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Sabbaticals and Professional Development aren't just for the elite or educators in the field


Hone your craft and reignite your creative passion in 1, 2, or 3 week intensives, aka sabbaticals

- forget about the high cost and time commitment of grad school

- forego the challenges that come with DIY late night tutorials

- forge a new lane on an unpaved path


Scientific reasons support the philosophy and methodology of the Sarasvati Creative Space at Camp Wonder Wander. Learn more: NPR's On Point with Tom Ashcroft original airing July 24, 2015.

Tips for an aging brain include Be Social!, Engage in New Experiences that challenge your way of thinking and allow for sense of Wonder, Don't Multitask - put the phones away, Eat Healthy Real Food.... and more in a delightful conversation.


"Take two hours of pine forest and call me in the morning" also discusses the need to put away phones and get into nature to lower blood pressure, reduce stress and more.

"Expect three main benefits from nature: restoration, contemplation and inspiration. All of them are crucial for creative leaders. Nature restores us. It gives us physical and emotional health—when it comes to stress relief, breathing fresh air is as close to medicine as you can get. Being in the mountains or near the ocean directly affects our health in a good way. After just 20 minutes in a natural setting, our levels of cortisol, which is a stress indicator, decrease significantly." for the full article click here to read "The outdoors prescription: how nature ignites creativity" by Kate Inglis

What is Forest Bathing?


Channel the design lineage of our industry discipline forefathers including William Morris of the Arts and Crafts, the anti-academic avant-garde of the Bauhaus school, and even the connection to nature embraced and explored in a prolific career of Frank Lloyd Wright.

What would you do surrounded by nature and animals where you can see the stars on a clear moonless night and the fireflies in the heat of the summer, or hear the flocks of birds in the spring and watch the slow budding process of the trees emerging from winter hibernation?



Library of materials
*a home away from home office*
approximately half of the collection in these photos

After more than 20 years as a design educator, Val is now forging a path on the unpaved road. If you are looking for a sounding board or more formal interaction including customized coursework, let's work together.

Here's a look at some of the courses that you can join in or customize for your own intensive study. For more information about possible coursework, visit me at


All things Food: from design branding to handcraft

Time Traveler

The love of Books and the History of Graphic Design

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Coach Val


I have been working with individuals in a coaching methodology for as long as I can remember from being a girl scout leader to the president of 3 AIGA chapters (charter president of 2). My academic career spanned more than 20 years and 3 states, while I constantly encouraged students to get lost as a creative philosophy. We traveled to numerous conferences and cities for studio visits.

I'm inspired by the likes of Andy Goldsworthy and Marian Bantjes story of leaving her job to immerse in a quiet location near Vancouver Island to hone her craft. Her story of that focus time is inspiring as one can see her move along an unpaved path developing her creative voice on her way to becoming a prolific designer today.

I'm sometimes an INTJ and sometimes an ENFP. As a visionary, I'm adept at asking questions, listening, and aiding you in your own path not forcing a style or method onto your work. I enjoy the critique and other aspects of the design process where things can get dirty and the brain can go in all directions. I believe in wonder wandering and can be your coach in your. quest.