The Week + Links: 8.27.16

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

THE WEEK

I hope you had a good week! I’ve been on an end-of-summer vacation for the past seven days, bouncing between the Amalfi Coast, Positano, Capri, Milan and now Marrakech before flying through London to spend a few days visiting friends in New York. Whew!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

Visiting the Amalfi Coast for the first time, I had no idea what to expect but it is postcard beautiful. From the Amalfi Coast, we were able to easily take day trips to Positano and Capri. The experience was made even more memorable by our stay in a former convent turned hotel built into the side of a cliff.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

During our brief stay, we met a fossil hunter atop Capri after hiking up the side of the island, ate plenty of lemon shaved ice, overdressed every chance we got, ended up with tangled hair full of salt after an intense boat ride, washed down delicious dinners with shots of limoncello, drank the best espresso and finished off too many bread baskets to count. Italians have hospitality down to a fine art.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

Next, we flew to Milan for a few days to take in some city adventures and mega window shopping including the ultimate in boutiques, 10 Corso Como (don’t worry, this place will get a whole post to itself). We also made time for Bar Luce, a metallic gold haunted house (seriously!) and lunch at the Armani Cafe.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

Milan treated us well until this morning when we hopped into a cab bound for the airport, not taking an important glance at our tickets. Turns out, there are THREE airports in the area and we arrived at the wrong one. A hundred Euro cab ride later with a very fast driver who could be mistaken for Mario Andretti got us to our departure gate just in time.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

We just arrived in Marrakech and it is going to be packed with plenty more adventures — camel rides, a visit to a waterfall and belly dancing lessons (OMG….wish me luck!) It’s going to be quite the contrast from our last week but I welcome the shift.

Traveling with friends and having someone alongside to share new experiences with, from the good (new cities, amazing food), to the bad (showing up at the wrong airport) to the scary (drivers on cell phones while driving up steep cliffs) makes the journey so much more meaningful.

I’ll be back to work soon enough so I’m doing my best to enjoy these last few days of vacation and make some more memories to last a lifetime.

Enjoy your last bit of summer!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

THE LINKS

• Are you good at editing down your content to the most important points?

• Photo retouching was an art long before Photoshop.

• When sleep is so important to our health and well-being, why do so many people avoid it?

• Amazon can now help you pick out your next car!

• Within the next 4 years, 40% of the U.S. workforce will be freelancers.

• This is the one word you should never say to guests in your home.

• Vacations always feel longer when you don’t over-plan them. Amen!

• Get perfect hard boiled eggs, every single time.

• Paul Jarvis shares how to set goals like a boss.

This collection of over 100 vintage Japanese record players is epic!

• 7 types of online workshops you can host.

Out & About: Bar Luce

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About: Bar Luce

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About: Bar Luce

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About: Bar Luce

Hello from Milan!

Before I arrived, I asked around about what to do during my visit and Bar Luce was at the top of everyone’s list. After stopping by this morning, I can see why.

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About: Bar Luce

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About: Bar Luce

Commissioned by Prada’s art foundation, the cafe was designed by Wes Anderson in an effort to recreate the atmosphere of a typical cafe that existed in the 50s and 60s in Milan. The baby pink juke box plays classic 50s tunes, the bow-tied waiters offer impeccable service and the coffees and tarts are out of this world.

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About: Bar Luce

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About: Bar Luce

Even though Anderson is famous for his meticulously detailed film sets, he wanted the space to feel like a functional real-life hangout. Of Bar Luce, he said, “While I do think it would make a pretty good movie set, I think it would be an even better place to write a movie. I tried to make it a bar I would want to spend my own non-fictional afternoons in.”

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About: Bar Luce

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About: Bar Luce

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About: Bar Luce

The tables have formica tops and the soft colors throughout mimic the same palettes that were popular during the time period. I walked in shortly after it opened at 9 am and the two other people that sat down were older locals who were reading the paper alongside their morning coffees. Surprisingly, the place wasn’t overrun by tourists at all.

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About: Bar Luce

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About: Bar Luce

Even with all the design-focused details and a famous pedigree, Bar Luce feels cozy, functional and welcoming. If you’re going to Milan, this is a must-visit.

The Week + Links: 8.19.16

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

THE WEEK

It’s Friday…which means I don’t feel guilty about eating a cookie for breakfast. Vacation doesn’t officially kick off until tomorrow but hey, why not start the indulgences early?

This has been a big week and I’m excited about so many things. I just did my first-ever podcast interview (more on that next week!), delivered a brand system to someone I hugely admire and today marks the day that construction on our bathroom is finished!

Speaking of the bathroom, I can’t wait to share the full reveal with you once I’m back! There are always so many unexpected ups and downs when you tear a room apart. Years ago, someone told me that any remodeling project is guaranteed to take 3 times longer and cost 3 times as much — and now, I totally agree. Haha.

I can’t show you the full room yet (shelves are being built in today and a few finishing items we ordered still haven’t showed up) but here’s a close-up of my favorite part: this damn wallpaper (see below). It’s no longer just a dream! And, it turned out to be the biggest headache ever. Joey and I were bewildered that something so seemingly easy could be so difficult but I’ll save the full story for the reveal. Thankfully, it’s done. Sweet relief!

I still have a lot of projects to wrap up before boarding my first fight (of many) tomorrow, not to mention figuring out how to pack my small carry-on like the ultimate game of Tetris to fit the maximum amount of shoes in. I love a good challenge. 😉

Have a great weekend — I hope you’re managing to squeeze in your own adventures to make the most of this last bit of Summer!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

THE LINKS

• Just because a minimalist look is trendy online doesn’t mean the aesthetic is right for you. I love Corina’s thoughts on the subject.

• I’ve honestly never researched curtain options so our house is full of a bunch of ill-fitting, off-the-shelf sets from IKEA. Now I know that there’s a more customized way to go thanks to Anna.

• 6 research-backed secrets to getting healthy.

• Looking for something new to listen to? Here’s 7 of the best podcast episodes out there.

• SAYS WHO? This video has my new favorite catch-phrase when something goes wrong. Ha!

• My friend Breanna over at RowanMade is looking for a graphic designer — check out the details to apply!

• YES! You are more than your Instagram account.

• On a near-daily basis, I’m searching Unsplash for free stock photos. The quality is amazing and you can use them however you wish, no strings attached!

• I am completely obsessed with Jane’s palm print Dolce & Gabbana dress. Be still, my beating heart!

• A Beautiful Mess shares some valuable advice on networking and etiquette.

• This is so interesting! As a business owner, taking a deep dive into who your audience is can provide you with huge insights.

• 10 simple ways to use Feng-Shui to boost your creativity!

Cheers To 9 Years!

Nubby Twiglet | Cheers To 9 Years!

Nine years ago this month, I pushed my first blog post live in this space. NINE YEARS! How is that even possible?!

I remember that time well: I was 25 years old and had just started a graphic design program at my local community college a few semesters earlier. Blogging was still pretty new but I was hooked from the beginning — it was a way to instantaneously share ideas, stories and photos with a worldwide audience and I figured that I needed a place to share my design work (ahem, school projects) so why not?

I dove in headfirst, somehow managing to post almost daily between a full-time school schedule, work schedule and internship but it quickly paid off. Soon, readers were hiring me for design work. I had no idea that those early seedlings would allow me to grow my freelance business enough to launch Branch.

Most of the opportunities I now have can be traced directly back to blogging. Friendships, collaborations and business opportunities all came about through sharing in this space.

Since those early days, things have shifted dramatically. Blogging is no longer the only way to reach an audience — there are famous YouTubers, Instagram stars and social media personalities around every corner. Blogging doesn’t have the same juice it once did, just because it’s not the new, exciting kid on the block anymore.

I used to subscribe to hundreds of blogs and now, I read maybe 5. We have shorter attention spans. There are more ways to get information out there. I feel content overload all the time and I’m sure you do, too.

Over nearly a decade of blogging, a natural evolution happens, too. I’m no longer footloose and fancy-free. I own a home that is still being remodeled. I’m happily married to Joey. We have two wonderful pets, Rocky and Chubs. I have multiple businesses. And, I don’t know how it’s possible…but I’ll be 35 in less than a month!

With everything going on, I can’t blog as much as I used to. And truthfully, I also sometimes draw a blank on what to say. Because, after a few thousand posts, the ideas don’t flow as easily. Sometimes I’m so exhausted after a day of working on client projects, I feel like I have nothing left to give.

But, that’s not to say I don’t love it. The reason I still show up and share is because it’s a part of who I am. We all need hobbies and creative outlets to express ourselves and blogging is one of mine.

I love Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter but on their own, they’re not enough. Having a digital home of my own is good. Blogging still feels right.

Before this gets too long-winded, I just want to say thank you. Thank you for joining me, whether it’s your first time today or whether you’ve been here since the beginning. Thank you for taking the time to comment, share my posts and meet me for coffee over the years.

Even if I sometimes only have time to post once a week, having the chance to connect with you is always a highlight. After all, we’re in this creative journey together and more importantly, this thing called life.

Here’s to another year! -Shauna

Creative Chronicles: Being Different Is Good

Nubby Twiglet | Creative Chronicles: Being Different Is Good

I have a simple message for you today: being different is good. Read on to see how it can actually be your biggest asset.

“A” wrote:

I’m a web developer and graphic designer living in a small town and I’m having a hard time creating much buzz here.

I have some long term clients that usually come by referral from people I know, but as the black sheep of my family, I have been unable to get an “in” with local business or make many connections in my area. I just don’t connect with the scene.

After 8 years on this path, I’m wondering if it is worth it because I feel like I don’t have much of an audience for my work, though my actual clients (all remote) love me.

I love art, design and fashion. My personal style is more edgy/creative than what I show on my site because I have worked with mostly older, less style-brave clients until now. I want to change that but I’m not sure where to begin.


My Advice:

First off, I feel you. I think we can all remember a time in our lives when we didn’t fit in. I find it fascinating when I read interviews from famous people I admire because for the most part, they didn’t fit in, either. I know it can seem difficult in the moment but trust me, it builds character and empathy.

The sooner you own exactly who you are and play up your interests, the sooner your like-minded tribe can find you. “Just be yourself” sounds cliche but it’s the best gift you can give to yourself. I distinctly remember the stigma of being a goth in high school. The payoff was worth it, though because I was able to discover a whole new social circle that was just as weird as I was. Being yourself and knowing that there’s no pressure to impress anyone else in an effort to be cool is so freeing.

I know it can get lonely if you’re different but remember, there’s a whole world outside of your small town. If you can’t move due to various circumstances, make the best of it. I was born and raised in Portland and even though I love living here, I don’t really fit in. I’m not into anything remotely rustic, I hate hiking, don’t drink beer and all black is my uniform of choice. My design aesthetic also doesn’t fit the local mold and because of that, I have very few local clients.

Instead, I choose to focus on a worldwide audience. Most of my clients at Branch are based in New York, Los Angeles and London. It’s worked out well being “different” because I’ve gained an entirely new audience and group of clients I click with in the process.

Nubby Twiglet | Creative Chronicles: Being Different Is Good

Rapid-fire advice to use being different to your advantage

1. Embrace your personal style fully. If knee-high black boots, eccentric jewelry and purple lipstick are your thing, rock it. If you already feel like you don’t fit in, you really have nothing to lose. I remember my neighbor’s bewildered looks at my goth get-ups and it still cracks me up. Have a good time being you — maybe your small town needs a shake-up!

2. Reach out to clients who embody your ideal design aesthetic. If you don’t have a lot of work examples to show them, you may have to work for discounted rates or trade in the beginning but just a handful of the right kinds of projects can transform your portfolio and in turn, your business. Years ago, I halved my rates for a lipstick brand but showing that one project in my portfolio has brought me in a half dozen more beauty-related projects.

3. Build a new portfolio site. Whether it’s a custom WordPress site or a Squarespace template doesn’t matter. The sooner you can show people who you truly are and what you excel at, the sooner your business can thrive. Don’t worry about what the locals think — this is your vision. People around the world are looking for talented designers daily — I just got off a call with a client in London this morning who embodies my ideal principles and aesthetics. I wouldn’t have met them if it wasn’t for the internet.

4. Share your work often. If you have limited time, I’d recommend three platforms to share your design work: Instagram, Dribbble and Pinterest. Each post and pin is an opportunity to make friends, meet clients and practice crafting your aesthetic and voice. You are full of personality and you got this.

5. Get out of the house. I know your town is small but there may be a good friend lurking around that you haven’t discovered yet. Everything is more fun when you have a partner in crime and someone to bounce creative ideas off of. You never know where you’ll meet someone! I met my friend Sarah at a Steampunk convention and all it took was complementing her outfit to strike up a conversation. Most people feel like they’re out of place, too — you just have to make the first move.


“Honestly, if you don’t fit in then you’re probably doing the right thing.” ― Lights Poxleitner

Stepping out from behind a toned-down image you’ve created can be scary…but it’s the only way to be truly happy. When you’re happy and comfortable in your own skin, people will be naturally drawn to that. Doors will begin to open. And pretty soon, you’ve managed to step into the life you always wanted: a life that allows you to live authentically, make a good living and surround yourself with friends who like you for exactly who you are.

Good luck!

Photos: Made U Look and Afsoon Zizia.

The Week + Links: 8.12.16

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

THE WEEK

It’s Fri-yay! Do you have any fun weekend plans?

I’m very much looking forward to hanging this wallpaper (I promise to shut up for awhile on the subject after that’s done – the obsession is real!) and finishing packing for Italy. I’m determined to have just have a carry-on this time since we’re going to be on so many flights and dragging suitcases across cobblestones and up teeny tiny stairs is NOT fun! Learned that lesson the hard way last year. 😉

This weekend, I also want to finish up my Miami Guide to share with you soon — so much good stuff in that one!

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you that I made friends with the llamas and alpacas at the Clark County Fair. I can’t get enough of these creatures (you might remember my long-time my man in black, Nigel). Thankfully, Kat loves llamas as much as I do and we’re determined to have a llama sanctuary one day. YES!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

Enjoy the links below and I’ll see ya next week, friends!

THE LINKS

• Instead of feeling complete overwhelm, ask yourself what small changes you can make.

• Nesha put together a great post on what to consider if you’re thinking of switching from freelancing to selling information-based products.

• This juice place in Amsterdam is sooooo beautiful!

• Why are Olympic athletes often photographed biting their medals?

This 16 year old boy runs a million dollar sneaker resale business.

• What classic movies have you NOT seen?!

• 10 tricks to make yourself a Google Maps master!

When you love a piece of clothing, buy it repeatedly.

• Wowza! Bill Cunningham’s photo archive is worth $1 million dollars.

• It’s about time! The FTC is going to start cracking down on paid celebrity posts that aren’t; clearly marked as ads.

• A quick roundup of 10 fun things from the Rio Olympics to get you up to speed.

• Haha! This is what happens when you have a beard and look straight up.

Coming Soon: The Art Of V

NUBBYTWIGLET_ART_OF_V_1

What’s that big dream you’ve been holding back on? I think we all have something we’re afraid to do or maybe we just aren’t sure if we can pull it off on our own.

I had something rumbling in the back of my mind but it took me awhile to pinpoint what it was.

Design and blogging have always been the core of what I do but after a decade of doing both, I knew there was something more I needed to add to the mix.

I’ve always loved design because it’s a way of being creative while also helping small businesses see the bigger potential in what they can do through a polished, cohesive brand and visuals. Design can be very isolating, though. Sitting behind a computer all day gets lonely at times and that’s where blogging has always come in — it allows me to connect with you, to share more personal stories and to be creative outside of work.

Still, there was something more pulling at me — maybe there was a way to combine the aspects of both sides of my career and help more people feel that electric, creative energy that can light up a room.

NUBBYTWIGLET_ART_OF_V_3

The more I thought about it, a specific lady stood out as the perfect partner in crime. We’d met years before at an early Blogcademy workshop in LA. I spotted her in the crowd right away — she had dyed black, long hair like I did and a penchant for over-the-top fashion. She was polished but really funny at the same time.

Her name was Erika Lyremark and she had one of the best stories out there (and trust me, I love a good story — my favorite pastime is reading celebrity Wikipedia pages).

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We reconnected a few years later and the The Art Of V was quite literally born over a single Skype call.

What is the The Art Of V? It’s a marriage of voice and visuals.

Quite simply, it’s a course for women who want to own their voice (via Erika) and elevate their visual style (via me). By mastering and those two things, they can transform their creativity into profitability.

While the course won’t be available for a few more months, we wanted to give you a taste of what’s to come so there’s a freebie at the bottom of the page called Sneak Peek. Sign up, download and please let me know what you think — it’s packed with personal stories from both of us along with tips to get inspired and be more of who you are.

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“There’s only one thing in life, and that’s the continual renewal of inspiration.” —Diana Vreeland