Meet the Indefatigable Cindy Dyer!
What does it take to be a U.S.P.S. stamp artist plus award-winning graphic designer, photographer, writer, blogger, gardener and magazine co-founder, poet, self-proclaimed biblioholic, traveler, jewelry-maker, hat crocheter, artist, crafter, theme-party thrower, gadget girl, Mac addict and animal lover?
Just ask the indefatigable Cindy Dyer, president of Dyer Design!
Her answer: “No sleep."
After years of paying her graphic design and photography dues, Dyer is hitting the big time. Five images of different fern species are making their way onto envelopes and packages worldwide. But it was a long and dedicated road to fern stamp fame.
Two years ago, things began to snowball for Dyer when a friend persuaded her to have her own exhibit at Greenspring Gardens in Alexandria, Virginia. Dyer has spent many hours there photographing its beauty. Before the two month show, she smeared airwaves, print and digital media with press releases. On artist reception day she sold framed and matted photos, note cards, hand-made jewelry and posters. Everything was decorated and her friend catered the grand event. Then Mrs. Jordan, wife of Phil Jordan of the U.S.P.S., wandered by, admired Dyer’s work then spoke to Phil whose task it was to locate images of ferns, orchids and palms. The rest, as they say...
“Things are happening since putting the stuff out there (at the show). I’ve always accumulated photos not knowing what I would do with them. People enjoy looking at them. I’ve always had photography make a little bit of money but I’ve been making more ever since doing the show.”
Dyer’s been photographing flowers ever since she started gardening in 1999 at her new home. The backyard had a sandbox and patio so she planted tomatoes first then created a garden right outside her studio door with easy access for shooting that growing beauty. “It was a natural extension to my photography. I love gardening.”
Then she thought “Why am I neglecting the front yard where people could see? I got rid of all the grass. Every square inch is filled and pots are scattered around. I started planting things I like to photograph – lilies, a concord grape vine, a lot of perennials. I chose plants specifically because they are hardy and I knew they would come back and make less work.” She added gladiolus, globe thistle, sea holly, German and Siberian iris, Shasta daisies and bulbs in big giant packs from Costco and morning glories that sometimes had 400 blooms running up the side of her townhouse. In June people stopped to look. “I do plant from an artist’s view but our cats were a little sad because there was no grass.”
In 2008, Dyer started a blog, her online journal. She put up photos and waited till she got an audience. “Soon they wanted more. Like supply and demand, I put up anything that caught my eye.” In fact, Dyer caught Nikon’s eye and landed an interview about her garden photography on nikonusa.com and now they want to do a profile of the fern stamps!
“It’s such an honor to be part of it just once in your life, but another time would be good!”
Last fall, she co-founded Celebrate Home Magazine, a digital, quarterly life-style magazine, to expand her Dyer Design portfolio and feed her passion for writing as well as learning how to photograph food. “If I were a trust fund baby, I could do it just to have fun.” Instead she teamed up with a client who edited and wrote while she handled graphic design, photography and writing about gardens.
Says this amazing woman: “I started a garden club and had it for six years. I can’t do anything without gusto!”
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published February 09, 2014