Health is Wealth | Inspirational Posters

In January I hit my highest weight ever. I was uncomfortable with my body, myself, and my creativity felt blocked. I hardly had time to work out and lost all motivation to try to get those workouts in. My good friend, and fellow dancer hat I regularly take class with, started a vegan cleanse at the beginning of January and I told her no alcohol? No dairy? No gluten or dessert? What craziness is this!?

The more I thought of it though, the more I realized if you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything. Since I have no access to health insurance, I thought maybe I could use a diet change and to get back to running and the gym! Also, I promise this will relate to design as well!

Shorty after my friend, I started the Blogilates 28 Day Reset and was determined to stick to it. One of my co-workers who is getting married also started a cleanse, and since we eat lunch together every day it was easy to not snack at work! The challenge included eliminating alcohol, dairy, gluten and added sugar for 28 days. I always made excuses that I “ate healthy” but couldn’t lose weight. I had never tried an elimination diet, and was ready for change.

The first 2 weeks were the hardest. I craved wine and sweets! I chugged water and herbal tea, but the chocolate craving wouldn’t go. My mom is always cooking and baking (and sending it all to me!) so temptation was always there, but I was disciplined and succeeded!

I learned many healthy meals through the challenge, the meal plan was easy and delicious! I lost 11.5 pounds during the 28 days, started hitting the gym and going to hot yoga again. I felt great and had a LOT more energy!

However when I finished I still wanted to lose more. I watched a documentary called What the Health and thought of my friend becoming vegan.

I did something that made my family and friend laugh, and ask why?

I became my road to becoming vegan.

I started by eliminating red meat (beef), chicken and pork. I added alternatives like tofu, daily protein shakes (chocolate!), and lots of protein rich beans and vegetables. Since I’m active and a dancer, I need protein to recover and learned I should be intaking 140 grams of protein daily. I tracked my food in My Fitness Pal, and saw a continued loss in weight. After the challenge was complete, I would still have occasional wine, along with fish and eggs.

Eggs and cheese were the hardest to give up, until I found many vegan cheese alternatives. I even made 100% vegan stuffed shells, that my Italian family said were better than traditional (what!?) and contained no dairy.

There are so many amazing meat alternatives, that are both healthy and cruelty free. Gardein makes AMAZING Chick’n that pairs perfect with stir fry and rice.Veggie burgers are more appealing than regular burgers, and here in Providence and Boston there are so many places that offer vegan burgers for nights out with friends. Here are some delicious sampling’s of food:

Anyone that says vegan and healthy can’t be delicious was seriously disturbed!

Now that you’ve really some of my personal story, how does this relate to art and creativity?

It started while I was walking in Providence and saw a well designer PETA advertisement.

I thought, why shouldn’t design make a difference? Be used for good? Be used to change people’s lives, inspire them to be their best, and change the world? I was told “you can’t change the world with art!” But I disagree. I believe art, design and advertising are the most powerful sources. Maybe someone will see it and be inspired to better themselves.

I designed this poster series with the well-being of all people. Through my struggles, I have noticed more about the unhealthy general population. People who have excuses, like I did, and don’t see that they can better themselves.

I believe that everyone can relate to art, and that is my main goal as an artist and designer. To make a difference, and help people live their best lives.

You Can’t be Both |Rhode Island Graphic Designer and Photographer

I’ll never forget the laughter and look of shock and horror that my design professor gave me as she said these words to me:

“Oh honey, you can’t be both! You need to choose!”

This was during my senior thesis critique, which encompasses design and photography on the topic of “Typography and Circus Posters”.

I started photography before I went to finish my degree in graphic design. I didn’t actually fall in love with it until my senior year of college while working with clients and comparing artistic shoots. I also worked as a second shooter for my friend who did weddings, dreaming of being a lead some day.

I also love art and design, from drawing and painting, to digital art and lettering and traditional design work. Not all aspects of being a designer in the corporate world are glamorous, a lot of it is editing other people’s files, copy and pasting, using templates, using stock illustration and photography instead of making your own, and just a touch of being able to put your own spin on things. It’s wonderful to be able to work with a team of like-minded and career driven people though, something I have yet to find in a company job. As a freelance designer I have found joy in my job, collaboration, and thriving off of our team. I do honestly love my career path when I get to work creatively and utilize my illustration and design skills! When I work on an illustration project, it’s like time flies. I’m consumed in ideas, creativity, and my passion drives me to work harder!

Then there’s my growing wedding photography and calligraphy business: I photograph weddings, engagements, dancers (did I mention I do that too!?) and artistic portraits. I also address envelopes, design invitations and write out wedding signage, escort cards, place cards, etc. as a hand lettering designer and calligrapher, and I’m growing and becoming more successful for every year that goes by!

I think having multiple talents that harmoniously work together is a great thing! It gives plenty of options and offerings to clients and employers alike. Bringing someone down by mocking their dreams and ambitions is not a healthy way to educate. I always tell people they can be anything they want, it’s never too late and no dream is too big!

This comes from the designer/ illustrator/ artists / dancer/ photographer/ calligrapher herself!

Cheers to creating!

And keep dreaming BIG!

Alicia