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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What am I Doing? – Discovering My Purpose

What am I doing?

The Journey to Finding My Purpose

Well here we go again doing some soul searching and some real talking. What in the world is my purpose in life? This is something we all ask ourselves RIGHT? Please tell me I am not alone.

I have asked myself a lot when I create content, “What are you doing? Why are you doing this?” Really my answer is, because of you. Maybe you need help. Maybe there is someone out there that needs someone to tell them how to do the things they need to do to create what they love. Right? It is really just to add value to your life. I want to add value and help you with whatever it is you are doing and what God has called us each to.

I love the Lord, I want to please Him and do what it is that He has placed in my heart. The problem is He has just flooded me with so many things and so many desires and passions. So it gets hard sometimes narrowing it down and trying to put that in a “niche”. From everything that I have researched and learned is that a “niche” is so important. I totally agree with that! 100% if you have a niche market that you are skilled in then you should enhance that niche and drive your content in that. But it just didn’t feel right for me to choose ONLY ONE THING! I don’t want to limit anything that God puts on my heart to share with you that you might need.



So I promise that I will share everything I know with you. Anything I can share and give to help you in any way, that is what I want to do. I hope you are ok with this and will still follow and read. (not even sure how man people are here reading and following)

 

But, maybe you feel the same and that you have so much to share and can’t seem to narrow your focus. Maybe you shouldn’t. Maybe you should just start creating and start sharing and see what happens. Down the road things might be revealed and narrow its focus down the road. We have been given skills and talents for a reason. We are created to share and have relationships with people to exchange the value and help others grow.

 

Follow your dreams. If those dreams just happen to be big and multifaceted then it might just mean you have a ton of value to share with the world. Don’t hold back. That is what I intend to not do, I won’t hold back. I want to give you all the knowledge I know to help propel you to greatness.

I hope you are inspired and decide to create something amazing that will add value to someone’s life!

 

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Habits of a Better Life

We all want a better life right?

I have come to the realization that you don’t have to get a ton of stuff done every day! Woh!

 

I know just take a moment. Let it simmer.

 

I have been the type of person that feels like if I don’t knock off everything on my list then it wasn’t a productive day. Of course the list always grew every day. I got so exhausted trying to keep up with it. The other day I thought, ‘I needed a chill pill.’ I realized that sometimes it is ok to get just 1-3 things done. Some days it is even a good idea to do nothing and take a break. We live in a world where things are constantly moving. Technology is advancing so rapidly that we panic if we set the computer or phone down we might miss out on something. We won’t. It will all be there tomorrow. Living in the mindset that you have to go go go go just leads you to the inevitable crash. My dad taught an awesome series on “Pondering the Path of your Feet”. He talked about how we actually have a “circle path”. These are our habits, the things we do every day. These things that we do every day are actually the things that will either propel us forward or backwards.

I have been pondering, ‘What are my circle paths?’ (the things I do daily, weekly, monthly, yearly) I decided the best way to get my circle path to the place where I’m living the life I want is to adjust one thing at a time. I imagined what my day would look like if I was living the life I want, then what are the “habits” in that day or life?

 

Imagine your PERFECT day and what it looks like.

What are you doing? How does it feel?

 

We should start by visualizing what we want and where we want to go. If we walk through life not knowing where we are going we might wake up one day so far from where we are supposed to be. We must visualize where we are going. Imagine what you want and what it feels like. Bring your future to your present. (that is just like using your faith) Connect to what it is you want and you will see more clearly the path to get there.
Taking it one step at a time will get you to the a better life with better habits. We all want that end result and that “perfect” day now. But, if we attempt to bite off the whole thing right away we will just create a habit of false starts. This is not a concept that is new. It isn’t something that we haven’t heard before or read before.

 

If you are like me you have read blogs like this countless times and said, “Yeah, I’m going to do this! It will be great ‘New year. New me.'” Then come 3rd week of January you’re beating yourself up again because you can’t seem to keep up.




Rule of Thirds

Another tip for creating a better life with better habits is the “Rule of Thirds”. Make a list of your top 3 goals. Then write down 3 reasonable things that you think you can accomplish and commit to just that for 1 month. Often times what keeps us from stopping and completing our goals is that we create “dream goals” that we know we can’t really accomplish so in our mind we don’t believe we will accomplish it. Well that little quiet thought in the “back of our minds” is the little culprit killing it before we even start. So think through your goals and start with the one that you KNOW you can accomplish. You have to believe in yourself. When we can accomplish the first thing we set our mind to then that will encourage you to continue with your goals and really reach that better life with better habits!

Some of the habits I am going to start with are:
 
  • – making my bed every morning
  • – plan the next day the night before
  • – hanging my clothes up!
  • – drink more water

I put together a list of tools to get you started! Habit Planning Tools…..who doesn’t get inspired by an awesome planner and some fun pens!


Last but not least…..Embrace Failure!

STOP beating yourself up when you don’t stick to your plan. Life should never be forced to be “perfect”. We can’t expect perfection and think we will achieve our goals and create healthy habits. When you think of your goals/habits as a “lifestyle” you can embrace failure and let life happen. Just get back on the horse. Stick to your plan and if “life” happens then live that life and start fresh the next day. Don’t get upset that “life” happens. This is your life and the way you look at each situation is up to you. If you put so much pressure on being perfect and working out EVERY day….one day you aren’t able to do that you will create a defeated feeling.

Take a deep breath.

This is your life! Live it and embrace it!

Don’t villanize “life”. Let things happen. If appointments, family, or weather gets in the way of your “plans”. Enjoy those moments and don’t villanize them. You want to create an excitement around your plans and goals that makes it a joy and a treat to do them. Shift your mind to embrace your life and know that creating a habit is not about a perfect schedule it is about not stopping. When “life” happens you don’t stop that habit because habits are now apart of that “life”. So embrace life and embrace those things that get in your way and just use your problem solving skills to think of how you can work your habits around “life”.

Create a positive emotions toward your goals.

I know you can do it! We will encourage each other on this endeavor of “Circle Paths” and “The Rule of Thirds”.

The Reading Corner:

Here are some books from some that say it better than me. From New York Times Best Sellers. Check out the links below to continue your journey to better habits and a better life!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are your “Circle paths”? What are your top three?

What habits do you have that you think are helping your life move in the right direction? What habits do you think you need to change?

Comment Below and let me know what your goals are for this year?

What are some circle paths that you want to change and what are some circle paths you would like to make this year?




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Real Talk…..

Well……I’m not even sure who is reading this or who has read any of my older blogs. Maybe just those people that come to either sell me web-design services or SEO marketing services or those scam people that just leave random comments that aren’t even in english……

 

I graduated with a graphic design degree and naturally when thinking about starting a blog, of course it should be about graphic design right? Naturally, I should write about that, the thing that I am still paying for…..the thing I was supposed to create a career doing. Except, thats not what I am passionate about. It is not all I love.

 

I have had difficulty coming  up with things to write in the box of just “graphic design” and truthfully I am not even working on graphic design projects anymore.

 

I love so many things and in my journey to find my “niche” I realized I might not have JUST ONE.

 

Why can’t I love a lot of things? Also, why can’t I share all of them with you in one place?……….




I understand the marketing stand point that having a niche helps you define your target audience and really helps in growing your influence.

 

The way I see it is it wouldn’t be fair to just focus on one thing and not share with all the other niche’s and all the other audiences that might want to hear what I have learned or what I might have to say about whatever……

 

  • I love the Lord and the word and really get passionate about that….
  • I love working in film……
  • I love acting…..
  • I love production…..
  • I love creative things and get really inspired by marketing and design….
  • I love crafting….
  • I love to paint…..
  • and……oh man the list goes on

 

The truth is I have no idea where this road of my life will lead me. I don’t know what content I will create…..but I do know that I want to share my experiences with you. I learn so much from other people that choose to share their experiences with me. Really sometimes they save me from having to experience their journey or encourages me to experience things they enjoy. Isn’t that really the thing? We should all share and help each other achieve our goals and do what we are called to do.

 

So I want to do that for you……..whoever you are……

 

I know that, probably, no one is reading this…….but maybe there is someone out there that decided to take the time to read this blog and to them I say,
THANK YOU!

 

And I hope you join me on this journey of “finding my voice” and the portion I have to share with the world.

 

Sometimes maybe you don’t have to have it all figured out to just push the “start” button…..

 

So here I go……I am pushing start and I am making the decision right now to not let fear or the need to be perfect stop me from sharing with you whatever I can that might help you and bring encouragement or value to your life.

 

Maybe this year we can do that together. Let’s release whatever it is inside that we should share with the world.

 

WoW…..I feel so much better……empowered……let’s do this!

 

So here is to a new year – 2017!
Let it be a year full of joy, full of adventure.
A year that propels us to a new level.
When we get there may we cherish each moment and not miss the smells, the colors, and the sites.
To new goals – and to never holding back and never letting fear stop us!
 
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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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Best Friends

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Today is the birthday of a very special girl in my life. As I get older it is easier to see things clearly and one thing you realize is how important relationships are. The good ones are worth doing whatever it takes to keep them. I have seen over the years that I am so blessed to have a friendship like I do with Tiffany Marie.
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Many people hope and search for a friendship like ours. A kind of friendship where you speak with your eyes and everyone around you is confused because you have a whole conversation with fragmented sentences. I don’t take her for granted. She is my best friend/cousin and I don’t take it lightly that not everyone is blessed with a friend as wonderful.
Growing up I would think that friendships had to be large in number, that you were better off having a lot of friends rather than a few amazing friends. It isn’t always rainbows and butterflies but allowing yourself to be open to someone and let them in really close is the most rewarding relationship ever. No one can ever replace Tiffs place in my life. There was a place carved out just for her that only she can fill.
She is the most talented make up artist and stylist I know. Today she is one year older and I am so blessed to have shared this life with her every year of our lives and every year to come she will be my bosom friend. Best friends are a gift from heaven.
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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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