Mr. Blend observes ideas through steaming coffee & an eccentric imagination

And it is that unique perspective that allows him to craft a curious array of artisanal experiences with emphasis on the odd and extraordinary.

You see, dear reader, every now and again, Mr. Blend packs a small bag and, atop his penny-farthing, travels through hidden corners of the countryside in search of peculiar sources of inspiration to help him enhance his ideas.

The experiences he creates are ideal for imaginations betwixt the ages of five and ninety-five, though people who have no imagination whatsoever will most likely hate them. The partial list of his employers and clients includes the American Retirement Association (ARA), the American Red Cross, Euler Hermes North America, The Werd Nerd, CINQ Creative, North Star Science & Technology, Ox Hill Baptist Church, individuals outside the professional world, et al.

Spread/design from Mr. Blend's first book, The Tragedy of Cupcake Boy & Other Stories (arriving when you least expect it & composed under his nom de plume, Rogustus Wright) | ISBN: 979-8-218-02623-3 | Writing, illustrations, & layout design copyright © 2022 Joseph Blend. All rights reserved.

Excerpt from the story, "The Olde Candle Lady"

"THE CANDLE LADY LOVED SCONCES and wore them on her hat, this is no quip for the wax dripped where she sat. You see, she hated lightbulbs and their static illumination, no flickering or fading—so where's the elation?"When she saw them, she fumed, grabbed a hammer and smashed each and every lightbulb, and without feeling abashed.But one day her frustration finally came to an end, for while breaking a bulb, her hat began to bend ..."

Excerpt from the story, "The Ballerina & Her Monsters"

"... IT DID NOT DETER HER from attending auditions where people would gasp and scream with volition. It was never fair, and she wanted to be mad, but it happened so often she could only feel sad."But things began to change, I am happy to say, when she stood up for herself one dark, dreary day. Regina realized that in order to be happy, she must love herself despite people being crappy."So in the town square, where all could see, she began to dance with grace and glee. She glided and leapt and flew through the air ..."

Spread/design from The Tragedy of Cupcake Boy & Other Stories

Book cover design (illustration, hand-lettering, layout) for The Tragedy of Cupcake Boy & Other Stories (mock-up)

Excerpt from the story, "The Bride of Pumpkinstein"

"THE BRIDE OF PUMPKINSTEIN WAS the mad creator's greatest invention. Unlike her predecessor—a failed attempt at breathing true life into a jack-o'-lantern—she had arms, legs, kind eyes, and a large smile."But to ensure she did not turn out like his previous invention, the mad creator carved a small heart into her orange skin, which made her smile even more."But when he turned his back to her, to walk away and grab a small lit candle that would illuminate her soul, she became scared and fled the castle forever. Perhaps the darkness inside her—even for those few moments—was too much to bear. Or maybe ..."

Excerpt from the story, "When the Clock Struck Fright!"

"... TERRIFIED, THE SON & DAUGHTER used the flashes of lightning to see what was the matter. The cubbyhole, once locked, was now open. Inside were the most gruesome of toys, alive and crawling out three by three, one over the other."Some had buttons for eyes, while others had stitches for mouths, but they all somehow managed to giggle as they scurried toward the beds."The children retreated farther into their blankets, but still the toys advanced— up the sides of the covers—their porcelain hands swiping through the air, fingers as sharp as needles cutting through anything that stood in their way ..."

Birth/gender announcement design (client: The Blend Family)

Holiday e-card design (illustration, hand-lettering, layout; employer: ARA)

Illustration for email article (employer: ARA)

Sell sheet cover design & copywriting (client: CINQ Creative)

Sell sheet cover design & copywriting (client: CINQ Creative)

Sell sheet cover design & copywriting (client: CINQ Creative)

Illustration for "golden-ticket" promotion (employer: ARA)

Cover illustration & design for a book showcasing Mr. Blend's sketches (client: Personal)

Illustration for email article (employer: ARA)

Copywriting & art direction for a haiku white paper (cover design by third-party; client: Personal)

Copywriting & art direction for a haiku white paper (cover design by third-party; client: Personal)

Copywriting & art direction for a haiku white paper (cover design by third-party; client: Personal)

Customer package for commissioned haiku (sample)

Customer package for commissioned haiku (sample)

Promotional poster design (client: Sweat City blog)

Holiday card design (illustration, type selection, layout; client: The Blend Family)

Promotional poster design (client: North Star Science & Technology)

Illustration for promotional email banner (headshots & design by art director; employer: ARA)

Illustration for promotional email banner (headshots & design by art director; employer: ARA)

"Marvin, the Uncatchable: How One Mole Achieved Greatness"

Fiction writing for a national conference's whack-a-mole promotion (employer: ARA)Marvin the Mole is a rather mischievous creature. Born within San Diego’s suburbs, he comes from generations of moles who trained for, and worked in, various Whack-a-Mole stations at the city’s yearly county fairs. And he was raised for one reason and one reason only: to taunt the slowest of the slow. In fact, his family is well known for an almost unbelievable achievement: having never been caught.This year, Marvin is especially excited since NAPA decided to host the 401(k) Summit in his city. Because no matter how many have tried, Marvin has yet to meet the plan advisor who can outwit (or outwhack, as the case may be) this mobile mole.“Oh, what fun!” he was overheard saying one day. “This shall be an experience most enjoyable!” (You see, Marvin is a sarcastic mole. That means the simple notion of teasing the slowest of the slow brought a smile to his whiskered face that shone for miles.)With his workout suit in paw, Marvin set out to train like he’s never trained before.

Sit ups, pushups, lunges, and squats—his training was as intense as the year is long. He even subjected himself to the IronMole Obstacle Course: a small field littered with cardboard cutouts of determined—nay, frustrated—advisors, frozen in place with mallets at the ready, fully determined to whack, well, a mole.Fast-forward to this month, dear reader, and you’ll see that Marvin’s months-long training program is officially complete and his taunting has commenced (digital transformation notwithstanding).Frankly speaking, he’s at the top of his game because he’s already taunted—and evaded—quite a few advisors (“Haha, snails are faster than you!”).So, here’s the million-dollar question: Will you be the first advisor to catch him? Put him in his place … we dare you!

. . .

Marvin the Mole is a fictional character. Any relation to moles living or dead is strictly a coincidence.

Blackout writing & collage (prints previously available for sale; client: Personal)

Blackout writing (prints previously available for sale; client: Personal)

Blackout writing & collage (prints previously available for sale; client: Personal)

Copywriting (employer: ARA)

Creative nonfiction (under Mr. Blend's nom de plume; client: The Werd Nerd)

Copywriting & layout design for his haiku white paper, "Haiku & Why It's For You" (client: Personal)

Illustration (prints previously available for sale)

Illustration (original previously available for sale)

Illustration (prints previously available for sale)

Commissioned haiku

Illustrations & haiku (prints previously available for sale; client: Personal)

Illustrations & haiku (prints previously available for sale; client: Personal)

Illustration (client: The Werd Nerd)

Holiday e-card design (illustration, hand-lettering, layout; employer: ARA)

Illustration (slate prints previously available for sale)

Mr. Blend's Journal

His work always begins within his journal. Using nothing more than a black fountain pen, Mr. Blend explores his ideas through writing and drawing.


Prior to his adventures, Mr. Blend proudly attended a college not entirely unlike Hogwarts, after which he proceeded to amass more than twenty-five years of combined experience in thematics, wordsmithery, illustrationism, bookworks, and general commercial artistry across numerous areas in the professional world. His CV is quite lengthy; his scarf, even longer.

He currently resides in a township founded in 1810 with his wife, daughter, and black cat.


The artists and storytellers who inspire him include Tim Burton, Gris Grimly, Edward Gorey, Chad Wehrle, Dr. Seuss, Lemony Snicket, Neil Gaiman, R.L. Stine, and Laika Studios. His favorite storytelling experiences include books—The Nightmare Before Christmas, 10 Spooky Pumpkins, the Harry Potter Series, A Series of Unfortunate Events (all 13 books), and The Manual of Detection—as well as movies—Corpse Bride, Goosebumps 2, Sleepy Hollow and Dumbo (both directed by Tim Burton), Hocus Pocus, and Frankenweenie—and the series of Netflix wonders Wednesday and Stranger Things.

Sundry Particulars

Mr. Blend is, if nothing else, a connoisseur of bygone style. From his 80-year-old Speedball dip pen to his manual typewriter collection (four machines covering 1943-1965), handlebar mustache, and pocket watch, it is safe to say Mr. Blend is a sophisticated bloke.Furthermore, he has managed to gain a small but respectable following, his mysterious nature notwithstanding. Naturally, Mr. Blend cordially invites you to stake your plot within his community—he is comfortably buried within LinkedIn and Goodreads.

. . .

Curiosities & Inquiries

Alas, Mr. Blend cannot accept correspondence by way of fax, carrier bat, or paper airplane. So, if you are intrigued by his work and want to discuss a potential opportunity, type a note and send it to him via electronic mail!

What is Mr. Blend Reading?

"Everyone has wanted their favorite book to be real, if only for a moment. Everyone has wished to meet their favorite characters, if only for a day. But be careful in that wish, for even a history laid in ink can be repaid in flesh and blood, and reality is far deadlier than fiction ... especially on Addington Isle." (Source: Goodreads)

What is Mr. Blend Watching?

"Professor Albus Dumbledore knows the powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald is moving to seize control of the wizarding world. Unable to stop him alone, he entrusts Magizoologist Newt Scamander to lead an intrepid team of wizards, witches and one brave Muggle baker on a dangerous mission ..." (Source: IMDb)

Cornelius Umbridge

Proprietor, The Umbridge Penny-Farthing Co. | "Curiously, every photograph of Mr. Blend is oddly anonymous, which truly matters not since he spends half his time atop the bespoke penny-farthing I built for him. Consider yourself lucky if your photo is not blurry!"

Agatha Lockwoode

Proprietor, Lockwoode Ceramics & Artisanal Sundries | "Our quaint village is a miniature labyrinth of stone-and-mortar establishments, most of which have been around since the 1800s. And Mr. Blend certainly fits in given his propensity for mysteriousness and his habit of reading 200-year-old newspapers."

Ignacious Grimwald

Family Friend | "Never before have I seen a chap purchase as many suits as Joseph, with each one being more unique than the last—I must learn who his clothier is!"

. . .

Chanel Brown, former Marketing Manager at ARA: "I’ve had the opportunity to get to know Joe and to see his creativity in such an impactful way. I’ve seen first-hand how well he knows his craft. His ability to write, edit, and storytell has made several beneficial contributions to the work we did together. And the success of each marketing campaign we brought to life was due in large part to Joe’s talent.

"He has truly been a joy to work with no matter how large or small the task!"

Steph Doyle, Client, former Creative Director, CINQ Creative: "Joe is an all-around creative talent and an exceptional asset to those he serves … his creative insight and conceptual thinking are second to none."

Jerry Patterson, Customer: "Move over Dr. Seuss, Tim Burton, J. K. Rowling, et al. There's a new artist in town who has a fresh set of characters that will embrace your inner child."

Jeanne Fisher, Managing Director at Strategic Retirement Partners: "That [Fireside Chats] graphic is so awesome!"

Vail Henry, Client, former Creative Director at Identity Guard: "Joe is equally a master of turning phrases and of raw creative exploration ..."

Haim Gabay, Instructional Designer at ARA: "Love to see that your art is being featured in our holiday message. Nice!"

Frederik Hviid, Art Director at ARA: "... He is an excellent headline writer, great with body copy, and witty when it comes to short messages for social media and more ... He was able to customize his illustrations—for our guests, and by season—thereby offering a very fun and memorable series for our guest speakers. Those illustrations garnered great accolades from our guests and were shared across our social media platforms. I would highly recommend Joe to anyone looking for a top-notch writer or illustrator; he would be a valuable asset to any creative team."

Erika Weinert, Client, Freelance Copyeditor at The Werd Nerd: "I just knew I wanted something funny and clever written to honor April Fools' Day in a creative way that also showcased my talent. Joe was quick to come up with a theme. It was brilliant! ... I also wanted him to illustrate a piece for the post ... I was taken aback by the beauty of it, but that wasn't even the final product! It was all more than I could have hoped for! I can't even begin to describe my jubilation when I gazed upon the finished products—the story and the illustration! ..."

Nikita Prokhorov, Client, Graphic Designer & Lettering Artist: "I hired Joe to write some flash fiction for a passion project I was developing and he did an absolutely fantastic job ... He took my vision and some of my initial rough ideas and transformed them into something beautiful. I would gladly work with him again, and I would highly recommend him for other work."

Copyright © 1998–2023 Joseph Blend. Full usage rights granted to employer and clients; all rights reserved for personal work.

Let it be known that Mr. Blend is hereby licensed to offer a peculiar assortment of creative oddities as specified in the Mysterious Curios & Whimsy Act of 1798. His fiction and illustrations are meant to be entirely, well, fictitious; any similarity to real people, living or dead, and/or real places is a coincidence and, in some cases, slightly disturbing.