So I’ve been back home for about 3 weeks now, and I really kinda wish I had been updating this thing more often, because there are a lot of observations I’ve had that have basically gone unrecorded and therefore are essentially lost in the crevices of my brain.

Today I interviewed and got a job at Eddie Bauer in Circle Center Mall. So if you’re planning on making any big purchases there, do it while I’m working, because the amount of hours I get to work is directly related to how well I sell. I wanted to work there for some basic retail experience and the opportunity for advancement within the company. I love their merchandise and their conceptual image, and I would LOVE to work with their graphic design, art direction, and visual merchandising. I would have to move out to Seattle, though, but ya know. We’ll see what happens.

Right now, I’m watching the Top Ten Wonders of the West on the Travel Channel… and let’s just say that someday, when I can afford to travel again, I’m gonna rent an RV and spend a month traveling the American West. Arches, Utah… Redwood National Forest… Grand Canyon, Arizona… it’s so beautiful. And so American. Anyone interested in joining me?

In Nashville, I really started noticing and appreciating “American” things. Simple things, like, country music is American.. all the fonts and poster design and colors that are associated with country music are so American.. the Jeep, I think, is very American. (Which, by the way, I LOVE the new 2007 Compass and Wrangler models.) A good hamburger or a steak… very American. My challenge now is to find in America as good a slice of bacon as I had in the Netherlands on that BLT. American values… southern hospitality… the fiddle. Cracker Barrel. Martha White. Very American and I really, really, love it.

Tom once pointed out that my tastes in design and color are constantly changing. But over the past few years, I’ve developed what I think is the resolution of all prior discrepancies. About a year ago, I coined the phrase “rustic elegance” to describe my visual design preferences. And after 6 weeks in Venice, and coming back to American import retailers, I’ve decided that “rustic elegance” is a very American concept, and I’m convinced more than ever that “rustic elegance” is a concept that I would love to pursue as a designer, for my defining body of work.

I’ll never forget in 6th grade when my art teacher had us write in our journals our thoughts on the question, “What is art?” Because I tried to be really smart and defend the answer, “Everything is art.” I have to say that for a sixth grader, I’m sure I put forth some convincing arguments. But I also have to say that what I wrote was incorrect. There are so many things which are not art at all… even down to the details.

Unless someone could back up the assertion that economies of scale are art. Economies of scale, also, are very American.

But as an American, I have to add that not everything SHOULD be art. BUT… everything COULD be art.

Random thought of the day. I have a pet peeve in the making, in terms of painting. Not quite sure what the pet peeve is, but it has to do with the assumption that since I’m an art major, I paint. But basically, I’m probably not going to go back to loving painting like I did in high school. I’m not a “painter”.


Hannah Downey

UX Design Consultant at Salesforce focused on content & sustainability. I love information design, the art+science of text, guac, sweet potatoes, & amazing people.

Read More