There is something very energizing about traveling to Portland to do the press checks of our fall dealer catalog. After months at the office wrestling with design-by-committee, tight deadlines, too many overtime hours and a general sense of frustration, it’s nice to have a few days away from the routine to see a project through to completion and get a fresh start on something new. Our print rep, Kristine, is always full of great creative ideas and I always come back from these week-long trips with a renewed perspective into my creative soul, which I know is there, but in the corporate side of graphic design, doesn’t really get a chance to shine. Between press times, which came about every 2-3 hours, I was able to visit a couple of art stores, some craft galleries, make more sketches in my sketchbook than the past 5 months combined, and visit a local arts festival called “Art in the Pearl”. Kristine brought in a stack of books on sketching and sketch booking, two of which I absolutely loved and ordered from Amazon right at the printing plant. The most valuable thing that she did for me was give me a link to a site called Urban Sketchers, which should prove to be a creative inspiration in the months to come, and is part of the springboard for this blog.