Some New RnR's To Find Your RnR

Some New RnR's To Find Your RnR

As adults, we tend to lose a lot of the simplicity we once had as children. We sometimes forget what we value or enjoy in the midst of the day to day. What if we could capture those wonderful things we hold so dear and carry them with us every day?

Rejection Is Our Friend

Rejection Is Our Friend

Rejection in any shape or form can make us crumble. It can make us feel "less-than". It can feel personal and debilitating. So how do we move passed it when rejection - and all of those feelings that come with it - hit close to home?

My First Year in Business

My First Year in Business

If you're a maker or a creator looking to find a way to sell your goods to the masses, I write about my first year in business on Etsy, debunk some myths, and share some tools I use to help me work more efficiently and effectively.

Be Bold. Be Daring.

Be Bold. Be Daring.

When you think of taking a risk, what do you think of? Putting a weeks worth of earnings on red in roulette? Jumping out of a plane? Learning to ride a motorcycle? Walking over hot coals? Learn how to think about risk in a different way to take full advantage of the opportunities when they arise.

Design at Play : The Concept

 My grandma at her 100th birthday party

My grandma at her 100th birthday party

My grandma passed away a couple of months ago now. She was 104 and she always amazed me with her determination to live life to the fullest and have fun no matter what was happening or how old she was.  

She never wanted to think she was getting older or feel like she was losing her independence so she kept life happening for as long as she possibly could before old age got the better of her.

She passed peacefully and her send off was a celebration of all her accomplishments and life experiences and, boy, they were grand. To name a couple, she had her 8th child at 46, she took a voyage on a Mediterranean cruise at 95, and also volunteered at a hospice thrift shop in her 90’s until she was 100. Of course there’s more but that is just a little snapshot to show you that she never let the grass never grow under her feet.

I do believe her young-at-heart spirit and playful outlook, kept her going for so many years and is what kept her mind healthy. The evidence of this may not necessarily be set in stone as fact but the studies that have been conducted state that feeling younger may lead to better health habits which in turn, helps you live longer. Makes sense.

Study or not though, this is a philosophy I believe in personally and try to practice as much as possible in my life because it just feels good to explore new things, be silly, get curious, and to not to take life so seriously sometimes. I also believe that everyone needs that. Just because we're adults, doesn't mean we have to be grown up at all times, right? NO! (That's just me though :) )

This concept serves as the foundation and inspiration for my design work as well which I hope to transfer to everyone that buys a little something from me. Whether it’s a gift for someone or a gift for yourself, my goal is to make you feel silly, happy, or help you brush off the icky things in life. That's what my "Design at play" tagline is all about.

So tell me, what’s your secret to life? What inspires you? What keeps you going? 
I’d love to hear it in the comments below.
 

"Back to the Future, Circa 1985" : Illustration

 Back to the Future, Circa 1985 illustration on t-shirt

Back to the Future, Circa 1985 illustration on t-shirt

"What if I send it in and they don't like it? What if they say I'm no good? What if they say 'Get out of here, kid. You got no future.' ? I mean, I just don't think I can take that kind of rejection." - Marty McFly

So...who can relate to this? I know I've experienced many "Marty McFly" moments so I definitely can.

Sometimes before we even put pen to paper to start a new project, our minds prepare us for ultimate failure. The 'what-if's' swirl about and the potential rejection seems to be too big to ever come back from. Our dreams flash before our eyes and we make a decision to not even bother. 

On one hand, you want to get out there and make your place in the world; Show them what you've got. Then there's the other side that is scared of being judged, criticized, and rejected. Putting yourself out there can be a scary thing so it's natural for your brain to want to protect you from all that. But in reality, it's usually never as big of a deal as we make it out to be. If we want to gain any traction or want experience new things though, we have to do those scary things anyways. 

This was a block for me, for quite awhile. I didn't pursue what I wanted or share my work for the fear of being seen as amateur, not having what it took, or doing it wrong. A bit extreme, yes, and I had to do a lot of personal work to push through that. Once I did though, I became more confident despite those criticisms. I improved. I tried again. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. It is slowly becoming habit and instead of seeing the 'what if's' in a negative way, I'm starting to turn them into curiosity & wonderment.  'What if I succeed?!'

I also wonder if there's a slight fear in that thought too. What IF you succeed beyond your wildest dreams? What IF you realize something new about yourself? What IF you unlock new worlds? Is the risk of rejection worth it? Um...YEA! 

When I sat down to design something inspired by Back to the Future, I watched the movie to refresh myself and brainstorm people, words, phrases, and key points in the movie.  Originally, I had a very different idea but it already existed so I had to change direction.

I'm a big nerd for organization and love the photos where people lay out their wardrobe for the day or travel accessories in somewhat of a grid system, so I decided to combine those two ideas. The thought of illustrating everything overwhelmed me but I was up for the challenge. When I finished, I immediately wanted to ditch it. That little voice said, 'It's not enough.' Then it said, 'Maybe it's too much.' So I sat for a bit and thought about what worked and what didn't. I added. I removed. I sized. I rearranged. Until it had just enough to make it feel balanced. 

I was able to get passed all the noise in my head and, in the end, I was pretty happy with result. It's now up on my RedBubble site for all to enjoy and I even have a t-shirt of my own on the way which I will share on my Instagram when I get it!

In the meantime, tell me all about your "Marty McFly" moment.

Illustration Inspiration

If you haven't discovered Néstor Canavarro, you will now. A very talented illustrator from Buenos Aires who has sketched some pretty famous faces with such detail, you'd think they were real photographs. What I love most are his WIP (work in progress) shots that show you just how much detail and layering goes into his pieces.

Check it out!

 Snapshot from Néstor's website

Snapshot from Néstor's website

Personalize Your Face with a Typeface

Be the type of person you want to meet.  - Unknown

Glasses, like a well-made hat or watch, are a fashion accessory I think most overlook. Some tend to have a stigma around glasses and don't wear them because of a bad experience wearing them as a kid or they just don't like how they look. Fair enough. But what if I were to tell you that glasses are a pretty neat way to accessorize and showcase your personality. Just like we personalize the things we design with type, we - too - can be personalized with type. I stumbled across a company that actually designs glasses based on some classic typefaces.

Check them out!

Snapshot from the Type.gs website

Crawling for a Good Story

"There's always room for a story that can transport people to another place." - J.K. Rowling

Another year at the Vancouver Culture Crawl and it's always interesting what you end up finding. While you walk from place to place, from room to room, from booth to booth, you are transported to new worlds - each with it's own unique landscape. 

While some art pieces intrigue you and leave you wondering, the ones I find to be most engaging and delightful are the pieces that draw me in from afar and make me want more when I'm up close and personal.

Debbie Lelievre's playful artwork did just that. On each title card was a very brief story that gave you insight into the character and what they were up to.

It's as if each piece had it's own personality. I was hooked.

 Debbie Lelievre prints

Debbie Lelievre prints

I went from one to the next, smiling at the unique and funny commentary and was lost in imagination and fantasy. What a delight to not have to dig for a story but was given just enough of one, to make my own. It was storytelling at its finest.

 Debbie Lelievre prints

Debbie Lelievre prints

I spoke with her for some time, listening to her journey and how all of her characters came to be, leaving with a whole lot of inspiration and 3 signed prints from "The Authentics" series; A series of drawings she based off of people she has met.

 Snapshot of Debbie Lelievre prints from her website

Snapshot of Debbie Lelievre prints from her website

I went to her Facebook page the next day and saw a post stating that (out of 30) she only had 4 originals left! It's not surprising. Not only is Debbie a lovely, talented artist with a great collection of pieces but she has very successfully married story and art. This, I believe, helps her audience feel connected to her art and, in turn, pushes it past that proverbial tipping point.