New Client: CyclePottery

New Client: CyclePottery

During the summer, I connected with Kathryn over at CyclePottery in Florence, MA and we brainstormed on a few graphic designimg_7195-800x1067 projects. This past week we officially got the work off the ground and it’s been reinvigorating working on something new! CyclePottery is a pottery studio that offers workshops, camps, classes and much more. We’ll be working on a-frame poster design, brochure and web site revisions.

I am a People too.

I am a People too.

It’s been awhile since I did a business-y type of post. But the following subject is something that I’ve been struggling with for awhile and I know I’m not alone. Throughout the last 3 years of my professional life, I have felt like giving up. Some days are hell; when I loose a client, or progress has plateaued or family conflicts, or what have you. But the one thing that may ultimately push me over the edge one day is the way I get treated in this industry.

I was a part of a group once on facebook who attracted photographers but aimed at creative entrepreneurs and wanted to focus on the community aspect of entrepreneurship versus the competition aspect and a photographer posted a hard experience she had with the client. The client said in an email regarding her dissatisfaction with the results that she [client] was buying a service, and the photographer had written a blog post about wanting to establish a friendly-based relationship with clients before entering a project. While I understand both sides, the client’s and the photographer’s, I can’t help but feel sorry for the photographer. I’m sorry, photographers are people too. Graphic designers, are people too. Artists, are people too… web designers are people too. You get my drift.

In my search for the ‘perfect job’ (if there ever is one out there for me). My ideal position would be to be treated more than just a skill. More than just a service that is hired and then laid off. I am a people too. Treat me well, and I’ll do my job well. Treat me like crap and quite frankly, I’ll leave or find better clients. I’m tired of being seen as a skill or service that is hired to just be checked off a ‘to-do’ list. Yes, I produce, yes I make, I design, but at the same time I am a people too.

I have bills and materials to pay for. Being treated just as a service or skill, something tangible and that can be thrown away is one of the most degrading feeling ever. And unfortunately is too often the case in the creative industry. I GET IT. You want to hire us to make you something but at the same time I’m not a machine. There’s a person behind those skills who deserves to be treated fairly as you would treat a friend, or an acquaintance.

Many successful pop stars and musicians often feel this way too. Lady Gaga once said she almost quit the music industry because she didn’t want to be ‘a money-making machine’. While obviously I don’t make nearly as much as her, I get it. To be treated as a production machine , to keep producing, making, outputting without being treated like a human is degrading. I get that for some people work is work, and that friendly acquaintances should be kept out of it. But on the other hand, they are people too. If someone held the door for you, would you treat them like shit, or thank them?

Top 5 Nutrition Hacks for the Busy Woman

Top 5 Nutrition Hacks for the Busy Woman

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In a world that never stops moving, life can get pretty busy, overwhelming even. And even when nutrition is a priority, it can often fall down your list of priorities and become forgotten. Because your job is more important. Or your kids are more important. And of course these things need to be taken care of. So when you only have a minimum amount of time to think about nutrition, using nutrition hacks can save the day.

I live a busy life: between working on my master’s and curating my blog into a business, sometimes it seems like I don’t have any free time. BUT over time I’ve developed a few tricks to keep up with my nutrition even when it seems like there’s barely time to breathe. Here are my top nutrition hacks for the busy woman.

• Sneak in nutrients
• Plan to go shopping once a week
• Pre-make meals
• Make snack packs to take with
• Know when to compromise

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Sneak in nutrients

This is a fairly simple strategy, and one of my favorites. In short, it’s a game of replacements. Replacing one less nutritious food with one more nutritious food takes practically no effort, apart from remembering to actually do it.

There are two ways to look at this strategy: one is to look at it as adding a more nutrient dense food, the other is to look at it as removing a more harmful food.

In the first strategy, for example, you could replace your morning breakfast toast with fresh fruit. And to be honest fresh fruit might take even less time to prepare, as it’s generally ready to eat. Fruit is more nutrient dense than toast because calorie for calorie, it contains more nutrients.

In the second strategy, for example, you could replace your standard, sugary peanut butter with natural peanut butter (i.e. the only ingredient is ground peanuts and maybe salt). In this way, you’re eliminating not only unnecessary sugar, but also harmful preservatives. This takes literally zero extra time, and can make a huge improvement on your health.

As time goes on, you can replace more and more foods, making a seamless and time-efficient transition into a healthier diet.

Not sure what foods to replace? Grab a copy of my Unhealthy -> Healthy Food Replacement Cheat Sheet from my free resource library by clicking the photo below

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Plan to go shopping once a week

The biggest mistake busy people make is not planning meals ahead of time. It can seem so much easier or faster to just stop by the store everyday on the way home to pick up what you need for dinner, but I can guarantee that this is actually wasting your time.

Not only are you spending extra time in the store, but you’re also leaving yourself no room to pre-make meals, which can be huge time-savers. You’re also leaving dinner up to a whim, which often means you’re not making the healthiest choice you could be making.

What I have found is the most efficient way to deal with shopping and meal planning is to sit down once a week and write out all my meals for the week, then just do one big shopping trip. Now there are a few tricks to making this planning process efficient and effective, and you can read about my process in my post “Top 5 Meal Planning Tips to Help You Stay On Track.”

Pre-make meals

As I mentioned above, pre-making meals can be a huge time-saver. To cite the classic example, making up lasagna and then sticking it in the fridge in the morning so you only have to throw it in the oven when you get home. Another example would be something like pre-forming/seasoning some burger patties on the weekend so that you just have to throw them on the grill when it’s time to make dinner.

Another way to look at this is to plan leftovers for dinner. I like to make a big pot of chili on the weekend and then eat the leftovers for lunch or dinner throughout the week.

Make snack packs to take with you

Snacks are often the undoing of our nutrition plan. Say you get hungry at work. It’s still 2 more hours til you get off, so you walk down to the vending machine and grab whatever looks good. You know it’s not the healthiest, but you gotta eat right??

The best way to avoid this trap is to bring snacks from home. Not only are these cheaper, but they will be a much healthier choice come mid-afternoon.

Some of my favorite snacks to bring to work are raw almonds, carrots, hummus, and homemade granola. The biggest idea here is to make sure you’re not just bringing your own bag of chips rather than buying them from a vending machine.

Related: How to Painlessly Cut Junk Food Out of Your Diet

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Know when to compromise

My final tip is to know when to compromise. You aren’t always going to have the time to be healthy, no matter how much planning you do. So it’s important to know which things are least-harmful to compromise on.

For example, take the mid-afternoon snack craving we talked about above. If you really are hungry, you can compromise and get something from the vending machine. At the same time, you can choose to get something healthier than potato chips. In terms of health, if they have Nature Valley granola bars I would choose one of those. If you’re more concerned about clean eating, Fritos are actually the way to go, because they have no preservatives.

Another example might be one day you realize you’ve forgotten to plan a lunch for the day and you’re already trying to rush out the door. Instead of skipping lunch to have a pity party, it’s healthier for you to go ahead and buy something on your lunch break. Just as long as you’re not reaching for something that comes with fries.

Really, the key here is moderation. You won’t always be able to perfectly keep up with your nutrition, and that’s ok. As long as you keep unhealthy foods to a minimum, your overall health should be just fine.

So now my question for all you busy women out there is: What do you do to keep up with nutrition? Are these all things you already do, or do you have a few extra tips you could share with me and my readers? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you. ☺

About Rachel

UntitledRachel is a blogger and Bioengineering masters student who lives in Clemson, SC (go tigers!). After studying conventional pharmaceuticals and how they target specific ailments, she applied that knowledge to figuring out how essential oils can work to treat the same ailments, and ended up creating the blog The Essential Girl. When she’s not blogging or sciencing the shit out of something in the lab, she likes to drink tea, nom on popcorn, and binge Netflix with her Astrophysicist boyfriend.

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Email: rachel@theessentialgirl.com

Worcester, MA – Gluten and Allergen Free Expo

Worcester, MA – Gluten and Allergen Free Expo

Worcester, MA – Saturday I attended the Gluten and Allergen Free expo. I was invited as a blogger to participate and network and cover the event. I’m not sure if this is coming from a non-gluten-free patient, but I found the event to be slightly disappointing. I am trying to translate some food items in my life because of my hypothyroid disease and found the information that I did get to be informative, but most of the booths are food-based which is great and all and was fun to taste the different gluten-free products out there. I was surprised by the quality of some of them and how some of them did taste like the ‘real thing’ (if you will). But there weren’t many informative booths. People I could actually come up and talk to without being swarmed by crowds of people wanting to taste the food. The people that were there where swamped with handing out samples, which made things to be very unapproachable. A few booths did have a spokesperson there but otherwise it was hard to network. Also definitely one of the smaller conventions I’ve been to. The Boston Travel Trade show was huge, but that was also more centered around sales and marketing so the people whom I wanted to talk to where right there. Here it was a bit different.

Regardless, I am glad I went as it did give me an eye-opener and how to approach switching gluten-based products to gluten-free ones. Below are a handful of pictures from the event.

    Stonington, CT – A Day in the Life of…

    Stonington, CT – A Day in the Life of…

    Tuesday of this past week, a colleague and fellow entrepreneur invited me to be her assistant for a cover shoot for a luxury magazine that she is building. The team she built was coming from New York to Stonington, CT. She had booked a mansion that was on the market (which was actually right across from Taylor Swift’s!), an up and coming pop star – Kristine Elezaj for a cover girl (who made iHeartRadio’s Top 20 Rising Star competition), fashion designers; Carmen Marcvalvo, Bibhu Mohapatra and Slyvio Kovacic. It was a great day for a shoot.

    I woke up very early on Thursday for the cover shoot and drove to my colleague’s house. Then we drove to Stonington, CT for the day. 13533150_3145000224227_2026566947744880184_n

    We had gorgeous weather for the shoot and it was fun to meet and network with like-minded individuals and creatives. Sometimes if you are not living in New York or LA it’s hard to network with the right crowd. I don’t have any connections in the creative industry in New York so it was great for me to network with these people but also to have this experience. I hope something will come out of it! FullSizeRender

    As an assistant of my colleague, I got to help out with the little things; a main job was to hold the reflectors for the different looks and shoots, but also to take behind the scenes pics and other miscellaneous things. I’d love to do more things like this. It’s a nice balance of contributing and being a part of a major production. Maybe something I can add to my repertoire of my visual marketing brand.

    The biggest surprise and fun of it all was literally the day after the shoot, I woke up to find my instagram feed from the people I’ve followed from the shoot flooded with press buzzing about it! The photos were featured on Enquirer, OK, Star and Radar magazines.

    Check out my behind the scenes short:

    Boston, MA – Americans for the Arts Convention

    As I lay here trying to sleep, I figured I’d do my write up for the Americans for the Arts Convention that I attended this past weekend. I came back to Wellesley on Thursday to attend a convention that the Mass Cultural Council invited me to. I had been looking for events and networking opportunities over the winter to attend to this year. 13450098_3131250960504_2202132617928704052_n

    While the theme of the convention this year was Public Art and I originally felt that it wasn’t really up my alley being a photographer, I still learned a lot from it and gained some inspiration. There are new trends and innovations within the arts community that are crossing over to the corporate world which I find interesting. It was also a unique convention in the sense that since it was public art so you were mingling with city officials from all over. Unfortunately a lot of it I felt was related to policy, which to me is totally unrelatable. Not to mention I felt like it was hard to network with some of these people since they were 10, 20, 30, 40 years older than me. Though it did give me some insight and direction as to where I should aim in my career.

    In terms of learning, I felt that the skills, management and processes to produce these monumental projects were of like-mind in the sense that project management is project management no matter what the outcome was, which was very relatable for me. Coming to this event from a marketing/journalism background I thought was interesting. As many of these people were administrative/policy/advocacy members and then wearing the artist hat, it was interesting to see the other sides of the judging panel.

    Although the best parts were seeing a colleague of mine and a community that I have been in contact with out here in Western MA there. It was nice to see the staff at the Arts Extension Services there. As if it wasn’t for the class that I took with them, I would not have met my current landlord! I also met and introduced myself to Jane Echelman whom I have admired since college. I told her that I had seen her at her Wellfleet talk last summer and that I wrote a paper about her work in college comparing it to 1960s sculpture; she seemed flattered! Then properly handed her my biz card with a copy of my photographs on it. :)

    All in all, I’m glad I went, though I’m glad I was invited by Mass Cultural Council. Unless the theme was really up my alley, I don’t think it was worth $500 to attend, though I did get a lot of inspiration from it.

    I’m Niles

    LIFE IS WILD. ENJOY THE RIDE. 13043577_10205931100545589_1830278714234636204_n-300x300

    I enjoy looking at life through the lens of the bigger picture. To me, this reveals that our most powerful tool is our free will. It provides freedom of choice that ultimately affects our well-being and happiness. Perspective lends inspiration to exercise my free will, and new experiences build my appreciation for the art that is my ambiance.

    Myself, along with everyone in this world is unique and has something compelling to offer. I believe answering the simple question of why I get out of bed in the morning holds the key to becoming fully authentic and fulfilled throughout my life. To express my true self I am actively pursuing everything that inspires me to be a better version of myself day in and day out. If I can align my battles with passion and joy, in my mind I’ve won the game of life.

     Connect Deeper

    https://www.instagram.com/nilesackerman

    http://vsco.co/nilesa/grid/1

    https://medium.com/@nilesackerman

    Hyannis, MA – Seaporium Grand Opening

    Hyannis, MA – Seaporium Grand Opening

    I am trying to get back into blogging regularly, but my weekends have become busier! I may have to find time during the week to do more blogging.

    Last weekend I went to the Cape to drop off artwork at an upcoming show in North Truro and Provincetown. I am so excited to be exhibiting in Provincetown again. I remember the last time I did with Gallery Ehva foundly, met many artists of my age on the Cape and we bar hoped in town afterward.13221632_1273363816010252_661582000100686139_n

    This weekend I have two receptions for the same show which will be at two different locations, North Truro and Provincetown.

    Last Saturday I attended the grand opening of the consignment shop that my electrography products are in – Seaporim in Hyannis! It was very exciting and fun meeting some of the customers and other artists who have work there. Since I’m not on the Cape all the time, its’ hard for me to have a presence there. BUT… I do try to be of a presence.

    Being laid off, while I miss my co-workers, has been a bit of a blessing in disguise because I had so many freelance projects and work come through that working full-time and doing those would’ve been a struggle, especially with overtime! Not to mention that I feel that I’ve had a bit of a vacation for the first time in three years. Able to relax and enjoy life and not have to worry about much right now is nice!

    Interview with Meghan Widger, textile and fiber artist

    Interview with Meghan Widger, textile and fiber artist

    Interview with Meghan Widger, textile and fiber artist

    In the past 6 months I had the pleasure of working on a collaboration with another artist. While I work with other people consistently in my visual marketing career, I never thought to work with others in my personal artwork. I’ve been in a collaborative mood lately, and decided to take a page out of what many people on instagram and social media do – collaborate! 12985347_3074752308073_8999664223126705948_n

    I had been following Meghan Widger, or Hills and Thread on instagram for awhile, as I admired her work and skill with fabric and quilting. Then an idea struck me as I was working with the mandala form with my images and thought that they’d look awesome with a quilting technique, closely linked to traditional tapestries, so I reached out to her and we scheduled a Skype meeting.

    One of the things I love the most about the internet is being able to network and connect with other like minded individuals. I, for one, wouldn’t have a career, if it weren’t for the internet, or maybe I would but it wouldn’t be where it is today. Anyway, I’ve successfully used the internet for networking and collaborations regarding my work, and when done ‘right’ can be a really amazing tool to help you in proceed your career.

    I’ve sat down with Meghan Widger, owner of Hills and Thread and asked her a few questions about the work she does today.

    10300425_3033096746710_6723044646097716898_n1. What made you start the work you do today?
    As far as I can remember, I’ve always loved creating. But my sewing journey started at age 14. I got really hooked on the show Project Runway and just felt like I wanted to do what the designers did. I felt a spark, like this was something I could be good at. I wanted to learn, so my awesome parents gifted me with a sewing machine. I taught myself to use it and designed my own garments. However my interested shifted from fashion design to quilting, and has been evolving and expanding ever since.

    2. Do you have a vision, goal, or destination in the work you do?
    My main destination is to someday teach my own workshops. I want to teach people not only the skills and knowledge to sew or paint, but how to enjoy the process and how therapeutic it can be. I’d also like to travel around to display and sell my work at different festivals and shows. Basically I just want to learn, share, and teach.

    3. What did you enjoy about working with me/us?
    I enjoyed getting to know a new artist and learning about your Electrography project. Collaborating two completely different skills and talents is such a fun experience. Not only did I learn a lot from you but I also gained a lot of inspiration from this project! 3_Beisecker_Pineneedles

    4. What do you do outside of when you’re not designing/creating?
    I spend most of my time creating. If I’m not sewing then I’m painting or making something else. But If I’m not making something then I’m taking care of my plants, practicing yoga, or listening to music/podcasts. I love being outside, reading/writing, and thrift store shopping.

    5. What made you start Hills and Thread?
    Starting Hills and Thread was actually a huge step for me. As an introverted person who used to be painfully shy, I never liked to draw attention to myself and was never one to show off my work. I realized that starting my own business would be constantly challenging me to go outside my comfort zone and, in turn, help me evolve and grow. It took a lot for me to just start posting things I made on social media for exposure, then I was terrified of starting an Etsy shop. But every time you do something that scares you, you take control and the fear loses its power little by little. I decided I wanted to overcome as many fears as possible not only for myself, but to inspire others to do the same.

    I, myself, enjoyed working with Meghan and Hills and Thread and look forward to see how this project develops. We have plans to develop our collaboration down the road, possibly supporting a cause that helps Kenyan women through sewing and other awesome ideas. If you are looking for a unique gift idea, or a new home decor piece; check out our work at at: SHOP K GLYPHICS (http://www.facebook.com/electrography) and Hills and Thread (https://www.facebook.com/hillsandthread).

    Be on the lookout for future articles by Kristi which will feature ‘tips and tricks for artists to get ahead,’ Artwork ‘currently on view,’ Projects ‘in the studio,’ Travel Stories ‘on the road and in the air,’ and finally ‘lifestyle’ adventures. You can find more about Kristi, and her work on her blog:  http://blog.kglyphics.com.

    It’s a Wrap!

    Well, I know it’s been awhile since I posted here. And a good reason for that. End of March I took up a seasonal position at Yankee Candle and the month of April flew by. I had a blast working at Yankee Candle and meeting everyone in the department that I worked in. I never had a job that fit me so perfectly. The tasks and skills required were a perfect balance of both of my left and right brain skills. I was sadly laid off a couple of weeks ago unexpectedly, though I know that there’s more to this than meets the eye…

    The transition from working full-time to going back to a freelancer schedule has been difficult, not to mention leaving so many awesome people behind.

    I have been redirecting my focus on my projects both freelance and personal artwork. It’s been refreshing to live in a place where you can have the space to do your own work. This past Friday my client in Dubai hired me part-time to their start-up after working with them on freelance projects for the last couple of years. I am a firm believer in establishing and keeping relationships in life, whether it is business or social. You never know what will come along, not to mention that loyalty is huge in this day and age.

    The job will allow me to stay in Northampton which I am ecstatic for. It may also allow me to do a travel opportunity that came through a couple of weeks ago.

    I am writing a studio wrap-up post soon after this one of an overview of what I’ve been working on. I’m excited for what is to come!

    Yankee Candle

    Tomorrow, I’ll be starting a new chapter in my life. I accepted a seasonal job offer at Yankee Candle in South Deerfield, MA. I’ll also be rooming with an artist friend of mine in Northampton which I am super excited about. I’ve been wanting to explore Northampton more since I found out about it when I lived in Longmeadow, MA.

    It’s been a struggle though. Last weekend, my dad and I went to the Boston Flower and Garden Show and he came down with something after that. I had already been sick this time last month and unfortunately I got his cold. So I am now in the midst of packing and getting ready for this new position while sick :( blah!

    The Final Verdict

    The Final Verdict

    I have no toleration for art theft; NONE whatsoever. While you may or may not have intentionally stole it, it doesn’t matter. The fact of the matter is the new logo and the old one are too similar to be accused of otherwise. The fact that there was no communication to me from point A) our last discussions of the project to point B) where you posted your new logo on facebook has led me to believe that you stole the main concepts; stole most of my efforts.

    Yeah, the crystal and the colors may have been your ideas… but the circle and the layout and everything else was my creation. But ideas are subjective and are not copyrighted. I made it happen, therefore the work is mine and I never passed off the logo to you for you to use in any shape or form. NEVER.

    Oh and your reaction? Extremely childish; blocking me on all social media and returning my items is a slap in the face.  The fact that you gave me a list of businesses when I left Northampton where you didn’t want me to drop your name, should have been a big sign.

    And my blog? You knew I wrote here, knew that I write about my life and what happens with it. It’s how I document my life. But posting the blog is NO different than you posting your new logo without letting me know you went on to a different designer.

    Another fact of the matter is, that you claim I was frustrating. No point in our communications indicated you were frustrated. You requested a change, so I made it. To accuse me going too far with the changes, is ridiculous. To say your artist friend ‘surprised you’ is ridiculous. You may have had a barter, but the logo was something in addition to. To accuse me or make any other reasoning in this, is ridiculous. Anything else you say sounds like an excuse.

    I spoke to 5 of my creative friends who work in this industry and surrounding ones and they say you stole it. One of them came up to me and said she commented on the post you made public on your FACEBOOK. I never accused you stealing publicly. Yet, you took this publicly. CHILDISH. You wrote in an email the public post was not something how you’d normally deal with things; so why post it in the first place? And you claimed you could post all the communications and whatever to show the world? Well guess what, visuals matter and the thing is they’re too similar to be accused of otherwise, my friends would’ve agreed and stood-up for me.

    I tried to be a responsible and negotiable adult with you. Tried to negotiate with you to take down the logo and in return I’d take down the blog post. Yet, you terminated communication to me and threw my items back at me. Then keep telling me that you’ll go in a different direction of the ‘professional’ logo? Hun, I am a professional. I’ve worked with other PAYING companies; you never paid me anything. But you can’t negotiate with a child.

    So I reported a copyright infringement to facebook and they took it down. My negotiation remains the same. I will leave the original blog post up until you take any traces of your new logo down.

    This is the last I will ever speak and post about this. I have other more important things to do.

    Storytime: I WAS STOLEN FROM!

    Storytime: I WAS STOLEN FROM!

    I feel the only way to be credited and redeemed in this situation is to post this to my blog. Typically, I would let this go, but since this is kind of a serious issue where I feel that a knife was stabbed in my back, it is the best way.

    About a year ago one of my business-owning friends put out a call for logos on their facebook page where the payment was merchandise from their shop. Since the shop was up my alley as a designer and artist, I figured it was worth a shot.

    I am paranoid about copyright and stealing since it’s so easy to do so on the internet, I decided to not post the original to the competition post on her business page so sent it to her privately.

    She really liked my logo and exclaimed how much she liked my work, so she decided to cancel the competition and would award me the merchandise and use my logo. We continued to work on the draft and revised it a bit. There are now several drafts from the original competition entry. I got the feeling that she didn’t want to pay the merchandise to me right away and through her comments decided that we wait a bit so she can have more ideas. A few months ago, I messaged her again after it had been awhile since we worked on it and she said it wasn’t on her radar. OK, I respect your schedule and that you have a busy life.

    12814584_10153950635547103_8573422349300221435_n
    Logo her friend made

    Just a few days ago, my business friend posted the left logo to her page exclaimed that this season was a good time for change, and that she was ‘surprised’ by a friend with this logo.

    I sat in SHOCK. Because the colors, layout and format of this logo is the exact same from the logo draft my friend and I left off with; just a crude version of it.

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    Logo I made and where we left off

    I immediately messaged my friend about this and asked, “Why is this here when the last thing you told me was ‘it wasn’t on your radar?”

    She responded with COMPLETE AND UTTER NONESENSE. I’m sorry, but I DO not buy what my friend told me.

    NO ONE gets this close on the first try… NO ONE!

    My friend responded with this…

    It wasn’t on my radar, I am doing a barter with a friend for her wedding jewelry. And she surprised me with a logo that fit what I was looking for. I didn’t ask for a logo it just kinda happened. She is doing some photography for my website. I remember we were working on it, in that moment it wasn’t what I was looking for. This was just a pleasant surprise that someone had made for me. It was no disrespect to you or what you do and it wasn’t my intention to hurt your feelings. Im really sorry thats how you feel. Like I said it wasn’t my intention for this to happen or for your feelings to be hurt.

    I brought up this incident with a few of my friends and they told me that she probably said that as to avoid an issue with me.

    I’m SORRY I DO NOT BUY WHAT YOU SAID. After months of not communicating with me and explaining to me about what you do and don’t want with a logo, you realize that we can work out these issues as a team?! That’s the whole point of working with a designer. WE AREN’T SUPPOSED TO READ YOUR DAMN MIND.

    New Project: Quilt Mandalas

    New Project: Quilt Mandalas

    Last summer I participated in the Hyarts Artist Shanty program in Hyannis, MA. Since then I have maximized my experience by writing down inspiration, tidbits and things people have said to me, that came to my mind and random things. I usually do this with action-packed experiences because if I have a lot on my mind I tend to forget it!

    While working on this experience I experimented a little bit with my artwork on clothing and I really like how it turned out. It was really sell-able as well and seems to be the most cost effective way to produce artwork prints. However, getting into clothing manufacturing is a bit tricky. I’m not a seamstress and can hardly cut a straight line so I wouldn’t be the one making the clothes. I have to find a manufacturer that will do private labeling… essentially I design the clothing and claim it, but it will be manufactured in a factory, or something like it. Part of me wants to collaborate with others on the fashion line but part of me doesn’t want to split the credit…sounds selfish but I want it to make it my own, but without doing the dirty work! Only because it’ll just be another thing to be added onto my plate so I want to focus on what matters, the artwork.

    So, I started searching on instagram for artists whose work will mix well with my owIMG_0272n. Since my mandalas fit the hippy, new agey vibe and I’ve been wanting to market to this crowd more. I connected with a fiber artist and designer from Missouri whose done some awesome incredible things. She made a whole bunch of bags, filled them with school supplies and then sent them off to a non-profit organization – Generation Next, for students in Africa.

    She owns a small etsy based business called, Hills and Thread, and designs bags and other fabric based items with quilting techniques.  I contacted her if she wanted to collaborate and she was ecstatic to! We skyped the following week and came up with a bunch of ideas. It’s nice seeing my work in a different form with color and in a completely different light.

    We have other plans to expand this project if successful. BUT I’m happy with the current progress.

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    Boston, MA – BGTravelShow

    Boston, MA – BGTravelShow

    The annual Boston Globe Travel Trade Show opened this weekend on Friday, February 19th at the Seaport World Trade Center. The weekend began with roundtable; ‘speed-dating’ style discussion groups with representatives of top travel destinations around the world. The morning and afternoon was broken up into different groups of destinations, “Wedding, Honeymoon and Group Travel”, “Family and Intergenerational Travel” and finally “Eco and Adventure Tourism”. These discussions are not to be missed as they provide essential information to booking your next vacation or corporate event. As a PR/Media attendee I was after contacts and establishing relationship with professionals whom otherwise I would not have met!12717220_3014200994328_260099795776186647_n

    As a lifestyle specialist, a travel trade show is a small piece of heaven. Many booths were giving away merchandise or pamphlets and according to the destination, cultural foods and drinks – one booth even had a rum bar! As the weekend unfolds, there is much merriment to be had with food demonstrations, cultural performances and opportunity making.

    The culinary program of events is impressive with two-full days of food demonstrations from top chefs across the world. If you ever wanted to feel like you’re in a cooking show, this is the next best thing! Throughout both days there are impressive dishes for the discerning New Englander’s tongue or they may provide the perfect inspiration for your next dinner party! If you’re not a foodie, that’s okay as the trade show also provides an educational, in-depth and inspiring cultural program with prominent speakers and writers that will help inspire you to pick your next destination.

    Everyone’s objective in going to the Boston Globe Travel Trade Show is different. For me it was networking, building relationships, learning, etc. for some it is purely educational, for others mere entertainment. Whatever it is, I will leave you with my top 4 pieces of advice for going to a travel trade show.

    1. Arrive Early
    Whether you are there for part of your job, or a general attendee, arrive early. Many things that factor into your travel time there and if you get hung up in traffic or have trouble finding a parking spot the extra time will help. This is especially important for professionals, you do not want to be late!

    2. Plan Your Objective
    What do you hope to accomplish with your time at a travel trade show? Who are your top professionals that you want to speak to? For me, it was sales and PR representatives, those who can invite me to future press trips or provide sponsorships.

    3. Prepare Your Promotional Materials
    Many sales representatives will present you with promotional and merchandise materials. Creating yours will help you leave a lasting impression as well as show that you are legitimate. It can be as short and sweet as a sell sheet with your products and services, or as in-depth as media kit. But puh-lease, don’t do it the night before. 😉 It can even be as simple as a business card.

    4. Be Open
    This is an experience! Experience it by trying new things, live a little, as that is what traveling to a new destination is all about! Don’t be afraid to talk to fellow attendees or introduce yourself, the more people you connect, the more opportunity can be made.

    Well there you have it! If you are local, regional or even national, the Boston Globe Travel Trade Show is a great affordable event for all travel enthusiasts. It’s like seeing all the world at once in one room!

    3 Artistic Apps to Bring Out Your Artsy Side

    3 Artistic Apps to Bring Out Your Artsy Side

    Artistry comes from the soul and is then translated with the movement of our hands regardless if we’re holding a pencil, a mouse, or a stylus. Though the problem with designing anything on a computer is the tedium and imprecision that comes with it, thus a lot of artists still prefer to draw free hand and leave desktop platform to the graphic designers.

    Perhaps the best invention that combines art and technology is the drawing tablet and the apps that transform your portable computer into a modern sketchpad. As a contributor of SitePoint notes, a stylus is generally much easier and more comfortable to hold in your hand than a mouse, and allow for an incredible degree of precision in your work?

    Here are the top recommended iPad apps for artists:

    1. Paper by FiftyThree
      The availability of free drawing apps are quite slim, so if you’re not looking to invest in a mechanical sketchpad, Paper by FiftyThree should work for you. Designed for the budding and the seasoned artists, this beautiful app can be used with or without a stylus.
    2. ArtRage
      For a variety of art mediums, ArtRage has got you covered. To transform your digital canvas into spectacular work of art, you’re provided with additional tools such as pens, pastels and even spray paint, along with rollers and palette knives to help you build and blend.
    3. Procreate – Sketch, paint, create
      Possible the most powerful artistic app on the market, Procreate is an Apple Design Award winner and has the most amazing resolution, layering system, and 128 brushes for all your toolbox needs. The app is definitely worth more than its price.

    To think that your tablet can do much more than your laptop might have been bizarre five years ago, but now mobile tech designers are surprising us with new functions of our devices. Gaming Realms, such as, the group that supplies online slots for Pocketfruity, predicted that mobile usage would exceed desktop usage in 2013, and in plenty of ways, it has, especially now that we can see the versatility of our tablets. And the ability to sketch on your iPad is as authentic as your vision can get from a technological standpoint.

    New Client: Diane Darling

    New Client: Diane Darling

    Meet my newest client, Diane Darling.

    We will be working on a direct mail project with Diane. Helping her audience be directed to her website after presentations.

    Diane Darling knows the value of relationships and how to build them. The author of McGraw-Hill’s definitive book on networking,The Networking Survival Guide. Diane speaks and trains thousands of people each year on ways to build relationships, leading to opportunities and growth. She believes that now, more than ever, in today’s fast-paced competitive world, anyone can leapfrog their way to successful relationships once they master the art of networking. http://dianedarling.com/

    Busy Busy with Project Proposals

    Busy Busy with Project Proposals

    I’ve been using the down-time with work to rest up as well as work on my project proposals for some opportunities that came through this month. I am hoping that with all my hard-work and newly gained knowledge of project proposals that I will see some success next year. Otherwise, I will have to wait until next year to apply again and learn some more.

    I met a grant application teacher at the Worcester State U. The Art of Science/Science of Art reception who teaches out of RI College and he was happy to look over one of my proposals. I got positive feedback from him which made me feel really good about that particular proposal. :) I will hear from that particular proposal beginning of next month, not too long of a wait.

    One other project was to get portfolio work together. And that was a nightmare . That particular organization was very picky about how things are put together and could disqualify you if you mess anything up. So for several weeks, I diligently worked on it… perfecting the layout + sequence of things as well as written work.

    Freelance work has been slow… my client in Dubai had some work for me and then my client in Marlborough, got sick again so things have been delayed which I am OK with since my project proposals had the most immediate deadline.

    I also had another surgery in my ear this past week… as that was the next step in the saga.. to remove all the infected cells in the ear canal and I will continue to go back for follow-ups.

    I also have some things in the wings regarding K Glyphics and whatnot that I’m hoping will manifest in the next week or so.

    Next monday, I am attending a small business workshop that my mom got an invite for but can’t go…. so I’m going in her place. Excited to learn some more things… with entrepreneurship you can’t go wrong with learning new things.

    Next week is thanksgiving and we’ll be spending it at my brother’s and his girlfriend’s place in Arlington.

    Another trip to Hyannis is coming up at the end of the month as I will be dropping off a Bluebells print at the shop where my products are at.

    So just hanging in there, and focusing on staying active. Winter is one of the worst seasons for me, and one of the hardest ones to find work, so I am fearful but somehow I think I’m going to be OK this winter.

    Now at Seaporium!

    Now at Seaporium!

    Beginning November 1st you can find my products in Hyannis, MA at Seaporium, a consignment shop that features local artisans and handmade crafts. A little sampling of what you see here on the website will be found there. We will mention that the price may be adjusted to adhere to the rules of the shop.

    Consigning is going to part of the next phase in our plan to expand to gain more customers. If you own a shop, or feel that our products will fit your customer base, email me and we can discuss.

    See what Linda has to say,

    So hope this very talented young woman agrees to showcase her items here at Seaporium. Her medium is Electrography. She exposes images by using electricity on an object (plant material) on photo sensitive paper. After they’re developed, she changes to positive on her computer. The electricity exposes the water materials of the plants to give you these beautiful photos! How cool is that?

    Check out Seaporium on facebook!

    The Beast of Shipping

    The Beast of Shipping

    I recently had the fun experience of learning how to ship artwork over to Paris. I had a similar experience in 2014 when I shipped a print over to Venice for the Arte Laguna Prize. However, that contest was a bit different as they didn’t give me the luxury of time that this curator has (BIG THANKS! :) ). I had to get my work over there within 2-3 weeks and I thought it would’ve been more expensive to get it printed and framed there in Italy so I had it shipped and I wasn’t comfortable just blindly sending my images to print over to a country where I didn’t speak the language. Luckily for Venice, it was only one print, so it was only $300… one way… and I was able to “donate” the print to the institution. So the Romanian Institute of Humanistic Research and Culture has a bluebell print! 😀 Anyway, my work, this year was accepted into a group show by an emerging Parisian curator and she was curating a show centered around woman and ecology.

    I did my initial research and went to the major companies that I usually ship artwork to UPS – FEDEX. At UPS it was about $600 for 2 framed prints one way … and Fedex was $200… which was doable, but still that was one way. I then went to the option of buying frames in Paris and shipping them to the curator before the exhibition. We decided on that, but she was nice enough to alert me that she had a second option and that was obtaining funding for the exhibition! So the $120 dollars I would’ve spent on frames that I would’ve just left there, is being funded by her organization. And by shipping my prints through one tube via USPS I was able to bring the cost down to $17 (+ customs fees eventually)!!! This is crazy. The price dropped from the initial $600 to $17 through funding and flexibility of those involved.

    Also I’ve gotten some interest through my network of my european friends that they’d be interest in seeing the exhibit and some family too, so hopefully that’ll work out!

    Save your Soul

    Save your Soul

    I recently left a job opportunity in close proximity to me. It was one of those opportunities that sounded really promising but when it came to do the work itself, everything changed. At least that’s how I perceived it.

    I interviewed for a gallery back in June and at the beginning of September the owner contacted me after some thought and said I left an impression (great!). I came in again for a second interview and things seemed to click. However, when I started to get more involved with the position and work, I felt I was treated atrociously and constantly felt being squished and stepped on.

    She didn’t respect me… or appeared not to. Micro-managed and didn’t trust me and my background to leave me alone and do the work. Proceeded to push me in a direction that was counter-intuitive than what I was taught and trained to do because she compared me to “most people she had” (and I’m not). When I was working on a graphic design project that I knew very well how to do she almost forced me to do a way (a very inefficient way…) to do the brochure and had a fit whenever I tried to do it “my” way. Those who’ve hired me in the past respected me enough to leave me alone after the first couple of days to do the work alone and then came back to check-in. That wasn’t happening here.

    Whenever I tried to fight back, she threw it under the rug and ignored it.

    I don’t care if she’s the boss/owner of the business/operation because when you hire someone you need to have a certain level of respect for them – because in return the employee will respect you enough to do the work for you. If the owner doesn’t show respect for you, it’s very hard for the employee to justify to continue to do the work there.

    I told her I had 3 pieces of artwork that were accepted into a show out in Worcester which isn’t exactly around the corner from me and the gallery there gave me two days where I happened to be working for her. We agreed that initially Saturday would have been the best day to come in late because she had something later in the afternoon. But I decided to be courteous and ask the gallery if they had an alternative day to drop off artwork and luckily they had. But because of the incident with my prints I described in my last post, “Trick or Treat, Where’s my Prints?” my initial delivery day got bumped to Wednesday fine… Tuesday night I receive an email from my ‘boss’ and she tells me that she’s found reception help for her gallery event that following Thursday and the next day when I originally was scheduled to work after telling her that things weren’t working out but wanted me to come in on Saturday to finish the brochure!! (what?)

    So, the point in all of this is that I rearranged my complicated schedule and life to fit her schedule and life, but she dropped me from my scheduled work like it was nothing. Yes, I get that I am an employee — but I wouldn’t even call myself an employee — I was an assistant and she pushed me around as one.

    I was also taught that you put the extensions on numbers “th”s, “st”s, etc. on a printed document. My education at Moravian and experience at the print shop taught me this. It looks so much ‘tighter’ and ‘proper’ too, to do this with your numbers in a printed document. I have a friend in my circle whose majored in scheduling and he told me that that’s the right way to do it. However my boss at this gallery told me, “NO you don’t ever put the extensions on numbers in a printed document!!!!”. I never was told this AT ALL. I also got into an argument with someone from my time at Moravian about this and she disagrees with me and that I should “follow” the boss… because she writes the check… really?! I’d be fired from the print shop (and this person I argued with continued to tell me that I wasn’t working at a print shop here… excuse me… same technical rules apply whether or not you work at a print shop when doing PRINT DESIGN) if I constantly made mistakes like that! It’s not like this is the only job I have offered to me.

    There were other things there that made me really uncomfortable and that’s why I decided to leave. At this point in my career, I deserve some level of respect and trust when you hire me for the position that I have applied for. I am not looking to be pushed around and treated like crap. I’ve been through too much to put up with that anymore.

    Bliss Logo Re-Design BC WIP

    Bliss Logo Re-Design BC WIP

    I have been working hard on the marketing materials for Bliss and I’m excited with the progress we’ve done so far. I am posting these updates on my personal blog because I want to post finished pieces on K Glyphics.

    A few weeks ago, we finalized the Bliss re-design logo and now we’re working on the business cards.

    Bliss-woboxThe concept behind this logo was found through inspiration from Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs of the lotus flower. The flower motif is important to Bliss, as when the woman go through this program, they blossom from a rough point in their lives overcoming violence into an empowered woman who has honed skills.

    The colors were also inspired by the Ancient Egyptian palette. We originally thought orange was a too corporate feeling, but chose as shade of orange that was a bit subdued to match the earth vibe of the brand’s image.

    photo

    The logo initially started with a dozen or so sketches and then photographed and uploaded. The sketch to the right was the last one we worked on before it was outlined in Illustrator and colored in in photoshop. I find it easier to do color effects in photoshop than in Illustrator so it was just personal preference on that choice.

    1463914_642331162485875_1415535763_nWe were pleased with the outcome of the logo and like the complexity of the logo as it can be broken down into different parts to be used in future aspects of the brand, so the rest of the branding image can have some flexibility.  We also adored the final shape of the logo as it was reminiscent of the old logo, but a more updated – fresh look.

    We’re working on finalizing the business card and perhaps hope to have it completed in the coming week.

    11143708_2906519222351_499207424530265154_o The business card I had been struggling with since I haven’t done a non-standard size before. I am currently working on perfecting the piece, making sure every detail is just right! When you’re in this field, there are certain details that you pick up as a graphic designer that most people wouldn’t even consider but makes a world of a difference. We’re considering a laser-cut cover for example, or the inside cover should match up with the right fold flap… those things.

    New Project: Custom Clothiers

    New Project: Custom Clothiers

    Last Friday, I came home from the cape to meet with Harry from Custom Clothiers in downtown Wellesley Hills. I saw the posting for Window Design/Dressings on craigslist and thought it would be an interesting addition to what I already do. He also seemed interested in graphic work as well. I meet with him on Monday again to test out a design to see where things go.

    New Client: Style for Bliss

    New Client: Style for Bliss

    I recently had the opportunity to present my portfolio and proposal for a social-enterprise brand based in Marlborough, MA. They are part of the UN and help train women with marketable skills in jewelry design to change their lives. Our proposal was to conceptualize a package design concept for their jewelry brand – Style for Bliss. When I got the invitation to present my portfolio, I was stoked as their work is right up K Glyphics’ alley. I spent a few minutes researching jewelry packaging and drove quickly down to Michael’s to purchase some packaging supplies to put together a few prototypes – and it definitely paid off!

    The creative director of Style for Bliss and I spoke for 2 hours about their work, my work and the proposal. The over all the presentation went way better than I anticipated as that is always a good thing. As the CD and I got talking and sharing our ideas she ended up really liking my portfolio and proposal and said I was her favorite :).

    I am happy to announce that my proposal was accepted for their Packaging Designer position! My role will be to develop and design a package for their jewelry that communicates their brand through design and materials. I am excited to take on this endeavor as it is something entirely new to my skill set and for K Glyphics. But there is a lot of growth and opportunities from this.

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    Hello world.