joel beukelman

Hire Joel Beukelman

JoelBeukelman In my attempt to continue to support the design community, I am copying this post in hopes that you will take part and pass the news. In today’s suffering economy many people and their families are paying the price caused by a decline in work or loosing their job all together. Is this fair? Of course not. Call it what it is, but I am wiling to play a part and do what I can to help a brother out.

Meet Joel Beukelman

Joel is a friend, passionate designer and a contributor to the design community. He is also looking for a new job. He’s a talented all around designer that specializes in Branding. His work speaks for itself. Oh yeah, he is also an incredible photographer as well. So if you're in need of one hit him up. Check out his portfolio, resume and design blog below:

Joel has alot to bring to the table and would be a valuable asset for any project or company. If you are in need of his skills hit him up, If not then I am asking you to pass this on and spread the word. It’s important we stick together and help each other out when needed.

Leave comments if you like, BUT PLEASE help spread the word! Hire Joel Beukelman!

Contact Joel

Email :: joel [at] whoisjoel [dot] com Skype :: joelbeukelman Facebook :: Twitter :: Flickr :: LinkedIn ::

Branded Designers Round 2

Finally after months of delay, I am happy to bring you the second round of the popular "Branded Designers" series. If this is your first time here, please go check out the first round, and for those of you already familiar, welcome back. You may notice things this time are a little different, for example I tried to put more emphasis on the photos of the tattoos. And I really tried to encourage people to go in depth with the descriptions of their tattoos. So please sit back, relax and enjoy getting to know these "branded" designers.

Joel Beukelman -

joel beukelman

The Wave:

The main inspiration behind my tattoos was art and design. After spending hours upon hours in art history class, certain artists and eras started standing out to me. I'll never forget the day when I opened my book up to the page of "The Great Wave off Kanagawa." This is one of my favorite pieces, done by was Katsushika Hokusai, and figured what better place to have it than on my arm. This is obviously a popular piece of art work, but the process behind Japanese art was the tattoo deal breaker. Japanese wood block and print work is one of the contributing forces to the development to graphic deign, therefore adding personal significance to this piece.

joel beukelman wave tattoo

The Flower:

In the traditional Japanese tradition, I choose to incorporate a flower into my sleeve. My tattoos were my wedding present and I let me wife pick the flower. Her favorite flower was the dahlia, so thats how that came about.

joel beukelman flower tattoo

The Scroll:

Scroll on the back of my arm says "speak words of life" in Japanese. In Japanese art, the scroll was the location where the artist would sign his name and I wanted to use that scroll for this message. My father is a pastor and I had the privilege of having my wedding done by my father. After the ceremony, he had some words of wisdom, and thats where the "speak words of life" came from. It's main theme is to be positive, set your mind on godly things, and build (not destroy) our marriage and in life.

joel beukelman scroll tattoo

In short, my sleeve is design, art, and my commitment to my wife. Its only 1/3 done and will be completed with another on of my favorite pieces from Hokusai.

Josh Cagwin -

josh cagwin

Growing up I was always fascinated with body art. I love my tattoos, they have a lot of meaning to me, and are something that can never be taken away from me.

Right Arm:

My right arm is mostly family oriented, my mom’s name and my sister’s first initials ”R & L” are each surrounded by a flower on the front and back of my arm. My daughter’s name Makenna is on my lower forearm and the words “White Dog,” (what my last name means in Scottish) is written within a crown covering my shoulder. The praying hands represent my faith and are there to remind me of the power of prayer, along with a couple other things mixed within the sleeve.

josh cagwin right arm tattoo

Left Arm:

My left arm consists of a one eyed creature with tentacles wrapping around a skull and skeleton with an angel standing in the green moat. The creature represents evil and how it can take you down if you let it. The angel standing strong and the small banner that says “faith,” remind me to stay strong with my Faith or evil will get the best of me.

josh cagwin left arm tattoo

I also have a tattoo across my chest that says, “1 Corinthians 13”. I share that with my wife who has it tattooed on her forearm. It is the love chapter in the Bible and if you have not read it I recommend it.

Aaron Irizarry -

aaron irizarry

The Chest:

My chest Tattoo is a reminder of who I am and where I have come from. The two birds one with devil horns and the one with the halo are on each side of the heart representing the constant struggle between making the right choices (more times than not I end up as the bird with horns) In the banner above them it says “By Grace Alone”. It is the only way I make it day by day is through God’s grace. Most of my life I was not what you would consider a “Model Citizen” and I am thankful for God’s grace in my life to help me be the person I was created to be (as opposed to being the mess I made of myself). It is never easy, but it is always worth it in the end.

The years in the banner on the bottom are the year I was born (1974), and the year that God changed my life by rescuing me from myself (1995). It is a great reminder of who I used to be, and who I have become, a change that didn’t happen as a result of religion, but by relationship.

aaron irizarry chest tattoo

Kathryn Proulx -

kathryn proulx

The Anchor:

My tattoo is of an anchor, flower, diamond, and rope on my left foot. I grew up by the water, born to two parents who loved sailing (in fact, they decided where I would live growing up while at a sailboat race in my hometown.) Both of my parent's fathers were in the navy, too. It just seemed natural to get an anchor. The flower is for my mother and the diamond is for my best friend (who has a diamond in the frosting of a cupcake tattooed on her wrist for the same significance).

kathryn proulx anchor tattoo

Simon Robertson -

simon robertson

I can't imagine not having tattoos. It feels like they were always supposed to be there. I've gone for a traditional style so far, there's just something special about it that appeals and connects with me. the clipper ship represents my life, where like the ship, i have some control over where i go (sail and rudder) there are also outside forces (wind and currents) that will push and pull me in certain directions. i also like the idea that i'm on a journey.

faith hope love

The words Faith Hope and Love are found in 1 Corinthians 13:13 (New Living Translation) ‘Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.’ I see these as being things i always need more of in my life and hope that one day i’ll be known by. As love is the greatest I have a few roses winding their way around my arm, they also serve to represent the fact that I connect most with God in creation, seeing this wonderful world always inspires me.

simon robertson tattoos


I also have an anchor with 'family' wrapped around it, this simply states that it's my family who ground me and support me and i love them.

simon robertson family tattoo

A huge thanks to everyone who contributed and supported this effort. If you are a "branded" designer and would like to be featured in the next round please contact me for more details. Also, I'm thinking of starting a list of some of the best tattoo shops, worldwide. So if you want to share with me your favorites, or maybe you work in one yourself, please leave a comment below. It would benefit the whole creative community. Thanks.

Defending Your Offense

I am not a huge sports fan, but I love the spirit of camaraderie that is found in a team. It's the need to accomplish something greater than ourselves that drives us to work hard. But sometimes all we see is the negative side of our work, and that really stunts our growth as designers. So what do I mean by "defending your offense"?

1. Know your strengths, but more importantly your weaknesses.

This past weekend as I sat on the sidelines at my wife's roller derby game, I couldn't help but notice how poor their defense was against the other team. Now granted they were playing last years undefeated team, there were still major holes in their strategy. But I didn't connect the dots as to how this relates to us as designers until I watched Joel Beukelman's new video blog, equality for brand and logos alike.

If we are really strong at creating logos, graphics or websites (our offense) and are weak at getting feedback, networking or speaking to clients (defense), then we will almost always end up with just a good (not great) product. And isn't something worth doing, worth doing well? A good way to examine what your strengths and weaknesses are is to make a list for yourself. Here is an example of a list I made.

Defense Offense Strategy

Defense Rating Scale

I know for me it helps to put stuff like this down on paper so I can visualize what I need to work on. If I didn't do this I would just toss the information around in my brain until I became too tired of thinking about it that I would forget. But now I've accomplished two goals; 1. Get my thoughts on paper and 2. Clear up space in my head for more important matters.

2. We need to take the time to build a strategy for success.

Making a list, and actually going by it, will help build a solid foundation for our success. Remember that it's hard to know where we're going if we don't know how to get there. And while it may be difficult to admit our weaknesses, because I know we're all perfect, it will help us create a "game plan" as to how we can improve upon them.

But lists are just the beginning. Getting it down on paper shouldn't be the stopping point. We need to put our words in to action. And that is the best part about this whole thing, we will each have a different plan of action that is unique to our situation. For me, I landed my current job a year and a half ago with just a small amount of knowledge about the web mixed with a willingness to learn, and now I am able to create fully customizable websites in more than one language and style it all up with some sexy css. But this is just the beginning for me. I am by no means close to the top of my game. But I'm here, I'm working at it and I'm loving the challenge.

If you are doing something that isn't fulfilling you, start doing what you love. Do it whenever you can. Paint in the evenings. Wake up an hour early and write in a journal. Stop wishing you had your camera by your side, and take it with you everywhere you go. Just stop wishing you could do more, and actually do it. There is plenty of time in a day to be creative.

3. We need to embrace, and participate, in the community around us.

Social networking has really re-defined what it means to network. I know that may sound redundant, but we are no longer limited to our local design meetups (even though I highly encourage you to do so). The major players like Twitter and Facebook are at our disposal. We are only limited by our imagination as to how we use them.

Twitter adds a whole new depth-of-field that never really existed before. Even though we are limited by 140 characters, it forces us to refine our message and say what really matters. This opposed to other new networks like tumblr or posterous (which are great) that act more like micro-blogs, and then you might as well just post on your blog anyways. But before I get off on a huge tangent, Twitter (when used effectively) is able to expand your network faster than any other service.

But don't get caught up in the hype of trying to outperform everyone around you. There will always be those people who are smarter, faster and stronger. We need to focus on our strategy and play to our strengths... and weaknesses. I like to think of what the tortoise said, "Slow and steady wins the race".