Yosemite Haunting Me

Feature, Graphic Design, Illustration

Glacier Point Yosemite National Park 


What can I say that would do justice to the majesty I have witnessed. When people asked me how our trip was I didn’t have words. The best that I could muster was, “I’ve seen pictures of Yosemite and thought, that’s pretty, but what you see when you get there blows your mind.” The best works of Ansel Adams don’t even come close to expressing the feelings you get from experiencing it first hand. You have to see it in person.

We drove in from the south. Nearly seven hours total through the means streets of Orange County, to our friends’ place in the desert, past the vast wastelands, and into the gates of the park and there was silent excitement as we waited to see what came around the next corner.

Something about the woods strums up heartwarming memories of running through the parched trees of Big Bear where as a child I would explore and learn. The shushing road and warm air scented with pine lulls me as we skim over the winding Wawona hills. As we start to see the rock heave up to form the corners of the mouth that opens up to the valley and find ourselves peering down into the steeply formed river bottom, I sleepily come to realize that this dream is about to become real.


We explode into the valley with what is one of the best ways to start your adventure. “Tunnel View” doesn’t begin to describe the spectacular scene that unfolds before you, but after many hours on the road it was the golden treasure at the end of a long journey. I could have gone home right then and there.

Tunnel View Yosemite National Park

It is overwhelming. It’s bigger than life. It makes you curious and tickles that exploratory itch. We couldn’t just look. We had to dive in and feel the water go over our heads. We were immersed in Yosemite’s power for almost a week. And we left wanting more.

Afterwards it haunted us. Not just because of the vacation withdrawals we felt being back at work. So when I sat down to tackle some artwork I was blinded by memories of what I just experienced. I had something stirring in me that needed to escape.

While inspired by our trip the image I came up with fails to come anywhere close to the experience I shared with friends. For those of us who have made the pilgrimage these images link to that part of our inner being that like a film negative has been permanently exposed with those memories of our experiences. Perhaps we can keep the memory alive with these artifacts. Maybe it will only feed that craving of the most addictive drug, adventure.

The beauty is with us still and continues to nourish our souls.

Yosemite Print 

Velocity Raptor Now Available

Graphic Design, Illustration, Products

Velocity Raptor

Get ready kids ’cause Velocity Raptor is coming for your guts. My new 11×17, two-color poster is on Etsy, so get out your credit cards and grab the first poster from the upcoming trilogy for only $14.99.

There are 50 handmade prints and will soon start prepping the next batch so be sure to look out for Pterodact Ale and Tricera Hops.

Wedding: Inspirational Quote Poster

Graphic Design
Wedding Poster

Quotes Wedding Poster

Our wonderful friends got married in April and like any DIY get-together, they had a lot on their plate, so they asked my wife and I to help out with some of the design. This image was handed off to me with the instructions that it had to be 11 in. x17 in. and that was it – blank check. At first I wasn’t sure what I was going to do, but it slowly came to me as I worked on placing text. The final result was crunched together and if I had more time I might have done cooler things, but for a last minute project everyone seemed very pleased!

Like it? Please rate it below!

Oh and have a nice Memorial Day too!



Copyright 2014 © Robert C. Olson

Streetcar Poster Revisited

Graphic Design
Streetcar Restyle

Streetcar Poster 2

Back in March I finished a poster for Long Beach City College’s “A Streetcar Named Desire” (see it by clicking here), but it didn’t really sit right with me. So I made another design based on one of the last scenes in the show. Unlike the previous poster this one is completely my idea so you can see what a difference there is between the collaboration (March) and my solo work. This one was designed with my new obsession of screen print in mind. Maybe one day I’ll make it an actual screen print.

Let me know what you think by rating below!

Retro Astronaut

Graphic Design


This retro-styled astronaut was a fun self-generated project started back in January. This image just kind of seeped into my head and since I’ve been a little screen print crazy lately I decided to see what I could do with enough time. I hope to be doing a lot more of this kind of work. I might add some typography to make it look more like a recruitment poster – not sure yet – but if you like it, how about rating this post below?

Choosing A Freelancer

Graphic Design

Pick A Winner

Recently I received an email from a potential client that expressed some… soreness with a previous graphic designer. She is now in the market for a new designer, but feels frustrated from the let-down she experienced. Some freelancers are jerks, but anyone who has been left with a awful taste in the mouth has some options.

Artist Highlight: Seanwes

Business, Graphic Design

Sean McCabe is a typographist, a word I just made up, and the man behind Seanwes where Sean’s hand lettering inspires us to just give up on typography. By accident I came across McCabe while searching “how to give myself eye surgery with a Micron pen” and saw that he had some really fantastic work. So I’m sharing this here, not just because he make letters cool, but because I am always fascinated by how people got their start.

Design Douches

Graphic Design

As graphic designers go we tend to over think things and the new school of thought seems to be a bit highfalutin: design for social good; create the best possible design; push for creativity and quality; don’t settle for less; the customer doesn’t know good design if it sat on his face… and much more. Sometimes we carried away – guilty as charged – and we need to remember that not everyone cares about what we do. It’s our job to care about what we do, yes, but everyone else has their place in society and their own set of troubles.

Streetcar Poster

Graphic Design
A Streetcar Named Desire

Poster for A Streetcar Named Desire

Commissioned by Tony Carreiro, director of the acclaimed show A Streetcar Named Desire for Long Beach City College. Show dates March 6 to March 16, 2013.

Design Pros Make It Look Easy

Graphic Design

This video comes from DKNG, a world-class design studio that earned their chops in the rock poster world. One day I hope to be as good as these guys, but what is really interesting is that they post process videos on their website.