#100 Milestones & Goals

100 Milestones & Goals

 #100 Milestones & Goals
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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 Des​i​moneDesign​.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: 12x18 inches

Programs: Adobe Photoshop
Fonts: Bank Gothic, Ebrima
Ampersand: Ebrima
Kilometer Pole Photo: © Afhunta | Dream​stime​.com (modified by Chaz DeSimone)
You may repost the image. Please credit Amper​Art​.com.
To download a full-​size high-​resolution 11x17-​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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