Long before there was a software company called Adobe, I started drawing. With crayons at first. Way before I could read or talk in complete sentences, I could draw. It was a huge event the day my dad brought home a 64-box of Crayolas, with a built-in crayon sharpener. By the time I got to first grade, I was a dab hand at drawing. Then I made it to the second grade, and the nuns started teaching us Palmer penmanship. Because I approached it as yet another drawing task, I executed such perfect Palmer penmanship that my teacher had me draw the class writing exercises on mimeograph sheets. I can still remember the smell of them. By the fifth grade, my home room teacher enlisted me to help her decorate all the school hallway bulletin boards, which got changed for each holiday. I drew decorative fonts freehand, constructed 3D Easter lilies and Nativity scenes out of colored paper, and Sister Catherine and I attached them to the boards each month. When I was in high school, I got a job as a cashier at a supermarket. Somehow, my graphic design reputation preceded me, and I was pressed into service to draw store signs and banners. And I got paid. If it weren’t for the fact that graphic artists got paid a lot less than most other professions, I would no doubt have pursued it as a career. We didn’t have computer software in those days either. Cut and paste was still a literal task, involving Exacto knives and glue sticks.
Maybe because I started writing at a fairly young age, too, I developed this pictorial thought thing. If a particular word phrase captured me for some reason, I would often think of some silly picture to go with it. Take ‘brain dead,’ for instance. Now, that’s a phrase that frequently crops up during and after cancer treatment. So, naturally I had to draw something to go with it. For some strange reason, when I actually felt brain dead during and after cancer treatment, and couldn’t organize my way out of a paper bag, I could still draw. Hmm. My inner six-year-old remained intact.
Well, one drawing led to another, and I posted a few of these things on my blog and on Facebook, and pretty soon various people remarked that if I ever put any of these images on t-shirts or something, to be sure and let them know. So, I did.
At first, I made some t-shirts myself, but that was way too much work and I was still brain dead half the time, so it all required way too much organization. And then I discovered Zazzle, these wonderful people who will take your Adobe Illustrator files, or several other kinds of image files, and print them on virtually anything. And then let you sell them, and ship them for you, and even give you a commission on whatever stuff you design. Maybe when I retire from being a physical therapist, I’ll go to work for them. In the meantime, ’tis the season and all, so I thought I’d get organized, start my own Zazzle store, and offer a few things for sale that might do for a stocking stuffer or something. Even for people who’ve never had breast cancer. I mean, everyone feels brain dead now and then.
But, like, no pressure or anything. I’m not expecting to get rich from selling this stuff. But I can assure you that all proceeds from the sales of my merchandise will go to helping an actual person who’s had breast cancer, namely me. I might actually make enough to pay the cost of publishing this blog, for instance. Or make a dent in the fees I was charged by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to get a registered trademark for the blog’s name. Or upgrade my version of Adobe Illustrator.
In the extremely unlikely event that I make way more money than that, rest assured, it will go to another actual person who’s had breast cancer so that maybe she can hire a housecleaner or pay the rent or something. And I’ll let you know.
So, here’s the link to my Zazzle store:
And be sure to include the asterisk at the end of the name. The great thing about Zazzle is that you can customize anything you buy. So if you see a t-shirt you like, for instance, you can pick any size or style or color they have, or even pick a men’s or child’s t-shirt. Or if you like the coffee mugs, you can turn them into travel mugs. You get the idea.
In any case, we’ve already had Black Friday, and Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. So, this is Blogger Wednesday. Now you can be the first person at your cancer treatment center to have a ‘Grumblers’ for the Cure car magnet! I just added the magnets and a few other things, though, so if they’re not there tonight, check back again tomorrow. And if there’s something you’d really like that you don’t see, let me know.
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