Equali-Tees

With Sioux Falls Pride tomorrow, I thought this would be a great time to talk about one of my most recent projects, Equalitees!

A few weeks ago, my friend Josh told me he was moving to Washington D.C. to work with the HRC. He came to me asking to make a design for a tshirt so that he could give the man he was working for a gift. First thing I thought of was that red and pink equal sign that went viral when people changed their Facebook pictures to in support of equality…then I thought of the shape of our state, went into Adobe Illustrator, cut South Dakota in half..and the rest really is history! Josh loved the first idea I showed him (which is probably the best news a designer can hear!). He then brought the idea up to Braden who thought a FEW more people might be interested in the shirt, so we dabbled in the idea of maybe ordering 30…

Well, over 200 shirts later, it’s still rolling! It’s a design I truely am proud of because it’s something I stand behind. As a designer, nothing is greater than seeing people at work, walking down the street, or at the grocery store wearing something you designed..but it puts a huge smile on my face to see SO many people supporting marriage equality.

So, if you are at Pride tomorrow, Look for the booth! Braden will be wearing a smile and selling the “Equali-tees” (see what we did there?)

For more information, and to show some more support, “Like” Equali-tees on facebook! Even upload a selfie in the Tee if you wish!

https://www.facebook.com/SDequalitees?fref=ts

 

 

I’m still alive!

You probably are wondering WHAT in the heck have I been up to? (Besides not blogging on here!)

Much like my New Year’s Resolution to lose ten pounds this year, I have failed at my goal to post atleast once a month. I keep jotting down blog ideas and I push the little notes to the side and continue to neglect the blog. Well here I am!

I always made fun of people who said this, I really do wish there were a few more hours in a day. Between my full time job doing web design, waitressing to earn some extra cash, and freelance designing…I I sometimes don’t know where I end and I begin; however, I absolutely love my busy, crazy, beautiful life!

Since I have neglected this for quite some time, I have included a few examples of recent projects! Please message me with any questions about them, and I will try to eventually make mini posts about some of them. As much I want to promise that I will be blogging more, I have to admit that I still might not hit my New Year’s Resolution…but just know that I am taking life a day at a time and doing as much as I possibly can!! I have a lot of new exciting things coming this summer that I will be sure and share!

 

First Time For Everything!

I have finally completed my first freelance website! 

I am mainly print based, so it was fun to stray away from the norm a little bit. (Side bar: I try to not do as many web-based projects due to the time they take to make them, and it allows me to reserve my time for more freelance clients).. But when my Sister-in-law, Rachel, said that the facility she works at needed a website, I thought I would be up for the challenge!

I made this website (and logo) for Integrated Therapy Services out of Mitchell, South Dakota. This was definitely a learning experience as I didn’t make it from a template or with a site builder like I had in the past. 

The biggest lie would be for me to say I did this all on my own! I would still be pulling my hair out and probably filling up on wine on a nightly basis if it weren’t for my friend and coworker, Chad Phillips. Chad is usually a go-to for web questions at work, but this time he went above and beyond and even defeated Internet Explorer when they tried to ruin our drop down menu! Thank you, Chad for your hard work and putting up with my hundreds, okay, thousands of questions! 

Be sure and check out itstherapy.org!

 

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Graphic Reductions

Graphic reductions are a great way to take you back to a special moment! Here is one I made for my brother at Christmas.
I re-drew the image of when he won National Wrestling in 2005. Reductions are created by posterizig the image, then creating hundred of tiny little shapes in Adobe Illustrator.

They make great, personal gifts!

 

My Brother, Tom, opening his graphic reduction I drew for him this Christmas

My Brother, Tom, opening his graphic reduction I drew for him this Christmas

I’m still alive!

Hey Everyone!

I’m still here, the busy life has not killed me quite yet, although some days it’s close!! A little update on me since the last time I blogged (which seems like a light year ago!)

I am now a full-time web designer at carsforsale.com and I love it! The people, the atmosphere, and the overall job is really everything I could ask for. Everyone is so kind and welcoming, and also helpful when I can’t figure out a certain piece of coding!

Aside from my full time job, I am also busier than ever with freelancing. I am working with several different brides on wedding invites, businesses on logos, and have even began freelance web-designing. I am far too behind on posting all of my new designs on my blog, so I suppose you will just have to stay up to date by viewing my facebook posts!

I have some how managed to keep my ahead above water, but my New Years Resolution is to pay more attention to my blog, my website, and to eventually re-brand my logo. Thanks for your patience! As always, feel free to message me on facebook, leave a comment on here, or on my website. Hope you had a wonderful holidays!

Love, Mo

The Game of Life

The funny thing about the board game, Life,  is that even when i was little, I would draw my 3 careers, and although the doctor and athlete salaries were very tempting, i would always choose the artist. (Are you finished laughing at the thought of me being an athlete?)It’s crazy how that silly board game relates to me now (no, I don’t drive an orange station wagon with green and blue children)..but given the circumstances, I would still always choose the artist card. I love what I do, and I can say that I’m glad I went into the field I did being fully aware I might not make as much as the athletes or the doctors, and odds are I probably won’t ever own a Victorian Mansion. One thing that I am continuously trying to remember from that game is that even if you have a few set backs that keeps you from going as fast as the other cars, or may not make as much as them, you can still win at “Life”.

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It’s none of your business (card contest)

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Ok some of you get this and think OH I LOVE IT..and some of you are staring at your screen thinking what in the world is she up to now?..well here’s the logic behind this business card giveaway and how I came up with the contest name!

So there i was sitting at my favorite bar in town on a saturday night, listening to some mediocre karaoke singers who had a few too many. The beginning verse that many know a little too well came on and we immediately knew that Salt n’ Peppa was going to be making a comeback. As much as I tried to just block it out, the ‘none of yo business’ became a little catchy and turned into an ear worm that wouldn’t leave my head! I quickly pulled out my iPhone and in my notepad added this Wheel Of Fortune “Before and After”-esque name for a business card giveaway!

 

 

Ok, so NOW does it make sense :) 

 

 

Seriously, it’s a great deal, and it gives me a chance to really reach out via social media and hopefully meet some more clients! You must be a fan of Molly Meester Designs on Facebook to win. I will be keeping each share as an entry in an Excel Spreadsheet, and will draw a winner (at random) on Friday, April 19. The business card does not include logo design, so you will need to provide your own. If you do not have a logo, I know this pretty awesome designer who could probably hook you up! For more information on logo pricing, please visit my website, http://www.mollymeesterdesigns.com

 

Thanks, and lets get sharing!

Broadening my horizons

painting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is my painting from class last night! I had so much fun…Don’t worry, I won’t be exchanging my mouse clicks for a paint brush anytime soon!

I definitely have a new respect for painters, especially for the painting teacher from last night’s class, Lexi. She was so patient with all of us. Many, including myself, had never painted on canvas before! I realized that my perfectionism did not mix very well with painting. Drawing a straight line on the canvas was much more difficult than drawing on with the pen tool in Adobe Illustrator!

I was so fortunate to be able to try a new experience and will definitely do it again! For a wine and canvas night near you, just google search! If you are in the Sioux Falls area, here is the link. (The new April calendar will be up soon!)

https://www.wineandcanvas.com/sioux-falls-sd.html

PNG vs JPG: What to choose?

When designing for clients,  they are sometimes stumped as to what file types mean! Here is a brief diagram of a business card for a make believe photographer that will hopefully makes things a little easier.

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PNG images are great when you need to use them for transparent items, for example, when you see logos on websites, or maybe on your Facebook timeline when you see a photographer’s logo on top of a picture. For watermarks, PNGs work best, and will often be used at a lowered opacity so that they can be placed on top of the picture. (my watermark of the white mouse is set to white with a drop shadow at a lowered opacity). Also remember to use PNG when you are saving a file that has a glow or drop shadow.

JPG images are probably the most common, but unfortunately, do not export the transparency. JPGs work best when you need to save a photo. If you were like me, you may have had that annoying problem growing up when you wanted to use an image from Google for a project, but there was always that white behind it! Jpg’s also work great when sending the final format, and also for when you want to use an image for a facebook post that may have gradients in it.

For more information, visit the ‘contact’ page of my website and drop me a line. I’d love to hear from you!

In The Barbie World

You're so....FAKE!

Barbara Handler’s mother Ruth watched as Barbara and her friends put their baby dolls aside and began playing with adult dolls that were made of paper or cardboard. Ruth decided to make a female, three-dimensional doll for her daughter and other young girls to play with. She realized how important it was for girls to imagine what it was like to live in the world of a “grown-up.”

A Mother’s Perseverance

Ruth threw some ideas together, and named the doll “Barbie”, after a nickname she had given to her daughter. She then took the ideas to Mattel Toy Corporation, where the all-male committee immediately turned it down.

Not ready to give up, Ruth continued to show the doll at toy conventions. Toy buyers told Ruth that the doll would never sell; however, their minds were quickly changed when they saw the excitement that filled little girls’ faces. The new phenomenon known as Barbie continued to grow in popularity. Barbie only flew solo for a few years before the makers began coming out with her friends. The new friends came in different genders, ethnicities, age groups, and some of them even had fur! They also began to come out with Barbie play-sets, games, clothes, and electronics.

Some play, some collect, and some turn up their noses at how real the anatomy of the Barbie is. Many feel that the realness of the Barbie is bad for little girls’ minds and exposed them to things they shouldn’t have knowledge of. Her appearance has changed several times and although her looks have changed, there is one thing that remains, her popularity. The doll that no one gave a chance 50 years ago continues to entertain and inspire young girls all over the world.

A Little Girls’ Heaven

I’m 7 years old. Mom and I head to the local Wal-Mart to do some shopping on a Saturday afternoon. We walk up and down the aisles and she turns, not able to find me anywhere. In a frantic voice, she yells for me from a few aisles down, but I just block it out because I’m headed for the best aisle in the whole store.  I could always find this aisle by the way the pink from the boxes reflected on the lights and onto the white linoleum floor. I take a sharp right and at that moment, I am in a little girls’ heaven: The Barbie aisle.

Surrounded on both walls are shelves upon shelves of Barbie dolls, accessories, and pink convertibles. By the time my mom finally finds me, she gives me the lecture I had received almost every time we went shopping, “You can’t just leave without telling me!” She goes on and on about the dangers of walking through stores alone, but I am focused on the beautiful dolls that are so neatly placed in their boxes. Once in awhile, if I was on my best behavior, I would get lucky enough to pick out a toy from the store, and there was never hesitation on what that toy would be.

On the drive home, I scurry through bags to find what I couldn’t live without at that moment. I open the box, untie the metal twist-ties around her arms, and remove the plastic that holds down her hair to the cardboard. I take out the comb, and brush her hair the whole way home, wondering how I would fit her into the Barbie world I had already created.

Plastic Memories

Most of my childhood memories include sitting in my basement and dumping out a Rubbermaid tub full of blonde-haired Barbie dolls. Being the youngest in the family of three (with two older brothers), I guess my mom just thought it would be the best way to prevent me from pestering them. I didn’t have many girls in my neighborhood, but that was okay, because I had Barbie dolls, and, of course, an overactive imagination.

I never was into playing house or playing with baby dolls, but put a Barbie in my hand, and a few cardboard boxes, I could pump out a Barbie metropolis in a matter of minutes. Of course, my brothers would think it was weird because they often thought I was talking to myself, but I would switch the voices of the Barbies as though it were some kind of soap opera.

Barbie really does have the life every girl dreams of. She has hundreds of shoes, never looks tired, and she can buy a whole formal outfit for under five dollars. Most of the time, dressing her was half the battle! I would spend hours upon hours picking out the perfect outfit.  I had a very bad habit of leaving some of the tiny accessories out. If I wasn’t careful, Murphy, my childhood Shi-Tzu-Schnauzer, would have the shoes and brushes chewed up in no time. I also could tell when my dad would step on Barbie’s high-heeled shoes because I would hear a painful scream from all the way upstairs.

My brothers knew exactly how to get under my skin—stealing my oh-so precious Barbies. As boys often do, my brothers also went through a destructive phase. There would be times where my Barbie room looked like a disturbing crime scene.  Heads and limbs were torn from their bodies, and Barbie’s hair had been cut off with a Crayola scissors that was still on the scene. After tears, screams, reattaching body parts, and tattling to Mom, my brothers would say their apologies, and my Barbies and I would move on, and try to cope with the loss of our friends.

No more pretending

I slowly began to replace my Barbies for computers, sports, and other activities, and, eventually I didn’t have to hold a plastic doll to wonder what it was like to be a grown-up. I will always have special childhood memories of playing with Barbies and hope that they continue to impact little girls’ imaginations the way they did mine. Once in awhile, when I go home to visit from college, I sneak away into my old play room, which now is filled with holiday decorations, my brothers’ sports trophies, scrapbooks…and a Rubbermaid tub that held not only my Barbies, but my memories of the hours of entertainment they provided for me. Someday, if I have children of my own, I hope that they have a toy that can help open their imagination and cure their boredom like Barbies did for me.

I made this my final year of school. To view the layout that I created with this article, visit my website portfolio:

http://mollymeesterdesigns.com/#s5

Also, if you wish to have a copy of this article in PDF form, email me at: mollymees@hotmail.com