Link Love: 4.3.14


Nubby Twiglet | Emma Summerton for Vogue Australia, March 2014

• One of the hardest parts about starting your own business can be deciding on a name! Breanna Rose just wrote this great post on why she changed the name of her design studio.

• Style is about more than just what you’re wearing; it’s the way you live your life.

• When it comes to blogging, do it for the love. If the passion isn’t there, it will show.

• The secret world of fast fashion is centered in Los Angeles.

• When it comes to tofu varieties, what’s the difference?

• As an entrepreneur, are you having trouble knowing what to share about yourself and your business? Braid lets us in on their not-so-secret formula for sharing content.

• Feeling lonely? These tips can help you get out of that funk.

• The history of the movie trailer.

• There will always be those people who create and then those who critique.

• Not everyone is excited about drinking overpriced coffee.

• The Fresh Exchange has been traveling through Spain and sharing their daily adventures. So beautiful and inspiring!

• Working out with Marilyn Monroe.

Image: Emma Summerton for Vogue Australia, March 2014.

In Progress: Recent Design Work

Nubby Twiglet | In Progress: Recent Branch Design Work

It’s been a little quieter around these parts because I’ve been wrapping up what seems like a million different projects with Branch. When I say a million, it’s actually probably more like ten but that is still a lot when it comes to finishing identity guides, fine-tuning websites for launch and prepping print files for books! There are no complaints here, though. I’m humbled every day getting the opportunity to do what I love most — design. While I’ve been posting all of the finished projects over on the Branch blog, I think the in-progress shots can sometimes be just as interesting. So today I wanted to give you a peek into a few things I’ve been working on!

Above: This branding for a videographer just wrapped yesterday!

Nubby Twiglet | In Progress: Recent Branch Design Work

The first Blogcademy workshops of the new year are quickly approaching. That means custom graphics for the totes, sponsor cards and posters. See you soon, San Francisco!

Nubby Twiglet | In Progress: Recent Branch Design Work

I’ve been working on some abstract collages for a client’s imagery. It’s been fun exploring a more organic style.

Nubby Twiglet | In Progress: Recent Branch Design Work

Kat wanted an updated media kit…and then it ended up nearly doubling in size! It’s now more like a mini magazine.

Nubby Twiglet | In Progress: Recent Branch Design Work

This is the pattern for the videographer I mentioned above. CUT! Haha.

Nubby Twiglet | In Progress: Recent Branch Design Work

The week after Blogcademy San Francisco is…Blogcademy Chicago!

Nubby Twiglet | In Progress: Recent Branch Design Work

For the last year, Branch has been working with a fine art photographer, designing everything from her branding to a coffee table book. We did some custom collages for her website, too.

Nubby Twiglet | In Progress: Recent Branch Design Work

Working with Gala is always fun — her new branding officially goes live soon and this is an alternate icon. Yes, there is a postage theme throughout!

If you want even more behind the scenes peeks, I’m always updating Dribbble.

Little Lessons #3: Embrace Those Quiet Times…and 10 Ideas To Drum Up Business

Nubby Twiglet | Little Lessons #3: Embrace Those Quiet  Times..and Don't Panic!

When you’re self-employed or even just freelancing on the side, there are weeks where your inbox seems to go quiet. Right as you start to doubt yourself, the work suddenly comes flowing in, offers for blog and magazine features pile up and it seems as if the world is being handed to you on a silver platter. Then, as if on cue, another slow time hits. What gives?!

This year, I’ve had a lot of those moments. Even when I have a seemingly full schedule on paper, those days hit where I have an open block of time and look around nervously, refreshing my emails and wondering if I’ve done something terribly wrong. And truthfully, everyone does. Sometimes, this stretches on for months at a time. It can feel like an intense roller coaster ride, full of the highest highs followed by a high-speed dash back to the bottom. Instead of questioning why it’s happening though, you have to accept that when you work for yourself, this is the new normal.

When I worked at design studios, I watched them experience the same highs and lows. One month, we’d be feverishly busy and just barely hit our deadlines. Late nights and pizza were accepted as the norm. A few months later (usually at the height of summer or right before Christmas break), we’d be looking around, wondering when the next project was going to drop and idly surfing inspiration sites, bored out of our minds. When work stops fortoo long, it goes from fun (afternoon movies, happy hours and long walks in the park) to a really dark place (which one of us is going to get cut first?). As uncertain as it feels, work, just like everything else is always going to have an ebb and flow.

When you do slow down, even if it’s just for a few days, instead of panicking, use this time to really promote your business. Instead of taking off to the beach (okay, that’s fine every once in awhile!) put together a really nice media kit of your services and packages, dust off some of your most loved blog posts and re-share them across social media, tighten up your portfolio (because let’s face it, it’s never really done) and showcase some of those projects you never quite had the time to post about before.

View Slow Times As An Opportunity

If you’re still on the edge of your seat and there’s not an immediate uptick in demand, use that nervous energy to think about how you can diversify:

1. Make a list of other services can you offer and add them to your site and / or media kit. Dive into something new, like designing e-books or digital courses.

2. Contact previous clients to see if they have a project they need help with.

3. Create a digital product. What can you teach someone?

4. Brush up on new skills with a Skillshare class (they’re really affordable). Blog about this new skill you’ve acquired — your audience may need it.

5. Volunteer for a non-profit. They always need good, willing design help! Make connections in the process.

6. Offer an incentive for new clients to work with you. Just be careful to not come across as desperate — desperation, no matter the situation, is never attractive!

7. Offer a referral program. Happy clients love recommending services to their friends!

8. Build out old projects for your portfolio. There’s nothing wrong with a little self-initiated work.

9. Use your downtime to connect with design peers. Also, let them know you’re able to pick up extra projects they don’t have time for. Every designer likes to keep a list of referrals on hand for jobs they can’t take on.

10. If you’re not blogging, start. Share genuinely helpful information. Here are 30 topic ideas to get you started.

When times are slow, they give us the chance to reflect and improve upon what we’re doing. Everyone, no matter how skilled, famous and fabulous has room to improve! We all hit slow times. Embrace them. Make the best of them. They won’t last forever.

It’s your turn: Do you have any coping skills to deal with those painfully slow times?

P.S. That yellow poster in the top photo is pinned behind my desk and reads Stay Positive. Yes, I glance at it often. 😉

The Week In Pictures: 3.28.14

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Woohoo, it’s finally Friday! I’ve been feeling really restless this week, jumping from project to project, to chatting with friends online, to trying to recover from post-tax shock (things didn’t go as well as I was hoping, we’ll just leave it at that!), to revamping the Branch media kit with new photos and services to setting up design files for the San Francisco and Chicago Blogcademy workshops (we do custom totes and documents for each).

When I was in LA last week, my friend Mary Bee surprised me with two bags of clothes over dinner (she happens to manage one of the best vintage stores in the city) and this suede hand-painted top from the 80s was lurking in the bottom. When I’m at home, I tend to default to black skinny jeans a lot so throwing this number on is my way of dressing things up! Also, freckles! I used to hate them so much when I was younger but now I don’t really mind — thanks to the Palm Springs sun for bringing them back out. 😉

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

I can’t believe these flowers are still alive and kicking! They were a gift from a Branch client a few weeks ago (hence, the blazing orange!) and they’re thriving —- like a lot of you, we’ve got Spring going on inside right now because outside it’s been a raining mess allll day, every day.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

I always say that snail mail is the best mail! My week was brightened up when Kat surprised me with a beautiful quartz necklace. Kat may be my business partner and design client but even more than that, she is one of the most thoughtful, dependable, giving people I’ve ever met.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Remember how we had a massive black bear in the corner of our living room? Well, he’s since relocated to my brother’s room (quite a shock if you’re visiting him for the first time!) so we put a palm in that place (if you’re wondering, it was under $30.00 at Home Depot). Our living room has been in shambles post-bathroom construction so we’re slowly trying to freshen things up. Drop cloths and dust, be gone!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Last year, I bought my first espresso machine and I’m proud to say that since then, we’ve used it almost every day since! It needs a good cleaning but that’s only because it gets used so much — it felt like a lot to plunk down at the time but has since more than paid for itself. When I’m in town, I rarely go out for coffee anymore.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

For me, weekends are the time to clean my office and go through stacks of magazines (I subscribe to a lot so there’s always something new showing up in my mailbox). All these pages were taken from the newest issue of Marie Claire. Beautiful layouts, right?

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

This week, we finally unveiled our new bathroom. It’s pretty hard to fathom how much work went into such a tiny space. Yes, I’m temped to take photos every time I walk by!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Remember this newsprint post from a few weeks ago? Well, Luke Copping’s piece is finally finished and the texture and paper on this is so awesome — you can see more of it here!

Enjoy your weekend! I’m off to design the brand new Blogcademy backdrop. 😉