Oh Rhoda, My Love

I often go through phases of wanting to love something as much as my parents did when they were around my age. It's like I want to share the feeling of nostalgia for something others are feeling nostalgic for. I think one would find a retro aesthetic heavily present among my design work to further this constant pull to the past. At some point I hope to stop wishing I was born in the 50's so I could remember the 60's and 70's, and just appreciate the present, but for now, it's simply how I feel. 

As such, I've tried watching a few older shows from a couple generations before me, but I usually quickly lose interest. They would be charming and I'd chuckle a time or two; it was fun to see older fashion styles, technology etc., but when it came down to it, the comedy was slightly dated and I just couldn't relate. As much as I wished to, I wasn't going to start binge watching Happy Days.

But then came Rhoda. Oh Rhoda, my love. There was something about this show that just clicked! I couldn't stop watching sassy Rhoda be a boss at being a lady. I started thinking about why it was so relatable to me and then I realized it wasn't dated at all, it was really quite current. Rhoda was before her time when this show was originally broadcast. She was kicking misogyny and female stereotypes in the bell bottomed pants.

Rhoda portrayed much more on screen than just her rad fashion sense (although her style should not be overlooked). She would stand up for herself to men using humour and she could make fun of herself. Never taking herself too seriously but at the same time she could put her foot down hard when her morals weren't lining up.

Actress Valerie Harper played Rhoda, a strong female character who knew WHO she was even though she didn't always know WHAT she wanted to do. She made it totally okay and almost appealing to be searching for one's own path and to constantly try new things no matter what time of one's life they are in. Relatable then and definitely relatable now. 

So check it out from the library or Amazon it up. If you want to watch my girl Rhoda in chronological order you can start watching her in her earlier days on the Mary Tyler Moore Show. Rhoda was a spin off... I am not surprised they gave this quirky, feisty and loveable character her own show. 

"Allow me to introduce myself: I'm another person in the room."

xo Shan

*Image from Hello Giggles

Inspired Today by Sherman Brothers' Artistic Process

Today while listening to the Mary Poppins soundtrack on rdio (one of my all time favourite movies), I came across a little gem on the last track. It’s a recording of the Sherman Brothers reminiscing about their time creating the score for Mary Poppins.

I LOVE hearing behind the scenes stories of how a masterpiece came to be. It’s funny how the strangest or most mundane things can largely influence a piece of work, whether that be a painting, a musical or a graphic design piece. As a designer I can relate to some of the Sherman Brothers’ artistic process but definitely took inspiration from it as well.

I wish it was longer than 16 minutes! Even their speaking voices sound melodic. I could listen to these two banter so passionately about their craft all day. They should have done audiobooks :)

If you don't have an rdio subscription you can listen to it here on youtube.

xo Shan

P.S. If you are a Mary Poppins fan and you haven’t seen the movie Saving Mr. Banks you must drop what you are doing and go watch it!

*Image from: www.thewrap.com

Why I want to blog (a freelancer’s point of view)…

My name is Shannon Thomas and I make my living as a freelance graphic designer. Because I have no office to jet off to in the morning I spend most of my time alone in my basement studio. Sounds a bit drab, but I actually love it. I love how I can blast my folky tunes or turn on a favourite radio show, and work away on projects to endless cups of tea. I get totally lost in my work so it doesn’t necessarily upset me that I don’t have other people surrounding me each day.


I certainly do not work solo. I am in communication with different people everyday about the various projects I am currently working on. That being said, they are not in my direct vicinity. We’re on the phone or working through “the cloud.” So when I have those thoughts that one would usually share to a fellow employee beside them, there’s no one beside me (except my alien rock that I’ve named Angus). I find I miss being able to have that dialogue with co-workers. Dialogue with people who are in my field and get excited about the same things I do, such as figuring out a new illustrator short cut that will totally change your life. When I have a problem I need to solve, whether that be technical or communication wise, I usually turn to Google or my beautiful design books, but I’d rather solve problems with another human being.


My friend Bryan (from Kobot Web Design) wrote a post that became the straw that broke the camel’s back for me. I never thought I would ever blog as I am constantly trying to absorb everything everyone else is saying. What would I ever have to share right? My favourite part of the post reads:

Why post something that everyone already knows?
Because not everyone does. Whatever you are pursuing, or whatever you are looking to learn more about, there is someone else who is not as far along on that journey. What might be trite or useless to you is something that will help another person move closer to their own goals.”

Here’s the full post: http://kobot.ca/blog/your-blog-post-is-boring/

I think I’ll keep things mostly design related on here but I won’t promise anything. We’ll see how it goes. I’m new at this and I’m excited about this. I will not be trying to make a living through blogging. Its purpose is to serve as an online platform for me to release my thoughts. I think this is very important or I might go crazy in my basement you guys! If dialogue regarding design/communication solutions, technical problems, inspiraton and/or whatever else makes people happy and whole between other freelancers started to arise on here, I would be thrilled. 

xo Shan