All posts tagged: personality

The Mad Hatter | Joe Blend | Illustration


beneath the hat…truth rich minds…deep hearts…playful steps We’re all a little mAd! — The Mad Hatter, from the Tim Burton interpretation of Alice in Wonderland, was an odd bloke to say the least. Definitely odd…and bizarre, a bit disturbed, and certainly loony. But he was also a passionate artisan who had a kind heart and good soul. Mad is a word that has multiple definitions, but I think the best one of all is that which implies being carried away by enthusiasm. Which you could also read as a playful passion for life. So, in that sense, all of us—to some degree, in some way, at some point in time—are a little mad! Illustration and writing © 2018 Joe Blend. All rights reserved.


Ladies and gentlemen, I give you The Ink SnackTM, a book of bite-size writing and nutritious thinking! My latest book project is a publication of original haiku and drawings—created by hand—in a handmade journal I purchased at a local store. The name refers to small portions that provide sustenance when the mind is starved for creativity. And of course, it’s all crafted with ink. The content contains a variety of artwork alongside the haiku—art that reflects the meaning behind their respective poems—and includes the blackout technique and collage, in addition to drawings. The book is one of a kind; however, once it’s sold, it’s gone forever.                    IT’S IMPORTANT TO NOTE that none of the content was created using a computer. For example, the page numbers (along with the “About” page content) were created using an antique typewriter. Furthermore, all the writing and drawings were done by hand using a black pen (i.e. no erasing my mistakes!). And, the book itself is handmade (not by me). Handcrafted in Nepal, …

Joe Blend | A 2-oz. read


Allow me, dear readers, to introduce myself. I’m Joe Blend, a craftsman of writing and art who observes life through steaming coffee and an energized imagination. And now that my 2-oz. read is in full speed, I want to share a little background information about myself and why I write the blog. — My online journal (a 2-oz. read, so to speak) collects my observations and packages them into small servings that have both an artistic form and a practical function. Although my work employs anything from prose and poetry to markers, an antique typewriter, and collage, the inspiration is always the same: curiosity and creativity, with a caffeinated kick! My experience includes 16 years as a writer and content developer in corporate, nonprofit, and freelance environments, alongside work in the field of graphic design. However, sharing an array of formal details about my expertise is not my style, so I invite you to visit my About page for a more casual narrative that’s still chock-full of rich information. If you’re new to my 2-oz. …


‘Tis a wondrous experience to listen to the soundtrack for Close Encounters of the Third Kind at 5:45 a.m. As it plays in the background, the windows—still dark panes of glass at that hour—beg one to ponder the vastness of the heavens. Each twinkling gem is an explosive ball of energy, but collectively they sit quietly like a connect-the-dots drawing waiting to live. But people have, in fact, connected the dots. They called their masterpieces Scorpio, Leo, Orion, et al., and without so much as incorporating, into the nomenclature, a nod to the fact that each of those dots—outside our perspective from Earth—is physically too far away from the others to form even the semblance of a horribly planned neighborhood. That fact, by itself, is telling. Yet there they are, together, in the night sky…personages bound by imagination and sheer will. Now consider creativity and all its artistic forms. Art—for personal or professional needs, from any discipline—doesn’t exist until it’s created. Constellations and art. Creativity. Sheer will…and imagination. Carl Sagan, with his billions and billions of …


Art helps create cultures and mold human beings. Without art, our society would not have history, folklore, communication, invention, empathy, government, health, science, storytelling, theater, news, movies, personal growth…or in other words, everything we take for granted. Art informs intelligence and is a necessary vehicle for cultural progress and the documentation of humanity. Its influence spans the expanse of night and day, of passion and distaste, of enlightenment and confusion. Art, if we’re smart, will always exist in the fabric of our lives. Blackout poem and writing © 2018 Joe Blend. All rights reserved.


The best ideas are born from a desire to ignore convention and embrace instinct. It is a move toward fresh and exciting possibilities instead of forcing fresh and exciting upon what already exists. Speak with your voice and people will hear you; mimic someone else’s voice and your tribe will keep walking. © 2017 Joe Blend. All rights reserved.


a constellation exploring something new to teach something’s story We explore the stars to narrate our origin and at times, to document our existence. Although science can explain the mechanics of the heavens, it’s our humanity that interprets the past and charts the future here on Earth. We are the ones who tell our story. Let’s illuminate our narratives. Through those discoveries, we can reveal the true scope of life. Blackout poem and writing © 2017 Joe Blend. All rights reserved.


A coffee a day will keep the crabby away. That’s because countless observations have revealed coffee’s ability to help maintain personal balance, focus, and outward contentment by eradicating all malaise of the attitude. From the element of caffeine to the abundant flavors and their complimentary nature to a variety of settings, coffee is, without a doubt, medicine for the soul. DIRECTIONS: Consume one 8-ounce cup of black coffee (no sugar) within 30 minutes of your morning alarm’s cheery chimes. Additional cups may be consumed throughout the morning as needed, with or without food. Warning: Do not exceed five cups in a 24-hour period. Please consult a physician if, after consuming coffee, you experience heart palpitations, day sweats, or nonsensical babbling. Consuming no coffee at all could result in fits of irritation otherwise known as the Jekyll-and-Hyde Effect, an unpredictable malady affecting those around you by rendering the lottery a safer bet than not getting yelled at. If you discover that your coffee supply has been depleted, find the nearest coffee shop posthaste: do not eat, do not stop for …

Skipping Class, En Masse | 2-oz. Read | Joe Blend


Sense is a stalwart companion on the journey of life. It tells us to dance in the rain but only sing in the shower…because a slippery tub and disco moves are not good bedfellows. Sense implores us to walk before we run…because an ability to run doesn’t mean we should panic. It begs us to think smarter, not harder…because brick walls won’t let us pass, no matter how hard we try. That is sense, and it’s learned. Unfortunately, some people skip that class…en masse. Those individuals strip function from form thinking form doesn’t need to function. They think road rage is all the rage, and they stand tall thinking mere height means they’re taking a stand. Those individuals don’t think less is more because they still seek more even though it’s less. And they take advantage of their excuses, but they don’t excuse those who take advantage of them. There is nothing common about sense. Stay in school. © 2017 Joe Blend. All rights reserved.

Humanity | 2-oz. Read | Blog


Social media tried to connect us. And before that it was computers, which followed landline phones and so on. And those technologies were successful, to a point. That’s because they hurt us as well. Those achievements gradually lowered us into a virtual reality that, over time, evaporated what it means to be human. You see, digital is fake. It’s 0s and 1s that, with the help of light and electricity, create objects and experiences we recognize from the physical world. We think we’re pressing keys, we assume a notification is tantamount to a human voice, and we decide that pixels mimic bricks. It’s an elaborate magic trick—”smart” stuff—because what we’re participating in is nothing more than a series of taps on a flat screen. Remove the bells and whistles, turn off the light, and cut the power, and what remains is a flat surface that is no more magnificent than a table top. But most listen to the dings and pops; many are glued to the glow; a multitude refuse to cut the cord. And …

Power Cliches Keep the Hive Alive | 2-oz. Read | Blog


The prepackaged aspects of contemporary society produce a misguided mirage. That’s because “follow the leader” is the name of the game, and it is a game because square pegs in square holes built a cardboard landscape. The mentality behind the mirage—let’s call it “the hive”—believes trite speak on framed mountain peaks and bold ads for fresh fads should serve as challenges—to you and for you—to “be” a “better” “you.” It preaches the notion that working harder and not smarter will give you a reason to hold your head high. It wants you to believe that the latest and greatest tomorrow is within your grasp, but only with their guidance. Sounds great, right? Well, what the hive doesn’t tell you is that they’ll own your tomorrow if you let them. If you subscribe to their future, what was once considered cookie-cutter will suddenly appear as if it’s the cream of the crop. And you’ll dream in beige. Before you know it, life becomes a bland illusion in which you’re always chasing a carrot on a stick. …


My version of morning yoga can be described in two words: cathartic haircut. Unlike the joy I receive after scrubbing my coffee-stained teeth prior to the 9:30 p.m. wave of exhaustion I experience every night, my morning haircuts are clipper meditation, a cathartic experience gifting a fresh start. And that invisible burden of anxiety that typically accompanies a bountiful beard or helmet of hair? It now flows off my shoulders until the memory of such a feeling is reduced to clumps of grey and black. My morning has begun and it’s a blank canvas! © 2017 Joe Blend. All rights reserved.