Lately, I haven’t had a chance to share much of my design work since it’s been mostly freelance for my clients and work for Nemo (and their clients). But this week, I got a really fun assignment. One of my tasks was to come up with a t-shirt design for the Nemo employees that could be handed out at the end of our semi-annual meeting on Thursday.
The challenge was to make the design Nemo-centric but to avoid simply slapping the nemo logo across the shirt in an obvious way. My idea was to make a collage of things that represent Nemo as a company and more specifically, to include references to some of our employees. After I got started, my art director Chris stepped in with a list of all the random one-liners I could ever need.
So, thank you to Chris for inspiration, last-minute re-arranging and additions, to Rodger for the hillarious illustrations of the Airsoft gun, taser and ‘Spotted Dick’ (whatever that means!) and to Lee for getting them printed just in time. I love working for a company that has a sense of humor!
I landed at the Portland airport after my brief Phoenix stay late Sunday night. Once I arrived home, I promptly fell asleep, but my Virgo tendencies couldn’t rest. I was back up at 6 a.m. to unpack my suitcase and then get ready for work. Since then, I’ve been catching up on everything that I fell behind in while I was away for 10 days.
When I was in New York last week, I got these metallic Prada-esque socks at H&M and love them so much. I’ve been wearing more knee highs lately because they’re much cooler than leggings in the summer and have that classic schoolgirl / lolita vibe.
Here’s some recent inspiration that I’ve left sitting out in my office. The New York postcard (with inspirational stuff on written on the back) is courtesy of Gala. Awww.
So, the big event for this week was the Nemo Design semi-annual company meeting. We had a big catered lunch and the funniest part was the table specifically assigned to the ‘Vegetarians.’ Now, I’m not hardcore about being veggie (I eat fish), but I wasn’t going to chance sitting at one of the ‘regular tables’ and end up with a slab of meat. Haha.
When we were all seated at our tables, a massive portrait of all the employees was unveiled. ‘The Cult of Nemo’ lives on!
After the lunch, we had a few hour meeting about the company in general with a host of speakers. I sat near Todd because he rules.
I have some more things to share with you later like the company t-shirt I just designed, but they will have to wait a wee bit longer. Stay tuned!
1. In How to Earn Your First Love Dollar, Steve Pavlina makes the argument that all you need to do to move forward with your dream profession is to make that first dollar doing whatever it is that you love. He goes on to say that:
When you accept that first love dollar, you tell the universe, “Okay, I’m willing to be paid for this kind of work. Can you bring me more opportunities like this?” And the universe will say, “Absolutely… no problem.”
Striped tunic, Urban Outfitters (2 years ago)
Knee highs, Nordstrom
Lace front heels, ZINDA
Edit: Some detail shots!
After leaving New York City on Friday morning, I flew straight to Phoenix to spend the weekend with my mom & stepdad. They both relocated there from Oregon about six months ago and this was the first time I had a chance to visit. The desert really isn’t my style, but I was pleasantly surprised by how nice everything turned out to be. Their house is surrounded by mountains and they have (real) green grass, so I had tiny reminders of the Northwest.We went shopping in Scottsdale and I spotted this bebe dress in the window; I absolutely cannot stand wearing gold, but I loved the sleek stewardess feel and the fact that it was made of a light, summery cotton. Also, all of the things I own in this style are navy and I am a much bigger fan of black! I’m so glad I bought it; there’s no reason to let past tendancies control your future! A few gold buttons aren’t the end of the world!
P.S. I was actually quite happy, but the sun was so bright that I am squinting in every shot!
I’ll freely admit that I was a long standing Twitter holdout. With profiles on Facebook, Myspace, Flickr, Behance, Buzznet, Live Journal and my personal blog already clogging my schedule, the motivation for adding another social networking site to my list of engagements was definitely lacking. Months of being preached to about the positive virtues of Twitter (hi, Star and others!) fell onto deaf ears.
The turning point came last week when I was staying with Gala Darling in New York City. She explained that for bloggers, Twitter is a worthwhile tool because it can be set up to notify followers of when you’ve updated your blog. Essentially, folks following you on Twitter are provided with a quick, on-the-go reminder of what you’re up to. And, in return, you can gain some steady traffic to your blog posts.
After one more deft attempt to escape the world of Twitter, Gala took over and signed me up on the spot (that girl means business)!
I entered the secret code and my life flashed before my eyes. There was no turning back!
Within three days, I had 60 ‘followers’. An instantaneous following is a pretty seductive thing. And, the rest is history; a Twitter fiend was born!
While some have found the advent of Twitter (and for that matter, Plurk) to be a distraction from blogging, Darren Rowse of ProBlogger holds the opposite view:
I personally find that Twitter informs and inspires my blogging. The interactions that I have, the conversations that I see others having, the questions that I’m asked and the answers that other users of Twitter and Plurk give me are constantly feeding me with ideas to blog about.
So, why should you join the masses of twittering addicts?
BENEFITS OF TWITTER
1. You Can Find Blogging Inspiration
If you’re stumped on what to write about, posting a quick ‘tweet’ (a post or status update) in the form of a question or poll to Twitter can provide a platform for your biggest fans to brainstorm and tell you what they really want. In a matter of minutes, it’s possible to have an abundance of clever ideas gathered on your screen via users from around the world!
2. It Reminds Followers to Check Out Blog Posts
It is possible to set up a feed that publishes your blog headlines directly to Twitter with a handy link. Some people just don’t have the time to keep up with RSS feeds and linking your article in this manner can be much more user friendly.
3. Your Readers May Make a More Personal Connection
Twitter has the ability to take on a more spontaneous, playful side of a blogger’s personality. Since tweets are often fired off multiple times a day (whereas a blog post from the same user may go live once a day or even less frequently) and posted on the spot with a maximum of 140 characters, they tend to be short and sweet and more to the point since space is limited. There’s not enough room to defend your views, to delve into a disclaimer, or to give a back story.
When blogging, many of us focus upon a niche topic (examples being music, street style, self improvement, D.I.Y. crafts) and may not want to clutter the front page of our blogs with random, off-topic personal tidbits such as, “I’m in line at the store and just saw Michael Jackson in a wheelchair” or perhaps “Courtney Love just passed me up in a shopping cart!” Yet, these present tense mumblings give those subscribed to your Twitter feed a way to bond with you as a real person going about your daily existence, not just the persona they encounter on your blog.
a. The site is very user friendly. It takes a max of five minutes to sign up and get a profile in place.
b. Unlike the social networking behemoths Myspace and Facebook, Twitter is free of advertising (for now). Sweet Relief!
c. Keeping track of your favorite posts is easy. If you see a tweet of value, click the star directly to the right of the message and effortlessly bookmark it for future viewing:
THE DOWNSIDES OF TWITTER
Of course, not everyone will agree that Twitter is the equivalent of the second coming of Christ. Some points of contention are:
1. Limited Comment Length
Since the number of characters on a Twitter post are limited to 140, it’s not always possible to reply in an intelligent, in-depth manner. Dave Allen’s take on its shortcomings is pretty accurate. He says that:
I still believe a good, well written blog is the place for conversation. Twitter, a micro-blog, is not. I use my Twitter account to drive traffic back to my blog where the conversation can really open up. After all, Twitter only allows 140 characters so truncated updates are the norm, which is fine. On both my blogs, the other being Pampelmoose, I enjoy reading comments that can often be longer than the original post – something that is impossible with Twitter.
2. The Distraction Factor
While firing off short and succinct messages may be fun, the time it takes to do so can add up quickly. Some people become so preoccupied with tweeting that their blog postings begin to dry up. In my view, Twitter is not a replacement for blogging but rather a tool that complements and reinforces blogging efforts.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Twitter is a free, easy to use social networking service that isn’t cluttered with ads and other unnecessary applications. If you’re an active blogger, Twitter has the ability to keep on-the-go readers informed and provide them a more personalized experience. If you use it with a purpose in mind, it’s a win-win situation for both you and your subscribers. I can’t believe that I stubbornly held out for so long!
Selections from the Blacktooth Spring 2008 line (L to R): Can You Hear Me, Love Kills, Tokyo and Bitches to Riches.
The Background on Blacktooth
Six years ago, when my brother Carey (nickname: Smokey) was still in high school, he decided to start a clothing label called Blacktooth for his senior project. The line started out with a handful of t-shirts that were covered in designs that had been hand collaged (back then, he didn’t have a computer)! He’d sell them to our friends for $10.00 each and then reinvest the money towards a new design.
Since then, Blacktooth Clothing has grown by leaps and bounds with a minimum of two full collections being released each year. Besides being sold directly through its namesake website, Blacktooth has been picked up by boutiques worldwide including The Wasteland in L.A., North Trooper in Toronto, and Hidden Labels in the U.K.
On the topic of Summer essentials, his recommendations are: 1. Don’t cut your jeans off cause when winter rolls around, you’re gonna freeze. Instead, roll them up.
2. Buy black pants ’cause when they rip, you can Sharpie your skin and no one will know.
3. Ride your bike. It saves money, doesn’t support the oil industry, and you need the exercise anyways from all the burgers you’re gonna be consuming.
Advice on Haters
With success at an early age (24), haters are bound to come out of the cracks. But, my brother is much feistier than I am and takes it all in stride. On the topic of the haters he encounters, he says:
Success causes more problems. I remember one time I did a shirt with a diamond on it way back in the day and this dude was trying to fight me in a parking lot saying I ripped him off ’cause the diamond is his logo and he’s been drawing it since middle school. Well, point and case be, right down the street was a diamond on a jewelry store sign that had been there at least 20 years before he was born. That is the type of stuff I run into. I wish haters would just quit talking and start creating.
Let’s Dance, 2008
Dream Big, Work Hard Blacktooth Clothing was started by my brother with a few hundred dollars he earned from selling bootleg concert videos. He was 18 year old living in the suburbs of Portland, Oregon with a vision of creating t-shirts his friends and I would want to wear. He works hard, but has fun doing it. Every time I visit him, he’s on his laptop designing and submitting designs. That dedication paid off earlier this year when Urban Outfitters picked up three of his designs for nationwide distribution.
Our design sensibilities are very different, but I admire his dedication to consistently putting out the crafitiest, funniest shirts around.
The night before I left New York, photographer Bianca Alexis did an epic photo shoot of Gala Darling and I on a West Village rooftop. She is the lighting master!
In the first set of photos, Gala and her 5 inch licorice strap platforms towered over me. I need some massive heels for next time!
Hat from Urban Outfitters
Raspberry tank from American Apparel
Floral print skirt from H&M
Wide patent leather belt
Licorice strap platforms
Swarovski crystal bracelet, charm bracelet
Tarina Tarantino ring
Bag by Trent Nathan
Sequinned Disney ears (borrowed from Gala)
Striped long cardigan, Twelve by Twelve
Black skirt (underneath), American Apparel
Red bowtie belt, Forever 21
Watch from Target
Socks from H&M
Boots by Dries Van Noten
Vitello Lux Bag by Miu Miu
I love how the shoot hilighted our contrast in features, height and color choices. Style is all about being true to who you are and wearing what makes you comfortable.
Quite possibly the best sign ever outside of the Marc Jacobs store, NYC
Please forgive my tardiness in posting; I spent the entire morning in the friendly skies, flying from New York to Phoenix. I am still adjusting to the drastic shift in surroundings and time zone!
This week has been beyond action packed! Normally, I only visit New York once every year for my birthday in September, but my friend Bianca and I had been chatting about photo shoots for the last few months, Gala partially convinced me to come out, and on top of that, I found out that LouLou was visiting at the same time. I was presented with a perfect storm of talented and inspiring girls!
After dropping off my bags at Bianca’s, I headed over to meet Miss Gala Darling at a cute french café. She’s so naturally stunning in person with perfect skin, crystal clear blue eyes and a quiet confidence. We ate sooo much food that I christened it ‘the last supper.’ This theme would continually arise throughout our week together!
On our way to Soho, we both got distracted by a ginormous ice cream cone. I need one of these for my living room!
Friday night was the 4th of July, so a group of us went up to a rooftop on St. Marks Place to watch the festivities. It was a fascinating experience because little colonies of people were gathered on their rooftops for as far as we could see. It was like a little city stacked on top of the city itself. The fireworks were so loud and booming; the glowing orange sky resembled an apocalypse!
At around midnight, Gala, Bianca and I caught a cab to Rubulad (click for a video). So hot and sticky, everyone was a sweaty mess! Gala convinced me to climb a ladder to a rooftop (I’m really scared of heights) where a guy was pedaling a bike that had massive, flapping wings attached to it. I also got stuck inside a bizarre handcrafted treehouse where all the floor cushions were mysteriously stained. This pretty much summed up the atmosphere!
On Saturday, I woke up and it was pouring. High humidity and rain are a disastrous combination! My Dries boots were getting soaked, so I ran into Trash & Vaudeville on Saint Marks and bought these patent white babies. I think I’m in love!
We had a fantastic time, especially when we witnessed a strange old man in a pink shirt spinning on a chair in the middle of traffic while an equally crazy guy danced to Cher:
Also worthy of a mention was finally meeting the stunning LouLou! She was selling her beautiful handmade bows and undies and I couldn’t resist! Seriously, her stuff is top notch.
After the art market, Gilda and I wandered through Brooklyn looking for food when we stumbled upon a little gem of a restaurant resembling a surf shack! The atmosphere was amazing; an inflatable parrot was perched in a tree and the ground was covered in sand. Can you tell that Gilda was amused? Here we are hanging out at the Bloomie’s in Midtown:
On Sunday, Gala, Gilda and I attended Dances of Vice at the Montauk Club in Brooklyn. The overall look was rooted in the 20s and 30s and quite the departure from out normal hangouts. The patrons went all out with their dress; gentlemen in suits, top hats, vests and other finery danced with women in flappper dresses, fully made up faces and perfectly set hair.
We sat on a beautiful couch for much of the night, taking in the fancy footwork on the dance floor. Upon arriving back in the city, we had one of the best meals in the middle of the night at French Roast, which impressed me with the air of european refinement it upholds at all hours.
Sunday night was spent with Bianca at Sway, a Morrissey & The Smiths trubute night. It was one of the best club nights I’ve been to in ages. The music and crowd meshed perfectly and I couldn’t help but to smile at the folks boogying down to Prince’s Black Sweat.
The night was topped off when Bianca and I ended up with a cab driver who felt the need to drive at ungodly speeds while we squealed in the back, filming the adventure (I’ll share it soon)! We were holding onto the grab bars in back and the entire thing looks like a high speed chase!
On Tuesday, I headed up to Museum of Modern Art in Midtown to witness the breathtaking Dali Exhibit in person; his line work and precision were unparalleled. Though I like Dali, the most moving art to me were the Pop pieces in the museum collection:
Much of the rest of my week was spent in the company of Gala; we immediately bonded over being goal-oriented Virgos with a mutual love of blogging and shopping! We chatted in diners until 3 a.m., sat in private booths surrounded by tightly pulled black curtains until 4 a.m., and did two separate rooftop shoots. I miss her so much already!
One of our best moments together was catching the action behind the velvet curtain of The Box with our friend, the talented illustrator Molly Crabapple (below). It definitely lived up to the hype and kept me intrigued the entire time!
Thursday was my last full day in the city. Gala and I had a final outing at Pure Food & Wine and plotted our futures together over her favorite pint of $17.00 raw peanut butter cup ice cream. A roof shoot in the West Village by Bianca sealed the deal.
This trip was fulfilling in that I got to spend so much time with some of my favorite people and really experience some of the best parts of the city with their company in tow.
I hopped a flight to Phoenix this morning at 8 a.m. and in a matter of hours, the humid and compact city that never sleeps was replaced by a dry desert spread that runs forever in every direction with a smattering of palm trees. I’m spending the weekend with my mom and stepdad in their new house (and it’s so large that I’m still finding my way around)! Also of notable mention; I am now the proud owner of the Samsung Blackjack (a late graduation gift!) and it’s pretty awesome.
How was your week? Did you make any big changes? Are you in the midst of plotting your own summer travels and spur of the moment getaways?
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