How To Create Beautiful Community

How To Create Beautiful Community

At that first Summit, I felt in my heart a spring of water push up out of the dry desert clay and begin making a garden of the wilderness inside me just as those mission trips did so long ago. The thirst in my soul is for the Church to look like family again, and when I look around at the men and women who’ve heard the call in Catholic Creatives and answered it, I don’t just see temporary friends, I see brothers and sisters.

Back to the Beginning

Back to the Beginning

I worked in ministry, but couldn’t coax myself to join any Catholic young adult communities. I didn’t want to have to hide the fact that I did yoga in the mornings or listened to NPR. Deep down, I honestly had lost my dream for the utopic Catholic community I saw at that Steubenville conference. I kept my distance, instead making friends in the Dallas start-up circles. That is, until I found Edmund Mitchell’s Facebook profile.  

Creation of the Week #12 - "Venerable Fulton Sheen" Cassie Pease

Cassie Pease is an incredible designer. She really knows how to bring a Catholic saint alive with her desktop wallpapers, and this week I really was struck by this image of Venerable Fulton Sheen. 

Cassie has beautifully distinct style. She is obviously informed by pop culture, but departs from it in some very potent ways. She essues minimalism, with the grungy textured background, she uses drop shadow and glow effects on her text which most designers have long since written off, and favors vibrant colors rather than desaturated tones. I don't know whether Cassie is breaking the rules on purpose or if she simply developed her distinctiveness in a more organic way, but it is beautiful. 

She also does an amazing job choosing the right photos and editing them to fit her vision. I did a quick google search on images of Fulton Sheen and found the photo she used. It was the only half descent pic of him I could find, and it was only 480px wide.

With her Walpapers, Cassie often has to work with bad photos or old paintings/statues.  She is masterful at using these less than ideal building blocks and helping us to see these saints in an altogether different light. I'm looking forward to downloading the next wallpaper, Cassie!

Find more of her work here: http://cassiepeasedesigns.com/

Creation of the Week #10 Ivory Williams "Mr. Money"

This week's Creation of the Week goes to Ivory Williams for her InCrowd song "Mr. Money.

This song is masterfully written and perfectly executed to capture the 60's sound. The band & production team InCrowd works with live tracks their songs on retro equipment. Every song they've done is incredibly true to form, and "Mr. Money" is no different. If, after listening, you looked down and found yourself doing the lindy hop with your chair as a partner, you wouldn't be the only one.

Ok. Maybe Kate Hazen was the only one.

Ok. Maybe Kate Hazen was the only one.

With the emergence of the time piece trend in popular culture, (Gatsby, Stranger Things, The Nice Guys,) this kind of project is in place to catch the culture wave. This is exactly the type of work that I love seeing from the group. Ivory is a girl who is unbelievably talented and is using that to engage the culture as opposed to working inside the "Christian Music" bubble. Because of this, she gets to speak a powerful counter to American materialism that could only hit this hard as a 60's cover. As she sings: "One pound of gold won't fit in your coffin." 

Ivory, keep up the good work. I think I can speak for all of us when I say that I can't wait to hear the rest of the album.

Full Credits (But seriously, Wow. Look at this team:)
"Mr Money" by Ivory Williams

(A Michael and Swilley Production)
InCrowd Songs (BMI)
(C) 2016

Jordan Manley - Drums
Austin Bolen - Upright Bass
Sean Thompson - Guitar
Philip Adair - Piano
William Hollifield - Tenor Sax
Robert Harrington - Trumpet
Danny Wytanis - Trombone

Creation of the Week #5 Erica Tighe's Calligraphy

I just want to push us right now to all think a little bit more like Erica Tighe.

I for one feel the struggle of being in a creative industry and trying to make ends meet. I fall into mental traps all the time. “No one wants to pay for good design, it’s just not valued,” or “I didn’t get started early enough, I never went to school for this…” and other stupid bs like that. While I’m making excuses for myself, struggling to figure out what to do, Erica is over here making things. 

I don’t want to make any assumptions here about Erica’s financial position, but I can say this: Erica has a lot more chances that I’ll give her my money than I have of her returning the favor. Why? Because she’s creating products.

Part of the creative gift is the ability to see things that could be that aren’t, coupled with the willingness to do something about it. Erica is not only one of the people responsible for the amazing visuals for “Blessed is She,” (Client Work) but she has recently put up a calligraphy class on skillshare (Teaching), has an online store with 30 products in it, and just to get at the rest of the 2 percent of us that didn’t already feel like total peons by now, she just released these ridiculously great Catholic Saint Peg Dolls on Envato (Products).

People, there are a lot of ways to make money with our craft, and client work is only one of them. I would love to see the people on this group take a page out of Erica’s calligraphy book and create PRODUCTS with their skills. Good work Erica. Way to inspire us and make us feel totally insufficient at the same time.  

Ps. If you need a store to sell your new products on, www.PetersSquare.com is the new cool hip place to be.

Creation of the Week #2: Daniela's "Wheelock Wildcats Rebrand"

For those of you that have not had the pleasure to meet the illustrious Daniela Madriz, now's the time. Daniela does fantastic work. She really knows her way around illustration and branding, but one of the things that makes her special is her finesse. 

Designers don't smile.

Designers don't smile.

Daniela knows that branding is about so much more than designing a killer logo. From the way she discusses money, to how she selects color palates, all the way to how she delivers a brand guide. More on that later.

This is her redesign of the Wheelock Wildcat's logo:



Problem: The curve makes the name difficult to read and gives it a droopy, almost silly feeling.
Solution: The new logo takes the eye from left to right emphasizing movement.

Problem: The old wildcat is hard to discifer. I first thought it was a Chinese dragon. Mascot logos that try to show too much detail usually make the mark more difficult to understand, not less.
Solution:  The new mark is far simpler, relying on the "wildcats" in the name to give the animal its context. 

Problem: Too much detail makes display complicated. The first logo would be incredibly difficult to display on anything but gymn walls and hoodies. Today, logos need to be even more flexible than ever before, from the corner of iphone screens to building inscriptions. For the old mark, that's a problem.
Solution: Daniela's redesign & simplification makes this logo more easily read, more easily understood, and more flexibly displayed.

The Best Part

The best part of this rebrand however, is not the logo, but Daniela's brand guidelines. A logo is only as strong as long as it is used correctly. As it is the last deliverable in the branding processes, it is incredibly easy for designers like myself to burn out and put in a minimal effort on the design guidelines. Daniela, on the other hand, made Wheelock guide for her client that is LITERALLY 62 pages long. 


If you want to see what attention to detail looks like, click on that link and take a gander. Thanks Daniela. Now the bar is just that much higher for the rest of us.