This building in downtown Chicago is where I started my company
26 yrs. ago, this month.
happy birthday wfdesign.com !
In the 26 years we've been in business, we were incorporated, we had teams, we worked for individuals and for large organizations and even global causes. Here I will introduce just a few of our people. It's weird, to mention people, I'm not sure why, it seems so personal. But how can one tell the story of design for people, without talking about even just a few of the people that made us up. Like a bed in the morning. or something. oy vey. if only. Sorry, tired. gotta turn in now. My dad Rick McCabe, my mentor, for I'm guessing just about all of my life, but especially for the years of this business, said recently, "There are no great writers. Only great editors." and so, I will try, to keep whittling this down, to make it more, concise, manageable, and well, appropriate. Oh, sounds like I'm making a whistle! whittling it down. yeah, that's shweet. So then, let me talk about my dear friend The Bird, here first:
With Robin King, we hammered out proposals over Chinese Food: for US Cellular, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Abbot Labs, and more, which earned a meeting, a second place, and occassionally-- won the business. We started the Webbed Feet Design Research Department, and Mr. King went to Manawa to head his own consultanty, the Brain Train, which I designed these cards for. He passed away two months ago.
John W. Peters was our company Intern for a few years, primaily doing photography for us. He also was bass player at our Tai Chi event and composed music - a theme song for our company, button noises for our buttons, and demo music for our Tai Chi demos at Northwestern Medicine Stone Institute. He took these photos of Designer-Artist-Owner Rima Dawn McCabe at the studio.
I painted these two paintings for my Mother, Carol Geis, who died 8 years ago just after mother's day. I did not want her to go. As with so many of these items, I painted the bottom picture first, then years later, came the top picture. All the pieces of the puzzle do seem to come out eventually... and the balance and harmony are surprising, to me anyway. seeing all the work now, today.
My first teacher at the School of the Arti Institute of Chicago, Mark Pascale, later became curator of the museum. He was an advisor of mine and is still a friend. I showed him the strawberries painting and he said good things about it-it was the best he'd seen me do. He'd helped me pick out what to include in my senior show, back when I was finishing. When I was in Art School I seldom used black, but this was right after I'd studied Sumi-e on scholarship, and I was finally starting to find power and flow, to add to my color, water, and clarity I guess. Gee, talking about Art never really works for me. Words are just so, not pictures. Enough said.
My mom had bed sheets when I was a kid in New Jersey that had strawberries and their white flowers on them. Boy do I miss her. She was a Cobol Programmer when I was little, and a black belt in Karate, and when people said I'm just like her, they're wrong, but not wrong either. It can be hard to find closure when you feel so incomplete. Still working on that.
It's weird, to include personal stuff in a business website. But I
always have. Perhaps inadvertantly. Sometimes I've done raw
art, as gifts, yes, I 've given art as gifts.
The art. Well,it's personal. and maybe that's the ticket. What really reaches the real people on the other side of the veil. no. not the veil. The computer internet screens, ok whatever it is. I don't know. it's the Art. It always was, the Art. First and Foremost. and the peeps. Yes. what we've always been all about. exploit? manipulate? strategize? who does htat??? oh dear. so past my bed time. and I have to get up wicked early manana. But this is important. And I don't want it to be left in a discombobulated state. I don't htink I try to do selfportraiture or pieces of me, but well, I'm not sure. There do seem to be some themes, in this body of work, whether I planned it that way or not.
Zuberi Badili worked with me in the early years of the company. We built a website for his wife's then new business, CarryMeClose, and and two others, Fire Water, earth and Air, and Cassiopeia African Art site for that galley. I'd met him years before--we used to do martial arts together, back in the 90s and more recently in a space he got at University Church in Hyde Park. Luckly to have had the time together. Mr. Badili was a CAD Draftsman by day for the Water Reclamation District, fixed our pcs, and was always there for me, professionally and personally. Such a good friend, and a real superhero, balanced, decent, smart, helpful, and kind. I painted the Birds of Paradise in Zu's memory, the fall before Covid, when I was preparing to audition for a job at an Assisted Living community, teaching Tai Chi.
Sponsors included Disney, Whirlpool, Wired. also some fine art on similar themes, done later. if you'd like more info on which is witch, etc, pls contact me I'd be happy to tell you more about all these work samples, no problem.
my first website - on my passion, Wu Style Tai Ji Quan.
We made these accordion style flip books and sold them off of our educational website, Switzerland, Australia, Germany, Canada, USA, and other places. The site was very popular, won awards, and served as a great portfolio piece for us. The book also received rave reviews from purchasers
about previews of the current edition
"...I found just the very quick look I was able to give it provided me with some valuable insights on a couple of sections of the form. Seeing the old posture with the larger circles makes some of the applications more clear and that helps me with the proper focus.
Keep at it. It will be a valuable addition to Tai Chi literature."
other customer comments
"...Very intriguing and practical design. Reminded me a little of Q's gadgets in the James Bond movies. ... "
about the first edition
"the book just arrived. It is terrific.
Thanks very much and keep up the good work."
More recently we began to teach Tai Chi live, (Dec. 2016 - Dec. 2019) on site, at several healthcare facilities: Northwestern Memorial Hospital Clinic 3 yrs 2x/week, Amita Health- Clinic 1 yr 1x/week, and The Cup House 1 month 3x/week-see below. We did all promotion for the classes, i-cluding posters, and served tea prior to classes.
Check out our facebook page: Webbed Feet Design education collection of videos by masters and other interesting things to supplement class.
The results from our Tai Chi classes have been truly astounding.
In 2016 we ran a one month class on Wu Style Tai Chi at a pop-up called The Cup House, where they did cupping and clinical massage. Three classes a week for four weeks. It was a blast. Right now our instructor is studying with the Disciples of the Grandmaster via zoom. You can too! just ask. We can point you in the direction contact us