STUDIO SOUNDS: OCTOBER

Okkkkaaayyy.

I've fallen back in love with music.

During the summer podcasts were definitely my background-noise-of-choice, but that has taken a turn! I don't know if there has just been a lot of good stuff out there now or if my ears just wanted something different, also I don't know if the reason matters, really. ha!

Excluding full albums I've been bouncing around between favorite individual songs. I'll tell you the albums I have been listening to cuz it isn't many… it has been The Decemberists 'What a terrible world, what a beautiful world' album cuz it has all sorts of fall/pirate shanty/Nick Drake vibes and The 1975's album 'I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful…etc' because it's full of retro sounding pop-happiness.

Anyway. Back to the point! The point is I wanted to document my favorite songs of the month so I could binge listen to them on demand. Now I'm sharing the list with you!

Give it a listen! It's hosted on Spotify and for the most part is pretty clean, though the first song has many fucks in the beginning, be aware if you are unhappy by the f bomb. After the first minute and a half the song is just musically gorgeous, IMO.

The list has an hour and 14 minutes of jams ready to go. So enjoy!

What have you been listening to? Any favorite songs that you can't live without right now?

DESIGN IN MASS PRODUCTION

When I think about mass produced cards, I think one design, run through a fancy printer like a zillion times (very nicely, of course). But I ran into an opportunity a little while ago that lead me to think about mass production in a different way with my small scale Drawn & Delivered card project. This method even involves recycling so for this girl who uses (what feels like) a metric ton in paper it made me feel really good.

One morning, I spent an unusually looooong time working on my #dailyintention of the day to share on my Instagram and I wound up with 5 or 6 sheets of paper that I would have otherwise chucked into our recycling, but after becoming more interested in cut paper and mixing texture, it lead me to think about how I could use these sheets differently. I was also a llllllittle behind on my card schedule so all of this paper and started to look like an opportunity.

I sat down after randomly cutting up the pages and arranged them onto the cards. I liked how abstract everything was looking and the strange amounts of white space I was noticing too, so I opened up my glue stick and started to put the pieces together. Once I had everything glued down, I trimmed out the edges and voilá!

What makes this method work is the very simple color palette and some of the repeated shapes that you start to notice from my original pre-cut pages. It's almost as if there is a hidden system to the madness.

At the very end of creating these cards I thought they lacked a sense of grounding so that's why I added the black lines around some of the edges of the paper.

I would love to do some more work with small batch designs like this in the future.

If any of you have scraps from sketches hanging around, try doing this too! I think you'll like the results. It's also very quick and kind of like putting a puzzle together that has no image. So like freestyle puzzle building? Yeah… that sounds about right!


ps! If you would like some great free desktop and phone wallpapers illustrated by me, sign up for my email list! It's on the right side bar. I will only send you stuff like personal insights, stories and glimpses behind the scenes in my studio. No junk mail, just fun stuff :)

IT'S NOT ABOUT BEING DONE

So I started a new book today! It's 'The E-Myth Revisited' by Michael E. Gerber. This is a book about small businesses, why they get started, why they fail and how a person can avoid the fail part. 😉 

A story he told was about the owner of a pie shop and how she started to hate this thing she built her life and business around. The quote I illustrated is what her aunt told her as she was learning to bake when she would start to rush. I re-read this passage a few time to let it really sink into my brain.

I have felt this way a lot in the past. I'd start something and then immediately want to move on. But then what?

It reminded me of a favorite piece of stand-up comedy from Jerry Seinfeld where he says something to the effect of 'we are all going around from one destination to another for another chance to sit down.' I think that says so much about how we appreciate or don't appreciate the act of making what we love or even experiencing life for that matter!

This is when life becomes a chore or a hassle, you can easily see this in business. The reason why you get into it stops being enjoyable because of everything else (book keeping, marketing yourself, technical issues, etc.).

The challenge is to enjoy IT ALL.

I know that might seem like expecting a lot from yourself, but I truly believe it's necessary to stop negativity from slowly over taking your life and the things you love. The good thing is that positivity is just as contagious as negativity. As soon as you relax and enjoy making stuff, even if the stuff is kind of crappy, that joy will be felt. I can't celebrate that fact enough and how true it is.

When you exude positivity it will shine back to you. Granted, I'm not perfect at this, but when I notice myself falling back to negativity I can recenter myself and it makes a huuuuge difference.

So bake those pies, draw those illustrations, read that book but not to be done, instead, do it to learn, grow and have some goddamn fun. 🎉

MARCH UNIFORM

Back when it was March, I wore a variation of this. A lot. 

I was able to pick up this excellently flowy denim top and these black pants from a great boutique in uptown Minneapolis called Proper & Prim. Both pieces fit into the season and my closet seamlessly. I was so excited to wear less layers as March came in full swing. With less layers I want to keep the layers I do have more interesting. Maybe integrating pieces that have unique shapes, different textures, or a-typical proportions. In any case, I want the items I wear to be a little more impactful. To me, dressing is all about having fun and being comfortable.

Here's a breakdown of this March Uniform:

HAIR
Curls! I actually used my curling wand sometimes! 

ACCESSORIES
Sunglasses. I actually wear sunglasses throughout the winter too, but they take on a new vitality when spring comes, dontcha think?

MAKE-UP
I was really playing up the eye lashes and filling out my eye brows, not like you can tell in the photo with my sunglasses on ;) but I have been keeping the rest minimal. However, I am on a very real hunt for a new mascara. My favorite from Bare Minerals isn't made anymore and everything I've tried since has been a disappointment. Suggestions???

SCENT
I wore a lot of different scents, some deep, some sweet and clean, it really depended on the day and weather. My favorite re-discovery in my collection has been the Dirty Springwash by LUSH. That stuff is for sure in my top 5 favorite fragrances of all time. Would any of you like the know what the rest of them are? I might want to do a post or video about that! Yay? Nay?

TOP
Chambray-ish boxy top with cute little mother-of-pearl style buttons. I love that this top covers my arms for the cold but lets the breeze in for warm days.

LEGS
These black pants have been a staple. I wasn't kidding when I said I would wear them multiple times a week in this video. They fit amazingly well and feel akin to the nicest pair of leggings I own.

BAG
Vintage Coach. One of my very best thrifted finds!

FEET
I love that wearing sneakers is so fashionable right now! It's like the this little treat for my feet to fit cozily into a pair of shoes. Granted, most of my shoes are comfortable, but not all of them started that way. And this black and white color palette for the shoes means they match everything and even elevate my outfits if I'm doing it right/am lucky enough :)

Annnnd with that, there you have my uniform from March!

I hope you have all been well :) As for me and the rest of my world b-school, freelancing and my day job have been leaving me pretty empty at the end of each day. That means little energy to put long winded posts around here. As I've said before, I'd like to keep it casual around here, easy and fun. So I hope to see you around here again real soon!

SUCCESSFULLY UNEMPLOYED: TIP 8

Heeeey! You made it to the final day of my Successfully Unemployed series! Woohoo! I hope you've found some of these tips useful, no matter what your employment status happens to be! Okay, with that, let's get right into the final tip, it is to…

STAY OPEN

What started to trip me up while unemployed was being motivated to actually apply for jobs.

Every job description I was reading started to sound the same and worst of all they didn't sound like me at all. When I would read the descriptions I would look at them like 'well I can only do 50% of what they're looking for so nvm…' If you are anything like me, focus on what you can do and what you could learn and apply anyway!

Thankfully, all of my practices that I've laid out with you in this series brought me to confidently deliver this final piece of advice, which is to stay open.

What that has meant to me was to keep an eye on the job boards and apply to something if it sounds interesting, even if it's just a tiny part of the job that sounds interesting. This is because if you have the chance to interview, you will have the opportunity to have a real conversation with this company and getting to know them better. Just because you go on an interview, it doesn't mean you have to take a job from them if they offer. So try not to get too ahead of yourself :)

Another thing you can try is to get in touch with a recruiter who may help find leads for you. Especially if you are new to an area, a recruiter can help you a lot simply because they have more resources. To be very honest, I wouldn't be in my job right now if it wasn't for a recruiter! AND just because they suggest a lead to you, doesn't mean you have to take it. All recruiters want to find a good match for both the employee and the employer.

Being open takes practice, and it takes courage. But the best results come from keeping your eyes open.

Have faith that all of the work you've been doing will be put you right where you need to be at the right time.

Welllllll that's it! That's all my advice for those who are unemployed! I hope you found these tips useful if you are or every find yourself in between jobs, trying to find your first job or quit your job to find something or build something better for yourself.

As I said in the beginning of this series, these tips are great for anyone, no matter what your employment status is, but they're especially great for the unemployed. I was once there, probably will be again, and it's not as scary as it sounds.

Thanks for hanging out with me for this series! Things will go back to their regularly scheduled programing in a few days. Just a heads-up, as I mentioned a few days ago I'm enrolled in Marie Forleo's b-school right now and that's taking up a good chunk of time, so updates will be less formal :)

PS. If you are interested in reading my techniques/recommendations/advice of productivity, last year I did a small series called Productivity Week! Check it out if you want to know more about it. The techniques I wrote about then are practices that I still use today!

Intro | tip 1 | tip 2 | tip 3 | tip 4 | tip 5 | tip 6 | tip 7