Link Love: 6.18.15

Nubby Twiglet | Link Love: Isabel Marant

• 30 things to do before you turn 30.

• Here’s how to Instagram like it’s your job.

• Sheryl Sandberg wrote the most beautiful post about grieving — definitely worth a read.

• Not everyone is motivated in the same way. Understanding the six types of motivation can work wonders for keeping you on track.

• Can design change the world? That’s definitely up for debate!

• Writing social media updates in batches can save you tons of time.

• Made me laugh: sea is for cookie.

• I’m always on the lookout for fresh art prints to liven up my workspace and these are an especially fun batch.

• Check out the 10 best SkillShare classes for content marketing.

• It’s easier to get work done if you understand the 4 types of productivity styles.

• What you say in your email sign-off definitely matters.

• 10 business tips that photographers can learn from Taylor Swift.

• Anna always unearths the best stuff and I love this roundup of planters.

Image: Isabel Marant.
Check out even more Link Love columns here.

Radical Self Love: An Interview About Entrepreneurship, Inspiration and Motivation with Gala Darling

Radical Self Love: An Interview About Entrepreneurship, Inspiration and Motivation with Gala Darling

One of the most fulfilling projects I’ve worked on over the last year was designing my friend Gala Darling’s first book, Radical Self Love. This is close to my heart because I met Gala online 13 years ago and even back then, she was fanatical about writing. Her dream was to become a published author but it took years of behind-the-scenes hard work to make it a reality.

A few years ago, I designed Gala’s first book proposal and when things didn’t work out, we were both crushed. But, she persevered and never lost sight of her goal. Now, it’s clear to see that everything worked out as it was meant to be — her book just debuted on Amazon’s Movers and Shakers list and the pre-sale alone has already sold hundreds of copies. Gala’s journey is a great reminder that overnight success is rare but if you stick with what you believe in, amazing things can (and will!) happen. We just sat down for an interview that I hope will help you stay motivated and focused on making your own dreams a reality. Enjoy!

Radical Self Love: An Interview About Entrepreneurship, Inspiration and Motivation with Gala Darling

A lot of us have big ideas for projects but as they wear on, staying motivated and on-task can be difficult. How were you able to remain focused on a project that was years in the making?

As a little girl, I’d sit at the kitchen table writing stories, then staple them together, draw a cover (barcode included) and imagine what it would like to be published. Authors were my heroes: I spent hours at the library with my father every Saturday, and I was constantly working through a huge stack of books. Writing a book has always been my big dream. 

This book evolved a lot. It started as a monthly serial — I’d send out the chapters as they were completed — and a couple of years after it was done, I realised I had a whole book sitting right there. I had a meeting with a big publishing company, but they didn’t really “get it”, and my agent told me it was a hard time to sell a self-help book. I was extremely disappointed, but I can see that it was all perfect. I’m so glad I didn’t publish the book in that incarnation or at that time!

Over the last couple of years, technology has changed so much, and has put the power to produce back into the hands of the creators. It’s incredible. There are no gatekeepers anymore. You don’t have to wait to be chosen: you can create your own Youtube show, publish your own book, record your own radio show. 

I was able to stay focussed on publishing my book because even though I experienced some crushing disappointment, I had a burning desire to get it done. Once I saw that a few women I knew had self-published (with great results), I was inspired to give it a try. I wrote the original manuscript for this book in 2009, so this is definitely not an “overnight success” story — it has taken six years to get to this point!

For me, it was essential to break the project down into stages. I did my edits, then hired an editor to go through it again. I researched book design, then hired you to make the book beautiful. I hired a photographer to shoot the cover, and so on and so on. This has been such a massive learning experience for me — I never knew how many small details would become so big and important! 

If you have a dream, I encourage you to pursue it with gusto! You only get one life: you should create and do EVERYTHING that you want to. And if your dream has lost its lustre? Go back to the drawing board. Spend some time alone, contemplating it. You may have outgrown your dream, or it may have evolved. Or maybe you just need some outside perspective. Ultimately, if you really want to make it happen, you will.

Radical Self Love: An Interview About Entrepreneurship, Inspiration and Motivation with Gala Darling

With some projects, not everyone is going to get what we’re doing — and that can be hard to deal with. What are your suggestions for dealing with negativity?

Exactly. In my situation, I was crushed when that meeting with a publisher was a bust! Honestly, I wish I could say I bounced back from that quickly, but I didn’t. It took me another two years to re-write my book proposal, and when I did, my agent told me it was too hard a sell. I was so frustrated, but then I looked around at the people who were self-publishing and decided to give it a shot. I’m so glad I did!

There are always going to be ups and downs with any creative project. Remember that people’s opinions only have as much weight as you give them. My agent told me she couldn’t sell my book… But when I pre-launched it on Amazon, it went to #1 on the Amazon Movers and Shakers charts. 

Know what you’re trying to achieve and why. When you know your “why”, it becomes so much easier. In my case, as much as writing this book is a dream come true for me, the thing that kept me going was knowing that this book would change women’s lives. I knew that if it got into the hands of a woman who really needed it, it could encourage her to get help with her eating disorder, it might inspire her to leave a bad relationship, it would remind her how beautiful she is and how much we need her! You have to have a deeper motive than just stroking your own ego… Tempting as that can be!

Radical Self Love: An Interview About Entrepreneurship, Inspiration and Motivation with Gala Darling

As an entrepreneur, why is loving yourself so important? If your confidence is wavering, what are some things you can do?

Ultimately, loving yourself ties into self-respect and how much you value yourself. If you don’t have a healthy sense of appreciation for who you are and the work you’re capable of, it’s all too common to get stuck. You might find yourself constantly going after the wrong kind of clients, refusing to hire an assistant even if you need one (and drowning in work that is not your zone of genius), not knowing how to pull your business out of a plateau, or undercharging for your work. All of those things lead to resentment and burn-out. The bottom line? Radical self love is good for your business!

If you ever doubt your inherent awesomeness, try writing a list of all the things you’ve achieved. It’s so easy to lose sight of the big picture and celebrate all those small triumphs along the way! Even having the courage to strike out on your own as an entrepreneur is so huge, and many of us downplay that (or forget that for most people, being self-employed is too terrifying to contemplate). I promise, once you get started writing down all the things you’ve achieved, you’ll be amazed… And it might even inspire you to increase your rates!

I hope this interview reminds you that no matter how big and scary your dreams may feel, they are possible. Interested in picking up a copy of Gala’s book? It’s on sale starting today and you can grab your copy here. —Shauna

Out & About #9: Peter Miller Books

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About #9: Peter Miller Books, Seattle

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About #9: Peter Miller Books, Seattle

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About #9: Peter Miller Books, Seattle

When I was in Seattle a few weeks back and walking to dinner, I passed a shop window that stopped me in my tracks. Glancing in, the walls were lined with a variety of brightly colored books with fantastically designed covers. The floor was filled with displays of bold, unique office supplies. As soon as I got back to my hotel, I settled into doing some research to find out what this place was all about.

Peter Miller is a legendary Seattle bookstore specializing in design books that cover the gamut from architecture to graphic design to landscape design to typography. It’s a one-stop-shop for detail-oriented creatives who appreciate the beauty of printed materials.

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About #9: Peter Miller Books, Seattle

I’ve always said that it’s dangerous to just rely on the internet for all of your design inspiration — having a beautifully curated personal library to dig into when design all starts to blend together online is so important. As I flipped through titles on the shelves, the atmosphere was really welcoming. Peter himself manned the counter, ready to answer any questions I had.

I’m a diehard office supplies aficionado and his beautiful shop carried items I’d never seen before — Swiss pencils, brightly colored staplers and beautifully designed calendars that would make the designer in your life jump for joy.

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About #9: Peter Miller Books, Seattle

I’ve been to a lot of bookstores but this is the best I’ve ever come across for designers, hands-down. Everything feels specially picked — there’s no file there, only the absolute best of the best.

I walked out with a variety of titles and supplies, some of which you can see in the top photo. And to be honest, I should have taken more photos but I was so excited to be in the store, chatting with Peter about design that I sort of forgot about my camera altogether. In a way, aren’t those the best moments?

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About #9: Peter Miller Books, Seattle

And, I know that this is a bit random…but Peter let me tour the rest of the space and I loved this bizarre sculpture in one of the back rooms.

If you’re a creative passing through Seattle, please add this shop to your list! The website doesn’t do it justice — it’s one of those places with constantly changing stock that you just have to experience in person.

Featured: Peter Miller.
For even more Out & About posts, click here.

Project Spotlight: Rock n Roll Bride Magazine

Nubby Twiglet | Rock n Roll Bride Magazine

When I first discovered graphic design, my big dream was to eventually work for a glossy fashion magazine in New York. As time went on, I put that dream on hold to work at ad agencies. While I loved every minute of it and the experience later led to me founding my own design studio, the passion for print and editorial design never faded.

In 2010, a fateful email landed in my inbox from a British wedding blogger named Kat. She’d started a blog for alternative brides called Rock n Roll Bride and needed branding. That project quickly morphed into many more and within two years, we were producing a print publication.

Nubby Twiglet | Rock n Roll Bride Magazine

As the magazine grew, a corporate publisher took over design and production but in time, we felt that the magazine should align with its core base of small businesses and alternative brides. Kat started her own publishing company and Branch has just accepted creative direction and design duties. Our first issue will hit newsstands throughout the U.K. in September 2015 and is also available via subscription, including those of you in the U.S. If you’re interested, you can subscribe here.

I’m so excited for Kat and this new era of Rock n Roll Bride Magazine — thanks for reading!

The Week In Pictures: 6.12.15 | London!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures: London

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures: London

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures: London

Hello from London! I just arrived yesterday morning and Kat, Gala, Sophie and I hit the ground running, catching the tube to Notting Hill by day and exploring Shoreditch by night. The last month has been a little disorienting, going from Palm Springs to Seattle to London in quick succession but I’m loving the change of scenery.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures: London

London in Summer is so beautiful. It’s the little things here that I appreciate — beautifully kept flower boxes, welcoming small business owners, independent coffee shops, colorful street art, charming accents and of course, afternoon tea and scones with clotted cream.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures: London

Meet Brontë, the official mascot of Farmgirl Cafe. What a beauty!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures: London

Selfie time at the Ace Shoreditch.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures: London

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures: London
Stopped in Pitfield London this morning for breakfast. They have a cafe, a home interiors shop and even orange trees for sale!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures: London

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures: London

Taking a raspberry lemonade break at Le Pain Quotidien.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures: London

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures: London

Some scenes are set up so perfectly that you wonder if there’s a prop stylist secretly hiding out around the corner.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures: London

Gotta love Summer in London!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures: London

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures: London

The interior of Farmgirl Cafe is covered in custom dark green tile. If you’re in London, this is a must-visit. They just opened last week and have such attention to detail, down to their custom-made ceramic cups.

And with that, I’m off to do some exploring before kicking off The Blogcademy on Saturday. Feel free to follow along on Instagram for real-time updates. Have a great weekend!

“There’s nowhere else like London. Nothing at all, anywhere.” —Vivienne Westwood

Link Love: 6.11.15


5 writing ideas for people who have no time to write.

• Stop saying I could never… and own your full potential.

• Roland Fischer takes photos of buildings up-close and the outcomes have a beautiful graphic edge.

• Some really sound advice: forget about being likable.

• Christoph Niemann has a really cool series of mixed media sketches that you should check out!

• Renting your place? No problem! Here are 10 tips to add personality to it.

• Yes, it’s possible to make friends as an adult!

• Joy has been doing a great Q&A video series and the newest focuses on the one major reason she’s found success.

• I love an Instagram account with a good theme! Here are 8 that you should be following.

• Here’s how to tell if your idea for an eBook or course is a profitable one.

• A child explains why he’s a vegetarian.

Image: Son las huestas.
Check out even more Link Love columns here.

Skip The Debt, Reap Immediate Rewards: Why I Chose Community College for My Design Education

Nubby Twiglet | Skip The Debt, Reap Immediate Rewards: Why I Chose Community College for My Design Education

Over the weekend, I joined my family at a gathering to celebrate our relative’s high school graduation. High school isn’t easy — and making it through deserves a party! As the party wound down, I asked her dad what the next step was. Did she want to go to college? He said yes and we moved onto chatting about how community college was the smart choice with the cost of school going up so rapidly.

If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you probably already know that I am a super fan of community college — so much so that I earned three separate degrees on my local campus. Why? It’s practical, affordable, fast-paced and the schedules are set up for the real world since most attendees are probably working or raising a family. It’s full of so many wins and provided the foundation for the career I have today.

Even though I swear by community college now, I’ll be honest — it wasn’t my first choice. Post-high school, the allure of big-name schools with beautifully designed welcome packets definitely swayed me. I looked at art schools in Portland and New York but every time, felt a lump in my throat when I saw the cost of tuition. Without a college fund, there was no way it was going to happen.

Realistically, I knew that community college was my only option at the time so I sucked it up and enrolled. Once I got there, I went from feeling uncool to savvy when I realized that many of my teachers also lectured at much bigger, prestigious schools. And, they had so many success stories of people they’d taught doing amazing things that it gave me confidence in my decision.

When I went back to school in 2006, it was only after I’d toured bigger schools once again, feeling out their graphic design programs. The cost still got to me — paying loans back into old age felt like a heavy weight I just couldn’t bear. I wanted to own a house, travel and have a savings account. A huge bill in my mailbox every month felt like a shackle on my future.

Instead, I enrolled in a limited entry program when I was 25 years old. The days were long but the classes were informative, the instruction top-notch and interestingly, after comparing notes, I later found out that many of our projects were exactly the same as the art schools and universities.

Within two semesters, the skills I’d learned helped me land my own clients and by the end of the first year, thanks to a connection from my teacher, I had an internship at a thriving design studio.

When I graduated, I had less than $10,000.00 worth of debt and made enough extra income from working full-time at a studio and freelancing on the side to pay off my loans in about 2 years.

Having a design degree from community college didn’t stop me from working with companies including Virgin Records, Forever 21, Nike or Adidas — education is important but so is hard work and forging your own path. A name on a diploma only means so much — it’s what you do with your skills that will take you the furthest.

In case you’re interested, this is the graphic design program I attended and I can’t recommend it highly enough. This post isn’t sponsored in any way — with graduation winding up and research for schools beginning, I want to remind you that there are other options for your education that aren’t publicized nearly enough.

Have questions about my program or community college in general? Let me know in the comments!

Photo: Bubblerock.