Being an extrovert sucks too

We may seem confident and often times are the life of the party. There’s a lot of drawbacks. Extroverts think about themselves just as much as introverts. We have a need for approval. My introverted friends often tell me how they loved something I did. Or posted. Whatever. And when they finally tell me, I’m like, Ok thank you, I wondered if you noticed that. 

Introverted and extroverted people are not that different sometimes. I live in my head all day. I imagine conversations. I analyze body language and quirks like crazy. Someone scratches their face and I interpret that as disapproval. But instead of backing off I go all in. And often times that leads to me making an ass out of myself.  

Introverted people are viewed as introspective. I claim extroverts are too. I’ve always been an open book about my life and my faults. Some people love that and some people hate that.  

The question I have with every relationship is do you think I’m ok? Am I being the best April for you?  

I have to hold back my tongue because I have no filter sometimes. I make jokes. But then I’m like wow, I consider myself smart. Did I just discredit myself? 

i am bad at secrets. I also feel secrets hurt. But sometimes you must have them.  

I have several best friends who are introverted and I get them. I know how to manage that. But I wonder, does anyone get the struggle of being extroverted? To put your life and soul out there, being and open book, vulnerable to be judged? Or to a lesser extent, saying what everyone else is thinking? Owning it?  

And is there an in between? 

Rated crab Rangoon in Kansas City.

Your ultimate guide to crab Rangoon:  

1. Blue Sake sushi - their crab Rangoon is awesome. They have a sweet chili and mango sauce that makes it like crack. Pro tip: ask for the sauce on the side, you get a ton of it!


2. Lulu’s Noodles - good crab and cream cheese balance in the center but what sets it apart is the light crispy flaky wonton crust. Their sauce is good too with a little chili spice. 


3. Sushi Mido - unlimited sushi started off with a boat of crispy sail shaped wontons and sauce? Yes please! BTW my favorite sushi place, it seems like a dive from the looks but it’s amazeballs. Try the rolls named after local streets.

4. Bo Lings is always solid.

Worst crab Rangoon:

1. Ni Hoa Fresh - the poke and stir fry was a C- and the crab rangoon had no flavor, a hot glob of nothing. 

blue in da face

this is a little playlist i created as we gear up to vote in less than a month! let’s turn blue!


voting time, you don't have to go home but you can't stay here.

Check out the link. It's a really helpful tool to compare candidates and make decisions! Be a prepared voter! 

I am really excited about Sharice Davids. She's badass. But more importantly, she makes a ton of sense. She's not so far left on a lot of these issues that she alienates people. But again, I go back to how she makes so much sense. "Guns do have their place. As part of a military family, I do recognize that firearms have a role in society. That place is not in schools, in hospitals, in mental health facilities, or in the homes of domestic abusers. I plan to treat gun violence as a public health issue."


I also like 'Bam" McClendon for Secretary of State. Kris Kobach he is not! 

"I helped found a non-partisan, non-profit organization called that focused on voter registration and engagement. It developed a mobile-friendly non-partisan online voter registration tool,, that allows Kansas citizens to register to vote in under five minutes using the federal form. In the last year, over 3500 Kansans have successfully registered to vote using KSvotes."

Lots of great democrats out on the ballot, it is hard to choose. And isn't it awesome that we have a CHOICE! 


i love this magazine

I found this magazine at the book store. It's from Australia but it's way better than any magazine for women in America. Frankie.

A 30 year old with a double lung transplant talks about her life. 

A collection of fruit stickers. 

Perspectives from older folks about changes in the world.

Dog portraits. 

Cute poster with a 2 month calendar on the back.

It's such a great magazine for women. A lot of perspectives about art, design, music, literature and fashion. It has real depth. Not to mention I love the fonts, colors, patterns...if it were cheaper, I would subscribe. But, come to find out, there's an app! Do check it out! 

how magazine in-house awards

Check it out. Unbound got in for our commercial and our magazine! 

you're doing it wrong: apply for jobs the right way

You've heard it all before. And yet you aren't getting any calls. The biggest idea to burn into your brain is that you have to make the hiring manager do as little work as possible, and everything needs to be perfect!

First off, you should have a branded letterhead. Your cover letter, resume, and anything else you attach should be branded.

You're cover letter:

1. If the email is available on the posting, send a freaking email. When you submit through sites like Careerbuilder, Monster or Indeed, you lose all formatting. Formatting is the first hiring managers look at. You've crippled yourself by plain text.

2. Send a PDF, retain your formatting and fonts! Word docs lose formatting depending on versions. If I don't have your fonts installed, I can't see your beautiful resume. But why are you using word in the first place? Rent InDesign for a month or get an open source design program (I'm talking to you Linux users).

3. Your cover letter should be on your branded letterhead, not in an email.   The email should be a 3 sentence paragraph about your intentions. "I am submitting a 3 page PDF with my cover letter, resume, salary requirements and references"

4. Your cover letter should not be generic. It should tell a story. It should say why you applied and how you came to the decision. It shouldn't look like you are throwing things at a wall to see what will stick. 

5. Avoid cutesy. Avoid exclamation points. The hiring manager needs to know your skills, not that you tweet and IM really well.  

6. Never say "references upon request." Either include or don't. Don't make anyone work for anything, you should do the work for the hirer. 

7. If the job description says include a pic of your dog, do that. If it says submit salary requirements, submit them. If it says email or send a hard copy, do both. 


Your resume: 

1. Formatting! Spacing! Kerning! If you use periods on your bullet points, do it consistently. Make sure spaces between sections and lines are consistent. Make sure bolded text and italicized text is consistent. Find out by researching print materials what style a company uses. AP or Chicago? If you can't, just be consistent and thoughtful. Create your own style and always be consistent. Did I mention consistent?

1.5. Never put your picture on your resume. It shows you are narcsissistic, and is very damaging for you if your skills are lackluster, or your experience is limited. A highly conceptual logo can get you far if executed correctly. 

2. You may not have a ton of experience to list. But you are wanting this job, so list experiences that relate. Search your brain for something a hiring manager can work with. The only thing he or she is thinking about is who can do this job.

3. Do not go into great detail about working at Target, Chipotle, or the local liquor store. In fact, if you didn't do design work there, it isn't relevant. Only show relevant work. When a hiring manager looks at 25 resumes a day, people that talk a lot about irrelevant work go straight to the trash bin.

4. Again, you need to submit a resume with a cover letter in a PDF, in the order in which they should be read. 

5. It doesn't hurt to include a third page of work samples. Many companies have internet on lockdown. So pick out your best images, 3-4, and any extra info. These emails will be shared with many. (one page for each!)


Your portfolio site: 

1. URLs that say .wix or /behance or .google.sites. or .squarespace show that you are not willing to fork over 10 bucks a month and control what the world sees of your work. 

2. If you have 16 visuals and 13 are crap, just show the three. Don't show the crap.  

3. Don't add a bunch of links that take the hirer away from your site.  

4. Don't include links to social media if they are on lockdown or have nothing to do with design. Make sure your social media posts don't prevent you from being hired. And if you are doing all of the above, duh. Stop it.

5. Your site should match the branding on your cover letter and resume. Content should match. 



1. It still matters. Should you get an interview, you'll need it so you aren't fumbling. Craft it like a good mixed tape. Make it crescendo in the middle, and at the end solidify. Bring samples. Mount peices like fine art. Include dates and times. List what outside companies you worked with. 


In conclusion: 

For the love of Pete, spend time on what you submit; work on it as if it were a design assignment or a request from a client. Your number one client is you. If you treat your number one client like crap, how can anyone trust you with their clients (whether being an in-house designer or at an agency)?

The care in which you submit things matters. I've seen so many resumes and portfolio sites that just suck. You did all this work, show it!

Google "the worst portfolio site" and pay heed. 


jepgs tiffs raw

When I submit a packaged InDesign file, obviously I try to submit the most highest quality files. Tiff files are wonderful for fine art images. But they shut computers down. Now, at the new place I work, we submit PDFs and I don't see why I need a tif, I think a JPEG will do if it is high res. I think you look at the production specs, if the printer is only printing at 300 dpi, a 600 ppi image is perfect. Tiffs shut down every machine I have ever worked on, and I have worked on top of the line machines. So what gives? Why do so many purists love raw or tiffs, when you only have 300 dpi to work with. And also folks, dpi and ppi are not interchangeable. Also if you have too many pixels on uncoated paper, you getting bleed.  


i think that when you think about the end result, what file you are submitting, the paper, and so on, you just gotta work backwards.

a funny story from my boss

A writer and an editor no wait.... a designer and a communications person (changed to relate) are in the desert. Finally, they walk to an oasis, and the designer starts drinking the water like crazy. The communications person starts peeing in it. The designer asks, "What are you doing?!"

"Making it better."

So later in the day when I printed the design I made and left it on her desk, my sticky note read, "Pee on me."

It's good to have a sense of humor!

a story about pirates

From one of my gurus!

A ship sailing to the new world encountered a pirate ship. The captain said, everyone buckle down and prepare for the fight. And the ship remained unharmed.

A few days later, 3 ships attacked the explorers. The captain said, put your red shirts on! The crew did, and since the enemy couldn't see that the crew was bloody, they gave up. The crew, though wounded, survived.

A few days later, five ships attacked the ship. And the captain, knowing that his crew could survive, advised the team to put on their brown pants. (Get it?)

The question always was, are you wearing a red shirt? Or brown pants?

What I always took away, is that there are days you might wear both. And when you have the brown pants or the red shirt on, you may feel defeated. But in the end, you may have gone through the ringer, but what survived is perfect!

fun photography site

The endless battle day after day is getting images for our marketing material. The magic formula:

contemporary + action + people + diversity + permission 

It may sound easy to some, but when all of your programs happen in states that you do not reside, the only thing to rely on is final evaluations sent in once programs finished. They are usually shot with a $80 to $180 camera, with horrible lighting, and 99 persent of the images have a big ole butt getting in the way of action. 

So, getting on with the point of this post, I found a great site by artists for artists, impressive free photo source with a range of subject matter. Check it out and I recommend following them on instagram. 

back to basics

From Wikipedia:

The Rational Model[edit]

The Rational Model was independently developed by Simon[14] and Pahl and Beitz.[15] It posits that:

  1. designers attempt to optimize a design candidate for known constraints and objectives,

  2. the design process is plan-driven,

  3. the design process is understood in terms of a discrete sequence of stages.

The Rational Model is based on a rationalist philosophy[10] and underlies the Waterfall Model,[16] Systems Development Life Cycle[17] and much of the engineering design literature.[18] According to the rationalist philosophy, design is informed by research and knowledge in a predictable and controlled manner. Technical rationality is at the center of the process.[citation needed]

The Action-Centric Model[edit]

The Action-Centric Perspective is a label given to a collection of interrelated concepts, which are antithetical to The Rational Model.[12] It posits that:

  1. designers use creativity and emotion to generate design candidates,

  2. the design process is improvised,

  3. no universal sequence of stages is apparent – analysis, design and implementation are contemporary and inextricably linked[12]

The Action-Centric Perspective is based on an empiricist philosophy and broadly consistent with the Agile approach[23] and amethodical development.[24] Substantial empirical evidence supports the veracity of this perspective in describing the actions of real designers.[21] Like the Rational Model, the Action-Centric model sees design as informed by research and knowledge. However, research and knowledge are brought into the design process through the judgment and common sense of designers – by designers "thinking on their feet" – more than through the predictable and controlled process stipulated by the Rational Model. Designers' context-dependent experience and professional judgment take center stage more than technical rationality.[citation needed]

Every project I do, I start out using the Rational Model. Then all hell breaks loose, and I switch to the Action Centric Model, and as I finalize the project, I go back to the Rational Model. What's the best model (if there is one) for the GRAPHIC design process? 



Kanso (簡素) Simplicity or elimination of clutter. Things are expressed in a plain, simple, natural manner. Reminds us to think not in terms of decoration but in terms of clarity, a kind of clarity that may be achieved through omission or exclusion of the non-essential.


photoshop is not for designing... no, seriously.

It still amazes me how photoshop is used so incorrectly. Got a website to create? Make it in photoshop. Making a poster? Photoshop!!??

You make photos in Photoshop. You illustrate in Illustrator. You design publications in InDesign. You design a website in whatever coding or platform it will be hosted on (please no flash). You design mobile apps in coding.

@jerneu says designing apps in Sketch3 is good. He says even illustrator works. The new big thing. Check it out. Xcode is great tool for programming Apple apps.

Regardless. Photoshop is not a design tool. It's a tool for photos and some illustrations.

My goal is to make an augmented reality mobile app for M-AAA's arts events for board members to solicit new support, but really for anyone that loves arts and culture.

A side note: never go with a custom content management system that isn't open source. Expect a new M-AAA website soon, it's a more open layout and better content, but we are still slaves to this terrible custom CMS. Never again.

graphic design tune up

So below is the first project I worked on: Going for the Goldsworthy. The pont is to take found objects and arrange them into a formation, and photograph the resulting design. Since it is deathly cold here in Kansas City, and I was eager to get started, I utilized the trashcans in the office. The result was pretty good! "I laughed when I finally figured out they were trashcans!" Jim Krause, the instructor, is a great resource and offered to look over things even after the course was finished. 

inspiration: pointless diagrams


What a fun exercise. I recently took a Creative Tune-up for Designers course where you do things like draw swirls, flames,  etc. They are exercises that get your brain connected your hands, get you thinking visually, just sharpening your designer tools. I think this exercise is way better! I think I will try it and post results later.