The Mighty Sparrow is the nom-de-plume of me, Shannon Pawliw, a designer who specializes in web, graphic and illustrative design. You may also know me by my other nickname, 'pokedyoureyeout'.
Well, actually, that's a good question. The most commonly accepted answer is "PAW-LOO". I think that it may be a fairly North American-ized pronunciation though.
In the Ukraine I think it's more like "PAW-LIV" with a fairly soft, Ukrainian sounding 'V'. I think.
If you're Ukrainian and you know more than I do about it, I'd love to hear what you have to say. Contact me!
My grandmother's maiden name was Sparrow, plus I think Sparrows are cute.
A very interesting side note about sparrows: In China in 1958 Mao Zedong launched a campaign against what he perceived to be the four great pests. Rats, flies, mosquitoes and sparrows. Sparrows were seen as pests because they destroyed crops. People were encouraged to run around banging pots and pans to frighten them away. They were also told to destroy sparrow nests and hatchlings. Unfortunately, this had quite the opposite effect than the one Mao intended. As it happens, he was woefully mis-informed as to the sparrow's main diet. Sparrows do not eat seeds, or at least not as the main part of their diet. They mainly eat the insects who eat the seeds.
Most unfortunate for the Chinese people, as with no sparrows to eat them, the locust population soon grew out of control. This plague of locusts, plus a streak of inclement weather culminated in the Great Chinese Famine during which 30 million people died of starvation.
Bottom line: every creature, no matter how small, has it's place. Every creature is 'mighty' in it's own small way.
I come from an art background and have been making art in one way or another since I can remember. This translates to a very strong love of illustration and illustrative works of many, many kinds.
My first priority is to get a clear picture of what the client wants. I want to be sure that we are on the same page so that there are as few revisions as possible. For branding projects in particular, this often takes the form of a 'design brief', which is essentially an in-depth questionnaire I give to my clients about various things.
I want my clients to describe their brand in their own words. I want their mission statement as well as a list of 'brand attributes'. Brand attributes are basically adjectives that describe their business' core values and what they want their 'image' to be. For example, one business may describe itself as 'edgy' and 'street smart' while another may use words like 'clean' and 'efficient'. Two very different business profiles.
NOTE: When I use the word "brand" I am referring to the client's total brand package. Sometimes this starts with a logo, sometimes not. A logo is definitely a key piece of a business's brand strategy, but it's not everything. I like to develop a complete style guide so that the client knows what typeface to use, what their brand colour scheme is and what the standards are for any accompanying illustrative elements.
I spend time with my family. I walk around the city with my headphones on, observing. I read a lot and listen to music. I keep a design journal where I collect ideas. It's just a small notebook and it's always with me. I find it very useful when I need to gather my thoughts and ideas. It also ends up being a resource for me when I am looking for inspiration. Something I saw in a magazine or a restaurant could spark an idea for an illustration or even a clever marketing solution for a client.
So, I guess you could say, I'm always working.
"As the graphic designer for ActiveState, Shannon was instrumental in the launch of our new website and brand. As a team, we collaborated on the new enterprise-focused message for the company and Shannon created all the visuals for it. It was a drastic change from the previous visual brand, and Shannon did a great job in capturing the new position into a matching visual brand. She then applied it to the whole website, new product logos/icons, print materials, banner advertisements, and more. Everyone loves the new brand and Shannon did a great job! Shannon is a senior creative designer full of ideas. She is passionate about what she does, and brings that energy to her work."
"Shannon combines design aesthetic, technical expertise and great listening skills in that creative brain of hers. She ran with our ideas, came up with several great proposals, was open to feedback and asked great questions. We LOVE the logo she designed for us. Our clients – existing and new – continue to express how much they like the logo and “spotting us” when they least expect it. Working with her was a great experience and we highly recommend you let her poke your eye out.