Inspiration Through Instagram
(And Hitting the Unfollow Button)

4/15/18

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Hi design friends! Let's talk about inspiration through Instagram, and why I've unfollowed a ton of accounts lately (and followed a few new ones!).

Just like Facebook in 2005, Instagram is where I'll take a few minutes to scroll for updates and inspiration throughout the day (I don't think I've scrolled through Facebook in a year 😐). So while Insta is still kickin, I started to realize my feed had filled up with lifestyle bloggers over actual artists. And I was like, how did this happen?

If you know me, or have followed for a bit, you'd know I loathe lifestyle bloggers (...or "influencers"...which one is it?). I find these people way too vapid, way too full of themselves, and they don't actually stand for anything. To continue... they only pop in to rallies for the photo, and too often say things like "I did it for the gram" 🤢)

So, I decided enough was enough. How did these girls sneak into my feed so easily? And was I to let them stay? Their posed photographs, lack of anything interesting to say, and fake laughter "for the gram" was uninspiring, so I hit the unfollow button, and haven't looked back. (to let's say, about 15 different accounts)

After that, I found a bunch of artists (designers, painters, etc) that are creating real work in the world, and hit that follow button. Making my feed wayyy more interesting.

I think it's important to not "hate like" people. I think a lot of us follow influencers and their posed fashion photos just to kind of be jealous and hate them a bit while also loving them...and it's not cool. I believe they hustle in their own way, but it's not real, and they're truly not contributing to the world. (Can you imagine telling your grandparents or great grandparents, who fought in a war, that you're an Influencer?)

So if you're reading this, I encourage you to go follow more artists and real people with real jobs on Instagram, and less of those chicas who post things just for likes. Because life is too short to just "do it for the gram". 🙂

Graffiti art (above) by @jasonnaylor, taken in Chelsea, NYC.

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Getting on the Podcast Train

3/11/18

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When it comes to working and designing, I'm at my best when I'm feeling inspired. And as a New Yorker, I always have my headphones on. And any time I'm wearing my headphones, I'm always listening to music. Which seems funny to type, because it's like, well yeah, you have your headphones on, what else would you be doing?

But here's the thing, has anyone noticed that like 95% of songs are about heartbreak, heartache, lost love, or something along those lines? Okay, maybe I'm listening to the wrong things (must stop listening to Taylor Swift), but my journey with music was leaving me uninspired (and a little down) for way too long.

About a year ago I started listening to podcasts, and I just couldn't get into them. I wasn't finding shows I liked, topics I related to, or voices I could stand for more than 5 minutes. But some sort of shift has happened for me in the last few months where I've found shows I love and I can't stop listening. I even get sad when I've run out of episodes.

And guess what? I'm in a better mood. Because I'm not listening to those heartbreak, heartache love songs anymore. I've evolved into a podcast lover, and I'm never looking back.

So if you're like me and need inspiration, something funny to listen to, or just a reason to get away from people singing about the one that got away, check out 5 of my fav podcasts....


1. Why Won't You Date Me with Nicole Byer - Omg. Love. Nicole Byer, if you ever read this, please never stop doing this podcast, I would definitely date you. If you're someone who's dating in this crazy app-loving world we live in, especially in a big city where there's so many people to date (and no one at all to date), you're going to love this extremely relatable podcast about relationships, friendships, dating, and all the disasters involved.

2. How Did This Get Made - Remember Mystery Science Theater? Those little robots commenting on ridiculous movies? Well this podcast is the same concept, and so fun to listen to. My favs are definitely the Spice World and Rock Star episodes, but there's so many to listen to, you'll definitely find a movie you like.

3. This is Why You're Single - There seems to be a theme here. I basically like any dating podcast. No, actually, that's not true. I've turned plenty off. This podcast is great because there's so many topics covered. Whether you're single, engaged, dating, sick of dating, there's a bit of humor and learning in this one. Also, relationships fascinate me, so maybe there's a bit of psychology in here too?

4. The Fringe of It - I've been loving these 2 British ladies, Liv Purvis and Charlotte Jacklin, for a while now. I found them years ago through Instagram, and they recently started a podcast talking about friendship, self-care, and all things lifestyle. Plus, those lovely British accents...you know I'm a sucker.

5. WTF with Marc Maron - Marc can sometimes be a hard pill to swallow. He's grumpy, pessimistic, and there's a few too many cats wandering around, but his celebrity interviews have always been top-notch...and I occasionally need a little bit of grumpy talk in the morning. If you're into celebs talking about real things, this ones for you.

I've linked to each podcast's website, but I generally listen to them on the Podcast app or Spotify. If you'd like to follow me on my podcast journey, don't forget to check on my insta stories to find out my newest favs...I do love to talk about them :)



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How I Create My Lettering Designs

2/11/18

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Happy Sunday folks! I have a new one for you...how I create my lettering designs.

My journey with hand lettering started with a sharpie and a white piece of paper. Many moons ago. This was before I purchased a stylus, before I realized what programs would work for me, and when I still thought drawing without technology was the answer.

If you're talented with a sharpie (or pen, pencil...whatever), then seriously, hats off to you. Because I'm not so great at it. Sure, I can draw, but one little mistake ruins the whole design, and I was wasting way too much paper.

So, I begrudgingly picked up my iPad, and downloaded Adobe Illustrator. I still hadn't bought a stylus, so I decided to act like a child and use my finger. This didn't get me very far. I also wasn't feeling great about Illustrator on the iPad. I felt there were a few limitations I couldn't get around.

After much googling to figure out what program I should be using, I found Procreate. The name of this program could definitely be better, but I was totally blown away. My iPad Mini wouldn't allow me to get an Apple Pencil (thanks Apple...you're grand), so I hopped on over to Amazon and bought a Heiyo stylus for just $35 (take that, Apple Pencil!).

With Procreate and the Heiyo stylus, I can draw anything I'd like with a ton of styling options. Lots of brushes, pens choices, weights, etc. I very much prefer it to the Adobe programs since it's more specifically made for drawing on the tablet.

If you're looking to create some lettering designs like I do, check out the links below. And no, this wasn't sponsored, because I'm not that cool, and I do really enjoy these design tools. So I hope this helps your lettering journey...these are definitely my fav :)

Links:
Find out more about Procreate here. And you can find the Heiyo stylus here.

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5 Freebies for Graphic Designers

1/30/18

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I have a very useful list of design freebies today, friends!

I love having convos with design friends about where they find certain things, and sharing my own secrets can be very helpful to them as well. From fonts, to stock photography, to online courses, here's 5 of my favorite graphic design resources to help in your next project...

1. Free Fonts: Most of my favorite fonts are free for personal use, and there are just so many websites out there, it can be difficult to navigate through! My favorite is DaFont.com. Okay, it's not the best looking site...and you may question downloading from it. But it's my go-to site for great fonts, and browsing through the recently added fonts can really get my next project going.

2. Free stock photography (like really great photos): I've been a user of Death to The Stock Photo for years now. They email me every month a batch of beautiful, professional photos. And if you want even more, for just $12 a month you can access their huge library of great photos. (not sponsored, just love this company!)

3. Free coding lessons: If you're a designer looking to code, and you don't have the time or money to go to a class, you can do it for free at home. I discovered Codecademy about a year ago, and the lessons are actually fun, and you can do it on your own time. What's better than that?

4. Free photo editing: My favorite app to edit photos is VSCO. You may have already heard of it from your fave Instagram blogger, but as a designer, I also love their filters and editing features, and it's so much fun to use on my phone. There's a free and paid version, depending on how many filters you'd like to look through.

5. Free design inspiration: Pinterest. How are you not on it already? I could browse it for hours and find all of the creative inspiration I need. I also find plenty of home decor ideas, but that's another story. Take a look at my page here if you need a little inspiration!

Well, there you have it! Fonts, photos, classes, editing tools, and inspiration. I hope these free resources help you with your next project. So get your little designer brain working, and make something fab!

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