Ward Nicholson

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About Ward

Work and career

The conventional blurb about my career — to begin with that — would be that I’m a lover of the printed word who makes a living doing a few different things related to typography and graphic design. These include, currently:

  • Custom license plates. Since 2003 I have run an online business, Leeward Productions, designing and selling promotional front license plates in states that mandate only a single official plate for the rear of vehicles. The primary customers are businesses, churches, school sports teams, fire and EMS departments, auto dealerships, and nonprofit organizations and clubs. (Volume sales only — single plates/pairs not sold.)
  • Proofreading. In addition, I’m a traditionally trained typographer who developed a reputation for highly accurate typesetting during the years I served advertising agencies before the advent of desktop publishing technology. Since that time, starting in the late 1990s, I have done freelance proofreading for a few ad agencies who have sought me out specifically for that skill.
  • The Picture-Hanger Guy. More recently I have been learning the picture-hanging trade — or perhaps more accurately, how to hang anything on a wall — from an old friend and old hand at it, which I do half-days. I have found that too much time behind the computer takes its toll health-wise (despite a regular exercise program), particularly as one ages. This new venture is turning out to be a great way to engage my visual design sense while keeping active during the workday.

That’s the career side of things. What I’m into the rest of my time:

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  • Health, fitness, distance running, bodyweight training. Aside from making a living, I’m a health and fitness enthusiast and have been a distance runner most of my life since I was a teenager. In recent years I have also gotten into what’s called bodyweight training: basically strength training using one’s own body weight for resistance rather than conventional weights, which I like because of the athleticism, coordination, and balance required. However, I also round that out with a bit of weight training too.
  • Exploring ideas, reading, writing. When I’m not working or working out, I love to read, think, explore ideas, and sometimes meditate. I get bored and itchy if I’m not on the trail of some new idea to expand my horizons and go beyond the conventional wisdom, whatever that may be when it comes to just about anything. I’ve always been science-oriented, but that’s only one facet of it. I’m just as much into the psychological, consciousness-oriented, contemplative side of life. Anything to take the blinders off and see things in a new or more expanded way.
  • Evolving interests: The sorts of issues, topics, and concerns I’m interested in have varied and evolved significantly over time. So much so, that I find it impossible to attempt to summarize them, other than to say I’m most fascinated with things that turn out to be much different underneath than they appear on the surface. Either that, or they’re topics that for some reason few others seem to be interested in, or that seem mired in tired conventional wisdom, so that I’ve had to come up with answers for myself. Often these are enough at variance with what else is out there that I find myself asking, “Why hasn’t anybody else pointed out X or Y about this, or thought to try Z, for Pete’s sake?” At any rate, over time this range of interests should be reflected in the scope of blog posts you’ll find here.
  • Embracing uncertainty: I like feeling the ground shift underneath my feet exploring a new paradigm or way of looking at things, and don’t mind finding out my previous views may have been limited, in need of a rethink, or that I was off the mark or perhaps just wrong about something… as long as it all leads to something that makes more sense of things that didn’t previously “fit.” In fact, this sort of doubt and unpredictability comes with the territory. Living with uncertainty or tentativeness about what you do and don’t know, as well as a degree of cognitive dissonance when such subterranean shifts are underway but incomplete is often unsettling. But it’s part of the price when attempting to “think outside the box,” and something you learn to embrace.
  • No going back: After adapting to living with these “companions” in life and how much they free you up, who would want to go back to the stifling certainties that squelch inquiry and imprison one’s spirit?

More…

The above is the short version. For a more in-depth story of where I’ve been, where I’m going, and why, see my multi-part bio elsewhere on the site. (Not yet available.)

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