Daily Archives: August 26, 2013

Tools of the Trade #12: Visual Inspiration Resources

Tools of the Trade

Searching the depths of the internet for design inspiration is one of my favorite pastimes. And over the last few years, I’ve definitely honed in on a handful of places to mine when I need a quick fix. Today, I’m sharing my top five sources for creative imagery:

1. Designspiration: This site is great because as the name implies, it specifically drills down to just design-related inspiration. While there are occasionally some interiors and lifestyle shots in the mix, for the most part, you’ll find beautifully curated examples of identities, posters, typography and websites. Unlike FFFFOUND!, it’s nudity-free which is especially helpful if you’re researching while at work.

2. FFFFOUND!: A bit more random, FFFFOUND is an oddly enticing brew of design, morbid humor and scantily clad women. It’s definitely NSFW but if you’re burnt out on the same old shiny, perfectly curated Pinterest boards and looking for images that are a bit off the beaten path, you’ll love it here.

3. Dribbble: Brimming with screenshots of projects-in-progress from some of the most talented designers in the industry, Dribbble allows you to peek into the creative processes of icon artists, typographers, illustrators and more. It’s a fantastic resource for discovering new talent while also keeping a pulse on what’s currently happening in the design community.

4. Pinterest: These days, when it comes to pulling together design inspiration, I spend most of my time on Pinterest. I pin all of my favorite design finds here and love the ease of being able to gather it quickly in one place.

Some of my favorite Pinterest design boards to follow are Jeremy Pruitt, Sarah Tolzmann | Note to Self, Kate | Wit & Delight, Star St. Germain, Logan Ledford | Design Twig and Thea | Design Quixotic.

5. Behance: When it comes to showcasing design projects, Behance does it best. Get ready to scroll forever because part of the appeal of this site is that creatives often share not only the final outcome but their processes and even alternate options. This is where a project’s story is really allowed to come to life in a beautifully curated environment. Beyond discovering awe-inspiring work, you’re bound to learn a thing or two about presentation when it comes to sharing yours.

What are your go-to sources for design inspiration? Please let us know in the comments so we can gather and share resources!

Image sources: Bruce Nauman and M/M Paris.

Teaching Deep in the Heart of Texas: Blogcademy Austin

The Blogcademy Austin

The Blogcademy Austin

Last weekend, while we were teaching in Austin, I felt a shift taking place. There was something different about this class but I couldn’t quite pinpoint it until Kat, Gala and I talked about it afterwards. What we realized is that eight classes in, everything finally clicked and ran without a hitch, from beginning to end. It’s not like there were ever massive fumbles in the previous workshops but when you’re teaching a two day curriculum and fine tuning the presentation after each class, it takes time to hit your stride.

With live events, the only way to iron out any rough spots is to just dive in, learn from feedback and take a whole lot of notes. There is no perfection when it comes to live events but at the same time, having a curriculum that feels dialed is really important to us.

The Blogcademy Austin

What I loved about this class is that many of the women had already bonded before we’d even got there through dinner dates and chats in the forums. And to me, that’s one of the most important parts of the workshops. It reminded me of the importance of having those like-minded folks you can depend on: a blogging posse of sorts.

The Blogcademy Austin

This group was so enthusiastic! Over half of the class ran their own businesses full time and they had such great insights as to how blogging has helped them to get the word out about what they do.

The Blogcademy Austin

We held our workshop at Vuka, a co-working space. It was waaaaay awesome (and a whole lot larger than I think any of us realized!)

The Blogcademy Austin

This time around, we added some turquoise touches with lanterns and tassels by Studio Mucci. I wish I’d had room in my suitcase to take the tassels home — they did such an amazing job.

The Blogcademy Austin

The Blogcademy Austin

Fine Arts Bakery surprised us with stacks of homemade cookies — and they tasted as good as they looked!

The Blogcademy Austin

We spent most of our breaks flipping through WordPress For Beginners.

The Blogcademy Austin

The Blogcademy Austin

Gala always brings the fuschia to class. And, we spent both days guzzling green juice from Soup Box And Juice Peddler to make up for our tex-mex sins.

The Blogcademy Austin

On day two, I wore my punctuation tights.

The Class Photo

The Blogcademy Austin

Just look at our intern, Ed in the front, stealing the show!

Austin Sponsors

The Blogcademy Austin

An extra special thanks goes out to our wonderful Blogcademy Austin sponsors:

• Studio Mucci blew us away with their handmade tassels, balls and goodies.

• We loved the adorable handbag mirrors from The Aviary.

• Strawberry Hedgehog makes some of the cutest, best smelling soaps around.

• Big Jon makes some of the coolest greeting cards I’ve ever seen.

• Crown and Glory turned out sparkly ears galore — a workshop necessity!

• The super rad rainbow glitter hair clips were courtesy of GGs Pin Up Couture.

• Reeta Krishna gave each of our students an awesome WordPress For Beginners book that covers the technical side of blogging!

• Cupcakes, cookies and baked treats from Sugarmama’s Bakeshop kept us on a sugar high all afternoon.

• Zevia quenched our thirst through the humid weekend with their sodas.

The Blogcademy Austin

Eight classes in, we now realize that The Blogcademy isn’t just about blogging — it’s about empowering women to follow their own paths and to confidently build their online presence. On Sunday night, as we dumped the last of the trash cans and pulled down our backdrop and filed out into the humid night, we felt content. The class was exactly how we’d always imagined it would be. And now, as we’re gearing up for London, I can’t help but think about how lucky we are to have the opportunity to travel the world, sharing the ins and outs of blogging with women and reminding them that their voice is distinctly theirs and they have complete control over the blog, business and lifestyle that they choose to craft for themselves.

The Blogcademy Austin

Love you times a million, Austin. I’m sad that this was our last U.S. date of the year but we still a few seats left in our weekday London class (the weekend is sold out), 2 left for Brisbane, a handful in our weekday Melbourne class (the weekend is sold out) and a few in our Auckland class. Register for all of the dates right here. And don’t forget, we offer one scholarship spot per class (the deadline is one month before the workshop date).

Event Space: Vuka
All Photography: Jessica Monnich