A little something to brighten your (work) day.


Photo taken at Van Dusen botanical garden in Vancouver, B.C. Lights everywhere! A must-see during Christmas season! ©tomokojoy

During university, I often used the library’s public computers to edit and design my work. When I did, the first thing I did was to change the desktop background. It not only gave me a sense of making the space my own but also of making a space that was peaceful in the midst of the busyness and stress that filled the rest of the computer screen. These days, on my own PC, I choose both playful and peaceful works as desktop backgrounds. Here are a couple go-to’s that have worked for me the last couple years:

National Geographic Photo of the Day: a daily go-to for inspiration! You can download many of the photos as desktop wallpapers. If you’re looking for something that will bring you some calm, choose scenic photos that have lots of green in them.

Smashing Magazine Calendars: a monthly go-to for inspiration! Artists from around the world create desktop wallpapers for anyone to download for free. Many theme their work based on the seasonal connotations of the months. You can choose to download the wallpapers with or without calendars. You can also download them in various resolutions. Additional tip: I’ve used some repetitive design work as wallpapers in my email accounts […because how many of us are a bit allergic to email and could use some cheering up (and cheering on) in this area?]. 😉


Design-Influenced Photographer: Jeremy Cowart

Jeremy Cowart is an inspiration to me as an artist. This 40-minute video (posted May 2012) by Framed tells us a number of things about this photographer:

  • How he evolved from a graphic designer to a photographer (and therefore how his design informs his photography)
  • What his wife thinks of him in regards to being a father to their son and daughter
  • How his wife is involved in his work (a.k.a. she’s the producer)
  • His process of photographing (demonstrated by a photo shoot he does throughout the video)

I don’t even remember when or how I first discovered this man! But before I knew it, I was looking through a collection of celebrity photographs that he had taken. I became more and more drawn to this artist to the point that I now follow him on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest. I respect Cowart for a number of reasons:

  • He is a life-long learner.
  • He experiments with the integration of graphic design and texture in his photographic work.
  • He has a commitment to humanitarian endeavors (i.e. Help-Portrait).
  • He is committed to family.