Thursday, April 28, 2011

A thousand words....

Sometimes design's ability to express an idea so poignantly shakes my soul.
These toy soldiers by Dorothy is one such case. "Casualties of War"
Heartbreaking. Haunting. Beautiful.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Inspiration: "We Were Made for These Times"

Sometimes being open to the news and the truth and the world can be a daunting task. Especially, if you are yelling GREEN and everyone else is yelling blue. Time to pull out one of my favourite power poems to help push through the heavy heart moments of change instigation. I don't know Clarissa Pinkola Estes, but I admire her spirit. Lo admiro mucho, y cuando necesito reunir mi mente con mi corazon, siempre regreso a su poesia. Hope you enjoy!

"We Were Made for These Times" by Clarissa Pinkola Estés

My friends, do not lose heart. We were made for these times.
I have heard from so many recently who are deeply and properly bewildered. They are concerned about the state of affairs in our world right now. Ours is a time of almost daily astonishment and often righteous rage over the latest degradations of what matters most to civilized, visionary people.
You are right in your assessments. The luster and hubris some have aspired to while endorsing acts so heinous against children, elders, everyday people, the poor, the unguarded, the helpless, is breathtaking.
Yet, I urge you, ask you, gentle you, to please not spend your spirit dry by bewailing these difficult times. Especially do not lose hope. Most particularly because, the fact is that we were made for these times. Yes.
For years, we have been learning, practicing, been in training for and just waiting to meet on this exact plain of engagement.
I grew up on the Great Lakes and recognize a seaworthy vessel when I see one. Regarding awakened souls, there have never been more able vessels in the waters than there are right now across the world. And they are fully provisioned and able to signal one another as never before in the history of humankind.
Look out over the prow; there are millions of boats of righteous souls on the waters with you. Even though your veneers may shiver from every wave in this stormy roil, I assure you that the long timbers composing your prow and rudder come from a greater forest. That long-grained lumber is known to withstand storms, to hold together, to hold its own, and to advance, regardless.
In any dark time, there is a tendency to veer toward fainting over how much is wrong or unmended in the world. Do not focus on that. There is a tendency too to fall into being weakened by dwelling on what is outside your reach, by what cannot yet be. Do not focus there. That is spending the wind without raising the sails. We are needed, that is all we can know. And though we meet resistance, we more so will meet great souls who will hail us, love us and guide us, and we will know them when they appear.
Didn't you say you were a believer? Didn't you say you pledged to listen to a voice greater? Didn't you ask for grace? Don't you remember that to be in grace means to submit to the voice greater?
Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely.
It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good. What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts, adding, adding to, adding more, continuing.
We know that it does not take "everyone on Earth" to bring justice and peace, but only a small, determined group who will not give up during the first, second, or hundredth gale.
One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks, can send up flares, builds signal fires, causes proper matters to catch fire.
To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these -- to be fierce and to show mercy toward others, both, are act of immense bravery and greatest necessity. Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it.
If you would help to calm the tumult, this is one of the strongest things you can do. There will always be times when you feel discouraged.
I too have felt despair many times in my life, but I do not keep a chair for it; I will not entertain it. It is not allowed to eat from my plate.
The reason is this: In my uttermost bones I know something, as do you. It is that there can be no despair when you remember why you came to Earth, who you serve, and who sent you here.
The good words we say and the good deeds we do are not ours: They are the words and deeds of the One who brought us here.
In that spirit, I hope you will write this on your wall: When a great ship is in harbor and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for. This comes with much love and a prayer that you remember who you came from, and why you came to this beautiful, needful Earth.
Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D
Dr. Estés is a psychoanalyst; Member Hispanic Journalists; Post-trauma specialist, Columbine High School and community, since massacre, 1999-2003; Board member: Author's Guild, New York.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Earth Day Gifts for Clients

Today, in honour of Earth Day, 2011, we donated fruit-bearing trees on behalf of 20 great clients. I purchased the trees from Trees for Life : a great non-profit whose mission is to help end world hunger by planting fruit trees in the developing world. They plant native species that can thrive, and that can eventually feed the person who takes care of it. I like the way they think. Each person that is helped is asked to share seeds with two other people and to teach them what they have learned. It's great companies like this that we want to connect with. Tackling social justice, education initiatives and global warming issues in one shot (via first world donations in small, payable amounts) is pure genius. 
Maybe we will contact them someday and offer to promote their great cause. I'd love to create green designs for them, and their donation certificate could definitely use a facelift. Hmmm. That's fruit for thought. 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Urban Garden Heaven

I've just found urban garden heaven.
This vertical garden design was spotted on - an amazing site where you can pledge to fund the creative ideas you like. I am going to back this amazing live decor, and purchase a set in advance of production. (Just look at these gorgeous prototypes!) I imagine it right by my kitchen window, touting herbs for my salads. *Just about perfect*

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Breathtaking Earth

Designers can only hope to emulate the perfect beauty that is mother nature.

The Mountain from Terje Sorgjerd on Vimeo.

Terje Sorgjerd filmed these sequences from a mountaintop in Spain. After seeing the Hubble photographs I was sure that I had seen the most beautiful images that I would ever see.... Terje has managed to capture the intense raw beauty of the skies in a way that rivals those from space. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Walking the Walk

Yesterday I was locked out of my house. A simple slip up and a wonderful moment in my week. The sun was out, I had my laptop, so I walked to my local coffee shop for my fair trade double-double.

{{ This is actually noteworthy 
because I never walk to the coffee shop.}}

The walk gave me time to think.
It gave me time to breathe.
It gave me time to let the brain create.
I was literally whistling as I step-stepped down the road and I realized that I was, for the first time, really walking the walk. My zero carbon footsteps took me where I needed to be, and that realization left me quite rattled. It had been so long since I had walked - well anywhere, really - and it's such a simple thing to do.
Here I am, working hard to use recycled papers and solar-powered websites, and I am missing out on the simplest idea of all.


It's healthier, it's cheaper, it's non- polluting, and there's no excuse not to do it.
I'm making a goal this summer to walk.
If you see the red beetle booting around town feel free to give me the thumbs down. 
Red thumbs-down buggy no punch backs.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Design that Matters : The Green Party of Canada Animation

I've been busy busy designing and creative thinking. (Ahem, hence the 2011 lag in posts.) We recently created a design piece that disallowed me to neglect my "Green Graphic Design" blog.

Here's a YouTube clip of the Green Party of Canada animation that we sent their way last week. It was such a satisfying experience to be designing communications for something that I feel so passionately about. It was the most feel-good work I've done all year! You can see it on the national campaign site at Green Party Canada.

It reaffirmed my decision to go solo and to look for GOOD clients, working on POSITIVE projects that matter. Sometimes I lament my jump from the road-to-riches to the road-to-goodwill, but this week I am nothing but smiles.