THINGS I LOVE: Creative Pep Talk Podcast by Andy Miller

Design can be hard work sometimes, and it's nice to have get a pep talk every once in a while! I've been listening to the podcast Creative Pep Talk by Andy Miller and it's been super motivating! Andy is like a ball of energy and a personal cheerleader for creatives. I love listening to him talk! He has a lot of tangible, solid ideas about what you can do to get out of a creative rut, think about your next career move, or gain more momentum. If he's not giving super sound advice, then he's sharing his own stories of success and --more importantly-- of failure. At the end of listening to an episode, I always feel motivated, and usually have a really solid idea to mull over for a good while!

I just finished listening to the first episode of his "Creative Destiny Series," which is a chunk of episodes dedicated to helping designers, artists, and creatives find their path: a "creative career hero’s journey to reach your full potential." I really got into the episode, and one of my biggest takeaways was a quote he shared from Pablo Picasso: "The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away." As a designer who's always worked hard at being versatile and flexible (both because it comes naturally to me and because it is required of the job I have), I've been struggling lately to find a "voice," a style that's mine, and honing in on what kind of work I want to make. Design and commercial art is obviously about doing the job it's meant to do--usually sell a product or idea to a consumer--but the best way to do that is to make people FEEL something, and the best way to make work that makes people feel things is to express yourself through it. So I felt like Andy was talking directly to me. I'm excited to listen to the rest of the series and keep being "pepped up." 

Below is a hand lettered graphic I made of the Picasso quote.!


Lettering Process is Hunky Dory

I wanted to share some of my process for the lettering images that I've been sharing lately on my Instagram feed. I've created this signature thick, cursive style of lettering that I am really digging (obviously. I use it everywhere, even all over my portfolio site!). 

First I lay it out quickly with pencil, then I go back and thicken it out and fill it in with ink (Sharpies 4Ever). After that, I take a quick, clear picture on my iPhone. I don't have a scanner and sometimes I am out and about while working, so the iPhone works perfectly, as long as the photo is lighted well and in focus. See below for the example!

Then I bring it into Photoshop and changes the levels so it is pretty much just black and white. From there, I usually bring it to Illustrator, use the "Expand" option in Image Trace, and it gives me a nice vector version of my hand drawn type. I rearranged the type or cleaned it up a bit and from there, I either bring it back to Photoshop for some shading and coloring, or I color it in Illustrator. Vector illustration is what I am naturally inclined to, but I bring it to Photoshop for the challenge sometimes.

For this one, I left it in Illustrator and colored it there. I like to offset the type a little so it gives it a little more of a handmade, screenprint look. I'm digging the colors and outcome. I plan on practicing more textures and shading in the future, but for now, I'm digging the style!