“[enter city name] Strong” is sooooo overused

I don’t want to be insensitive about issues that ignite these social movements and to be perfectly clear, I’m on the side of those that rally around cities under attack. It’s the marketing that bothers me. It seems like every city is quick to adopt the “_______ Strong” mantra and I liked it at first. But now it just seems lazy. I don’t mean the people that are fighting for unity in any particular city, they’re not lazy because of this… it’s the people who pick this as the rally cry; they’re just phoning it in.

Let’s take Nashville, for instance. There was a tornado or two that came through town back in March and immediately we took to the “Nashville Strong” banner. Again, I get what it’s used for and I support the idea of banding together to help one another, but can’t someone somewhere, as creative as this city is, come up with anything else at all that’s original? Here are some ideas off the top of my head:

Nashville Unified

Nashville in Harmony

Let’s ‘band’ together, Nashville

Nashville ‘bands’ together

Nashville knows how to duet

Nashville Tough

Stay Tough, Nashville

Nashville in One a-chord

Those are just a few examples of how one city can band together around a rally phrase that fits the city more than a generic “________ Strong.” It can’t be that difficult for each city to come up with something original, I’m sure. What are your thoughts on this? Have you come up with a few for Nashville, or the city you live in? Chime in below!

Thanks for stopping by and hey, y’all, stay strong 😉

-Out of the Wilderness

Original mazes (part 3)

This is the final set of mazes I’ll be posting for now, but this one contains my #1 favorite. I’ll let you guess which one it is 🙂

a very topical design for this one
Christmas in June, if you will
OK I’ll admit, this is my favorite!
a blocky design where you end pretty much where you started

Thanks for stopping by!

-Out of the Wilderness

Original mazes by Ben Wilder

I forgot how much I love drawing mazes! Doing these at my dining room table offered a couple of beneficial things: 1. clear my mind of anything else going on in my life… and 2. creative and critical thinking. Here are a few I’ve done in the last couple of weeks.

Created for my mama… if you’ll notice, it says “I [heart] U” 🙂
Created for my niece who celebrated a birthday recently.
Incorporating my sister’s name, “Shannon” 🙂

I’ll be posting a few more in the coming days so check back for more 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

-Out of the Wilderness

creatures of Bear Island

These were seen on Bear Island on Percy Priest Lake, southeast Nashville, Tennessee. I was very surprised by the variety of wildlife we saw while we hiked around the island. Thankfully no bears, I feel like that needs to be said! 🙂

A few things we didn’t snag a picture of that you might want to note if you plan to visit or camp on the island: ticks, snakes, and spider webs… we walked through a million spider webs.


-Out of the Wilderness

well, ant that somethin’

Ants. Frustrating creatures when they’re INside your house. But OUTside, quite fascinating. I came across this little fella as the sun set a few evenings ago. I’m really loving taking close-up photos, if you haven’t noticed in my posts, lately. 🙂

Meet Andy the Ant.

Andy practicing being human


Andy in the upside down
Andy branching out
Andy plays hide-and-seek


Andy and a leaf that hasn’t shaved in days


Andy says “goodbye!” 

Thanks for stopping by!

-Out of the Wilderness