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So Many Things.

There is so much I haven’t said here in a while, but I’ve been pretty busy. Working four tens to get Friday’s off seems like a good idea until about Tuesday morning, then it hits you just how tired you are and then Thursday at 6:30pm rolls around and you don’t feel like it’s so bad after all. I’ve decided something and it’s feeling a little daunting at the moment but still quite exciting. I’ve decided to try my hand at becoming a professional illustrator. I found a few illustrators who have given some detailed ways in which they’ve done it and I’m going for it. The most daunting thing is knowing just what to draw and then going for it. I’m a little stumped at the moment, but in the words of my husband, “just start drawing!” So, that’s what I’ll do. Tomorrow we are taking the kiddos to Lake Michigan, they’ve never been to an actual beach. Bad momma (slaps hand), this is something we all need to do. So, I should be in bed because 6am is only 6 hours from now and we have a nice 3.5 hour drive ahead of us. Dune buggie rides, sand castles to build, ice cream cones to eat and a little souvenir shopping. Will post pictures when we are home, well, the next day anyway. 🙂

Status Update.

Things in my life are much improved. I started a new job as an illustrator for a toy company here in Michigan and while not all aspects of the job are exciting, it pays well, I am employed and I have money to pay my bills. What more could I ask for? I’m freelancing a bit more, but trying not to stress out about what I do or don’t have, it’s really quite pointless. I am however struggling, again, with how I feel about myself. You see, the people who I work with, well about a 1/3 of them are doing this Hyper Fit thing. And, while I think that people who continuously exercise are really strong and committed people, for the level where these folks are at, this type of workout seems really intense for them. I’m no expert, but I don’t think that denying people water while they are working out, vomiting, blacking out and bleeding from a wound in your back from doing sit-ups on a wooden floor constitute a healthy workout environment. Regardless of all this, that part of me that cannot commit to anything like exercise at this time is saddened. I feel like a lazy, fat, sloth of a thing who chugs Diet Cherry Pepsi and eats bagels almost every morning. Oh and coffee with cream AND sugar. Also, I typically dress exactly the way I feel, miserable. I don’t allow myself to dress in a way that makes me feel pretty and I’m not quite sure why, all I can figure is even if I feel pretty/good about what I have on, someone will think that I look ridiculous. I know, pretty sill, but I guess I revert back to that very insecure junior high school place when I am uncomfortable.

If only I felt as comfortable in my dressed up self as I do in my designer body. I’m ultra confident when I am being Graphic Designer Brooke, but  I fear I am one of the ONLY uncool designers out there. Oh well.

Well, someone whom I’m sure has impeccable style is Zara from Zara Illustrates! I am unsure how I stumbled upon her site, but I’m so glad I did. She is my “go to” for design inspiration. Check her out here!

New Challenges

It’s been a little while, but I’ve been dealing with some issues at home. My daughter has been sick and is now scheduled to have her adenoids removed and tubes put in her ears. A simple set of procedures, but when you’re not quite 7, it’s all a bit frightening ya know? She prefers not to call it “surgery” so we’ve dubbed it an installation, Stella Version 2.o if you will. I won a dozen delicious cupcakes from a local bakery chain called Just Baked and so I’ve decided that we’re going to have a little party tomorrow night before her surgery the next morning. Besides, do I really need an excuse to eat cupcakes? I think not! This week has been stressful, I’ve been subcontracting at a design agency in Ann Arbor, and I’m really enjoying it, but I really NEED a regular full time job or at the very least more than part time. To top it off, the other day I was picking up my daughter from school and my car decides that while I’m in the wrong lane of traffic it just wants to stop working. UGH! I get out to push and finally two gentleman get out of their cars to help me. One has the audacity to suggest that I may have run out of gas. My thought at the very moment was not a nice one but the thought was something along the lines of “yes, I am a woman and no matter what you may think, we are not all dense or stupid!” I just replied that I had plenty of gas and that clearly something else was wrong. Turns out I was right, to the tune of nearly $600 for the installation of a brand new fuel pump!! Lucky me.

On a more positive note, I decided to participate in a fabric design contest over at Spoonflower for their Project Selvage contest! I am so excited and hope that I make the cut, I will keep you posted because I will need you to vote for my design very soon. Here it is!

The theme is baby boy and it was my idea that not only does the stork bring the new bundle of joy, but also everything he’ll need to become what he is born to be. If I make it to the top ten I will be expected to design 5 more coordinating fabrics and if I am the winner, among other prizes, I will then get to design a line for baby girls! How exciting right? I can’t wait to see everyones work and how it all ends up. Thanks for looking today.

I Resolve: Lazy No More, Sad No More!

I’m fed up with how I feel. I cannot let a lack of employment define who I am or unemployment is where I will stay and who wants that? So, in an effort to put myself out there, here I go!

1. Here is my Etsy store: Sully and Marge Stationery Curiosities
2. Here is my Facebook Page: Brooke Rochon Graphic Designer
3. Here is my Portfolio: Brooke Rochon Design Portfolio
4. Here is my Website (a work in progress): Brooke Rochon Designerd

I soon want to launch a Zazzle site because, well, why the eff not? So, go visit, go comment, like me, friend me, what have you and I will fawn all over you like that new Harvey’s Seatbelt bag I’ve been drooling and dreaming about but can’t justify quite yet. I deserve to treat myself better and I deserve better treatment!

Call me Norma Rae.;)

Should I Be Letting Myself Get Depressed?

Or, should I be taking fuller advantage?

I have been unemployed for about 3 months now and at first I was freaked out, then there was the promise of a job, one I assumed would be amazing and then that fell through. The holidays hit and I let myself forget for a while and now that the holidays are over, I’m getting depressed.

I’ve had 2 really great interviews and have a phone interview coming up in a week or so, but people are taking their sweet ole time getting back with me or seem to have fallen off the face of the earth. I’m losing it aren’t I? I do know that I’m not taking full advantage of the time I have, but with kids, that’s pretty normal right? I think I need to meet with someone who can show me how to prioritize my time. I’ve been doing things, but not completing tasks. I lack focus right now and want to learn meditation. Not sure if it will help, but maybe it will lessen the anxiety I have. Eff, who knows.

The other problem I’m having is feeling like a big fat ass. Can’t blame it on baby weight when the baby is over 2 years old now can I? I do have a plan though! I’m planning to do a cleanse, I think a 3-Day Cleanse, just not sure when to start. Plus, I am seriously considering trying out for the roller derby here in Detroit. So, I’ll keep you posted on that and now I think I just committed myself to joining a softball league.

So, the other day I took my son to Borders so that I could pick up my first ever Moleskine sketchbook and I told myself I had to draw in it once a day. I decided that I would draw my children’s toys as I was at a loss as to what to draw exactly. In the three days I’ve had the book and made three drawings. It’s my attempt at experimenting with other mediums.

As for design work, I’ve been working on a website redesign and it seems to be moving along. Nothing too exciting to report on that front. But as usual, here is my crappy photo for today. I’ll return soon.

Long Winter’s Night.

I decided to take advantage of the time that I’d been given and relax. I am a notoriously uptight, overplanner. But, not this holiday. We stayed in a lot, ate too much good food and had two drains in our basement fixed. That last one, not the most exciting, but due to having a friend who’s a plumber, only ended up costing us $100. A project that easily could’ve ended up costing us $1500-2000 (EEK)! We had planned on going to the Detroit Institute of Arts, but then our son got sick and we decided that a vomiting 2 year old was not what the public needed to witness. Thankfully we have free passes for four that don’t expire until February 28th, they WILL get used.

I got the chance to hang out with some friends that I’ve known since high school and I asked one of them about employment, sometimes a sticky subject. She works for a national cable distributor and is in a transition period with her own job, so I broached the subject lightly, asking if anyone she knew had contacts at a major agency located near Detroit. She did! Score. And, she also offered to give my resume to someone at her own company. We both have vastly different careers, so there was no conflict of interest. I knew I’d have to wait until today to give her my resume because she’d be going back to work and I really needed to work on my resume anyway. Along with that I decided to finally put together my own website, I’ve had the domain name for who knows how long now, but was too busy to get moving on it, until now. Here she is, my new website! I really like the direction it’s heading in, but it’s already taken hours of work, but for something as big as this, I think it’s best to work in slow batches. The first step was to design it, the next daunting step was to go through the 15 years worth of work that I had to sift through the college projects worthy of a good dusting off and all the other projects that I’ve done in my twelve years of working life. I sorted everything and through/purged a TON of stuff and I have to say I feel really good.

I tossed stuff that I didn’t need, stuff that brought back bad memories, and stuff that was just taking up space. Am I the only one who let’s shit really bother them? I let sense memories “stick” to my projects and jobs and fester until they become this “thing” that I can’t stand to look at yet can’t get rid of. Welp, yesterday was the day I said goodbye to all that. This is what my desktop looks like now and that folder up at the top with the circle around it labelled “Not Horrible” is where all my portfolio site work currently resides. See, we ARE our own worst enemies.

Isn’t she purdy? So, I was up till 2am working on the resume, the work, the site and got up at 7:30 with my kids because my daughter was back to school.

Before all the holiday stuff started I had a job interview at a local t-shirt shop, they liked my work and wanted to get with me after the holidays. Long story short, they called today and offered me $10 to start and after 30 days MAYBE they’d raise it to $12!! If I’d had a mouthful of water I’d a done a spit take. I was flabbergasted, and immediately said “no, there’s no way I can do it for that, I have a family to raise.” He agreed and asked what I was hoping for, I said “well, at least $18 is what I was hoping for.” They offered me no more and I was on my way. Thankful really because during the Christmas break I’d told my husband I didn’t want the job even if they offered me what I really wanted and that I was done taking second best. I mean, not to be pompous, but I have more than 12 years of experience and I’ve been around the block a time or two and I feel like I’m worthy of so much more. Wouldn’t ya know, as soon as I got home and sat down at my computer, I get a text from the new job at “R” saying that the office is ready and can they talk with me tomorrow around 9am! Hot damn, I was right, hold out for what you’re worth and it WILL come!

I don’t know what the pay will be, but I’ll be damn sure it won’t be a $10 offer. Life is pretty surprising sometimes.

Oh and bonus, a couple days before Christmas, I saw this in Kroger: 

I entered Kroger’s 2009 recyclable bag design contest and won 9th place. I never saw it in the store and just figured I’d missed it. This was pretty exciting.

New Opportunities.

Wowsers, it’s been a really good day. Attended a practice run of my final exam in my ColdFusion class lastnight and that was actually fun and educational. I guess I do know a bit more than I thought I did about good ole ColdFusion. OH MY GOD, this weather is horrible right now. I’m all for snow on/around Christmas, but good Lord, a snow day yesterday, with below zero temps and I had to drive over an hour to get to an Apple store to buy a new MagSafe Power Adaptor for my Macbook Pro is not what I was thinking of AT ALL. Alas, I had to go because my old one went kaput, nearly got into a car accident, but made it home safe and sound. Picked up my sons quad that we got him for Christmas, I can’t wait for him to see it, he is going to squeal with excitement!

And now, this morning my friend Charlotte contacts me about helping her with her photography business. I am thrilled, who doesn’t want to make extra money, with their friend AND be creative. Then, right after that, the new job at “R” calls to let me know they appreciate my persistence and that while they can’t officially get started until the new year, they are going to quote a job to me and see if I want to work on it. I’m on it like white on rice!

AND, I just won a real Christmas tree! I don’t need it, but I’m looking to find someone in my community who needs it. Then, my friend wants to help by getting them some gifts. What generous, warm-hearted friends I have. I have spent the last few weeks feeling sorry for myself and that just needs to stop. I need to focus on what I do have and learn to appreciate that for a while.

PS: My friends Christmas cards came in the mail and they looked great! She was really happy.

It is a good day today!

Clear Headed Day.

I had a good day today. Maybe it was due to the fact that it’s Friday, maybe it has a bit to do with the fact that I have ended one of my classes, whatever it is, I don’t want to jinx it, it was just GOOD! My friend who is a painter (fine art) came by today because we needed to rush order some postcards for a MAJOR event that is happening next Tuesday morning, complete with press conference. Can you say “holy shit?” I proceeded to order said cards online, pay for them out of my pocket, only to find out they would not arrive in time. I, very quickly, called the company and had them void my order which they obliged. Then I had the fun task of calling local printers to see if I was crazy. Two companies thought I was NUTS, but I tried one more and not only are they doing the job, but for $100 less than the online printer. I can’t say anything for the quality yet as I haven’t seen the end product, but for quick turnaround at a good cost, you obviously can’t beat Saturn Printing & Imaging in Livonia, Michigan. After I see them Monday, I will give you feedback on the quality.

I spent most of the day with my adorable 2 year old Cohen who has over night it seems turned into a little monstrosity. Sneaking into bedrooms he isn’t allowed in or the god awful bathroom. Not even the draw of Toy Story 3 would suffice today.

I did happen to get the chance though to recreate a Leica camera lens for a job I am applying to at Instagram. If you are into photography and own an iPhone, I’m certain you’ve heard of them. I can’t get enough of that app and have received many “compliments” on my otherwise horrible photos that I post incessantly  on my Facebook page. Here is a picture of the lens I drew.

I don’t even know if I’ll get a response, but I do have my fingers crossed.

Here is yet another of my crappy photographs, made not so crappy by Instagram.

Tomorrow we are spending the day with extended family to celebrate Christmas, it should prove interesting. I’m looking forward to it, there are many folks I haven’t seen in some time and others whom I have made nice with and re-friended on Facebook. OK, so when did the word friend turn into a verb? Just asking.