From Roadside Motels to Deep Dish Chicago-style Pizza

In just one week after leaving Arts Letters and Numbers, Ray and I have experienced the gamut. And we have discovered how bumpy riding in a Jeep Wrangler is over 1,500 miles. We wondered, “will adding the teardrop help or jumble us more?” I guess we will find out.

Niagara Falls was the best first touristy stop we could have made. We took it in at night and the next morning. I had witnessed it’s grandeur before. This was Ray’s first time and he was in awe. Honestly though, standing next to all that rushing water while impressive, just makes me want to pee.


Traveling on the cheap during our pre-Flo era means a lot couch surfing and staying at roadside motels. The hotel in Niagara Falls included a police visit to the hotel and a hooker (separate instances). That was something not everyone gets to see everyday. But what’s better is when someone who knows you are traveling says, “come visit me…” Those types understand what we are doing, the way of the wanderer, and want to share in the adventure.

We had the pleasure of staying with Diane Bleck, scribe tribe colleague, and her family on their farm. It is a gorgeous tree-filled farm with chickens and wildlife. Diane was incredibly generous in sharing her techniques with me and her children are a delight with their voracious curiosity and kindness.

A warm welcome from the Bleck family and our behind-the-scenes setup from our 1.5-hour dual broadcast on lettering: Periscope and Facebook live.

Knowing that I would spend next month focusing on lettering, teaching workshops, and creating more exemplars for students, my visit with Diane was a timely springboard for this effort. I was blown away at how she has built a following at, the quality of her materials, and humbled by how she contributed to building up the industry we share. She is incredibly generous in her offerings to the community. While I had been thinking about packaging my skills into online courses, etc. she has taught me a lot about what to expect when putting myself out there to the public and balancing that with a happy life. Together we offered a 1.5 hour live, double broadcast (Periscope and Facebook Live) on, “4 Techniques to Massively Improve your Hand Lettering.” The viewing audience grew to 299 people and continued to grow even a day later.

I have a lot to digest and so many ideas to share with my new lettering friends. I’ll save it for the next art residency and focus on getting back on the road.

Visiting with friends and family has really been the highlight so far. By doing so, we have been able to share in the rituals we set at Arts Letters and Numbers: baking bread and pizza night.

Many hands make for light work. The kids helped with bread and topped their own pizzas including this creative dessert pizza: maple cream from our travels to the maple festival, Lucky Charms (what else?), and strawberries. Photographed before the whipped cream.

Whether it’s having lunch with Brandy Agerbeck over deep dish Chicago-style pizza or meeting new friends like Renee Adriani to talk shop, it’s the connections we make along the way that string together an exciting adventure. As we head West, we look forward to more.

Whether you are an educator, facilitator or visual practitioner near the Kansas City area, Renee Andriani and I would love to geek out on visuals with you!

For those of you in the KC area, please come join us at a free gathering about how to leverage the power of visuals. I would love to share my creative passion with you and help you discover yours!

Next up: more roadside motels, meeting Flo, sign painting and spending time with family.

Thanks for following our journey!


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