Category Archives: quotes

make the whole beautiful

Monday Words: Make the Whole Beautiful

There are moments when we look back and there are pieces, fragments and seemingly innocuous moments that don’t fit together. Regardless of how you look at them, they just don’t seem to make sense. The chips fall where they fall. Failures and disappointments happen in the ebb and flows of life. More than anything, I’ve learned there’s something about resilience. Having the ability to look at disappointments and failures and move forward changes everything. Over the past year, it seems that this is a lesson I’ve been learning over and over again. However, there is one thing I have learned- failure is never fatal. It’s how quickly and gracefully we get back up that makes all the difference.

This Monday, may your heart find bravery and courage again. May you find beauty in the tides that come in and out, crashing on the shores of life. May you embrace every change and transition that may come, holding close the truest essence of who you are. But more than anything, may you run after the dreams that are on your heart, pursuing wholeheartedness, and finding beauty as things are restored again.

What dreams are you chasing this Monday?

We’d love to hear from you! Let us know in the comments below.

paula scher quote

Monday Words: Getting Better with Everyday

There’s something about hindsight, isn’t there? The other day I found myself reviewing the first post on the blog. It’s amazing how far we’ve come in the past two years. Lately I’ve been thinking about this space and the creative force behind it. I’m always searching for inspiration, whether in music, film, art, story, or makers. I often complete edits late at night on the couch and find myself watching Netflix. Recently I stumbled upon the documentary series called Abstract. I was watching the episode on graphic designer Paula Scher. (This series is similar to Chef’s Table but for spheres within the art industry. I couldn’t recommend it enough.)

There was one line from this episode that stuck with me. She states, “I’m driven by the hope that I haven’t made my best stuff yet.” As a creative this has resonated deeply within. It has been easy in the past few months to feel overwhelmed and playing the constant game of getting caught up. As the business has grown, certain things have had to adjust including this space. It has lead to a production of content that can feel less than showing up with the best.

Upon watching this documentary, I couldn’t help but be inspired. Looking at capital campaigns and stunning designs Paula and her firm have created. The ways she has played, pushing typography to it’s limits and letting words say and mean something intrinsic, something beautiful. It awoke within me why I love design in the first place. Paula’s work for the New York arts, from The Public to handpainted maps, and Citibank logos, she has pushed the boundaries of what it looks like to merge design and the nonprofit world. This week we’re processing through moving forward as creatives. What does it look like to have a cohesive brand, but to see it evolve, grow, having ebb and flow over time? How do you dare, show invention, and push the envelope? What does it look like to back away from the endless streams of content, our screens, and creating through the sketchbooks and color swatches we once loved. We’re looking to different sources of inspiration and making plans to improve this space like never before.

More than anything, we’re focusing on making tomorrow better than today. We aren’t out to top ourselves and making something better than before. Rather we’re embracing the freedom that comes with creativity. The feelings and rush of delight that came with splashing paint on a canvas for the first time. It was wild, beautiful, and unconstrained. We find hope because we know we haven’t made our best stuff yet.

 

work to live

Monday Words: Work to Live

Work to live. Live to work. One phrase has fullness of meaning, filled with dreams, possibilities, and hope. The other is one that is full of dread, long hours, and lack. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been reflecting on my workload, sustainability, and building my business. It has come with many hours of thought and deliberation. What I’ve discovered along the way as a freelancer is that while you can work from anywhere, you simultaneously to your work with you everywhere you go… It can be liberating, full of freedom, or it can be crippling.

By nature I’m an achiever. I love to create, get things done, and mark items off my to-do list. I can get more done in a focused afternoon than most people can get done in a whole day. Because of this, I can have laser focus. I plow through work, often times forgetting to eat or sleep. Many have asked over the years if I know how to rest or how to embrace play. It’s something I love, but often gets put to the last item on the list every week. Maybe you can relate. The week is long and full, the things that once took priority, the ways you did self-care, have gotten pushed to the very last thing. How do we work to live? To have resource for what we value, but know when to stop? How do we no longer bow to financial incentives, but instead make the best choices?

This past weekend I decided to make a change. I took a weekend off. I found myself having time to enjoy the gym, having friends over for brunch, working in the garden, catching up on laundry, and as I write this post, I’m refreshed and excited to conquer the pile of work on my desk. It’s a rare feeling for me.

As a creative, it’s easy to press in and push through. There’s the deadlines for clients, the massive amounts to do. As you work from home, there’s blurred lines of where work starts and home begins. More than anything, I’ve found that when I have healthy rhythm, my inspiration floods forth and my creative blocks dissolve quickly.

As you face your day, how are you creating sustainably? Are you working at the sacrifice of self continually? What does it look like to have nice things but not fixate on them? What does it look like to work to live rather than live to work?

how to write

How to Write for Your Audience

As a creative, there’s always something to say. Something from deep within that our hearts and minds long to articulate our voice and put in form. Where symbols and letters collide to make words, formed into paragraphs that bring meaning our days. For some of us, we have dreams of writing, books that have been on our mind for years. For others, well we plainly hate writing. What started out as dreading writing assignments in primary school, has lead to a lack of confidence with the written word. It’s an inevitable facet of life, but one you dread. Whether it’s Instagram descriptions, drafting emails, or sending out a Christmas card update, any time someone mentions writing you’d rather go to the dentist. Like it or not, writing is part of our daily lives.

Here are a few things we’ve learned over the past two years that are vital when it comes to writing.

Know who and what you’re writing for.
I wouldn’t write the same way for a children’s book as I would for adults. While you’re writing for yourself, you’re also writing with outcomes and people in mind. Whether they’re your ideal client or your friends back home, knowing who is going to read what you write will help you craft a voice, tone, and possibly what content you cover. On another note, remember that how you write is largely determined by the platform you are writing for. Just in the same way, we receive information differently based on the medium, so what we write should change based on the platform. The way we write for Facebook verses a printed book, Twitter verses Instagram should be different. If you’re writing the same thing for every platform, it’s time to rethink your strategy.

Find a second or third pair of eyes.
Rough drafts are just that. Rough. When I first started blogging, I lived in a house with 9 women. There was constant activity and seldom blocks of time without anyone home. It made writing without distractions a challenge. Make sure to review whatever you’re writing multiple times before publishing it. Due to being in a rush, there are times I’ve neglected this portion o the writing process. Every time, I have deeply regretted it. Find a friend who loves grammar and spelling and take them out to coffee every other week as a way to say “Thank you.” If you have the money, hire an editor. There was a day where I was introducing a new column and misspelled the word “pantry” as “panty.” While I was able to laugh at myself and quickly fix the mistake, it was not the professionalism I wanted my blog or writing to have. I was super thankful for the housemate that found the mistake.

Part of attracting a tribe means you will repel others.
As we begin to articulate the ideas, thoughts, and honest voice within, we choose to show up on the stage of life. Some will love us for it and others will hate it. Remember as you write, you are open yourself to critics. Listen to their feedback and learn. Then, leave the rest and move forward.

Everyone starts somewhere.
Many of you have desired to write for years. It’s meant waiting, laboring, or solely having an idea. In my own life, I have often allowed comparison or a perfect mental checklist prevent me from starting. It took me three years to actually launch this blog. Why? I was comparing myself to where people were in the blogging industry. People I went to school with and remember sitting next to everyday. They were killing it. I on the other hand, was reteaching myself everything. What did I do? I went back to the very beginning of their blog and others I had come to enjoy reading. I took screenshots of their first posts to remind myself of the humble beginnings, the now “giants” in the blogging industry and placed them on my moodboard above my desk. I wanted to remind myself that my beginning was just a valuable and starting something was worth it.

Begin with thoughtful prompts.
Often times we think, writing comes easily. It’s far more an art than a science. Think about ways to begin posts. There are iconic books and movies that take us on a story with prompts we still remember. Whether’s it is Star Wars and a galaxy far, far away or Dickens’ “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Either way, these were prompts that told a backstory, captivated our imaginations, and remain seared upon our brain. They delighted us and were memorable. What if everything you wrote felt this way?

Take your journal with you everywhere. 
Coming across new ideas, inspiration, and conversations with others are often where I find my best ideas. While Pinterest is fantastic, when it comes to writing, I find pen and paper is best. Just this week, I was sharing with a college student. I found myself explaining (and slightly dating myself) that when I was studying in university, the first iPhone was released upon graduation, Instagram and Pinterest didn’t exist. We all carried around Moleskines full of our personal curated inspiration. If you’re experiencing writer’s or a strong creative block, back away from the computer and go take to paper and ink. The freedom, vulnerability, and ease that comes with it will continue to inspire you and push you to your absolute best.

Have a place to publish and show your work.
There’s something beautiful about starting a craft and writing solely for the sake of writing. However, after a while, you will want a place to showcase and allow people to respond to your work. Whether it’s your Instagram posts, contracts and project briefs for clients, or simply the snail mail you drop for a friend, begin intentionally sharing your work with the world. Watch and see the amazing responses you will receive once you begin to put your work out there.

Do you live in Redding and want to learn more? On November 4th, I’ll be hosting an Instagram WORKshop with Sidney Morgan. One of the topics we’ll be covering is writing for Instagram. We’d love to have you join us! Find tickets for the WORKshop here.

be still

Be Still

” When I am still, I sometimes can feel a gentle breeze blowing softly into my soul.” – Larry Crabb

There’s something about stillness, about silence, and finding yourself without noise and distraction. No screens to distract, no content or stories with their never ending pulls. A few nights ago, I found myself on the open road, driving alone at sunset. As the sun kissed the Sierra Nevadas, there was a simple peace and stillness that filled my car. It was sweet and a much needed balm to my heart. It took no effort, no stress, and allowed me to breathe deep in the first time for what felt like weeks. It was as if a well and deep-seated peace came and invaded my soul.

When was the last time, you found yourself content stillness? Where there was no need to fill time and space with something? With having raw clarity, contentment, and stillness. Leaning back into the fullness of who you are, in who you were created to be, and what you’re creating to make the world a better place. When was the last time you embraced stillness? This week, may you find yourself comfortable with stillness, finding well-seated truth and peace within.