Friday’s Thought – All in the Details

Stone carving on Art Deco building

“The details are not the details. They make the design.”

(Charles Eames)


Filed under architecture, art, Friday's Thought, Influences, New York, photography, wisdom

Jo’s Journey (A Somewhat Irreverent Guide to Doing Anything Better): A Meaningful Ride

Every once in a while as I’m travelling around the city, I look at people around me and then imagine them gone.  (And, no, I’m not doing this on crowded subway trains when I’m wishing for an empty seat!)  Macabre as it sounds, this little shift in perspective usually leaves me with a sense of compassion and purpose.

Black and white photograph of Art Deco building with globe lanterns


Say a few more “I love you’s.”

Take the time to just listen.

Share a laugh.

Celebrate baby steps.

(And sympathize with the falls.)

Hold on to something dearly.

And know when to let go.

And, that I believe, is what makes the ride truly meaningful.


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Filed under Influences, Jo's Journey, motivation, New York, photography, wisdom

The One Tip You Need to Look More Photogenic (or, How to Master the Squinch)

To be honest, when I started working on this post I had all intentions of making it about pixie haircuts.  In particular, I thought I’d show off my new ‘do and how it suits my face.  However, the only photo that looked somewhat decent was this one…

Joana side view

And, I think that we can all agree that this picture has little FACE in it.

The problem is, I’m not very photogenic.  Point a camera at me and I either start clowning around, or I try to look nice…which invariably causes the person behind the camera (these days, it’s my husband) to look up in exasperation and say, “Don’t make faces!”  (You can imagine what that does for my confidence level.)

So after taking 54 self-timed portraits and coming up with nothing (except for the “glamour” shot above), I Googled “How to Look More Photogenic” and came up with this interesting video on the Huffington Post by New York based Photographer Peter Hurley.

I actually watched all 15 minutes while practicing my “squinch.”  Now of course the light outside is too dark for me to see if this new technique improves my photographs.  But I’m hopeful.  Watch out, Elite Model… here I come!

(Wink, squinch!)


Filed under Influences, photography, resources

Friday’s Thought – The Cost of Truth

Stupid Sofa Sign

“A taste for truth at any cost is a passion which spares nothing.”

(Albert Camus)


Filed under Influences, New York, wisdom

My Favorite Things – Celebrating the First Day of Spring

Ok, I’ll admit I’m digging a bit here…practically clawing the earth to see SOMETHING green on this, the first day of spring.  But I think these pictures from my walk today in Central Park are proof that spring IS here!


first signs of spring

Miniature irises!

tiny purple irises

(No ice here.)


And the palest greens!

weeping willows by the pond


Filed under Influences, photography

Mothers and Daughters – Rough Sketch for a New Illustration

I love my mother.

(And not just because she follows my blog and writes me nice comments.)

So I’ve decided my next illustration should be a celebration of motherhood and the unique bond between mothers and daughters.  Here’s what I’ve come up with so far…

mother daughter sketch

The sketch has promise, but I’m not sure all of the elements are working together yet.  I’m thinking…more interaction, ditch the sunglasses, and play up the “getting dressed up” theme.

What do you think, Ma?


Filed under art, drawing, Influences, Joana Miranda Studio, motivation

New Whimsical and Nostalgic Get Well Card

As I mentioned earlier this week, I’ve been working on creating a Get Well card.  I put the finishing touches on the illustration last night, then created the card mock-up.

Here’s what the card looks like:

Feel Better mockup

And here’s a photo of the front…

Get Well Card table mockup

(And the inside.)

Get Well inside table mockup

Now if only I could mail myself with the card…

(But I suppose packing in all of my love and good thoughts is a start.)


Filed under A Talent for Design Shop, art, drawing, Joana Miranda Studio, Joana Miranda Studio at Etsy, marker and ink illustration