10 Ways to Staying Creative

10 Ways to Staying Creative

Sometimes when it is your job to be creative it can become hard to keep those creative juices flowing and to keep on creating. There are so many things surrounding us with social media and the speed of life can make the creativity come to a halting stop. This can’t happen if you do this for a living and use your creativity to pay your bills. So I have put together some ideas that can help you keep the creativity flowing and stop the blockage.

You can do all of these or just a few of these, whatever works honestly! The most important thing is to release the creative block!

  1. Pinterest: Of course this is my first one guys. Pinterest is the best thing that a creative professional could use. I can remember the day that one of my best friends from college sent me an invite to Pinterest. I was so enthralled by the website. This was something that we had done for years in Design school. We would go on google or websites and save images in a folder and create mood boards to spark ideas and set the course for a design. I was always battling for space on my computer and then here came Pinterest to save my hard drive space! Hallelujah!
  2. Music: I read an article about what music does to our brain. (read it here) In this article it talks about how certain types of music can increase our creativity. We need to maybe step out of our “normal” playlist and experience some new music. Maybe even check out a band that is playing nearby and discover a new sound that could spark creativity!

    “It turns out that a moderate noise level is the sweet spot for creativity. Even more than low noise levels, ambient noise apparently gets our creative juices flowing, and doesn’t put us off the way high levels of noise do.”

  3. Never stop creating: Often times we get out of the habit of constantly creating because we are “having” to create for clients all the time. I am totally guilty of this! When we are creative professionals working to bring other peoples ideas of visions in to reality we can get stifled and dry up our own creative voice. That personal creativity is what makes us so good for our clients. We have to continue to create the things that we love and create just for fun and just to express what we want to say, so that we can continue that flow of creativity for other people. Sometimes that might mean using other mediums or doing a daily drawing challenge. Creativity can some times work like a muscle and when we stop letting our personal creative voice come out then we stop that flow.  
  4. Go back to the basics: Sometimes is might help to go back to the basics and practice the simple things. Piano players often play the scales even if they have been playing for many years. Illustrators should sketch simple sketches and keep the basics fresh in your mind. Sometimes the simple daily practices will stretch that creative muscle and stop the blockage that is keeping you from finishing that project.
  5. Get some rest: I know I have been saying to create create and do daily practices. But when that is failing sometimes you just need to stop and take a break. Get outside, take a nap. Do something completely different to change the pace. Focus your mind on things that are calming and relaxing. Stress can be a main factor in stopping creativity and so sometimes you have to find a way to destress and relax. Take a rest.
  6. Healthy Food/Habits: This isn’t a health and fitness blog, but we all know that creativity comes from the brain and heart and your brain needs nutrients to function. (I wish this meant coffee and tortilla chips were enough, then I would be set.) But it takes a little more than that. Sometimes we can get stressed and need to clean up our diet or add some cardio into our daily routine. Cardio gets your endorphins flowing and can really clear up your mind and spark creativity. I have taken up running. (I don’t do it as religiously as I should.) For some reason I can’t actually keep a schedule with running but when I am feeling the overwhelmed feeling of stress and watching my creativity dwindle then I get those running shoes out. So think of adding some cardio in or getting extra vitamins in your diet.
  7. Research: If I am in the middle of a project I love visiting book stores. It really can help to see what others have done and look for ideas that help you see things you could do or adapt. Researching can spark ideas and help you pinpoint what you really need to finish the project you are currently stuck on.
  8. Travel: This doesn’t have to mean that you have to travel across the world. This could just mean that you go to a new restaurant or a new store across town. Change of scenery always helps spark some creativity and open your mind to new things.
  9. Have fun: Do something fun with the people that you love. When we hustle so much and build up the stress of the list of things we need to accomplish we miss out on the opportunities to enjoy our family and friends. These moments can sometimes spark the most creative ideas. Let’s not miss out on quality times with the people we love. They could give you the things you are looking for to stop the creative blockage you are facing.
  10. Positive Thinking: Negative thinking just leads to negative things. We have to keep positive thinking. When you come to a moment where you are stopped in the road and not sure how to get over the hump, tell yourself “this too shall pass.” You will finish the project. You always find a way. It is a lie to think that you will fail or that you won’t make it, or that it won’t be good enough. If you are feeling down try some of the steps above to get yourself in to a positive mindset about your situation. Positive thinking leads to a positive life. We must find ways to stay positive and believe that we will make it through.

I understand that creative blockage can be frustrating but you will make it through. Creativity is a process and sometimes you just need to follow through the process and trust that you will make it to the end. Don’t allow doubt or negativity to make you believe anything other than you are great at what you do and you are a ery creative person. Creativity flows through you so just let it go and let it flow.


If you have any other tips that you use to stay creative please leave a COMMENT BELOW. I would love to hear your tips and thoughts on how to stay creative.

Thanks for reading, If you haven’t already subscribe to my YouTube channel to stay connected. I love sharing ideas and tips I find along the way so that we can help each other achieve our highest potential!

 

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5 Tips to Designing your Personal Brand

Designing your Personal Brand

This can be overwhelming. Where do we even begin with branding for ourselves there is just so much we can do. Right!?!?!?!?

Creating a personal brand can be hard, I know!

It is so much easier to think for someone else and design for someone else when you can see the limitation you aren’t stuck inside their brain. Well we have to sometimes step out of the vast creativity in our brain and pretend that we are our own client.

“Pretend you are your own client.”

When we are designing for ourself we have to rely on the process we have created and just work the process and trust that in the end we will come out with something.

In the video above I break it down in to 5 simple tips to help you get started in designing your own brand.

Here they are, 5 Tips to Design your Personal Brand

  1. Just Get Started

    So often we just sit in “analysis paralysis”. We have to escape that by just doing something. Even if it is TERRIBLE. No one has to see the first draft but at some point there needs to be a first draft before you can have a final draft. Everyone starts somewhere and if the start was perfect then there would be no reason for a finish would there?  Don’t be afraid to start. Know that as soon as you do you are that much closer to the finish.

  2. Ask Your Friends

    Ask your friends to describe you to them. The best question is, “If you were to describe me to a stranger how would you describe me? What words would you use.” BE CAREFUL. Pick people that are close to you, love you and will be kind and gentle. You are looking for adjectives and for an overall feel of the brand you are trying to create. Ask the people that know you the best to describe you. It will be like looking in a branding mirror. Listen to the words the use and the “feeling” you get. What colors and shapes connect to those feelings as you hear them describe you. This should give you a good gauge to creating a brand.

  3. Pinterest

    This is obviously something we all use, if you don’t then you should. When creating your personal brand you can use Pinterest to show you the overall look that you associate with. Pin things that you like that resonate with you. Then ask your best friend or whoever you know would know you the best to go on a shared (private) board and pin ANY pictures they find that makes them think of you. This could be ANYTHING….you should start to see a theme and it might shed some light on things that are unique to you and your branding. You might even see an overall color scheme pop out in the board.

  4. Use Adjectives

    I use this method a lot when working with clients and creating their brands. It is a great way to give a feel to the brand and the user experience. Put yourself in your client/Audience shoes and think about the adjectives that describe the feeling you want them to have when they log on to your website, buy and use your products….Adjectives will paint a picture of the feel you will want your branding to have. Adjectives are “feeling” words and a lot of designing a brand is taking your company or yourself and making graphic representations of the feeling you want your company to exude. Write down these adjectives and then read them over and think about the colors, shapes, textures you think of when you read them.

  5. Follow the Process.

    Create and repeat. You are not stuck to the first design you come up with. When you launch your design you can ALWAYS expand on it. Coke and Pepsi have changed so many times over the years. Don’t feel stuck to the very first design and creation you come up with. Know that you can always expand and create more and better. But, you can’t expand on something that isn’t there in the first place. So when designing your personal brand it is important to throw insecurities and fear out the window and just create and repeat!

 

I hope these tips were helpful to get you thinking about creating your personal brand.

If you have tips also please COMMENT BELOW…..I would love to hear them and I am sure others would as well.

Thanks for reading and watching…

Until next time!

 




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Learning from Each Other

blogtitle-learningfromeachotherReally? Why would you want to “figure it out for yourself”? Why do people think that it’s better for someone to have to go through horrible experiences to learn when someone else can tell them and save the headache. I am a firm believer in learning from your mistakes. Don’t get me wrong. I am just seeing so many people feel the need to experience things for themselves and I don’t see the point. If I go through something terrible and I learn from that, when I share with someone my experiences and my advice on how to avoid the same problem, if my friend then goes and decides they need to see for themselves, when they go through the same issue I went through I would feel confused and a bit hurt. As if they didn’t trust my advice.I would also like to think that the fact I have overcome some issues and learned from it, that the things I have learned can help someone and that the poo I went through, something good is coming out of that. Isn’t that what blogging is about also? That we as writers share our experiences and give input on how we overcame some issues or and ice on how to deal with problems and as readers we are searching for answers to problems.

I have also seen this same belief in parents and children. Parents will at times withhold advice or information that would help their child succeed further than they did. Instead of giving them tools to excel, tools they squired through hardship, they say “They have to learn it just like I did.” Why? Isn’t that why parents are there? To help thier children have a more successful life. To excel and exceed thier parents? The impartation of wisdom from parents is crucial to a persons success.
(watch this video above. I started a Youtube Channel in order to learn from you all and to share with you everything I know.)
There is a reason God made us to have relationships with each other. So that we can lift each other up and help each other overcome obsticles and help warn so that obsticles can be prevented.
We can’t be stubborn and too proud to learn from someone else. If we all learn from each other’s mistakes then we will all succeed more and reach our highest potential. There is supply in the joints and in the joining of people together. Be humble to listen and ask questions and be caring and loving enough to share what you have learned so others don’t have to endure the same headaches.
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Mona Lisa Masterpiece

blogtitle-monalisaHave you ever had a really awesome idea and you start thinking, planning and thinking some more. Then you start sketching, planning then doing a little more thinking and all of a sudden you see your idea on a blog or social media somewhere. You kick yourself because you knew you thought about it first. If only you had done it quicker instead of thinking so much. I don’t know about you but I feel like that has happened to me countless times.
I am definitely battling the perfectionist syndrome. When you have an idea you “see it” you can see the whole picture and how it should play out. So you think everything has to be perfect before you even start. Wrong!
This actually is a mind shifter for me. I think on one hand 60% of the work is in the planning. But at some point there needs to be action taken. Even just a small step towards the goal. There are so many things out there that can cause us to feel insecure to take a step because, what if we fail? Well, what if we don’t?
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I can understand the battle of overcoming that mindset. I think for artist it is the most difficult because it is more than just product or just making something. It’s about making something beautiful. When we as artists see the image and see the plans in our mind so beautifully crafted. When what we put out at first isn’t what we imagined we aren’t satisfied until it’s finished. Just like Leonardo DiVince, he has many paintings that are still “unfinished” but to everyone else they are looking at a complete masterpiece. To Leo he would see the pieces from his mind that were missing on the canvas.
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We should strive to get to the completed masterpiece but also be bold enough to just create. Beauty is really in the eye of the beholder. When we create things that are not yet “perfect” in our mind. Someone else might look at it and think it is more than perfect.
Be encouraged that whatever you are imagining will come. So take a step towards that dream and start with the first brushstroke. Don’t be discouraged by the process because one day you will make your Mona Lisa.
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What do Graphic Designers Do?

blogtitle-designersdoSurprisingly I get this question a lot. “What Do Graphic Designers Do?” The fact that graphic designers are involved in so many facets of business, it surprises me that some people don’t know what a Graphic Designer does.

If this is you and you are not clear on what a graphic designer does then I would like you
to take a moment and look around. Do you see a magazine, poster, brochure, commercial on the T.V. Those are all examples of things a graphic designer would make. The list is endless!

 

Check out this video where I share more about what graphic designers actually do.

In my mind there are a few categories of graphic design that one could fit into. I will list them and explain, but I must say this is my opinion of how to categorize the massive possibilities in the world of Graphic Design.

<1> Print and Layout

In this category the work is endless. It includes areas like magazine layout, advertisements, stationary, brochures, and more.  Companies often have a graphic designer on staff for promotional designing. And being able to typeset or tweak layouts in order to stay consistent with the brand of the company. Or you can find print and layout designers working for magazines. This is a more obvious field because the nature of a magazine is completely all layout and print. Also book publishing companies will work with designers for cover designs and typesetting. Advertisement agencies of course need designers for print and layout design of posters, billboards, etc. Often times designers will work under a marketing team and get a lot of cues and direction from them on what should be done. So there is not very much freedom in this area.

<2> Illustration

This is a given. This area deals with illustration of course working in programs like Adobe Illustrator creating vector images. This category is also vast because you can expand into things like illustrating for video games. Also working with graphic novels to illustrate for them. Or, of course, illustrating for children’s books. Often times you can be hired by larger companies to illustrate different things for manuals (ie parts for a manufacturing company, or drafting plans that have not yet been built) there are many options when is comes to illustration.

<3> Photos and Photoshop (Raster)

Here is where pretty much everyone in every field will dabble. Dealing with photoshop, it is a very robust program with so many possibilities, because of that it can be used in almost every field. But this area would include things like photographers, flyers and poster designs can often be made within photoshop. Any retouching of photos for magazines or advertisement layouts.

<4> Video/Film (after effects)

This area is very different from the other areas but important to know. After effects deals with animation. It is a program that can add animated elements to a film. Or just create animated elements on its own. You might see these after effects in the news when a name or title appears on the screen in front of the news caster. Or at the front of a movie when the production company logo comes on the screen in an animated way. This is used and created in after effects. The thing about this program is that all of the other programs are needed. Often times you will need to create a design in Adobe illustrator and the import that design into After Effects to animate it. The same thing with photoshop. So in this area knowledge of the other programs is required. Also I have found in experience working with film and production. There is a lot of need for graphic designers in the world of film. I have had to recreate money and design fake bank signs and create fake custom magazine covers for film projects. Because a film is so specific to the script it will call for things that have to be custom created to fit the scene. Many people underestimate the need for a graphic designer on set for a film production, but there is a huge need for them.

Do what you love!

The possibilities are endless when it comes to the world of all things creative. I hope this blog helped open your eyes to some of the ways you can use graphic design to create! Go out there and create the things only you can create. We all have something unique inside of us that we need to share with the world so get out there and CREATE!

 

xo – emily

 

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My Journey to a Graphic Design Degree

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To design or not to design that is the question. It still amazes me when people ask me the question “What does a graphic designer do?” Maybe the fact that the possibilities of a graphic designer are endless causes the profession to be somewhat a mystery to those around us.
I would like to encourage you to look beyond the bounds of your knowledge and think of the possibilities. I also started out knowing nothing of graphic design or what you can do with it. I was limited in my knowledge of the possibilities. Hopefully by sharing my experience it will shed some light and help you make a decision. Degree or no degree?

Journey to the Graphic Design Degree
When I started out my freshman year in college I was headed for the stage. I considered art a side thing, a hobby. As I progressed in my Theater Major and Fine Arts Minor I found myself looking forward to my art classes more than my theater classes. Don’t get me wrong I live for the stage and anything dealing with theater and film. I just seemed to see myself progressing in art and my theater classes taught things that seemed like second nature to me. So with a lot of discussion and thinking and praying I felt like “fine arts” was the way to go.
Never did I ever think of going into graphic design as a concentration. Painting was where I was headed. I took an entry level design class to fill a credit. I felt like an ant in Times Square. I was in over my head. I can remember freaking out not knowing how to log out of my user name on the Mac computers in the design lab. (granted this was before Mac was everywhere) I can remember gazing with my chin on the floor watching the seniors zip around adobe design suite like a boss. Every day I would go home thinking “I will never do design for a living.”
Was I ever wrong. I knew from the Lord that I was supposed to pursue Graphic Design. It scared me and I didn’t ever think I would get good at it. Let me tell you it is the best thing I have done (Go God, He knew what He was doing) Thinking about it, I know how to act and I know how to paint. I was staying in my comfort zone. Why should I pay thousands of dollars on a degree to learn something I already know?
What I Learned from my Graphic Design Degree
You might be surprised to know that the thing I value the most from my Graphic Design Degree has nothing to do with Photoshop, kerning, leading, points, or picas. The best thing I received from my graphic design degree was the ability to learn. Being self taught is the best quality to have as a graphic designer. With adobe updating every couple of years and technology moving at the speed of lightning, you never quit learning in this field. As a graphic designer you have to have the ability to research and get in there and figure it out. I can remember my best friend and I would get so frustrated when our design professor would send us away telling us to “look it up”. At first I thought he was cruel not helping us and telling us how to do this or that. Then after my first year I had taught myself web design and looked more like those seniors zipping through photoshop and InDesign. I realized he was teaching us the most important thing a graphic designer can have, the ability to be self taught.
On graduation day I can remember thinking that I didn’t feel like the same person that started out in that first “Graphic Design 101” course. It even changed my personality. I know that might sound crazy but I see the world very differently. I am much more organized and detailed than I was in High School.
Can I still do Graphic Design without a degree?
I am a strong believer in higher education but I don’t think it is impossible for someone to be very successful without it. With the vastness of the internet anyone can learn on their own if they are willing to do the work. I can say for myself I am thankful for the experience the degree gave me. I could have gone through and googled and tried to get where I am on my own but I know it would have taken me about 10 more years to get here. I feel as though the degree was like a launching pad giving me all the tools I needed to be a successful designer. I have still continued to grow and work on my craft, as every designer or artist should. We are always growing and always learning in our lives.
If you are thinking about getting a graphic design degree I encourage that thought. I have loved the possibilities that graphic design has opened up for me. Let me know what you think? Have you enjoyed your degree? Do you think a degree is necessary?
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Brochure Design Tips and Tricks

There are so many challenges to designing a brochure but also so many opportunities to be creative and stand out from the sea of brochure designs. Almost every business has a brochure (or should) and that greatest challenges is probably the challenge to stand out from the crowd of brochures.

I have to say that designing brochures is not the most exciting thing for me. I love a challenge but it just seems less than exciting to design a brochure but they are such a great staple marketing need for every business. It is exciting when you can get creative with the folds or cut outs in the design but not everyone’s budget can allow for that kind of added printing expense. Here is where the challenge begins.

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When designing a brochure you have to balance the visual layout with the “information” content. When people are thumbing through a brochure you have to be mindful of where the information is and how the eye flows across the page. Think about leading them with the graphics to each important point you want to bring out about your business.

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Using color is important. Don’t be afraid to use large images that bleed over across panels. This will bring the whole design together across the brochure and encourage people to continue reading throughout the information. Also remember to pull out information and make it special. One of the ways to do this might be a “block quote”. You want to think of creative ways to pull out key points you want people to see that might draw them in to read more in the brochure.

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Brochure designs don’t have to be boring or daunting. Pull out those creative juices, grab a good cup of coffee and have fun. Think of the endless possibilities you can create to enhance the key points of your company, event, or organization.
Was this blog helpful? Let me know in the comments below.
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10 Ways to Stay Creative

creative-blogtitle

Staying “creative” all the time can sometimes get exhausting. If you aren’t careful you start to pull from the same memory bank and your work can begin to look the same. It is important for us as designers to keep our creativity bank full.

I have compiled a list of things that helps me stay in a creative mindset when everything in life gets to be too much.

< 1 > Pinterest 

This one is probably a given but it can’t not be on the top of my list.

 < 2 > Music (spice it up keep it fresh)

Explore new music to spur on the creativity. I always love to mix up my playlists while I am working.

 < 3 > Design Between Projects (during the dry moment) 

When we aren’t working on a project we think of that as a “break” but now is when you should explore new techniques and learn new things. Who knows you might be inspired and learn something that will help you in further projects plus it is always good to learn new skills in your craft.

 < 4 > Sketch/Draw/Paint

Even if it is just doodling you should always bring to life the ideas in your head. I don’t know about you but every now and then I have a random design pop in my head. I always keep a sketch book with me so I can sketch it out. This will help you keep that creative process and encourages your brain to continue thinking up amazing designs. You never know where a simple sketch might lead.

Draw and/or paint to keep your creative insides alive. There is a part of us that is engaged when we are drawing and painting. As your playing with mixing colors and forming shapes with graphite you keep that part of your brain working and creating.

< 5 > Don’t Overwork Yourself. 

This one is something that I am still working on. I am still working on finding a balance and learning to say no. It is an important thing to find a balance in order to keep the creative juices flowing. Creativity gets stifled when we are overwhelmed with too much on our plates.

< 6 > Eating Healthy/Staying Hydrated/Exercise 

There is nothing worse than getting dizzy or a headache while you are in the middle of a project and your on a timeline trying to get the final product to a client. Staying hydrated and eating healthy can help keep your mind open and all the synapses firing correctly.

We all know thanks to Elle Woods “Endorphins make you happy, and happy people just don’t kill their husbands.” Well endorphins also keep that creativity flowing. So lace up those kicks and hit your favorite cardio or weight training program. My favorites are running and zumba!

< 7 > Research/Bookstores

Sometimes just looking things up and learning spawns great ideas. I love to go to bookstores and browse through books (mainly the cover designs) and magazines. Bookstores are great for typography and layout inspiration as well.

< 8 > Travel 

Traveling opens our eyes to things outside of what we know in our own community. I am not saying you have to travel to exotic locations. Going to the next town over can be all you need to spark some creative ideas. Sometimes we have to shut the computer and go outside. So, let’s go explore!

< 9 > Do something fun/Be with the people you love  

Be sure to take breaks and do things for you. Whatever that might be. Hanging out with friends/family. Doing something you love to do. To keep creativity flowing we have to have things that make us happy. From that happiness comes the ability to think creatively.

< 10 > Remember to think Positive

Creativity is in our mind and keeping the mind healthy is one of the most important thing. Keep positive thoughts in mind. Remember you can do anything your mind can dream. If you can think it then you can make it! A friend has a great blog and free download of “Good Vibes” Positive words to think and confess. Read her blog here.

static.squarespacehttp://www.thirdstoryapartment.com/goodvibesblog/dailyaffirmations

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