The Mother of Modern Infographics

We all learned about Florence Nightingale in grade school – how she was a wonderful nurse, saved lives, was a woman to look up to, and all that. I have to admit, I found it boring in my pre-teen outlook on the world, but that may have been the fault of the presentation style at the time because she is one very interesting woman.

COPY_1_11_34_1866-e1402062188591

However, what I want to know is why we were never told she was also the mother of the modern infographic? She created a chart (in 1858) that probably saved even more lives than her nursing because it convinced Queen Victoria to improve conditions within military hospitals. Wow! The power of data visualization!

Nightingale-mortality

Ok, so in my case, we were probably not told this because the terms “data visualization” and “infographic” had not yet entered into mainstream use when I was in school and statistics are pretty boring to kids. That point aside, with over 20 years of technical writing under my belt, data visualization has been one of my biggest challenges. How to do it right, how to convey the correct message, how to present the visuals.

I became suspicious of all graphs after my marketing manager showed me how he *really* wanted the graph to look… thus making our numbers far more visually appealing to the folks paying our salaries. Hmmm. Yeah.

I can finally relate to Florence Nightingale, after all these years, and I am very impressed! I celebrate the mother of the infographic. She has impacted my world directly.

Further reading:

Flowing Data: 9 Ways to Visualize Porportions

Wikipedia: Florence Nightingale

National Archives (UK): Florence Nightingale

A seed of my creative roots

Have you ever run across  something from your childhood that strikes a long forgotten emotional cord? That is what happened today when I came across these 2 paintings tucked among my stashed art resources such as frames and canvases.

IMG_0002sm

 

As I stared at them I felt nostalgia, puzzlement, as well as deep pleasure of a found treasure. At the same time I was thinking, “What in the world did I save paint-by-numbers for?” Then I saw the initials.

IMG_0002sm2

 

No – that is not e.e.cummings, but these are the initials of my beloved uncle who introduced me to his writings!

Then the memories came flooding back of these hanging on my grandmother’s wall all my growing up years, painted by her son when he was still a young sprite battling polio in the 1950s or early 60s.

IMG_0004sm

My uncle was one of the major influences in my very early artistic endeavors. What a precious find.

So what if they are paint-by-number; there is such a funky charm, as well as deep connected-ness to sweet memories and tender relationships held within these youthful, exploratory strokes. What a treasure.

I will hang them in my new art studio.

“We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us something is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch. Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit.”
― E.E. Cummings

Insite Rebrand

 

 

 

Workmark-and-logo-only2

A 12 year old project management training business rebrand.

The original logo:

oldBrandsm

In discussions with the client, the important piece of the logo is the directional arrows (they have solid meaning behind them when she speaks to a classroom.)

Tag line

Your Guide to Effective Project Management

New logo

The new logo creates the sense of movement, as well as the hint of a compass.

Logo-only

 

Blog header

Blog 

CF_Splash2

Stationery

BusCard_Insite_front

BusCard_Insite_back

22 Illustrators

5 Things I love:

  1. Creating books
  2. Making things people love
  3. Giving thoughtful gifts that strengthen relationships
  4. Teaching kids how to have giving hearts
  5. And especially involving others in the joy of doing something creative (because I believe EVERY person is creative!)

These loves coalesced a month before Mother’s Day this year when I saw this book sitting tucked away in a little store. It was like fireworks went off!

IMG_9148

In April of this year my mother had 22 (in June #23 arrived) grandchildren ranging in ages of 17 to a year. 14 of them are under the age of 12, so this was perfect. It even had 22 blank pages!

With a little logistics work, it happened and I got it back in time to present one of my favorite Mother’s Day gifts of all time — from all of them! (This, another book, is now my second favorite - I believe this one tops it.)

Here are some delightful excerpts:

Simeon gave grandma a colorful superhero cape – it was fun to see some of the kids use that same concept on their pages. Kids are so creative!

IMG_9150

IMG_9154

IMG_9155

 

Lizzy knows Grandma loves her hummingbirds so she drew one and pasted it in. Several of the older kids wrote notes on their pages.

IMG_9173

IMG_9176IMG_9178IMG_9186IMG_9189IMG_9191IMG_9192

Flashback Fun

IMG_2275

In the early 1980s I began painting Christmas ornaments using oil paints and tiny brushes (sometimes my own hair or a cat whisker was used to make the smallest of lines.)

Most of the time I was painting people’s homes or farmsteads, but occasionally I would do a humorous ornament for my family. This was for my brother, Stephen, who really did not like school.

(PS. No, I did not sell trademarked images. This was for fun. I was a huge Garfield fan.)

Here is one that I did for myself simply because I enjoyed the image. I still own this one.

IMG_5974

 

August Update

Hummingbird Moth / Bee

Ever since graduating in June, I have been questioning whether to dismantle this blog.

These past months I have continued as a full time Communications Specialist in the consulting project I accepted in February. The project has evolved into a lot of technical IT writing and not so much designing. The break from intense creativity after graduation has been good… but I am ready to begin adding more creative projects back into my schedule.

In the meantime, it is a Canon Rebel camera and the butterfly bush in the back yard that are providing me with the greatest pleasure this summer.

There is a possibility my love of photography may drive a new creative blog. I am knocking around some topic ideas and contemplating next steps, so stay tuned.

In the meantime, visit my new website and enjoy a taste of my current photography via the photos below:

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

Buckeye

Painted Lady

Variegated Fritillary

Mourning Cloak