essential qi

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Watercolor and design … what a stellar combination for branding. Last fall, I was hired by Essential Qi to create an identity for their company as well as packaging for their line of Chinese Medicine Inspired Acupoint Aromatherapy. The company was started by two professional acupuncture therapists based here in Austin. They created three essential oil blends: Shielding, Restful, Soothing. Included within each roller bottle is a stone pertaining to the blend’s function. Each blend smells super yum.

Below you will find the logo I created as well as the finished packaging that I designed, illustrated and produced (using a local printer). The colors are pulled from the 5 elements in Chinese Medicine and the look is an ethereal, balanced and healing one. The packaging includes the box, roller bottle with label, and an informative insert complete with application illustration.

 

Full and Reverse Logos:

EssentialQi-Logo-InstaEssentialQi-ReverseLogo-WebTrnsprnt

 

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With Jenny Hoger and Phyllis Kung at the Essential Qi launch party held at BFree Yoga in Austin.

 

To learn more about this new line of traditional medicine inspired aromatherapy blends, created in Austin, click HERE.

D V L S R V R

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D V L S   R V R

when tread hits bridge
our heads habitually turn
towards the drop,
our eyes scanning
for the glint of sun on water,
an old instinct
embedded even 
in us big city slickers

especially out here 
in this border kingdom of
limestone and sage 
where the sun punishes
and all that stands between 
life and death
is a plastic jug of 
hot Aquafina 

and even with a jug
our throats are dry
and our heads are dizzy
when we finally submerge
in the blue seam 
that splits the desert, carrying
sky and minnows and beads of sweat
all the way to Coahuila 

they say the devil 
came to the river in 1841
when a Texas ranger
surveyed the prickly pear cliffs
and muttered: hell,
but like all borders
the one between 
heaven and hell is more porous
than we’d like to admit

from the hostile rock 
cold springs flow 
straight from the karst
to our naked shoulders
and we sigh a small prayer 
of relief 

 

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mixed media collaboration :
poetry by clara | drawings by emily | photos by both

 

Big Dipper

 

Wade_Sludge

DoubleClara

Bathe_Texture

 

DevilsRiver-web

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DoubleEmily

Processed with VSCO with 5 presetSotol and Cloud.

 


 

On a Thursday in mid-July, close friend and writer, Clara Bensen, and I headed Southwest from Austin towards the Mexican border. Our goals were loose and simple: escape work & city with camping gear & camera.

One evening before our trip, Clara and I discussed how we’d separately hit creative walls and wanted some sort of spur or ignition. Late summer in Texas can get a bit draining, so we hoped these few days away would allow us to relax and be inspired. No timeline, just four days and a few select destinations. Being surrounded by nature of most kinds has always been stimulating, allowing a sense of release.

We spent nights at Seminole CanyonDevil’s River State Natural Area, and Hill Country State Natural Area .

Our Devil’s River campsite was a 22-mile drive off of the main highway, down a rough dirt road into a desert haven rich with sotol and prickly pear cactus. To reach the river, we hiked a (long) mile and were rewarded by cool water. The land was well preserved, filled with an array of animal and plant life. Down river was a natural cold spring, busting from the rocks. We explored the area as if we first discovered it. While there we both took photographs, which planted a seed for a collaboration. It had been a long time since I shared a creative partnership with someone in this freeform fashion and I was very motivated. Something new.

The images above are from the Devil’s River area, shot by either Clara or me. The poem “DVLS RVR” is written by Clara. “Big Dipper”, “Devil’s River” and “Sotol and Cloud” are my pen and ink illustrations.

undercurrents

dance & drawing. movement. cycles.

i switched majors in college when i was 19 from ballet pedagogy (university of oklahoma at norman) to visual art (university of arkansas at fayetteville). ballet was a passion of mine but i found that it may not have been my calling. i love dancing … tap, modern, theatre, lyrical, ballet. i wasn’t too shabby at it, but i felt my heart pulling towards working creatively with my hands.

diving into painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics and everything else was very therapeutic and natural. however, i missed dance like crazy. after all, i danced from when i was 4 to 18. i ended up taking instruction at a local dance studio, which satisfied that need. while finishing up my BFA, i decided to challenge myself with finding a unique way to express the melding of dance and drawing. i researched various dance photographers and took several figure study courses. figure study from professor ken stout was an inspiring set of courses that pushed me further towards my interests.

at the time, i ended up painting a few pieces that i felt achieved the goal i was going for. but after college, the project was put on hold.

last year, i was inspired by a motivated friend to do a little clean-out of ye ole soul. time leaves its baggage piled up in your chest and sometimes you have to get in there and clean it out. you also have to take time to appreciate all the goodness. it is a great favor to do for yourself. so i began to find a healthy path toward focusing on emotional, physical, spiritual clarity. it’s not something to cross off of your “to do” list, but it’s nice to shift your lifestyle just a bit to gain clarity and let go of some aging hook-ups.

during this process of journaling, sketching, reading, pacing, analyzing, resting (and a little bit of dancing), i began my “undercurrents” series. i’m a pretty private person and have been wanting to challenge myself by exposing a more emotional side in a tasteful, expressive manner. i worked with dear friend and talented photographer Lily Darragh back home in little rock to shoot a couple of dancers. i shared with her my goals, we painted a backdrop and did some planning on how this would best play out.

Working with a dancer during the Little Rock photo shoot.
working with a dancer during the little rock photo shoot.

after spending quite some time narrowing down the emotions/narratives i intended to convey, i built playlists to correlate with each narrative. we met one afternoon with two dancers that ended up really pushing the idea. as the dancers listened to the music, i loosely “choreographed” the shoot and encouraged them to improvise and tap into their own forms of expression. it was a pretty incredible experience watching these talented girls put my description into action.

the photos turned out better than imagined: i now have a beautiful custom library of photographs to create from. and they all tell a personal story. i am currently in the process of organizing the photos, sketching from them and creating mixed-media paintings while also creating from live models. more to come …

DO NOT COPY - PHOTO PRIVATELY OWNED DO NOT COPY - PHOTO PRIVATELY OWNED

DO NOT COPY - PHOTO PRIVATELY OWNED

 

 

 

 

thank you to jenny wittenberg, georgia & ashton, lily and momzie. 

Word
[dancing to the bangles, of course.]

these days are numbered.

literally … these days are numbered. i had the honor of designing the bar bc ranch calendar again this year. last year’s was a success and, according to the bossman, this year’s “is fabulous, well done!  Maybe the best yet?” 

Bar BC Calendar Cover

this year, i was asked to not only design the calendar and handle pre-production/production, but they wanted me to paint a series of watercolors to accompany each months “hero” photograph. the series consists of 3 insects, 3 fish, 3 trees and 3 plants. again, this was one of my most favorite jobs. i love large, intense projects that i can get lost in. this satisfied both my overly-organized self as well as the creative daydreamer in me. thanks again to mj for a great experience.

i work with a great partner on the project, which makes it that much more enjoyable (mj, you know i’m talking about you). the organizing, research, working with wyoming photographers, etc, went smoothly with the hillwood team. printing went smoothly, which is always good news. capital printing here in austin does a fantastic job of being technically on-it as well as accommodating and pleasurable to do business with (high five, mickey!). the production side of it can be a headache (and backache and eyeball ache) but they run it smoothly and kink free.

which is your favorite?me, i’m partial to jackson hole in september …

 

photography with the accompanying watercolor:
it’s easiest to click on the first one then scroll through them with the arrows once the image is open large.

 

 

production with capital printing co, austin.

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2013 recap

THANK YOU to all who posted, liked, commented, shared and supported in 2013. lots of love.
i’m ready for another great year, full to the brim.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,500 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 58 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.