A big change

I’m very much a passion-driven person. So, when my passion for things I usually love is dulled by things out of my control, and things just feel… HARDER to do every day, and you don’t realize what the culprit is, it’s like you’re stuck in a grey cloud of muck, and can’t get clarity.

I’ve been living in a pain cloud for a really long time. I’ve actually been successful at using my pain as a tool to help me overcome challenges and even help fuel me to reach big goals!! (Positive self-talk is a very powerful thing!) I have always been led (by medical professionals) to believe my pain was soft tissue based, so I sucked it up and just did everything I thought I could do to help it. Nothing ever really did, honestly- but I continued to try.

This year, my pain escalated and it was really getting to be too much for me to handle on the daily. So I finally saw a doctor about it (…again). This time was different though: the source was finally revealed. I found out I have a condition called congenital hip dysplasia. I also learned I was born with this (that’s the “congenital” part). It’s when your hip sockets aren’t deep enough to cover your bones. Theres more to it than that (obviously) but that’s the gist of it.

There’s all kinds of bad results from having this condition and living your entire life untreated. You’re walking around with misaligned hip bones, there’s cartilage deterioration, arthritis, bone spurs, and then the constant pain. 25 years and never knew it was bone-based. (Just six weeks ago I was at the gym stretching my painful hips out on the foam roller! 😱 ) My medical care givers always attributed my hip and knee pain to other conditions. But I always knew it was something else. I just never knew I’d ever actually learn the ANSWER to the mystery! Anyway, TA-DA! Mystery solved!

It’s incredible and shocking, but fixing the condition requires total hip replacement. I’m having my first one in four weeks. I am so excited to start on my road to less pain! Bring it on. I’m ready for the challenge.

An insightful conversation

I want to let you know about a really good conversation I recently had with Ronnie Walter. If you don’t know Ronnie, she’s an art biz coach, online teacher, and art licensor, plus a bunch of other stuff. When I first met Ronnie, she was a successful and well-respected art licensing agent. In fact, at my very first trade show, her booth was diagonally across from mine! She recently invited me to come on her Coffee With Ronnie show, and I was thrilled to oblige. We talk the twists and turns and up’s and down’s of my art career, and how the two have intersected and brought me to where I am today. We also talk about print-on-demand: the different ways to do it… and some “deep thoughts” on it. If any of this interests you, definitely check it out. Watch here.

Book Sleeve Design for Shelf Love Reads December 2018 Subscription Box

Project report! This is a book sleeve I designed for the December 2018 @shelflovereads subscription box.

(Scroll to the bottom of this page to see some Instagram photos from box subscribers!)

Shelf Love Reads, the YA books for adult readers subscription box, reached out to me to share their goals for a project: A padded book sleeve featuring a selection of quotes from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

The decorative theme and palette would be inspired by the Five Feet Apart book cover, the featured book in the December 2018 box.
So, I took some general ornamental elements from that cover design (leaves, flowers) and reinterpreted them in my own way, in & around the lettering.

As initial lettering inspiration, they cited my Non-Existent Words mug.

 For the type design, a linear design was requested, like the mug.

I also had another concept that I thought might work well: a “puzzle piece” type of quote arrangement, which is a style I do in my sketchbook sometimes. This design would allow for a more organic inclusion of ornamental design elements in and around the quotes, which I thought would work well to marry with the Five Feet Apart theme.  The rough idea is shown in Design Concept #2 sketch.

I delivered two options:  One in a linear design as was requested like the mug art Design Concept #1 sketch, and the second one I just described.

They selected design 2! (Yippee!)

There were some limitations I needed to work within, considering the final application: The background had to stay white. The colors would be flat (no gradients). And the palette would be limited. These decisions were made based on the production of the sleeve, the fabric, and trying to optimize the clarity, boldness and readability of so much small hand lettering printed on the larger-weave fabric.

See the final sleeve! It came out great!

The sleeve has been very well-received by the @shelflovereads Community. I’m so happy that THEY love it, and YIPPEE ’cause I love it, too! I would love to do more projects like this! If there’s any cool subscription boxes I should know about, put a link in the comments! If they’re a good fit, maybe I’ll pitch them an idea! 😀

XO, Kathy

*All user photos are used with permission from user.