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In fall of 1997 I took my first graphic design class at New Mexico State University.
I wasn’t totally sold on pursuing graphic design as a profession. I was leaning towards it because it was more practical than being an artist but, being totally clueless at the time, I thought that graphic design was very boring and lacked emotion.

It so happened that the main design professor had the year off and a guy called Ronnie Garver was taking his place. He was a young guy who had just gone through the same program himself. Ronnie’s style was heavily influenced by Art Chantry and the Seattle grunge movement.

I instantly fell in love.

We had to keep an inspiration journal, as part of the class. For the first time I was looking at magazines as an artist and not as a silly teenager.

Buying my first copy of Raygun (above, cover by Chris Ashworth) cemented the fact that I was not only choosing graphic design, but I was BORN to do graphic design. I spent the whole semester creating projects in the middle of the night at Kinkos. Making copy after copy, with my scissors and glue stick ready to chop it all up and paste it back together again. I’d rip it up – run outside and scrape it against the asphalt till it was barely readable – tape it back together and make another copy.

A few months into the semester Ronnie announced that Art Chantry was actually coming to the campus to give a talk. The whole dept. would also be designing posters for a Von Zippers show that Chantry would see and discuss. (The poster to the left was designed/printed by Ronnie Garver & Chad Ballard for the event.) The talk Chantry gave was amazing and incredibly inspiring. Later he came into our classroom where a hundred posters were tacked to a large wall… one of my top five proudest moments of my life was when he pointed mine out!

And 13 years later, I just found it under the bed and scanned it in!

Anyways, that’s my story. Shout out to my mentor and the spark to all of this, Ronnie Garver. You rock dude, thank you.


My brother ‘n law Zach, (aka Rushmore Beekeepers) released a brand new cd the end of October. I helped him out with the design and in true diy-fashion printed, cut, folded and sewed the booklets together myself! Zach and Carrie (most-awesome-sister) folded all of the cd cases together drew the RB on the front with a handmade stencil and stamped ‘Rushmore Beekeepers – Throwing Mud at Your Streetlight’ on the case and printable cds.

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About a month ago I downloaded a trial version of Little Snapper ($39 to buy) to organize screen shots & links to tasty sites I run across. I had links scattered between gmail, google notes, google reader, delicious, evernote & starred in twitter! Now they’re all nice and neat and ready to quickly scroll through when I’m in a creative rut – Perfect!

I had this big plan to do a post of only craftily designed craft sites, I search high and low and only found three! (Well, four if you count Design Sponge which everyone’s seen). Unfortunately, most crafters seem to use blogger or blogspot and only design their headers. Same goes for illustrators – how bizarre, how bizzare! Seems like lots of artists use 100% flash, which you’ll notice is not present in my list (no offense, I’m just WAY too impatient!). (editor’s note: Long load times have been found to drive users away from your site.)

Please let me know of wonderful sites that I shouldn’t miss!


Decor 8
Little stitches and notebook paper, that’s all any crafty blog really needs!

Poppy Talk
Here’s a blogspot that went all out – love the paperclip and little stamps!

Okay, I guess there’s a little bit of flash involved! Collaged papers, pencils and masking tape though, yes! This site was designed by Also, who also designed Design Sponge.

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Amanda Hawkins

Amanda Hawkins

Take care of little humans,
stare at tiny computer,
scribble on paper,
Maker of DIY Planners and 🎨 artist; front-end web developer and designer well-versed in CSS & WordPress. Make music with RBK & as Love Morris. Check out if you're interested in hiring me for WordPress dev. Subscribe to a newsletter I never send out. Connect on Instagram & Twitter.

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