What Makes Your Heart Sing?

marni-myers-seatsDo you know what makes your heart sing?

Do you have a dozen interests that you refer to all the time but never get around to doing them?

If so, why is that?

I figured out what makes my heart sing over twenty years ago and I talk about it all the time but rarely do it. After being a graphic designer, my second profession (or favorite hobby) is photography. I truly adore everything photography. From the old school film cameras to the funky negative frames printed onto the paper during the darkroom process. I enjoy watching the light change in front of my eyes so that I can capture a completely different look.

After taking a few photography classes in college, I carried my camera like a school bag. I would find something interesting while walking down the street and either snap a quick pic or spend the next hour visually dissecting it through the lens – taking interesting angles, cropping it just so or zooming in to unveil lovely layers of texture.

Years later, I brought two young children into the world and with them came loads of extra baggage – diaper bags, car seats, strollers, swings and bottles. There was no way I could carry my big camera case along. Now that this stage is behind me I can replace the “load” with my trusted camera and be ready for the unexpected memories to unfold before my eyes.

I recently had a wonderful opportunity to take several hours away from graphic design work. During a fifth grade science trip I snuck away to rediscover my passion. The second day of the trip the class was traveling by bus to hike around prehistoric ruined villages and passed an incredible automobile graveyard. I knew I needed to circle back to capture the scene.

marni-myers-1stcarThe following day was cold and windy but I was ready. With passion by my side and a tripod in tow, I strolled through the tall, thick prairie grass to the first abandoned car. The southern Colorado weather had given it quite a beating which gave the car a unique, rusted look. The seats were torn out and the headlights hung off to one side. The window glass was broken and the tires were missing. For some odd reason I was smitten with my subject.

I set me camera on the tripod and began. BAM! Just like that, I was back in action. Focusing on the details, I squinted for a narrowed view and cropped it within the frame. I leaned from side to side, switching from landscape to portrait views. I was in control and feeling it. I was creating, exploring!

Each car was my muse telling me a story, providing a glimpse into their world.

This is the same feeling I receive when I am creating branding packages – brand strategy, business/product naming, competitive research/analysis, identity design, graphic design for print and WordPress design/dev. Soup to nuts!

Yes, I was in my element of creativity and passion.


As I circled the other cars I discovered very inviting perspectives of the mountains framed with the cracked windows and car frames. I sighted a cool lineup of three cars – like at a car meet at a nearby parking lot but my subjects were more rough around the edges.


marni-myers-oldfolksThen I found it. The whimsical sign of the old folks place across the street that stood on the grassy hill. It was perfectly positioned behind one of the cars. A tongue and cheek moment.


This opportunity I created for myself reminded me that I need to have what I call “An Artist’s Date” more often. Getting away from graphic design projects to be creative in another way allows fresh ideas to form. This greatly enhances my client projects. If I allow a creative break at least once a week, my clients will truly benefit from it.


Marni is Chief Creative Officer at Marni Myers Creative, a brand strat­egy and graphic design stu­dio in Denver, Colorado. With over 20 years of design experience with print and online,Marni partners with small to mid-sized businesses stand out and get noticed. She also owns Myers Photography and Fine Art Photography Studio that sells dig­i­tal and print images and shows work at local galleries. You can reach Marni at (303) 808-0326 and mm@marnimyers.com.