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October 2017
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Custom Graphics by Sunflowers and Seagulls Promotional Services
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Ode to Be Listed As a Freelancer at Toptal

Commitment is a powerful word and a challenging assignment. Yet, once a commitment is accomplished it can raise you up personally, spiritually and sometimes even financially.

I am committed to joining Toptal because, even though I am a career graphic designer/illustrator of many years, I have been buried in the masses. There is an unbelievable number of designers of all shapes, sizes and colors “out there” all banging on the doors of companies and individuals who want to hire a designer of some sort, or who think they want to.

Employment, whether on-staff or freelance, is quite different nowadays than it was even a mere 15 years ago. No doubt, due to the fact that sooooo much technology has spawned and massively changed, the face of the graphic design field.

This is an awesome and daunting time in this modern-day industrial age to be working in. I personally exalt technology even though I am many times, a very artistic and hands on graphic/web designer. I spent many years pushing my technology envelope constantly and now it seems that tech is dancing right on past me.

I have worked hard, and continue to do so, at absorbing the latest and greatest trends, learning the newest technologies, and working the most recent opportunities while still melding my unique hands on and humanistic style into my work.

Thus, I most definitely aspire and am committed, to join the Visual Designers Group at Toptal. Not only would it be an honor since they only accept the very best. But, it would also be an amazing opportunity to meet and work with the very best companies and people who build and support them.

In this awesome age of technology, the competition is incredibly fierce simply because as a freelancer, I am no longer limited to competing on a local level — I have to compete with the entire world!

Therefore, in closing, should I get accepted into Toptal and placed in the Visual Designers Group, it would break many barriers for me as a modern-day freelance graphic/web designer and illustrator trying to compete against nearly every other designer on the planet.

Some Days are Just Weird…

don’tcha’ think? Yesterday was an absolutely beautiful day outside for December 2. It was incredible — sunshine, no wind, 64 degrees! These are the days I don’t miss my east coast home, and savor, with this type of temp in December. I want more! Give me more! LOL!

So the day’s weirdness began, well, from the start. I woke up a bit late needless to say probably, and for some “strange reason” my son did too. Getting up late always ruffles my feathers and probably is what set the mood for the day. Although, we did get ourselves out the door in the a.m. just fine regardless.

He got to school on time, and my snapshot of errands, or so I thought would be, commenced.

While running around town, I for some “strange reason” got in the wrong lane of traffic and had to turn around and back track to get where I needed to go and got to my first stop late — oil change turned into nearly double the regular bill, plus an order to go get new tires ughhhhh. Oh, and the repair place said my vehicle is leaking oil for some “strange reason – from somewhere”!?!?!? :(

Did a bit of shopping next at a busy store and I had to pick the self-serve aisle that had the only non-working station, so a crazy guard/employee/something??? tried to help me out – that was interesting and weird.

Then, I went to pick up some cable equipment I had on order, they told me the order was cancelled for some “strange reason” — two minutes into a 30+ errand.

Probably should have just headed home at that point in time. But I had a couple more to go, so I made it through one store smoothly, no weirdness per se anyway – LOL!

Finally, I went to pick up a few items at a nearby superstore and a customer in line in front of me ran a card she didn’t want to use and got flustered because the checker processed the payment — then the checker started arguing back at the customer about how she did hate her personally and ran the card on purpose — you guessed it yup — for some “strange reason”!?!?!? My turn with the checker, and I swear, if she wasn’t on ‘ludes then she was certainly on something, ’cause she was talking slow and asking me weird questions for some “strange reason”!?!?!?

So my 2 hours of errands turned into nearly 4 1/2 for some “strange reason”!?!?!? But with all that weirdness going on, I saw no need to get angry or flustered myself. I simply went with the flow and survived. Found it all a bit entertaining actually.

It was still a beautiful day, I came home and ate my lunch outside. Since I missed most of the workday getting caught up in zany circumstances all morning, I figured I’d just continue the flow of zero productivity and relax for a few. Good thing! Today’s temp dropped by about 50 degrees and right now it’s actually 13 out and snowing. No more 64 degrees and sunny here for a while!

Thank God for weirdness! :)



Is it Tolerance or Self-induced Ignorance?

Professional Freelance Web and Print Graphic Designer, Illustrator and Writer


This is the first post in my new blog category Claudia’s Commentaries. As described, it will be opinions and observances from a not so naive art and internet junkie — myself. I hope to inspire you with this column; spark thoughts, flames and positive maneuvers in you and your spirit.

This section is not for the faint of heart or mind, nor is it to slander any entity, but only to post onto my blog my observances of life in real-time. Legal? I think so! Andy Rooney even got paid to do this.

As always, your comments and your own opinions of my posts are welcomed and looked forward to. Let’s discuss these fierce topics together! :)

Tolerance is a strapping talking point to start with. This word has been in the top headlines for years now. Whether it is referring to illegal aliens, religion, spousal preference or any of another sundry top-news topics, you can’t help but hear and read about it about as often as we do the overused or newly coined terms such as “awesome” and “widget”.

Thus finally, I have quit tolerating the tolerant anymore because, after being forced to study this term in action over the last several years, I now realize that those who preach tolerance are in actuality suffering from a commonly known brain disorder called Ignorance — also known as the “Head in the Sand Syndrome”.

Tolerance is an extremely vague yet convenient word for many to use, particularly politicians, corporations, or any other character who needs to ensure they have the backing of the masses. They are sure to tolerate — a.k.a. “sweep under the rug” — any illegal, offensive or outright irrational behavior of the offenders to ensure they themselves are agreeable to their voters, users, shareholders, whoever it needs to be for their own advancement or success.

Claiming to be tolerant, wards off the need for confrontation, action, or simply
standing up for real rights.

We are told by someone??? (whoever that may be, an ancient Mayan simpleton I am presuming) to, “just let people be who they are — don’t tell folks what to do, do you like being told? — give ‘em a break, they’re only human”. Human, hmmm… that’s where the real problem starts.  Well “someone” — no — I won’t do these things, not when it directly interferes with another being’s rights or lives, including mine.

We all have sinful habits and putrid obsessions, after all, we’re only humans. But, that does not mean any one of us has the right to impose them onto others either bluntly and publicly, or cunningly in the background. And entities who are foolish enough to “tolerate” these impositions, let alone think we actually enjoy them, should themselves not be tolerated by anyone.

It IS our right and our duty, as human beings, to stand up for ourselves and for those who cannot stand up for themselvcs, especially children. Think this is not true? Next time someone spits in your face, see how well you tolerate that. That is the problem right there — unbeknownst to most. They are being “spit on” every day of their lives thanks to this media culture we are enveloped in: television commercials, radio personalities, internet social media sites, the list goes on.

So go ahead public exploiters, if you want to pick your nose, great, go ahead! Just don’t smear your contents on me, or in my space — leave the world in peace also. Stay out of my TV set, off of my radio, out of my internet and email, and in your own closet if need be. Sometimes that really IS the best place to conduct some behaviors “humans” simply cannot control.

Welcome to My New Blog

Professional Freelance Web and Print Graphic Designer, Illustrator and Writer

I have been working in the print and web design field for over 25 years. I specialize in custom, creative and quality business promotional materials and services for businesses of all sizes and all industries. I also have a degree in Illustration and enjoy being able to actualize my image ideas through computer generated illustrations or via traditional media as each project requires. I absolutely adore Adobe Photoshop and wish I could spend nearly every waking hour creating Photoshop collages, images and effects.

My goal for this blog and ultimately for you — is to provide resources and articles to help you present your business in a professional and memorable fashion.

I will be providing a host of common sense and original, branding, advertising & marketing ideas, tips and resources to help you sustain and grow your business.

Please be sure to subscribe to this blog (see the top left hand sidebar) and also bookmark the home page. I hope and trust you will be glad you did.

And, feel free to forward the URL ( ) to your business associates, and even friends and family, who have or are working towards having, their own business.

Wishing you peace and success to you in all that you do,

Claudia Beck
Owner & Artisan
Sunflowers and Seagulls Promotional Services

Sunflowers and Seagullls Promotional Services