Readers may notice that I don’t write about myself very much. This must come from years of conditioning as a designer to question and listen. But also, I don’t really like to talk about myself. Occasionally there is something to be learned from doing so—such as how having to describe something makes it clearer. Axioms that I follow:
• It is better to understand than be understood.
• If you wish to know about something, write about it.
• Do unto others as you wish them to do unto you.
Everyone wishes to be listened to, and there is no better way to get along with others than to be interested in them. Fascinated by other people, publishing is a great vocation for me. But, like the photographer with the camera between him and his subject, asking good questions does become a lens. And subject matter. Like the musician who stirs up drama so he can write passionate songs, I tend to look at every new person as a research opportunity. That doesn’t sound too nice, for I do genuinely like people. Everyone has something to say if you can discover their passion.
What fights against writing about myself is passion—and curiosity. I always have a cause or a mystery of interest. Just writing this blog is a real stretch. I am formal, and a perfectionist. Being casual with social media is not easy because I can’t help but look at it professionally—as a medium.
Perhaps you like these pictures of my siamese cats? Of course I have a million stories about them. Perhaps you would like me to post a photo of me sitting on the Lake Michigan beach, contemplating the universe? Perhaps you would like a shot of me riding my bike along the canal, walking to town, or gardening? Maybe I should pontificate about my soap boxes—like how people need to walk instead of drive, or that they should support animal rescue organizations.
Being purpose-driven makes me question the purpose of a blog. Is it to tell you about myself? Share my causes and beliefs? Get discussion going? Connect to family and friends by sharing stuff? I tend to put my energies into projects versus posts, but I offer this one as an experiment.
When I was a child, my favorite activity at school was Show and Tell. This is my favorite part of the web too—posting my projects and seeing what other people are doing.
One of my life’s challenges is to mix my talents of writing, drawing, and design. I am not just an artist or just an author or just a designer, but all three. Unless a project uses all three of these elements, I will move on.
Freelancing for years as a designer needs a blend of talents, fortunately. I have run a corporate publishing department, medium-sized design firm, and published a text-book on creative business. At the end of the day, what I love to do best is draw.
When I was in my 20’s, I moved to Europe. I thought I would stay there. But instead, I not only discovered how American I am, but I hit a creative wall. With amazing history all around me, I felt claustrophobic because it seemed impossible to create something new without destroying (at worst) or supplanting (at best) something precious. I came back to the U.S. and got a painting studio in Chicago.
Since then, this theme of preservation versus progress has continued in my work, as it does today. I bought a vintage house in Evanston and blend old/new both in my environment and my projects.
I live simply and quietly. I walk, ride my bike, or take trains. I love coffee shops and book stores, going to exhibits, movies, concerts, and out to dinner. My freelance work is in Photoshop, WordPress, and Facebook, primarily. So I sit too much in front of computers, distracted by bossy siamese cats and gardening.
Like the shoemaker’s children with holes in their shoes, I am slow at updating my own media, which is a problem. Not a fast communicator in a communication business, I get lost in my projects.
You may find it interesting that I am a Virgo/Libra cusp—which I like to think gives me a layer of tact over my criticisms. An introvert, I push myself to be social. To balance this, I tend to surround myself with extroverts. One nice aspect of getting older is to know how to offset limitations. Yet, the extroverts get impatient with me. They run off like rabbits, and I plod behind. But they won’t have the patience to read this blog until the end anyway. So I hope you enjoyed this description of myself and my effort to be cooperative to the personalization requests. I now must walk to the store to buy cat food. They eat more than I do! —always inspired, Liane