Essential Sunshine

Another chapter in my life is finished, another year of school complete. The last project for Illustration was to write our life story and create a handmade book. I chose to show my trip to Australia. This trip was a turning point if you will, a junction in the road where I chose between following the norm or following what my heart wanted to do. 

Shown below is the cover, a quote from the 1st page, the first spread showing a map of Australia, another spread from the same hostel where the man told me about his love of Glacier Park, and the last spread is a short "about me" section featuring the ever-classy, all-time favorite, classic red 1972 Schwinn that I cruise around town on.
(Books have always, always held some sort of magic for me. They're addicting and enthralling and at this point in my career, a definite direction I could see myself going with graphic design.)

 “Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things – air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.”

A man once told me that Glacier Park in Montana was his favorite place in the entire world. This was as I lay sick and drooling with strep throat in the top bunk of a dimly lit hostel room in Australia. Being in the state I was in, I smiled weakly and nodded. That moment has never struck me as profound until now. 

Think about it. Choosing a place to mark as your favorite in the entire WORLD. There I was, on my dream vacation, and a man was basically telling me that I needed to go no further than my backdoor to experience something beautiful and stunning. But it's in the act of leaving that you return and appreciate home for all new reasons and love it even more. When that urge to go, to see, to travel surges through your veins - listen to it. You can always come back home.

I hiked to the top left serif of the "M" today and sat contemplating the city of Bozeman. The view that I've seen so many times before didn't have the same draw. I saw my town, cradled safely in the mountains and realized I needed to get out. Soon...one more year of school left here and then I'm off, to places yet to explore. 


  1. Rad book sis! I want to read it!...and I did have more written in this here comment. Some really inspirational thoughts - but I'm glad you called b/c I just told them to you instead. :)

  2. The little teaser/intro about your book has me REALLY looking forward to reading it soon. Not only was it an adventure of a lifetime for you, but it was a trial for us to see you go. We couldn't really stop you. We just had to let you go ... like a bird sitting on the window ledge getting ready to fly away. I'm so glad you got to experience Australia. We had to trust God for your safety ... and you came back! ... a new and updated version of the Mary we have always loved. Go for it! Whatever that is.