Each year I create a hand drawn calendar for my mom for Christmas. This year with a little help from my sister and a lot of inspiration from Pinterest, here are a few of the 12 pages: 

Creative Mornings - A Lecture on Crossover

This month's Creative Morning's theme was Crossover. The Austin chapter recruited Jen Spencer, founder of The Creative Executive, to give a talk at the new TOM's Roasting Co. (pretty cool space!). Spencer has dealt with a lot of crossover in her career - from changing careers entirely, to starting a family and having a baby to creating a consulting agency that is true to her transitional values. 

Her consulting practice is in the business of transitions and inspirations. The overall theme of her lecture revolved around a motivation to honor who you are and who you want to be. 

Here are a few inspirational nuggets: 

  • There are three phases in a professional career: Direction - Achievement - Legacy. Between achievement and legacy the question, "Is this right for me?" always arises. If the answer to that question is YES, keep on keeping on. If that answer is no, it is time to reevaluate. 
  • In that reevaluation stage, vulnerability is the key to success. Risk, uncertainty and emotional exposure give us opportunities to look deep and ask the meaningful questions. 
  • "Be present in your work and life, and if you're honoring who you are, you won't be worried about where you're supposed to be." 


This month has been full of endless traveling and adventures. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to continue exploring. I thought I would do a small hand-letter project based on the cities I visited and the obligatory instagrams I captured. 

5 Things I Learned at Creative Circles Conference

I had the opportunity to stop by the Creative Circles Conference this year. The atmosphere was flooded with passion for design and an eagerness for inspiration. Below are just a few things I learned from some pretty cool creatives: 

  1. A Kick-Ass Mobile App Helps Support a Great Conference: Inner Geek created an elegant application for the conference. It offers a great user experience that you can check out here. With a personalized schedule builder included, this could be perfect for something like sxsw! 
  2. Using Heritage as Innovation: Co-Founders of The Heads of State, Jason and Dusty, discussed the importance of preserving tradition & history in creative work. In their work they often use a style equation, which combines artistic elements from history that they are inspired by to create something new. Another piece of advice from the duo is to continue to bring all ideas to the table, and allow personal passions to keep you inspired and motivated. One project, that came out of a personal hobby of collecting luggage tags, is their side company, Pilot & Capt. which prints t-shirts and other merchandise to further the life of these iconic luggage tags and their timeless typography. 
  3. Art First, Photoshop Second // The Importance of Limitless Brainstorming: Jay Argaet, Creative Director at Hillsong Church in Sydney, Australia, stressed the importance of designing outside of the box, or more so computer, by using real objects, rather than just pixels, to create. Here is the process of one album cover art he created not in photoshop, but with actual mirrors and a camera in the New Zealand landscape. He ended his talk emphasizing the importance of limitless brainstorming, saying "aim for the impossible, until you know for a fact that it can't actually be done." 
  4. Innovation enhanced through SPARK: The combination of stories, perseverance, adventure, restoration and kindness are how Lee Steffen, founder of Creative Penguin, sparks his own innovation process. 
  5. Everyone Has a Voice: Doug Bowman, former Creative Director at Twitter, reminded us that Twitter's main goal was to play a supporting role in human connection. He said, "it has always been about people and should always be about people." As creators, we have a responsibility to give everyone a voice, and Twitter was the beginning of that: connecting people not just through those we know, but with those we want to know and might not have had contact with otherwise. The social network even changed how businesses interact with their customers. Doug ended his talk restating that, "we are the creators of the modern era. We each have a voice and every voice deserves to be heard."

This Week's Pretty Type

1. Just Cook - It's hard to pass up well designed seasoning. It was the first time I saw someone spice things up in this packaging category. 

2. Brew & Brew - Local Austin coffee shop that does type right. And coffee too. 

Free Font Friday

Once I create a piece with a typeface I love, I tend to go a little overboard with it. My overused typefaces lately have been Dosis and Museo Sans Rounded. I love the variety of widths in both and the simplicity of their clean, rounded san serif features. 

Here are a few snapshots of the type in action: