More Than a Pretty Picture: The Story Behind the Cover

Nubby Twiglet | Rock n Roll Bride Magazine Issue 11

Good design is great but when there’s a great story behind it, that layer of depth makes it even better.

This cover Rock n Roll Bride is my favorite yet because of the story inside. Of course, the couple is beautiful and photogenic. What you can’t see is that the bride, Jaquie had been wheelchair-bound for the 8 years prior to her wedding day after a spinal cord injury left her paralyzed from the chest down.

Nubby Twiglet | Rock n Roll Bride Magazine Issue 11

After a year dedicated to intense physical therapy and countless hours spent at the gym, she surprised the audience at her ceremony by not only walking down the aisle but dancing the night away. As my designer Sam and I were laying out the cover, I thought a lot about how too many magazines focus on putting models and unattainable ideals on their covers instead of real people with amazing stories that can inspire us to strive for more in our own lives.

When I read an article or blog post, I want the grit, I want the comeback story and I want the passion. I want to feel like maybe the seemingly impossible is somehow possible, that whatever setback there is can be overcome, even when I’ve heard otherwise.

Nubby Twiglet | Rock n Roll Bride Magazine Issue 11

The timing of this cover really hit home because my cousin’s surgery had complications and he hasn’t been able to walk since. It’s been a very difficult time and this cover and story is a reminder that anything is possible. This year has been a tough one for many people I know and perhaps you, too. Working on a magazine dedicated to real weddings and love always leaves me feeling good about those happy moments in the world.

Nubby Twiglet | Rock n Roll Bride Magazine Issue 11

If you’d like to pick up a copy of issue 11, you can have it shipped straight to your doorstep!

This post is a reminder that sometimes, all you need is love.

The Week + Links: 10.22.16

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

THE WEEK

It’s a beautiful, crisp, cool Saturday and I’m eating oatmeal while listening to inspiring talks by Oprah on Youtube (love her voice!) and tying up a bunch of loose ends before leaving for Palm Springs and Designer Vaca in a week. I’ve been excited all month as the anticipation builds — if you’ve never been and would like to attend next year, here’s my post about what to expect.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

I know this has been a difficult month for a lot of folks, myself included so the allure of connecting with new and old friends, getting in plenty of pool time, wearing this dress and getting a night in at The Avalon to relax sounds like the perfect opportunity to reset for the rest of this year.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, friends!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

THE LINKS

• These are the 5 best places to travel to alone.

• What happens when one of the best ballerinas decides to give it all up?

• 100 women in tech to follow on Twitter.

• I love these tips on curating your Instagram account.

• One of Michelle Obama’s biggest accomplishments in the White House has been this amazing garden.

• Paul Jarvis has a great mindset on growth and success within a business.

• There are still so many places in Palm Springs left to discover and The Amado looks like a pretty sweet place to stay!

• DIY Rainbow gold bath bombs? Yes, please!

• I love the colors, patterns and everything else about this new project from Cocorrina.

• Kodak is going back to its roots with a refresh of one of its most iconic logos. So good!

• Am I the only one that gets immense satisfaction out of a well-designed menu?

• I’ve been watching a lot of Oprah’s Lifeclass episodes while I work and especially love this one all about cultivating your inner self and this one about something I strongly believe: when you know better, you do better.

• Wow! The universe has 10 times more galaxies than we originally thought!

• Translating the Harry Potter books is not an easy undertaking.

External Validation and Remembering That You’re Good Enough

Nubby Twiglet | External Validation and Remembering That You’re Good Enough

I’ve been thinking a lot about the intense pull of external validation. It’s all too easy to get caught up in the adrenaline rush of flattering comments and likes…but what impact does that actually have on our daily lives and well-being?

I’ve been on social media a lot less over the last month and the initial pang of guilt has broken through to feeling more content. The premise behind the shift is simple: if you’re not constantly peering into the lives of others, it’s easier to focus on your own.

Gratitude feels intensified when you cut out the noise. When you’re not being bombarded with things you probably don’t need, places you’ve never been and people you’ve never even met, it’s possible to focus on the here and now and feel really good about where YOU are at. Of course, the internet and social media have immense benefits but I’m also aware that too much time immersed outside of reality can have negative effects.

It’s so funny to think back to the much more quaint times of the 90s. I’ve always been a magazine junkie and I remember constantly hearing that the imagery in fashion magazines could have a drastically negative effect on teen girls. I always laughed it off because I never thought of the editorials I was seeing as “real life.” It was a fantasy world created within the confines of a set. Its felt very glamorous…and very distant.

Nubby Twiglet | External Validation and Remembering That You’re Good Enough

Now though, things are different. The effects from platforms like Instagram feel intensified because we’re not just peering into curated content from a media outlet — these are real images being posted by real folks, often in somewhat real time so the FOMO (fear of missing out) hits harder. This isn’t some fantasy world but something we can internalize as feeling that if we had the right [talent, looks, house, location, bank account, whatever] that we could achieve the same outcome, as well.

After pulling back and spending more time in reality, here’s what I realized: I really like my life the way it is. I’m happy and comfortable and know what I was put on this earth to do. There’s not much I would ever consider changing. So…why is the need for external validation still there?

Sometimes, when I start scrolling through Instagram, my contentment fades away to envy. It’s uncomfortable. Last week, I discovered a brilliant designer on Instagram. I scrolled and scrolled and instead of closing out the app on a high note, I was left with the dreaded feeling of wanting to redo my entire portfolio.

These feelings suck because they take us further away from what we’re meant to do and instead, deeper into the abyss of thinking about what we could do instead. Isn’t internal validation much more fulfilling, though? The feeling of creating for creation’s sake is so much more powerful than a bunch of likes.

The way I’d been feeling was confirmed when I saw this tweet from GOMisakiGO:

“I just sat back and suddenly thought, how ridiculous it is to go through lengths and hard work just to make someone hit ‘like’.”

Nubby Twiglet | External Validation and Remembering That You’re Good Enough

If you’re fighting those “I’m not good enough” feelings, here are 5 tips:

1. Examine what’s going on in your own world

This is pretty simple: when you’re fixated on something, ask yourself why. When I discover someone’s design portfolio and then feel terrible about my own work, it’s because I wish I had more time to share my own projects. Remember, it’s never really about them. It’s all about you and your projections.

2. Extreme curation isn’t real life

Everyone has problems. Everyone has bad days. This is common sense but when you’re scrolling through a highlight reel of their best moments, it’s easy to forget. Nobody wants to share the dirty details of getting fired, getting into fights, bad friendship fall-outs…it’s personal and it’s not pretty.

3. Realign negative energy to fuel a positive outcome

When you truly want to achieve something, seeing other people that have already made it can inspire you to make it happen. Complement them on their achievements and use their successes as motivation for your own. That feels so much better.

4. Detox by unfollowing

Are you following people you’re endlessly curious about for all the wrong reasons? Unfollow, once and for all. Forgot about it and move on. You have a limited amount of time on this planet so make the most of it.

5. Immerse yourself in time with family and friends

Last night, I went out for a drink with my dad and as we sat in a beautiful, mostly empty bar having a great conversation, I thought about how great it was to be out in the world interacting and exploring versus hiding behind a phone or computer, peeking into someone else’s world. Life is for living, not perfecting and curating.

The Bottom Line

Achieving something on your own terms and creating for the sake of being creative hold so much more potency than racking up likes. That hit of validation wears off 10 seconds later but what you’ve created has lasting positive effects.

What about you? I’d love to hear your thoughts about external validation.

The Week + Links: 10.15.16

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

THE WEEK

All week, we’ve been hearing of a monster sized storm making its way to Portland and the last few days have been extra windy and rainy. We’re stocked up on basics just in case and I’m catching up on a few things at the office today because there’s a good chance the power could go out.

This week hasn’t been an easy one — I’ve been mostly staying offline, trying to focus on keeping up with a tangle of print, branding and web projects while staying in touch with my family since my cousin Matt has had some complications with his surgery.

Yesterday afternoon, right as I was packing up for the weekend and sending my designer home, I got an urgent call that Matt wasn’t doing so well. I made my way up to the hospital in some of the worst weather I’ve seen in ages and walked in to see him hooked up to so many tubes and devices I couldn’t quite believe it.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

In that moment, I appreciated modern technology, the kindness of doctors and nurses and realized how insignificant what I do is compared to what they do. It takes a special mindset, strength and drive to work in a hospital day after day, knowing that people’s lives can shift at any second, doing your best to keep them stabilized and comfortable.

The silver lining is that my grandparents stayed the night at my house so they could be closer to the hospital and I did get a chuckle out of them sleeping in my black-walled bedroom and using our freshly remodeled bathroom, complete with banana leaf print wallpaper. I took them to the coffee shop this morning and offered to buy them fancy lattes but they stuck with their usual drip coffee. Awww.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

This month hasn’t been an easy one but I’m staying focused on moving forward, getting through projects and making time to visit Matt before we leave for Palm Springs in 2 weeks. Here’s hoping everything levels out soon.

The wind is really starting to pick up now and I’m afraid of losing power….so I’m signing off for now. Have a good weekend!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

Photos: 1. I may have found the perfect black boots. They’re by a brand called Populaire, on sale for a great price, have a slight platform in the front so it doesn’t feel like you’re walking on the ball of your foot, aren’t too narrow, pull on so there’s no hardware to get broken and the heel is just chunky enough to make them comfortable. SCORE!

2. I’m wrapping up issue 11 of Rock n Roll Bride Magazine and after redesigning many of the layouts, it’s gonna be so cool to finally see it in print.

3. It’s getting cold enough to pull out this spruce colored faux fur jacket. YES!

4. My spare room has been redone for a year now and still love it, especially this bust I found at Home Goods for $15.00!

THE LINKS

• It’s possible to make a to-do list that actually helps you get everything done.

• 5 reasons why one of the best pastry chefs in the country turned his back on fine dining — and all his points are spot-on.

• How cool is this?! Salvador Dali’s surrealist cookbook is going to be republished!

• A camera drone with facial recognition is the future of selfies.

• If you’re ready to revamp your portfolio, these 8 tools can help.

•  This week, CoverGirl made history by signing on its first ever male spokesmodel!

• I totally agree that quick, easy to finish tasks build momentum in the morning.

• Why do anything? A meditation on the art of procrastination. Haha!

• Important stuff: the difference between club soda, seltzer and sparkling mineral water.

• I’m digging this roundup of 8 cool Instagram accounts, especially museum selfies!

• To grow yourself and your business, you need to get confident to make changes and banish negativity.

• These conversation topics made me laugh.

Latest & Greatest: Blush Pink

Nubby Twiglet | Latest & Greatest: Blush Pink

Pink is one of those colors people either love or hate. I’ve never been a fan of bright, in-your-face bubblegum pink but there’s something about blush / rose / this nondescript pink that’s seemingly everywhere these days that I like because in its softest forms, it works as a great neutral.

Nubby Twiglet | Latest & Greatest: Blush Pink

Blush or whatever you may call it also reminds me of the desert, especially spots like Joshua Tree and Red Rock Canyon where there’s warm, dusty hues everywhere. The color has gained such mainstream appeal that The Cut picked up on it, saying: “A cohort raised to distrust pink has turned contrarian and embraced a muddied, faded version of the color…we’re conspicuously reading Sweetbitter, drinking a matching glass of frosé, and Instagramming it all with our rose-gold iPhones.”

Yep. Guilty as charged.

What’s your take on the color?

Yay or nay?

Nubby Twiglet | Latest & Greatest: Blush Pink

Top image: socks. Middle image: bodysuit. Bottom image: coat. watch. shoes. rose water.

The Week + Links: 10.07.16

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

THE WEEK

It’s really starting to feel like Fall around here big time — I’m working from home today and am already noticing how much darker it seems at 6 pm than usual. The list format was a lot of fun last week so I’m going to give it a try again because there’s a lot to share.

1. Be thankful for what you have right in this moment: I briefly mentioned this earlier in the week but my cousin Matt had an aneurysm and is in the hospital right now. It’s been a stressful few days as I wait to hear how his surgery came out. Matt has never had an easy life but is a really good guy — he takes care of my grandparents so I know they’re feeling a bit lost right now. Please think good thoughts for him. This is a reminder that as long as you have your health, you’re doing good. Anything else is just a bonus.

2. My favorite Fall drink: I love my local coffee shop, Speedboat. They’re some of the nicest baristas in town and are always coming up with not-on-the-menu concoctions. Chai is often my go-to drink but a lot of the local brands are super potent to the point of tasting like a mouthful of perfume. They came up with a mix of chai, a dash of vanilla syrup and extra foamed milk that’s absolute perfection. Give it a try!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

3. Palm Springs dreams: Over the last 6 months, I worked with a singular goal in mind: getting pre-approved for a place to call home in Palm Springs. Joey and I didn’t find what we were looking for last time (both places weren’t quite right in the end) so we continued our search and are heading back down soon to check out some more. I know that things like this unfold how they’re supposed to and if it’s right this time, we’ll finally find the right fit. Either way, we’re not giving up.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

4. Good friends don’t have to live nearby: This week, I FINALLY met the ever-elusive Paul Jarvis! Yes, he’s real. We’ve literally been running a business together for an entire year (The Project Prescription) yet this was our first meeting in-person. Paul, along with his awesome wife Lisa joined us for dinner and Joey whipped up his best vegan lasagna while Chubs chomped down on a leftover piece of garlic bread. Paul knows about my photo booth obsession and I wasn’t going to let the moment get away undocumented!

5. Making a house feel like home: For the last two years, I felt a big disconnect from my home because I spent most of my time time at work. When I was here, things never felt finished. Joey and I made a commitment this Summer to start pulling it together, room by room. It’s amazing what a few small changes can make and it’s totally possible on a budget — I found Mandi’s post about redecorating really inspiring and I’m working on some content around befores and afters to share with you, too.

6. Major skincare excitement: I’ve been wanting to try Glossier products for what feels like forever so when my designer Sam surprised me with the new set of Supers, I was over the moon. The branding is fantastic, the formulations are unique and I’m excited to crack them open tonight!

Okay, it’s your turn!

What’s on your mind this week?

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

THE LINKS

• Philip Glass has so much goodness to share on the topic of being an artist, controlling your work and getting paid for it.

• I love this post about steering clear of adopting a client’s anxiety.

• OMG, this cat is supposedly the biggest in New York!

• Designers, need some Halloween costume ideas? Here you go!

• 10 ways to find logo design inspiration.

• Who knew that Bill Clinton has a talent for baking cookies?!

• I eat popcorn all the time as a snack and didn’t realize it’s possible to DIY the microwave version!

• As the U.S. presidential election gets closer, I’m definitely feeling more stressed out but thankfully, SNL came to the rescue with the best parody I’ve seen featuring Alec Baldwin. Nailed it!

• Dinner party conversations don’t have to be awkward.

• Whatever you crave, one thing is certain: taking action gets you everywhere. Go Get It! keeps you accountable as you work towards achieving a singular goal.

• Braid Creative has tips on how to write your About page.

• Andy Warhol’s illustrated children’s book was never released during his lifetime but is finally making its debut!

• I LOVE this chart about judging who someone is. #truth

• Check out the 39 greatest free web fonts!

• British swear words ranked in order of offensiveness made me laugh — spending so much time with my BFF Kat rubbed off and I now use “wanker” alllll the time.

• There are just 13 apartments left inside New York City libraries and there’s a fascinating history behind them.

• Totally random: the coolest sneakers in movies.

The Unmistakable Effect and An Ode To Doing Your Own Thing

Nubby Twiglet | The Unmistakable Effect and An Ode To Doing Your Own Thing

Since I returned from vacation a few weeks ago, I’ve been struggling to find a sense of balance with my daily routine. It’s been a busier season at work than usual and yesterday morning, I got to the studio early, sat down at my desk and was ready to write a post about my friend Sian’s new magazine, The Unmistakable Effect.

Then, my phone rang. It was my grandma, calling to tell me my cousin had an aneurysm and was in the hospital. Badly shaken, I closed the screen and texted my cousin a get well message I hoped he’d wake up to.

When things happen like this, it’s a huge reality check. Life is fragile and short. To spend it in a way that makes you unhappy just isn’t worth it. I was just watching a Vanilla Ice interview and he said, “Yesterday is history and tomorrow is a mystery” and that’s the truth.

So, that brings me back to The Unmistakable Effect. If you’ve ever broken out of your comfort zone to try something unexpected and uncharted, there can be an uneasiness that’s nearly impossible to bear. Everyone around you tends to say, “You have it good. Things are fine. Why do you need to shake up what you have?”

Nubby Twiglet | The Unmistakable Effect and An Ode To Doing Your Own Thing

These conversations often come from a place of love but can also come from a place of fear depending on the person because they aren’t brave enough to take the leap themselves. No matter where the sentiments come from, taking a chance and embracing that mystery that comes with it is a tough road.

That’s why I admire what Sian is doing. She has a very distinct design style that has inspired me for years but instead of playing it safe with client work, she decided to experiment with her love of editorial design to create a digital magazine that she’s both designing and producing the content for.

The Unmistakable Effect is about doing your thing, unapologetically. If you’re like me, you’re sick of perfectly curated Instagram moments and blog posts where life looks like one flowing, beautifully shot fashion magazine. There’s no grit, there’s no failure and there’s no depth. I don’t know a single person with a life like that, myself included. There’s a mix of ups and downs, good and bad.

When the bad happens (this is life — and it inevitably does), we all have moments of wondering if we’re cut out for this creative path because there’s no rule book. The only way of knowing is by doing. By doing, you’re learning and figuring things out.

Nubby Twiglet | The Unmistakable Effect and An Ode To Doing Your Own Thing

During this season of change in my own business, I’ve been questioning everything. Our society tells us that bigger is better and having more, more, more is what we should strive for. That doesn’t sit well with me. The Unmistakable Effect is confirming what I’m feeling — that you have to stop trying to win at everyone else’s game, and start trying to win at your own.

When I worked at larger companies, I was always at my unhappiest. I always felt lost in the shuffle and unsure of where I fit in. When I worked at smaller companies, there was a family atmosphere that made me want to stick around. So in this time of transition and deciding if it’s time to grow bigger, I’m pushing back. I’m listening to what I want instead of what society tells me the dream is. I’m keeping things personalized. I’m deciding it’s worth it to stay hyper-creative and connected.

In your own career and life, you will hit many crossroads where you have to decide whether to stay on the safe road of the least resistance or choose your own adventure. Of course, most people will encourage you to play it safe — you have bills to pay, and people you don’t want to let down. But, if you play it too safe, you might end up pleasing everyone on the surface while letting down the one person that sometimes gets lost in the shuffle: yourself.

In issue 2 of the Unmistakable Effect, I have an interview about staying in the game with an inside look at the drive and commitment it takes to get to where you want to be. You can check it out here.

I hope it inspires you to do the work, ignore the outside noise and make yourself happy.

You deserve it.