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.

The Week In Pictures: 6.5.15

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

How was your week? Im gonna keep this short and sweet — I’ve got a late night at the office ahead of me before heading out to a family gathering tomorrow but I wanted to thank you for stopping by. It means the world to me to be able to share photos and stories with you on a weekly basis. Blogging is such an important part of my life because it allows me to connect with you. I get to know you through your comments, emails and lately, I’ve met a handful of you as you’ve traveled through Portland. It’s pretty cool how we’re able to continually connect though this space.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

I don’t think I mentioned it here but some of my work from Branch is featured in How To Style Your Brand. It’s a fantastic book full of beautiful imagery and solid branding advice and if you’re curious, you can read more about it here.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

This week was pretty special because my grandma turned 85. Her and my grandpa have been married for over 60 years and I love these vintage photo booth photos of them from the 40s — everyone who meets Betty and Sharky adores them!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

The view from the right side of my desk — now you can feel like you’re right here with me! 😉

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

This week, I kicked off a very special collaboration with Rock N Roll Bride. Kat is one of my favorite clients to partner with because she’s so organized and always open to pushing the design boundaries. We have an announcement on June 15th and I’ll share more then!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

I just found this photo that was taken in LA from my favorite photography duo, Made U Look. Their creativity knows no bounds.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

My brother Carey stopped by the office over the weekend. He has the best style and I’m so glad that after all these years, we still get along and share a house together. Family is forever!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

I’m so proud of my BFF Gala — I’ve watched her work so hard over the last 7 years to make her dream of being an author a reality. Her first book, Radical Self Love is now available and it was an honor to design it. Go, Gala!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Time to sign off for the weekend — I hope you get some rest and relaxation in! I’m going to be home excitedly packing for adventures in London, Italy and Morocco. After spending so much time staring out my office window, I’ve been craving some serious adventure. On that note, I’ll leave you with this quote:

“Wherever you go, go with all your heart.” —Confucius

P.S. I’ll be in London teaching with The Blogcademy next weekend. Wanna come along and learn how to step up your online game plus get tons of personalized feedback? We’d love to have you!

Link Love: 6.4.15

Nubby Twiglet | Link Love

• Heather Armstrong of Dooce fame talks about what it’s like to slow down and try new things after running one of the most popular blogs on the internet for 14 years.

13 amazing female podcasters you should be following.

• Did you hear the news? Instagram is becoming shoppable!

• These 8 TED talks can help you find the right job.

• It’s never fun to talk about money but as a freelancer, the bottom line is that you’ve gotta spend less money than you make.

• 15 genius tips for living in small spaces.

• Get healthy with 5 veggie-based breakfast smoothie recipes.

• Joanna has great advice on how to attract millenials to the workplace and I agree with every point!

• It’s okay to have a small, happy life.

• Caityln Jenner made her big public debut on the cover of Vanity Fair this week and looks gorgeous. Here are some of the beauty products she used to get the look!

• This is such a cool gallery of gradient food photos!

• The brand new design of decor8 just launched and most noticeably, sidebar ads are completely gone! Such a breath of fresh air.

• Would you host a decluttering party?

Image: DustJacket Attic.
Check out even more Link Love columns here.

Branded #7: Mast Brothers

Nubby Twiglet | Branded #7: Mast Brothers

It’s no surprise that in the short time I’ve produced this column, yet another chocolate brand is being featured (remember Compartes?). Chocolate has gone noticeably upscale over the last decade, with many brands feeling more boutique-worthy than grocery store.

Nubby Twiglet | Branded #7: Mast Brothers

Mast Brothers was one of the first chocolate brands to take the lead, with brothers Rick and Michael launching their self-named company in 2007. Since then, they’ve grown rapidly, opening flagships in Brooklyn and London. It’s not difficult to see why so many chocolate lovers have flocked to their brand. While the crisp, simple packaging is a standout, they are just as passionate about the craftsmanship of their product.

Nubby Twiglet | Branded #7: Mast Brothers

You know that old saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover?” Well, you can throw that out the window because the packaging is what will first draw you into the Mast Brand. Interestingly enough, when Mast first started, they simply wrapped their chocolate in butcher paper. Later, they decided it needed something more and kept the butcher paper feel but added unique patterns with a serious pop. They’ve chosen to keep Mast a strictly family affair, designing every pattern themselves in-house.

Nubby Twiglet | Branded #7: Mast Brothers

Mast had been on my radar for awhile but I’d never seen the brand in-person. That all changed last week when I was at a gourmet food shop in Seattle and walked up to a shelf crammed with upwards of 50 chocolate brands. My eyes darted back and forth, looking for something beautiful and unique. While a lot of the other brands were busy, playing up the percentages of cacao and key ingredients, Mast Brothers took the lead with their simple, matte white labels affixed to the gorgeous wrapping. The bottom line: Mast Brothers just gets it when it comes to style — with one peek at their Instagram, you’ll see what I mean.


Mast Brothers employs a quiet confidence about their brand — their chocolate is such high quality that they don’t need to shout from the mountaintops about how great it is. Instead, they wrap it in simple yet thoughtful packaging that makes the chocolate buying experience feel like picking out a special little present, just because. And, isn’t that what the best brands have in common? They craft a memorable experience. It really comes down to how a brand makes us feel — and something as simple as a bar of chocolate has the power to make our day a little better.

P.S. If you’re in Brooklyn, Mast Brothers offers factory tours! How cool is that?!

Photos: Shauna Haider and Mast Brothers. You’re Awesome print by Sian Richardson.
For more Branded posts, click here.

Out & About #8: Joshua Tree National Park

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About #8: Joshua Tree National Park

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About #8: Joshua Tree National Park

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About #8: Joshua Tree National Park

Less than an hour drive from Palm Springs, Joshua Tree is completely otherworldly and a must-see. Photos just don’t do the place justice. Named after the peculiar looking spiky trees that cover the landscape, the park is open year-round. It’s an absolutely massive place made up of the Mojave and Colorado deserts, covering a total of 794,000 acres.

Due to the heat, we made our way to Joshua Tree during the morning hours. The drive took us through rambling small desert towns full of trailers, shops and stands dotted alongside the dusty landscape.

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About #8: Joshua Tree National Park

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About #8: Joshua Tree National Park

Because the park is so large, if you’re unfamiliar with the place, I’d recommend pulling into the visitor center first. Next, as you make your way to the park, you’ll come upon an entrance where you’re charged $15.00 per car and the receipt is good for re-entrance for up to another week.

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About #8: Joshua Tree National Park

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About #8: Joshua Tree National Park

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About #8: Joshua Tree National Park

From there, it takes a few miles to work your way deep inside the park. It’s easy to forget you’re in California — the place feels like another planet altogether with Joshua Trees stretching on as far as the eye can see. And, it’s quiet. So, so quiet. You might hear the occasional lizard scurry past your feet but that’s about it.

Besides animal footprints left behind in the soft, sandy ground, it’s easy to imagine the place staying nearly the same over the last 5,000 years, when the first inhabitants laid claim to the land.

Nubby Twiglet | Out & About #8: Joshua Tree National Park


While we only stayed for an hour, if you have a little more time, there are plenty more things to do in the park, including camping.

Ready to plan your own trip? Visit the Joshua Tree site for everything you’ll need to prepare.

I Wore: Nasty Gal LA Woman Dress and Marc Jacobs sneaker wedges.
For even more Out & About posts, click here.

The Week In Pictures: 5.29.15 | Seattle!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

This week blossomed into something completely unexpected but beautiful. I threw out my to-do list and took a last-minute trip to Seattle to meet up with some clients. Even though I’d been there at least a dozen times before, it had been a few years since I’d properly explored the city. Joey lived there 10 years before moving to Portland so having a local show me around completely changed my perspective — the little bits of design and architecture I’d never noticed, the smell of the ocean, the adorable cafes and the best design-focused bookstore I’ve ever seen all added to the awesomeness. Walking around the Space Needle every morning instead of my same old neighborhood path was so inspiring — it reminded me of my childhood when we’d visit Seattle every summer and always leave with the best memories.


Backing up a bit, over the weekend, my dad took me to a store he’d been raving about for months called Fox Trot Vintage which had amazing stuff at even more amazing prices. I walked out with this tiny vase that says City Of London which I promptly planted a tiny cactus in.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

Also, I thought I’d give you a little Chubs update since everyone always asks how he’s doing. He’s still loving his house (completed with front steps!) and eating everything in sight from avocados to Brazil nuts. He’s a big, happy boy.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

A little selfie action in my favorite room before hitting the road.


Ah, Seattle. I missed you.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

This was a super quick trip (less than 48 hours total!) but I squeezed in a few fun things like hanging out at Mama’s which is a well-known restaurant with touches of Elvis decor but sadly, it will be closing down soon.



There was so much great typography in Seattle. The amount of signs and displays I stopped to photograph was bordering on ridiculous.


I always walk past the first-ever Starbucks in Pike Place when I’m in town — to me, it’s a reminder that big things can grow out of small, humble beginnings.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

One side effect of having the best clients around — they gift you with things you’ve designed! This is the You Are Loved box set Branch did a few months back for Olivine — and you can also find it at Anthropologie.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week In Pictures

When the opportunity first arose to go to Seattle, I started falling into the old routine of wondering if I should because I was afraid of falling behind with work. And then, I asked myself which was more rewarding: sitting in my office and toiling away or getting up, getting out of my routine and meeting two clients face-to-face while getting inspired by a different city? When I reframed the situation, it became much more clear that shutting down the computer was the way to go.

Routines are meant to keep us on track…but they’re also meant to be broken. On that note, I’ll leave you with this quote:

“After all these years, I am still involved in the process of self-discovery. It’s better to explore life and make mistakes than to play it safe. Mistakes are part of the dues one pays for a full life.” —Sophia Loren

Have a great weekend, everyone!