#100 Milestones & Goals

100 Milestones & Goals

 #100 Milestones & Goals
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This is a high-resolution pdf & may take a few minutes to download.
Find printing tips & framing ideas here.

We did it! We hit the 100 mark! 

Thanks to you, ampersand fan & loyal subscriber, AmperArt #100, Milestones & Goals, is the one-hundredth issue of an AmperArt poster, for which my goal has been one per month since this project began in June, 2011. 

I have issued, without fail, one AmperArt piece per month (even if it meant stretching the month to the last hour in a remote time zone that hadn’t yet reached midnight, such as Baker Island & Howland Island, tiny outlying islands of the US).

Until now.

Ironic, isn’t it?

Ironically, I missed the deadline on this milestone achievement, the one-hundredth creation of AmperArt, Milestones & Goals. This was to be issued during April, 2017. It never made it. 

Why? Because I could not come up with an appropriate title for the theme of “one hundred.” Should be easy, right? A big, important number like that?

On the other hand, I’ve had #101 in the works for months. That one’s easy: black spots all over a white background, alluding to one of my favorite movies of all time, especially for the snappy pencil-drawn stylized effect—and the first to use the Xerox process for animation which gave it that distinctive style.

Isn’t 100 supposed to be an important number?

A title for #101 is easy. But #100? I figured there would have been a surplus of phrases, idioms, themes, ideas that allude to the number 100. But Google was practically dry. There’s the 100th Anniversary stone, the diamond. And the anniversary color, purple (not my favorite color; can’t use that). There are plenty of news stories about 100k marathons. But nothing all that significant about the number 100 itself. I thought & thought & thought, but just could not come up with anything. 

April 30, 2017 came & went, and the string of one AmperArt per month was broken. Frantically, I tried to think of other titles to celebrate the 100th issue: Grin & Bear It, Deadlines & Quotas (that wouldn’t do—I missed the deadline), Day Late & Dollar Short, Slow & Steady, Congratulate & Celebrate…on & on. 

Finally, I had to rely on the philosophies of Live & Let Live as well as Patience & Determination; just let it go until I come up with the appropriate title. I’ll issue two pieces in May.

Finally, a milestone

Yesterday I hit on the word “milestone” and realized that would make a nice title. Not about the number 100, but about an important milestone. So, what to pair that up with? Milestones & Achievements? Milestones & Deadlines? (After all, it was each monthly deadline that kept me on track to achieve this milestone, even though in the course of most projects & business teachings it’s the milestones that lead to meeting the deadline.)

I had Milestones & Deadlines all set to go, when I came across the phrase “goals & milestones.” That sounds sweeter to most people than “deadlines.” And it’s really what I am trying to accomplish: my goal is to keep churning out one AmperArt per month (okay, on average) until I’m dead. So, I guess “deadline” would be meaningful afterall, but I chose to rewrite the title as “Milestones & Goals.” (Goals & Milestones makes more sense, but it sounds weird & looks weirder.) Finally, here’s the April 2017 AmperArt, #100 Milestones & Goals…in May.

Our little secret

I feel defeated about missing the deadline on such a milestone piece, and I hate to be dishonest. So here’s the deal: You, my dear AmperFans, are privy to the truth. But between you & me, no one else has to know that I blew it. It’s just easier to continue boasting “I’ve issued one edition per month since the very first” than confessing “I’ve issued one edition per month since the very first except I missed the deadline for the one-hundredth which was such a milestone piece I feel like a worthless piece of crap.” Or maybe I’ll just admit I’m human. We’ll see how it goes.

 Please comment here.

Why I love Photoshop

Reviewing several photos for Milestones & Goals, I was focused on some sort of rock or boulder…until I saw this beautiful old wood post to which was attached a modern sign, against a gorgeous background. The blue of the sign is my favorite color blue, a cross between cyan, cerulean, turquoise & my all-time favorite, Crayola Blue-Green. So that one got downloaded (and paid for, by the way). I guess it’s also significant that I chose this image to represent Milestones & Goals, as I used to own a sign company. That business was a milestone to where I am today.

I didn’t care for the dullness of the signpost, being it was backlit. Photoshop to the rescue. Here’s the before & after. I toned down the background blue haze just slightly, but really brought up the light on the post & sign:

Original photo
After retouching














You are probably criticizing the lousy “photoshopping” on the edges of the sign, right? Quite obvious that it was plastered on top of the original image, correct? Well, I thought so too—that the photographer did a half-assed job of copy & paste (no, it wasn’t me). Guess what, though—it’s the actual photo. Upon enlarging (see below) I discovered the sign is a piece of sheet metal to which a decal is pasted. With the slight border of the metal showing around the decal, it sure does look like a crude retouching job. But no, it’s real. (Click to enlarge.)

Clever one-piece sign

The final deadline.

Now that we’ve achieved this milestone of AmperArt #100, it’s onto #101, #102, and so on, creating a new piece each & every month (maybe with a little time shifting here & there) for the rest of my life…the final deadline.

 Please comment here.

chaz sez ...

Check out the new “chaz sez” blog at DesimoneDesign.com, my commercial graphic design website. It’s mostly about design, typography, printing, publishing & marketing, but on occasion I’ll divert to a sideways topic that just can’t escape my ranting & raving.

Production notes for #100 Milestones & Goals:
Original size: 12×18 inches

Programs: Adobe Photoshop
Fonts: Bank Gothic, Ebrima
Ampersand: Ebrima
Kilometer Pole Photo: © Afhunta | Dreamstime.com (modified by Chaz DeSimone)
You may repost the image. Please credit AmperArt.com.
To download a full-size high-resolution 11×17-inch poster, click on the image.

For professional graphic design, please visit Desimone Design.

Desimone? Damn good!

#29 Success & Nothing Less

Click to view full-size or download hi-rez image for gallery-quality printing and framing.
This is a high-resolution pdf & may take a few minutes to download.
Find printing tips & framing ideas here.

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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