I'm Julia Allen, a designer in Napa,
California. This blog is my place for
gathering and sharing inspiration.
It's also where I can share ideas and
processes for my design work.
(and sometimes, you might just see
a posting for the rant, of just because
a moment needed to be shared.)
Please feel free to say hello &
share your tendencies at
I had the pleasure of a visit from my friend Robert Swartley, one of the foremost talented engravers in the country. He brought over his current project, an antique gun. You can see the workmanship in the pistol grip, eventually gold to be applied in the deep grooves. He's a master. I am always in awe of his skills and artistry... and he has such a sweet heart. (hint hint, he works slow these days, but still is actively working!)
People are so afraid of risk, that they make all of their decisions based on trying not to lose—which is often the suboptimal strategy if your goal is to win.
Many people have goals they want to accomplish, but they’re so emotionally caught up in not taking risks that they guarantee themselves not to hit their goals. The “risks” are actually less risky for them but they often fail to realize this because of the emotional response they have to decision making. Their emotions tell them to fear the downside, as opposed to listening to their logic whig would tell them to also factor in the upside.
If you avoid risk for the sake of avoiding risk, you may also be avoiding any chance at real success. Avoiding a road that could lead to success, just to avoid risk, is how most people make their decisions.
You must be willing to change. You must be willing to break the deal you made with the devils within. You must be willing to leave the past and not be tempted to rebound when times are tough. You must be willing to let go of everything and anyone that takes you back to your sins. You must be willing to have hope. You must be willing to have hope that you can change and that you will and that you will be better. You must believe you are worthy of change and you are worthy of improvement and you are worthy of being the best. You must be willing to set aside your negative notions about life, about hardships, about people, about things, about yourself. You must be willing to stop feeling sorry for yourself while looking at the world move around you.
Get up and make something of yourself. — Jack Barakat
"When you come to the edge of all that you know, you must believe in one of two things: either there will be ground to stand on, or you will be given wings to fly." —O.R. Selling
I'm finally indulging in a world of yesterdays... where the written word was studied.. earnestly and wholeheartedly, expressed in ink with a steady hand. Memorized letterforms in excrutiating precision, hand and arms free for the gesture and captured in a legacy of hand, where a master's style is passed down in the way a letter is written, in the way it is written, recognized by those before me, who can say, "Ah, you are the student of so and so, I can see it in your "Y" and how you pause and lift your nib." So simple yet so complicated. Humbling, yes. Gratifying, OMG! Potentially exciting for the future?... holding my breath. So much potential, so much practice and deeply nourishing to discover yet another layer of me.
An intensive course, over the course of 6 weeks, weekends awash in inks of black, gold, silver, and white. Hunched over for hours, geeking out over the beauty of a w, an s or the 52 degree of a slant... and let's not forget the embellishments.
I have much to learn, to see where my abilities take me, but for now, this first taste of Spencerian... it has rooted deeply so pationately and so soulfully.
I leave you with a few examples. Typos, erros, guidelines in place... but already... an idea is forming, for where to take this new art form, yet to soar within.
Every once in a while, a project that comes around that gives you that tingle of something much bigger than yourself. This is one of those. Imagine how humbled and excited I was to design the marketing and fillm posters for her film!
Love Bomb is a documentary that was produced by Dr. Rhea Zimmerman Komarek of Blossom Chiropractic in Napa, CA. Rather than me reinterpretting what her own words are, I'm just going to copy & paste her own here....
"After quitting her job at the World Trade Center Rhea Zimmerman finds herself 9 months later, in New York City on 9/11, feeling afraid, horrified, lost and wondering what she could do to help create a better story for humanity. She finds her answer and her healing when she fuels herself with purpose by becoming a chiropractor with a passion for unconditional love and international service.
11 years later we join her on a 5-day chiropractic service trip to The Sacred Valley, Peru with her new boyfriend Austin and her friend Alejandra. They are on a mission to serve as many people as possible offering healing, hope, and connection through collaboration with a medical clinic.
Watch as the three stretch themselves by surrendering to service, affecting thousands that they touch, and ultimately, transforming as individuals through the power of love and teamwork.
Love Bomb is interwoven with expert voices that explore themes of human transformation, love, altruism, and consciousness. How can traumas ultimately transform us? What is the power of love and how can we find it within ourselves? What is our very own “Love Bomb” and how can we give it to the world?
Everyone has an innate power to contribute to a loving future for humanity."
Watch the trailer. Sign up to get her e-newsletters... and if her movie screens within a 50 mile radius. Go.
Out of the night that covers me, Black as the Pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be For my unconquerable soul. In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud. Under the bludgeonings of chance My head is bloody, but unbowed. Beyond this place of wrath and tears Looms but the Horror of the shade, And yet the menace of the years Finds, and shall find, me unafraid. It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.
We must be willing to get rid of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. The old skin has to be shed before the new one can come. ―Joseph Campbell
And so, I start anew. Let it roar within, in time... deeply. May this new medium flow through my veins, seal muscle memory and journey my hand in ways beyond comprehension. In the end, it is only this Julia who will yield a life of worthy, of inspiration, of living and in time, create a tapestry of our legacy for all to see. But in all of this, it's for the most cherished and loved. It is for my dear "young protector".
Borrowing his words because they are perfect. Mistakes are just that "my-stakes" in the ground reminding me the journey is just as important as the destination.
a new year wish for mistakes in 2014! May they be incredible.
"I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.
Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.
So that’s my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody’s ever made before. Don’t freeze, don’t stop, don’t worry that it isn’t good enough, or it isn’t perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life.