#29 Success & Nothing Less


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Download to print special size for Balboa students’ notebooks: 8.5 x 11 inches


AmperArt #29, Success & Nothing Less, was inspired by Balboa Elementary School, for it is their motto, and it’s where I learned my abc’s, in Glendale, California. (It’s also where I learned the difference betweens it’s and its.)

The typestyle is Aachen, same as used on their school signage. The ampersand is derived from the Z in the team’s name, Blazers. The colors used in this edition are, of course, the school colors.
The phrase was made famous by Snoop Dogg on the show Entourage where he said, “Success and nothing less, man!”

One of my favorite quotes about success is by Jack Canfield: “If you love your work, if you enjoy it, you’re already a success.” I guess I’m a success then, for I love creating AmperArt and all my other graphic design.

That and many other quotes on success can be found here. And there’s a Facebook page called SuccessAndNothingLess.

The Leona L. DeSimone Award

I have always been grateful that I went to three tremendous public schools, all in the Glendale, California Unified School District: Balboa Elementary, Toll Jr. High and Herbert Hoover High School. I even went to Glendale Junior College but didn’t learn much there as I was already more focused on running a graphics business.

It was at Balboa School, during 4th Grade, that I lost my father to emphysema. I was the oldest of four, with a sister and two brothers. Our mother struggled, I mean really struggled, to clothe and feed us, holding down a job at a lunch counter in a vitamin store. Somehow she always had time for us kids and made sure we were to school on time, and helped us with our homework. All the while putting up with tantrums from me, the spoiled firstborn.

I’ll never forget seeing Mom cry when money was short, counting pennies to feed us, going without dinner herself. Or walking five miles to work in the blazing heat when the buses went on strike.

We didn’t have much money but I don’t think there was a family in Glendale any richer than ours with love.

Several years ago my sister Roslyn set up an annual scholarship at Balboa Elementary, in our mother’s name, for a deserving student (especially if their family was in similar circumstances that ours was in), and each year one of us siblings presents the award.

I was honored to present the scholarship at the end of the 2012 school year to a special student who was also raised by a single mother, and who came to school early and stayed late to work on the computers, since the family could not afford their own.

Upon arriving at the school for the presentation, I discovered the school motto is “Success & Nothing Less” so of course that would be an upcoming AmperArt piece.

This year’s Leona L. DeSimone Scholarship recipient is a shining example of one who aspires to achieve the very meaning of her school’s motto, “Success & Nothing Less.”


Production notes:
Original size: 20 x 30 inches
Program: Illustrator
Font: Aachen
Ampersand: hand-drawn, based on school team lettering

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#56 Lose Weight & Feel Great

#56 Lose Weight & Feel Great

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My friend Crystal got me back into shape last year. I’ve given her a little plug after my main story. She really helped me lose weight & feel great!
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LOSE WEIGHT & FEEL GREAT—Back around 1978 I lost $400 in one day wearing that phrase! (or something that sounded just like it)

That was back in the ’70s when a company that sold herbal supplements via your typical pyramid multi-level marketing scheme recruited (by means of over-the-top “rah-rah” meetings & conventions) anyone who wanted to get rich quick & stay healthy at the same time. I bought into the dreamscheme, stocked my living room full of every type of supplement, tonic & snake oil the company had to offer, & headed out on my first day, wearing my shiny new Lose Weight—Feel Great lapel button nearly the size of a hockey puck, to make an overnight killing. After all, I was in top shape, toned & tan, & figured anyone would assume a few supplements a day took me from a fat slob to an Atlas in just a few weeks. (In actuality, I had been working out for years.)

I didn’t get a single nibble. Instead, I lost over $400 in one day. I was so excited about wearing that damn badge & making my easy fortune that I forgot all about my regular job, my loyal clients & deadlines for designs. (It was my fault, not the MLM’s. Just not for me.)

I tore that button off that evening & never did another MLM again. But at least the phrase, a slogan of the era, prompted this edition of AmperArt. (This completes the first Advertising Slogan series, one slogan per month throughout 2013. You can see the entire list here.) (more…)