The Week In Pictures: 1.31.14

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Sometimes I feel like I’m just floating through days because they’re so irregular. 2014 so far has been one strange trip. For someone who thrives on structure, I’m learning that it’s okay to just let go — good things don’t always happen inside the confines of structure.

This week especially, I had many of those, “Who am I, what am I doing and is this my life?” moments.

First, a call came in from my all-time favorite fashion magazine. I managed to not completely fangirl out…but just barely. Because I’ve read every single issue for the last 15 years.

With Branch, I delivered our first really big pitch for a dream client (thanks to a whole lot of coaching and talks off the ledge). I was reminded that you should always surround yourself with people who are much, much smarter and more experienced than you. Let them shine and do their thing. Learn from the best instead of feeling threatened.

Then, back-to-back client calls happened. Not just 10 minute check-ins but more like 2 hour reviews of 170 page photography books. Remember? I’m not a phone person. Well, so many calls had happened by Tuesday that I was pretty much over that fear.

A last-minute meeting with my accountant followed. I rushed into his office in head-to-toe black, clutching a binder full of paperwork. Our conversation started out with, “A lot has happened since I saw you last year.” Lots of laughs followed. And then, lots of highly entertaining stories involving scary audits. More laughs.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

My no-fail lunch spot lately has been Por Que No and on these winter days, nothing is better than a mug of piping hot spiced apple cider. For drinks, I’ve been enjoying Sweet Hereafter. Rustic wood walls, red cross emblazoned ceiling panels and a killer menu of vegan delights. What’s not to love?!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

I’m heading out to Palm Springs soon for some Blogcademy projects and my head-to-toe black layers just won’t cut it in the desert. Luckily, all the cute summery stuff is on sale on Asos so I picked up some new looks for a total steal. And…Rocky can’t handle having the focus taken off of him for even 10 seconds.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Over the weekend, I stopped into Schoolhouse to pick up a light for my brother’s bathroom (we’re on the home stretch of remodeling — though Joey is hating applying the black grout!) and their displays are always so spot-on.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

This was a great mail week. A copy of the Designer Vaca book showed up from Artifact Uprising and I am so impressed with the quality of their products. The paper is totally matte and so beautiful — I’m definitely inspired to do a portfolio project or even some media kits with their books now.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Okay, it’s time to finish packing! Have a wonderful weekend, everyone. xoxo

Link Love: 1.30.14

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• A logo should tell a story.

• Should small business owners help each other?

Being lonely and drifting: the flipside of traveling the world.

• Highly entertaining: a shopping list compiled from an 1897 Sears catalog!

• The most popular and pointless new years goal.

• It’s interesting to see side-by-side comparisons of U.S. and U.K. covers for the same books.

• The New Yorker digs into the anxiety phenomenon.

• A 1920s tourist guide to New York City etiquette!

• Winter equals dry lips. Here’s a roundup of the most moisturizing lip balms.

• 20 songs written by women that will turn 20 this year.

• Thoughts on making things and the internet.

• Fast Company just rounded up the most creative people in business.

• Just because it’s almost February doesn’t mean that it’s too late to make big plans for your business.

• Yoga types explained.


Image: Josh Olins for U.K. Vogue.

Tripping Through Melbourne’s Psychedelic Vintage Clothing Wonderland: My Delirium

Nubby Twiglet | My Delirium Vintage Clothing Shop, Melbourne

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Nubby Twiglet | My Delirium Vintage Clothing Shop, Melbourne

I love a good vintage clothing shop but nothing has ever had such a dizzying effect on my senses as My Delirium. A psychedelic rabbit hole of sorts, it manages to wow visitors with decor that’s just as interesting as the clothing lining its racks.

Nubby Twiglet | My Delirium Vintage Clothing Shop, Melbourne

Nubby Twiglet | My Delirium Vintage Clothing Shop, Melbourne

With a blazing yellow exterior and a handful of mannequins beckoning from the window who are so overdressed that they give Liberace a run for his money, this store isn’t a place you can casually pass by without a reaction.

Nubby Twiglet | My Delirium Vintage Clothing Shop, Melbourne

Nubby Twiglet | My Delirium Vintage Clothing Shop, Melbourne

Inside, raspberry shag carpet competes with paisley wallpaper.

Nubby Twiglet | My Delirium Vintage Clothing Shop, Melbourne

Kitschy, big-eyed animal kick-knacks stare out from every flat surface.

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Nubby Twiglet | My Delirium Vintage Clothing Shop, Melbourne

Kat tried on a handful of sequined pieces but her real moment to shine was when she poked her head out from the dressing room curtain….er, carpet.

Nubby Twiglet | My Delirium Vintage Clothing Shop, Melbourne

Nubby Twiglet | My Delirium Vintage Clothing Shop, Melbourne

After flipping through the racks of clothing, I’ll admit that I was feeling completely overwhelmed. So much color. So many embellishments. So much leather, lace, sequins and fur! I took a little break, leaning against an ornate dressing table.

Nubby Twiglet | My Delirium Vintage Clothing Shop, Melbourne

Then, Gala casually walked up the stairs decked out in the most ridiculous / fabulous jacket, resembling the offspring of Big Bird. I wanted in on the action. After a few glam twirls, I slipped it off her shoulders and onto my own.

Nubby Twiglet | My Delirium Vintage Clothing Shop, Melbourne

My new daytime look? I wish.

Nubby Twiglet | My Delirium Vintage Clothing Shop, Melbourne

Most of the time these days, I do the majority of my shopping online. It’s just easier. But when I come across a store as magnificently unique as My Delirium, I’m reminded of the sensory experience that a thoughtfully curated retail space can offer. It’s an art form in itself and the passion that went into this vintage mecca is absolutely inspiring.

If you’re planning to visit, note that the store hours can be slightly irregular — you may want to call ahead to make sure it is open first.


Featured: My Delirium, Melbourne.
Photos: Corey Sleap (he is the sweetest guy around — hire him to shoot your wedding!)
Co-conspirators: Kat Williams and Gala Darling.

The Week In Pictures: 1.24.14

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

This has been one of those weeks where I feel like the universe is trying to shake me up and finally force me to become a responsible adult and I’m just holding on as tightly as I can. Cue bid proposals, meetings with lawyers, opening up new accounts at the bank, lots of conversations over the phone (I’m usually more of an email person) and reaching out and asking for help when I realize I don’t know what the hell I’m doing. No matter how full my days get though, the bright spot is always an early morning serving of granola, plain greek yogurt and a generous helping of blackberries on top. Oh, and some good reading material!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

If you’re ever in Portland and looking to make some new friends, the best place to go is the fire pit at the Doug Fir. Every time I end up there, I find myself in the middle of the most fascinating conversations. It’s the perfect refuge in the middle of the city.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

My escape ever since I was a teenager has been flipping through fashion magazines. Lots of them. They give me a chance to absorb colors, textures and trends without the confines of a design project looming. These tears are all from the current issues of Bazaar and Marie Claire.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

This photo isn’t the greatest but considering where we started with our very disgusting old bathroom, just the sight of floor-to-ceiling subway tile feels completely unreal! Joey’s been working like a maniac to get it all done and should be applying black grout by the end of the weekend. I’m lucky I married a jack of all trades. ;)

Have a great weekend, everyone. I’m trying to brush off the “I don’t know what I’m doing! HELP!” feelings when it comes to a few things on my plate and just accepting that the only way to learn is to jump in feet first.

P.S. Thanks for your sweet, thoughtful comments on the self-initiated project post. Totally made my day. Lots of love to you all!

Link Love: 1.23.14

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Nubby Twiglet | Steven Meisel

• I just did a little interview with FIDM in LA!

• Mandi just put together one of the best lighting tutorials I’ve come across. If you own a DSLR camera, this is an absolute must read!

• Who are your customers? Dig deeper.

• If you’re in the design industry, here’s what all those job titles really mean.

• Snoop Dogg is rocking some pretty fancy nails these days.

• Do you ever have those days where you want to shut everything down? How do you get past that feeling?

• Looking back, Cipe Pineles was a badass art director at top fashion magazines and broke many of the glass ceilings female designers faced at the time.

• Braun has always had some of the most classic design across its print materials. This gallery is a visual goldmine!

• Alexandra Franzen comes to the rescue and teaches us how to politely decline ridiculous, unreasonable requests.

• Make your own Valentine’s-themed paper flower wreath!

• This is one of the coolest Instagram experiments I’ve seen.

• Okay, now I really have to visit Bottega Louie when I’m in LA next month. Such a beautiful place.

• These kids think they’ve mastered hide and seek.


Photo: Emily Sandberg by Steven Meisel, Vogue Italia 2002.

Land Your Dream Clients: Prove You’re Capable Of Greatness Through Self-Initiated Projects

Nubby Twiglet | Land Your Dream Clients: Prove You're Capable Of Greatness Through Self-Initiated Projects

When you look around at other designers who are working on high-caliber projects for their dream clients, do you wonder how you can step up your game and land a few of your own?

When we’re starting out as creatives, it’s usually a constant case of feast or famine. In our eyes, every small lead that comes through the door has the potential for greatness and income generation. But in those early days, a lot of that work might not be the perfect fit. No matter, doing real work for real world clients post-graduation is not only a great feeling but necessary to drum up more work. After all, if you do a fantastic job for one client, chances are that they’ll tell all their friends — even in the digital age, word of mouth can grow your business by leaps and bounds.

While generating a lot of leads and building your portfolio is great, a few years in, the time comes to hit the brakes and ask yourself what you really want to be doing. Who are your dream clients? What types of work do you want more of? What would you rather do without, whether or not the pay is good? At this point, once you have some answers you’ll need to refresh and refine your portfolio to gear it towards what you want more of.

The thing is, maybe you haven’t actually worked with any of your so-called dream clients yet. Or, maybe they got in touch but only had the budget for one small piece of collateral. Don’t let that stop you from showing what you’re made of! For my first five years of freelancing, this was almost always the case and I built my relationships with the clients I loved very slowly, one tiny project at a time.

When it comes to design, the competition is fierce and the only way to truly get what you want is to take the initiative. Don’t get deterred by a lack of dream clients — instead, create your own self-initiated projects. Go all out. A lot of designers shy away from this because they’re afraid that if the brief isn’t real, it doesn’t count. But, as long as you clearly state that a project is self-initiated in your portfolio the sky’s the limit as to what you can do.

I’ve seen this work with beautiful results. A few years out of college, my brother wanted to get his foot in the door at Nike but didn’t have a lot of professional design experience. He spent the week before his interview building out a shoe design he’d dreamt up from scratch. He designed the shoe style, the pattern and the tagging and ended his portfolio with that piece. It worked and he got a contract.

For many of my early clients, the only thing they could afford was a logo, even with my very low prices back then. Often, I’d email them when we were finished and ask if I could build out a full suite of assets free of charge. Nobody in their right mind would turn down an awesome deal like that and by showing the application of their branding across a variety of mediums in my portfolio, I gained tons of new clients. I put in the extra time and effort, shared that extra work on my blog and the inquiries rolled in.


Nubby Twiglet | Land Your Dream Clients: Prove You're Capable Of Greatness Through Self-Initiated Projects

Above is an example of how I took a project to the next level. In 2010, Semiospectacle booked me for an identity and flyer design for their performance art event in New York City. Once that was finished, I knew the work would have more impact if I created more assets — these not only gave them ideas for how they could play up their event but they also helped me fill out my portfolio.

Just showing a logo and flyer felt a little dry so I thought of ways they could promote their event and in an ideal situation, use banners and second-surface graphics on the windows of their space. These graphics took me a few extra hours to create but shortly after that, I noticed them getting shared on inspiration sites (this was before Pinterest came along). Just taking that extra time really helped me get the word out to a whole new audience and in turn, bring in more work.


If you’re stuck on self-initiated project ideas, here are some ways you can get started:

1. Rebrand yourself / your business. When it comes to design, everyone loves a great before and after. Do it all and show your breadth as a designer — mock up print collateral, build your website (if you’re not code savvy, check out Squarespace or Cargo) and customize your social media profiles. A lot of potential clients will hire you because they love your personal style and want in on that magic. As a designer, your personal brand is your biggest calling card. If you need some good blank assets to show off the finished designs, Creative Market is a fantastic resource.

2. Offer to help out a family friend. There are so many small businesses that need a helping hand but just don’t have the resources to spruce up their collateral. Whether it’s a hair salon, an accountant or a tire shop, use the opportunity to shine. As a side note, treat them as you would treat a regular client — set up a contract outlining the parameters and deadlines. If you don’t set professional boundaries, these relationships can go south rather quickly!

3. Create a seasonal campaign for your dream client. While a lot of large companies have a set style guide and their branding rarely changes, the door for creativity opens up for seasonal campaigns (Anthropologie and Kate Spade do a great job of this). Get inspired by their current assets and create a campaign with a great story line. And when you’re finished, if you’re feeling gutsy, share it with them!


I’d love to hear from you — have you ever done self-initiated projects?
Did they help you land even more of the kinds of clients you were seeking?

Style Direction: Black On Black

Nubby Twiglet | Style Direction: Black on Black

Nubby Twiglet | Style Direction: Black on Black

Nubby Twiglet | Style Direction: Black on Black

Over the last few years, I’ve gotten more adventurous with color and set the intention of working more of it into my overall wardrobe. But even with a closet bursting with color, I still have those moments where only black will do. And, I’m definitely having one of those moments right about now.

When it comes to rocking head-to-toe black, my teenage goth roots still ring true but I’ve never been a fan of frills, heavy lace or anything that’s overly tattered. I’m much more of a fan of the sleek and avant garde.

Nubby Twiglet | Style Direction: Black on Black

One of my favorite wardrobe treasures is this Rick Owens jacket. Found five years on Ebay for a total steal, it is my dream cyborg wardrobe staple come to life. It’s weird yet wearable and takes even the most straightforward basics from casual to spaceship chic. And that’s what I love about clothing the most — it has the ability to transform us into characters, even if those characters are just slightly more dressed up, more confident versions of ourselves.

On the subject of black, I’ve been drawn to the idea of different finishes as of late, especially when they’re mixed together like on my jacket. I’m especially loving matte black:

Nubby Twiglet | Style Direction: Black on Black

Shown above: 1. FCTRY Kudu, 2. Kartell Sofia Boots, 3. Chanel Black Velvet Polish, 4. Larke Optics Glasses, 5. Tangiers Pendant Light, 6. Nixon Time Teller P Watch, 7. Bodum Bistro Blender, 8. Eames Chair and 9. Microbomata Laptop Bag.

Nubby Twiglet | Style Direction: Black on Black


I wore: Jacket, Rick Ownens via Ebay. Silk dress, vintage. Tights, found in Iceland. Boots, Proenza Schouler.