Happy clients = a very happy Fourth

I am sort of walking on sunshine today, if you’ll indulge me the Pollyanna-scented appropriation of an unfortunate hit song. But good things are happening, and I’m getting positive validation from my clients. How about this, y’all:

“You rock! Nate told me about the New Faces show! That is awesome!! I saw he e-mailed you about the other gigs – this  has been an exciting day 🙂 Thank you for everything!”


“You picked the BEST ISSUE BY FAR we’ve ever done to jump in with both feet. East Nashville Underground spread looks, and reads, KILLA!!!! Be excited!!!!!”


“YOU ROCK!!!! I am so stoked!”

It’s hard to wave goodbye to the security of a regular paycheck, the 401k, and the health benefits. But I tell you what—this feedback, from yesterday and today, is pure gold. It’s one thing to know you’re doing your best, and quite another to get response that robs the world of a few extra exclamation points. 


So I’m gonna take today to indulge my photo itch, see my girlfriends, and paint the town with my main man. Next week, it’s back to working hard and hopefully, pleasing my clients again.

Happy Fourth, all. And cheers to every hard workin’ man and woman under this beautiful sun. !!!!!!




Really? Why wouldn’t I?


Really? Why wouldn't I?

The question, posted as an AIGA LinkedIn discussion: “Would you still be a designer if we never progressed to digital design?”

Such an odd query. It suggests that eventually designers would have tired of the profession had it remained based in hand skills. Don’t get me wrong, I love InDesign and Photoshop and the gadgets we use now—the tools that have replaced T-squares, non-repro blue pens, rubylith and those hulking Lucy machines. Truly, it’d be difficult to be a garden variety graphic designer these days without using a computer. Computers are fast and precise, and allow us to produce more rapidly.

But I was good at making things by hand, and I enjoy working by hand. So why wouldn’t I take every opportunity to work that way?

The other thing that bugs me about the question is the focus on software. Contrary to what some folks seem to believe, a person who knows InDesign does not a designer make. Graphic designers are highly trained in color theory, layout, typography and all the elements and principals of design. It’s also about the IDEAS, folks. Being able to make something in a software package is a given these days…it’s a bare minimum.

Here’s an image I created this week for a local musician, Nathan Diller. We’re running a contest tied into his video cover of “Counting Stars” by OneRepublic. We’re asking folks to visit his facebook page, like him, and then guess how many stars are in the photo. We will name a star after the person who comes closest. So go give it a try! You can find the contest here: https://www.facebook.com/nathandiller?fref=ts

Such fun putting this concept, and this image together…literally moving all the little stars around, playing with color and shape and line, and photographing the results. It felt more like play than work. And isn’t that the best we can hope for in our chosen profession?

Finding that silver lining

Well, bummer. The all-volunteer group I’ve been working with to build the Nashville Community Darkroom did not meet our kickstarter goal today. We got over three fourths of the funds, but didn’t quite make it. So today I’m looking around for things to be happy about.

• I did a photo shoot last night (with FILM) for the East Nashvillian. It went great! 

• Dropped the film off today at Film Box, and I love going there. Nice folks!

• I made some tasty soup! John had some dental work done today, so will need soft food.

• We have three beautiful tomatoes from the garden ripening on the windowsill.

• I spent a lot of time today working on a facebook cover photo for a young musical artist named Nathan Diller. I’m doing some career development with him, and the image is for a campaign I cooked up. Stars and type and photography. Fun!

• Later I get to go make signs for the Gay 5K, which I’m volunteering for this year.

• Tomorrow I get to dig in and find Tennessee Fireworks images to run in the next issue of Real South magazine. They want to do a photo essay of my stuff. For money.

So yeah, counting my blessings over here. And the NCD ain’t over till it’s over. Just time to regroup and go at it again. It’ll happen, right? Right!! 🙂

What’s in a name?

In my experience teaching graphic design at the Art Institute of Tennessee-Nashville, one of the hardest things I’d ask of my students was to brand themselves. Rockstar students who’d usually excel mightily at linking target audience with message would sit for hours in bewilderment when it came time to focus on their own strengths and how they might fit into the marketplace.

I had this same struggle when figuring out what to call this baby venture that’s just setting sail. For years I’ve loosely called my realm of services Heather Lose Design. It seemed to make sense to use my name since I grew up in Nashville and have been working in media for so long, with good results. People know me, so I wanted to keep my name in the mix. But…

Recently I wrote two stories for the May/June East Nashvillian, including the cover story.

I am doing publicity work for a crazy talented young musical artist named Nathan Diller.

And I do radio. Have done for years.

So “Design” is a box that’s become too small.

Friends are gold. I turned to facebook and asked whether Heather Lose Productions would be a good fit. And man, did I get some solid feedback. Studios. Media. Heather Lose Unlimited. (As if! Thanks Laurie!) Shenanigans. Lose Lobos! (Bwah.) And some other fabulous ideas too. It was pointed out, beautifully, that “Productions” may signify music too much in our particular market, and that it puts the focus too much on what others are doing. (Thanks Daryl and Shelley!)

The one that sticks, and the one that feels right, is Heather Lose Creative. It encompasses not only my professional services, but also my personal projects including the Tennessee Fireworks Project, my work with the Nashville Community Darkroom, and yeah, even my garden which is infinitely beautiful and brings such joy.

So this feels good. Call me Heather Lose Creative. Because truly, that’s who I am, and that’s what I do. Always have, hopefully always will.

Nice to meet’cha.