1. Lesson Learned: Wise Words, My Dear!

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    This past weekend I flew myself out to Palm Springs for a little retreat with like-minded creatives. 20 of us gals gathered to share our experiences as graphic designers/freelancers/bloggers and be inspired by each other’s creativity and successes. Over the next few days, I felt like it would be fun to share some of my “lessons learned” with those of you who were not there.

    If I were to choose the best piece of advice I gathered over the weekend it would be this: “Take what you are currently doing (ex: workload/projects/ideas) and cut it in half”.

    Just the act of cutting what you’re doing in half forces you to really dissect what you’ve taken on. Is it all important to your growth as a designer? Are your ideas focused and ownable? Force yourself to really look at what your currently doing and streamline everything down to what’s most important for you as a person who can only doing so much.

    It was also noted that creative people naturally spread themselves thin with lots of creative endeavors. Just because you CAN paint, take photographs, build a website, have an etsy shop and knit doesn’t mean that you SHOULD do all those things. Focus on what makes you the happiest and do that thing/things really well.

    For me, this message was really insightful. I seem to want to do it all and always find myself overwhelmed as a result. Thanks Kathleen for sharing your experiences with us this past weekend. You’re beyond amazing, lady!

     

  2. Li Hui

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    Chinese photographer Li Hui has a really great eye for capturing the beauty of nude/ semi nude silhouettes. Her images are dreamy and seductive ; filled with amazing colors and lighting. These two images really caught my eye. They work so nicely together. The complementary blue and orange hues make a perfect pairing.

     

  3. Off to a retreat!

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    I’m just stopping in quickly to say I’ll be away for a few days, meeting up with other graphic designers/bloggers (Bre!!!) for a girls weekend in Palm Springs / Ace Hotel. I’ve never been to California before…or even traveled alone, so I’ve got a good mix of excitement and nervousness brewing inside. I’ll have lots to share once I get back.

    Stay tuned my dearies :)

    *above photo b David Richardson Photography

  4. Rebranding Discovery No.2

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    Here I am again, blabbing about my personal discoveries. I hope that by sharing my experiences during the rebranding process, that I’ll be able to provide insights to other designers going through the same thing. It’s a scary thing, people.

    I’ve been talking a lot about gathering inspiration because I have found this part of the process to be the most rewarding and beneficial to discovering personal style. I’m able to see the big picture, visually, and use that as a guide for the next steps.

    Discovery No. 2: My personal design style & my personal “clothing & home” style are polar opposites.
    Now you can see how this can be a troubling/confusing thing to discover. For months now I’ve been so torn about what images to include in the rebranding mood board. Do I pin the perfectly neutral natural home photos or the bold graphic images with lots of gray and overlapping textures? I’ve discovered that cassie as a person who wears certain clothes and buys certain furniture pieces prefers her home and wardrobe to be cozy, comfortable, natural, neutral, & simple. (examples here & here)

    On the other hand, her design style is drastically different. The designer in her chooses a neutral base to start with (black, white, gray) and then layers color and texture on top (Examples here & here). The colors found in her design work don’t usually show up in her wardrobe or home.

    ODD! So odd to me. I think it comes down to expressing both sides of my personality without giving anything up in the process. In my home I’m able to elaborate on the handmade details, the natural materials, and the cozy comfy surroundings. My wardrobe mimics that style. This is very comfortable for me. It’s really easy. The other side of me likes to step outside of the box and present something unexpected. My design side takes advantage of this trait quite often. I think it’s an interesting combination.

    Has anyone else discovered this about themselves? Seems like an odd combination to me, but then again…I’m a rare duck.

  5. Rebranding Discovery No.1

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    Hi guys! I thought I’d update you on where I’m at in the whole rebranding process. I’ve been collecting inspiration images like a mad woman and then sitting with those images to see if there is a theme throughout. Somedays things seem to click and then the next day, everything seems blurry again. Along the way I’m finding a system that works. I prefer to collect a bunch of random images first, and then streamline along the way, refining as I go.

    As I’ve been collecting images, I’ve discovered two pretty big things about myself as a designer and my brand. The first discovery has really given me confidence in the decisions I’m making along the way, which is really refreshing.

     

    Discover #1: My style hasn’t drastically changed, it’s only evolved.
    Going into this whole rebranding adventure, I thought my personal design style had drastically changed over the past 3 years ( 3 years outside of my design school days). Just the other day I was sitting at my computer, starring at my mess of a Pinterest rebranding board (images I’ve been collecting for months now) and realized that my style really hasn’t changed all the much. My preferred color palette is basically the same (shocking actually) and the overall “mood” is scarily similar. I even brought out my senior year design portfolio to compare…crap…its basically the same aesthetic.At first I took this discovery as bad news. How could my design style NOT change after all these years? Is that normal? Later I was able to see the discovery as good news. It proves that through all the years of growing as a designer, my “natural instinct” is still intact. The things that make me tick and the things that get me to say “yeah!” are still the same. Deep down, I’m still me…just a more sophisticated me. Less random. More precise. It proves that I know what I like and that I’m able to define an iconic style that I can truly own. Hooray!!!!

    * Here’s a really great blog post by Ana Louisa Perkins of Grown Up Shoes. She’s a self-taught designers and gives her perspective on defining your own personal style…and how it takes time. Thanks for a great read Ana

    To be continued…

    *photo collage by Veda House (images pulled from here)

  6. Jeremy Mason: Wax & Oil

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    Hey there friendly friends! I’ve been feeling a little slacking in the fine art department here on the blog so today’s post is all about that. I was recently introduced to the work of Jeremy Mason (Financial Planner by day, artist by night) and was instantly intrigued. The pieces are abstract (which I love) and are constructed with some unique materials; oil, wax, & wood. Did I mention the awesome use of color? After talking a little with Jeremy through email, this is what he had to say about his work.

    I love modern art with an antique sensibility.  I am inspired by art and design that is as comfortable as it is challenging.  As such, I attempt to use the most traditional materials I can in my work. 

    My latest series was made using encaustic wax, a medium that dates back to the Egyptian times and was revived by modern artist Jasper Johns.  For the base of each painting I brushed wood panels with a rust mixture historically used for staining gun stocks.  The wax is used to seal the wood grain and can be clear for building layers or pigmented to add color.  ”  –Jeremy

    Take a look at some more of his work here!