Saturday, March 21, 2015

Pride and Prejudice Dreamcatcher

I have been seeing all these lovely dreamcatchers on Pinterest lately so I decided to give it a try. I love how it turned out! What do you think?

 It is now available in my Etsy shop. In the words of Steven Tyler, "Dream On!"

Thursday, March 19, 2015

#TBT #ThrowBackThursday #CrazyCatLadyKatie

Sometimes I don't feel like I am growing as an artist. I feel stuck, in the same place, designing the same things, not creating anything amazing. But if I take a look back it is amazing how far I have come and it validates my creating and trying new techniques everyday.

Everything I create might not be a 'home run' but I am getting better everyday because I practice. Lesson: Never Give Up. #TBT #ThrowBackThursday #CrazyCatLadyKatie

Like Steven Tyler, I am getting better with age!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Rustic Invites for Gettin' Hitched

This city girl was lucky enough to design wedding invite for a friend of mine. Her wedding theme is rustic/country and she wanted invites to follow that look and feel. I started out with her showing me invites she really loved and ones she didn't love so much. I pinned a million different invites while researching then I came up with four different designs.

We settled on the upper right-hand design with a few edits. Cara really wanted to include the reclaimed barn wood look she saw on Pinterest.

After a few tweaks, these are the beautiful finals! Perfect for a summer wedding in the Dakotas!

In the words of Steven Tyler, "My favorite thing that drives me wild. Is when a city girl walks a country mile."

Friday, February 27, 2015

Investing in the Dreams of Others

This post isn't a typical one for me. Today I want to talk about crowdfunding, why I invest in the dreams of others, and hopefully inspire you to invest in the dreams of others too. Just so we are are on the same page, crowdfunding is raising money for a project through small donations by many, instead of the traditional, large donations from a few.

Kickstarter and Indiegogo are the two most commonly known crowdfunding platforms out there right now. They allow people to launch dream ideas with help from people just like you and me. By getting relatively small donations from a large population, vast sums of money can be raised to get a project off the ground without any angel backers. I have a passion to empower the creativity of others, and crowdfunding allows me to tangibly put that ideal into motion.

Not only do I get the satisfaction of knowing I helped create something good in this world, but when I help launch the dreams of others I too get inspired. I have received tactile pieces of inspiration and gratitude including postcards, books, and actual products I have helped bring to life. But the most inspiring piece of swag was a conversation with someone I look up to, Sean Astin.

Vox Populi Radio project I backed.

 Calendar featuring reading inspired artwork I received for backing Reading Rainbow.

 My amazing KitRex!

Sean Astin is a renowned actor who starred in The Goonies, Rudy, Lord of the Rings, and even voices Raphael from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT 4 LIFE). He is also a dedicated long distance runner and creator of #Run3rd, a political supporter, and hosts a political talk show called Vox Populi. His success in so many areas makes him a poignant example of passion driven progress. My reward for supporting the Vox Populi Kickstarter campaign was a skype call from Sean.

I had a whole spreadsheet of questions to ask to prove my intelligence. But when I heard the ring of the call I threw them out. I decided to not worry about how scholarly I sounded and instead soaked in all the inspiration I could by listening. We talked mainly about Sean's Kickstarter campaign. His team started with a spreadsheet plan and then the campaign blew up like an "atom bomb," said Astin. The team pulled off a successful campaign with hard work and hustle, something you can't find in a spreadsheet. This reaffirmed my pre-call decision to be my authentic self, spreadsheet be damned.

So is backing someone's project all about what you get in return? "Absolutely not. Except when it is 100% of the time," words of wisdom from Sean Astin. We all want to be a part of something bigger than ourselves and by being part of someone else's success gives us courage to pursue our dreams. Who knows, maybe someday I will write a blog post about my skype call with Steven Tyler.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Rockin' Event Review: Tour of Spark Letterpress

On January 22nd 2015, I took part in the AIGA event Solopreneurs: 
Tour of Spark Letterpress. I have never toured a letterpress shop and learned so much! I knew the basic concept but learning the step by step process made me appreciate their product even more.

I thought this wedding invite concept was extremely clever and well done. It is outside of what you would expect from letter press but fits the printing medium perfectly.

This invite was a layered piece that was very striking in person. This was probably the most 'busy' design there. I am amazed how letterpress work creates such striking clean design. That is something I surely can learn from in my career.

Ok, I kinda geeked out on how wonderfully this set used graphic/font texture on the envelope.

If you find yourself in the Arts District in Minneapolis be sure to check out their showroom and studio. If you are lucky they may even be rockin' & rolling the presses Steven Tyler style!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Rockin' Event Review: Bold & Fearless Poster Design

Bold & Fearless Poster Design was presented on CreativeLive January 12-13, 2015. The class was taught by James Victore who is somewhat of a graphic design hell-raiser. James creates great web content including Burning Questions to inspire up-and-coming graphic designers. The iconic style he is known for is all about letting go of perfection and being honest.

His teaching style resonates with great story telling and anecdotal adventures in design. He pushes students to be bold and make work that matters. He never talks down to his audience.

I created this design concept for the class. We were given a creative brief to create a litter campaign poster series for the city of New York. I missed the mark on my execution, but think my message is very direct, and being this messy in my work is a real stretch for me. 

James has been exhibited at the MOMA, the Louvre, and the Library of Congress, and even won an Emmy. All of this was achieved by following the beat of his own drum. "Humility is really important because it keeps us fresh and new." This quote by Steven Tyler perfectly embodies James Victore's flourishing career. I think that is why his work is so relevant today.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Rockin' Event Review: Because of a Blog

On January 15, 2015 I attended 'Because of a Blog' at Edina Community Education. This was a power-packed 2-hour panel discussion featuring some amazing women. The women had diverse backgrounds and careers but blogging was a major key to success for all of them to get their brand out there. The panel was moderated by Rebecca Bell Sorensen with predetermined questions, a short audience Q&A at the end, and a pop-up market featuring products from these very talented ladies.

Each woman turned their passion into successful careers through blogging. Blogs are a great way to communicate, but it was their authenticity that truly spread their message. All these women were meticulous about the quality of their message and the products they delivered.

The panel consisted of (from left to right) Elizabeth Dehn creator of Beauty Bets, Wendy Brown owner of Brown Ink, Liz Heinecke the Kitchen Pantry Scientist, Amanda Rettke the woman behind i am baker, and Ali Kaplan who is Ali Shops.

They discussed taking advantage of their skill sets to jump into the blogging world, gave us realistic numbers about how much they invest financially into their blogs, and shared differences in their approaches. They had great advice about branding, keeping the credibility of your brand while monetizing, and spreading your message through multiple channels.

I am hoping to expand my blog this next year using their advice. This event was a great catalyst for me to see what is possible and realize that I have already taken many first steps. I will continue to post my creative, what inspires me, and other great creatives. Till then I am going to take the advice of Steven Tyler and "Fake It Till You Make It."