Envisioning a Project

Is there a perfect combination of pictures, illustrations and text for designing a graphic? I believe there is. That perfect combination comes to me when my client—while describing the project to me—tells me about what graphic design they need done. Immediately then, I just start clearly seeing the design in my head. I know it sounds weird, but their words and the way they talk to me, creates this vision in my mind. I just know what it will look like right then and there. I sort of establish a mental connection with my client.

Then she said, create a logo in there that says “Be a Part of The Elite 8”

This below then was created, but it really was envisioned by my client. She really designed it in her brain. They only thing I did was to take what she wanted and express it on the paper. She said this has to be elegant and refined. It was a trip for contest winners to go to Scotland, Europe. I then, envisioned this below. I thought: sophistication, enjoyment, Scotland, beauty, perfection.


Later on, we created the email design and many other marketing collateral.


Envisioning an image is something that I have been able to do with a lot of practice. I really enjoy providing everyone with effective, refined and beautiful graphic design.


OMG Reading!


The story behind my name: Honeymoon Reader.

I really never read anything growing up. It didn’t interest me to read even one paragraph. I thought it was dull, boring and time consuming and took me away from the “fun” which was dating and just spending time with my friends and my guy.

Now that I think back, nobody read anything to me while growing up. Unless for one time when my mom decided to help me read Uncle Tom’s Cabin. She read it to me, and it made an impression on me as far as reading comprehension and the mere fact of reading a book. That day stayed with me for the rest of my life. Thinking back I can picture myself sitting next to my mom on my bed reading that book. Of course I was not in the United States and had no clue what the book represented and what it really meant. I was just experiencing reading right then for the first time in my life.

Even in school and from then on, I had no guidance to continue to read. My mom was really so busy with the four of us kids, she really never again read to me.

Reading to me has always been an obscure thing. Something I cannot accomplish. Nor was it fun.

Later on, I decided I am artist and went into the field of graphic arts and only read things that helped me learn my graphic design art as I completed my graphic design major.

Later on while studying for my second degree, Business Management, I had to read a lot. It all was boring and nothing meant much to me. I just wanted to complete that degree, so I read and wrote quite a bit. All so boring. Nothing compared to my art, my beloved graphic design art.

Although, about a year ago, I decided that since I am now the artist I want to be, I will now learn to love to read. So I made it my goal to read one entire article about anything once per day for the rest of my life, if not immersed in a book.

Browsing Facebook one day, I clicked on an ad that advertised what is called BookBub. And it took me to this website where you register for free and they send you daily book picks that you can download and read either for free or for very little money.

I thought, THIS I will try. So I did. I downloaded a few books and of course all boring and dull and did not grab my attention. I kept trying though. I knew I had to read and be able to enjoy it since everyone else is able to do it and there are so many benefits when reading. I also started reading articles about the benefits of reading too. The benefits are immense and diverse. Reading is like a workout for the brain.

So, all of the sudden among one of those downloads, I bumped into this one book. It was written so masterfully and easy to understand for my newbie self, that I could not put it down.

I just read that book, page after page. It consumed me. I realized I was living in the world portrayed in that book. I couldn’t put it down. I just read and read. Then in the middle of it, since I had to stop at some point—and go to eat or something, I put the book down and thought, WOW! So THIS is what reading is! I want this! I WANT MORE OF THIS! And read more. I want to be transported like this for ever I thought.

Reading to me is now a favorite hobby-hence the name Honeymoon Reader.

Ever since my newbie discovery, I am either reading a book, or reading some article I find interesting.

Now I love reading and admire writers and their ability to create a world that can be shared with others. It’s just an amazing profession. I would love to be able to do a decent job at it. You can obviously see I have zero talent judging from what you just read here—lol.

All of you writers out there are amazing and I admire you.

Honeymoon Reader

Graphic Designers: Do you design in InDesign, Illustrator or Photoshop? Do you use one in particular?

Graphic Designers: Do you design in InDesign, Illustrator or Photoshop? Do you use one in particular?

I have personally learned that depending on the project—I will start the design in a particular program—then later bring the others to act together to produce the final piece.

In my opinion, all three are important in graphic design. Not one is better than the other. All three complement each other perfectly.

For example, if I’m designing a poster that is going to be displayed on a TV screen, then I will design it in Photoshop. Large at 150 dpi at least and in dimensions larger and proportional to a TV screen size (1920px  x  1080px). Then later—if a flyer or other collateral is needed—I will easily adjust the artwork within my layers in Photoshop to modify. Any graphics that will be displayed on the web or on a TV, I will design them in Photoshop. Command Option Shift S and voila. Thank goodness for Photoshop!


Now, if I’m designing a business card or a form, I will start in InDesign. Then later bring images or symbols either from Photoshop, Illustrator and put it all together in InDesign.

Say I’m designing a website and/or a website banner. I will start in Photoshop and give this any look my client desires. Bring everything into Adobe Muse—then continue the journey afterward.

This is a banner for the web, designed entirely in Photoshop:


If I’m designing a logotype—a symbol—I will design it in Illustrator.


If I’m designing a magazine. I will start an awesome multi-layered design for the cover which will easily become the base design for the whole magazine. Then InDesign will allow me to put the pages together using template elements that will transform the initial cover artwork into a repeating theme throughout the entire magazine, making all the pages consistent with one another and the cover, achieving harmony and uniformity throughout the entire publication.

These below are magazine spreads that were designed in Photoshop, then brought the text along in InDesign to complete:



If I’m designing a brochure, or maybe a postcard, same thing—Photoshop, Illustrator elements, InDesign elements, then InDesign to finalize.



InDesign to me is the program that wraps it all together. It also produces the perfect output for either a professional press or digital printer.

Adobe Photoshop is my most beloved software program. It gives me the freedom to design absolutely anything and everything with infinite possibilities. It has transformed my career as a designer and profoundly influenced the development of my career and greatly improved the quality of my artwork. Everything I dreamed of as an artist, I have been able to achieve with Photoshop. I have been using Photoshop ever since one of its first versions. Thank god for all its developers and software gurus who created and collaborated to make Photoshop what it is today.



With Photoshop, the sky is the limit!


The Sky is the Limit when designing in Photoshop. I can’t say that enough. Mastering Photoshop is the one element in my career that has made a real difference. Photoshop allows me to create beauty.


See the poster above? Photoshop can pretty much do anything.

Illustrator on the other hand, gives me the freedom to produce anything. Any kind of artwork, symbol or graphic with virtually endless possibilities. Illustrator is an amazing program that sometimes has me staring at my screen with my jaw dropped on my desk, eyes peeled in awe of what it’s doing right then.


This globe image above was done in Illustrator in its entirety. Illustrator is an amazing program.

InDesign is the ultimate publishing software. It has improved so much since its inception. I utilize InDesign as my wrapping tool. High res graphics can be designed with it too. But I use InDesign mostly to bring all my art together into one piece. InDesign acts as the wrapper. It organizes everything into one beautiful final document.





This poster above was to be shown on a computer monitor to begin with, so I designed it in Photoshop in its entirety. Later this design will probably be adjusted and become a flyer. And who knows what else after that: email design, magazine spread, etc. I’ve got high res layers, so I will quickly transform this artwork into anything needed—flawlessly.

In conclusion—and in my opinion—all three programs are really amazing and I use them all interchangeably. Each is very useful in their own unique way.

If you are learning graphic design, you’re an artist and you really want to become a graphic designer, I would highly recommend learning these three programs thoroughly. And practice, practice, practice. 😊


It could be said that a beautiful design is perfect and simple. Consequently beauty must equal perfection.


Think about this for a minute: When you look at someone or something, and you instinctively think they’re beautiful, then chances are that someone or something is perfect. I know—deep—lol. But think about it, it’s true. Anything beautiful is really perfect. Perfection is the key to beauty when designing graphics or really when designing anything. Perfection.

I would say this subject is really deep indeed. When I typed in Google “what is beauty philosophy” This came up: “The nature of beauty is one of the most enduring and controversial themes in Western philosophy, and is—with the nature of art—one of the two fundamental issues in philosophical aesthetics. Beauty has traditionally been counted among the ultimate values, with goodness, truth, and justice.

Beauty is important.

Refined and Effective Graphic Design Isn’t Free

Is anyone with me on this?

I am a senior graphic designer. One who has been designing for 25+ years. I love what I do, but people, even friends want designs, marketing collateral, websites and illustrations done for free. Why is that?

Yesterday, I went to meet a possible free-lance gig with two individuals. They talked to me, they expressed interest, they said they liked everything in my portfolio, and honestly think my portfolio is pretty impressive as I have entire magazines, booklets, collateral, all skillfully-designed. I have so much material in there! In addition, my resume says I have been in this field designing for about 30 years. More than half my life I have been designing graphics!

Yet, after the meeting, they told me they wanted to “test” me and that they were going to email the test details. I thought, really? After seeing THAT portfolio you’re going to test me? C’mon, do I look like you can take advantage of me? I cannot believe these people. One of them looked my son’s age for crying out loud!

Below is a few of my designs so you can get an idea of my design skill:















welcome-to-outdoors-contest-020614-IB.jpg3-Winter-Galleria-Voucher-FL-$750-$999 (1)-1.jpg


Just a few designs in there for you to see.

Anyway, after I received a detailed layout of this “test” with—mind you—high-resolution assets, I just fell like telling them what I was feeling. I proceeded to send them this letter (omitted names and money amounts, for privacy)

Hi ,

This looks like a lot of fun to build. I look forward to doing this for you. I am familiar with designs like these, where I’m given a general layout. It’s really so much fun to do!

Although—I know you said this is a test — but designs take time and my time is valuable. I am an experienced senior designer. With what I’ve learned in my years in this field, is that I do not touch a design before getting paid first — even when someone is testing my ability.

This layout will take me approximately 5 hours to do. My free-lance charge per hour is $XX. You’ll notice my hourly rate is a bit low for free lancing. I have to be realistic in a world full of people wanting to do graphic design on their own.

You can send me $XX directly at

Link to PayPal here.

Also, please see a sample of similar work I designed a few years back. It’s only a 4/0 mailer that is merged in InDesign with different winning numbers, city, state, and dealer name fields.

It’s attached (attached was a really nice ad similar to what they wanted me to design)



Of course I never got a response. It has been a while since—and no response. Mmmm I wonder why. No response. BTW, the request to do the “test” ad came quickly after the meeting.

Someone, anyone, any designer, graphic artist, commercial artist, creative director, art director, anyone with knowledge of this field please tell me, has this happened to you, or has anything similar happened to you?

I’m not upset. I know better to not let things like these upset me. I’m just disappointed that someone would look at me, see my talent, at my age, and try to scam me. I’m just really disappointed.

Your thoughts?
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
Honeymoon Reader

Cause to Run by Blake Pierce

Book Review ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Kindle review is not working right now and I really want to write this review right after I finished the book just now:

Here I go:

This isn’t the typical genre I read, but I have to tell you, sometimes it’s worth it to take a chance, expand your horizons and immerse yourself into something different. In this case, this book turned out to be so much fun! It’s very well written, Blake Pierce, the author, gave such vivid descriptions and events and incredible character building. She just made the story so real to me. It happened.

I found myself searching for the places described using Google Earth. And yes the places are real locations. I loved that! I could not put this book down. I can keep on going here and give details, but I won’t bore you and spoil it, lol. This one is a must read 😊