Monday, October 31, 2011

finding inspiration in cemeteries

Tombstones at a cemetery in Poland [via istockphoto]
I am not the type of person to hang out in cemeteries. The only things I love about Halloween are carving pumpkins, making costumes for my children when they were young and accompanying them on their trick or treat adventures which did NOT include haunted houses or cemeteries! I went to a haunted house once and it scarred me for life. So you can imagine how I felt about cemeteries! But that all changed years ago when I was in Europe, visiting my daughter in Luxembourg. She had a week off from school and we decided to travel to Poland so she could finally meet her great aunt and cousins on my mother's side of the family. Needless to say, it was a very emotional trip in more ways than one.
candles in a Polish cemetery on All Saint's Day [via istockphoto]
We were still in Poland on November 1, All Saint's Day (Dzień Wszystkich Świętych). This day along with All Soul's Day (Dzień Zaduszny) on November 2 are dedicated to prayer and paying tribute to the deceased by visiting their graves. So when my cousins asked if we wanted to go with them to the cemetery, I couldn't say no even though I wanted to. So off we went, stopping first at the store to purchase flowers and candles to place on the graves. Of course, the fear was building up inside of me as we got closer and closer to the cemetery. I had no idea what to expect upon arrival. I just knew that I was not looking forward to visiting dead relatives!
a cemetery in Poland on All Saint's day [via istockphoto]
We entered the cemetery and to my surprise, it wasn't a scary place at all! There were flowers, candles and people everywhere—praying, talking, and laughing as they reminisced about their relatives that have passed away. Hundred of candles were glowing and casting beautiful shadows on the tombstones and the air was filled with the heavenly smell of flowers and incense. The whole place was very tranquil and peaceful—something I never expected to find in a cemetery! And to my amazement, my fear quickly disappeared.

Cemeteries still aren't my favorite places to visit but I no longer fear them as I did. And I might even visit them from time to time, looking for inspiration!

Happy Halloween and All Saint's Day! 

Friday, October 21, 2011

7 interview pet peeves

As you all know, I have been searching for a part-time design assistant for the past month. I started interviewing applicants this past week and let's just say that I was a little disappointed by how a few of them presented themselves.

Here are my interview pet peeves:
  1. Please give me the same courtesy that you would give to a large agency because my time is valuable too. If you are running late, please call. I know that unexpected things can happen that you have no control over, such as hitting a duck or raccoon on the road (I'm serious, I live in the country) but call me and let me know you will be late.
  2. When you do finally arrive, please don't tell me the reason you are late, especially if you overslept and it's 3:00 in the afternoon! This is not a good first impression!
  3. I don't expect you to wear a suit but do look presentable. That means no torn jeans, t-shirts or bare body parts showing. Yes, I do admit I wear flip flops in the summer but I always look presentable because I have clients and vendors visiting from time to time.
  4. And please don't come to any interview reeking of smoke or worse yet, strong cologne covering the smoke smell! I'm not a smoker and I honestly don't think I could work with someone that smelled of smoke or expose my clients to that. Sorry, but it's the truth!
  5. I'm asking questions because I want to find out how you solve problems, what you are passionate about and overall, how you work. So when I ask why you chose that font, color or the concept behind the design, please don't answer with "I don't know" because that doesn't tell me anything!
  6. Be proud of your work! The pieces in your portfolio should be your best pieces. If you aren't proud of them, how can I even like them. And how can I be sure that you would be proud of Marigold's work!
  7. Be curious and ask questions because that shows you are interested in working with Marigold or any other company to which you are applying at. You can ask me anything—well, almost anything!
And remember to mail out a thank-you note after the interview. If you don't have a stamp or card, a simple thank-you email will do. It's a simple gesture that means a lot and leaves a good impression!

These are my biggest pet peeves when interviewing. What are yours? Please share because I would love to know!

Thank you for your time!

Friday, October 14, 2011

a walk in the neighborhood

I love walking, especially on an autumn day when the trees are bursting with color. Normally I walk first thing in the morning and early evening but I was having one of those days yesterday and had to get out of the studio to clear my head. So I grabbed my camera and headed outdoors to capture the beautiful hues in my yard and neighborhood. I was amazed how quickly the leaves were falling. It's times like these that I really miss my children because we will be raking those fallen leaves soon—by ourselves! Enjoy!