Monthly Archives: September 2008 Art Retrospective at Nemo Design

Please join me for my solo art show this Friday at Nemo Design! I’ll have a merchandise table and all of the remaining art from Black & White Graphic Insight, as well as pieces from my past series available for sale. An Art Retrospective
Friday, October 3rd, 2008 | 6 to 10 PM
Nemo Design | 1875 SE Belmont St. | Portland, OR 97214

Also, I just finished this piece yesterday and it will be available at my show. I’m really happy with how it turned out!

Alone, 2008
Collage, ink and resin on wood
17 x 11 inches

And, here are some details:

I will be at Nemo the entire time, so please come up and introduce yourself. I’d love to finally meet some of you in person!

Blogworld Expo 2008 Recap

las vegas convention center

Every year, the Blogworld Expo takes place at the Las Vegas Convention Center. It’s the largest blogging conference in the world and includes more than 50 panels, seminars and keynotes featuring social media’s brightest personalities. Topics range from how to sell more advertising on your blog to taking smart risks with your online personality.

Last weekend, I attended the expo along with fellow blogger Gala Darling and we both soaked up tons of valuable information.

nubby twiglet gala darling
Absorbing the blogging sights and sounds with Gala

Below, I’ll detail everything you need to know about the convention and why you should consider going next year!


Blogging has grown into much more than an idle hobby. It’s a way of life and a viable way to make a living. According to Blogworld’s stats:

* Over 12 million American adults maintain blogs (and more than 57 million read them).

* 22 of the world’s 100 most popular websites are blogs.

* There are over 1.4 million new blog posts every day.

* 1.7 million American adults list making money as one of the reasons they blog.

* Over 120,000 new blogs are created every day.


1. Beyond Blogging

With social media, marketing is essential. Unfortunately, everyone thinks they can perform marketing tasks well with no training.

Transparency can be difficult for corporations dabbling in social media because as they get larger, they don’t necessarily know who they are any longer. The overall vision (and truthfulness) can get lost in a sea of PR and marketing teams trying to craft a visibly perfect image. Successful bloggers within corporations are authentic, passionate and know what they’re talking about.

2. Taking Smart Risks with Your Online Personality

There’s a difference between pure risk and smart risk online. Smart risk is about having a plan. There are many great things that can come out of showcasing your personality and letting people know who you are. Think about how you want your intentions to play out in the long run and develop a corresponding plan.

A very finite number of negative outcomes can arise when you put yourself out there (on the internet) and most of them can be controlled. In contrast, there’s an infinite number of great possibilities that can happen and they usually outweigh the bad. Examples include job leads, networking and entrepreneurial opportunities.

Remember, it’s up to us as our own personal brand managers to control our image. Be aware, consider the persona you’re projecting and your reactions / responses. The residue can last forever. Figure out what your boundaries are and give some consideration to your personal image before you step out publicly.

3. Opening Keynote

Timothy Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek and Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park had some really inspiring, basic advice during the keynote.

First of all, it’s important to give fans a brand that’s consistent with what you’ve promised them.

Secondly, you don’t want to fight the battle of competing with everyone else. Don’t be an asshole. You’ll meet everyone on the way down that you met on the way up. Being nice isn’t the same thing as being passive. Being cordial and direct and assertive doesn’t cost you any extra time and pays off.

Timothy advised us to “talk to your readers the way you’d talk to your friends after two drinks.” Cut out the nonsense and show them what they want to hear. Don’t avoid offending people; it comes across as fake.

He also related that It doesn’t matter how many times you’re rejected or how many people don’t get what you’re trying to accomplish. It’s about how many do.


If you’re serious about blogging, either as an individual or for the company you’re employed by, Blogworld is for you. With up to seven seminars to choose from a few times each day, there’s a huge variety of topics on varying levels ranging from introductory to professional.

las vegas convention centerMeeting Steve Pavlina!

Beyond receiving the opportunity to learn everything there is to know about blogging, Blogworld is a fantastic place to network! Gala and I were able to meet Timothy Ferriss (totally approachable), Steve Pavlina (he’s hugely inspiring and even showed his raw food stash of snacks to us!), Darren Rowse (Gala and him are friends) and we came very close to meeting Guy Kawasaki on a few occasions (next year, perhaps?!)

Blogworld gave us the platform to meet some of our heros up-close and personal and to ask them questions. The insight I gained from these brief but powerful meetings was worth the trip alone.


1. The convention hours are early (9 a.m. on average), so unless you’re a ‘morning person,’ staying out all night and partying on convention days is not recommended!

2. The cost ($400.00 for an all-access pass) is only worth it if you stick to a pre-planned, class-packed schedule. If you plan on taking extended breaks to nurse your hangover, don’t bother attending.

las vegas convention center starbucks

3. The food options at the convention center are exorbitant and not very tasty. Gala paid about $8.00 for a lackluster sandwich and our Starbucks orders had a burnt aftertaste. Plan ahead and bring tons of snacks (like Steve did)!

4. Sign up for a Twitter account in advance. It’s the preferred way of communicating at the convention. (See the live Blogworld 08 Twitter feed here).

Are any of you planning on attending the Blogworld Expo next year?

What I Wore: 9.25.08

I picked up this sweater dress in my all-time favorite color two weeks ago at H&M in New York. It’s comfortable, cozy and the simple shape makes it fun to accessorize!

No, I’m not going to tell you what I was laughing about!

I wore:

Sweater dress, H&M
Necklace, Made by White
Tights, birthday gift from Doe!
Red cross watch, Swatch
Heels, ZINDA

The Week in Pictures: 9.26.08 Vegas Edition!!!

las vegas pool nubby

My week was pretty monumental. It’s hard to believe, but spending four days in Vegas changed my life for the better (and didn’t require the cliché vices of gambling, hookers or excessive drinking to be off the charts!)

Gala Darling just made this video of our time in Vegas and it’s pretty awesome! It sums up our stay perfectly!

Last Friday, Gala and I flew from New York to Vegas for the Blogworld Expo. We gained some serious insight and inspiration and met some of our blogging idols in the process, but that deserves another post entirely (coming very soon, promise)!

Some of the highlights during our downtime included:

las vegas blogworld  expo

1. Wandering through the Mirage at 2 a.m., trying on white tiger masks. RAWWWR! (Sigfried and Roy were not spotted).

las vegas buffet

2. Frequenting all-you-can-eat buffets and mixing a minimum of four nationalities of food.

las vegas chandelier

3. Receiving V.I.P. access to private parties at clubs with crazy chandeliers.

las vegas gala nubby

4. Running into a guy wearing a bear suit in the middle of a casino at 3 a.m.

5. Soaking up the sun by our hotel pool (and sneaking back in later to take photos)!

las vegas

6. Lights & Glitz! Everywhere!

las vegas blogworld  expo

7. Posing next to Kiss (okay, their costumes!) at the Hard Rock Hotel.

Honorable mentions: We consulted a free magazine with Criss Angel on the cover many times and christened it our Criss Angel Bible; limousines; pole dances by drunk monorail passengers; California Pizza Kitchen; massive red slushy drinks at the pool; a cop guarding the all-you-can-eat buffet (!), the NASCAR café, walking miles in ridiculous heels; disco naps; seriously contemplating $1,600.00 handbags; enthusiastic hotel staff and relaxing by the pool after a long weekend of blogging seminars!

Link Love: 9.25.08

1. Marilyn Monroe kept her life locked away inside two filing cabinets that have been hidden from the world for nearly four decades. Photographer Mark Anderson began an epic two-year project of documenting the contents and here’s what he found.

2. Totally random but super cool: a collection of vintage typewriter tins featuring some amazing typography.

3. Six reasons why freelancers should have a niche blog.

4. Okay, so maybe this isn’t funny to you, but I LOVE IT! Here’s a video of Michael Jackson getting repeatedly pushed into his swimming pool at Neverland by a bunch of hyperactive children! And who knew that Macaulay Culkin was such a crazy driver?!!

5. One of the most neglected parts of a blog is usually the comments section. But, never fear! Here are 30 must-see comment designs!

6. The Truth About Creating a High Traffic Blog is a brilliant read.

7. Where is your username registered? This site will save you hours of site-hopping by immediately letting you know if your username is still available!

The Power of Personal Branding

nubby twiglet nameplate necklace

Pause for a moment and consider the following:

Are you a brand?
Would you like to be a brand?

Personal branding is the process of an individual developing themselves and their careers as a brand. An effective personal brand requires solid, cohesive self-packaging. To create a recognizable image under personal branding, many celebrities apply their names directly to their ventures. This strategy has been hugely successful for many, though by no means do you have to be famous to develop a personal brand. To begin, all it takes is a decision to start one.

Jessica Simpson hawks albums, hair extensions, body care products, outerwear and a line of shoes almost seamlessly because the merchandise is branded as being an integral part of her California glamour girl lifestyle.

Donald Trump builds high-rise residences, hosts a successful television show and has authored multiple best-selling books. A key to Trump’s success with his personal brand has been a no-apologies attitude coupled with the voyeuristic look he offers the public inside his moneyed lifestyle. He has cultivated an image over the last three decades that revolves around outrageous investments, gutsy comebacks and a knack for always returning from the brink richer than before (he filed business bankruptcy in 1991 and narrowly escaped personal bankruptcy that year, as well).

jessica simpson donald trump

Though these two celebrities reside on opposite spectrums from one another, they realize the power that comes with cultivating a powerful public image. Whether you love or hate them, they’ve smartly built empires of diverse offerings that earn healthy returns based upon their own likenesses.

1. Ask yourself about what characteristics make you unique.

How will you differentiate yourself from the competition? Differentiation is the source of competitive advantage. Pick out the five people in your field that you admire most. Make a list of characteristics that will define you as a brand. Then, decide what you can you do better or differently than them. It’s not necessary for the differences to be extreme. Rather, the goal of differentiation is to develop an approach that is viewed by your customers as being unique in some way (packaging, presentation, voice, etc.) when compared to other options.

2. What is your greatest strength?

mug keyboardSit down and type up a list of what makes you great.

Are you a blogger that’s wildly outspoken and not afraid to share your views, even if they have the ability to divide and polarize an audience? Do you have a knack for developing amazing merchandise and art? Does your shoe collection incite immediate envy? Do you have a unique way of dressing that people just can’t get enough of? Do your how-to articles incite constant praise? If you’re unsure of your greatest strength, don’t be afraid to get feedback. We each have one lurking beneath the surface!

3. How can these strengths contribute to reinforcing your brand?

Your strengths can easily lead to bigger and better opportunities but to do so, you need to determine what your desired outcome is. Consider all of the energy it will take to establish a personal brand. What would you like in return?

As an example, I promote my art and graphic design regularly on and have gained a healthy freelance clientele in the process. Sea of Shoe’s Jane Aldridge shares photos of her vast shoe collection and impeccable knack for styling and these tasks reinforce her goal of eventually being fashion editor or shoe buyer. Gala Darling shares her timeless advice and a plethora of how-to articles. In direct response to these efforts, she makes a living as a writer.

4. Use the feature-benefit process.

For every feature you provide, what benefits will you earn? Make sure that you feel like your time and effort are netting measurable results that you feel good about. If your relationship turns into all giving and no receiving, burnout can set in. The happier and more inspired you are, the better your content and enthusiasm tend to be.

For example, do you make a conscious decision to deliver fresh, unique content to your readers every day? If you do, they develop a routine of checking your blog regularly and in return, you earn a steady flow of traffic. Do you listen to customer requests and actively develop products based on their needs? If you do, they will view you as a thoughtful and caring business owner.

5. What would you like to be known for?

What’s your message? Are you aiming for a positive, inspiring voice that motivates and helps your readers like Gala Darling? Or, will your tone be hilariously over-the-top and sarcastic like Michael K of Dlisted? Perhaps your goal is to create an autobiographical peek into the ups and downs of your everyday life like Heather Armstrong of dooce. Part of the reason these bloggers are so successful hinges on their consistent voices. Readers always know what to expect.

heather armstrong dooce gala darling icingUnique voices: Heather Armstrong and Gala Darling

As a side note, before moving forward with your personal brand, an important point to consider is that online, you are what the web says you’ve done. Give some serious consideration about what you’re putting online. It’s permanent. Google archives everything you’ve done online. It does not go away. Does your persona on the internet mesh with how you’d like to market your brand to the world?

Once you’ve decided to cultivate your personal brand, the next step is to apply a few key elements to your marketing efforts.

1. You should be able to describe your business in less than 10 words.

If you run into someone and they ask what your busines is about, you should be able to outline it very quickly. The message should be clear and concise. As your blog grows, it’s completely normal for your message to require regular refinement. As an example, if I had to describe in 10 words or less, it would be summed up as an aesthetic approach to art, design and marketing.

2. Do you have a tagline?

A tagline is a slogan that supports a brand’s premise. It reinforces a person’s memory of what your brand about. The goal should be to use the least amount of words with the most impact. Here are a few shining examples:

Steve Pavlina’s Personal Development for Smart People is a reminder for people to be aware that it takes hard work and dedication to live more consciously.

Tim Ferriss’s Lifestyle Design evokes the possibility that we can turn our lives into anything we want to.

Tina Su of Think Simple Now also keeps her mantra simple with Creativity, Clarity & Happiness.

3. Have you developed an elevator pitch?

An elevator pitch is a summary of an idea or product. A typical pitch should literally take no longer than an elevator ride. A 30 second summary should cover who you are, what your product or service is and how it can benefit your customers. You never know when an opportunity will arise, so be prepared!

4. Create a distinctive logo.

A logo immediately gives your customers some definitive clues about what your brand is (and what it represents).

wynn logo nubbytwiglet logo
Two simple logos: Wynn Resorts in Las Vegas and Nubby (me).

Some keys to remember when designing a logo are:

1. Keep it simple. Only include elements that are absolutely necessary.
2. Your logo should always work in black and white first. Web 2.0 reflections and transparencies are not required!
3. Your brand name should be easy to read. Otherwise, what’s the point?
4. If possible, achieve symmetry in your design. This way, it can be repeated and turned into a pattern for branding purposes.
5. Your logo should be defined and easy to read at 50% of its original size just as easy as it is at 200%.

The best part about being in control your own brand is that you are in charge of your destiny. You’re in charge of you. Changes can be implemented rapidly. And, the payoffs for being successful mean more because you’ve built the brand yourself. The success is yours.