Monthly Archives: March 2008

10 Questions: Sidney Interviews Nubby Twiglet

A fellow reader named Sidney recently contacted me with ten questions for a class project and I thought I’d share. Thanks Sidney for asking some really thoughtful questions, many of which haven’t been asked before!  


1. (sidney): How exactly did you go from a Business Administration major to a freelance graphic designer? What were the steps you took?

When I graduated from high school in 2000, I knew that I wanted to be an artist but I didn’t really know that graphic design was an option. I toured a local art school but it was outrageously expensive. My mom offered to pay for school if I went for a business degree instead and I jumped at the offer. At that time, I spent my summer breaks working in an accounting department and I started realizing that the real world didn’t always revolve around art and glamour (and that expanding my skill-set outside of my comfort zone wasn’t a bad thing).

In 2005, I finished my business degree right as my brother started a graphic design program. Secretly, I was a bit jealous! In all my spare time, I was making art and designing things and I felt like a design degree was the next step; it was the missing piece holding me back from feeling complete.

Though I was already doing freelance, I was clueless about formatting my files and working with Illustrator / InDesign, which I knew were necessary to learn. I wanted my work to be solid not only visually, but fundamentally. I chose a community college because I wasn’t looking for fancy credentials. I wanted a fast-paced program rooted in the real world that worked with my schedule. It turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve made.

2. (sidney): What are your plans for your future career in Graphic Design / Art?

Being a designer is always a work in progress, but I would like to do more freelance with clients I admire and also do more solo art shows. A show in NYC is a big dream of mine. My brother (who runs Blacktooth) and I are also planning to launch a clothing collaboration later this year.

3. (sidney): What program did you use to build your website? Was it Dreamweaver or something else?

My friend Star built the site from a modified WordPress template. While the core of my website content that’s built into the blog platform is in HTML, the actual blog portion runs on CSS and javascript. I designed all the graphics and she coded and formatted it in record time!

4. (sidney): How would you go on about establishing networks & promoting yourself? Especially for someone who is fresh out of college myself, and don’t know many people in the business but wants to make connections.

There are tons of portfolio sites out there, but I’ve had the best luck with Also, putting everything live on Flickr (and adding it to communities) helps, too. My biggest jobs have surfaced from people spotting my work in my Flickr portfolio. A website that’s constantly updated with your new work doesn’t hurt, either! If you can search for local internships, either through your college advisors or online, you can meet like-minded people and perhaps land an eventual job. 


5. (sidney): What is the best part about your daily job/internship? What is the worst?

best: The people, variety of work, and the bathroom (really!). Sometimes I’ll get to color illustrations for print ads and work on patterns for snowboard goggles. But last week, I helped design the company soccer team’s shirts and did blogging research. It’s always a surprise when I show up! The bathroom is like a forest; the outer walls are covered in wallpaper of trees and the stalls are faux woodgrain. It’s quite relaxing!

worst: I’m super lucky to have landed an internship I love on my first try, but the only thing I can think of is getting put on the spot! I’m still learning and there’s definitely times where I’m way better at some tasks than others. Even then, feel like I’m gaining valuable experience.

6. (sidney): What would you say your style is in graphic design?

Super mod, precise and refined. Whereas I feel complete freedom in my personal art, to me graphic design is more about communicating a vision as clearly as possible with the least amount of clutter.

7. (sidney): How do you usually go about creating your work? (What method of research, the programs you use, the techniques, or who do you talk to for help?)

First of all, I have an inspiration folder both on my desktop and Flickr of over 1,000 digital images ranging from package design to logos. I also keep notebooks of typography ideas and a fashion notebook for when I need something tangible.

Also, a bulletin board keeps current inspirations organized. Once I have a visual basis to draw from, I jump right into Illustrator or Photoshop, depending on the job. Techniques depend on what I’m doing. For a collage-based piece, I often build out parts by hand first and then scan and add in more pieces digitally. All of my typography is formulated in Illustrator, while filters and brushes are layered in Photoshop.

For help, My brother knows tons of Illustrator tricks (he’s a whiz at apparel and snowboard designs), while Lee is really good with technical stuff and helps me figure out color separations and other silkscreening-related tasks.

8. (sidney): Besides your brother and lee Z, who else is a favorite designer of yours?

Sarah France
Delicious Design League
Ryan Katrina @ Neuarmy
Kristin @ Design That Kills
Scott Hansen @ ISO50
+ too many more to list here!

9. (sidney): How do you find the time to do it all? Any special time management tricks?

It’s very challenging and I barely ever have a day off. But the tradeoff is that I’m doing everything that I love to do. The only thing that keeps me on track is my Moleskine daily planner. I make daily lists of everything that needs to get done and check it all off, one by one. It forces me to take accountability and move forward, one tiny task at a time.

Besides that, I’ve always been naturally motivated. I hate leaving things unfinished!

10. (sidney): Besides graphic design, fashion, and art, what else are you interested in?

Business and marketing are my first loves. Keeping up on freelance, my internship, blogging and a part-time job take up the rest of my time (but I do manage to squeeze in the occasional Ebay search for vintage dresses and lederhosen!)


Lee Z desiged The ‘EFF YOU MOTHER ‘EFFER shirt and it changed my life. I used to feel so plain, so ordinary, but the second I slipped this shirt on, my looks improved dramatically (see below). Yes, the shirt caused my nose to grow and a huge black mustache to sprout. Awesome!

Adult sizes of the shirt are now available in my online store for $16.00. The shirts are printed with discharge ink so you don’t have to ever worry about cracking!


Adult Small – 17″ wide X 27 1/2″ high
Adult Medium – 18″ wide X 28 1/2″ high
Adult Large – 20″ wide X 29 1/2″ high
Adult Extra Large – 22 1/2″ wide X 30 1/2″ high

NOTE: For orders outside of the U.S., please add $5.00 to your total to cover shipping costs. Paypal won’t let you add it into the shopping cart so please do it in a separate transaction with FOREIGN POSTAGE written in the comments. Let me know if you have any questions!

John Fluevog Krista Boots

On Monday, I became the proud owner of these boots. I’ve already owned a pair of Fluevogs for a few years (my mod white boots) but I’ve been searching for some basic tall black boots with a relatively flat, walkable sole for quite some time.

One night, I noticed these in the sale section of the Fluevog site and since I had such good luck with the brand in the past, I decided to give them a go.

It should be noted that Fluevog has some of the best customer service. The site said that orders can take up to two weeks, but I received a phone call the next day letting me know that my boots were in stock and they arrived two days later!

The boots are made in Portugal and of amazing quality; the leather is super thick and shiny, the insides are fully lined in another sheet of leather, and the rubber soles are super comfortable. It’s love.

April Calendar Download and Misc. Updates

1. Calendar: The month of April from my self-designed calendar can be downloaded here. I’ve been using mine in a CD case for display and it’s working out great!

2. Solo Art Show: A few days ago I got an offer for a solo art show this July. That means that the entire Black & White Graphic Insight collection will be available for sale at that point. Tonight I started working on three smaller pieces and it’s going to be a busy three months! It’s a welcome challenge, though. Since the start of 2008, I’ve barely had a chance to make new art because I’ve been busy with freelance work, school, and my internship. It’s time to dream up some new visions and put them to wood!

3. Survey: Also, I wanted to thank you for all of the feedback I’ve received so far from the survery that I posted yesterday. It’s already providing some amazing insight and recommendations that I can’t wait to put to use! It’s going through April 2nd, so contribute for a chance to win a package of goodies from me!

4. Darkness Calls: I stayed up way past my bedtime last night to dye my hair black and paint my nails the very same color. I love long, ink-colored perfectly straight hair coupled with graphic, colorful clothing!

5. EFF YOU: I promise to get these happenin’ shirts live in my online store very, very soon! Lee Z made them, inspired by my favorite saying when I’m mad! This photo was taken after I got done jumping on the bed in Austin last week. It’s hard work, I swear!