Posts Tagged ‘Non-Profits’

Representing Designers and the Importance
of Creative Licensing for the State of Indiana

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

While growing up as a child I was encouraged to draw, paint and write. My grandmother would sit me down to practice handwriting and perfect my building of letter shapes. My father, now a retired production artist, handed down to me his collection of drawing books, including anatomy for figure drawing and illustration, required during his training in art school.

In this spot I had hoped to post a recently misplaced photo of my father working at a drafting table in a Chicago studio. I intended to bring the same photo to the filming of the ‘Creators Across America’ State of Indiana Meet Designer and Web Developer, Maria Braun-Perez. I have always been proud of my parents and family and it is my family that has encouraged me to become an artist. I asked my parents to join me on the day of the filming as this was, and will continue to be, an honorable moment.

Photo of Patrick Ross, Executive Director of the Copyright Alliance and Chairman of the Copyright Alliance Education Foundation.

Patrick Ross, Executive Director of the Copyright Alliance and Chairman of the Copyright Alliance Education Foundation.


Patrick Ross (pictured left) was kind enough to supply me with his photo following my interview at the Indiana Welcome Center on Sunday, August 29, 2010 in Hammond, Indiana. He came in hand modestly with a HD hand held video camera and swiftly continued on his way to Madison, Wisconsin where this photo was taken. The Copyright Alliance interviewed over 100 artists state-wide. Catch them all on the Copyright Alliance Channel on YouTube.

My studies in fine arts and printing, publishing technologies led me into the field of graphic arts and, eventually, web design. I am fortunate to be able to form a career as a creator and designer in the Northwest Indiana community. The shoes I have filled in my roles within the community have become more complex, challenging and fulfilling while allowing me to express myself in my work. My work is a reflection of my ethics, my pride and my understanding of utilizing best practices to achieve successful outcomes.

Working with creators in a non-profit capacity has reignited my passion for community arts and experiencing first hand how each individual has the ability to contribute to and positively affect our world. We can collectively build a better community by taking ownership of our inner strengths, allowing our spirits to shine and working together in alliance to reach defined goals. I believe I am beginning to find my niche as a creative member within my own community.

Website Hosting and Maintenance

Saturday, September 19th, 2009
Logo Design Concept for the Illiana Artists.

Logo Design Concept for the Illiana Artists.

The first meeting of the Illiana Artists took place this past Monday evening. Although the website committee presented a summer-long study and proposal, the member vote was unanimous to follow through with my plans for a new logo and site redesign. My benchmark was the Website Grader Report which is a handy measurement tool for SEO and marketing effectiveness for web developers.

During the summer I redesigned my business site MBP Graphic Design and began the process of directory link submissions. I found I was able to increase my website grade from 10 percent on February 10, 2009 to a grade of 76 percent as of September 19, 2009. Increasing my current website grade to 90 percent is my goal and has become increasingly difficult as the percentage improves.

My first hurdle in website maintenance has been migrating the website to a new web hosting company. The organization’s site has gone through unusual circumstances since May 2009. Our hosting company had gone out of business and our site was down for nearly a month before we were transferred to an internal division within the company. The registrar and administrative records have become complicated with changes in name and contact information needing to be updated and has created some conflict in transferring of the site.

My biggest concern for web hosting is 24-hour customer support, help articles and an easy to navigate control panel. I decided to switch our hosting company to FastDomain.com as I have found their service to be consistent and user-friendly. The Illiana Artists domain is set to expire on September 20, 2009 and required quick decision making in order to move the website transfer along smoothly. I am currently 4 days into the transfer process with an approval pending.

A Workshop for Advocating Your Mission

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

Illiana Artists opening reception 2001.

Illiana Artists Opening Reception 2001.


An effective leader must understand the infrastructure of the group they are to lead. In order to gain a greater understanding of non-profit operations, this afternoon I attended an informative workshop presented by Lucinda Nord, VP, Public Policy of the Indiana Association of United Ways. The majority of attendees represented human service agencies that were in need of federal funding for their operations. The Illiana Artists, on the other hand, are a creative service group that generates funds from membership dues and exhibitor fees collected from art showings.

Sitting in on the workshop I realized our small art organization was not as complex as those for which my fellow learners had come to represent. My time spent at the workshop was not wasted as I learned the rules of lobbying for a specific cause and how to create a neutral environment within the organization when defining the lines of non-partisan activities. The guest speaker provided the workshop attendees with an abundance of information to stock pile their toolboxes and get to work on their next non-profit mission.

As I looked around the room, I saw people of all demographics, some of whom where involved in politics, and thought to myself, “I must be the novice among this crowd.” The speaker asked the attendees to stand up and set themselves in place at various points within the room to gage the comfort levels of the participants in advocating their mission. To my surprise, I stood among three individual in the front of the line representing those of us willing to go the distance to promote our cause. I realized at that moment I was more than just stubborn or hardheaded. In fact, I am confident and ready to reshape the events of the year ahead.

Although I will not be lobbying on behalf of the Illiana Artists to fulfill the immediate needs of the organization, today’s journey was a day worth spent as I met new people and reconnected with old friends and colleagues among the group. In the end, I am glad I did not take to heart a recommendation for browsing the library and, as a result, would have missed the engaging, learning opportunities the workshop had provided to me on this day.