Daily Archives: March 3, 2008

Design That Kills: The Nubby Twiglet Interview

The fabulous Kristin of Design That Kills just interviewed me and I thought I’d share. I’m a fan of her photography and design skills and was impressed with the depth and uniqueness of her questions. Thanks, Kristin! 


name: Nubby

location: Portland, Oregon

(dtk) where does your name, nubbytwiglet come from?

‘Nubby Twiglet’ was never meant to be anything serious. It started as a combination of nicknames- I loved the 60s model Twiggy and ‘nubby’ was a word I used often to describe small things. When I met my boyfriend Lee Z at a party in 2004, he would only call me ‘Nubby’ since he knew me better from my online persona. That winter, I went on a cross-country tour with the The Prids (he was their drummer at the time) and basically got introduced to his entire family and friends as Nubby. It became pretty apparent that I could never live it down, so I embraced it!

(dtk) what does it mean to you?

It represents the broader vision I have of myself with regards to art, design, and a lifestyle. David Bowie seemed even more otherworldly when he transformed into Ziggy Stardust. It’s who I’ve grown into over the last few years…

(dtk) current inspirations?

For graphic design, VectorTrash always leaves me in awe.
For style and advice, I adore Gala Darling.
My favorite collage artist is Antigirl.
My friend Star is an illustrating genius.
My brother is always inspiring me.

Also, my NYC friends always keep me on my toes:
My longest friend there (8 years and counting!) Voltaire takes me to the most amusing clubs and bars!
Bianca is my fellow Virgo photographer friend- she does photoshoots of me is always supportive.
Seze is my art buddy; we always hit the gallery scene together.

(dtk) you are known by many on the internets- (LJ, your blog, and wardrobe_remix) for your striking red, white, black and green outfits- how do you describe your personal style?

It’s a dash of space-age whimsy, stark lines, simple shapes, slightly elfy, 60s mod, super stripey, and Thriller-era Michael Jackson.

(dtk) what are your biggest influences? and dreams? i know you have a love for NYC- and even lived there once, do you want to move back? do you like portland?

I dream of working a job I adore in design / marketing / branding and doing large-scale art shows worldwide. Traveling, shopping and living a simple but rich life and staying humble is all part of the plan.

As much as I love New York (I’ve been there 7 times!), I grew up in Portland and have a strong connection to the city. We recycle everything and the public transportation is super good. My brother also lives here and I love my internship at Nemo Design. So with Portland vs. New York, there are always a lot of lingering maybes…let’s put it this way: If I was rich, New York would be my playground!

(dtk) when did you start to collage? how did it turn into the large art installations you currently produce?

Collaging started to happen during high school; I was in loads of fine art classes but I didn’t like drawing. So, collage was a way to still get my vision on paper! My brother started art school while I was still going for a business degree and was always experimenting with collage on wood. He started building me wood boxes and red crosses and taught me to pour epoxy resin. The process has evolved over the years.

(dtk) tell me about your relationship with your brother, black smokey- as children did you both want to be designers? have you always been close? you are also private about your boyfriend, who you live with, lee Z- do you two collaborate often? he seems to be a positive influence on your work-

My brother and I are only 2.5 years apart and grew up liking all the same things. We both have a dark sense of humor and are pretty mean when we hang out; it’s like a devious force comes over us! We both made art projects constantly as kids, but I never took it as seriously as he did. He started his t-shirt line when he was still in high school and basically showed me that it was possible to make a living being creative!

Lee Z is definitely a driving force behind everything I do, though he likes to keep a low profile and stay in the shadows! He’s been a graphic designer / screen printer for 10 years so I’m always asking questions and learning from him. He prints all my merchandise and really pushes my boundaries. We talk about design ideas and business constantly.

(dtk) what music are you currently listening to? favorite food/drink?

It’s true that I listen to TONS of Journey and all of Steve Perry’s solo work, but I also dig the free MP3′S that Dave Allen of Gang of Four posts to his blog Pampelmoose every week (I intern at Nemo where he works and he always has the coolest new tunes)! Also, Michael Jackson, Goldfrapp, Depeche Mode and Tegan & Sara are in constant rotation.

Favorite Food: Anything with tons of carbs! Pad thai especially.
Drink: Chai or orange juice.

(dtk) any advice for aspiring graphic designers/artists/fashionistas?

Keep going; as long as you do something related to your dream every single day, little by little, the pieces will fall into place and your vision will become a reality. If you’re passionate and dedicated to your cause, nothing can stop you! Always be willing to share; there’s no point in hoarding your ideas; if you’re a true original, your work will speak for itself and get the recognition it deserves.

(dtk) ten words that describe nubby:

Whimsical, graphic, stripes, typography, contrast, bold, small, determined, focused, modern.

The Benefits of Blogs vs. Websites

I was just reading a ProBlogger post by Suzanne Falter-Barns who interviewed Andy Wibbels and I found his basic overview of blogs versus websites to be quite telling:

1. Websites are clunky and expensive; blogs are lean and cheap.
2. You have to wait for someone to make changes to your website; your blog can be changed easily by you.
3. You have to wait for someone else to set up your site; your blog can be set up by you in 15 minutes.
4. You can update your blog at an airport, while you’re on the run. You have to call your webmaster … and wait … to update your site.
5. You can collect email addresses, and download free reports and bonuses off of a website. Same with a blog.
6. You can use a shopping cart to collect money for e-commerce of a website. Same with a blog.
7. You can set up a press room with all sorts of cool links and forms on a website. Same with a blog.
8. It takes three to six months for the big search engines to find you with a website. It takes two or three days with a blog.
9. You can easily track stats of who has visited your regular website. Same with a blog.
10. The media are more likely to find you on a blog.
11. You can learn more about your audience from a blog.
12. You market automatically with a blog. But not with a conventional website.
13. You can make a lot more friends with a blog.

In my experience so far, his list is pretty spot-on. Last year when I decided to relaunch my art and design website as a blog, to say I was aprehensive about the switch would be an understatement.

I’d began witnessing bloggers speaking of increased benefits related to the medium, but I wasn’t sure it was for me. The reason: graphic designers and artists (to me, anyway) often seem shrouded in mystery, rarely sharing much personal information. Rather, they let their work speak for them.

But, I had loads of content that I wanted to share with the world! I felt that I had something to say and the emails I was getting with marketing and press kit questions were encouraging. I had nothing to hide; I was willing to take the chance and embrace the good with the (possibility of) bad. The infrequent news updates to my website weren’t cutting it. Opportunities were passing me by because I wasn’t fully embracing the exposure that a high-traffic online medium could bring in.

During a stay in L.A. last summer, my friend Star told me about her just-launched blog and how she’d noticed a sudden shift in the amount of visitors and mentions she was getting in other publications. Right then, I decided to take the leap.

Switching from a standard website to a blog format has been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made regarding my personal business. Since my blog launched six months ago, on average I’ve received three times the amount of freelance inquiries, a ten-fold increase in traffic, and many art show and book contribution offers!

If you think about it, most people are willing embrace a constant flow of (quality) information and blogs give them a way to navigate through the sea of digital content in an organized, easy to follow format that is usually organized by date and topic.

According to Technorati, there are over there are over 175,000 new blogs every day. If you have something to say or a vision to share with the world, why wait any longer?

If you’re thinking of starting a blog, I’ve found these articles to be immensely helpful:

1. Five Reasons Why Freelancers Should Blog by Freelance Switch

2. How to Start a Blog by Gala Darling

3. Online Business Toolbox: 230+ Tools for Running a Business Online

4. Monkey Bar Blogging by ProBlogger

5. How To Build a High-Traffic Website (or Blog) by Steve Pavlina