inspiration

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.

Man v. Machine: The Artistic Dilemma

Pencils

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!”

Quote

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

Image

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.

Six Word Story Every Day

Image

I stumbled upon Six Word Story Every Day in my usual inspiration web wanderings and was immediately drawn in. Combining the art of writing with the art of design? Yes please, I’ll take it!

Image

In 2010, Anne Ulku and Van Horgen discovered the genius of using language and typography to create a six word story…every day. Each post is unique—some using photography, some using illustration, some using nothing but bare-bones typography—and they all cause the mind to wander somewhere different for each viewer, sparking inspiration for every new set of eyes.

Image

My favorite part about this project is that it shows how complex and impactful words can be, yet it’s portrayed in such a simplistic way. People can write novels—thousands of words—that tell marvelous stories and draw you in with their characters or plots; but people can also write a single sentence that creates just as much, if not more, of an impact on our lives. 

Image

With this fresh new link for the inspiration archives, I’m feeling ultra creative. I think my six word story for today would be: “I just really want some adventure.” How about yours?

Happy storytelling,
J.

 

 

Friday Sip & Sit: Bday Love

sipsit5

Wednesday was none other than my lovely day of being welcomed into this world. In honor of this once-a-year anomaly where people you haven’t spoken to in ages supply some Facebook love (to which I am grateful, don’t get me wrong), this Friday’s Sip & Sit includes, of course, a fabulous champagne toast.

ImageImage

Champagne Mint Julep

3-4 fresh mint leaves
1 1/2 ounces bourbon
3 ounces of Cavicchioli 1928, Sparkling Wine, NV, very well chilled

In a champagne flute, add the mint leaves (twisting them as you add to release their flavor and aroma) and the bourbon, and muddle with the end of a spoon. Top with the chilled Cavicchioli and enjoy.

Simple enough! Thanks to The Kitchn for this week’s bday cocktail.

Image

But of course, what would a Friday happy hour treat be without an equally fantastic place to enjoy? I would love to soak in some afternoon sun on this boat—a day filled with friends and warm weather is really all it takes to satisfy my celebratory notions.

Apologies to all of my friends who are reading this in hopes of a surprise birthday getaway on my yacht; the bowling alley will have to suffice for this evening! #stayclassy

So happy birthday to me! Here’s hoping the big 2-7 will be filled with happiness and success—perhaps someday we’ll actually enjoy our Friday Sip & Sit overlooking the lapping water and smelling the wonderful salty air.

Cheers!
J.

 

 

Unsplash

Image

I recently stumbled upon this awesome site, offering 10 new, free, high-res photos every ten days. I love it when a great resource just falls right into your lap. These work spectacularly as blurred backgrounds, a break from work to do some daydreaming, or simply as good ol’ solid inspiration. Today, I was of course drawn to the ones reminding me that warmer days are right ahead.

Image

Image

Image

Image

That last one was for good measure—because if you don’t love an adorable puppy there is clearly something wrong with you.

Not only are the photos themselves great, but you can certainly get lost in clicking the links to each photographer, delving into a ton of new creative outlets. Enjoy!

Cheers,
J.

Wanderlust: A Van in the Sea

Image

I’m having a bit of Wednesday Wanderlust today as I check out “A Van in the Sea,” a project by Alessandro Puccinelli. This guy is way cool for so many reasons. Not only did he buy a 1970s motorhome—the thought of restoring this baby to its original glory fascinates me beyond belief—and drove it along the coasts of Portugal; but he also pursued his passion of photography in a jaw-droppingly gorgeous and exploratory way.

Image

Every photo, while similar, has subtle nuances that make it a brand new masterpiece of its own. When asked why he took the venture, Puccinelli states simply, “I did that just to be able to take care of my personal photography project and also…because I just wanted to do what I like.” How lovely of an idea is that? Most of us have hobbies, but how many of us can say we took such a grand leap to satisfy a hunger for pure bliss?

Image

Are you inspired? Good. Now go out and do something today…just because you like it.

Cheers!
J.