The Week + Links: 8.5.16

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links


Yay, it’s Friday!

I’m excited because Joey has an art show tonight featuring his paintings and also, it’s Chubs’ birthday!

In case you don’t know who Chubs is, he’s a squirrel that fell down our chimney 2 years ago when he was a newborn. Near-death at the time, he’s now thriving and doing extremely well. If you’re curious to learn more about Chubs, here’s everything you need to know.

Besides that, the construction madness that’s been happening at home is nearly wrapped up. I’ll have a before and after post for you soon but the short story is that when my brother and I bought our house 7 years ago, the upstairs bathroom next to my bedroom was covered in yellow and brown floral linoleum on the floor AND walls. It was ugly…but not causing any issues so we focused on a bunch of other more urgent projects first.

Over the last month, Joey has been remodeling that bathroom which has meant no sink or toilet. You don’t realize how much you take for granted in your daily life until the basics are gone! Good news is that the tile is now done, the finishing touches are being put on the space as I speak and best of all, we have one blank wall that is getting covered in this wallpaper. YES!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

This week, I’ve been pretty out of sorts work-wise after spending 7 days in Vegas so I have a lot to catch up on and with that, I’m going to sign off. Have a great weekend!

Photos: 1. I love these Steve Madden heels I picked up in Vegas (and are very dusty from the desert). They’re super comfy for the height and I’ve been wearing them with skinny black cigarette pants, a few chokers and fitted t-shirts. 2. Happy Birthday, Chubs! 3. With a bunch of recording for courses and guest podcast spots in my near future, I picked up the Rode Podcaster microphone and it’s been worth every penny. Highly recommended!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links


• I can’t stop watching this GIPHY of Bill Clinton playing with all the balloons. Ha!

• Adjust your life accordingly.

• This week, I launched Project Prescription Photography alongside Paul Jarvis and Luke Copping to help take the guesswork out of developing a client process for photographers. As creatives, we can all benefit from processes that help us work smarter and more efficiently.

• To be successful, here’s what you need to do, plain and simple.

• I love hearing about a company that takes great care of its employees and Basecamp is one of them.

• How do you feel about peel and stick subway tile?

61 of the best web design books you should read.

• When it comes to taking photos for your brand, always rock your personal style.

• These buildings resemble the things they sell!

• It’s okay for your business vision to change over time.

• The art of negotiation can be tough! Here are 5 ways to make it easier.

• I like these easy to understand illustrations that cover proper restaurant etiquette.

This hat made me laugh out loud.

• The 22 best FREE cursive fonts.

• I absolutely love this mantra and think about it often when I’m making big financial decisions.

• 5 inspiring books to boost your creativity this Summer!

Creative Chronicles: When Your Job Is Uninspiring, How Do You Stay Motivated?

Nubby Twiglet | Creative Chronicles: When Your Job Is Uninspiring, How Do You Stay Motivated?

An email from a long-time reader just landed in my inbox and I think it’s something we can all relate to. What happens when you feel like your creative spark has dried up and you’re just going through the paces, trying to do your job but nothing feels inspiring?

Her Question

I graduated high school in 2010 and during those years I felt so inspired by every project and was given 100% creative freedom. When I enrolled in college, I learned more structured things about design, how I couldn’t just paste pretty pictures wherever and that it had to have meaning.

Now I’m into my first real job with a real paycheck in marketing. I’ve been here about a year and a half and somehow I feel like all my ambition I once had is gone. I’ve become so used to doing everything how the client wants that most times I no longer feel like a designer but a middle man clicking and dragging things in InDesign.

How can I get that passion back for design I used to have in a job where everything is based on templates or dictated? What are some things I could do outside of work to help? I no longer create much of anything and don’t even draw anymore. How do I overcome the fear of failure when I try to create and it isn’t as good as when I was practicing/using my skills weekly?

My Answer

Let me start off first by saying that this isn’t a permanent feeling. It’s not the end of the world. With a little effort, it can get better.

Secondly, we’ve all been there. Remember, what you see online is only part of someone’s story. Most designers only show the hyper-creative, stylized work they want more of because that’s what makes sense to build their business.

The truth is, most designers have other gigs, some on the side a few hours a week and some full-time that pay the bills. These other gigs allow them the wiggle room to take on the fun, creative jobs that are often lacking the big, juicy budgets while giving them the opportunity to build out their portfolio and attract more of the right kinds of clients.

Quite a few years ago, when the economy was dismal, I took a long-term freelance gig that was mostly production work for sports brands. I loved the people I worked with but the work I produced wasn’t exactly what I was passionate about. Still, I stayed for over a year because that steady paycheck allowed me the freedom to take on freelance jobs I was excited about on the nights and weekends.

Thanks to that job, I was able to set aside extra money to travel and stay inspired. I was able to splurge on beautiful letterpress business cards for my freelance business. I was able to design the branding for a makeup company that had a smaller budget. I was able to pay all my bills on time. So, while the job wasn’t the perfect position I’d dreamed about, it covered my basic needs so I had the luxury to explore the creative side of things on my own time.

Nubby Twiglet | Creative Chronicles: When Your Job Is Uninspiring, How Do You Stay Motivated?

A job is only as uninspiring as you let it be

Yes, you have to listen to your boss and the clients you’re responsible for but you can find ways to still have fun.

At my past jobs, I would often do a version of the design I was told to do but also include a second version of what I thought it could be.

You might not always have the time to do this on quick turns but when you do, flex your creative muscles.

Between projects, I would scroll through Pinterest and look at design and style blogs to get a creative jolt.

There’s a world of inspiration out there and it is also a great reminder that your current position is temporary if you want it to be.

When I felt really uninspired, I would walk to the nearest coffee shop.

A few minutes away from what’s dragging you down can provide much needed clarity.

On really bad days when I felt like I needed to quit immediately, I called my agent, Dan and he gave me pep talks.

Find that one person who can help you keep things in check. Your situation isn’t that bad.

No Job Is Perfect

I’ve gotten hired at places I thought were perfect from the outside and they weren’t. Branch isn’t perfect, either. It’s always easier to think the grass is greener on the other side.

Think of every job you have as a stepping stone. Each place you end up teaches you something new. The jobs you struggle the most at will also teach you the most.

The times where I felt uninspired, exhausted or was driven to the point of tears felt completely unbearable in the moment but I learned a lot about myself, what I was good at and where I fell short. Those moments taught me what I wanted more of in my career and what I should steer away from all costs.

The only way to learn these things is through life experience. It’s not fun…but it makes you stronger and it makes you a better designer.

Your Job Is Not Your Life

Outside of your job, do whatever it takes to get inspired and bring that energy with you to work.

Make friends with other creatives who are driven and motivated. Invite them to classes, events and parties.

Commit to creating a self-initiated project that will keep your skills fresh.

Make time to visit bookstores, museums and coffee shops.

Always carry a camera, even if it’s your iPhone. Pay attention to what you’re drawn to.

Remind yourself that creative slumps are normal. Nobody is “on” all the time.

Being a designer isn’t easy and you’re going to have plenty more ups and downs. But, I think the ups far outweigh anything and you’ve got this under control. Good luck!

What I Wore: Big Hats, Smokey Eyes and Leopard Print

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: Big Hats, Smokey Eyes and Leopard Print

I just got home from a solid week in Vegas….and most people would probably say that was 4 days too long! I would agree to disagree because after 6 visits, I feel that I’m just barely scratching the surface of the place.

There’s so much history and I’m just as fascinated by the old as I am with the new, pestering cab drivers and waiters with as many questions as they’re willing to put up with. Donny, our waiter at California Pizza Kitchen inside The Mirage (a classic!) was a particularly good sport this time around as I quizzed him about what Michael Jackson used to order when he visited. Answer: the veggie pizza.

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: Big Hats, Smokey Eyes and Leopard Print

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: Big Hats, Smokey Eyes and Leopard Print

Traveling to the same place multiple times is something I thoroughly enjoy — I think it reminds me of family vacations. When my brother and I were kids, we took the same trip every year. Did you, as well? It’s comforting and familiar.

The first time you visit somewhere new, you’re in awe and just trying to take everything in and find your way around while documenting your experience. That’s how I felt when I visited Vegas in 1998. The next time, you’re able to relax a bit more and feel familiar enough to dig into a few more layers of a place, venture beyond the touristy areas and meet some more locals.

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: Big Hats, Smokey Eyes and Leopard Print

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: Big Hats, Smokey Eyes and Leopard Print

With Vegas, I get super excited to see what’s beyond The Strip because there are so many amazing towns and attractions within a very short distance. A few years ago, Kat, Gala and I visited a ghost town called Nelson and it was awesome. We recently had the chance to visit Red Rock Canyon and while it’s just 17 miles west of the Las Vegas Strip, it feels like you’ve entered a completely different world.

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: Big Hats, Smokey Eyes and Leopard Print

These photos are the final set from that day — and the ones I’m most excited about. When I’m home working, I barely ever wear makeup and usually stick to black jeans and t-shirts. With most of my day spent in front of a computer, dressing up isn’t practical or comfortable. The thing is, I love the art of putting together an outfit and expressing myself through personal style so when I hit the road, I use it as an excuse to play dress up.

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: Big Hats, Smokey Eyes and Leopard Print

This look came together really organically but I liked it so much that I put together a style direction around it (remember Avant Garde Desperado?) and am still wearing these pieces all the time.

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: Big Hats, Smokey Eyes and Leopard Print

I didn’t pack any jewelry besides my watch. We stopped in Chanel at The Wynn one night and a salesperson named Chris gave us these ribbons while satisfying me with plenty of juicy Vegas gossip. Ha! I ended up using mine as a necktie the rest of the trip. The sweater vest and hat were picked up at Forever 21. Finally, the skirt was from Topshop. I normally shy away from animal print everything but when you’re in Vegas and have a long-standing obsession with Siegfried & Roy, it just makes sense. Or…at least it did to me.

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: Big Hats, Smokey Eyes and Leopard Print

We didn’t have a ton of time to explore Red Rock before the sun went down so I’m hoping to go back the next time I’m in town and see more of the area because it’s absolutely massive. There’s a 13 mile scenic drive, not to mention miles of trails and areas to have picnics. I’m glad to see it’s been so well preserved and maintained.

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: Big Hats, Smokey Eyes and Leopard Print

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: Big Hats, Smokey Eyes and Leopard Print

My daily life can be really regimented so having these beautiful moments of getting out and exploring somewhere new with my BFF’s all while hanging with awesome, creative, talented women like Christina and Allie of Made U Look makes me feel so excited, alive and inspired.

Ever since I’ve been back, I’ve been pulling more desert inspired visuals and color palettes into branding projects, wearing softer colors and incorporating more natural elements into my house and studio. It’s amazing how even just a few hours in a new place can inspire us so much.

Nubby Twiglet | What I Wore: Big Hats, Smokey Eyes and Leopard Print

I missed you a lot last week, friends. Breaks are good to recharge creatively but it’s nice to be back and sharing with you. :)

Made U Look

Blanca at Sephora, Fashion Show Mall

I wore:
Straw Hat, Forever 21 (sold out but similar options here)
Watch, The Horse
Animal print skirt, Topshop
Sweater vest, Forever 21 (sold out but similar styles here and here)
Boots, Vic Matie via Yoox (sold out but similar styles here)

Create a Seamless Client Experience with Project Prescription for Photographers

Nubby Twiglet | Project Prescription Photography

Photographers, I’ve heard you loud and clear: you need a process that works, too.

The one thing I know for sure after freelancing for a decade is that earning a living as a creative becomes easier when you have a process in place that you believe in and can easily relay to your clients. The more they understand about how you work, the easier it becomes for them to commit to working with you — because quite simply, it alleviates the fear of the unknown.

Most creative school programs teach you how to produce epic, jaw dropping work but the trade-off is that they don’t teach you how to be a good businessperson. And, as much as creativity matters, it’s not enough on its own to pay the bills.

Nubby Twiglet | Project Prescription Photography

The Backstory

Today I want to share a new version of Project Prescription with you, specifically designed for photographers.

As you probably know by now, Project Prescription is a set of customizable documents I originally created with Paul Jarvis earlier this year to help graphic designers take the guesswork out of creating a client process, from beginning to finish.

Creating this offering seemed like a no-brainer because I’d struggled so much in the beginning of my career conveying my worth to potential clients and it held me back big time. Because I didn’t know how to explain the strategy and steps behind what I did, I wasn’t able to charge livable rates and lacked confidence in presenting the work I produced.

After years of trial and error, I created my own process and perfected it across hundreds of client projects. Project Prescription for Designers is based on the processes both Paul and I use on a daily basis to run our respective studios.

Shortly after launching Project Prescription for Designers, Paul I started receiving emails from other creatives who were also struggling to figure out a process that worked. What we didn’t expect were the emails we received from another audience altogether: photographers.

Nubby Twiglet | Project Prescription Photography

Project Prescription for Photographers

Luke Copping is a photographer I admire immensely. He was one of my first-ever clients back in 2009 and we’ve built out dozens of projects together in the years since. I admire his creative work, his dedication to the photography industry as a whole and his willingness to help other photographers understand how to build viable businesses.

What sets Luke apart from his peers is that he isn’t just a photographer — he is a process fanatic. Luke has every step of his creative process precisely documented and knows how to clearly communicate to his clients how he works and how they’ll benefit directly from that work. As a professional that not only manages his own studio but is often traveling to remote sets for extended periods of time, he has to be extremely organized.

For Paul and I, partnering with Luke to create Project Prescription Photography made perfect sense. After years in the trenches working directly with professional clients, he knows what it takes to produce stunning images. But, like any photographer will tell you, snapping the perfect shot is just one piece of the overall puzzle. There are contracts, shot lists, questionnaires and so much more that happen before that even takes place.

Nubby Twiglet | Project Prescription Photography

What’s Included

Project Prescription Photography includes the following:

• 20 fully customizable process documents broken into 4 areas including Onboarding, Pre-Production, The Shoot and Post-Production & Delivery (read all the descriptions here).

• InDesign and Google Doc file formats so you can use whichever software you’re most comfortable with.

• U.S. sizing (8.5 x 11) and European sizing (A4) for every document.

• A screencast that explains how to quickly customize your documents in InDesign including changing out the logos, colors and fonts.

Project Prescription Photography is available at a discounted launch price of $88.00 for this week only. After that, it will return to its regular price of $108.00.

Nubby Twiglet | Project Prescription Photography

Whether you’re a beginning photographer looking to build a process from scratch or a seasoned photographer interested in perfecting your process, Project Prescription Photography makes it easy to customize your documents and get back to what you’re most passionate about — your work.

If you have any questions, let me know in the comments. Thanks for reading!

P.S. If you’re interested in learning more about Luke’s background and how having a process transformed his own career, you can read more about his experiences right here.

The Week + Links: 7.22.16

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

This has been a really long week and I spent most of it in a deliriously tired state but with the downs, there are always ups on the other side — tonight’s plans involve plenty of packing for a trip to Vegas that’s mostly business (but with plenty of pleasure thrown in!) with my two BFF’s. Looking forward to the good times that await.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

Yesterday, a few hours before Joey was supposed to board a flight, one of the main pipes in our house decided to break and after some frantic ticket re-booking and searching for ancient parts, things are okay…but it’s a reminder to expect the unexpected when you have an older house. They’re worth it for the charm though, right? Haha!

Rocky also hurt his foot and my poor little guy has been limping around. I stayed home from work today to give him extra cuddles and Chubs is sitting here next to us. Awww.

One fun thing that happened this week is that my brother found an 8 foot tall cactus on Craigslist and a sweet 85 year old woman had been growing it for 25 years! She’s transitioning into an assisted living home but I’m excited to keep this beautiful masterpiece going strong in her honor.

Finally, if you missed it, here’s Chubs eating a plum. It’s almost his birthday. Yay!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

Have a great weekend!

Images: 1. Longtime reader Jamie knows about my love for Michael Jackson and llamas and sent me this photo. Yesssss! 2. One of my new favorite Portland hangouts is Americano. It specializes in Italian coffee by morning and Italian drinks by night. 3. This is the Craigslist cactus that’s now in the corner of our living room — it’s a giant!


• I didn’t know this existed! The New York Public Library has 9 librarians that serve as a human Google, answering totally random questions. Need to know the answer to the question “How many British monarchs have been left-handed?” They can help!

• Always make your own rules.

• 5 ways to set yourself up for vacation success as a freelancer.

• Watch the first ever Sony Walkman commercial from 1981. This is hilarious!

• Esmé dives into the trouble with blogging and the comments are also worth a read.

• When you feel like nobody knows who you are, show up and be

• What do you think about changing your last name when getting married?

• 9 ways to keep your flowers fresh.

• So interesting! The Secret Emotional Life of Clothes features 7 different stories about how clothes have the power to transform us.

• Taking a nap is like letting Marie Kondo loose in your brain.

• Tips to plan your best vacation ever.