The Week + Links: 6.24.16

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

Happy Friday, friends!

After a very long week of getting over the last bit of a cold, I’m taking it easy and working from home today. It’s nice to have a change of scenery from the office and to get some quality time in with my cute little creatures, Rocky and Chubs.

Today is also the day the new issue of Rock n Roll Bride Magazine goes off to print and I’m so happy with how this one came together. We’ve got a nice little routine down now and after a bunch of experimentation, the content and design feel really in synch.

It’s been a year since Branch took over the design of the magazine and though I’d designed a few smaller issues years before, managing the role of designing a real life glossy magazine that was going to be on newsstands next to the biggest titles out there scared me to death. And then some. Where do you even start?

One thing I’ve learned over time is that those things that scare you the most are the things you should do. There are chance meetings, emails and phone calls that will bring out full-on fear but also, some of the best opportunities in your life. The truth is, you’ll never be fully prepared.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links

I think that’s the hardest part. When an opportunity arises, you don’t often have the chance to say, “Give me a month and I’ll get back to you. I need to prepare for this.” Haha, I wish!

You just have to go for it. And, sometimes you’ll fail. I’ve had a million things go wrong in life, with projects, during travels, you name it. But as long as you’re learning, you’re growing. And…that is what matters most.

“I feel myself becoming the fearless person I have dreamt of being. Have I arrived? No. But I’m constantly evolving and challenging myself to be unafraid to make mistakes.” —Janelle Monae

Have a great weekend! xo

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THE LINKS

• I love, love, love this post from Alex about unsolicited criticism and how she handled it in an unexpected way that had a positive ending! If you’ve ever been burnt by someone’s hurtful words, this worth a read.

• This guy’s resume was so impressive that he landed his dream internship without an interview!

• Judith Hill was on the fateful flight with Prince the week before he died and tells her story of what it was like knowing him.

• I read this post about love and not taking it for granted and was nearly in tears by the end. It’s a great reality check — hug the ones you love a little tighter tonight and remind yourself of how lucky you are.

• Don’t ask for permission to do something. Show up with intent.

• An interesting study finds that you don’t need more free time. It’s more complicated than that.

• I’m laughing so hard at this collection of misleading thumbnails!

• Envy is a complicated emotion and I love how this article breaks it all down and makes us realize that it’s not all bad.

• I love learning more about how people spend their days because even if it seems routine from their perspective, we can learn something new. Breanna shares hers.

• Even if you’ve dreaded exercising your entire life, it’s never too late to start.

Creative Chronicles: 5 Tips For Getting Comfortable With Saying No

Nubby Twiglet: Creative Chronicles: 5 Tips For Getting Comfortable With Saying No

Saying no when it comes to your business seems easy enough, right?

“No” is only two letters…but it can evoke so many loaded responses.

I’ve never had a problem saying no to anything outside of work. If I don’t have the time, if something makes me uncomfortable or if I just need some space, “no” comes very easily. But for some reason, it’s always felt harder when running my own business. There’s a reputation to uphold. It never feels good disappointing people. It’s nice to be helpful. So even when I should say no, I sometimes say yes.

The thing is, your business will have a hard time growing into what you envision if you’re afraid to say no. I know that sounds counter-intuitive so let me explain: If your calendar is full of calls, meetings, projects and events you’re not excited about but agreed to do anyway, you’re going to be completely drained of energy before you even scratch the surface of all the things you feel passionate about.

Saying no is uncomfortable but it’s the only way to keep your sanity intact and more times than not, you can actually turn it into a positive for yourself and the person on the other side.


If you’re tripping up about saying no, remind yourself of these 5 points:

1. It’s not personal. Business is business. If you don’t feel you can truly deliver what someone is asking of you, saying no is going to help both of you in the long run. Hurt feelings are better than missed deadlines and broken contracts.

2. You have to protect your time. If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to take care of anyone else. You have an infinite amount of energy, so use it wisely. It’s as simple as that.

3. You know what’s best for you. If something doesn’t feel like the perfect fit, recommend someone who you feel can do an amazing job — saying no can help others around you grow their businesses.

4. Your values are everything. When you say yes when you should say no, you’re compromising what your business stands for. Always choose quality over quantity so you have the space to produce the best possible outcome for your clients.

5. High pressure equals sub-par work. And honestly? Nobody wants that. If timelines and deliverables feel out of your reach, it’s important to be honest. Your clients will respect you for being a professional and setting guidelines.

Saying No Isn’t The End of The Road

Saying no doesn’t have to be abrupt or rude – it should always be done with care and consideration.

When you say no, always offer helpful solutions, referrals or recommendations. Being genuinely helpful will make you memorable for all the right reasons.


Your turn: Are you good at saying no when it comes to your business? Have you been in any tough situations? Do you have any tips to make it easier?

Beach, Please.

Nubby Twiglet | Beach, Please

After a very long Winter and Spring with months on end of hibernating indoors, I just returned from Miami last week, inspired to upgrade my beach necessities.

I’ve lined up some summer vacation plans covering Las Vegas, the Amalfi Coast, Milan, Marrakech and Palm Springs and with all that sun (and hopefully plenty of pool / beach time coming up), I’m thinking about some of the items that would be nice to have on-hand.

Nubby Twiglet | Beach, Please

My Summer Must-Haves

1. Big, floppy hat. An absolute must to protect your face from too much direct sunlight. Plus, they look so glam paired with a simple swimsuit.

2. Basic black footwear. I always pack the wrong kinds of shoes for the beach which end up full of sand. Keep it simple with something that washes off easily! I also like my sandals to have a little extra height since I’m on the short side (5’3”).

3. Eccentric pool float. These are so much fun! I’ve seen everything from pizza slices to donuts but especially love the added drama of this black swan. Might as well make an entrance to summer pool parties, right?!

4. Neon nails. Since I tend to pack mostly black and white basics, I love an extra pop of color on my nails. Neon Nacho (gotta love that name!) is my absolute favorite and I wear it all the time. Even better, the Floss Gloss line is free from the usual list of toxins found in a lot of mainstream brands.

5. Fun swimsuit. I’ve always stuck with basic black when it comes to swimwear but when Victoria’s Secret put all their styles on mega-sale, I had to jump on this color blocked design! Ignore the dramatic poses in their photos (haha) because their swimwear fits like a DREAM and I love that you can buy the tops and bottoms separately.

6. Statement sunglasses. I tend to rotate the same basic styles of sunglasses but I’m craving something a little more fun. Cool accessories can go a long way and I’m loving these Quay sunglasses because they are right on trend in a marbleized pattern but don’t break the bank.

7. Dry shampoo. When traveling and hanging by the pool / beach, your hair can get oily when you’re outside having fun all day. I pack dry shampoo so I’m not constantly washing it and stripping it of its natural oils and No Drought by LUSH is fantastic with a clean, citrusy scent.

8. Copper pineapple. When Gala and I were in Miami last week, our favorite bar served drinks in these and I was immediately smitten. The pineapple opens to hold your drink of choice and once you’ve closed it, there’s a a spot for your straw. It takes any drink to the next level — and I want one badly!

9. Unique beach towel. Towels were always an afterthought to me but then I found this grid version on sale at Urban Outfitters and loved how it worked as a great backdrop in photos, not to mention it was more comfortable to lay on than the standard issues at hotels. Worth it!


Your turn: What are your summer necessities? What sunscreen do you swear by? What’s your go-to brand for sunglasses and swimwear? Let me know in the comments!

The Week + Links: 6.17.16

Nubby Twiglet | Week + Links: Miami

THE WEEK

This week has been a bit of a downer for everyone, it seems. There are definitely times I try to avoid the news altogether in an effort to stay positive but it’s also good to be aware and there’s just so much negativity and sadness in the world right now. We’re all feeling it…so I’m starting small. Making more eye contact. Chatting a little longer with the people I meet. Smiling more. The little things. The most important thing you can do is to show the people around you that you care.

Nubby Twiglet | Week + Links: Miami

I flew home from Miami on Monday and there’s always that feeling of transitioning back from a fantasy world where days are full of exploration and discovery versus the usual routine of work, errands and responsibilities. I feel like it always takes a solid week to click back into reality fully. I’m always thankful for new experiences but the post-vacation blues are real.

On cross-country flights, I tend to catch something but I thought I’d escaped it this time around — until a sore throat turned into a full-blown cold Tuesday night. With two full days in bed now behind me, I feel somewhat human again. Missing a few extra days of work wasn’t ideal but sometimes those moments that force us to slow down are needed and totally necessary.

Anyway, I hope you have a relaxing weekend ahead! I’m going to be playing catch-up in the studio and working on some fresh blog content but it’s totally worth it in exchange for all those magical Miami memories.

Have a good one, friends! xo

Nubby Twiglet | Week + Links: Miami

THE LINKS

• If you only have time to read one post this week, make it this one and ask yourself….is your life actually a good one?

• This is a post my Virgo, organization-obsessed heart is totally into — find out where to buy the best supplies to get your place super organized!

• This is so interesting! The so-called world’s ugliest Pantone color is being used to deter smokers.

• 5 signs your dinner party host is great at their job.

• I totally agree that your website is your most valuable employee. Is it working as hard for you as it could be?

• Here’s the reason why you can’t photocopy money!

• A British grandma’s politeness reached all the way to her Google searches. So cute!

• 10 things designers need to streamline!

• It seems like the friendship conversation is on everyone’s minds lately, including mine. The New York Times asks, why is it hard to make friends over 30?

• Instagram likes and comments are plummeting.

• The world’s 50 best restaurants in 2016 according to Grub Street.

Creative Chronicles: Overcoming the Pull Between Creativity and Criticism

Nubby Twiglet | Overcoming Creative Criticism

Criticism and flat-out meanness stings…and we’ve all been on the receiving end of it.

This topic has been back on my mind a lot lately because I see negativity everywhere. Whether it’s a rude comment left on the video of a Youtuber or a nasty one-liner left on an Instagram post, I cringe because firstly, artistic expression of any kind boils down to personal taste. Secondly, I think about how much confidence it takes to release work for public consumption in the first place, which is so easy to forget.

Maybe all the senseless violence lately has me feeling extra sensitive (2 incidents just happened while I was in Florida last week) but the world needs more compassion and caring. We can each do our own part in spreading positivity and being supportive, no matter how small it may seem.

When I think of sharing, this quote from Taylor Swift comes to mind:

“We don’t need to share the same opinions as others, but we need to be respectful.”

The fear of judgement is real when you’re sharing. I speak from personal experience when I say that praise from people I don’t even know feels like the ultimate adrenaline rush but on the flip side, just one negative comment can tear it all back down.

I’ve written thousands of blog posts, shared tens of thousands of photos and released hundreds of projects and the only reason I mention this is because sometimes I think that over time, it should feel easier to put it all out there. But sometimes, I still feel like retreating.

Part of being human comes with vulnerability and a personal attachment to your work.

The one truth we can all agree on is that as creatives, whether you’re writing your first book, creating a logo for a client, filming a makeup tutorial or putting together a solo art show, it all comes from the same place: your heart.

Not sharing your work and expressing who you are in the short term is easier but in the long term, you’re only hurting yourself.

Nubby Twiglet | Overcoming Creative Criticism

If the fear of rejection is holding you back, always remember:

1. Not everyone will love what you do. It’s as simple as that. A body of work, no matter how brilliant, is never universally loved. Accepting this from the start makes putting yourself out there easier.

2. You are the only person who can produce creative work in your own, unique way. There is power in what you do…so own it fully. Trust yourself.

3. If your work elicits a reaction of any kind, that’s good. Art should do that. Attracting and repelling is necessary, even though it can be uncomfortable.

Sharing your work and who you are on some days feels harder than others. Sometimes I’ll sit on a blog post an extra week because I’m afraid to release the words. There are also times I’m scared that a client will hate everything I’ve just created. But after giving the content space, I always hit publish / share / send because buying into fear is never worth it.

Always remember, you are brilliant in your own unique way and any negativity coming your way usually isn’t even really about you. Remind yourself that you never really know what the person on the other side is going through.

Leave your mark. Keep sharing and keep shining bright. And most importantly, pay it forward and support those around you who are brave enough to put themselves out there.

Positivity drives more positivity and we definitely need more of that in this world right now.

I believe in you.


Photo: Made U Look.

The Week + Links: 6.12.16

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links: Miami

Hi everyone! I hope you’re having an awesome weekend. I’m later than usual posting this week’s link round-up because I’ve been on a very last minute trip to Miami. And…honestly? It’s totally worth being behind on everything right now for this experience. It’s my first time here and I’m LOVING it.

Two weekends ago, I got a text from Gala: “Want to go on a trip soon? A little getaway to somewhere warm?”

We quickly decided on Miami. But then, the usual list of apprehensions popped into my mind.

Quarterly taxes were due. There was a stack of client projects I needed get done. Last-minute airfares are usually inflated. It would take 7+ hours to get there. I’d miss my husband and pets. The list of excuses went on and on.

And then, I switched back to the positives — I thought back to this friendship post and before I could say no, I said YES.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links: Miami

A few days later, we booked our tickets over a series of excited texts and I put in a few workdays that stretched on until 2 am. The tiredness was real and 2 cups of coffee on Wednesday wasn’t curing it. But, the excitement of visiting somewhere new kicked in and I did a big final push before boarding an overnight flight.

I slept all the way to a layover in Chicago, grabbed a chai latte and hopped the final leg of my flight to Miami.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links: Miami

When I arrived, I still had no idea to expect — until our cab pulled up at The Raleigh. It was perfect. That art deco pool. The white bikes. The quaint 1940s room. The striped poolside umbrellas. All of it.

As soon as Gala arrived, we hit the ground running. Visited a rainbow bowling alley. Watched a couple drunkenly ice skate. Crashed a party. Visited a psychic tarot reader. Stocked up on oils and stones at a metaphysical shop. Drank out of a copper pineapple. Helped a guy convince his wife we were in a punk band called Ribbon Knife. Gorged ourselves on truffle pizza. Stayed up till sunrise chatting with Kat on the other side of the Atlantic. Watched the most amazing breakdancing routine. Got caught in torrential downpours. Set up still lifes by the pool. Drank lavender infused cocktails. Discovered a golden mammoth skeleton. Ate rosé popsicles at the Yacht Club. Everyone we’ve met has been incredibly friendly and it’s been nonstop fun.

Nubby Twiglet | The Week + Links: Miami

This trip has reminded me once again of the importance of nurturing friendships. The importance of travel, exploration and discovery. The importance of remembering that sometimes…everything else can wait.

Time with a friend is just what I’ve been missing and needed so much right now. Tonight is our last night so I’m off to make the most of it.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend and I’ll have a Miami travel guide to share soon! xo

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THE LINKS

• Joy is a successful entrepreneur but openly admits the things she is super lazy about. So refreshing!

• I love the idea of getting focused and single-tasking. What about you?

• Putting yourself out there is always worth the risk. Alex’s personal story of how she made a close friend is a great reminder.

• Selling your services with confidence doesn’t have to be difficult.

• Feeling down? Here’s 5 ways to turn it around today.

• Taking styled photos can be improved with a few simple steps.

• If you’re designing an e-commerce site, here’s a ton of inspiration!

• Reduce the amount of junk mail you receive with a few simple steps.

• I didn’t know that Creative Mornings has a podcast!

10 packaging and branding trends every designer needs to know.

Creative Chronicles: What’s Your Story?

Nubby Twiglet | Creative Chronicles: What's Your Story?

As a designer, your portfolio is important because it helps potential clients connect with your visual style. But beyond that, there’s another key part to standing out: telling your story.

About pages have been on my mind A LOT lately…because I desperately need to re-write mine. It’s so easy to procrastinate and push these kinds of things to the bottom of the list because you may be like me and find creating visuals much easier than writing.

For a lot of creatives, images flow easier than words. Sometimes, you just don’t know what to say. That’s compounded even more when you’re asked to write about yourself. Maybe you’re convinced that you’re happier saying less anyway. Maybe you think your work can do all the talking.

Whatever your reasoning, people are more likely to hire you if they feel a personal connection.

Nobody said it was easy but learning how to convey who you are in words can help you stand out in a crowded market. Never underestimate the power or telling your audience who you are and what you stand for. Remind yourself that people might not remember every project you’ve created…but they will remember a great story.

So, how do you get started? When I’m feeling stuck, I love looking at the about pages of people I admire and learning from them. Some are short, some are long, some are funny and some are surprising. The key is that each fits their unique personality.

Nubby Twiglet | Creative Chronicles: What's Your Story?

5 Great About Page Examples

1. PAUL JARVIS

Key to standing out: relatablility and humor

Never underestimate the power of being funny! Writing a bio (let alone reading it!) can get boring really fast so spice it up with some fun, random facts to add dimension and show who you are beyond just your job.

Excerpt: “Never someone to sit on his laurels (what are those “laurels,” anyway?), Paul has also been a touring musician, veterinary assistant, paperboy, and ad agency monkey. He began working for himself full-time in 1998, so he’s pretty much unemployable now – and that’s a really good thing.”


2. SIAN RICHARDSON

Key to standing out: personal design flourishes

One of the reasons I admire Sian’s design style so much is that she’s brilliant at piecing together images and type. When you look at her page, there’s a depth that immediately comes through. It’s simple yet exudes an edgy style.

Excerpt: “Once upon a less-than-awesome time, I worked in an office 9-5 as a graphic designer. My day-to-day projects were a mashup of snooze-worthy deliverables: car decals, banners for banks, casino promos… yawn. Before long, it hit me: I was not cut out for cubicle nation. I spent most of my days staring out the window at the beautiful sunshine of Sydney, Australia (where I’d moved to start my career), and a whole country waiting to be explored. Why the hell was I locked inside for 80% of the week, designing pieces that weren’t exactly fulfilling?”


3. MARIE FORLEO

Key to standing out: making you feel like her success can be yours, too

Marie is massively successful but her about page comes across as welcoming instead of intimidating. Sure, there’s candids alongside Oprah and Richard Branson (no big deal — ha!), but she tells her story in way that makes you feel like somehow, you could do the same. And with all her accomplishments including founding B-School, that’s no easy feat.

Excerpt: “After several failed attempts at corporate jobs and a lot of angst trying to choose just one thing to be in life, I realized that my unusual combination of interests and skills was a strength, not a liability. I gave up the security of the 9-5, began bartending and waiting tables and doing a multitude of odd jobs to keep a roof over my head while slowly building a coaching business from the ground up. I later coined the term “Multi-Passionate Entrepreneur” because I just didn’t (and never will) fit into a conventional box.”


4. ALEXANDRA FRANZEN

I adore Alex’s about page is because it’s very clear and direct, just like her copywriting. There’s a conversational tone that comes across as approachable, like you’re having a good chat over a coffee date with a friend. It’s positive, inspiring and has a few funny moments woven in…like the one below!

Key to standing out: a warm, conversational tone

Excerpt: “I started my “writing career” with a self-published coloring book about flying unicorns, which I photocopied and sold for 25 cents a piece to my 3rd grade classmates. It was a big hit! Sadly, the project got shut down by a teacher who felt that charging money for my book was not appropriate. (In my defense: I was merely responding to market demand…)”


5. DANIELLE LAPORTE

Okay, so Danielle’s about page is really long. But, everything she says flows and makes you feel like you’re on a mini journey through her life. The #1 thing I LOVE about Danielle’s about page is the timeline, hilariously titled Creative Highlights and Lowlights. Take a journey back to the beginning and find out what went right (and what went terribly wrong).

Key to standing out: going big and sharing it all

Excerpt: “I think the best self-help is self-compassion. I hear a variation of this all the time — when I get off stage, from readers, through friends of friends: “It was 11:30pm the other night and I needed something [soul salve, a kick in the ass, wisdom for a friend, a confidence boost for work…] so I went to your site and got what I needed. Really, I just wanted some encouragement.”

Nubby Twiglet | Creative Chronicles: What's Your Story?

5 Quick Tips

1. Great about pages don’t feel sleazy or sales-y. All of the above examples were written by successful entrepreneurs yet they feel genuine and even relatable.

2. Always look at about pages outside of your niche. It’s important to get a broader perspective and the best ideas often come to you from beyond your chosen industry.

3. Not sure how to start off your bio? Use Alexandra Franzen’s free template. SO GOOD.

4. There is no such thing as a finished About page. I’ve rewritten mine at least 10 times since starting this blog. It’s meant to grow and evolve so let it go.

5. If you need more help and want even more about page examples and templates, You In Words is brilliant.

And with that….go forth and write! Share your story.
You never know who will stumble across it…or where it will take you.


Your turn: Any tricks for writing an awesome About page? Let us know in the comments!

Photo: Made U Look.