Month: May 2014

Bold

Bold

When I was younger, I was the little girl that clung to her mother’s leg and spoke only when spoken to. In high school I was the cheerleader that no one believed could yell loudly enough to wake a sleeping baby, let alone cheer on a team of 40 boys. In college my hands shook and my voice trembled when forced to present my work. But after transitioning into a “career woman” (if you will), I like to think that I’ve gained some much-needed self-confidence; because quitting your steady job to start your own business is nothing short of terrifying and I would never have done it otherwise.

Every day should be filled with a little thrill. Switch up the ol’ routine, maybe part your hair on the opposite side (woah!) or practice your finest karaoke number with the windows down (apologies, fellow commuters). I’m convinced that these small, bold moves are what keep us on track to a fulfilling life that forces you to destroy the limits every once in a while.

Bold design contributes to this as well. Pushing your clients outside of their comfort zone is necessary if you want to continue to challenge yourself artistically. I always try to provide clients with one option that goes beyond what they’re expecting; maybe they choose it, or maybe they ask what the hell you were thinking but at least you’ve allowed yourself an opportunity to fully flex those creative muscles with each and every project—and no, 20 reps of picking up and putting down your pencil does not count. 

Click here for some bold design inspiration and go get your creative workout on.

Cheers!
J.

Friday Sip & Sit: Mini-Vacay

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Today’s Sip & Sit comes from one of my favorite places on Earth. In an effort to soak in some early summer rays and enjoy every bit of relaxation this holiday weekend, the gal-pals and I decided to make the 8-hour trek from Bmore city life to paradise in Topsail Island, NC.

Obviously the beach comes with a plethora of more-than-acceptable alcoholic beverage options, but finding something that is refreshing and easy to drink in the hot summer sun can often be a challenge when contemplating options that have a ton of sugar (also known as a headache waiting to happen). So I’ve settled on this scrumptious and simple choice, which I’ll have in-hand in about t-minus three hours (#5oclocksomewhere).  

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Rum with Coconut Water & Lime

  • 1.5 oz. high-quality rum
  • 1.5 oz. coconut water
  • Squeeze of lime (appx. 1/4 lime)

Pour all ingredients in a lowball cocktail glass, add one large ice cube, and serve.

Thanks to two-tarts.com for today’s recipe!

Easy as pie! Usually my “sit’s” are places I’m daydreaming about each week. But today, I’m going to cut this post short and go enjoy my vacation, drink in hand. Don’t mind my shameless Ravens plug…

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Here’s hoping your holiday weekend takes its time, right now Tuesday is miles away…

Cheers!
J.

Man v. Machine: The Artistic Dilemma

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I don’t know about you, but a few glasses of Syrah and binge-watching my DVR is pretty heavenly. Finding the time in our busy schedules to catch up on a week’s worth of shows in one sitting is rarely feasible, yet deeply fulfilling for our inner-lazy bone when we can swing it. Hello, Sunday.

Let’s dive right in. Last week on Mad Men (season 7, episode 5, if you’d like to catch up…) a computer was brought into the SC&P office. Like it or not, the 1960s were suddenly introduced to the age of technology. There I sat, attempting to multitask and clicking away on my MacBook propped perfectly in my lap, when suddenly I looked up and realized that the entire “creative lounge” was being transformed into an office of digitization—the thing was a beast.

Mad Men

I suppose I don’t often think about the fact that computers weren’t always so prominent in the lives of creatives. When IBM introduced that first wizard of a machine, boasting the motto “THINK,” I’m sure the mighty little MacBook Pro wasn’t even a glimmer in the eye of Mother Technology. And as Mad Men‘s Michael Ginsberg was overtaken by paranoia that this computer would capture their souls I began to compare the late 60’s Madison Ave creative jungle with my own 2014 work habits, realizing that our time spent in front of the screen should not have such substantial front-runner status and that a true graphic designer must use their pen and paper equally as much as their mouse.

Recently, I read “Steal Like an Artist” by Austin Kleon, in which he writes about having both a Digital Desk and an Analog Desk in his studio. I love this idea, so while setting up my new space I purposefully developed a triangle of constant creative motion by developing a Digital Desk and a Analog Desk of my own—not to mention, I threw a brainstorming space into the mix as well. The result being that I’m situated perfectly between point A of the isosceles (my lovely MacBook + Thunderbolt duo), point B (my brainstorming chair) and point C (my drafting table) and feeling the spidery creative fibers beginning to form a brilliant web of ingenuity (or so one can only hope) that not only makes good use of our amazing technology, but also screams “don’t forget to use your hands!”

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So in the upcoming months I plan to spend more time roaming my newly-formed creative isosceles and contemplating how I can improve my work by being more hands-on. Need a burst of creativity in your own life? Join me in a revolution that will revert us back to the time when the “Creative Lounge” was just that—a space for expressive minds that succeeded with nothing more than paper, pens and brilliant, artistic ingenuity.

Cheers!
J.

 

Office Plants for Creatives

Spring has sprung! Actually, these past few days have felt like we may have skipped a season altogether. Nonetheless, it’s been giving me a hankerin’ for gardening that I’ve never had before—Hi, my name is Jill and I’m a plant killer. So yesterday I spent my lunch hour meandering the aisles of Home Depot’s outdoor garden center wondering where to begin. Feeling the eyes of the regulars judging the horticultural naivety that was radiating off of me, I contemplated which of these poor little sprouts would be my next victim.

By the end of this adventure there was hose water in my shoes, sunburn on my shoulder (that’s right, just one of them) and a newfound knowledge of the difference between Moroccan Basil and Sweet Basil—who knew?

Whichever part of the creative field you stem from (see what I did there?), I’m now convinced that as artists we need plants that are on our level. Behold! After a bit of research, here are my suggestions as to which leafy greens best align with a creative lifestyle:Plants

1. Succulents – Working long hours calls for plants that are nearly indestructible. Got wrapped up in that new project you’re super pumped about? No worries! Storing water in their leaves is what these little guys are all about, so missing a little watering may not be quite as detrimental as it would to other plants. So go on with yo’ creative self! The succulents can wait (at least a bit).

2. Money Tree – Let’s be honest, as artists there are few people in the world who truly appreciate not only the beauty, but the value of our work. Also known as the “Good Luck Tree” a Money Tree sounds like something every Creative should have in their office for those pesky clients that just don’t “get it.” Bonus: it promotes positive energy, so chin up!

3. Bonsai – Attention to detail is a must in the design industry. I think it’s safe to say we’ve all felt that small flutter in our chest as a printed piece arrives hot off the press and smelling of fresh pulp and ink. You examine it closely, fingers crossed that everything is exactly as it should be. The Bonsai tree is a perfect way to promote focus and effort in our everyday, creating something that also becomes an item of contemplation for both its audience and the grower. Hopefully that focus will make its way into the rest of our work as well.

4. Croton – This one was new to me—I couldn’t help but notice its pop of color among the sea of green. With yellow veins and subtle hints of red and orange, I am loving the variety of colors in this plant. Need a natural pop in your office? Grab one of these beauties and keep her near the window; the more direct sunlight they get the more their colors shine!

5. Mint – Mint leaves make a phenomenal addition to ice cubes. I’m a big tea fan, so popping one of these frozen treats into my glass gives it that extra kick of flavor…which, in turn gives me that extra kick of motivation. Then, after a long day of releasing the creative genius from within, happy hour arrives—mojito style. Fresh mint is the key ingredient to a fantastic mojito; take a long sip and revel in the day’s success.

Happy Tuesday! Don’t forget to water those plants…
J.

Office Sneak Peek

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The spaces where most of our time is spent should be those that also inspire us the most. I’ve spent the past two months renovating what is now the brand new TDco office. Its just…about…there, but due to the fact that I’m a borderline insane perfectionist, I’m only ready to share this little sneak peek. I took a ton of photos throughout the entire process, documenting all of the minutes spent making decisions that have turned it into my own creative sanctuary.

I found this fantastic chair from Joss & Main (above) in an almost too-good-to-be-true shade of Tomahawk purple, which also happens to fall right in line with the Pantone Color of the Year, Radiant Orchid. I like to think of this as an excellent sign to have opened the doors to TDco in 2014 with a brand that is so—you guessed it—fierce.

Stay posted for the big reveal!

Cheers,
J.

Food Type: Spicy Chicken Pizza

Pizza

Today’s Food Type ventures in a slightly different direction. Rather than a typographic restaurant review, I’ve started to dabble in typographic recipe creations! Meet Spicy Chicken and Pepper Jack Pizza.

Breakfast, lunch or dinner, there’s nothing better than a nice, hot, homemade pie. I did in fact make this delicious creation, feeling the need to test out the concoction before whipping out a work of art based solely on something that was not-so-tasty. It turned out phenomenally!

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Check out that crust, golden brown and baked to perfection. Sigh, give it a whirl! It’s worth it, I promise—would I lie to you??

Cheers,
J.

Friday Sip & Sit: Relaxation

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Some Friday nights all you feel like doing is staying in and taking a nice, long bubble bath. Unfortunately for me, I don’t currently have a phenomenal soaking tub to retreat to, so this evening I’m simply dreaming about it.

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Today was my final day at the agency where my career began. After nine hours, a few tears and a hell of a lot of courage, I walked out the door, pulled out of the lot and said goodbye to so many great people and memories. As I drove away I thought about the ones in your life that come and go. It’s like cold water to the face when you wake up and realize that the past four and a half years have formed relationships that helped you grow SO much, yet—as much as you hope they will—probably won’t matter when you look back after the next four and a half.

Cliche moral? Of course I have one, don’t you worry! Enjoy every day—every moment with every person that has even the tiniest glimpse into your life. They have something to teach you; find that something and hold onto it so that when you look back you know exactly why they were there.

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Obviously, today’s sip is champagne-based! A mighty little toast to the future—to new beginnings and new people and new stories to tell.

Clementine Limoncello Champagne Cocktail

8 oz Champagne, chilled
1 ripe pomegranate (for juice, about 3 oz)
5 oz clementine juice, freshly pressed
1 1/2 tablespoons Limoncello
2 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly pressed

2 tablespoons cane sugar (or simple syrup to taste)

Combine clementine juice, pomegranate juice, lemon juice and limoncello.
Add champagne and sugar cane (or simple syrup) and mix.

Serve immediately.

Thanks to In Good Taste for today’s recipe!

Amazing changes intermittently happen in our lives. We must embrace them, hope for the best and work hard. But just for tonight? I’ll be relaxing in my imaginary tub of bubbles…while sipping on some real bubbles.

Cheers!
J.