What I've been up to - branding, design and illustration

What I've been up to - branding, design and illustration

Hey there! I took the last week of of blogging - startup life is getting (even more) intense right now so I'm blogging when I can! My startup has an aggressive ship date for our private beta product, and we need to get it done by Thanksgiving... not to mention we've been attending some VC talks and meetings. It's kept me very busy!

I've also been doing my design work for clients in between working on startup stuff. I even managed to fit in a little personal illustration. That's really important for me - even a seasoned designer finds it hard to be creative on demand. Creativity is a little practice and a little magic, and I need to feed my soul periodically so I can keep it flowing for my "real" work.

I don't have an awesome tutorial or great design tips for you today, but I thought I would share what I've been working on the past couple of weeks instead.

How to make social media graphic templates with Canva!

How to make social media graphic templates with Canva!

If you're as busy as I am, you don't want to be spending hours a day thinking of original things to post to social media. 

But, if you're in a visual field like I am, you kind of need those outlets to show your work and projects off to your fans and potential clients!

One of the best hacks you can use is to use templates for social media posts, such as Instagram posts. Templates are great because they give your feed a branded, professional appearance, and you can make batches of them at a time.

Today I've made a video tutorial to show you how to make your own social media graphic templates using Canva!

5 Helpful and interesting links for blogging, design and social media

5 Helpful and interesting links for blogging, design and social media

Hey guys, I am cheating on this blog post and instead of writing up something unique and amazing for you, I am going to give you a list of some great articles and resources I found this week.

The reason is, I'm super busy this week. My startup just got notice that we've been invited for round 2 of the vetting process to be accepted into Matter VC, a venture capital backed accelerator program. We have to crunch this week and get a lot of stuff done for the 3 presentations we need to give them on November 10!!

But not to worry, I've saved 5 useful and interesting articles for you to read about a variety of topics about design, branding, blogging, and social media!

How I Opened a Shop on Creative Market

How I Opened a Shop on Creative Market

I recently opened my shop on Creative Market! I love Creative Market and I’ve used it for years for mockups, fonts, and assets. It’s been a long time dream of mine to open a shop on Creative Market.

To be totally honest, I tried to open a shop on Creative Market a while ago. This was probably a year and a half to 2 years back. I got politely declined, however.

I’m really happy I was accepted this time - and I spent a lot more time making sure that my shop application would be accepted.

Today I’m going to walk you through the steps I took to get approved for  a shop on Creative Market.

A Brand Story - The Career Oasis

A Brand Story - The Career Oasis

Today I'm going to walk you through the process and finished brand story for one of my awesome clients, Nicole from The Career Oasis!

I've just finished The Career Oasis website and branding package.

Well, we're almost done - there's a few collateral assets I'm making for her. Branding is a collaborative effort. Nicole is working on some client workbook items and we're still discussing a few social media assets that we want to make for her!

For Nicole's branding, I created a custom logo and secondary logo marks, a cohesive color scheme, a mood board and collection on-brand stock photos, as well as a website and font pairings. I've made her some social media assets and we are working on a few more items.

32 quick and easy ideas for photos to post to social media

32 quick and easy ideas for photos to post to social media

Posting engaging photos to social media can be a hassle if you’re a busy entrepreneur or small business owner.

It’s hard enough to remember to take the time to post pictures on multiple platforms every day, never mind brainstorming ways to make them unique and engaging.

Even though I literally make beautifully designed things almost every day, I still find myself not keeping up with a decent posting schedule!

It might be tempting to just let posting photos to social media go - just write it off as a frivolous, unnecessary task that you don’t need to do.

However, that’s a losing strategy.

When the going gets tough, the tough get motivated. I'm conducting some market research!

When the going gets tough, the tough get motivated. I'm conducting some market research!

Howdy folks! As many of my readers know, this week I quit my day job to focus on my startup and my freelance business full time.

This was a big decision, and my husband and I weighed the pros and cons carefully, because we live in Silicon Valley and it's super expensive here. However, we were both confidant that I could earn as much as my day job doing design and branding work for clients.

Things were looking excellent - I got a fantastic client right away that covered my earnings for the month. I was super excited and motivated to get started with my new freelance career!

And then - disaster struck our family.

How to make easy flat lay backdrops for social media posts

How to make easy flat lay backdrops for social media posts

I’ve got a confession - I suck at flat lay photos.

You would think I would be great at them, because I’m an artist and all. But for some reason, I’ve never been able to nail the technique.

For one thing, no surfaces in my house are clear of paint splatters, scratches, or general debris. My tables and counter tops and floors are too dark or shiny to make good backdrops. It always seems too dark or too bright when I try to take photos. There’s weird shadows everywhere. Ugh.

I was curious about how other people were taking great, Pinterest-worthy flat lay photos for social media, so I did a little looking around to see if I could find some good tips and tricks.

In celebration of my first day of solopreneurship - a downloadable freebie!

In celebration of my first day of solopreneurship - a downloadable freebie!

Today is my first official Monday of working for myself! 

I've been thinking about doing this for a long time - making my freelance career my only career. However, it's hard to take the leap and give up a steady paycheck for an unknown paycheck. I decided to make it happen for a few reasons - for one thing, my startup is ramping up and we now have clients to ship a product to. My time commitment has been getting greater and greater over the past few months, to the point where I was working 40 hours a week on my day job, and every spare second on my startup and trying to keep this blog going. 

It was pretty exhausting - I gave up yoga, hanging out with friends, and basically everything not work related. 

I couldn't do it any more - something had to give. And that thing was my day job.

Useful tips for getting out of overwhelm - my upcoming guest post for Define Your Hustle

Useful tips for getting out of overwhelm - my upcoming guest post for Define Your Hustle

I have some really exciting news to share with you guys!

I'm going to be doing a guest post for another Rachel - she runs a fantastic blog called Define Your Hustle! It's all about running your blog as a business, and all the in's and outs of blogging.

Rachel has been blogging for a long time, and she shares her knowledge of analytics, branding, social media, strategy, content creation and so much more on Define Your Hustle! As a communications major, she's super qualified in this space.

When I was discussing blog post topics with Rachel, she mentioned that a lot of her readers struggle with juggling a job, family, social life, side hustle... all the things that driven, motivated go getters struggle with.

Well, I've got a lot to say about that topic - so I pitched her an blog post called My top 8 tips for getting from “I’m not gonna make it” to “I’ve got this!”