10 on a Scale of 1 to 5

by Danny Cruz| Follow Danny @sixstringsensei on Twitter HERE

If I could give this piece of music and video a 10 on a scale of 1 to 5, I absolutely would! In fact, on my site, I can! So here it is! Came to My Rescue by Hillsong United, a song also known as Be Lifted High.

Every time I listen to this song I get wrapped in goosebumps and all my hairs stand on end. I decided to look it up on YouTube and share it with you guys. Praise God!


Consider this a Warning!

by Danny Cruz| Follow Danny @sixstringsensei on Twitter HERE

Ford Mustang V6 Premium 2011Consider this a warning.  Well, more like a call for your attention; an alert.  Today is Thursday.  Also the first week of May 2011. What’s so important about that?  Last month was my 10th wedding anniversary.  I managed to pull something off that most people cannot.  And I’m happy to say that thanks to that, my wife is driving around in a brand new white Mustang.  How about that?  But, that’s not why I’m writing this post.  This site has been up since 2002; since late 2009 in it’s current form.  Today marks the day where I’m going to aim at scheduling my blog posts.  What does that mean?  It means that from now on and until further notice, I will be posting a new article on my blog every Thursday.  This alert is my excuse for a blog post this week.  However, next week expect the first in a sequence of posts all on the same great day of the week that marks the close proximity of the weekend.  Stay tuned and subscribe. Yes, right now.  Subscribe.  Find the little link on this page that says subscribe, click it and join me.  You’ll make me happy and I will be eternally grateful.  Because writing for others is better than writing for yourself.  Until next week… -DC


Graphic Designer Salary – How Much Should You be Earning?

by Danny Cruz| Follow Danny @sixstringsensei on Twitter HERE


There are various books published yearly, some very well known, that attempt to offer the professional graphic designer a comprehensive guide as to how much money they should be making. While I encourage you to read up on your industry and these books are a great option, I’d like to focus my attention on website that does just that: I’m talking about the website for AIGA, otherwise known as “Aquent Survey of Design Salaries.”

Graphic Designer Salary

We know the power of surveys. If they weren’t useful, you wouldn’t have every single successful company out there running them in order to try and gather as much information about their market as they can. Well, when intelligent designers are brought together, and surveyed, you get comprehensive data about a graphic designer’s salary that is not only relevant to current times, but also extremely useful.

In an industry where there are so many irresponsible designers giving it all away for pennies, the only way to get reliable and true information about creative salaries is if enough professional designers are surveyed. A quick test of AIGA’s salary calculator, using minimal selections to keep the numbers low, returned national averages of thousands of participants. Comparing the results with other compensation reports I have studied proved to me the numbers ring true. At the time of this writing they have reports for 2009 an 2010. The 2010 reports do a pretty good job of showing how the industry is doing better than the previous year due to the economic recession that’s starting to turn around now. In other words, 2010 was better than 2009. Looking forward to a better 2011!

See for yourself at designsalaries.org – The more participants in the survey, the more accurate the statistics. I recommend you join and participate today.


Notes from an Epic Surf Session in SoCal

by Danny Cruz| Follow Danny @sixstringsensei on Twitter HERE

Colorful wave in Carlsbad

This is a post I wrote 3 years ago for an older blog.  I like it and found it ideal to bring back to life.

I was driving home from work today and I drove into Encinas Avenue towards the beach.  I was trying to avoid the traffic of the I-5 in Encinitas.  Having surfed every day this week since Sunday, I was not planning on paddling out again today.  I got closer to the beach and something caught my eye right away.  Some dude is smacking the crap out of an overhead peeler.  I was on the phone with my brother in Puerto Rico through all this, and I was like, “Hey, I gotta let you go.  I’m gonna go pick up my board!”

So I pull up to my Leucadia apartment, and run up stairs.  I give my wife a kiss and say “I gotta go! It’s firing!”  I grab my suit, board and leash and head out the door.

I paddle out near the jetty at Carlsbad State Beach, otherwise known as Ponto. As soon as I start heading out I notice the amount of white-water and I make out that the surf is nicely overhead at about 7-8 feet.  I get worked and mauled by a set and eventually make it to the lineup.  While I catch my breath I notice there were about 30 guys out.  But today it is not a problem.  I found a good spot in the lineup and catch my first wave.  A macking left that gets me flying down the line on my 6’1″ DHD Mick Fanning thruster.  I’m stoked.  Unfortunately, I took the first wave of the set and proceed to get worked by the following 6 waves.

After flushing the two gallons of seawater out of my nose I go on to catch a bunch of waves in the remaining hour I have of daylight. The waves are glassy and powerful unlike the last couple of weeks.  I’m having a blast!

The dolphins are catching waves and having a great time, just like the surfers.

I guess dolphins love it when there are waves.  They are everywhere, and totally out of control.  They are just popping up all over the place and sometimes jumping clear out of the water. The dolphins are catching waves and having a great time, just like the surfers.  I have a huge one pop out of the water about 2 feet from me! It’s unreal!

That evening I stayed out ’till I could see no more…  Roundabout 7:45pm. The water was getting dark and sketchy and I could barely make out the lines.  So I catch a final one in. As I walked back to my truck I thought about the awesome session I just had.  I got reminded of why I love the ocean.  Thank God for such an awesome creation! -D

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You Should Have Been Here Yesterday

by Danny Cruz| Follow Danny @sixstringsensei on Twitter HERE

Danny Cruz at Snow Valley in Big Bear

You’ve been there before. You plan your day out a certain way and it doesn’t come out quite like planned. Here I am, sitting inside the truck in the parking lot at Snow Valley Ski Resort in Big Bear. After waking up at 4:30am to drive all the way up here, I realized I should’ve been here yesterday. Yeah, I missed a good foot or two of fresh snow by one day, and to make matters worse, it’s so windy they have closed most of the lifts. Guess it’s not a bad time to write. They say people get creative when in odd situations.

I’ve heard it before. In surfing, “You should have been here yesterday.” When kiteboarding, “Perfect wind and waves – yesterday!” Well, the old saying goes, “If life gives you lemons…” I certainly cannot complain about having to make lemonade all too often. The few times things do go wrong become an interesting change of pace. Which brings me to the point of this post.

I certainly cannot complain about having to make lemonade all too often.

Most certainly, one of the keys to success every day is staying motivated. This involves staying motivated even when things don’t go quite as planned. Face it, things don’t go quite as planned OFTEN. I’ve found it’s always good to have an alternate plan. In fact, I’ve gotten so good at having an alternate plan, that oftentimes I don’t even have to think about it. I just quickly move on to the next thing. Like right now for example. As I’m typing on my phone I’m looking over my shoulder at the mountain to see if things start clearing up. I came here to snowboard and I want to get on the snow already. If I had my laptop with me, I would likely be working artwork. Right here, sitting in my car.

Next time you are on a ski or surf trip, on a date or simply at work and things go to crap, think about it for a second. It really isn’t so bad. You’re alive. You’ve got a lot to be grateful for. You can’t control every situation. Things go wrong simply as a part of life and it’s merely a chance to become stronger.

What can I say? I’m actually grateful for this wind. Without it I would likely not be sitting here writing. My phone could crash any minute and cause me to lost everything I have typed so far. But sometimes things just turn out pretty good after all. Like right now. The fact that you are reading this is proof of that. God bless. Danny

View Atop Snow Valley

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