As a designer myself, I love to follow others who inspire me on Instagram. And I want to start sharing them with you here! First up is @zacharysmithh. You’ve probably seen some of his work floating around Pinterest and not even realized it, but wow, this dude is talented. He’s a hand lettering artist and designer, based in Savannah, GA and creates beautiful images combined of hand painted type, textures and beautiful photography that leaves me longing for adventure. Seriously, go check out Zachary Smith and let me know what you think. Then head over to my guest post on Creative Market to see some other hand lettering artists that I’m loving on Instagram!
I have two freebies for y’all this month! The first one is Spring inspired, of course! I can’t even tell you how happy I am that Spring is here and I don’t even live in a cold climate! I want everything covered in flowers and sunshine, even my desktop! You can grab this Hello Spring design on Whimseybox.
The second design was created as a reminder to keep pushing myself! I’ve always loved learning and I’m always looking to grow as a designer. This year I have pledged to make room for more classes, to take on projects that are outside of my comfort zone, to create e-books and to do more bro bono work for causes that I really believe in because unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow. You can grab this Do Something Beyond design on Bunny & Dolly.
There are so many awesome creative events across the country it’s unbelievable! I see people recapping them on their blogs and I hear about them on Twitter but I always seem to be late to the game on the ones I want to attend. So in an attempt to organize the ones I want to attend, I decided to start a list (surprise, surprise) organized by month. There is no way I’ll be able to attend them all this year, probably only one or two, but here is my wish list:
Alt SLC Summer
Alt Summit just announced a second flagship conference and I want to be there! I attended Alt SLC in January 2013 and it was such an amazing time that I’d love to experience again. I’m thinking about applying to be a speaker, but so nervous!
Creative South exposes creative and marketing professionals, business people, and students to key speakers on the subject of branding and design in the digital era. I’ve been trying to find more events in the South since it cuts down on travel cost for me and this one seems awesome!
Design Ranch isn’t one of those slide-and-lecture “big conferences,” it’s about putting down your mouse, getting your hands dirty and reviving your creative spirit. They want attendees to head home with a fire in their belly and a fresh take on design that can only be achieved by unplugging and gettin’ a little dirty. I don’t know too much about this one but it seems really cool and it’s in the South, so that’s a plus!
How Design Live
HOW Design Live is the biggest annual gathering of creative professionals, anywhere. I have been wanting to attend HOW for years now, it’ll happen one day!
Weapons of Mass Creation Fest
Weapons of Mass Creation is a young grassroots movement to inspire and enable the creative mind. They believe that good things happen when ideas and talents are shared within the community. This mentality manifests itself in the lifestyle of a Weapon of Mass Creation. A person who defies the hand they’re dealt and makes stuff happen.
Designer Vaca is a gathering of female graphic and web designers from all over the country to dream, relax, collaborate, share experiences, and learn from each other. This intimate environment has a relaxed anti-conference feel creating space for amazing connections and beautiful relationships to take place. So bummed I didn’t go to this last year, but I had just returned home from Palm Springs and couldn’t justify the travel costs at the time.
The Yellow Conference
The Yellow Conference is a brand new event created by Joanna Waterfall. It’s a gathering for creative women who desire to ignite passion and bring goodness to the world through everyday living.
Circles is a creative conference where designers can learn from world-changing thinkers and innovators for the creative community. I attended Circles 2013 and this is another one I’d love to attend again.
Maiedae Mixer is another Southern event that looks like SO much fun! This is a “Get Fancy, Get Connected” (as they like to call it) networking event for bloggers.
Do you have any events on your wish list? Do you have an event you’ve attended that you recommend?
If you can’t make it to any of these big events, you can always find smaller meet-ups in your area… and if you don’t have any around, start your own!
Let’s face it – as people with creative businesses, there are times when we feel a lack of vision and innovation. Whether it’s because we’re working on projects that leave us uninspired or we just simply can’t get our creative juices flowing, it’s a slump we don’t want to be stuck in for long.
It’s something I’ve been struggling with lately, so I’ve come up with four ways to get re-inspired:
1. Try to remember the time when you were feeling the most creative or inspired.
There are moments in our lives when we feel like nothing can stop us and we can’t stop coming up with great ideas. The key to reliving those moments is to figure out what made those moments so special. Where were you at? What were you doing? Who were you with? What were you feeling? Try to recreate that moment as best as you can and you’ll be on the right track to getting your creativity back.
2. Take a class
We’re often inspired by new adventures and meeting new people, so taking a class or doing a workshop will help kick your creativity back in gear. Make something by hand, learn something new and connect with other creative people and you’re sure to get inspired. Some courses to check out are the Alt Summit Classes, Skillshare, Nicole’s Classes and sign up for workshops like BlogShop and Anthro Events.
3. Visit Your Favorite Places
Our surroundings are one of the things that inspire us the most, and we all have places where we feel most inspired. When you’re feeling less creative than normal, it’s a no brainer to visit your favorite places to get yourself going again. Whether you’re influenced by the displays at your favorite store or by a landscape or park you love the most, take time to visit those places, enjoy them and let them motivate you.
4. Spruce Up Your Resources
Just like buying new workout clothes might help you to get back to the gym, new creative resources can help amp up your inspiration. Download some new fonts, explore new color schemes, try out a new program or let a new design book help you dream up new ideas. Something as simple as a new font to play with can totally transform your mood and your work.
What do you do when you’re feeling uninspired? Share your tips in the comments!
Even though Thanksgiving is only one day out of the month, November always gets me thinking about everything I am thankful for. I like to slow down, appreciate the small things and the wonderful people in my life. I’m thankful for having a creative career and being able to do what I love, my boyfriend of eight years, family, friends, the blogging community and for you guys, my readers! Remember, there is always something to be thankful for and I hope this design can be a little reminder for you this month!
Whimseybox is the original subscription for DIY and craft lovers. Each month WhimseyBox sends subscribers a box full of craft projects along with a project idea. If you sign up through this link, you’ll get $5 off!
Jasmine and I have been busy planning Made In Mind’s October Social(which is tomorrow, come if you can!) so it somehow took me a month to get this post up, oops!
Last month I got to attend Circles Conference in Grapevine, Texas. As described by the founder, it’s a place to learn from world-changing thinkers and innovators for the creative community. It was amazing. So inspiring. The main message I took away was to design my own life. Figure out what will make me feel satisfied and happy and create that life for myself. You can’t see someone else’s life and say “Hey, I want that life” you have to make it for yourself!
Two days packed with meeting new people and listening to inspiring talks from amazing creatives across multiple disciplines. It was great to meet people who were previously only Twitter friends, as well as make plenty of wonderful new friends.
It turned out that Justin Shiels, a fellow New Orleanian, was attending so we got to know each other better! Blog buddy and fellow graphic designer Patti was nice enough to let me crash in her room. It was really fun hanging out and sharing stories of running our own businesses. I also got to meet Ismael Burciaga (the event coordinator) who has been an online friend for a few years now. It was wonderful to meet him in person, he is so talented and generous and was a great host! And then I met the lovely Joanna Waterfall who happened to be on my flight home for a vacation in New Orleans for a few days!
The thing I loved most was that the speakers told their personal stories. It was very honest and genuine and no one was scared to share their struggles which was very refreshing to hear. It was great to hear so many talented people talking about their personal journey and not just telling us their design process. It was nice to take it all in and learn from their experiences. The intimacy was something you don’t get at larger conferences.
The after party was also a blast, we got some good Texas BBQ and it was great to mingle outside of the conference setting.
Another plus is that Circles is very affordable compared to a lot of conference and since it’s in Texas the travel was affordable for me too! I definitely recommend attending next year! I’ll also be sharing some of my favorite quotes from different speakers on the blog in the future!
All photos courtesy of Bethany Marie Photography, a very talented lady who I got to have lunch with one of the days at the conference!