Noah  Woods
Over the years, I've had the pleasure to work with some extraordinary art directors...and recently I had the pleasure to work with the wonderful Shaul Tsemach, the art director for the magazine at Johns Hopkins University. This was a multi-article issue on the subject of happiness and Shaul asked me to create images for all four of the feature stories. If you've ever received a call from Shaul, then you know he radiates a welcoming calmness over the phone. And if you get a chance to talk with him, ask him about how he ended up coming from Israel to the United States and the story that followed. It's a powerful story seriously worthy of an autobiography and a movie. Ultimately, ironically, it's an extraordinary, poignant tale leading to happiness. Thank you, Shaul. It was an absolute, memorable treat. This first story on happiness looks at "Pleasure on the Brain"--why we seek it, where we find it and how it can steer us towards deep contentment.

Just above is the magazine cover for Johns Hopkins special issue on happiness.

How the heck do therapists stay compassionate, energized and even happy when they're surrounded by patients who are sad, depleted and in-crisis. This feature story examines how therapists keep moving and flowing--and what keeps them coming to work.

What is the secret to happiness? This feature does some detective work on the subject and looks at the questions that linger through the onslaught of self-help books that guarantee happiness in 10 simple steps or by eating, praying and loving. In nature, the two flowers that always put a smile on my face and make me happy-- are peonies and the one depicted in this image--the lotus.

And with this being my first entry into the amazing world of Drawger, I'd like to say a very big "THANK YOU" to my good friend and Art Center College of Design colleague, Paul Rogers, who made the initial suggestion to all the Drawger folks for me to join in on all the fun.  It's a treat and an honor to come aboard with so many people whose high-wattage of talent constantly inspires.

All the best,

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Woods is teaching at TutorMill, an online mentoring site for students of illustration!