ggg_open_road

My friend and copywriter recently left at my job to go teach music. Before he did, I read a dynamite post on his blog which inspired me to write my own. Here’s a little snapshot of some things I’ve picked up along the way:

1. You would love everyone if you knew their story
The older I get the more compassion I have. New York is one of those places that puts you to the test every single day. When you’re crammed on a subway with zero personal space and strangers pressed up against you, you can either learn to become extremely angry or extremely relaxed.

When I encounter someone who is rude, I try to think up a story in my head for why they might be having a bad day. For example, if a woman smacks me with her bag (often), I think: maybe she has 3 kids and is low on sleep, maybe she’s in debt, or maybe she’s honestly unaware. I’ve been that person too.

You never know what people are going through in life, so try to be kind rather than attack.

2. Whatever the problem, sleep is the answer
Holy moly if only I followed this advice more. If you’re crabby, worried, stressed, anything, just go to sleep. Nine times out of ten you’ll wake up in a better mood. So many of life’s problems can be solved on a clear head.

PS If you ever have trouble sleeping like I do, I have discovered the wonderful miracle that is Melatonin. I call it “Mellie” for short. It’s all natural, you get it at Whole Foods, and 3mgs will knock you out.

3. Whatever the problem, a walk is the second best answer
Get out of your apartment, get out of your head, go for a walk. It will help everything, promise. Extra bonus points if you can get an iced latte + sunshine in the mix.

4. You’re exactly where you’re supposed to be
Don’t worry, you’re doing it right, you’re here for a reason. Everything lead you up to this moment, and you can re-evaluate and change course at any time if you feel off.

5. Listen to your tiny mad ideas
When you get a bug, or a blip of an idea, for goodness sake write it down. Take action. Don’t question it, just use it and go with it. Too often I think of something and then think, that was weird, why did that pop in my head? But I’m learning to harness it.

Sometimes it can be as simple as texting a friend, and then they will say, “That was so weird I was just thinking XYZ! Have you heard about this?” and BAM, there was a reason you thought of it.

Most recently I signed up for Motorcycle Safety School. Say what? Yep, tiny mad idea. Moto themes have been popping up for the past several weeks. I used to ride when I was in Minn but never in the driver’s seat. But now, more than ever, I have an urge to be in the driver’s seat, in every aspect of my life. So I found this class and am strangely excited for something that is way out of my comfort zone in terms of hobbies. But, I’m going with the flow.

6. Shitty first drafts
This gem comes from Anne Lamott, in her book Bird by Bird. When you’re stuck, just write a shitty first draft that no one will ever read. Get the words out on paper and let them be totally dumb. I apply this to design too. When I’m stuck, get rid of the whitespace, move things around, just try something that no one will ever see. It’s the only way to get the flow going.

7. Eye contact
I’m stealing this one from Paul because it’s so good. Ever in a situation where you know you should make eye contact, but it feels awkward, so you end up looking away? Well, the solution is simple: just blink. This trick has literally changed my life even in the past week.

8. Going away gifts can change someone’s life
In New York there is a high turnover of people coming and going, especially at startups. I’ve switched jobs myself and have lost count of how many people have left even in the 2 years I’ve been here. One trend I’ve noticed is the going away gift. I’ve met some sweet people who, upon departure, have gifted me everything from a homemade dinner, a microphone for recording music, and expensive lipstick that I would never have splurged on myself. It sounds weird if you’re not used to it, but I love the communal exchange. It really opens doors for you if you let it. And it shines light on what’s important in life, which is relationships. So thank you friends, and you better believe I’m paying it forward.

9. Weekends are for resting, sans guilt
I still struggle with this, the feeling that if I’m not being productive I’m wasting time. But the past month or so I’ve been forcing myself to slow down, and it really is a healthy mindset. I mean, just look at Californians, with their glowing skin and stress-free attitudes…

10. Take a beautiful drive
Get some coffee, find a long stretch of highway, put on a mix and cherish it. All you non-NYers take driving for granted. But here, driving is a TREAT. And also, therapy. Maybe it’s cause we’re cooped up in these tiny little apartments. But the open road is such a luxury. Today I got on the turnpike and just went for it. I could have driven straight to Philly if I let myself. It can be meditative or restorative, however you need it.

That’s all for now. :)

-Danielle

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danielle_eastberg_studio_1

For those days when you gotta kick off your heels, throw on your chucks, and make some NOISE. That’s exactly what I did this weekend. I’ve been in a funk the past few days and a trip to the practice space was just what the doctor ordered. I feel lucky because we have a studio here that you can rent by the hour and most of the equipment is already there. So my friend (who plays drums) and I went to go rock this blues away.

One of the things I realized is that I miss being loud. When you live in the city, or live in an apartment in general, you never really get to go off the rails. The only time I get to sing is when I’m in the car, which isn’t very often. I loved turning up the amp (while wearing ear plugs of course) and just feeling it in the whole room. I also got to sing/yell/scream which is such a release.

On the setlist was Band of Skulls, Heartless Bastards, The Ataris, and of course some original nonsense. I don’t claim to be good at guitar, but I’m learning to embrace it and let go and have fun anyway. I also played drums for a solid 20 minutes before my leg got tired, which is pretty much a miracle. It just felt so good to get lost for a sec.

So now I’m inspired to learn more songs. I’ve got 3-4 in the queue and I’d like to get back to the space within a month. I’m still trying to detox and playing music not only has nostalgia for me (hello, high school) but also brings me back to my roots creatively. It’s just a good hobby all around.

Until then, signing off with blistered fingers…

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ggg_unplugged

It’s that time, when the snow hits the ground and everything is grey outside, and you just want summer and something else.  I’ve been going 100mph for a little too long and I think I’m finally cracking. But that’s ok, cracking is a good thing, it leads to new things. I realized that I need a major overhaul, and first, a major detox. The old ways have not been working. Time to shed this skin and try something different.

I would like to take the next 3-4 months (or however long it takes) and just chill out. I’m clearing my weekends. I’m taking on less freelance work. I’m not trying to anxiously or intensely plan anything, but instead become empty again. There is a great passage in one of Marianne Williamson’s books that goes like this:

In Zen Buddhism, there’s a concept called “zen mind,” or “beginner’s mind,” They say that the mind should be like an empty rice bowl. If it’s already full, then the universe can’t fill it. If it’s empty, it has room to receive.

So I’m working on emptying my rice bowl again. Forgetting everything I know (well not everything, but anything that hasn’t been serving me), and clearing the plate for better things ahead. I removed all social media from my phone. I haven’t decided if I will delete it from my desktop yet, but I may. It’s just too easy to get wrapped up in it, and I’d like things to be a little more peaceful.

Also, and maybe not coincidentally, I’ve been on a motorcycle kick lately. I’ve been dreaming of California and the PCH and roadtrips. When I used to ride the subway during my old commute I had a long stretch where I could read. I got about halfway through Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and I’m looking forward to picking that up again. And finally, during my last hair cut my lady gave me an anti-frizz product called Easy Rider. I know, I know. So every morning I see it and think of that movie, which I haven’t watched for years, but it’s happening tonight! :)

I’ll check back in here when I’m feeling creative again. But for now, no expectations, and no stress.

(photo via)

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girlgonegraphic_texas_1girlgonegraphic_texas_2I was a first-timer, a Texas virgin! But boy am I happy that I went and got to experience this. I flew into Ft. Worth on a last-minute whim and spent a couple days exploring the area. I’ve been to a lot of places in the US, but I can say with certainty that this trip was most out of my comfort zone (which is good). I went to my first honky tonk, danced the 2-step, attended a rodeo, and even made my own Coke in one of those machines.

There were boots and hats everywhere (it’s legit fashion, not even made-for-tv). And food – yes. I got some really good mexican, and tried the locally-famous Whataburger (which tasted really really fresh!). Everyone was kind, and southern hospitality is real. I envision more trips in the future, but next time I’d like to get out to the desert and see the Marfa lights.

It was a wonderfully restorative trip, and a great adventure. I feel whole.

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The B&W Roll

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I feel so lucky to be able to share these photos. About a month ago I went out for a dream shoot. I’ve always wanted to do one of these really dramatic and editorial style shoots. Have you ever heard that saying, “When you’re in you’re 20s, go out and run in a bikini, because your 30-year-old self will thank you for it”? While I don’t entirely agree with that sentiment, I do love the idea of capturing this point in my life. It says a lot about how I’ve been evolving in NY. There’s been a lot of change in my life recently, and these expressions are pretty telling.

These were all shot on film (!!) – it’s pretty rare to be able to say that these days. I love the high contrast and sharpness that the film/lens combo provides. Sometimes old school is just better. The whole roll had to be shipped to Los Angeles to be developed – so it’s pretty special. Thank you Silver City Photography for this gift. Definitely one for the books.

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girlgonegraphic_katie_queen

I get nervous posting in-the-moment things, like this song I’m digging, because I know it can change on a dime. One second you love it, the next second it gets overplayed on the radio, and then you want to crawl in a hole. But I’m hoping that doesn’t happen. I found The Apache Relay through Spotify. Their album was easy to get into and I had no problem listening all the way through. This song – Katie Queen of Tennessee – has been stuck in my head ever since. I love the beat and the lyrics. And whoever Katie is, she has a beautiful song written about her.

♥ katie be my darlin’ ♥

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White Wash

girlgonegraphic_white_washI’ve been collecting more white / airy / simple inspiration lately, so I thought it was time to share. Plus, it’s Friday night, and I’m hooked on this new podcast called Serial, so what else was I gonna do? The white water tower is my favorite. Surprisingly I found it on a stock photography site, OFFSET, which is a breath of fresh air as far as stock photography is concerned.

Now that Serial podcast – that is right up my alley. I’m hooked on the idea. A crime story? Told chronologically, in hour-long episodes? From This American Life? SOLD. I didn’t need any convincing. I love the idea, and it’s the perfect ritual to listen to while getting some work done. Have a lovely weekend!

(1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8)

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ggg_lima_labelI’m excited to share some recent work I did for a fashion startup here in NYC. This is the final design for a clothing line called Lima. The company I was working for was in the process of creating several private collections and they needed labels to sew on each garment. This particular line had a ton of cozy knits and sweaters. The company wanted the branding to reflect high-end style while capturing the idea that these were knits. The garments were being manufactured in Lima, Peru, which turned out to be the perfect name for the collection.

My goal was to capture the feeling of knitwear and something hand-sewn, while still presenting an upscale garment line (nothing too crafty). I love how the final product turned out, and it’s pretty cool to know that these are in circulation across the US!

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this_instax_life_02Another week, another round of Instaxing. This week I tried a new pizza place (doesn’t everybody just need a pizza night once in a while? Pizza will always be nostalgic to me). The dolphin on the top right, I’ve nicknamed her Annie, and she exists in a creepy abandoned water park by my house. The water has long since dried up, but the decaying structures remain (dun dun dun). I love walking through it because it feels like such a good book/movie scene. Bottom right – I’ve been taking a ton of baths lately. This is the first place I’ve had in several years that has a clean bathtub and I take full advantage. It’s the best way to wind down at night.

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ggg_wardrobe_dreamin

I wouldn’t mind owning these things. That mug – wouldn’t it be the perfect touch on a fall day? A little twinkle of gold? And those shoes – not sure how long I would last, but I would certainly give ‘em a try. Along with my design style, my wardrobe has certainly been changing too. I’ve been going for bolder statement pieces and not worrying too much about splurging on a really unique/odd item. I love putting it all together and letting the mind dream with possibilities.

(1,2,3,4,5)

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