see the 8 (my head and body).


This project had to represent a sound of our choosing. I chose ‘silence’ and wanted to use the same concept that John Cage used when he composed 4’33”. That is, although his piece of music had no musical notes, there was still music or sound to be appreciated in those moments. The song was made up of all the audience noise, the storm going on outside, etc. I used a cricket to represent the “silence” in this piece.


My old roommate, Paul, plays every Wednesday at the Salamander Grill. He plays guitar and is in a jazz combo with trumpet, sax, bass, and drums. If the great food at the Salamander doesn’t entice you to go.. then great music should. 

Paul asked me to create a poster to advertise their gig every week. This was a quick and easy 20 minute job.

gumbojazz poster

I continue to do advertisement design for the Adair County Drug Coalition. I got this concept for an ad from the “theantidrug.com”. I really like how impacting the message is.  I used the Wacom Tablet for the marker lines and did all of this in Illustrator

Adair County Drug Coalition Ad

I’m also going to begin designing a billboard for them, while balancing a logo design for a local church and a large print design project for Meadow Heights Church.

All this while taking two studio art classes and working two campus jobs. I love it or I wouldn’t do it.

I’m new to designing ads for newspapers, but not new to designing and laying out newspaper pages. I worked a semester at the Truman Index. I stared at very full newspaper pages with columns and columns of text all the time while trying to fit even more stuff in there. It’s all about how much crap (stories?) you can fit on one page.

So, why not break that rule when making newspaper ads?

  • Newspapers seem to disregard the idea of negative space. So I realized that to make a great ad is to use a lot of negative space.
  • Also, using very large text, larger than the largest headline on the page works well.
  • Scope out the newspaper before designing an ad for it. See how they layout the page, and do the opposite: use negative space, use text on an angle. Why text on an angle? Because no other text on the page will be angled and the eye will be drawn to your ad.
  • If you are lucky enough to have an ad on a page with color, and you know there will already be a lot of color on the page, do this: Make yours black and white… Why? Because there is a lack of color the eye will stop on your ad for “rest”.

Check out Great Newspaper Ads pt. 2 from August 12, 2008

Back to the Future

For me, the design work I’ve done in the past sometimes inspires or informs me about where I should be going with my design in the future. I sometimes look at old artwork or design of mine and wonder how I ever did it because I don’t feel I’m currently creating that great of work.

This is a brochure I did about a design period that sometimes inspires me or gives me ideas for future design. I created this in Viscom I, over a year ago.

The cover art was done by me with inspiration from
the period and the peice in my timeline on the upper left
with the morphing shapes in it (seen below)

inspiration for my brochure. Designed by Armin Hofmann.