September 17, 2012
I've been working all summer on building my creative empire. Sounds impressive, right?
You may remember back in March when I quit my advertising job. I then promptly disappeared off the face of this blog for a month or 2. Well, I wasn't sitting around eating cookies and watching Downton Abbey.
I lie. I did that too.
Months of planning and messy buns.
But I also set-up my new business, Paper Fort, as an LLC. I hired a lawyer and a CPA to answer all the questions that the internet made really confusing. (Ugh, government sites give me a headache.) I started building an ecommerce site on Shopify (love them!) and illustrated my first product which is on press this week.
It has been a very slow process and I'm so antsy to get this thing launched.
In the meantime I've created a pre-launch video to share Paper Fort's brand story and mission. I hope you follow along because it's going to be a messy, incredible, terrifying journey for me.
July 18, 2012
July 10, 2012
When asked how we're doing, our reply is almost always, "Busy! So busy busy busy."
Why do we do this to ourselves? Is it validation that we're living full lives?
I read an article this morning called "The 'Busy' Trap" and it reminded me of my own journey in the last couple days.
I had a breakdown the other night. I ended up crying my eyes out because Ryan helped me to realize how incredibly unhappy I've been lately. My obsession with staying "busy" had my insides wound so tightly that I was irritable and snappy.
When I "fail" at checking off enough to-do list items at the end of each day, I beat myself up. The word "fail" is important here. What a terrible, hurtful way to talk to myself.
As much as I try to create an environment of kindness (see: The Kind List), I've sunk into this place where productivity is everything. I started measuring my worth by how many hours I worked.
Sounds pretty dramatic, right?
The scary thing is, I'm not the only one giving in to this mindset. It's becoming an unreachable standard in society that we have a million things going on at once. School, work, side projects, hobbies, health, kid stuff, house stuff, pet stuff and on and on. There's so much pressure.
I see it on Facebook and Twitter every day. People proudly declaring how frantic and tired they are all the time.
I thought, "Hey, if I'm not like them, I must be doing something wrong."
That's a bunch of bull crap.
What's the point in running myself into the ground if I'm not happy in the end? It's a lessen I seem to relearn over and over again. I don't have to prove anything to anyone. Period.
• No working after 8 p.m.
• Meditate daily
• No multitasking
• Get outside and enjoy the fresh air
• Only check social media during breaks (not every 5 minutes)
That's my starting point.
Do you have similar rules you follow?
I'd love to hear about your experiences with the "busy" trap.
July 2, 2012
June 26, 2012
My sketchbooks are littered with diagrams like this. I make plans, rewrite 'em, trash 'em and repeat.
I've been freelancing for 3 months and my business hasn't launched yet. What's the dillio?
My problem: Pursuing too many directions at once and turning my brain into a mushy mess.
My solution: Focus.
There are 2 directions I want to focus on:
• Launching my SHOP
• Continuing to develop my Design STUDIO
My shop has gone through many, MANY revisions. I dedicated the first month (after jumping ship) to branding my initial shop concept called Constellation Tree.
After all that work, I trashed it.
I'm letting go of ideas and directions that don't feel right. It's crumby that I spent so much time on one concept and trashed it, but I'm learning that it's all part of the process. Getting everything right on the first try takes the magic out of life.
Good things are coming. Now it's time to focus.
Topics: creative business
June 25, 2012
June 20, 2012
June 18, 2012
June 14, 2012
Have you heard about the legendary "aha moment" that people experience right before they make important life decisions? Apparently light bulbs burst for miles and illuminate a clear path of certainty and direction.
I call them legendary because my aha's tend to be quiet and slow-building. Imagine the grand canyon – slow, vast and uncertain. That's closer to what I experience.
Moments that seem insignificant at the time might be spinning around inside you for years. One such moment popped into my head this morning that took me back to college.
I remember sitting in a design class waiting to have some initial concept sketches critiqued by Scott Stowell, who was our celebrity/guest professor for the week. On a side note, it's always been my style to sketch before hitting the computer at the start of a project. Brain-to-pen feels more natural than brain-to-mouse-to-screen.
I'm sure Scott had a lot of feedback for a newbie designer like me but what I remember was him complimenting my drawing style. He liked my tiny thumbnail sketches. I'd never really thought about it before. Sketching was part of the process, so I never stopped to evaluate how much I enjoyed that part. I was so focused on the end result.
Years later, I've done some time in the advertising world and now I'm looking for my next move. When I sit and ask myself, "What could I do for the rest of my life that would make me happy and excited every single day?" The answer includes drawing.
That's my aha. It started when I picked up my first set of watercolors in kindergarten and continues to build over time. Slowly. Over the lifespan of many, many light bulbs.
Illustration by me.
Illustration by me.
June 11, 2012
For my first pattern I cut tiny triangles out of Astrobright paper, glued, scanned and finally traced each one in Illustrator.
I have a notebook page full of ideas for materials to use to create more patterns – paper, paint, trash, pens, twigs, fruit, beads, condiments, and so on. Maybe even some sprinkles. Let the fun begin!
June 4, 2012
May 29, 2012
May 22, 2012
May 18, 2012
This is my home.
It's not fancy.
I have dirty dishes.
My desk is clunky.
I have berber carpet.
It's an apartment.
I love it.
There are days when my blog reader totally bums me out. It feels like everyone has the perfect home.
I know that's absolutely ridiculous. Those homes aren't perfect. Maybe for a moment when the stylist is done tweaking for a photo shoot, but then what happens? Real life takes over. Dirty clothes are thrown over chairs. Dogs poop on floors. Children color on walls.
I'd love to see your home unfiltered.