3 types of client

I typically have 3 types of client – and I love them all equally!

The first is the one who comes to me and says, “I love your style, just do whatever.” This one usually involves the least redrafts but the most nail biting in anticipation to hear if they still love my style.

The second will say something like, “I’d like some like these designs but with this aspect from this, and the colour scheme of this etc.” They provide a descriptive brief sometimes with links to other layouts/elements they like. They have specifics and are excited to have an original layout with their ideas mixed in with mine. This client likes to collaborate.

The third client I get is a little more rare, and is a mixture of those first two. This client comes to me with a specific idea along with their own drawing. It’s always a surprise to have a drawing attached to a brief!

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Whichever way my clients choose to communicate their projects to me the outcome is always better than we both imagined 🙂

 

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Happy girls.

Is there anything more dreamy than a big bed with nice clean white sheets on it and lots of warm natural light streaming in the windows? If you add two zesty little girls to this scenario it does get dreamier…

There are a lot of pictures of me as a little girl with sun bleached hair, looking over my shoulder and trying to smile for my mum as she took my picture. I can still hear her voice as I’m trying to take Autumn’s picture – “smile!… with your teeth!… ok, close your mouth. Look at me – AT ME!… hey! stop moving… ok. We’re done. I’M DONE!” It’s the same script, and the pictures that come out of it give me a false sense of security that next time won’t end in me sweating and feeling like a crazy lady!

I hope my girls will always be confident enough to have their picture taken; that they’ll recognise that happy inside looks like happy on the outside. And that happy girls have something valuable to give this world.

Head swap

A couple of years ago my friend, Mandy asked me to put together a family picture of her bunch all smiling and looking at the camera, using 4 separate pictures where not everyone is smiling or looking at the camera… I love a good puzzle.

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The picture in the middle is the final picture. The numbers relate to which original pic their head came from. Take a look…

 

About me.

I’m taking part in Jasmine Star‘s 7 day Insta180 Challenge on Instagram. The day 1 challenge was to write a personal intro to our followers on instagram – something I put off as much as possible but buckled down and did it… it took me two days to wrap my mind around it; such a struggle! I think and think and think and think and get really analytical about what my purpose is, who I’m hoping to work with, who I’m targeting etc. I never really know so I went for a walk; a real slow walk as I tried to get Piper to nap and I started to think way back. Basically, why is my “about me” section always blank…

Who I am.

I was voted “Best Dressed” one year in high school even though I never wore my own clothes – hand-me-downs from my older brother! The next year I was voted “Most Laid Back.” Those two things are me. I’ve never had a disposable income. I got married at 19, immigrated and then went through 10 years of schooling adventures with my husband, working in the summer in the warehouse of popular backpack brand putting price stickers on all their back to school inventory, moving from state to state over the years. Of the 12 years we’ve been married we’ve been on a tight, student budget without a place to call our own. Always in between.

I like to think I’m “the people’s designer/blogger/photographer.” At the very heart of it I strive to be efficient in my work, and affordable. I have a serious soft spot for brides because when we were married we had the teeniest budget. I handmade our invitations- they were pre-pinterest awful, we had NO photographer and that is one of my biggest regrets. I would literally do anything in my power for brides in order to make their wedding what they’ve imagined – better than they’ve dreamed! If I can make an invitation or announcement for someone who’s in between I’ll do it in a heartbeat and I’ll make it more fantastic than they’ll have hoped for.

I have a lot of wedding invitations in my portfolio. I love the design briefs that bride’s give. They each have their own inspirations and they’re always creative. Whether it’s a rainbow woodland handfastening, a request for caricatures of each member of the wedding party, or rustic-cactus-saint george desert landscape themed like Paige and Kyle’s below, I am all over it!

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Personal Branding

There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes when it comes to branding and marketing, and by “behind the scenes” I mean “inside the designers brain.” As a graphic designer with a degree in my trade I’ve been trained in the psychology behind colour, shapes, font styles etc. and I love it! I love creating concepts and watching the evolution from rough to polished and final. I love hearing a client catch the vision for what we’re making – going from “okay, yeah that sounds good” to “YES! I love it!”

I put these together for my guy who works as a web developer for Silhouette America. I keep his Linkedin all up to date and professional looking from his resume layout to his personal branding.

Untitled-1 copy Do you use LinkedIn?

The best days of our lives.

I had the rare opportunity this morning to go on my daily walk with just one of my babies. Normally all three of us head out on a wander around our new neighbourhood around 10am for Piper’s first nap, but Autumn stayed home with sicky-dad today. I got in 3 laps, covering 2.6 miles, and Piper fell asleep during the last lap.

We’ve been here a month now and are really enjoying the quietness of this new place. We don’t see many people on our walks, not many cars come and go, and only a few kids on bikes. Mostly just the smell of tumble dryers, the sound of birds, and a train every so often keep the air from being completely empty. It got me to pondering as I walked our tree lined loop, pushing Piper and thinking about where we were just a month ago – stressed, exhausted, prickly, transitioning.

I remember when we were first married and living in Washington we felt stuck in an in between place – newlyweds without our own network of friends in a similar situation. One day we decided to make 5 banoffee pies and deliver them to some established families that we were acquaintances with, as an attempt to break into a social circle. We delivered our pies and at one doorstep had a quick conversation with the father of the family. He asked us what our plans were, were we going to school – we were. He went on, “those were the best days of our lives.” He told us to really make the most of them. We believed him and we did make the most of them. I think the in between stage, the anticipation of “settling” is a key ingredient in what makes “the best days of our lives.” The stage right before everything gets really serious – serious jobs, serious bills and debts, serious responsibilities, kids! When you know things aren’t going to be that way forever you soak it all up.

Our “best days of our lives” stage went on longer than for most people – with infertility, a change in education/career path, we managed to stretch it out for 7 years. We lived a lot of places, saw a lot of things, experienced more than we expected – or even really wanted.

And now as I walk this route with my baby snoozing and her legs tanning in the sun as they hang out of her stroller chair I see the colourful front doors of these little homes and wonder, “is this your first home?” “Are there children in there?” “Is your husband at school or at work? Does he work shifts or 9 to 5” “Are you talking to your sister on the phone and planning a trip?” Mostly, “Are you happy?”

I’m in a phase where I’m still in between. We have the education (3.5 degrees between us), the job – and the first promotion, we eventually had the kids – 2 fantastic rays of light that we love more than anything, we have the bills and the debts, and the family van but we’re not quite there yet. This place isn’t our own, it’s the tail end of “the best days of lives” before things get really serious, before the kids have to be settled, before they need the comfort of more than just us. Soon they’ll need their own space, a place to put their stuff, their own network and people. And then we’ll be in between some new best days and making the most of them too.

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“Being grown up isn’t half as fun as growing up.
These are the best days of our lives.
The only thing that matters is just following your heart
and eventually you’ll finally get it right.”
– “In this diary” The Atari’s

Little Grasshopper

Goodness, it feels so good to feeling more like myself again. It was a long, foggy year of feeling exhausted and defeated due to being trapped in a lease for an apartment that seemed to be made out of cardboard. We’ve since moved and are regaining energy and direction.

This little golden grasshopper spent a few days hanging out in the lavender we planted in our new garden. I think he had a pretty peaceful time himself and we’re honoured to have been able to provide that for him…

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Bree.

I’ve wanted to take Bree’s picture for a long time now but there never seemed to be an appropriate time to express that without sounding like a creep. Luckily, she graduated high school and needed some pictures for her announcement.

Bree is beautiful and funny. She’s quiet and there’s a sweetness about her that you notice right away. I think she’s that All-American girl next door, and we love her.