The Arc Towards the Sun

10:01 4/21/2021

The occasion calls for more rumination on the idea of setting the bar for ones’ self and what that entails. My immediate impression is that, in engagements, social or otherwise, I tend to set the bar higher than average so that even if I don’t meet my own expectations, I’ll still surpass what others may expect of me. It’s a good way to make sure I can surprise folks from time to time and build a positive reputation. But it’s also probably an unfortunate product of growing up around smart folks and honor rolls and all the rubrics we’ve erected and probably isn’t sustainable.

I suppose the important part of “setting a bar” is what that bar means. By its nature, it’s a contract with yourself. “I, the undersigned, agree to provide (an entertaining evening/an impressive composition/my enthusiastic and considerate support). The important part to me is the rigidity of that goalpost. It is a (relatively) fixed benchmark to meet or exceed. I like to keep my bar set high because, at the very least, it means that even if my output isn’t perfect, it should be more than sufficient. The catch is I can’t lower it. The only way to stave off the entropy of complacency is to set goals high. My fear, I suppose, is that the moment I decide to cut myself some slack once, it might become easier to repeatedly lower aspirations until what was once a regular feat becomes a rarity.

Now this also means I don’t get a ton of satisfaction in the moment. I have to give myself credit in hindsight, when all’s said and done. I’ll process your compliment, thank you’s and kind words tomorrow, because right now I’ve gotta worry. Make sure that everything is always improving. Is everyone having a good time? Am I making entertaining conversation? I should smile more shouldn’t I? This could use more work couldn’t it? Am I working out enough? Maybe when the dust from the anxious whirlwind has settled I’ll stop and think “Yeah, that went well.” Is there a better way to go about this? Probably, but it lies buried under the rubble of years of failing to be a satisfied “B” student. Somewhere beneath these crumbled moments and misshapen bricks there’s probably the blueprint to building a more stable and functional house. But for now, I take consolation that my teetering pile of stuff is probably more interesting to look at.

And there a wreath of trillium and ivy
 Laid upon the body of a boy
 Lazy will the loam come from its hiding
 Return this quiet searcher to the soil

Notches in your Spine

Ambition and goals have become elusive throughout this long stretch of exceptional isolation. I recall a period of time several months back, leading into Fall or so where I was grasped by a strange spirit of productivity or direction. And not necessarily the capitalist “productivity”, but more the personal and intimate fulfillment. Things as simple as cleanliness and organization alongside this ever-present idea of the rest of things falling into place behind that. Check things off of lists and amass collections of personal completions. Small goals. Something to trick that game-brain into building a head of steam and spurring that into something more substantial. Now, I know it’s probably a silly jump to go from reorganizing your t-shirts and completing your reading list to Discovering Ones’ Self™, but for short while, it felt that way.

But of course, writing this is an admission that it didn’t last. Not that I expected to reach a finish line or anything. This is more a meditation on where that spark of self-construction could have evaporated to. As mini-goals fell in place and I started looking inward towards personal desires and goals, I think that’s where this started falling apart. I suppose I expected to find this hatching new inspiration, a new favorite genre, hobby, skill, music, some kind of rabbit hole to fall into, which I could come out the other side of, more enriched and satisfied. Instead I couldn’t really recognize what I was met with, which just invites more answerless questions. And that’s just knocking on Anxiety’s door with special guest Impostor Syndrome.

At least this is something I’ve been working on for two years, looking back at my “Momentum” post, and I’ve definitely developed a bit more self-awareness since then. Though it definitely feels like I’m waiting on something. Something to happen.That I’ll get to be the recipient or receptacle of some karmic intervention. Which is a painfully teenage fantasy. Like waiting on an invite to Wizard School, or some X-gene activation. Fun idle daydreams, sure. But probably symptomatic of the perpetual emotional fatigue that chokes a lot of my time. The hours allocated to work and worry leave me with not a lot else. I’m working on trimming down the worry. Though that brings us to the original concern.

If you weren’t so preoccupied with anxieties and worries, what would you use all that time for?

bend all your notes for me



3-19-2020 10:46pm

Considering the general state of affairs regarding social distancing and most venues for human interaction closed (rightfully so), how we pass the time has become interesting. I got to do a bit of road-running again, and have become aware of just how more engaging it is than treadmill running. It’s a nice anchor to something concrete, even if it hurts a bit more. It helps me be a bit more reflective.

I’ve updated this site. Twenty Twenty has probably impressed me the most with how dynamic the block editor can be without the need for crazy plugin subscriptions. Plus it has the added benefit of not looking like a text editor. Closer to The Construct in The Matrix. A white void in which you can summon whatever it is. you. need.

Creative Design

Pulp Covers

An experiment in reinterpretation. I asked for random prompts and made pulp-style covers for the phrases I was given.



I’m not sure what it says about me, that I pick up a Murakami book (What I Talk About When I Talk About Running) and immediately decide to start writing. I suppose it’s how easily conversational his text reads while just slightly glancing into the influential and profound that gives me the “hey, you can probably do something like this” thought. Not that I fancy myself a writer of any kind at all. I just think there’s value to be had in logging thoughts in a format a bit longer than a mental note, tweet or other kind of social media post.

And that’s part of my problem, I suppose. I wasn’t halfway through the chapter before I stumbled upon a line or paragraph that hit me in a certain way that I was compelled to share it. “This really feels true. Should I put this on my Instagram story? Post a tweet?” And that urge didn’t sit too well with me. It smacked of a hollow vanity. It’s that kind of mental bruise I encounter any time I share something on “social media”.  I’m not knocking people who do that, though. I begrudge it more because I believe it’s led to a shorter self-attention span on my part.

Which brings me to why I started writing this. The word count as of this sentence is…two hundred and thirty two words. Had to do a little sudoku on that bit, where was I? Right, word count.  200+ words is far longer than the average Facebook post or any tweet (although still a few shy for Instagram considering the exchange rate on words-to-pictures). This is honestly the longest continuous bit of personal writing I’ve done in years.  I guess I’m trying to be more meditative without the quiet stillness (though I’m typing on the loudest keyboard I’ve ever owned so that might dampen my zen). I’m hoping to exercise my concentration and get more of my self clarified. Like a consommé. I’m not expecting some kind of ultimate wisdom or self-help nuggets to come out of this. But maybe just getting started with three hundred and sixty three words might be just what I needed.

Design Professional

Alementary – Bottles and Cans

I’ve been fortunate enough to have a brewery open so close to my living residence. It was only a matter time before I found a way to work for them.

As I’ve work for several years, I’ve been blessed to work on and develop an eclectic style of labels for canned and bottle product.

Playing around in the label space has been an education in layout, file organization, and communicating with vendors. In the hustle and bustle of brewing, timelines can drag and accelerate all the time, and it’s given me experience honing my workable templates so that I can get to thumbnailing ideas quicker and worry less about spacing and placement of recurring elements.


About Me


My name is Matthew Faustini, as you might’ve surmised from the whole “” thing. I’m a graphic designer, vector illustrator, occasional writer, editor, social media manager and star of stage and screen*.

I’m an East-Coaster, born and raised in my ancestral homeland, New Jersey. I went to high school at Don Bosco Prep, a school more notorious for sports or academics where I decided to focus on the arts, primarily chorus and musical theater. Go figure.  I went to college at Marist, a college on the banks of the Hudson River up in Poughkeepsie, NY. I continued with chorus, musical theater and delved further into digital art and design.

I created, a site where I get to work with every part of a project. From writing, shooting, editing, to managing the tweets and Facebook page, I’m involved in one way or another.

From layout work with Marvel comics, quick and fun caricatures for charity, to building a new site, I’m always striving to make new things and embellish my creative output.



As fundraiser for the charity 826 NYC, I did miniature avatar caricatures for nominal donations.  It was a ton of fun and I’m glad I got to support an excellent cause.

Design Professional

Credits and Recap Pages

During my time with Marvel, much of my time was dedicated to processing newer acquisitions. Primarily when Disney acquired the rights to Star Wars, we had to make sure thousands of books were up-to-snuff for release on our digital platform, Marvel Unlimited.



Design Professional

Building a Cover

One of the benefits of working with comics is making the covers.  In this case, I got to build around our existing English covers for translated editions.