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Art Makes Radio Waves: If Yer Gonna Banter, You Need A Banner

June 10, 2014

If you go to the website of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Spokane, you’ll see a number of little banners scrolling across the top of the screen. One of them looks like this:

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Banner for Joyful Catholic radio program, Roman Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington, caricature of host Eric Meisfjord sitting at microphone with cup of coffee

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Who’s the joyful radio host? That’s Eric Meisfjord, the communications director for the diocese, and one of my favorite clients. Eric has asked me to do Christmas covers for the diocesan news magazine for many years now, and I was delighted when he recently requested a web banner for a new diocesan radio program called The Joyful Catholic.

It’s a toss-up, really, as to who’s got the zanier sense of humor: Eric or myself. Which means a lot of crazy ideas get tossed around, and there are always some interesting “alternate takes.” This one, for example, which had Eric sporting a Pope Francis tie.

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Banner for Joyful Catholic radio program, Roman Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington, caricature of host Eric Meisfjord wearing a Pope Francis necktie

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The new program debuted last October. Talk format, each segment 30 minutes long. Eric’s the host, talking to a single guest– a Catholic– about how their faith informs their daily life– sometimes in unexpected and funny ways.

Eric put it this way in a press release prior to the first show:

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“There’s a perception out there, perhaps, that people who live their faith are, frankly, glum. And that is never my experience. I want to tell some of those stories, let these people share their sense of hope, of joy, that their faith gives them, wherever they go, whatever they do.”

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This next design had Eric using his microphone as a bubble wand. I was trying to convey the fact that the good-humored guests are a mix, and include laity, clergy, and Religious.

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Banner for Joyful Catholic radio program, Roman Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington, caricature of host Eric Meisfjord using microphone as bubble wand to blow little people bubbles representing his guests on the radio program

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When I send Eric rough sketches of my ideas, I always try to include one just to make
him laugh– one that’s a little too far-out for him to actually use. In this case, I had Pope Francis listening to the show on an iPod with earbuds, and giving a thumbs-up. I was so amused by the idea, I wound up doing a final.

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Banner for Joyful Catholic radio program, Roman Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington, caricature of Pope Francis who is listening to radio program on iPod with earbuds and giving thumbs-up sign

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I assumed my radio career was over, but no: a few weeks ago I got a shock: Eric asked me to be a guest on the show.

How does a New Hampshire guy guest on a radio program in Washington State? As it turns out: easily. It’s all done via phone, and recorded for later broadcast. The shows are posted on the website, and you can listen to them anytime– no special equipment needed.

Can I recommend the shows featuring yours truly? Well, yes– if you’re a masochist or an insomniac… : )

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Here are larger versions of all the banner art:

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Promotional art for Joyful Catholic radio program, Roman Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington, caricature of host Eric Meisfjord sitting at microphone with cup of coffee

 

Promotional art for Joyful Catholic radio program, Roman Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington, caricature of host Eric Meisfjord wearing Pope Francis tie

 

Promotional art for Joyful Catholic radio program, Roman Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington, caricature of host Eric Meisfjord using microphone as bubble wand to blow little people bubbles representing the guests on his radio program

 

Promotional art for Joyful Catholic radio program, Roman Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington, caricature of Pope Francis who is listening to radio program on iPod using earbuds and giving thumbs-up sign

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I’m convinced faith and humor are natural allies– any thoughts on that?

Are you a radio person? Do you have a favorite show you listen to?

Are you one of those geniuses who built a crystal radio when you were a kid??

Hope you’ll leave a comment.

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Other Posts You Might Enjoy:

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Merry Christmas From Spokane!

Ring Around The Rosary, We All Stand Together

Bible Scholars Stunned: Forbidden Fruit May Have Been… A Shoe!

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footer for all future blog posts showing picture of blog author Mark Armstrong, along with short bio and contact information

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27 Comments leave one →
  1. June 10, 2014 6:05 PM

    I have not done a post of my own in a ridiculously long time but I can always count on yours to brighten my day. Thank you.

    Like

    • June 26, 2014 12:46 PM

      Ah, Beatrix, your kind comment gladdened my heart– thank you. Do forgive this very late reply. I fear I’ve fallen behind in responding to loyal followers like yourself. Blush, blush– my face is red, and deservedly so! : (

      Your words and support both mean a lot– thank you! : )

      Like

  2. June 10, 2014 6:24 PM

    Bless you, my child!!! Err… got my roles mixed up!
    Another masterful work by the grand master himself! [I keep repeating my self but I always were a minimalist and you don’t seem to help me break the habit!]
    I totally agree about faith and humor being natural allies!
    Unfortunately we do not have radios …up there, so not a radio person.
    As for building my own radio, not exactly, but I did manage to put every piece back in place after utterly tearing it to pieces. [clever dad knew what he was doing when he said “I don’t mind you destroying things …as long as you can put them back together AND working!”].
    You realize of course what my antenna caught after that, don’t you? 😉

    Like

    • June 26, 2014 12:56 PM

      I stand at the foot of Mt. Olympus and blush– sorry to be so late with this woeful reply!! : (

      Thank you, dear Marina, goddess of Mirth and Minimalism!! You disassembled your dad’s radio?? And got it back together?? (We’ll skip the part about whether it still worked or not. There is a time to be discreet.) Your dad was a wise man: he saw you had a curious mind, and… he encouraged it. Yup, he knew what he was doing… : )

      And now I must go root for Greece in the World Cup & Saucer– thank you for your lovely comment!! : )

      Like

  3. June 10, 2014 7:54 PM

    Faith and humor must be intertwined. Without either, life would be pretty glum. I love your radio banners – especially the one of Pope Francis. I’m sure he would approve of the radio show, including the one you were interviewed on. 😉

    Like

    • June 26, 2014 2:57 PM

      Thanks so much, my dear Judy, and please excuse this very late reply. Yeah, faith without humor seems a flat-out contradiction, doesn’t it? God must have a sense of humor– why else would He have created illustrators and newspaper reporters?? : )

      Many thanks for your kind words. I’m sure Pope Francis would agree with me when I say: you’re a blessing!! : )

      Like

  4. June 11, 2014 9:18 AM

    The banner with the Pope and his iPod is hilarious! That’s very cool!
    Now I need to check the website and listen to your voice. 😉

    Like

    • June 26, 2014 3:04 PM

      Thank you, dear Inge! Pope Francis blesses you, and so do I!! : )

      It’s strange: I listened to myself on that audio file, and it doesn’t sound like me at all! I found myself wondering: Is that what I sound like to other people?? Oh, well– maybe I can get a second job: Teaching people how to give rambling answers, go off on tangents, and sound boring!! : (

      As always, many thanks for your good-humored support! : )

      Like

  5. June 11, 2014 11:01 AM

    HA HA HA – the pope is my favorite. I’ll warmly recommand this radio to my clients. Some of them are afflicted of insomnia and masochism. As well I’ll advise your blog against depressions. 😉
    I love your tie! I think I’ll draw me one, too!

    Like

    • June 26, 2014 3:18 PM

      My dear wisenheimer Tutti!! As usual, your witty comments had me roaring with laughter!! So you’d recommend my radio interview to insomniacs and masochists, eh?? Ouch! You wound me, Tutti! Still, it makes sense– I could help those people!! : P

      I just heard that Germany beat the USA in the World Cup. I’ll bet the German players were all wearing Pope Francis ties, made by Tutti– what a sneaky way to get divine help!! I’m smiling– a visit from Tutti is always a delight… : )

      Like

      • June 28, 2014 10:48 AM

        I looks like we had watching together soccer!
        Here in the german medias was a heated up debate, almost an agitation, against Klinsmann.
        For example, I heared an interview with him in english and the german translation on TV was extremely aggressiv! They translated things he never said…

        Least I forget – I’m NOT wisenheimer! I’m simply clever and know everything (better) :-p

        Like

        • July 17, 2014 8:47 PM

          Hurray! Germany wins the World Cup, thanks to a great stomach set-up shot!! Eating sauerkraut really paid off– it helped cushion the ball just right for the kick!

          Klinsmann… I only just discovered he used to be the German coach. Now he’s coaching the Americans?? I guess he likes a challenge… : )

          Thank you for explaining why you’re not a wisenheimer. However, your explanation confirmed you are a wisenheimer– one of the most incorrigible, my dear Tutti!! : )

          Like

  6. June 11, 2014 1:55 PM

    Another connection to Spokane? Cheers, Mark!

    Like

    • June 26, 2014 5:49 PM

      They just keep comin’, Jak– must be your good influence… : )

      Always good to see you, please excuse this very tardy reply. Hope things are well with you, my friend! : )

      Like

      • June 26, 2014 6:56 PM

        Tardy, but I’m glad that you replied. I’m always glad.

        I listened to a bit of the podcast.

        Like

        • June 27, 2014 3:25 PM

          You actually listened to a part of it?? You’re a brave lad, and no mistake! : )

          Thanks, Jak!

          Like

        • June 27, 2014 3:27 PM

          You’re welcome! A voice tells so much about a person.

          Like

        • July 17, 2014 8:26 PM

          Blog commenters also have what I consider a “voice.” And I like yours, sir– thanks, Jak! : )

          Like

        • July 18, 2014 12:57 AM

          You are always welcome– when I’m feeling a bit better, Mark, I’ll have some podcasts of my own to share, again. (Again? Yep, dabbled a bit with it in the past, mostly at the old VOX platform.)

          Like

  7. soul . to . earth permalink
    June 13, 2014 8:39 AM

    Lending my earbuds finally put a voice to your face. Usually it’s the other way around. The idea of “Joyful Catholic” is refreshing. Note to self:
    As a joyful human, thou can taketh root.
    Be not in the basket; the rotten or sour fruit.

    ~ soul . to . earth

    You make a good Elder, Mark….funny, wise, kind, talented, honest and able to hold conversation instead of just filling silence with words (CNN, anyone? Zzzzzz….!). The host, Eric, was also skilled in his art, he ‘tied’ it up well. Ah! Radio….I miss being ga-ga over it.

    Brilliant sketches! God must have spent a little more time on you (cheesy line from a boy band song) 😀

    Like

    • June 27, 2014 4:05 PM

      My dear, dear Radhika, most soulful and vivacious Lady Quipster–! I have just read your wonderful comment over about 100 times, but I had to stop: my face hurt from smiling, and the screen began to blur from my happy tears.. : )

      Then I cloned myself, so I could kick myself around the block a few times for being so late in responding. Ouch! I certainly deserved it… : (

      I’ve been away for a couple of weeks on a family matter. I do apologize for my tardiness here. Coming back to a comment like yours is one heckuva reviver– many, many thanks!!

      Well, I hope my voice wasn’t too disappointing. I listened to the first segment, and heaved many a sigh. I thought I sounded flat and unconvincing, while rambling all over the place. I hear my own voice much differently. Some kinda sonic self-delusion, I guess. Ah, well…

      Your wonderful couplet radiates true wisdom– I love it! I won’t soon forget your image of hidebound fruit mouldering away in a basket. Too many of us elect to do just that. Are you writing much these days? I hope so. Your wit and keen powers of observation make you a natural writer. Illustrator to Soul: you have a gift. : )

      Thanks for your beautiful and kind words, your merry wit, and your uniquely phrased encouragement. I shall be walking on air for a week. I may even go barefoot– good time to air the ol’ dogs out… : )

      And next time I speak to God, I’ll say: “You worked overtime on Radhika, but You won’t hear any complaints from me. Yuh done good– and that’s no cheese!!” : )

      Like

      • soul . to . earth permalink
        July 5, 2014 4:55 PM

        Awww, thanks!!! 😀

        Your replies to all comments are such a treat! Since you’ve cloned yourself, do send over one of you. Gosh, what a mark you’d make!! 😉

        Me thinks the voice thing isn’t just you. I feel:The sound of my voice maketh not a good noise.

        Like

        • July 11, 2014 10:02 PM

          An excellent idea, my dear Radhika! Instead of sending a clone, I may come myself. There’s something about my clones I don’t like– they all look shifty, rumpled, and slightly disreputable. Of course, they say the same thing about me… : (

          Hmm. I imagine your voice sounding like the husky-voiced Na-Na Bird singing in a peppermint tree, or a clear sparkling stream running o’er pearls, rubies, cockleshells, and a golden harmonica once owned by Bilbo Baggins that he lost on his way to Starbucks. Yes… I’ll bet your voice makes a very good noise… : )

          Like

  8. June 26, 2014 4:07 AM

    Fantastic illustrations!! My personal favourite is definitely the Pope Francis pic. 😀

    I’m not a radio person myself but I did really enjoy the Ricky Gervais podcasts – Karl Pilkington always gets me laughing out loud. 🙂

    Like

    • June 26, 2014 6:00 PM

      Many thanks for that kind and enthused comment– much appreciated! Yes, everyone loves Pope Francis. I hadn’t really thought thru the concept of a Pope Francis tie. Now I have a vision of all these guys wearing one in church. Who knows? Francis may wind up raising the bar for men’s fashions at Sunday mass! : )

      Must admit, I’m not much of a radio person either, tho I do enjoy listening to Pandora Radio while I’m working on my computer. I’m too cheap to buy a premium membership, however, so I have to grind my teeth and listen to the occasional ad… : )

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

      Like

  9. July 1, 2014 9:11 PM

    I had a great friend as a teen –she eventually twinned humour as…an amateur cartoonist (like yourself) and her faith.

    Yes, life is full of coincidences.

    Like

    • July 14, 2014 8:19 AM

      Hi, Jean! That is a funny coincidence. Hard for me to imagine a faith life without humor. I’m currently reading a (non-religious) book that says we have to stop taking ourselves so seriously if we wish to access “possibility.” An interesting way of saying we can’t discover new avenues unless we relax and stay loose. Makes a great deal of intuitive sense, I think.

      I know cyclists have to have a sense of humor– especially when their wheel gets stuck in a cattle grate!! : )

      Like

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