The Benefit of Longer Term Self-Initiated Projects

Nubby Twiglet | The Benefit of Longer Term Self-Initiated Projects

When most of us think of self-initiated projects, branding for imaginary companies come to mind — maybe you’ve built out a visual system for your dream client to round out the mix in your portfolio. This was always my focus when I worked on self-initiated projects but there’s another option.

Creating a series around a specific theme that is produced on a longer term basis can can be even more beneficial because it has the ability to grow your audience and get tons of fresh eyes on your work.

Self-initiated projects are great because as they evolve, they give your audience a reason to check in regularly. Even better, they give people a reason to share your work because there’s nothing cooler than seeing a themed body of work grow week after week.

Another benefit of longer term self-initiated projects is that they clearly demonstrate a sense of consistency. You’re showing up, putting in the work and over time, your audience will take notice which in turn, will hopefully grow your freelance clientele.

5 Self-Initiated Project Examples

If you need a starting place, here are five awesome examples to get your creative juices flowing:

1. The Moody Project by June Letters

I’m a super fan of digital mood boards and first learned about Jess’ work by clicking on one of her beautifully composed collages on Pinterest. This series shows off her eye for design and flair for color.

2. Branding 10,000 Lakes by Nicole

I followed this project a few years ago and it was so interesting to see how the name or location of a lake could provoke a unique, branded outcome. This project was great because it showed Nicole’s breadth of branding ideas through simple concepts.

3. Poster A Day by Alex Proba

I’m obsessed with the crisp compositions of these designs paired with hits of bright pastels. Alex’s eye for clean, modern design could easily translate into a line of actual print pieces.

4. Daily Drop Cap by Jessica Hische

This self-initiated project helped launch Jessica’s career. She posted a new letter each day or so, created in an ornate style that showed off her love of hand lettering. She’s since illustrated everything from postage stamps to best-selling book covers.

5. A Poster Everyday by Furqan Jawed

Another daily poster project, this was created by a design student in India as a way to explore his love of typography. I love the simple, editorial-inspired style of this series.

Go Forth And Create!

When you think about it, the ideas for these types of projects are endless. You could create a series of book covers, artwork for your favorite albums, t-shirt designs, perfume labels, logos for makeup brands or even a collection of stamps.

It’s always great to tie these projects into a personal passion so you have that extra creative spark as the series continues on.

P.S. If you decide to create a long term self-initiated project (or already have!), let us know in the comments!


Top image: Poster A Day by Alex Proba.
Read even more Creative Chronicles posts here.

Summer 2016 Style Direction: Avant Garde Desperado

Nubby Twiglet | Summer 2016 Style Direction: Avant Garde Desperado

I’m exploring a new style direction right now that’s a mash-up of a bunch of different influences — it’s a dash of Desperado, a dash of French with jaunty ribbons from fashion houses worn as chokers, a dash of modern cowgirl (I’m always on the lookout for more western-inspired pointy boots and cool belts) and a dash of avant garde with streamlined, modern black clothing.

Nubby Twiglet | Summer 2016 Style Direction: Avant Garde Desperado

This new direction came directly from the inspiration I felt during a recent vacation in Vegas. It sprung from a combination of the hot weather, visiting Red Rock Canyon for the first time, five solid days spent dressing up with best friends and stopping into shops to pick up a few new things along the way including a big, black brimmed hat.

Nubby Twiglet | Summer 2016 Style Direction: Avant Garde Desperado

For me, style directions are a way to explore creativity in a new way — instead of sitting behind the computer designing, I’m encouraged to dig through my wardrobe and pull together combinations of things that I may have forgotten about and give them a new life. It’s an excuse to have an adventure with getting dressed instead of reaching for the same old uniform of a leather jacket, sneakers, skinny jeans and t-shirt.

Nubby Twiglet | Summer 2016 Style Direction: Avant Garde Desperado

Style Direction: Avant Garde Desperado

Most directions I’m inspired by start off with one point of inspiration and evolve from there. I love looking back to see how it all comes together. Maybe it’s partially based on a particular purchase or maybe it stems from the style you spot on a musician or the colors from a piece of art.

Nubby Twiglet | Summer 2016 Style Direction: Avant Garde Desperado

Mine started with needing a hat to wear by the pool in the very harsh Vegas sun. Then, I grabbed a black bodysuit at Urban Outfitters when I forgot to pack enough black shirts. Then, Gala had the idea to wear the ribbons from our shopping splurges as chokers.

Nubby Twiglet | Summer 2016 Style Direction: Avant Garde Desperado

Here’s some inspiration for the style direction: 1. bandana, 2. belt, 3. fringe jacket, 4. girl in hat, 5. bell sleeve dress, 6. straw hat, 7. booties, 8. fringe skirt, 9. choker, 10. tassel keychain, 11. zip bodysuit and 12. Chanel ribbon.

Nubby Twiglet | Summer 2016 Style Direction: Avant Garde Desperado

Playing dress-up as an adult is so underrated!

P.S. The best part about the pink backdrop with roses is that it was a happy accident. My brother set it up in our dining room to shoot a country band that was touring through Portland and when they couldn’t make it at the last minute, I convinced him to leave it up!

I wore: Zara skirt (old), Forever 21 hat, Urban Outfitters bodysuit, The Horse watch and Vic Matie boots.

The Week + Links: 5.20.16

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

THE WEEK

How was your week? Mine was a blur of meetings, calls, dinners with family and Skype dates with best friends — which is why all my blog posts I’d had planned…are going live today! Woohoo!

Things are good but I’ve been feeling worn down and knew cutting out of work early was necessary yesterday. After catching up with my mom and aunt, I promptly tucked myself into bed at 8 pm and it was the BEST THING EVER. Why is sleep impossible to catch up on as an adult?! I remember all those summer vacations from my childhood filled with endless hours of boredom and had no idea how truly great that was! Haha.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

Let’s take things way back to the 90s for a second — did you drink Italian sodas as a kid? I remember going on vacation with my parents and when they’d order a latte at the espresso stand, I’d always try a new flavor. I’d totally forgot they’d existed until spotting one at my local coffee shop a few days ago. So simple and so good.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

This is my favorite look right now. Excuse the weird angle, I couldn’t get the full PARIS in any other way I tried! It’s from Forever 21 and I’ve been wearing it with a ribbon tied around my neck — this one is Giuseppe Zanotti who has the best signature around. I want handwriting like that! Anyway, I was texting Gala about our new ribbon obsession and thought…maybe it’s a bit reminiscent of Colonel Sanders? The ultimate fashion icon! 😉

I’m off to wrap up a few projects before heading out for the weekend and I hope you have a good one! xo


THE LINKS

• If you only have time to read one post this week, make it this one, all about fame and fortune. It’s such a great reality check.

• The history behind New Yorkers always wearing black.

6 secrets of radical productivity from Tina Roth Eisenberg, an entrepreneur who runs 4 businesses!

• Everyone I know seems to be on Snapchat. Are you?

• 9 cult French pharmacy products you can buy on Amazon.

• 13 amazing female podcasters to follow.

• There are some really great new interviews up on Freelance Wisdom.

• Here’s how to overcome fear and grow your freelance business.

• I’m obsessed with the mix of fashion images on the God and Prada Tumblr! A treasure trove of good stuff.

• Changing the world is easier than you think.

• 5 ways to make your brand more personal.

• Kate shares a beautiful reminder to never give up and has a ton of helpful resources for the times when everything isn’t okay.

• 5 signs you need a design process.

• I love reading about other freelancer’s recommendations on bookkeeping and freelancing to learn from their systems.

• 5 killer tips to land your first job.

• How do you feel about Instagramming food photos? Yay or nay?

Thoughts On Friendship

Nubby Twiglet | Thoughts On Friendship

Friendship.

It’s a tricky topic and we all have feelings about it.

I mentioned last week that friendship has been at the forefront of my mind recently because I spent 5 solid days with two women I’m so close with that we could easily be sisters. We had zero fights and so much fun together that I was hugging them a little too tightly when they left (not sorry!) and wishing we had another 5 days together.

My backstory is that I grew up with a brother (we’re so close that we own a house together) and all boy cousins until I was about 10 so I rarely played with makeup or did so-called girly things. My summers were spent watching WWF wresting and building forts and my childhood idol was Mr. T just to give you an idea of what a tomboy I was. While that made me tough and good with putting up with boy antics (haha), I now realize that having relationships with other women is so important.

As an adult, having that component of female friendship in my life and experiencing firsthand what a difference it has personally made with everything from staying positive to achieving goals to feeling support during difficult times made me wonder how you guys feel about friendship.

Nubby Twiglet | Thoughts On Friendship

Friendship is something most of us long to have in our lives but even if you’re lucky enough to be overflowing with close friends, there tends to be some complications:

• Maybe you’ve had a tight-knit group of friends since childhood but due to growing and evolving, your common interests have changed and you’ve grown apart.

• Maybe your best friends live in a different city, state or country (my biggest issue).

• Maybe you had a falling out with the friend you were closest with and have issues with trust.

• Or, maybe you’re a bit of a lone wolf and choose to go it alone…but secretly wish you had someone who gets you and accepts you exactly for who you are.

Nubby Twiglet | Thoughts On Friendship

I have a handful of close friends in Portland (what’s up, Pam, Joey and Erik?!) but the rest of my friends are scattered far and wide. Gala and Bianca live in New York while Star lives in San Francisco and Mary Bee lives in LA. All of these friends are amazing — and we always pick back up right where we left off, even if we haven’t spoken for 6 months. Life gets busy but we don’t miss a beat. One coffee date and a few hours later and it’s like we were never apart.

I also have a wonderful husband, pets and family members to keep me occupied but occasionally, those lonely feelings do hit. A text message or phone call isn’t quite the same and I sometimes wish all my friends lived in the same city as I do. Now, that would be fun!

Let’s be honest, though — finding friends who “get” you and your eccentricities as an adult can be hard. The truth is that I was only able to find my core tribe (and meet all of you!) through blogging and that’s easily been the most rewarding thing that’s come out of sharing in this space.

What about you?

Is friendship something you’re struggling with?

Or, on the other hand, are you doing amazingly well with it?

Spill the beans and let me know in the comments!


Photos: Made U Look Photography.

Inspiration Moodboard: Spring 2016

Nubby Twiglet | Inspiration Moodboard: Spring 2016

I’ve been thinking a lot about inspiration lately and how what we’re into seeps into our daily lives and work in subtle ways.

I’m constantly collecting visual inspiration for client projects and dreaming up ways we can pull those nuances together into a branding system or website that represents them.

The outcome is always a combination of textures, colors, fonts, imagery and a theme — a variety of subtleties forming something new and personalized.

We go about our daily lives taking in inspiration but do we ever take the time to pinpoint what we’re specifically drawn to? With that thought in mind, I’m starting a new column here where I’ll create a seasonal mood board pulling in the visuals of what I’m into at that moment and I hope you’ll be inspired to do the same.

I set up a private Pinterest board a few nights ago and started pinning without any pressure — no clients, no outside eyes. These images are some of my favorites from the mix.

Part of the fun in creating a seasonal board is cataloging your own personal evolution. I used to do these all the time around a theme when I started this blog in 2007. Did you also make outfit collages on Polyvore?! Maybe it’s also time to pull back out the scissors, glue stick and sketchbook (like Emily does) and take this activity analog for a quarterly weekend project!

Nubby Twiglet | Inspiration Moodboard: Spring 2016

Things I’m loving in Spring 2016:

1. Natural textures including marbling and light woodgrain
2. Big, tropical leaves that remind me of Palm Springs
3. Rose gold, especially in accessories
4. The stark contrast of black and white accent walls (forever and always)
5. Mid-century modern accents, especially atomic clocks
6. Warm, soft hues that remind me of the desert landscape
7. Bold, crisp type that’s not afraid to make a statement
8. Streamlined, high quality accessories meant to last
9. Simple line drawings
10. Black and white photography

Making mood boards is incredibly therapeutic. I knew I liked all these things on their own but seeing them all together has so much more impact.

Nubby Twiglet | Inspiration Moodboard: Spring 2016

Your turn: What’s inspiring you and making your heart beat a little faster right now?


Sources: 1. marbling, 2. mid-century modern clock, 3. CB2 vase, 4. self graphic, 5. stairway, 6. line drawing, 7. watch, 8. hands, 9. objekt poster, 10. Giuseppe Zanotti clutch, 11. wall hanging, 12. coexist.

The Week + Links: 5.14.16

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

THE WEEK

I hope you’re having an awesome weekend! It’s cold and rainy here and I’m feeling some serious post-vacation sadness. Acclimating to reality after five solid days in Vegas filled with shows, nonstop BFF time and dining at some really great restaurants is proving difficult.

Getting away from the pressure of work over the last week gave my mind a chance to wander and I ended up thinking a lot about female friendships and how important they are to nurture as an adult. It’s easy to let them drift as our days become filled with obligations but I had a big realization:

Once I’d built a solid support system of like-minded women, my life changed for the better. The things I had wanted to accomplish started to finally happen. Friendship is a beautiful thing and I’m so lucky to have these two ladies in my life along with so many other inspiring women who have been by my side through the good and bad. Take the time to tell all those special women in your life how much they mean to you!

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

I snapped this photo after a Sephora visit. I often skip makeup on a daily basis when I’m at the office but like a full face when I’m traveling and the Venetian location has some great makeup artists. I get overwhelmed with knowing what works so it’s nice to have the products applied by a pro before deciding to buy. I’m wearing the Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk foundation here and it’s a total game changer.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

Between seeing Red Rock Canyon for the first time, watching Lionel live in concert (such a good show — highly recommend it!), taking poolside selfies in big hats, making friends at the Chanel boutique, golden shoe shopping, snapping photos of every statue in the vicinity of Caesar’s Palace, stuffing my face with a dozen P.F. Chang’s shrimp dumplings and having late night Siegfried & Roy and Michael Jackson Youtube binges, this vacation was everything I could have hoped for.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

Focusing so heavily on client work over the last few months left me with a big creative block when it came to personal projects and blogging. Giving myself the space to have fun and let loose culminated in a list of new post ideas — and that feels good, since it definitely gets harder to write and create after nearly 9 years in this space.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

Anyway, I hope things are going good for all of you and that you’re getting a chance to relax this weekend. I’ve been chatting today with family, texting friends and feeling a lot more centered. That’s a much welcome change.

Have a good one – and I’ll leave you with this quote:

“Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope, and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.” —Dr. Seuss

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

THE LINKS

• James Altucher claims that embracing minimalism can bring you freedom and joy. I especially love what he has to say about email: “For four million years we were “disconnected”. For 20 years we have been “connected”. I have 238,795 unread emails in my inbox. Emails are a suggestion but not an obligation. Love and spirituality and gratitude are found in personal connection. Not in an email response.”

• That one time Prince rented a house from an NBA star, made the fountain flow with purple water and changed the master bedroom to a hair salon? So funny.

• Check out this roundup of the top 75 design blogs.

• 18 inspiring quotes from women about leadership.

• In a way, staying in is the new going out. Sad but true, right?!

• Underwater choreography is so beautiful. I love this photo set.

• All you have to do to make a difference is commit to telling your story as truthfully as possible. It can change lives.

• Where does confidence come from?

• I love this inside look at what it’s like to work at Sephora.

• Vas Jenkatro is creating a poster a day for an entire year!

• When you work at a place that is overflowing with deliciously unhealthy food but are trying to lose weight, photograph all your triumphs and share them to stay motivated.

• Danielle LaPorte shares 9 of the best things she ever did. Random and inspiring.

• Radiohead just made a massive attempt to erase themselves from the internet!

• 6 super cool beauty looks inspired by music.

What to See, Do and Eat in Palm Springs: The Ultimate Travel Guide

Nubby Twiglet | What to See, Do and Eat in Palm Springs: The Ultimate Travel Guide

Five years ago, I visited Palm Springs for the first time and it changed everything I thought I’d wanted out of life. Literally.

The first thing you’ll notice upon arriving is that this desert oasis is not only beautiful but also incredibly friendly and welcoming. Joey and I have been invited into the condos of complete strangers and made friends while waiting in line at local restaurants. We’re now so smitten with the place that we are searching for a vacation home to put down more permanent roots by the end of the year (come visit!)

2016_NUBBYTWIGLET_PALM_SPRINGS_GUIDE_21

The truth is, before I experienced Palm Springs for myself, I had no idea what I was in for. My mom and stepdad used to vacation there every year and based on what I’d heard, I imagined the place being a sleepy retirement town full of tourists indulging in a long weekend of spa hopping, poolside lounging and plenty of golfing — all in all, not a youthful, happening place.

While some of the stereotypes are still true, Palm Springs has undergone a massive transformation over the last 10 years and is now a truly hip hotspot with new hotels and shops opening all the time.

2016_NUBBYTWIGLET_PALM_SPRINGS_GUIDE_20

The thing is, there are so many guides out there to dig through and most left me wanting more. Some of the most comprehensive ones I found were long out of date with many places on the lists since closed (the recession hit Palm Springs especially hard) and others only had a handful of recommendations that crossed over with every other list I found.

I wanted more so I started compiling my own guide — my hope is that this makes your Palm Springs vacation easier to plan.

2016_NUBBYTWIGLET_PALMSPRINGS_GUIDE_3

If you’ve never visited, here are some fun facts to entice you:

• The sun is out over 300 days a year. Basically, it’s impossible to wake up in a bad mood.

• Liberace spent his downtime in Palm Springs and chose one of his many homes in the area to spend his final days.

• Palm Springs is home to Modernism Week, an 11-day event focusing on mid-century modern architecture.

• Rush hour is nonexistent since most folks are retired or on vacation. Rejoice because traffic jams are a distant memory!

• Celebrities including Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe and Estée Lauder once called the place home and Leonardo DiCaprio recently snapped up one the most iconic houses in town.

• Palm Springs is very GLBT friendly and has one of the highest concentration of same-sex couples in the United States.

• Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival is held annually in Indio, right outside of Palm Springs.

• Elvis loved his rented Palm Springs home so much that he honeymooned there with Priscilla and 9 months later, Lisa Marie was born.

Nubby Twiglet | What to See, Do and Eat in Palm Springs: The Ultimate Travel Guide


PACK

The brighter and airier your outfits, the better. Keep your looks loose, comfortable and made of natural, breathable fabrics. It can be hard to remember everything (I set my suitcase out a month in advance of a trip and still miss a few things!) so here’s a quick cheat sheet of must-pack items.

Nubby Twiglet | What to See, Do and Eat in Palm Springs: The Ultimate Travel Guide

• Sunglasses and sunblock: The midday sun is crazy intense.

• Large brimmed hat: If you want to avoid looking like a lobster, protect your face poolside.

• Water bottle: You never know where you’ll end up and you can’t survive on martinis alone!

• Fun beach towel: Hotel towels are often boring white standard issues so liven things up!

• Fuji Instax: Because instant photos conjure up the heyday of Palm Springs.

• Comfortable shoes: Whether you’re spending the day hiking, biking or shopping, avoid blisters and keep it casual with flats or sandals.

• Swimsuits galore: The brighter, the better.


ARRIVE

I’ve flown directly into the Palm Springs Airport a few times but the most economical way to visit is to fly into LA and grab a rental car.

Tickets are much cheaper and the drive from LA to Palm Springs is only about 2 hours (as long as you bypass rush hour). I always start my search for flights on Kayak first to compare rates.

Nubby Twiglet | What to See, Do and Eat in Palm Springs: The Ultimate Travel Guide

You’ll definitely want a car once you get to town to explore since Salvation Mountain, Joshua Tree and a ton of other desert cities are just a short drive away. Also, street parking is free and we’ve never had issues finding an open spot.


EAT

There are so many fantastic places to eat in Palm Springs — for being such a small city, it’s got a great variety of spots to try. These are some of my picks.

Nubby Twiglet | What to See, Do and Eat in Palm Springs: The Ultimate Travel Guide

Birba: Right next door to Cheeky’s (and ran by the same owner), you can’t miss the big red “B” at the entrance. This is the place for you if you’re on the hunt for gourmet pizza.

Lulu California Bistro: This is the ultimate crowd pleaser for breakfast, lunch and dinner, especially if you’re with a group that is full of picky eaters. There’s literally something for everyone on the massive menu (including my vegan husband). Ask for an outside seat — since the restaurant is in the center of downtown, it’s the perfect spot for people watching.

Nubby Twiglet | What to See, Do and Eat in Palm Springs: The Ultimate Travel Guide

Norma’s: Make a point to visit this restaurant at The Parker at least once for breakfast. It has a sunny, kitschy mid-century modern feel perfected by Jonathan Adler and the menu will make your mouth water. Just beware of the portions — they’re so massive that I’d recommend splitting with someone. I’ve tried everything from oatmeal to French Toast and it’s impossible to have a bad meal. I love that they have a section called Mom Can’t Make This. Haha!

Nubby Twiglet | What to See, Do and Eat in Palm Springs: The Ultimate Travel Guide

Chi Chi: Named after the original Palm Springs nightclub, this is a new restaurant inside the Avalon Hotel with a Latin-inspired twist. Stop in for breakfast, lunch and dinner poolside or better yet, stay at the hotel and use the tablet to order room service!

• Ernest Coffee: This independent coffee shop is located in the same spot where the original Don The Beachcomber’s tiki restaurant once was. If you need a quiet place to chill, grab a treat and get some work done, this is it.

Nubby Twiglet | What to See, Do and Eat in Palm Springs: The Ultimate Travel Guide

Reservoir: This brand new restaurant does breakfast, lunch and dinner. The menu is small but solid and I was happy with everything I ordered from fish tacos to scrambled eggs and toast to rosé. Let’s talk about the real draw, though — pastel tiled floors, wood paneled walls and beautiful natural light.

• Trio Palm Springs: While I personally haven’t eaten here, the locals constantly recommend it and I’ve only heard positive things. It’s on my must-visit list when I head back to town.

Nubby Twiglet | What to See, Do and Eat in Palm Springs: The Ultimate Travel Guide

Ice Cream & Shop(pe): With a marbled tile backsplash, mint green chairs and a neon sign of an ice cream cone, this ice cream parlor is bound to put a smile on your face. My top pick is the birthday cake ice cream inside the pretzel cone. It’s the perfect mix of sweet and savory. Bonus: there’s a small gift shop to the left, full of fun goodies.

Loco Charlie’s: This is my secret hangout. Don’t be fooled by the nondescript restaurant tucked in next to a grocery store in a strip mall. This place is the bomb. Much cheaper than the big local chain in town, this is where the locals go for no-nonsense, tasty Mexican food with fantastic service.

• Tonga Hut: It’s a crime to visit Palm Springs and not have at least one tiki drink! Get your fix here — the staff are super knowledgeable and friendly, the tiki-themed music is great and the kitschy atmosphere is super fun.

Nubby Twiglet | What to See, Do and Eat in Palm Springs: The Ultimate Travel Guide

King’s Highway: While this isn’t my top pick since the service has gotten progressively worse over the last few years and vegetarian / vegan options have been pruned, King’s Highway does a great American-style breakfast and the atmosphere inside the restaurant is really lively. A former Denny’s, Ace Hotel has done an great job of leaving the authenticity of the original restaurant intact.

Cheeky’s: Show up when the doors open or be prepared to wait…for a very long time. This is a spot for the most serious of brunchers and the rave reviews back it up. I love the outdoor seating area with orange lucite chairs.

Nubby Twiglet | What to See, Do and Eat in Palm Springs: The Ultimate Travel Guide

Customs Coffee: My number one Palm Springs obsession at the moment, this cozy little coffee shop is wallpapered in vintage-style travel tickets. I love the attention to design they put into the place — it makes the experience feel extra special.

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