Things Are Lookin’ Up

This is the first in a series of brand new art prints I’m releasing in the coming weeks.

I created this one in response to the global economic crisis. I don’t know about you, but I’ve found it downright exhausting to hear the constant stream of negativity on the news and in daily conversation. No doubt, we are living in trying times, but no matter how dire the circumstances, there are always hidden opportunities waiting to be found. Some of the largest and most important companies and technological advances were born in the most challenging periods of history.

Some may discount the power of positive thinking, but the truth is this: You can’t spot a good opportunity when you’re looking at life with a bad attitude.

I used the weather section of a national newspaper as the foundation of this piece to serve as a reminder that it’s up to us whether our future forecast is sunny or gloomy.

Two sizes of prints are available, and the original is, too. And in an effort to spread some extra positivity around, I’m also releasing this as a free download for Kim & Jason Insiders.
[Read more…]

The Art of Living Unconventionally: Interview with Chris Guillebeau

A few years ago, Chris Guillebeau made it his goal to visit every country in the world before his 35th birthday. He’s already visited over 175 of them, and is on pace to complete the quest next year.

He is also a writer, entrepreneur, purveyor of the blog The Art of Non-Conformity, and author of the excellent book by the same name. His mission is to help people live unconventional lives, make their own choices, and change the world.

We had a chance to chat with Chris recently, and covered a wide range of topics. We asked him about his world travels, how his adventure has changed him, and what has rendered him awestruck along the way. Chris also shares his opinion on the most Adultitis-free culture in the world, his unconventional thoughts on life balance, and some tidbits from his childhood, including his favorite toy and the surprising thing he wanted to be when he grew up.

In this short but thought-provoking interview, you’ll learn a super tip on how to save money while traveling and hear some things that may inspire you reinvent the way you look at life.

[Read more…]

Bucket List, Summer Edition

A few months ago, I wrote about the idea of making a list of things you want to do this summer. A summer bucket list, if you will. This is mine.

Time flies, whether you’re having fun or not.

Creating a great life story requires living with intention. As the old saying goes, if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there. But if you want to create a life filled with great scenes and happy memories, you need to do your part.

You need to invite those scenes and memories into your story.

One way to do that is with a bucket list. Write it out. Draw it, like I did. Or make a collage with pictures from the internet or magazines. Fill it with big things and little things. Maybe team up with your spouse or family to create one together. Then — and this is the important part — keep it somewhere you’ll see it often. This bad boy is going on my fridge.

Summers get busy and are gone before you know it. Let this become your ever-present reminder to fill it with adventure.

P.S. I’d LOVE to see your lists. Feel free to post them to our Facebook page or email me at

Cookie Sale

We live in a culture that worships the new. I think it’s worth keeping in mind that just because something isn’t “new” doesn’t mean it’s without value.

This is true with things other than just cookies, too.

[ Cookie Sale. Acrylic on newspaper. 9 x 12 inches. ]

When It Comes to Relationships, Our Days Are Numbered

4,363 days.

That’s how many days Kim and I have been married, as of this writing.

I was inspired to figure this number out after attending a breakout session by Steve Wilson at the AATH (Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor) Conference in Chicago last weekend. He explained that he and his wife Pam don’t count the years they’ve been married, but the days. And if you were to ask either of them on the spot what day they were on, they’d be able to tell you. (I want to say it was over 10,000.)

And here I thought I was lucky getting hitched in 2000 because I’d always be able to tell how long I’d been married as long as I knew what year it was. [Read more…]

The Persistence of Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is very persistent. It will stick to the roof of your mouth for a long, long time.

When it comes to success, persistence is a secret weapon. Especially these days.

In this era of microwaves and text messages and 24-hour news stations, we expect immediate results. We worship the idea of overnight success and lament when it doesn’t come our way, overlooking the reality that the overnight successes we are trying to emulate are ten years (or more!) in the making.

When you begin any project, whether it is becoming a parent, writing a book, losing weight, training for a marathon, cleaning your garage, or starting a business, you have the advantage of enthusiasm on your side. You are excited to begin and the image of success is crystal clear. But when doing anything worthwhile, you will eventually encounter roadblocks. They will deflate you, discourage you, and disenfranchise you. You will doubt your original vision, your sanity, and whether you really even wanted it in the first place. These are facts.

When it gets hard is when most people give up.

If you want to be an overnight success, you’ve got to be persistent.

You’ve got to be like peanut butter.

[ The Persistence of Peanut Butter. Acrylic on newspaper. 8 x 10 inches. ]

Are You Hanging Out with the Wrong Crowd?

Back when you were a kid, your mom warned you about those people. They were the ones up to no good, always involved in various nefarious activities. They were the burnouts, the troublemakers, the future inmates.

We may no longer be in high school any more, but Mom’s warning still holds water.

If you want to avoid Adultitis, you need to stay away from the wrong crowd at all costs.

You may have trouble recognizing the wrong crowd these days, because they are not easily recognized by their missing homework, black death metal t-shirts, and ever-present fog of cigarette smoke. [Read more…]

You Are The Milk to My Cereal

Pretty much how I feel about my wife. I lucked out big time.

[ You Are The Milk To My Cereal. Acrylic, graphite, and Sharpie on newsprint. 10 x 7 inches. ]

Ode to Magritte

[ Not a Peep. Acrylic on newsprint. 9 x 12 inches. ]

How to Ward Off Your “I Wish I Wouldas”

We in Madison have had a mild winter with roughly half the snow that dumped on us last year. But even though my back appreciates the limited amount of shoveling it had to endure, and even though the sub-zero days were few and far between, I still can’t wait for winter to be OVER. [Read more…]

The Hidden Lesson of Green Eggs and Ham

I’ve never appreciated Dr. Seuss more than since having kids. He made books as enjoyable for adults as they are for children. Hands down, I rather read ANY Dr. Suess book over the Disney Princess Golden Books that have been the focus of Lucy’s recent attention. The former is fun to read, the latter comes off like a lifeless book report of an otherwise entertaining movie. (Just the facts, ma’am.) After reading Cinderella for the seven hundredth time, there are only two possible forms of relief: either a cannonball to the face or a reading of Hop on Pop. [Read more…]

Why Your Whiz-Bang Gadgets Might Be Giving You Adultitis

Sometimes I miss the days when the most advanced technological gadget I owned was an Etch-a-sketch. [Read more…]

14 Super Fun (and Thrifty) Ways to Say I Love You


Valentine’s Day is the holiday of love. Well, at least according to Hallmark. The stores are saturated in pink and red, the calendar has that pesky little fine print next to the fourteenth day of February, and the pressure is huge to commemorate the big day with your sweetheart. That often means roses, chocolate, a dinner out…zzzzzz…oh, sorry, I drifted off there for a second. Valentine’s Day may be one of those obligatory holidays, but it’s never a bad thing to show someone how much you care, and it needn’t be boring. Your honey deserves more than ho-hum! And the fun ideas that follow won’t break the bank, either. [Read more…]

A Simple and “Delicious” Way to Ambush Adultitis

“I enjoy sleep like a good steak.”

Bill Cosby said this, and I couldn’t agree more. [Read more…]

What I Learned From One Family’s Battle with Leukemia

I met Kevin and his family when I was in college. They were very involved in the church I attended. Such cool people; kind, warm and welcoming. The parents modeled a marriage worth emulating. Kevin reminded me of me when I was his age: brown curly hair, smart and thoughtful, a little bit shy.

I’d lost touch, but was recently saddened to hear that Kevin, just twenty-three years old, was battling leukemia. He had been in Texas getting treatment and fighting hard, but with the cancer on the verge of winning the war, he returned this past September to spend his final months at home. Kevin’s favorite holiday is Christmas, but it wasn’t assured that he’d live to see the next one. So his family did a cool thing. [Read more…]

Best Friends Forever (Art Made On My iPad)

Over my holiday break / paternity leave / month of sleeplessness, I watched a video by illustrator Will Terry in which he demonstrated his technique for creating art on his iPad. I’d played around with doing art on my iPad but was never able to get comfortable with it (or at least the feeling of being an untalented hack with two left hands). But something amazing went off in my brain while watching Will’s video, and I thought, “Hey! I can do that!” So I decided to give it another try.

The S’Mores image was my first official work done entirely on the iPad. I had so much fun with it that I kept making more. Two more food-related ones are below. More to come!

When Christmas Trees Get Jealous

When you shine brightly and share joy with the world, not everyone will be appreciative.

These Adultitis-ridden doo-doo heads will laugh at you, mock you, and try to run you down. Mostly they are just threatened by your example and attack you in order to feel better about their own cowardice or laziness.

Shine on anyway.

[ Watercolor on paper, 9 x 12 inches. ]

How Many Kids Can You Really Have Before Adultitis Takes Over?

Does having more kids increase your chances of Adultitis?

If so, how many kids can you have before it takes over your life completely? [Read more…]

The Cardboard Chameleon

It’s the thing that gets played with the most on Christmas morning.

It’s been inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame.

It’s the blank canvas that can, with the cleverness of a child’s imagination, swiftly transform from a a getaway car to a medieval castle to a time machine at a moment’s notice.

It is proof, as Thomas Edison proclaimed, that the greatest invention in the world is the mind of a child.

[ Acrylic on watercolor paper, 10 x 14 inches. ]

Middle-Aged Werewolf

Eventually, Teen Wolf grows up and gets a job in middle management.

[ Watercolor and colored pencil on acid-free paper, 9 x 12 inches. ]

Where Memories Are Made

You don’t make great memories doing the same thing you’ve always done. And they usually aren’t made amidst the whirling dervish of your day-to-day. [Read more…]


But the broom gets better gas mileage.

[ Watercolor on acid-free paper, 9 x 12 inches. ]

Why Mummies Don’t Play Flag Football

It’s all fun and games until…

[ Acrylic on watercolor paper, 9 x 12 inches. ]

Die Empty

We are all born with great potential. It’s a shame if you still have too much of it at the end.

The great challenge of life: getting to the end having shared all your gum balls with the world.

[ Acrylic on watercolor paper, 10 x 14 inches. The original painting is available for sale. ]

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