The Week In Pictures: 12.6.15

Branch | Olivine Atelier Beauty, Heart & Soul Oracle Cards

I hope you had an awesome week! I’ll be honest — with a bunch of pre-holiday deadlines looming, I barely left my office this week. And, it’s been POURING, along with getting dark by 4 pm which is not ideal for taking photos. Ah, Winter! So, I’m going to do things a little differently around here today.

A project I spent most of the Summer on finally went to print this week and is available for pre-sale! I wanted to share more about that, along with a more personal story.

Branch | Olivine Atelier Beauty, Heart & Soul Oracle Cards

Just yesterday, my design assistant and I were working on the cover of the new Rock n Roll Bride Magazine, which goes to print next week. About an hour into the process, she said, “This is so hard!” I responded with, “I know. It’s supposed to be.”

I know Instagram often feels like a highlight reel where every creative has a pair of gold scissors on their desk, a black and white inspirational poster washi-taped to their wall, a freshly brewed cup of artisanal coffee and a marble surface they conduct their work on but this is rarely the reality.

Branch | Olivine Atelier Beauty, Heart & Soul Oracle Cards

I get to work by 9 am and leave at 9 pm nearly every day. And in between those inspirational moments, the work is hard. Sometimes branding projects are late because the inspiration just doesn’t flow and I refuse to half-ass a project. This is real life. The work you see online that looked beautiful, effortless and perhaps even easy? It’s usually anything but.

The project featured in this post, a deck of oracle cards called Beauty Heart & Soul started out as an idea Julie had back in July when I met with her in Seattle.

Branch | Olivine Atelier Beauty, Heart & Soul Oracle Cards

In a way, it seemed kind of glamorous — I’d spend the Summer making cute little inspirational messages and scanning flowers. And then, the reality set in. 34 completely different designs coupled with sourcing enough of my own images felt paralyzing. I’d get into the creative zone and then before I knew it, stopping to pack my bags for another trip. After starting work on this project, I traveled to London, Marrakech, Rome, Florence, San Francisco, Orlando, New York and Palm Springs in quick succession. Getting back on track with such a big project felt daunting and the creative block set in big time.

But then one weekend, I sat at my desk and started working. A few more cards were done. Then, a few more. Baby steps. The momentum built. We reworked and refined a few designs and finally, added in a few more cards. Soon, it was done. All 34 cards. At the printer. Hallelujah!

Branch | Olivine Atelier Beauty, Heart & Soul Oracle Cards

I know how hard it is to start those big projects. I know how easy it is to lose momentum when you realize just how big of an undertaking your idea is. I wish I had all the answers on how to follow through, but I don’t. All I can say is that the feeling of completing a project is one of the best feelings in the world and it is so much better than looking back a year from now, wishing you just would have gotten started in the first place.

Get started. Yes, it’s going to be hard.

Don’t let the internet convince you otherwise.

Just do the work. It’s always worth it.

“There is no substitute for hard work.” —Thomas Edison

Featured: Beauty Heart & Soul cards by We Are Branch. All designs copyright 2015 Olivine Atelier.

4 Responses to The Week In Pictures: 12.6.15

  1. Dena says:

    A beautiful story, thank you for sharing. I’ve been reading your blog for — I don’t know how many — years now, but it is always your personal stories that touch me the most. Your honesty is always refreshing. I admire you in so many ways.

    On another note, where did you end up printing the cards? I’ve been working on designs for some pocket cards that I’d like to print up and have been getting stuck. Would love to know where you ended up. Many thanks! xo

  2. Thank you for this post. I severely needed this. I often get the design block bug when working on large catalogs – and really needed to be reminded that most of social media is showcasing the perfect balance of perfection – which rarely happens. Thank you for this reminder.

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