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in the studio . 2015 Blessings

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I love the anticipation of thinking about the New Year with new plans and new ideas for what’s to come! However, I can’t adequately move forward into 2016 without first taking stock of some of the great blessings for Small Pond Graphics in 2015. It’s been a wonderful year of enjoying fun projects, working with great clients and trying new things! I’m so thankful for all the clients who have trusted me with their stories this year. Please pull up a chair while I give thanks for a few of the blessings from 2015…

1. Awards for Starkville Oktibbeha School District Marketing

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For the last several years, I’ve had the great opportunity to work with the Starkville School Distict creating a new branding campaign, website and other marketing materials. Last spring, I was so honored to learn that the project received a 2015 Graphic Design USA Web Design Award as well as several annual marketing awards from the Mississippi School Public Relations Association! This year was special in the life of the district and our community as we became one consolidated school district, and I have been so blessed to provide a few tools for telling the story. Thank you to Nicole Thomas and the school board for allowing Small Pond Graphics to be part of the process.

2. Small Pond Pop Up Shop

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In August, the proprietors of Liza Tye and Company in Starkville invited me to be a part of the new boutique “shopping mall” as a vendor. It’s been a great experiment in learning about retail, getting to try new product ideas, and gaining new exposure for my artwork. I’m so grateful to all the customers who have shopped the store this Fall and continued to support my crazy paper shenanigans!

3. 20th Anniversary Market Street

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In the spring, I was honored to be asked to illustrate the Market Street Festival 20th Anniversary poster for the Columbus Main Street Association. Posters are one of my favorite kinds of and I had a lot of fun painting various elements of Downtown Columbus, Mississippi  to commemorate the event’s milestone. Little known fact: I actually designed the very first Market Street poster waay back in the day 🙂 Thanks to Amber Brislin and the Columbus Main Street team for letting me bring it full circle!

4. Crooked Letter Closeups

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It was pretty neat to see my Mississippi Crooked Letter block print shown in a couple of publications this year — The Sip Magazine and Town and Gown Magazine!

5. Prairie Arts Festival Fun

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I was privileged to be the Featured Artist for the 2015 Prairie Arts Festival held this Labor Day weekend in my hometown of West Point, Mississippi. I loved interpreting the signature windmill in my own watercolor style as well as the opportunity to host a booth at the Festival. I spent the summer producing a collection of fine art prints for the event and was so honored to receive first place in mixed media. Special thanks to Lisa Klutts of West Point Main Street for allowing me to come home!

6. Helping Clients Celebrate

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We love celebrating at our house, and I love getting to help others celebrate with special artwork. Bridal events, graduation, personalized gifts and even some covert Easter Bunny operations — I loved contributing a little watercolor fun!

7. First Wholesale Order

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Thanks to Letty Stricklin for taking a chance in a local artist and giving me my very first wholesale order!

8. Printmaking Now Exhibition

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I was really proud to have my fine art block print, “Tall Grass” accepted into the 10th Annual National Juried Printmaking Now Exhibit in November at the IMAGO Foundation for the Arts in Rhode Island.

9. My Favorite Campaign – maybe ever

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I’ve gotten to do a lot of design and marketing campaigns over the years and I’ve actually loved most of them — it usually seems that my favorite one is the one I’m currently working on! But, this fall I had the opportunity to do a campaign I’m really proud of for my own community. The Savor Starkville culinary campaign has focused on the  restaurant and culinary culture in Starkville, and it was so much fun to do! The campaign included 20+ watercolor paintings, 5 culinary maps, various ads, lots of copywriting, companion prints and other digital graphics.

10. Awards for Starkville Marketing

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Each week I have the privilege of working with the Greater Starkville Development Partnership and its member divisions on design work for chamber, business development and tourism efforts in Starkville. I’m so blessed that the organization has a commitment to seeking out our own local creative class! Through our projects, I have the chance to explore many creative branding and marketing ideas, as well as a lot of illustration. I’ve developed designs incorporating wine glasses, soup bowls, crawfish, vegetables, scarecrows, a jolly old elf and more — plus the restaurant paintings I mentioned above. This year, our efforts were rewarded with a Mississippi Main Street design award, and Small Pond Graphics received three Graphic Design USA design awards. Thank you to Jennifer Gregory and the entire Partnership team for the blessing of so many great projects!

2015 has been a wonderful year for Small Pond Graphics. I’m so, so grateful to have the opportunity to do what I love every day, to work to create a business model that works for my family, and to share it in this space. I’m looking forward to the new blessings 2016 has in store!

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