Their New Home

This cute couple bought a house and wanted some pictures to use for their Christmas card for 2013, so I took these for them!J&S3

J&S12 J&S17

J&S11 J&S21



Failure to Blog (and some awesome pictures)

Over the past four weeks I have clocked a ton of time in front of my computer screen and have had a lot more time to think about personal projects that were pushed to the back burner while I dedicated my entire life to my job. I was pretty miserable while not thinking creatively about my own work and now that I have had time to reflect on projects I’ve half completed or stopped working on i realized that I pretty much completely stopped blogging. I did some creative work on the side or on weekends but never had the time or felt like the things I produced were incomplete. So to move out of the funk and create more of an online presence for my work (both photography and graphic design) I endeavor to post at least once per week (probably though strategic scheduling) a project I am working on or completed a while ago.

I may also start adding links to a new blog project I am attempting titled ‘Your Adult Life’ exploring the ins and outs of some subjects covered in my previous blog post ‘Proper Adult’ and others I’ve been thinking about. Going to aim for one a week over there but those posts may take a bit more research.

Without further ado: On September 5, 2014 I pulled triple duty as the MoH, DJ, and photographer at my sister’s wedding (also was the graphic designer for all graphic needs, but that didn’t happen day of). Here are some of the images I captured of this special day:

     Flowers Mel





Graphic Design Portfolio



I created the invitations for my sister’s wedding! Also, as I am in the market for a new position, I thought it would be prudent to add a link to this PDF for any potential employers to glance through.

Please enjoy and feel free to share with your contacts!



My Portfolio



Tagged , ,

‘Proper Adult’

Upon my return to the United States I was introduced to the HBO Show ‘Girls’  by my older sister. I watched the pilot episode without high expectations based on my sister’s brief review, but it hit so close to home that I power-watched the entire first season in one night. Since that night I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the message of the show and how it relates to my life.

Having effectively moved out of my parents’ houses and, for the most part, budgets at the age of 18, I naively considered myself an adult. At one point I had a boyfriend of 3 years that I thought I would eventually marry and I was on track to finish my Bachelors degree. There was a mini plan of a career and babies forming in my head.

THE break up happened, I graduated with a BFA, and moved across country to spend a year and a half living with (amazing) relatives.  At the age of 24, I was again on track to enter the adult world of salary and health insurance in lieu of parental insurance and multiple part-time jobs to pay the bills. Had that train kept going, I think my life would be a little more miserable than it is right now. I purposely, if unknowingly, derailed that particular train by going back to school for my Masters degree half a world away from all friends and family.

Having finished that over a year ago now, I realized that those early twenties were anything but adulthood. Growing up in 2013 was a rough transition. I got my first exempt salaried position with my very own health insurance, which is alarmingly expensive. I have life insurance and a retirement account which are both very foreign concepts that I don’t fully understand yet. I bought a brand new car and car insurance for the first time and I’m still not entirely sure if I got a good deal or was taken advantage of. I found an adult relationship with someone that is reaching the six month mark as of publishing and I understand now that all the relationships I had before weren’t healthy or even close to being ‘adult’.

Now I am contemplating changing fields (as I do not work in the field I spent all that time being educated to work in) and have no clue where to start. Where was the class on how to change careers in all of my high school college prep, BFA and MA programs? How did I miss the day they taught all of these essential life skills? Truth is, the educational systems we have in place in the Western World are not teaching us how to live in society. They are teaching us how to fill a role in society: teacher, doctor, lawyer. These cookie cutter jobs do not list ‘must know how to buy a car’ or ‘must understand health insurance’ as necessary so those essential life skills get skipped over in the education system.

In high school I had to class called ‘Planning Your Future’ that I assume was suppose to teach me about these things. Yes, we ‘learned’ how to do our taxes by hand and what a 1040EZ looks like and that it would probably be the form we would need for the foreseeable future after high school. At no time did I, a pretty decent student (#25 in my graduating class) learn that getting a ton of money back as a tax return was a bad thing. Someone from a young professionals group I belong to now told me that getting a $4500 refund means that the government took more money from your paycheck than they really needed to and didn’t tell you for a whole year, essentially borrowing your $4500 interest free for a whole year and then they turn around and are like, “Oh yeah, here you go, you can have your own money back.” While they charge me an arm and a leg in interest on the loans they gave me for this education that apparently taught me a whole lot of nothing. This was a life changing revelation for me! I had been complaining that my return was only $250 for three weeks as I was counting on a larger return to pay down some credit cards no one taught me how to use properly. That three minute conversation altered my perspective on the whole educational system and is the reason for this pensive post. We didn’t learn how Worker’s Unions operated from watching the Stallone film ‘Fist.’ We didn’t learn how to budget when we ‘married’ one of our classmates and drew salaries and numbers of children out of a hat. My ‘husband’ and I got the two highest paying jobs in the hat and blew off the assignment because we could afford everything we could have ever wanted or needed. Who is responsible for teaching us these things? Should I blame my parents for not teaching me some of these things? Is the fault of the education system? Is it my own fault for not seeking the knowledge before I needed to use it? If you’ve made it this far with me I would like to know what you think about all this in the comments below. If you don’t feel like commenting, I hope I’ve at least made you think.


Intense Dreaming

Occasionally, my dreams are so real that they scare me. This one wasn’t too bad.


“Earth/USA has been invaded by super natural/extraterrestrial beings (giants?) which have caused a giant snow storm that turned off all power to private homes.

Story starts with the protagonist in New York City, hiding behind a very tall/wide man -an agent (agents are humans that have become servants of the invaders).

The agent moves on and Elise opens her long rain coat to reveal yet another person, a small little girl with bright blonde curls, only wisps of which have escaped the wrap around her head.

Later a group of women and girls have been gathered up by the agents and are being marched toward “the building.” They are all shaking, except Elise, who is looking for a way out of this mess for all of them. The agents lead them up a few flights of stairs and into a large warehouse space. The floor is covered in giant rushes and the women and girls have to work hard to stay on top of the mess. They are ordered to stay in the warehouse and will be, “dealt with soon.” The agents leave, slamming the door behind them, Elise hears the distinctive click of a deadbolt slide into place. From somewhere out of sight as the only light is coming in from a skylight directly above them, they begin to hear rumbling. Elise whispers to the now ultra terrified group to, “try to keep calm and don’t scream.” Mostly because she can’t stand screaming women and might be less inclined to help those who lose their heads. That’s when the shuffling noise starts, slowly moving in their direction. The noise makes it seems as if they are being stalked by a giant cat. An idea jumps into Elise’s head so fast she almost yelled. She quickly gets the attention of the group of women and girls all huddled together and whispers her plan. If whatever is out there wants to play cat and mouse, they would act like mice. “Drop under the rushes and crawl to the edges of the room in different directions. Keep moving around the walls until we find a way out, if we don’t then I guess we can say we tried before whatever that is ate us.”

The group followed directions and found a small crack in the wall. One by one as they found their way around the wall, they slipped inside the wall and followed the direction of the light wind bowing past them. To ensure all escaped, Elise was the last to leave the place. She felt that she had won a small victory against their conquerors and smiled to herself in the dark as she followed the shuffling feet of the group of women she had liberated.”



So that’s a dream I had. I can’t recall what significance the little girl with blonde curls had, but she was precious to me in the dream.


Creative Energy

Screen shot 2013-08-21 at 12.38.45 AM Screen shot 2013-08-22 at 10.10.26 PMJust a few quickie screen shots of a new project I’m working on. I’ve been seriously considering changing my eating habits and while researching different lifestyle diets (clean eating, low carb, Vegans, etc.) on the Interwebs, I realised that I wouldn’t be able to make this type of drastic change without some sort of help. It inspired me to design a meal planning journal. I also need to start budgeting my money more effectively. I spent an entire night combing though my bank statements adding up the amount I’ve been spending on food. I thought adding a budgeting/pricing piece would help me as well. Above are a couple rough ideas for pages. Input is welcome, though I am pretty in love with the font (a free Font on Abduzeedo called Benchnine).

What would you like to see in a journal like this?

This is going to be a collaborative project with my friend across the Pond Luke Taylor. We are brainstorming ideas currently; these are just mine. I can’t wait to see what he has cooking! Bubbling on the back burner are ideas for an icon set and a companion app!

Look for updates eventually!



Tagged , , , ,


Today I got a tad nostalgic while going through my HD that’s been hanging out at my sister’s house while I’ve been abroad. I was doing a bit of graphic design work for a friend and it got me thinking about my empty Dribbble account (which is kinda like LinkedIn for Graphic Designers). So I wanted to post some of my old projects as well as newer ones. While going through my old class files from Kendall it brought back many memories. *Le sigh*

I even found some stuff from a workshop that the Kendall Photo Association organized with Tom Allen a few years ago. At which I produced the image below. I’m pretty proud of it.

After the trip down memory lane – I caught the graphic design bug again. I don’t have anything specific to do this week in MI while the rest of the world has actual jobs so I think that’s what I’m going to focus on. I have all these new goals for my creative future. I think after finally finishing this Master’s degree, I’m ready to be creative on a regular basis again. The trip down memory lane and a visit last week to Kendall while I was in Grand Rapids catching up with old friends really made me miss the creative environment. Academia is alright, but creative people are so much more fun to be around!
This doesn’t change my desire to work in a museum or gallery because those environments seem like a good balance between creativity and academia, but I think I’ve reached a point where I wouldn’t mind doing freelance photography or graphic design on the side just for kicks.

So there’s that. A little more serious than originally intended, but I’m OK with it; the situation seems to call for it. It feels like a new stage in my life is about to begin and for once I don’t mind the change so much.

Normally this is me:


%d bloggers like this: