The Artists’ Closet: A Play in One Scene from the Weekend

Desk with notebook, iPad, colored pencils, ruler and markers.

A neglectful artist (NA), a woman, walks into her studio to work on some real “art work” for a change, taking a break from ‘digital’. As she tries to organize her studio, she gets side-tracked, as usual, and spots some long lost “friends” in her old cabinets.

NEGLECTFUL ARTIST (NA): What is this? Can these be my old comping markers?

DESIGN MARKERS (DM): Yes… it is us… all of us… you left to rot in the dark recesses of these drawers!!

NA: [whispers] Oh my God… [Then a little louder] Oh my GOD. What have I done…

DM: We thought you didn’t care.

NA: I DO! I have missed you all. Do you still work? Do you still [gulp] smell the wonderful way you did years ago? [Looks around to make sure she is alone, cracks open top of marker and takes a whiff]

DM: Getting a little personal, aren’t we? Why don’t you go find some paper and try us out?

NA: YES! YES! Paper! [Very excited she pulls out all the DMs and looks frantically for paper] Two closets later… she finds it.

LAYOUT PAPER (LP): [seriously]. Well… that took long enough! Why don’t you try us out and see if we still hold ink?

NA: [still looking for supplies] HA… HA! [More come out of the closet]

LP: Come on! Let’s get some color on these pages!


LP: Well, what are you waiting for?

DM: YES… hurry up and get busy!


CONTE CRAYONS: Us first… and don’t forget the Chamois!

LETRASET: Use us! Use us! Multi-media is best! Pleeeaaaaaassssseeeee!

[NA grabs all her “friends” close to her and runs to her easel and drafting board with a big smile on her face.]

FRIENDS: What will you do first?? Hurry, hurry, it has been soooooo long!


FRIENDS: [short silence] We certainly hope not. Maybe you should think of this as the FIRST TIME YOU BEGIN!

[NA starts whistling as the worries of the day fade away and creativity springs back into her studio].

Check out the new podcast L&D Forecast

Photo by Mohammad Metri on Unsplash

Check out the new podcast L&D Forecast hosted by Emily Sheetz, which is easy to listen to and provides a fresh perspective of what to consider and where to look in the world of learning. Take some time to get to know us from her brief, fun interviews, as they went so fast we can’t wait to do it again.

Interview with Linda

Interview with Nick

Check out her other podcasts in her series, and you can connect with Emily on LinkedIn and view Emily’s writings on Medium.

Our Origin Story

We have been thinking about collaborating on how to provide resources around design fundamentals and how they impact everything in how people communicate, read, learn, engage and interact whether at work, rest or play. As artists, design thinkers, software engineers and educators focused on human-centered design, we have been fussing about the industry for some time; back to the days when software came in a box, and there was no such thing as a subscription model. Yeah, that far back. We like to think we do a pretty good job of staying on top of industry trends, but let’s face it, it’s better to have LOTS of friends with different backgrounds who have the same passion as we do, but different talents and experiences so we can learn from one another. It makes problem-solving much more fun and design solutions that are much more amazing.

Some time ago (a real long time ago)  I was at a ‘Higher Ed Camp’ in Philadelphia looking to glean from the presenters knowledge I lacked so I could increase my ‘bag of tricks’ to upgrade my current digital projects. That is when I met Nick, a terrific presenter who obviously had A LOT of experience in the technology space surrounding all things digital. How did I know he had that kind of experience, you ask? Simple. His interactive samples were already 5-7 years old, but they looked like they were made with the most current technology. Nick knew how to design in an engaging way so people could interact, regardless of their age or technology prowess. Nick’s experience also came from ‘long ago and far away’ (like me), as he demonstrated how to create a drop shadow in Photoshop without using a button or effect. I knew right then we would be great friends 🙂

I introduced myself, and we have been collaborating ever since serving on industry boards, hosting talks and workshops, and even creating a corporate learning event or two.  

So where do we start when we want to show the design and development process to create amazing learning experiences? Well at the beginning of course, at the VERY beginning. Just so you know, we did not make this stuff up, the tenets of good design have been around for a very long time, people just keep forgetting to use them.

We will be sharing what has helped us launch hundreds of amazing user experiences for our customers, learners, employees who are people just like you, to help you to update, enhance or adopt a process that will enable you to continually grow and develop within your discipline. So get ready, grab a notebook (pencil or digital) and see how you might ‘level’ up your next experiences.