first attempt at web.

The assignment is to re-design the Visual Arts Program website. I didn't design the sign that says "DEPT. OF VISUAL ARTS" or the little "back" button on the right-hand side. They are icons that the VA program uses all the time and prints on t-shirts and tote bags and stuff. In all practicality, I think their website should utilize them too.
I've also got to give credit to the website luke helped create, muxtape.com where you'll see some obvious inspiration.
The real VA website is here.
This is just the first draft. I might change everything.


When I lost my sketchbook on the plane, I also lost my favorite pen.
The most pressing thing about this is that I'm hand-rendering the typeface on the bottom of this poster and it needs to match the writing on the top (that was rendered with my favorite pen.)
I've been using a paintbrush + india ink and other various pens, but nothing looks quite the same.
So...I decided to buy a new pentel brush pen online yesterday.
The bad/ridiculous thing about this is that I had just been explaining to Josh that while I do get obsessed over projects that I'm working on, I don't typically get obsessed with buying things.
"Yeah, I mean, It's very rarely that I see something for sale and just have to have it."
Not 12 hrs. later I was drooling over the stuff on jetpens.com.
Final checkout sum: $25 (Just enough to qualify for free shipping :)
And I stayed up until I was almost too tired/lazy to brush my teeth perusing the site.
The first thought I had when I woke up this morning was, "I seriously spent $25 on pens again?!"
But when I thought about what I'd bought, I was just really excited:Scented .5mm mechanical pencil & scented lead.

Weird pencil bag that reads:
"the one who has a good sense of humor." and "the one who always looks at herself through the mirror."I'm hoping it will help me never lose my favorite writing utensils ever again.


the harris fine arts center.

I cannot stand the sexism of this building.
The floor where I reside for at least 8 hrs. everyday has one men's bathroom. The closest women's bathroom is down 2 flights of stairs where there are 4 tiny stalls that are usually a little untidy from overuse. Right next to that bathroom, across from the drinking fountain, lies another men's bathroom.

The reason this astounds me is because %70 of the Visual Arts department is composed of females. Usually you have to wait in line, navigate your way through large portfolios perched against the wall, and be careful not to bump the girls lined up in front of the mirror fixing their makeup in order to use the facilities at all.

Every once and a while, you'll see a male enter or exit the bathroom next door.

It just seems ironic that I'm supposed to learn about effective design here all day long. I always think about it as I'm making the trip downstairs to the bathroom.


it's official.

Nah, actually it's just the letter press business card assignment from my typography class.
I found out today that I have to apply for the BFA program at the end of August (I was going to wait until next year.) Basically, what that means is that every assignment I complete for my graphic design classes within the next 3 months has to be totally killer so I can use them as potential portfolio pieces. So much pressure...


necessary tool.

I am going to get this in the mail today: In case you're wondering, it's my first portable external hard drive. I can't wait. Yeah, super-nerdy, but my little thumb drive started operating really slowly and sometimes messing up under the weight of my heftier graphic design assignments. I'm computing so much for my graphics classes these days that I've started pressing "⌘+z" when I make a mistake composing email. This is long overdue. Now I can compute in peace-- no more copying files to the desktop first.
And yes, I actually love that it looks like a flask.



I promise I'll stop posting kid pics-- I mean, I'm not even married and I hope it's not what you'd expect from this blog-- but I was looking through pics on the computer and ran into this one. Something about it looks to me as though my little nephew, Sam, woke up in the middle of the night and made himself a mickey-mouse-shaped pancake, only to get busted by whoever took this photograph. Or maybe I'm just tired...


hey jude.

Today was my newest nephew, Jude's, baby blessing. I got to draw him right after he was carried back to the pews.
I think it's a fantastic beginning for my new sketchbook; I can't imagine what would be better.

I also posted a new etsy item that I feel pretty good about:



I love my dad so much. I hope you can get a sense of how meek and hard-working he is from this picture.
I took it for a portrait assignment in my photo class.


a little awkward.

I presented the original drawing of this to my graphic design teacher and he fell in love with it. It's an event poster that will be 16"x 22". I tried to re-draw it, but it just wasn't the same. So, I guess my ex-husband gets to be a part of my graphic design portfolio. Oh well...


sketching at the met.

I sketched this at the Met when I was in New York. Here's the original.Complicated and amazingly carved, this depicts the story from Dante's Inferno, where Ugolino was locked in a tower with his sons and given no food.

chain gang.

Got this off of Robin's blog. I think this is the only chain letter I've ever liked.

The first five people to respond to this post, saying they have joined the ranks by posting this "chain of giving idea" on their blog, get something made by me.

Didn't want to go fully commercial.

fine print: I have 3 months to give it to you.


going etsy.

I just started my very own Etsy shop. If there's anything you've ever wanted to buy from my blog, just let me know. If you ever have suggestions of things you think I should sell on Etsy, I'm totally open to suggestions.

people watching.

On BYU campus.
At the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
The only thing I like more than watching people is talking to them.


permanent eraser.

This next week will mark the end of a crucial era: I quit my job working at the garment factory and will fully immerse myself in the BYU visual arts department.

My art teacher/ TA boss, Joe Ostraff, said he bow-hunted. When I expressed some surprise, he explained that he felt everyone who eats meat should be capable of killing and gutting animals so they can obtain a full awareness of what they are doing and assume some responsibility for it.

I completely agree with this, although I'd like to add that I feel the same way about manufacturing. I think every consumer should work in a manufacturing plant for just one day to appreciate what it means to be provided with cheap goods. It is back-breaking work, even when the circumstances are regulated and the pay is fair.

And even then, I will miss it.
Not the back-breaking labor-- although it allowed me the opportunity to prove to myself that I am a hard worker-- I will miss the company of my heroic and humble co-workers. The majority of women there are immigrants; strong women who support their families. They never had the opportunity for education because they were busy raising their children. These women are grateful, kind, and sincere despite the monotony if their lives. I will miss their influence.

I also regret leaving behind my reputation. I think more than anyone, these women know that I am tougher than nails and respect me accordingly. They've experienced my grit, endurance, and audacity in both physical and emotional turmoil for over 3 years. They've allowed me to cry on their shoulders and been quick to cheer me on in even my smallest triumphs. In some ways, I feel like I'm starting all over again.

On my plane ride to New York, I left my sketchbook in the seat pocket in front of me. My stomach felt sick when I realized it yesterday. This particular sketchbook contains every journal entry I ever wrote while I was married to the present. It includes every sketch I've ever posted on this blog. I've expressed on more than one occasion that if my house were burning down, I'd grab my sketchbooks and leave. They are a record of everything.

But in considering the loss of this particular sketchbook, maybe I can let it go. I can't think of anything that would would make me immediately more depressed than reading those entries from when I was married. I've only read them twice and they markedly altered my mood for the entire day.

I am a strong advocate of coming to terms with truth and the importance of acknowledging past events, but maybe something beyond my regular state of consciousness wanted me to leave that sketchbook that seat pocket. Maybe I've come to terms enough.

I unwrapped a new sketchbook today. One that I bought a long time ago, but had been saving. It's beautiful with thick, creamy paper and a shiny leather cover.

I can't wait to see what will fill its pages.


love is in the air.

I swerved to dodge this on my way to school this morning. From the distance, it looked like a cat, but as I got closer, I saw that it was carrying something enormous in its mouth. I thought it might be a fox. When I saw that it was a tiny dog hauling its morbid jackpot, I couldn't stop laughing. I could tell that it wanted so badly to bark at me when I took this picture, but it wouldn't let the bone leave its jaws. It trotted away quickly, (somewhat awkwardly under the weight of the bone) like I was going to rob him. It was so reminiscent of a cartoon that I started to imagine him taking it back to his girlfriend to impress her (like the children's book, "Pretzel", that Carl gave me for my birthday.)

In typography today we switched classrooms because the regular one was occupied by illustration students. We were on the main level next to a bunch of windows, critiquing our spec books.
My teacher looks up from the book he's critiquing out the window and exclaims, "There are so many pretty girls at BYU. How come they weren't here when I was a student?!"
We all chuckled (a little awkwardly) and I noticed him checking girls out throughout the rest of class. He likes Asians.

I have exactly an hour to pack for NYC where I'll be until Mon. morning. Peace Out.

Oh, and I don't care what anyone says, I love D'angelo. I can't stop listening to this song lately. Seriously. This might be the 5th time I've listened to it today.


valentine's day.

My mom, of course, has tons of old weird/cool stuff. I love it. I credit the junk around our house as the main source of inspiration for all my creativity.

I was sending out some Valentine's Day packages and my mom brought out her collection of those old, corny valentines that you give/receive in elementary school. I had way more fun than I'd anticipated as I experienced some pretty pleasant nostalgia.

And the winners are. . .

Cutest. I seriously love this one.
Funniest/ most confusing.
All time ugliest. I dare someone to top this. I think the green blob (of watercolor?) to the right adds the perfect touch.
Also, I can't get enough of this song. It brings back some of the most pleasant nostalgic feelings I'm capable of experiencing. I remember listening to this with my mom when I was really little and thinking that Sam Cooke had the most beautiful voice imaginable. I still do.



Panning. High key.
Silhouette. Bulb exposure.
Major thanks to Tom (Miller.)






not all that disappointed.

Remember this post? Or this one?
Yeah, I auditioned for Bravo's replacement of "Project Runway" and got really far. They flew me out to LA. I signed a contract. I ate a $25 sandwich through room service on their tab.
I've been dying to blog about it for the last 3 months, but was supposed to keep it a secret. My final interview in LA happened about a month ago. They said I'd be informed of the final decision in a couple of days. Then they said I'd hear in a week, then in 2 weeks.

Someone from the production studio finally called yesterday:

"Sorry, but you weren't selected. Laura, we loved you and pushed so hard for you, but the network made the final decision. Sorry.
But we'll be thinking of you when season 2 comes up."

Maybe they tell everyone that?
Of course I've speculated all of these reasons why it took so long to receive my answer. Like, what if one of the network producers hates all Mormons after Prop 8? I don't know, maybe they're convinced that goodie-goodie girls like me don't make interesting television.

Either way, I'm totally okay with it. Not getting on means:

I get to keep my scholarship.

I don't have to withdraw from my classes (and then re-take them later.)

I get to start a new TA position at BYU where I work with visiting artists and take them to galleries.

I get to quit my job.

I don't have to worry about getting in trouble with BYU's honor code in regard to housing. (There was talk of possible mixed gender housing on the show.)

I don't have to go without communication with family and friends (and Josh) for 6 wks. (They make it a rule on all reality shows that you can't.)

I'm not gonna pretend like it wasn't a really exciting opportunity, but my life is plenty exciting without it. I still think I might be the luckiest girl on the planet.


wall space.

This hangs above the computer in my bedroom.


the virtue of heels.

So, like I was saying in an earlier entry, I recently bought my first pair of high heels. I first tried them on at DSW, mostly out of curiosity, in front of my sisters and my mom. I wanted to see if I could really walk in them. I was feeling a little self-conscious about the overt sexiness of what was on my feet, but everyone seemed to think they were great.

"You totally pull them off," said Marie.

"They look so feminine," said Miriam.

"I think that guys are gonna like those," said my mom.

"Thanks... I love how streamlined the shape is," I replied.

The first guy I showed them to was Mike Alger. I just opened the box and shoved the tissue paper aside.

"Yeah, so it's like my first pair of heels." I thought he might laugh.

"I've gotta say, for a pair of heels, those are pretty awesome."
I wore them a lot at first, for practice walking.
Even my brother complimented the way my legs looked. At church, a guy asked me what leg exercises I did do get my calves to look like that.
"None; it's just the heels. I'm not really used to wearing them."
From a design perspective, heels elongate your legs and make them looked toned. This is, in its own way, really practical. People have known this forever. I feel a little silly that it took me so long to get it.

King Louis XIV had it figured out. Check out this guy's legs... it's certainly more than I'm willing to show.


color study.

My latest photo assignment.
Monochromatic. Analogous. Complementary. Contrast.


major confession.

I saw this movie with Whitney, Mary, and Natalie last night.

Natalie's brother works at a theater where he can get people in for free, so we basically chose what seemed to be the worst option possible-- counting on Whitney and Mary's sarcastic whit to carry us through to the end.

During the previews, a row of women sitting directly behind us were laughing uniformly at every obvious/cliche joke. I turned to Whitney.

"Seriously, I don't get people like this at all. It's so weird that they laugh at everything they're supposed to. It makes me feel like I don't understand the world."

"I know exactly what you mean. I've totally thought that before."

Maybe it's the fact that I haven't seen a formulaic Hollywood movie like this in years; maybe it's the fact that I've found this new ability to chill out and stop analyzing everything as a piece of art; but I loved "Bride Wars." We all did.

Half way through the movie, (yes, I'm using the word "movie" instead of "film") Whitney turned to me.

"I'm glad that we've totally turned into those weird people who laugh at everything."

"Oh my gosh, I know."

Of course there were ridiculous things about it. One of lead characters who happens to be a powerful lawyer is marrying a hedge fund manager. They all had perfect skin and hair and bodies. A lot of the quips felt really scripted. It was sooo Hollywood.

But sitting in that dark theater with those girls last night, I found myself contently in its clutches. It was wonderful.