Family & Friends & Ampersands…our greatest holiday gifts

Family & Friends includes my cats!


#75 Family & Friends
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First, to my own family & friends:

I love you, I appre­ci­ate you, I respect you,
I enjoy you, I thank you.
But most of all, I love you.


About this edition

I got the idea for Amper­Art #75, Fam­i­ly & Friends, fea­tur­ing our friend the fun & fab­u­lous amper­sand, about a month ago, after a friend & a fam­i­ly mem­ber came to my res­cue. More on that lat­er. (Thanks, Joe. Thanks, Roz.) 

Fam­i­ly & Friends is a very spe­cial Amper­Art title to me & hope­ful­ly to you. I went through sev­er­al iter­a­tions to bring you a mean­ing­ful, ele­gant piece that you might want to send to oth­ers with your own sen­ti­ments, or frame for your fam­i­ly room (or Fam­i­ly & Friends Room) wall. It was issued for Thanks­giv­ing 2014, but let’s face it, Fam­i­ly & Friends are time­less.

First, you’ll meet my own fam­i­ly & friends (includ­ing my pets, of course). I am blessed with a lov­ing fam­i­ly &  friends that are the very best. That includes you, too, my awe­some read­ers & sub­scribers — you’re my Amper­Art fam­i­ly!

Then, you’ll see how the Fam­i­ly & Friends edi­tion was cre­at­ed. In response to sev­er­al requests from sub­scribers who want to see how I cre­ate Amper­Art, or how I even choose a top­ic, I’ve explained the process in the next sec­tion. (This par­tic­u­lar Fam­i­ly & Friends piece posed sev­er­al chal­lenges even though the design is quite sim­ple. It’s a per­fect exam­ple of why each Amper­Art piece can take 20 hours or more.)


My own family & friends

I am blessed with a won­der­ful fam­i­ly:

Mom & Dad (both gone but always in my heart) — both of my par­ents are the def­i­n­i­tion of integri­ty.

My sis­ter Roslyn & my broth­ers Andy & Robyou are the epit­o­me of love, friend­ship, hon­esty and gen­eros­i­ty. You’ve always been there when your eccen­tric black sheep of a broth­er need­ed a help­ing hand or a hand-​out. Thank you.

Mary Ann, you helped me get my very first van so I could start my busi­ness. You took care of us kids when Mom near­ly died. And today you com­ment on every one of my Amper­Art pieces. You’re very spe­cial to me…cuz you’re my favorite cuz.

My friends are so plen­ti­ful there prob­a­bly aren’t enough giga­bytes on the serv­er to list them all, so I’ll men­tion the old­est and dear­est, in the order they came into my life: Gary R, Gary S, Joe R (we’re talk­ing ele­men­tary and junior high on those three), Lande WGregg & Jill, Mardy D, Deb­o­rah T, Lisa S (& lat­er Sean), Jim B (if it weren’t for him I’d still be design­ing with a T‑square), Mark H (& lat­er Crys­tal), Pat B, Tara K, Mar­ty K, Sandy J, Denis W, Jeanette F. Those who have depart­ed, whom I miss dear­ly: Gilbert (the one & only!), Joe F, Pre­ston H.

My fur­ry fam­i­ly: Tiger, Bull­dog, Don­ald (yes, a duck), Woofer (my very best friend for six­teen years), Bri­quette, Amos & Andy…and my cur­rent awe­some crea­tures, Jeep­ers & Bebe.

I feel like I’m at the podi­um for the Oscars! Well, you see, that’s what my fam­i­ly & friends do for me.

Now back to what inspired this piece: Last month I had a seri­ous cir­cum­stance, and between my best friend Joe Rin­au­do and my best sis­ter Roslyn (she’d be my best sis­ter, I’m sure, if I had a dozen but she too is the one & only) they did some­thing for me as a com­plete sur­prise, sav­ing me from being home­less for the sec­ond time in my life. Imme­di­ate­ly I thought of com­bin­ing “Fam­i­ly & Friends” into one piece of art — to me they are often one and the same. My broth­ers & many friends & even a few clients have also helped me in need — tremen­dous­ly. If I did­n’t have to get this sent out right now I’d tell you about those Fam­i­ly & Friends expe­ri­ences, too. Instead, I’ll come up with some new ideas to illus­trate those episodes in future edi­tions.


How this project began…and wouldn’t end

This Fam­i­ly & Friends piece encoun­tered so many obsta­cles and mor­phed through so many changes I fig­ured it’s the per­fect exam­ple to explain how I cre­ate my Amper­Art pieces. Read More

#61 Father & Daughter

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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.

I wish my sis­ter could have expe­ri­enced that spe­cial occa­sion called the “Father-​Daughter Dance” when she was in ele­men­tary school, but our father died from emphy­se­ma when she was 7 years old. The father-​daughter dance, also called “Father & Daugh­ter Dance,” “Dad­dy Dance,” or “Dad & Daugh­ter Dance,” is usu­al­ly held in 5th or 6th grade.

Accord­ing to this arti­cle,

The first strong male bond girls have is with their father’s and this event teach­es young girls what it means to be treat­ed with love and respect.  The goal is that father’s will con­tin­ue to be pos­i­tive role mod­els and that these girls will have healthy rela­tion­ships as teens and adults as a result.

For­tu­nate­ly, my sis­ter did have a pos­i­tive child­hood and mar­ried a won­der­ful man who proud­ly took his daugh­ter to their Father-​Daughter Dance … or should I say, she took him?

One last thing about this Amper­Art piece, is that our dad was a bar­ber, so I select­ed a lock of my sis­ter’s brunette hair (via com­put­er graph­ics) as the amper­sand. Dad­dy would have sure­ly been proud of her hair.


listen up!Shoebox Letters: a precious gift for Father’s Day

I had the priv­i­lege of set­ting the type in a very spe­cial book for author Clay­ton Brizen­dine. This book is a col­lec­tion of actu­al let­ters writ­ten from daugh­ters to their fathers. It is pure raw emo­tion, stat­ing every­thing from admi­ra­tion to fun times to bit­ter upsets, but always men­tion­ing love.

 

Shoebox Letters: Daughters to Dads

Every review is 5 stars, includ­ing mine:

I did­n’t buy this book, and I did­n’t read it as a nor­mal per­son would. I set the type.

As I was design­ing this book for the author, I found myself laugh­ing out loud at some of the expe­ri­ences the daugh­ters relayed about the dumb things their dads would do, and found myself sob­bing at tear-​jerking moments of deep love and bond­ing, or of loss and hurt. The most endear­ing part was retouch­ing the pre­cious old pho­tographs and plac­ing them next to words that described the daugh­ters’ most cher­ished moments with their dads. Final­ly, in proof­ing the text, I did read the entire piece front to back, and it was a tru­ly aston­ish­ing com­pi­la­tion of let­ters that range from the great­est love and devo­tion and pride for fathers to sor­row­ful accounts of resent­ment and bro­ken­ness. Every let­ter, how­ev­er, does express a love of some sort for each dad from his daugh­ter.

Clay Brizendine’s pro­found essay for each set of let­ters — and his pas­sion for enlight­en­ing his read­ers, show­ing how to heal and bond rela­tion­ships through the pow­er of let­ter writ­ing — makes this book a real joy to read and to learn from. This is the ulti­mate Father’s Day gift.

Final­ly, in work­ing with Clay I have real­ized he is tru­ly a man of char­ac­ter, hon­est and sin­cere, and wish­es most of all to give his read­ers an enlight­en­ing, enter­tain­ing and mem­o­rable expe­ri­ence.

This could have gone to press soon­er, if tears had­n’t cloud­ed this design­er’s work­space.

Am I pro­mot­ing Clay’s book? You bet I am! This book  is one of the most pre­cious gifts you could give your dad this Father’s Day, whether you’re a teen, mid-​age or a senior daugh­ter your­self. There’s bound to be a sto­ry that both of you relate to.

Read all the mov­ing tes­ti­mo­ni­als, or order a copy for your dad, here.

To all fathers, Hap­py Father’s Day. And to my sis­ter and broth­ers, you turned out real good, even with­out a dad for most of your child­hood. (For­tu­nate­ly, our fam­i­ly was rich with friends and rel­a­tives who stepped in when need­ed. Thanks espe­cial­ly to Gilbert. He deserves his own Amper­Art piece!)


PRODUCTION NOTES:
Original size: 20×30 inches
Programs: Illustrator, Photoshop
Font: Vladimir Script
CREDITS:
Bow image: www​.hawai​ikawaii​.net (a blog by a student in Sweden about “kawaii, unicorns, flamingos, rainbows, and cupcakes…cute and fun in any shape or form”)
Hair color reference: www​.lat​est​-hair​styles​.com (My sister’s a brunette; I think I got the color pretty close.)

 

#50 Fifty & Fabulous

#50 Fifty & Fabulous
#50 Fifty & Fab­u­lous
Click image to down­load full-​size print suit­able for fram­ing or giv­ing to that spe­cial per­son turn­ing 50 — er, 30.

Chaz DeS­i­mone’s 50th Amper­Art release is appro­pri­ate­ly titled Fifty & Fab­u­lous.

There’s noth­ing all that clever in this design…the amper­sand is the Amper­Art logo, a mod­i­fied Gara­mond ital­ic, & the words are set in the Amper­Art brand iden­ti­ty font, Hel­veti­ca.

What is spe­cial, though, is you—for tak­ing a look at each of my por­tray­als of “the amper­sand as fun & fab­u­lous art” every month.

Whether you’ve recent­ly sub­scribed or have seen all 50 from the start, thank you for join­ing our com­mu­ni­ty of amper­sand affi­ciana­dos & thank you for men­tion­ing Amper­Art to your friends who are fans of the amper­sand just like we are.

Fifty & Fab­u­lous is usu­al­ly heard around the time peo­ple are near­ing the half-​century mark in their lives. (Of course, we don’t see them as “old,” today’s 50 being the new 30.) So it might be a nice & sim­ple birth­day ges­ture to frame a print or make a card for the Birth­day Boy or Girl fea­tur­ing the new Fifty & Fab­u­lous Amper­Art design.

FREE 11X17 ART POSTER: Down­load to print a POSTER here. It’s an impres­sive 11x17 inch­es, eas­i­ly print­ed at a copy or office sup­plies store. Same size poster frames are read­i­ly avail­able, too.

FREE 50TH BIRTHDAY/​ANNIVERSARY GREETING CARD: Down­load to make a CUSTOM GREETING CARD here. Prints on stan­dard letter-​size paper or card. For best pre­sen­ta­tion, print at high­est qual­i­ty on pho­to card stock. (The card does not men­tion the word “birth­day” so it can be used for any 50th cel­e­bra­tion. The inside is blank.)

Look at these ideas: Fram­ing & Dis­play­ing Your Amper­Art Print

PRODUCTION NOTES
Orig­i­nal dimen­sions: 20″ x 30″
Pro­gram: Illus­tra­tor, Pho­to­shop
Fonts: Hel­veti­ca, Gara­mond (mod­i­fied as Amper­Art logo)
Back­ground: all​-free​-down​load​.com

Thanks for sub­scrib­ing to Amper­Art. Please invite your ampersand-​fan friends & col­leagues to sub­scribe – tell them it’s fab­u­lous & free.