Monthly Archives: October 2015

The Week In Pictures: 10.30.15




Hi and Happy early Halloween to you! Do you have any fun plans lined up? I’m taking it easy and hitting the town with a bunch of family including my beloved grandparents. Should be a good time!

Now that I’m not traveling as much, I’ve been making more time to explore my own city which has been AWESOME. My friend Emily from Catalyst Coffee and I made a day of adventuring around Portland. We started at the Nob Hill Barista (some of the best coffee in town), made our way down to a few shops including Back Talk (check out their site to see the AMAZING clothing racks), then onto magazine shopping at Rich’s Cigar Store and finally, lunch at Marmo (see above).


Oh, I also finally bought some Lush products! I’ve visited their stores around the world but was always too overwhelmed by the options to even know where to start. I found a great sales lady at the Portland location who helped me pick out the best dry shampoo (no gross silicone additives like other brands) and some leave-in conditioner. Since I’m new to the brand, I’d love to hear what your favorite products are. Any recommendations of what I should try next?


I always get a little scared when I have to visit my accountant (to the point that I wear my metallic gold sneakers for good luck) but by the end of our meetings, I’m laughing like a madwoman. I swear that he’s a part-time comedian. And, he makes understanding numbers kind of fun. Even funnier is the bike rack outside of his office!


I finally made it to Trader Vic’s and it was everything I could have hoped for! I’ve been making the tiki bar rounds in Portland since I got back from Palm Springs and they have a fantastic happy hour. Plus, check out that swanky dining room!


Oh, Portland. It’s been raining every day and I’m ready for a mug of apple cider and curling up with a good magazine. Have a great weekend, friends!

P.S. Today, I’m sending out the first ever Branch Bulletin — it’s my studio mailing list and I’m sharing a very personal story that most freelancers will be able to relate to big time. Hop on over to the site and sign up at the bottom of the page to receive yours! xo

Link Love: 10.29.15

Nubby Twiglet | Link Love: Raphael Vicenzi

• What if your job didn’t exist? What would you do with the rest of your life?

• Need help with styling your shelves? Emily Henderson comes to the rescue with 3 easy steps!

• Oh yes, it’s true: a GIF maker exists. Let the fun begin!

• The feeling of constantly being “on call” thanks to technology is really starting to wear us down.

• This is how to craft awesome client experiences.

• I love the 100 day project. It’s amazing what a shift in your mindset can do.

• Artisanal passwords are now a thing.

• Are you ready to become an entrepreneur?

• Struggling artist? Mad Men writer Matthew Weiner has some advice.

• Ask Wonder makes it possible to get detailed answers and resources delivered to your inbox. Now you can have a network of researchers do all the heavy lifting!

• We know that refined sugar is bad for our health but it can also have terrible effects on our memories. Scary stuff!

• What time should you go to bed?

• Is clutter in your life holding you back from being creative?

• If you’re trying to save money, focus on a quick win.

• Post Script documents the decline of the number of post offices in America.

Image: Raphael Vicenzi.
Check out even more Link Love columns here.

Creative Chronicles #1: Dealing With Negative Feedback and 6 Tips To Overcome Self-Doubt

Nubby Twiglet | Creative Chronicles

If you want to grow your audience and clientele, you have to get comfortable with sharing your work. The more work you share, the more likely you’ll get hired for future projects. Unfortunately, that is easier said than done. Have you ever been afraid to share an outcome? Me, too.

I remember project critiques in college well. We sat around in a semi-circle with our freshly printed work taped to a wall. I was never self-conscious about sharing my work in this closed environment because I knew I’d given it my best shot and my class was super tight-knit, with maybe 20 students.

Early on in critiques, I began to notice something: a positive comment would elicit more positivity. The more someone raved about a particular design solution, the more the rest of the class would chime in because they began to see the same thing. Positivity bred positivity.

And, when something didn’t quite work with a composition and someone was brave enough to point it out, the same thing happened but in reverse: constructive criticism, while good natured, often opened the floodgates for negative feedback.

Being a creative, whether you’re a writer, fine artist, designer or photographer, requires a really thick skin. Whether your project is self-initiated or paid work for a corporate client, each is a piece of your soul that you’re bravely standing up and sharing.

I’ve been sharing my design work online for over a decade now and luckily when I started, I had a nearly non-existent audience and social media wasn’t really around yet. There was no pressure since nobody was watching, which I now see as a huge benefit. What started out with fooling around with a digital camera and Photoshop brushes in 2003 led to me enrolling in a design program in 2006. While I sometimes cringe when I come across that early work, I’m still proud of it. It shows an evolution and with each project, I learned something new.

A decade after sharing those early projects (which elicited a mix of good and bad feedback, I might add) I run a thriving design studio. Even today, while some of the projects I share produce a ton of leads, others, even though I’ve given them the same care and effort, fall flat. Not everything you produce is going to be a winner but what matters most is that both you and your client feel great about the outcome. Everything else is just icing on the cake.

Dealing With Negative Feedback and 6 Tips To Overcome Self-Doubt

If you’ve ever gotten negative feedback, it can be hard to stomach sharing more work but I want to encourage you to keep going.

Here are 6 tips to overcome self doubt and get back out there:

1. Practice, practice, practice.

Your first piece of work will never be your best. And, that’s just more of an incentive to keep trying new things and evolving. Always date the work you create (if it’s digital, add it to the file name) and look back at it on a yearly basis. It’s amazing how much you can grow when you devote yourself to your craft every single day, even if it means setting aside 15 minutes on your lunch break. Get those 10,000 hours in! And, if someone starts digging in and criticizing you, ask yourself: have they dedicated themselves to 10,000 hours of anything? Probably not. Then, get back to work!

2. It’s easier to criticize than create.

By sharing your work, you’re being brave and you deserve credit just for that alone. While you might have spent days, weeks or even months producing a piece you’re proud of, it only takes someone 10 seconds to leave you a nasty comment. How does that really measure up? If you let negativity silence you, it’s only going to hurt your career and prove the negative commenters right. Instead, use it fuel to push yourself to create even more amazing work.

3. Develop a support system.

It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been sharing your work — negative feedback can still really sting. That’s why it’s important to develop a network of close friends and industry peers that believe in what you’re doing. I have a few friends I reach out to when self-doubt starts to creep in. Sometimes, all it takes is a shift in perspective. Instead of wallowing in sorrow and beating yourself up, reach out — the sooner you do, the sooner you can move onto creating your next piece.

4. For every hater, there’s a lover.

Truly great work doesn’t elicit a “meh” reaction. It attracts and repels in equal measures. Think about creatives from all walks of life including Damien Hirst, Marilyn Manson and Robert Mapplethorpe. People have strong reactions about all of them.

5. Know that you did your best.

If you feel that you’ve given a project your best shot, then why does the negative feedback even matter? Remember that people don’t always know what’s going on behind the scenes. There’s a story beneath the surface of the work they’re viewing. Deadlines, client feedback, process sketches, meetings, piles of revisions….these all play into the completed piece. You have to remember that a reaction is often tied to a quick glance at the outcome. You know what you put into a project and take solace in knowing that you gave it your all.

6. Separate constructive criticism from meanness.

This is a tough one but often, there’s a kernel of truth even in negative feedback. It’s not always apparent when it’s laced with venom but if you set it aside for a few days and let your emotions die down, you can often improve upon your original project. Of course, there’s a big difference between being downright mean and offering constructive criticism. Some of the best feedback I’ve ever gotten was from my creative directors at the studios I worked at based on mistakes I’d made — to this day, I still use it when I’m working through a project. Is the type on my business card designs at least 6 points? Is the body copy on my page layout easy to read? Did I print out my work and proof it before sending it off? Find people you trust to weigh in — that feedback can take a project from good to great, before you release it.

It’s your turn! Do you have any tips of your own for handling negative feedback?

The Week In Pictures: 10.23.15

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures


Brrr! Baby, it’s cold outside! I hope you had a good week. I’ve been back home for a bit now but still feel like I’m settling in. This is the first time in three years I feel like I’ve been able to slow down, focus on getting my home and workspace just right and think about processes. It’s time to start asking myself: are things running as smoothly as they possibly can?

In an effort to make my workspace feel more personalized, I’ve been adding some special touches. Even the smallest details can make a big difference. I just finished burning the most amazing Jonathan Adler candle and planted some succulents — it’s a nice touch on my desk.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

The coolest thing that happened this week: seeing Madonna live in concert. I was in total nosebleed seats and without my real camera but she still blew my mind. She’s been someone I’ve admired for a few decades now and getting the change to see her rock out in Portland with her Rebel Heart Tour was absolute magic. Her big smile and chatting in between songs reaffirmed why she’s had such a lengthy, successful career — she knows how to relate to her fans and is incredibly thankful. If you have a chance to catch her on tour, find a way to make it happen. It’s 100% worth it!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Over the weekend, I got to work on revamping my inspiration board. It’s to the right of our workspace area at Branch and had been the same since last November. I stripped it bare, kept a few old things and added in a bunch of new. Just that slight shuffle made a big difference. My favorite addition is that “Finish what you started” message. 😉

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

When I dreamed of having my own design studio years ago, I imagined my days being filled with clients who were more like friends. No drama, no micro-managing, just really good work. For the most part, things have turned out that way and Kat is one of the best clients around. Five years in, we have an almost psychic ability with her projects and she is amazing at sending gifts so on-point it’s like I have a personal shopper. This week, this notebook arrived and I am completely obsessed. So good, right?!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Another look at the office inspiration board — those lips HAD to stick around! If you want to build a big inspiration board of your own on a budget, check out this DIY post!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

This message is now taped to my computer. I have these inspirational cards all over my spaces and if you want some of your own, they’re by Kikki K.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Still on a waffle kick! Normally I’m a Cheerios or yogurt sort of person but frozen waffles and a handful of berries make breakfast feel so much more fancy!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

This Dapper and Wise sign is pretty awesome. If you’re visiting Portland, definitely stop in. Their decor (and chai) is some of the best around.

Have a great weekend, friends! I’m looking forward to hanging out with my dad (family time = absolutely necessary) and attending an early Halloween party. Do you know what you’re going to be yet? I always go as a nurse or Minnie Mouse since I have all the gear on hand. 😉

Let me know in the comments what you’re going as! xo

Link Love: 10.22.15

Nubby Twiglet | Link Love: Electromagnetico

• The world’s best design studios offer up 11 tips to make your budget work.

• Editions of 100 sells beautifully designed art prints.

• 10 great audiobooks to check out!

• Hillary Kerr shares 23 things she wishes she’d known at 23. So good!

• The Village Voice just announced their 2015 best of NYC list.

• 11 philosophies of influential leaders.

• Shaq just deejayed an EDM festival! So awesome.

• This path isn’t an easy one! 10 ways to survive as a creative.

• Focus means saying no. Steve Jobs knew what was up.

• What’s it like to die alone in New York? This was such a fascinating (and sad) read.

• Here’s what contact lenses looked like in 1948. Ouch.

• The 50 best non-fiction podcasts of 2015. This should keep you entertained for awhile!

• A closer look at what it means to be privileged.

• If you can avoid driving, please do.

Image: Electromagnetico.
Check out even more Link Love columns here.