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January 2018
When Judith called and asked if I could create a large piece of corporate-themed art for the lobby of a downtown building, I thought of saying, “Yes,” but instead opted for “Ha! Yes!” It’s important to keep consistent with your branding, even if it makes you seem over-enthusiastic.

Of course, I’d never done anything like what she requested, but that’s been true of everything at some point.

newsletter 16 Maverik closeJudith, a former gallery owner, selects and places art in buildings. Sometimes, the business wants something custom-made, something that reflects their history. Her usual artist was becoming less and less available, and since I have a home-study course degree in Showing Up, it seemed like a good fit.

After a few layouts that determined I really didn’t know what they really wanted, I finally knew what they really wanted and laid down a long rectangle that showed the company’s history, overlaid with circles that highlighted each of the major businesses overseen by FJ Management.

But I didn’t really know what they really wanted, because nobody did. Hey, they’d never done this before, either. It’s a family business, so requested in the next round were the addition of many family members’ pictures, because who knows who will be the CEO in 50 years? But it got to where it was becoming a family portrait, more appropriate in a living room right beneath the “live love laugh” affirmation cut in blobby oaken letters, so we went back to just the founding and current titans, plus more airplanes.

The whole thing was originally set up to best use the first batch of photos and make the elements blend smoothly. But when the pictures keep getting swapped out, the original layout can lose its joie de vivre, which is the wrong phrase, but since it’s French, it gives this article more je ne sais quoi.

The answer to that is my secret weapon: blue. Or, as the French and dyslexic Americans say, bleu. I just slathered it on. I have more blue at my disposal than you’d expect due to my connections with the blue black market. I should say no more about that.
newsletter 16 FJM install photo

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When Newsletters Go Biennial

This started out as a monthly exercise, but like car washing and cuticle maintenance, the fallow periods grew more and more lengthy. Then, a year ago, I got set back by that brusque encounter I had with a Nissan while crossing a street. I got metal screwed into a leg, and I can only assume that, in parallel fashion, the car was healed by having bones spliced into an axle. It was not a time to hop back on the metaphorical writing horse (subtle pun alert). 

Now, with this new newsletter app that only has two font choices that change size at its whim and zero layout choices (farewell, sweet sidebars!), I am perfectly poised to less-perfectly resume my regular output. Actually, it was never really regular, so that’s a vague poising. Let’s just say the next one will be before 2020.

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