In writing the last blog Is there a “sexy” cancer?, it made me think about meaning of colors in our life. How the color pink has become synonymous with female and a pink ribbon immediately brings to mind the Susan G. Komen foundation and the fight against breast cancer to millions of people.
This month of October also happens to be Breast cancer Awareness Week, so there’s pink, pink everywhere. Everybody’s thinking pink, wearing pink and speaking pink. So, with pink being the hot color of the decade, why is blue the color for The C Card and Me’s book cover? Well, pink is for breast cancer. I don’t have that. Mine started in my colon and spread to my lung, but even if it had been, I’m not really into pink. As a matter of fact, some friends would say I have an aversion to it (I don’t. I will wear it on occasion, but it’s not a big ticket item in my closet like Miss Skye’s). I never really gave it much thought at the time. I just started drawing and decided blue would be the background. Not just any blue either. I was rather meticulous in finding just the right shade. Oddly enough it is nearly the same shade of blue as my car and that in itself is a story because I’ve always been drawn to black cars. Three of the cars I’ve owned were black. The others were luck of the draw. This one (I call “lil blue”) I got during the 2nd of 3 rounds of chemo. I took one look at its pic and just had to have it. My friends tease me and call it a barbie car . Maybe, but I love driving in it with the wind in my face and shade my hat makes from the sun.
Fade to me, sitting at my lil home office desk about a month before the book was to be published, feverishly working in Photoshop to create the best book cover I could muster before the deadline to submit it hit. I had about 4 days left and this is what I’d come up with. Notice the similarity? Yes…I have absolutely no idea why, but that was the color i just had to have for the book cover with a hint of yellow and white.
Enter Bradley Keen (AKA “Keen”) who drove up the next day to cheer me up with some music collaboration and home style recording. If ever you heard my song (on iTunes) called “Dear Santa” he’s play harmonica on it. Great musician. Totally underrated (by himself). Anyway, he asked to see what I’d come up with, so I showed him and he looked at this masterpiece for a good long while before looking back at me and saying “ehm, you know that I’m a graphic artist, right?”. Nope, I had no clue. Then he says “Do you mind if I take a crack at it?”. Then he asked when my deadline was and probably regretted offering at that point, but in true amazing Keen style, this image arrived in my email inbox 2 days later…night and day and in a good way. I literally was blown away and shouted “WOW” at the screen as I looked at it. If you’ve ever thought anyone can be a graphic artist or someone tells you that, show em these before and after pics would you. Also in true Keen fashion, he neglected to add his name credit to the back cover. Luckily the peeps at the publishing house let us eek by and re-submit after the deadline to ensure it was in the final print. What I love about this is that it took my blue and intensified it. Mine was too passive. There’s nothing passive about fighting and beating cancer. My drawing of the c monster was almost nondescript. People look at his and say it’s a little scary but, a bit Dr. Seuss like which makes it fun and absurd at the same time. I also like that he added the green. It totally brought home my connection with blue.
One of the things I was so fortunate to have been able to do (beside living in So-Cal when this all went down) is that I was able to move into a little place right across the road from the sea. To be able to look out at the blue and green waters every day had such a calming effect on me. That, and we all know what good the salt/sea air does for the lungs.
So, there you have it. Blue is a calming, engaging and descriptive color for me. The blue and green make me think of the sea that I love and love to live by, so by natural selection it was the primary color for the book cover, for my car, “lil blue” and for my life.
And now I wonder if you have a color that best defines you and why…?