I’ve Moved.

Please refer to my current design blog at cleverbirddesigns.wordpress.com until I am able to update the link from my website. Thank you!


30 April 2009 at 2:15 am Leave a comment

2009 Color of the Year

Announced by Pantone.  And the winner is. . .something called “Mimosa.”   A golden yellow, just the color you would expect from your alcoholic beverages on a late Sunday morning.  No strawberries added.

23 January 2009 at 2:42 pm Leave a comment


With so many styles of design in the world, it’s hard to choose just one to aspire to.  This, I have decided, is what makes each new generation of artists continue to strive for their own unique imagery and relevance in the world.

My unending quest for inspiration in this stage of my life has had a few boosts this week.  First was the SOFA (Sculpture, Objects and Functional Art) Expo at Navy Pier in Chicago.  On Sunday, a friend and I had the opportunity to see the entire show in one short afternoon.  Overstimulation, anyone? 

Overall the show was impressive, inspiring and I am glad I traversed the wind, cold and snow to see it.  Okay, flurries, that we haven’t seen since.  But I know winter is on its way anyway.  And winter is a good time to remain focused in the studio. . .or in my case, my living room, which also happens to be my roommate’s bedroom.  We painted significantly the other night for the first time in a long time.  I stepped closer to finishing my January painting, and am so close now I can taste it.  And to finish it would be great, as I have latched onto a new source of inspiration for the winter: Alphonse Mucha.

Today at the Gallery, several images of works by Mucha appeared in the inbox.  The catalog was promptly pulled and thus began my personal discovery of hundreds of posters designed by Mucha during the late 19th Century.  

My brain fired away: I can make Mucha relevant today.  And so I think I will.  He has given me the motivation to put the finishing touches on my present work and move on.  Purchase a blank canvas, a large canvas, and make it into something great.  This new direction, I am excited for it.

Oh and hey, did anybody hear that we have a new president?

Grant Park on Election Night. . .another amazingly inspiring time.  I still get goosebumps.

14 November 2008 at 1:57 pm Leave a comment


I’d thought, a few days ago, that I would have to make time to think about things. I thought that I could finally focus on real things pertaining to my career as an artist. I thought that I could direct my attention to subject matter like the art gallery at which I currently work in River North or the Andersonville Arts Weekend that took place over the weekend. I thought that motivation is stronger than inspiration.

But I thought wrong.

Last night I was reminded that there cannot be art without passion, cannot be beauty without acceptance, cannot be love without pain.

I will be making time to finally finish the paining I began last January. The inspiration shifted early last summer, lending me a few more weeks of motivation. It shifted back in July, only to shift one more time now.

For the sake of love.

Before I go, my recommendations from the Andersonville Arts Weekend: Jay Amundson and Chuck Meyers, both artists who live and work in the Chicago area. Both participated in Friday night’s Clark Street Art Walk, both caught my eye.

6 October 2008 at 4:46 pm Leave a comment

Creative Psychology

It’s amazing what an ocean does for strengthening bonds.

Today, I burst into tears upon seeing my brother’s face, half a world away. A strange mix of emotions came over me just then: thrilled that technology allows me to view in real time a likeness that I’ve gone without for over a year, but also cringing with the acknowledgment that this was the closest I could get. No hugs, no family kisses, no razzle of the hair, which is now about 8 inches shorter than it was a year ago. Just an overwhelming sense of distance combined with the urge to be obnoxiously close to him.

That sense of polarization was explained to me early this morning in an article published in Psychology Today called The Creative Personality: Ten Paradoxical Traits of the Creative Personality.  My favorite is the following excerpt:

Creative people alternate between imagination and fantasy, and a rooted sense of reality. Great art and great science involve a leap of imagination into a world that is different from the present. The rest of society often views these new ideas. as fantasies without relevance to current reality. And they are right. But the whole point of art and science is to go beyond what we now consider real and create a new reality

I’ve tried to explain that concept to people a hundred times before, and never seem to get through to many.

My next great scheme is to launch a fairly regular scheduled Art Night.  This event involves inviting friends and neighbors over once a month or so to break out our art supplies and just create.  Last night granted me a sneak preview of my projected arrangement, and all seemed to go pretty well.  Fall and Winter are nearly upon us, so searching for engaging projects indoors will become more and more important in the coming weeks.  For you this means, button up your overcoat, grip your thermos tight between your woolen mittens, and head on over.  It’s Art Night.

12 September 2008 at 3:13 am 1 comment

Rainy Day

I had much bigger plans for today. Today I intended to go out into the world, to make something of myself, to touch something real.

I didn’t. I sat inside the house for fear that the rain would melt me. Dissolve me. Ruin me.

The network is breaking down. The people in it are no longer living, they’re scraps of paper tossed into the wind and landing by the wayside. They’re disintegrating into the earth with every falling raindrop.

If only we could soak the water up, with a big culture sponge.

Yeah. That’s what we need.

8 September 2008 at 6:12 pm Leave a comment

Motivation & the Lack of Substance

Four years ago, my eyes were glued to the television as I awaited the announcement of John Kerry’s nomination for President by the Democratic National Convention in Boston. My hands were busy laying paint to canvas as I worked on the “War Flags” series

I remember seeing Barack Obama for the first time, hearing him orate the first of two (now phenomenally historic) speeches to the DNC. I was so inspired, I wanted my work to represent the energy and vigor of the times. I knew the country was in for a big change.

But we failed to support John Kerry.

Last night, Barack Obama returned to the Democratic National Convention, this time in Denver. This time as the nominated candidate for President of the United States of America. I am feeling even more empowered. More hopeful. More proud than ever. But I have nothing to show for it. Too busy. Too poor. Too lazy to want anything to do with documenting the times. I should probably kick myself into high gear, before I regret it.

Obama Accepts Nomination

29 August 2008 at 2:46 pm Leave a comment

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