Hi guys! I hope you can guess my mood from today’s post. I woke up wanting to create something light and bright. I’ve been on a peanut butter and jelly kick lately, so I made some toast and then cranked this guy out. I’ve been feeling productive again, finally. I go in cycles, and sometimes I’m buckling down and going through the motions and other times I’m genuinely seeking and using every last minute of the day. It feels good to be on the foothill of another productive cycle!
I am almost on my two-week mark of no caffeine. I decided to cut out all caffeine and chocolate for two weeks since I was having trouble sleeping. The first week was AWFUL. I was cranky, napping, and pretty much hated life. I found myself substituting all kinds of sugar to try and feel better for the caffeine lack. I think I’m finally starting to regulate though. My energy is much more even throughout the day. I woke up on my own at 6:00am this morning (yay!). As for the chocolate, I’m going to start allowing that again after tomorrow. The caffeine, however, I will avoid for a bit longer. It feels like it was so hard to get to this point and I feel nice and clean and addiction-free, so I don’t want to go back to the old habit right away!
I also spent some time this weekend creating a real portfolio. Previously I had a scrolling PDF with all my projects on it, but it was time to put my stuff on a grown-up site and let it be more interactive. You can check that out, here: cargocollective.com/danielleeastberg
In addition to my graphic projects I’ve been doing more writing lately. I wake up almost every morning with a new idea for a fiction novel. In a way I feel like I’m tapping into a creative well, and then just letting the ideas go. I write all of them down, but I don’t develop them. I’ve got about 5,000 words into a murder mystery I’m working on, and another 7,000 into a self-help book. I finished a book earlier this year but kept it to myself because I felt like my own thoughts and opinions were changing so rapidly. I’d like to finish these books I’m working on, and write a bunch more, and get to the point where I feel comfortable pushing the ‘publish’ button. I don’t doubt my creativity or ideas, but I do wonder if my writing style would actually be interesting to read. Either way, I will keep writing. :)
Off to get some work done. Have a good day!
Ohmygod. I have SO much respect for you designers who can handwrite in pretty pretty lettering. SO much respect. I hope I don’t regret posting this someday, as I’m sure I will look back and think how amateur it looks. But, in the spirit of honest reporting, this is where I’m at right now. Handwriting is HARD. I think I might need some fancy pens to do more calligraphic stuff.
Anyway, it’s not all bad, because one of my goals was to start incorporating REAL watercolor into my designs. Not just a “watercolor brush”, which only takes you so far, but the real deal. So, although I’m in the learning stages, I am proud to say that these watercolor swatches are 100% my own! It feels good. With time, I know the hand-lettering will get there. But everyone has to start somewhere. So here I am!
The name – Josephine – it’s just always been a name I thought was beautiful. So I decided to use it for my little sample logos. Although they didn’t come out quite like I pictured in my head, I’m still glad I went through the experience, and next time it will be easier. sigh. :)
Happy Labor Day weekend! Is everyone doing something fun with the extra day off? It’s the time of year that represents the end of summer and coming of fall, which I couldn’t be more excited for!
I did a lot of relaxing this weekend. I checked out a new coffee shop in the neighborhood that sells French Escargot (the cinnamon pastry, not the snail!). I broke out my new watercolor set and started getting used to that. It was fun focusing so intently on something, and I kept hearing Bob Ross’ voice in my head saying “There are no mistakes, just happy accidents…” That definitely helped me get the paint out onto the paper!
Finally, I had a little Artist Date in the park. If you’ve read The Artist’s Way you’ll know what I’m talking about. Julia Cameron, the author, talks about sending yourself on an Artist Date once a week to keep filling up your creative well. Whether it’s stopping in a used bookstore, going for a nature walk, or drawing in the park like I did, it’s something that gets you away from the computer and out and about to be inspired.
Have a beautiful beautiful weekend, and don’t forget to take some time for fun!
1. Those yummy yummy fall smelling candles that Yankee Candle puts out. I went in the store today and had to go one-by-one, down the row, to choose the very best one! I ended up getting “Harvest” scent, which is spicy and warm. I also got two mini votives to try out in “Mountain Lodge” and “Campfire Treat”. I want my home to be warm and welcoming and girly. Plus I love the ritual of waking up in the morning, lighting a candle, and doing some writing while the sun is coming up.
2. Hemlock Grove on Netflix. Perfectly chilling for this time of year. It’s a horror series that starts off with a girl’s murder…and of course, dark secrets start coming out! Hint: there’s a werewolf on the front cover. The imagery is also solid and spooky. Love.
3. Orange lipstick. I just bought a shade called “Saigon Summer”. It feels a little Halloween-y, but if it’s paired with the right clothes it works. I’m all for pushing the boundaries!
4. Caribou Coffee mug. I picked this up on a layover in Minneapolis. It has a caribou on it and when I’m drinking my morning coffee it reminds me of simple summers at the cabin. I have such a soft spot for the North Woods, and this is just a welcome reminder every morning.
5. Watercolors! I bought my first set of watercolor paints today. I’m feeling all crafty and want to start incorporating real painting into my logos and website designs. Super pumped to have a fall day at home painting away!
6. Pretty Pretty Undies! Victoria’s Secret is having a sale right now (7 pair for $26). Even though they are under clothes it always feels good to cycle new prints through and have a party underneath. Go on, treat yourself! :)
Fall is my absolute favorite time of year! Can’t wait to do some baking, wear tall boots, bundle up in a scarf and really feel that crisp air.
Here’s something fun! A few in-progress shots of a concept logo for Donut Haus. You just never know what’s going to come out when you open yourself up to creativity! I started out with a basic idea and went through the design process to develop these babies…and I’m always surprised by the turns they take along the way. I feel like driving through so many small towns in Minnesota as a kid had a powerful effect on the imagery I’m drawn towards. The retro colors and styles come through as I imagine passing by all those tall restaurant signs on the road, often stopping for pastries. Oh, nostalgia! ♥
I was lucky enough to tag along for a wedding this past weekend in Yosemite, California. Everyone has their own method for staying grounded and inspired, and my personal method is to get out into nature. I walk as much as I can in the city, but there is nothing like being in the big quiet wilderness and realizing how small you are. Really.
At one point we pulled over on the road and there was a wide open expanse that was so overwhelmingly large, showing the mountains and rocks and trees, that I got dizzy and emotional and had to sit down on the the side of the highway to take it all in (that and I didn’t want to throw up). That’s never happened to me before, so I’m pretty sure there’s something magical about this place.
Also – those giant sequoias – wow. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the daily dramas but when you see something so huge and organic it literally takes your breath away and stops you in your tracks.
We stayed at a place called the Pines Resort on Bass Lake. After the wedding we took the rest of the weekend to drive in our rental car and explore the area. It really was like a Bob Ross painting! I feel like I have such a better understanding of why people never want to leave California and why they call this place “God’s Country”. There’s just so much to see and it amazes me how much we have within the bounds of our own country.
Here are some iPhone shots at the lodge to give you a flavor:
And here are some from Mariposa Sequoia Grove and the High Sierras:
Super hard to capture the vastness on the camera, but believe me, it was there. I also put together a short film for fun (isn’t there something so romantic about 8mm?):
When I made this I was feeling the neutrals…but of course at the last minute that coral color popped in! What can ya do?
True to form I am on the laptop and watching scifi as I make this (has anyone seen Hemlock Grove?) It’s been busy around here. In a good way. I’m learning to let go of my expectations a bit in terms how much I can actually get done in a day. I feel really excited and motivated lately and there are a million things I want to create. But in reality there are only so many hours in a day, and I need to eat and sleep at some point! ;-)
Still, happy to be inspired. The rest will sort itself out.
Download the free wallpaper by clicking on the links for your resolution and then right-clicking > save as. (1920 x 1080) (1920 x 1200)
I’m such a sucker for motivational quotes! Honestly! They boost my day and there’s no fighting it. They really do make me feel better. :)
This one needs no explanation, it’s just a gentle push when we get that “can’t” word in our heads. Time to employ the power of positive thinking. Enjoy!
It’s Saturday morning and I’m designing Illustrator brushes. Who am I anymore? ;-) I’m not sure, but I like where this is headed.
One of the cooler things I learned in design school was how to make custom Illustrator brushes. I KNEW that this was going to be something I wanted to explore more after graduation when I had the time to dedicate. I see little embellishments like this on blogs and websites all the time, but I assume most are custom-made for single use. I wanted to try my hand at making some “string lights” with the thought that if I needed them on a project, I wouldn’t have to recreate from scratch every time. That’s the beauty of a brush versus a graphic!
I’m also sharing these cause they’re pretty fun! Download at the link above. :)
To open and use: in Illustrator go to Window > Brushes. In the upper right corner drop-down menu select “Open Brush Library” > Other Library. Then load up the file and you should be good to go! Select the brush tool and paint away! You can also create a shape and then click on the brush as a stroke which gives it outlined shapes (like the squares shown above). You can change the stroke size to change the size of the bulbs. Pretty cool, huh?
Weeeeeee! Roller skating! I saw this font and immediately pictured a 1970s roller rink with oversized fountain drinks and hot dogs. And as I was searching for images I found all these old pictures of roller rinks and it just made me smile. Is it possible to have nostalgia for something you weren’t alive for? I mean, I grew up with a Cheap Skate next to my house. I remember a dude with curly hair running the DJ booth who would roll up next to us and pass out free pepsi tickets if we were skatin’ good. I think that counts?
ANYWAY. Back to the font. It’s a freebie called Monoton. And I have a design teacher who would be cursing me right now because I called it a “font” and not a “type”. FYI - type is the name of the font family (Monoton) and font is the actual variant of the family (Monoton regular). WHATEVER, TEACHERS! I’m a free bird now! (ca-caaaw). Enjoy the font!