When I first pondered the graphic design for the first-ever Jeremy Dion t-shirts, I envisioned a black and white version of my JD guitar logo and my name. That’s all. Plan and simple, straightforward advertising. Then I quickly deemed that idea both narcissistic and boring.
Enter graphic artist Tanner Barkin with Alkaline Clothing. We’ve been working together for the past several months as he has helped design my logo, posters, business cards, and now t-shirts.
In my discussions with Tanner, we came at the t-shirt design from a very different angle. Rather than focusing on my logo, we began to weave together an array of artistic elements to represent the music itself, our Boulder mountains, and the open-hearted listeners who resonate with my songs.
For the past ten years I have been juggling two careers – one as a psychotherapist, and the other as a singer songwriter. In both endeavors, I value the type of authentic presence that encourages honesty, integrity, transparency and vulnerability. These are the very same elements that I strive to embed into my songs, embody in my performances, and model for my therapy clients. These traits are also the underpinnings of my close relationships. And that’s the funny thing about vulnerability: It’s the first thing I look for in you, and often the last thing I want you to see in me. But over time, I have learned that true strength grows out of a willingness to be vulnerable.
The bear. In the animal kingdom, the bear is emblematic of strength, courage, and confidence. Bears also represent being in sync with the cycles of nature and the importance of solitude and rest in promoting health and rejuvenation.
The umbrella. In addition to being aesthetically pleasing (and somehow romantic, if you ask me) an umbrella provides shelter and protection from the elements. Carrying an umbrella means your prepared, ready for whatever might come your way. And in the interpretation of dreams, rain is often viewed as an emotional release. People (and bears) who are ready for the rain are living whole-hearted lives, ready and willing to feel it all.
Lastly, this image also slyly ties together the three places I’ve spent the majority of my life: Boulder, Berkeley, and the Pacific Northwest.
With any luck, having this deeper understanding of the image has enticed you to buy a t-shirt or poster. But at the very least, you now have a more detailed explanation of what I value and why I’m always on the lookout for people who are ready for the rain.
Americana singer songwriter Jeremy Dion puts as much energy into his guitar playing as he does his songwriting.
For more information about Jeremy Dion, his music, shows, merchandise and updates, please visit his website at:
http://jeremydionmusic.com/ or find Jeremy Dion on his social networking sites at: