Monthly Archives: November 2014

The Week In Pictures: 11.28.2014 | Hello From Palm Springs, LA and Sydney!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

This week has been consumed with a lot of time on airplanes and in rental cars…and major jet lag. But, it’s also been full of beauty, new discoveries and palm trees. These are my favorite kinds of weeks where I am able to share photos and links to new places with you.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

On Sunday morning, Joey, Rocky and I landed in LA and immediately grabbed a rental car to Palm Springs. By noon, we were hanging out in our home away from home (this is the fourth time we’ve been this year), getting some much needed sun.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

As I walked through a neighborhood, I spotted a nautical themed house….complete with a mailbox made of a tiled tentacle and treasure chest. Pretty amazing, right?!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Our stay in Palm Springs was much too short but we headed back to LA to pick up Gala, who was arriving from New York Monday morning.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

On Monday, Joey, Gala and I hit all our favorite LA haunts. First up: Cafe Gratitude. If you’ve never been, their menu is made up of affirmations. It’s a pretty cool concept — see for yourself!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Next, we paid a visit to the brand new Nasty Gal store on Melrose, complete with branded black balloons.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

I was a big fan of these gradient shelves.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

I figured I’d be on Bondi Beach soon so I grabbed the brightest citrus-hued nail polish I could find. This is by Pop.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

At midnight, my Sydney-bound flight took off. 14 hours later….

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

I was staying at Bondi Beach. So, so gorgeous.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

I was obsessed with all the foliage along the beach. So many great textures.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

I chose this room in our cozy little beach house because of all the Branch orange accents. My view every morning is of the sea — so much different than my usual reality!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

I thought this sign was especially hilarious.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

As we were walking along our street, I fell in love with this black, slightly Bavarian-looking house — it looks a lot like my home back in Portland!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

As we were walking through Sydney, we stopped by the QT Hotel, knowing that they always have the best style. And of course, they didn’t disappoint.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Their decor is unique to every location. Last year I stayed at the QT Port Douglas and QT Gold Coast.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Yesterday was really fun — we took a cab to the Sydney Opera House to shoot with Janneke Storm and then headed over to Bondi Beach.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

It was so interesting walking along the beach because they also have these salt pools that line up against the ocean. Pretty surreal looking.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Have a great weekend, everyone. I’m off to teach Blogcademy and meet all our new students. If you’d like to join us in Melbourne or Auckland, we still have a few seats left — book in here!

Giving Thanks

Nubby Twiglet | Giving Thanks

I’ve been in Sydney for the last few days so I won’t be sitting down to a traditional Thanksgiving dinner this year but I hope your day is filled with a chance to reflect with your family and friends. This year has been filled with a lot of growth (and change) and it’s so important to slow down, remember how much good is around us and to not take it for granted.

Things I’m Thankful For

I’m thankful for Joey and Rocky for being in my life for close to 5 years now. I met Joey at a particularly rough patch when I was feeling very unsure about who I was and where I was going and the structure I found with him gave me a lot of clarity.

I’m thankful for my mom who moved back to Portland this year and is now helping me with Branch. She often deals with the un-fun, behind the scenes things (like accounting) and is the glue that holds my business together.

I’m thankful for Chubs the squirrel who fell 30 feet down our chimney and miraculously survived. I’m am so happy that he’s grown into a very sweet, inquisitive little friend.

I’m thankful for my dad who always swings by my house and takes me to the coolest mix of places in town. We hit dive bars, trendy hotspots and no matter where we go, I appreciate his enthusiasm to keep an open mind and constantly explore.

I’m thankful for my grandparents, who have been in my life another year. Four years ago, my grandpa, who had never spent a day in the hospital in his life had an aneurysm and we nearly lost him. Now, each time I see them, I remind myself how special they are and that not everyone gets to hang out with a couple who’s been married for 65 years…and still gets along!

I’m thankful for The Blogcademy which has allowed me to travel the world and meet so many interesting women. Many have since become friends and inspire me to push through the hard times and keep going on a daily basis.

I’m thankful for my office landlords Jen & Mark who reached out me, even though I didn’t fit the mold of the traditional artisans that filled their space. I’m learned so much from spending my days with creative folks who aren’t graphic designers.

I am thankful for all of you, whether you’ve been here with me since the beginning seven years ago or are just stopping by for the first time today. Thank you for joining me, growing with me, for offering your friendship and giving me the motivation to keep going, even when life throws unexpected curveballs. This space wouldn’t exist without you so thank you.

There’s so much more that I’m thankful for…but I’m going to sign off for now, enjoy some time with friends and explore this awesome city.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Link Love: 11.27.14

Nubby Twiglet | Link Love: Dries Van Noten

• My friend Sian just launched an awesome website called The Change Makers. If you’re in need of a designer, developer or just some really great creative resources, it has you covered. I’m so excited to have Branch listed in design and Nubby Twiglet listed in inspiration alongside some truly great company.

• 10 success stories of people who refused to quit pursuing their dreams.

• Having retainer clients can help you stabilize your income.

• Teach people how to treat you by writing clear policies for your business and life. Brilliant.

• Why don’t you rent a llama for your wedding?!

• It’s amazing to see the work that went into retouching famous photographs long before the era of Photoshop.

• Can you believe that 4 million songs on Spotify have never been played?

• How do you come up with ideas for blog posts?

• 7 pieces of wisdom that will change the way you work.

• I couldn’t stop laughing at this collection of awful library books!

Image: Dries Van Noten.

10 Tips To Get Your Work Noticed (and Land a Job!) at Design Studios and Ad Agencies

Nubby Twiglet | 10 Tips To Get Your Work Noticed (and Land a Job!) at Design Studios and Ad Agencies

As the year winds down and you have some free time to reflect, now is the perfect time to start thinking about what steps you can take to land your dream job.

The thing is, there’s nothing worse than putting in some serious effort when applying for a job only to receive the tired response of, “You’re not quite what we are looking for” or worse yet, no response at all. As creatives, we want our work to get noticed by the right people. I often receive emails from recent design graduates asking how they can land their first professional position but the competition for spots at design studios and ad agencies can be notoriously tough.

Today, I’m sharing 10 tips gathered from personal experience — over the course of seven years, I worked full-time and freelanced at a total of seven spots ranging in size from less than 10 employees to a few hundred. Each experience was slightly different but I used similar techniques to get into each.

10 Helpful Tips

1. Do your homework.

Before walking into an interview, take the time to research your employer. What is their visual style like? How do they communicate on their website? Is their copy buttoned-up or humorous? In a sea of creative studios, what do they stand for? Do they mostly work with corporate clients or small businesses? All of these pieces of information are cues for how you should present yourself and your work. Even if it means pulling an all-nighter, re-jig your presentation for a particular interview and study up. If it’s undeniable that you “get” their style (and sense of humor), you’ll be a shoe-in because they already know that you’re a good fit. I’d obsessed over Cinco’s work for years before I ever had an interview and because I knew their work well (and referenced it), I was able to get into one of Portland’s best agencies.

2. Design a resume that stands out.

When applying for a creative presentation at a studio, a standard Word document won’t make the cut. This is the perfect opportunity to show off your personality and turn a traditionally boring document on its head. In need of inspiration? Check out this roundup. Don’t go too crazy with the design, though — the bottom line is that legibility matters most. Before sending out your resumé, print it. Are the fonts you chose easy on the eyes? Does the hierarchy of information make sense?

3. Replace school projects with real world client work.

Start freelancing as early as possible to gain actual client work. Employers want to see what you can do outside of the very structured confines of school. Can you handle difficult clients, sometimes ridiculous timelines and still deliver beautiful work? Because honestly, this is what the world outside of school looks like. Client work conveys that you are a self-starter and took the initiative to create a well-rounded portfolio. Not every project is going to pay well in the beginning but think about it as an investment in your future. I did many $200.00 logos while I was in school but that work later helped me get into the door of my first few jobs.

4. Expand upon each project.

Even if you’re hired to just do a logo, take the time to do a full build-out on your own. During my first few years of freelancing, my clients had small budgets so I’d often take their logos and build them into a full suite of collateral free of charge to create a much stronger visual presentation. An example of this was Semiospectacle who only had a budget for a logo at the time.

5. Brush up on skills affordably.

If your skillset isn’t quite up to par with the job you’re applying for, study online affordably. If you need to dive deeper into the Creative Suite and learn every little tip and trick about a particular program, Lynda is fantastic. If you want to learn a particular skill like hand-lettering or logo design, Skillshare is great.

6. Take the time to mock up your work.

Don’t just show a logo and flat graphics on a portfolio page because they offer no context. Instead, take the time to show a more complete visual story. Search out appropriate templates to give your work some dimension and relevance. For instance, if you designed a logo for a coffee shop, show it on a mug, a sign and across a suite of collateral. It shows that you understand the art of presentation, which agencies in particular appreciate….because once you get in the door, you’ll be helping to build out a whole lot of pitches. You can play up the outcome with templates from Creative Market, Pixeden and Live Surface.

7. Develop self-initiated projects.

If you haven’t found the ideal mix of clients to build the portfolio of your dreams, that’s okay. Take the initiative and create a few self-initiated projects. Self-initiated simply means that you weren’t hired for a project but built it out for fun. As long as you’re clear about this in the description and not trying to mislead anyone, these types of projects can show off different styles and skills to potential employers. If you’re looking for ideas to create well-rounded, amazingly branded projects, Good Design Makes Me Happy is a great source for inspiration.

8. Polish up your web presence.

Remember, your interviewer can Google you in 5 seconds flat. Give them something good to look at! In your online portfolio, include more information about yourself, your accolades and an extended selection of projects if you have them. Before I launched my design studio, I used Cargo Collective as a platform but WordPress and Squarespace also work well.

9. Spell check, use proper grammar….and if all else fails, hire a copywriter.

Nothing is a bigger turn-off for a potential employer than opening a resume or portfolio and spotting one spelling error after another. It’s sloppy and conveys a lack of attention to detail. Whether you’re formatting your resume, the bio on your website or descriptions for your portfolio projects, always run spell check. In InDesign, go to Edit > Spelling > Check Spelling.

10. Always say thank you.

Manners go a long way. After an interview, send a simple thank you the next day. An email or a card are both perfectly fine. Studios are busy places and the fact that the interviewers blocked time out of their busy schedules to meet you means that you’re a definite contender. If you have impeccable taste and manners, they won’t be able to resist you!

I hope these tips help you land a position you love in the new year. Good luck!

Anatomy Of An Office #5: Build Your Own Inspiration Board

Nubby Twiglet | Anatomy Of An Office #5: Build Your Own Inspiration Board

Welcome to Anatomy Of An Office. This series is dedicated to pulling together a functional yet stylish workspace with plenty of budget-friendly tips!

Nubby Twiglet | Anatomy Of An Office #5: Build Your Own Inspiration Board

Nubby Twiglet | Anatomy Of An Office #5: Build Your Own Inspiration Board

I don’t know about you but every time I tape visual inspiration directly to my walls, it reminds me a little too much of my high school-era bedroom. Back then, my walls were covered top to bottom in Marilyn Manson clippings and the look was chaotic at best. These days, I like my chaos a little more controlled.

Nubby Twiglet | Anatomy Of An Office #5: Build Your Own Inspiration Board

When I moved into my office a few weeks ago and began taping more and more inspiration up next to my desk, I knew there had to be a better way. Joey came to the rescue with an easy and affordable solution to help you wrangle all your inspiration into one place. We used drywall as a base because it’s strong yet the surface is easy to push tacks through.

Nubby Twiglet | Anatomy Of An Office #5: Build Your Own Inspiration Board

To make your own inspiration board, you’ll need:


1. Drywall — we used a 36 x 32 inch piece leftover from construction
2. Four 1 x 2 inch pine boards — these will be used to build a frame for your drywall piece
3. Canvas from an art supply store — this is your pinning surface
4. Screws — these are used to affix the drywall to the frame
5. Staples — these are used to attach your canvas to the frame
6. Eye hooks — these are used to support the wire of your inspiration board
7. Metal clamps — these are used to tie off the wire and keep it from sliding loose
8. Wire — this used to hang your masterpiece

Nubby Twiglet | Anatomy Of An Office #5: Build Your Own Inspiration Board


Once you’ve cut your drywall to the desired size, build a wood frame in the same exact dimensions. Next, affix the drywall to your frame in each corner with screws. Once your drywall and frame are adjoined, wrap it in canvas and fasten the canvas to the back of the frame with a staple gun. Finally, insert an eye hook directly above the frame so you can hang it. Metal clamps will keep the wire from sliding loose.

Nubby Twiglet | Anatomy Of An Office #5: Build Your Own Inspiration Board

Nubby Twiglet | Anatomy Of An Office #5: Build Your Own Inspiration Board

Nubby Twiglet | Anatomy Of An Office #5: Build Your Own Inspiration Board

That’s it! Enjoy!

On the hunt for even more office tips and tricks? Check out Anatomy Of An Office!