I'm Mary Maru and I live by the Cloisters Museum in upper Manhattan where I work as a print and web designer.
In my blog I share my love for the arts, sources of inspiration, design, exploring new places, musings about living and working in NYC and lots more.
On Friday, as part of NYCxDESIGN week, I visited Swann Gallery. Just off Madison Square Park on E25th Street, the gallery presented an eclectic and wide-ranging collection of modernist posters and I wanted to see what design inspiration might be waiting for me there.
The gallery did not disappoint! There were posters from a least a dozen countries including the U.S., Japan, Switzerland, Germany, Sweden, Hungary and many more.
I can’t say I got the best shots. But I think you can still appreciate how well done this exhibit is in terms of variety and quality of prints.
If you visit the gallery, there’s a comprehensive guidebook that provides all the details for each poster including number of prints produced and price. Normally, I would have documented some of these particulars. But on this gallery visit, I just wanted to enjoy the view.
Sometimes you’ve got to make time to get a little silly. We’re all working hard these days and a silly break can be just the thing to ease the stress of a busy day and even breathe new life into a problem we’ve been struggling with.
When I ran across the imadeface app, I knew I had to give it a try. I mean, who doesn’t love the idea of mixing and matching facial features to create a portrait of yourself, a friend or family member. Just tap on a facial feature, then swipe your finger across the screen to see the dozen or more choices of nose shapes, eyebrows, hairdos and more.
My only complaint with imadeface—if you could even call it that—is that every face you create with the app looks to be about 18 years old. Now, I don’t mind looking 18 again. But it would have been fun to see myself as a cartoon at my current age of…ahem…39.
What fun apps do you love?
Since November, I’ve been working on a new way of doing my business plan. It’s made up mostly of collages I put together using images and phrases I cut out of magazines and then carefully arranged and glued onto manila file folders I taped together to create an accordion. The resulting visuals are no doubt puzzling or meaningless to most people who look at it. But to me, it’s my daily dose of motivation and inspiration to work on further developing my business and moving it forward. Isn’t that amazing?
My dear friend and creative cohort—life coach/clutter clearer Alice Braga, turned me on to the magic of Jennifer Lee’s book, The Right Brain Business Plan. And that’s how this collaged business plan came to be. I have to confess it took me over a year before I actually really looked at the book. It seemed like a fun idea. But I couldn’t wrap my head around the concept that I’d have a viable business plan based on what seemed to me to be whim and chance. I mean, what if the editorial and photo staff of whatever magazines I ended up using for source materials decided to publish images and headlines completely unrelated to what I wanted? It just didn’t sound like something that would work for me.
But lo and behold, it did work. And is the first program for creating a business plan that has. I’ve taken a week-long, in-person, coach-led program for creating a traditional business plan, have read tons of how-tos on websites about business plans. And countless articles and books. But never made the kind of progress I have with this program.
No doubt some of my earlier efforts helped lay down some foundation. And I am grateful for those experiences. But after going through the sweat and sometimes tears of writing and brainstorming and creating spreadsheets for my plan, I’d put all the printed out documents into a book and never look at it again. So never went back to finish it. All those hours of effort, while somewhat meaningful because of the thinking I had to do to produce the work that I did, wasn’t lasting because it just sat on my bookshelf gathering dust as it continues to do so today. I don’t even want to look at it because I know how dull and dry the thing is. I mean, why have a dry old stale piece of cake when you can have a creamy delicious ice cream sundae!
I now reach for my Right Brain Business Plan almost everyday. It’s fun to look at and helps keep me on track and accountable for all the actions I need to take to make my business a success. I’m in the process of making some tweaks and edits here and there and also have some left-brained number crunching and planning to do as well. So will share more later as this master plan of mine unfolds.
What does your business plan look like?
I don’t know how the work of New York artist Ik-Joong Kang could have escaped my notice until now. And it wasn’t even in New York that I discovered him rather, in Princeton, New Jersey, when enjoying my annual get together with my two sisters—or Sisters’ Weekend as we like to call it—but that’s a post for another day.
My sister, Muriel, and I made a quick pitstop into the Princeton Library to warm up for a minute when we spied this incredibly colorful mural made up of thousands of ceramic tiles and other artifacts contributed by artists and local Princetonians at the direction of artist Ik-Joong Kang to celebrate the re-opening of the Princeton Library in 2004.
So fun and playful, we stopped to get a closer look at some of the mini masterpieces with me taking a few iPhone photos and, Muriel, ever the knowledge seeker, reading up on the artist and the history behind the work of art.
Mixed in with the mini artworks were these mini poems. I couldn’t believe they were written by grammar school aged kids. Amazing! One I loved but unfortunately screwed up the photo read:
Some Works on Unfinishment
Sometimes I feel
As unfinished as an
One shoe in a shoe box,
A mirror in an all-white room.
I mean, really. What are they feeding those kids in Princeton?
Talk about serendipity, I was doing a little research on local seminars and conferences when I stumbled across this incredible short film about extraordinary artist and teacher, Inge Druckrey. It is a 38-minute master class on how to see like an artist. Worth watching and re-watching again and again as I have done while having lunch over the past week. Enjoy.