Thursday, September 28, 2006

Life is about choices

Since making the decision at about 4 years old to be an artist, I've had the pleasure of dabbling in a myriad of mediums. Some I wouldn't have expected and others I had only dreamed about. Over the past few years I've navigated my way through designing anything from dishes and tablecloths to greetings and fabrics.

I have been able to work with more than 20 companies to design for dozens of different product categories, each category involving different levels of work and therefore gratification. Some collections I've had a huge amount of freedom and others I've been tightly directed by the company to make it work within a certain theme or vein of retail, which can be challenging. You wouldn't have to know me long to know how I prefer to work!! Who doesn't love freedom?

An aspect about freelance product design that I didn't anticipate was having this bank of companies that I can share random ideas with when I get them.......oh and boy do I get them. Many times I get off the wall product concepts as I drift off to sleep....... phrases, puns, and wordplay will pop into my mind and I will have to get up and jot them down. My husband has always told me that I have the gift of gab, and I think of it as his kind way to say that I don't know when to shut up. Which is true, but he's so sweet. Somehow I have managed to convince some companies (by not shutting up) that my goofy ideas have appeal to shoppers.......and it turns out we were both right.

One such example is the concept of multiple choice questions, which first started on cocktail napkins for PPD . It was just this a silly idea that has turned into a whole "test" of questions that now follow themes for birthdays, cocktail parties , coffee drinking, holidays etc.

The clever party host or hostess could of course set out a pen next to the napkins so that guests could take the test.......its is silly but makes for a good little snicker and also could distract from any overcooked appetizers. Beyond napkins this concept has found its way onto other products such as velvet pillows and Christmas stockings where there is a magnet star that you can move around to answer the question.....also I've developed several tests for coasters, bar glasses, even aprons a dishtowels......such silliness.

I'll sneak in more photos as the products roll out to stores, so be prepared for a pop quiz.

xoxo, AnnaMaria


  1. You could throw a party called 'Study Group' -- a classic disguise for fun times.

  2. fcharacters you see in the picture