St. Peter, Minnesota

Design, Photography

For July’s photo outing, Kristin and I took a trip to St. Peter, Minnesota. I remembered driving through their downtown on my way to my Grandparents, and I thought it might be a cute spot to take pictures. I also distinctly remembered a cute, wooden gazebo that was in a park there, that I think my aunt and uncle were married at.

On our way into the downtown area, we spotted a coffee shop and stopped for a coffee, lemonade, and a change of clothing, since it was much hotter than we had expected it to be. On our way out of the coffee shop, we spotted a water fountain and went to explore. There was a little park with a walking trail that led into the woods. The woods looked promising, so we trudged ahead! Turns out, it was pretty disappointing. The trail was not covered at all, so we were in the hot sun on an over 80 degree day. After a short walk, we could see there was no shade in sight, so we turned back.

Since downtown was fairly busy at that time, we thought it might be fun to go explore Gustavus Adolphus College. On the way there, we passed the park that had the little, wooden gazebo. Sadly, the gazebo had been replaced by a larger, not-as-cute gazebo (or I just completely remembered it as nicer than it was…that could be the case too). The college looked very ’70s. There was one building that was architecturally interesting, but otherwise, the buildings were all brick and rectangular.

Luckily, the college had an arboretum, which is where we spent most of our time. Sadly, there wasn’t any shade here either, so we got really warm walking around. I was concerned that it might be too warm, and our lenses might get condensation on them, but they appear to be fine. I got a lot of flower pictures, so that made the sweaty walk worth it!

After hours in the sun on a hot day, we didn’t have the energy left to go back and explore downtown. Maybe on another day trip, we’ll pass by there again and stop.

Caponi Art Park

Design, Photography

This is the poster for my June photo outing with Kristin. We both had very busy months, so we had to get together on a weeknight and had less photo time than we usually do. For this adventure, we went to Caponi Art Park in Eagan. Neither of us had been there before, and I had only caught a glimpse of it while taking a walk.

We started out of the parking lot on a trail that went to the South. After wandering around the trails for awhile, we started to wonder where the art was. Everything was just nature paths through the woods. It was nice, but not as art-filled as we had been expecting. So we back-tracked to the parking lot and went North instead. (I knew there were sculptures to the north, since that was near where I had walked previously.)

When I’m in a new place, there is so much to take in, that I sometimes miss obvious things. So there is a potential that we missed it, but I didn’t see anything that explained the art. I can’t remember for sure, but I think there may have been something to tell what the name of the piece was and who created it, but nothing about what they were trying to say. For some of the art, that was ok. For others, I really feel like I needed an explanation.

Because of this, I tried to mimick the feelings of not really clearly knowing what is going on in my poster. Some of the photos are easy to see and some blend into the others more. I also chose to hand write the name of the poster, rather than pick a font. Because I get the Caponi Art Park newsletter, and I see the snake sculpture all the time, I chose to make my text mirror the snake a little with curves. I realized after I finished the text, that the triangle on the end makes it more dragon-like, but I like it better when it tapered off.

So that was Caponi Art Park. I hope my poster inspires you to check it out!

Meadowlark Media Design


I recently did a logo design for Meadowlark Media Design. I was introduced to Heidi, the owner, through a mutual friend. I was a little hesitant to take on a freelance project, since I was training for my half marathon, working on items for Fight in a Box, working full-time, and my social life has gone crazy! (Ok, probably just crazy in my eyes. I have plans on school nights! Multiple school nights!) But I’m glad that I did it. It turned out better than I had imagined.

Heidi knew exactly what she wanted, which made it easy to schedule her into my already busy schedule. She sent me samples of what she was looking for and what she liked. She also gave me screen shots of her website, her color swatches, and the font that was being used for the text of the logo. After her initial email and samples, I got to sketching out some ideas.

Then I took those ideas to the computer:

I’ve found that starting out a design in color tends to be really distracting to me. I spend too much time thinking about what color everything should be and less time on the actual design. So while I may start out doing some designs in color, I tend to shift back to black and white and then add color in afterwards. It’s funny, because for this project, the Meadowlark already has really distinct colors, and I didn’t need to make many decisions about what color would go where, but it was easier for me to focus on drawing the shape in black and white and then cutting everything apart to color it afterwards.

After showing Heidi my initial ideas, she was pleased, but wanted more. She asked to see a few of them with tweaks, and then sent me some new variations that were different from anything I’d ever done before. I was a little nervous, since I didn’t know if I could transform them and still make them look like my style. But I was excited to challenge myself and see what I could do.

Honestly, my favorite part about the finished bird is the eye. For the other designs, the eye was just a black dot, but for the final choice, the black dot got lost in all of the geometric shapes, so I had to do something to make it stand out. I like it because it brings the focal point to the bird and gives it a bit of personality.

May Photo Outing

Design, Photography

On Memorial Day Weekend Kristin and I went out for another photo adventure! This time we went to the Japanese Garden at Normandale, the Lyndale Rose Gardens, the Peace Garden, and the Lakewood Cemetery. It was a fun day filled with brunch, photos, and conversation.

Our adventure included trees full of hammocks, a baby bunny munching on grass, an accidental unflattering photo of a stranger, and a security guard stopping us in the Lakewood Cemetery. (Turns out I am still a 17-year old in my head, and I assumed we were going to be scolded in some way for being there with cameras, but he had stopped us to let us know about their app. So it is true…there is an app for everything!) And of course, flowers, flowers, flowers!

For my poster this month, I focused on the Rose Garden and the Japanese Garden. My plan was to have photos in the background of the Rose garden that were flowery and had blurry backgrounds. In the foreground would be multiple photos cropped to mimic the pagoda in the Japanese Garden. It didn’t turn out exactly as I had hoped. I think it would have been better to have one image in the background or foreground and then multiple images for the opposite one. It got a little busy, and the pagoda didn’t stick out as much as I had hoped without an outline and drop shadow. Since I had so many photos to showcase, I opted to stick with the original design. Maybe I will revisit the idea in an upcoming poster.

Poster Project

Design, Photography

Every month, I meet with a friend, and we go off on a photo adventure. Last month, we went to Moir Central Park. After getting home and looking at my images, I was trying to decide the best way to put them on the blog, and I thought that maybe I should make a poster. Then I was thinking that it might be fun to make a poster for every place that we visit. It will also be a photography and design challenge, since it would get boring really quickly if every poster looked exactly the same. So I am going to try to create a completely different layout for each place and try convey the feeling of each place.

As I said, last month was Moir Central Park in Bloomington. It was a warm and overcast day, and things were really just starting to grow. Compared to our previous photo trips, it was nice to actually have some green things to photograph. And even some flowers! The best part of the walk was finding all the strange, but fun things along the way. The three things that really stood out for me were the rocks that someone placed artistically on top of a large rock, the Christmas ornament that was hanging from a tree, and someone’s car key fob hanging from a tree. What is the story behind those? And I hope the person without the key fob is still able to get into their car!