Creative Chronicles: Thoughts On Doing The Work

Nubby Twiglet | Thoughts On Doing The Work

As much as I wish get rich quick schemes and programs promising endless short-cuts really had all the answers, nothing beats doing the work. The thing is, we’re always looking for that so-called shortcut because doing the work is HARD. And who can blame us for wanting to reach the finish line a little faster?

It’s so easy to fall into the procrastination trap when the work that needs to get done challenges you — but it’s a bit like climbing a mountain, in a way — going up is incredibly difficult but once you reach the peak, coming down is full of relief and a huge sense of accomplishment.

Prioritizing your own projects can be one of the most challenging areas because there’s always something more you can do for someone else instead (and see those immediate gains)! If you work for someone, maybe it comes down to taking on a few hours of overtime at your day job and collecting a bigger paycheck. If you work for yourself, taking on an extra client and getting a deposit provides a hit of instant gratification that your own projects just don’t have. The payoff is a bit more invisible.

Nubby Twiglet | Thoughts On Doing the Work

One project I’ve really struggled with over the last year is the Branch media kit. I had so many excuses — I wanted to learn how to use my camera on manual settings so I could take better photos, I wanted to re-write my packages and bump up my rates (that comes with its own sense of fear) and finally, I wanted to make the page layouts more comprehensive, adding in more work examples (which meant doing plenty of mockups). Basically, there was no quick fix for getting this project done.

So, I did what many of you will relate to — I found every excuse possible to put it off. I blocked out the time on my calendar so I felt like I was moving forward but it was an empty promise. If a friend wanted to go out for drinks, I said yes. If my husband wanted to go vintage shopping, I said yes. If my phone rang, I’d basically say yes to anything to escape thew work. What was I really running away from?

You already know the answer: the work. Nobody likes to talk about actually doing the work because it sounds like they’re whining. “This is SO hard! I spent ALL DAY on this! I’m SO TIRED!” And really, there are a million other fun things to do. I’d rather spend the day on the couch reading fashion magazines.

The problem is, when nobody talks about doing the work but shows off the shiny, beautiful outcome, it looks effortless. And then, when we do the same thing and fall short (basically, it always takes 10 times longer), we think there’s something wrong. That internal voice kicks in and we think that comes down to a lack of knowledge, skill or talent. Really, it’s none of the above – it’s simply unrealistic expectations.

Nubby Twiglet | Thoughts On Doing The Work

I wish I had some efficiency tips for you to get your own projects done but the truth is, it comes down to priorities and willpower. I ended up sitting in my office for a solid 15 hours over the weekend, slowly piecing together the 30 page document. It was slow, it was painful and I wanted to run from it. Trust me, I nearly did. But, I knew from experience where it would leave me so I powered through, finishing it late Sunday night.

It sucked. But it got done.

Instead of offering you inspirational mantras, I’m going to keep it real:

If you want to get something done bad enough, you’ll find a way.

Go after it with everything you’ve got and when the going gets tough and you feel frustrated, don’t give in.

Latest & Greatest: Overose Candles

Nubby Twiglet | Overose Candles

Okay, so let’s talk about candles. They may be one of the most overly indulgent ways to blow your budget ever….and for the most part, I burn IKEA vanilla candles in the office to keep it smelling fresh.

But! If you’re looking for an extra special thrill and want your space to smell like an upscale boutique (haha), I have a new brand to share with you: Overose.

Nubby Twiglet | Overose Candles

Nubby Twiglet | Overose Candles

I found out about this mysterious French brand a few weeks ago at Spartan, a housewares boutique here in Portland. They had a few of the candles on display and I immediately gravitated towards Guaiasilk (and still have no clue what that means). The scent smells like nothing I’ve ever encountered before and maybe that’s part of the appeal — it’s oddly luxurious and bizarre and addictive with a woodsy, unisex scent.

The candles themselves are beautiful in their uniformly colored simplicity and I am really into the styling of their most recent campaign — the mix of florals and textures makes me want to have a dedicated photo studio space to experiment with props and lighting.

Nubby Twiglet | Overose Candles

Nubby Twiglet | Overose Candles

So, that’s my latest obsession when it comes to candles. What about you? What are your favorite brands?


All photos courtesy of Overose.

I’ll Be Your Mirror: Mirage Palm Springs

Nubby Twiglet | Doug Aitken Mirage Palm Springs

I’d seen this mysterious mirrored house popping up in magazines and on my Instagram feed and I was intrigued.

The story behind Mirage is that it was created by artist Doug Aitken to resemble a typical suburban American ranch-style home with a twist. This style of house was common along the West Coast and popularized by Frank Lloyd Wright starting in the 1920s.

Both the interior and exterior are covered in mirrored surfaces and it sits atop a hill by itself, reflecting the endless desert landscape around it. When I arrived, visitors were gathered around in every corner, taking selfies and looking through the window-free openings.

Nubby Twiglet | Doug Aitken Mirage Palm Springs

There is no ideal time to view the installation — I went right as the sun was setting and was soon enveloped in darkness as the house reflected the stars and night sky.

Perhaps the most interesting part about finding Mirage is that there is no address. It’s located at the end of a long road in what appears to be a new housing development that was never completed. To find it, you can either use the coordinates (33°50’59.6″N 116°33’57.5”W) or directions provided on the website.

Nubby Twiglet | Doug Aitken Mirage Palm Springs

The installation will be staying up through October 31st so if you’re in town, add it to your must-visit list!

Learn more about the installation on the Mirage website.

The Month + Links: April 2017

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THE MONTH

Oh, April. You were a wildly unpredictable one. I felt like this month ticked by at a frustratingly slow pace some days — client feedback on a few projects barely trickled in. I got hit with plenty of creative blocks. And truthfully, everything just felt a bit off.

But then, the flow kicked back into high gear during the last week. I went to Palm Springs with Joey for a much needed vacation. A few projects that I’d felt stuck on picked up steam and finally wrapped up. And just when I was wondering what was next, a job I’m super excited about fell into my lap at just the right time.

Nubby Twiglet | The Month + Links: April 2017

While April felt full of uncertainty, tension and the technical mishaps that often get lumped with Mercury Retrograde, May feels like the fresh start I’ve been hoping for. As I look outside today, I’m feeling thankful for the little things: the weather is nice, the office is clean and my desktop feels the most organized it’s been in ages.

This weekend is being blocked out to finish the new client services guide and internal documents for Branch that I’ve been putting off redesigning for a solid year and a half. Better late than never, right?! It’s time to kick any leftover feelings of uncertainty and comparisons to the curb and step up to bigger and better things.

I hope you have a great weekend — and I’ll be back next week with a few Palm Springs themed posts. :)

Nubby Twiglet | The Month + Links: April 2017

THE LINKS

• Megan touches upon the problems that come along with running your blog as a business so eloquently.

• If Joey and I were getting married all over again (and not running off to Vegas!) you can bet there would definitely be llamas at our wedding. How cute are these photos?!

• I’d never heard of Lotion P50 until Anna’s post but now, I’m oddly fascinated. It basically sounds like a magic burning potion for your face! Have you tried it?

• I love this photo series! See what people looked like as young adults and at 100 years old.

• Sarah reminds us that we would be a lot happier if we tracked our efforts, not our accomplishments.

• Living at the office sounds like a nightmare….unless it looks like this!

• I love Ellen’s new interview series called How Did You Do That? which focuses on people with unique professions. If you’ve ever wondered how people end up in the careers they’re in, this series is for you!

Nubby Twiglet | The Month + Links: April 2017
• Check out this black double triangle house in the forest. So beautiful!

• Constantly seeking validation with what you do can be hugely limiting. Here’s how to break free.

• Loving yourself and loving your job are deeply intertwined. What happens when you burn out? James Greig talks about self-care for the creative soul.

• Are your excuses holding you back from following through with a big project? Paul Jarvis gets to the bottom of it in a way that’s relatable.

• Should airports have circular runways?

• Dieticians are finally speaking out about beauty YouTubers dishing out diet advice.

• I love this chart of grammar rules!

• Editorial calendars can help you stay accountable….but they can also make content feel forced. Bre explains why she gave hers up.

• More people are opening up to the idea of taking a social media break. How about you? Have you given it a try?

• That moment when your neighbors want to get revenge…and do so by painting their townhouse with red and white stripes! Truthfully, I love it.

• Good to know: how to secure your online accounts by revoking access from third-party apps.

• I never gave much thought to this but online shopping may mean that we’re tricked into paying more depending on where we live and when we buy!

• The New York Times dives into how to make the most of your workday.

• What does it mean to set an intention versus setting a goal?

Nubby Twiglet | The Month + Links: April 2017


Photos: Scenes from my Portland office, Palm Springs and Beverly Hills during April 2017.

Paint, Glitter + Flowers: A Peek Inside Art Bride

Nubby Twiglet: Rock n Roll Bride Magazine — Art Bride

For the most part, I spend my days at Branch rotating between creative direction and design on a mix of branding, print and web projects.

While these are the core focus of what we do, I’m always game for a surprise — something that’s a bit off the radar. Those little surprises keep you on your toes and as a creative, there’s nothing like that jolt which I think of as an equal mix of adrenaline, excitement and fear.

Nubby Twiglet: Rock n Roll Bride Magazine — Art Bride

Nubby Twiglet: Rock n Roll Bride Magazine — Art Bride

So when Kat of Rock n Roll Bride Magazine emailed me with an idea for an editorial feature that included doodling over the top of the photoshoot she’d commissioned, I was ready. I’ve always wanted to test out this style but the deadline was tight and…there were A LOT of pages to fill.

Nubby Twiglet: Rock n Roll Bride Magazine — Art Bride

My lead designer at Branch, Sam was once a fine art major and after we went over the idea, she felt we could pull it off — so we jumped in. Since this had a fine art angle, I wanted to keep the style more organic than our typical processes to see where it took us. We collaborated on a total of 14 images (on top of designing the full issue — basically, that’s where I was for the last month!), a handful outcomes of which are shown here.

Nubby Twiglet: Rock n Roll Bride Magazine — Art Bride

Nubby Twiglet: Rock n Roll Bride Magazine — Art Bride

There was a big team that made Art Bride happen (see below) and I am in love with the beautiful images they shot in London, allowing us to embellish them here in Portland, thanks to modern technology.

If you’re interested in seeing the full outcome in print, copies of Rock n Roll Bride are available here and can be shipped worldwide.

Nubby Twiglet: Rock n Roll Bride Magazine — Art Bride


Art Bride Team: Photography: Devlin Photos. Styling: Mr & Mrs Unique & The Bijou Bride.
Art Direction: Kat Williams. Hair: Lovehair & Co. Makeup: Louise Seymour.
Model: Kenya at Lenis Models. Illustrations: Branch (Shauna Haider & Samantha Sacomano).