1. Tailoring your Portfolio & Working with Dream Clients (pt.2)

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    Over the past few weeks, I’ve been getting emails from lovely readers asking me “how do you get your dream clients?” I’ll be the first to admit that I’m still learning and figuring out what ways of refining work for my business. I started this conversation a few months back in this post, but thought I’d stop by and share a few more ideas/thoughts. These tips are specifically meant to help with getting those dream clients into your portfolio.

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    1. Extreme Curation: Only show the work that truly aligns with where you want to go. I don’t think portfolios should be about proving where you’ve been, but more about paving a road for where you want to go. Be super selective in what you choose to put out into the world. Like attracts like.

    2. The Classic Reach Out: Reach out to a brand you admire and offer your services for free. I wouldn’t do this all the time and I don’t really advocate giving away your talents for free, but if you’re just dying to work with someone, it might be worth it. That one project with your dream client can help move your portfolio into the direction you are trying to go.

    3. Power of the Personal Project: Initiate a personal project. Sometimes it might be beneficial to make up a project that truly aligns with your vision. Just because it wasn’t paid work doesn’t mean it can’t stand tall in your portfolio and help you transform your portfolio. For me, I use my blog as a great place to explore new styles and play around with new photography techniques.

  2. New Work Coming: Moodboard for the Minimalist Mom

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    Life is still a little crazy pants over here, but everything is running smoothly. Isn’t life always crazy pants though? Now that we’re nearing the end of the first quarter of 2015, I wanted to start to share bits and pieces of a really exciting project that I’ll be working on for the majority of 2015. In the past, I posted some thoughts about gaining your dream clients and this is by far one of my dream clients.

    The brand is called Nika Kai. Similarly to the work I’ve done with The Citizenry, this client has entrusted me with her brand “baby” and we’ll be designing everything from brand identity (logo, color palette, brand story, style guide, etc), collateral pieces (thank you cards, business cards, etc), packaging elements, e-commerce website and blog, and maybe a bit of photography thrown in there…fingers crossed.

    When this client came to me last fall and we chatted in depth about what she wanted to accomplish and I was head over heals with everything she was proposing. Her visual inspiration and creative vision align perfectly with how I’ve been building Veda House (remember…dream project). This brand new company will be geared towards fashionable moms who haven’t lost their sense of style since having their little ones. These moms also have a eye for simplicity in all aspects of their life.

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    Nika Kai is…
    streamlined & minimal
    soft & sophisticated
    yet, approachable

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    Stay tuned for more pieces coming in soon! We’re working through the branding phase now and have landed on a really awesome logo. Can’t wait to share next week.

    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

    Need some help bringing your brand/business to life? I’m here to help! Feel free to shoot me an email at casspyle (at) gmail.com for more information.
  3. Inspired By: Kristina Dam Studio

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    Stopping by to share the work of Kristina Dam Studio because her stuff has been inspiring me like no other recently. Kristina works with graphic designer elements, art & interiors. Her work nods to architectural elements and interior spaces, all done very minimally and with amazing light/textures. I think my favorite print of hers is this, called Palm II because it shows a behind the scenes glance at the Palm Series.

    Hope she inspires you as much as she’s inspired me!

  4. Notables No.49

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    Hey there everyone. We’ve made it to the middle of the week again. Wahoo! It’s been some time since I’ve shared some of my favorite links from around the web, so here’s a few mid-week distractions for you!

    Mid-Week Distractions:

    1. Some amazing furniture pieces by Mr. & Mrs. White

    2. I love everything about this layered outfit

    3. Stunningly simple bookshelf styling

    4. Extremely beautiful table by Menu

    5. This chair by Canoe Goods

    6. These colors are inspiring a current project of mine I love this lookbook spread

    7. Bon x Desert Vintage – Spring lookbook

    8. I love this lookbook spread

    9. A snapshot of Le Courbusier’s Church

  5. What Freelance Topics Interest You Most?

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    Finding beauty in the everyday can be challenging at times, especially when you’re schedule is too full and your energy levels are meh…Not to mention their is a foot of snow on the ground. My camera gear is finally unpacked and I’m going to try and capture more still moments to remind me about the beauty of the everyday. Today…I made the bed! Hooray for Monday mini successes!

    We’re slowly getting settled into our new home and working out a new day-to-day rhythm. With both my husband and myself working from home, the whole workflow has be thrown off since we’ve been surrounded by cardboard boxes and lots of unfinished projects. All good things take time, so I know we’ll get it sorted out sooner or later.

    I wanted to stop by and ask a question for my readers. I know many of you come to this blog to gain insight into what freelance life might look like and I want to provide as many insights as I can.

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    Is there anything in particular (related to running your own business/ design/ freelance)
    that you have been curious about?

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    I’ve covered LOTS of topics in the Freelance Journey section of this site, so if I’ve already answered your question, I can point you in the right direction. I’ve also answered many other questions (not all related to design/freelance in a two-part Q&A. You can read part 1 & part two.

  6. Veda House – FAQ Answers (Pt. 2)

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    Photo by: Veda House

     
    Happy Friday everyone! I couldn’t be more excited for this weekend as it’s supposed to be nice and warm here in Denver. The mister, the pup and I have big plans to go hiking and get some much needed fresh air. For today’s post I wanted to share the second batch of reader questions & my answers. A couple months ago I shared part 1 – Read FAQ Part 1. 

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    Reader Question: As a creative, did you ever face a moment of deciding between a safer, more financially stable path and an option that would give you more creative freedom but also be more risky? (Read How I Got My Start in the Creative Industry)
    Answer: Most certainly. I worked at an advertising agency as a Digital Art Director for almost 4 years. During that last year, I debated starting my own company time and time again, but was always paralyzed by fear. Fear of the unknown and fear that I would be making an irreversible decision. It was also convenient and easy to just stay put.

    Now that I’m running my own company the allure of a stable salary, health insurance package, and paid time off sounds appealing sometimes. Usually this is when I’m making scary changes to my business or taking a big leap of faith.

    The grass is always seems greener right?

    More questions and answers after the jump

  7. Noteworthy Podcasts/Presentations

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    Happy Monday folks! It’s been some time since I’ve shared some podcasts in this space, so I thought I’d stop by with a few that have inspired me lately. I work from my home and listening to podcasts is a bit part of my daily routine. I find that having something entertaining to listen to while I edit photos or work through a website design helps me keep focused and inspired throughout the day.  Here are a few to check out.

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    Becky Murphy on The Lively Show: Becky gets extremely honest about the pro & cons of running your own creative business. She gives a few insights into her personal insecurities and what she does to combat those doubts. Listen Here

    Kathleen Shannon’s Being Boss Podcast (all episodes): I’ve completely fallen in love with this brand new podcast series. Kathleen and creative partner Emily Thompson talk about things like professionalism, “doing the work”, taking time off and many more entrepreneurial-type questions. Listen Here

    Pure Green Podcast: If you’re looking for a few chats about how to live a healthy life and to be inspired by those that practice what they preach…check out Pure Green podcast. A few topics I’ve found interesting are “Living with Less and Loving It” and “Eating and Living Mindfully”. Listen Here

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    I’ve shared many favorites in the past. View the last Noteworthy Podcast post here. Other all-time favorite talks by Megan Gilger, Kate Arends, and Lynn Casper.

    Photo from this post by: Sylizimo Blog
  8. Unexpected Move & Life Update

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    Hello Everyone! Boy oh boy. Life has been crazy lately and I’m seriously missing this space. I’m trying to get myself back on solid ground so I can focus on me, my business, and this creative outlet of mine. Thanks for the patience as I weather the storm.

    At the end of January a house came up on the market that was perfect for us. We weren’t planning on moving until the summer, but when the right opportunity comes along…you have to jump. Especially in the crazy housing market here in Denver. Needless to say, I’ve spent the last month boxing up all our belongings, moving and trying to get our lives back to a normal rhythm. We’ve officially been in our new house for a solid week and we JUST got internet installed. Moving is the pits! Onward!

    During the month of March I’m going to try and really get back into this space, sharing more. So much is going on behind the scenes that I feel I’m a bit behind. Social media is a funny place. When you’re “IN” it, you feel amazingly energized and connected, but as soon as you step away for some time…it feels impossible to get back “IN”. If feels as if though everyone else is “DOING” and you’re sitting back and just watching silently. Such a weird/paralyzing feeling.

    Anyway. I’ll stop babbling before this comes another manifesto about my love/hate relationship with social media. I’ll be back shortly and can’t wait :)

  9. A Favorite Corner with Framebridge

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    Hi guys! I can’t wait to share this little corner of my living room with you! Since we are now officially living in the “West”, I wanted to go with a arid landscape mood with warm woods that would stand out against our white walls. I could have easily chosen a black or white frame (my usual go-to), but decided to step outside my comfort zone and try a new look.

    With the help of Framebridge, I was able to get some larger scale art pieces framed on a budget (I’m forever thankful, team Framebridge!). I couldn’t be any happier with the finished product, the quality of the frames, how stupid easy the entire process was and how quickly I was able to mark this project off my to-do list…and free really good about it.

    In the past, getting artwork framed has been a real headache and a major dent to my wallet. I love collecting new pieces of art, but the art usually sits unframed for far too long. I’ve used everything from frames from IKEA (usually the RIBBA line), the so so ones at Target, to a fully customized made-to-order situation. In the past, that last option has turned out the best, but the overall experience was horrendous…not to mention the final framed art piece weighs as much as me. So…

    I recommend Framebridge for any framing projects. I won’t hesitate in the future. Yes, it’s still an investment, but you will not be disappointed and you’ll actually enjoy the process. Did I mention how awesome customer service was? Sold yet? haha?

    Interested in the exact specs for these pieces? More after the jump.

  10. Recent Work: An Update for The Citizenry

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    Today I’m bringing some color to the blog. I know you’re shocked! Haha.

    The work I do for The Citizenry is some of the most fulfilling work I’ve done to date and I’m pretty excited to share another update with you. After the holiday madness settled down, The Citizenry has launched a few new items to the shop that are beyond stunning. If you’re looking for a cosy throw blanket, a fun handmade wooden tray to entertain, or a jaw dropping Tripolina stool, these pieces are meant for your home! The girls are currently dreaming up Collection Three coming in a few months, so I’m sure there will be many more goodies to share. How freakin’ exciting! Also, thank you for being so supportive to this growing brand. We are so pleased with how many people are loving what we do.