The Evolution of a "Slash" Career

I recently read an article from Forbes about millennials who have "slash" careers. While I'm not a card-carrying millennial, I certainly resonated with the article. It states how valuable someone who says things like “I’m a lawyer/writer," or "I work in marketing; I’m also a professional actor," or "I’m in tech, and I have photography business on the side," can actually be an asset to their employer (or in my case, clients), contrary to what some traditionalists may think. The article is a great read as it offers what I consider to be a new wave of the future that many creative types have long embraced, whether millenials or otherwise.

As a teaser, here are some of the reasons those with "slash careers" are such a valuable resource:

1. They are motivated and take initiative.

2. They have a diverse skill-set.

3. They are creatively fulfilled..... Their creativity spills out into your company.

Those that personally work with me soon find out how highly motivated I am to not only do my very best for each and every client and their customers, but also to live a life that makes a difference in the world. Much of the time, I do this alongside my treasured client(s). Other times, it's outside of the office walls of Studio Haus.

In addition to design and illustration work, I also practice and teach yoga. I'm an avid hiker and admitted nature geek. I love to read and hear live music. It's refreshing to find that many of my clients manage multiple interests as well and we support each others pursuits with heart-felt encouragement. All of this "extra-curricular" activity we embrace as individuals combines to make better team members and fellow earthly beings. And the benefits of all of these interests and pursuits we have within and outside of our primary career help to fulfill our collaborative endeavors in more meaningful ways.

I've been at this design thing for quite a while and it continues to amaze me how each and every project taken on has a completely fresh new feel to it and how enjoyable that process of discovering and uncovering its unique gems is. The pursuits of a creative career coupled with the ethics of business truly thrive when met with all the different perspectives that result from the collaboration on a project. It is a welcomed and valued opportunity every single time. Sharing the results of this process with the community it is offered to carries great responsibility that I'm proud to be a part of. It all comes down to mutual respect, honest communication and quality connection. I'm so very grateful for the opportunities to share these things we love to do.

SeekBeauty_2_WebSite.png

Save the Date for Upcoming Fall Festivities

Creating branding has always been a large part of my business history. I have gravitated to that creative process from the very first logo project assigned in college. We didn't call it branding back then; it was just logo design. Over the years though, many of my logo clients have come back time and time again to build on their logo's brand recognition.

After building the recognition of the Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival's brand over the years, my wonderful clients came back to me for the development of the Memphis Japan Festival's branding that they will begin to manage this fall.

Since these two festivals are being managed by the same group, we decided it would make sense to give the Memphis Japan Festival a uniquely recognizable look while also having some graphic affiliation with the Nashville Cherry Blossom Festival. Nashville's festival is held in the spring and the latter will take place in the fall. The colors and blossoms of Nashville's springtime festival didn't apply. Hence more fall-like colors and flora. The letting and compositions did make sense though.

We are so happy to display the fruits (or shall I say the Japanese Maple leaves?) of our labors with this new logo and the upcoming promotional materials that are to showcase this new direction.

Mark your calendar for Sunday, September 24th from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 at the Memphis Botanic Garden. We'd certainly appreciate your support in attendance. And we sure do love what we do together as a team!

 

Change of Scenery

As this month's blog is posting, I'm on a creative retreat to tap into and foster more creativity in my work and thus my life. My business is called Studio Haus for a reason: my work spills out into every area of the world where I reside. Sometimes though, I need to break free from my walls and oftentimes it involves having nature all around me. However, for this retreat to happen, I gave myself a self-imposed deadline that "I couldn't go outside and play" until I redesigned my web site.

As you may notice, graphic development of just about any kind is a welcome experience professionally for me, so my portfolio of work can seem all over the place. The fact of the matter is that I still do a lot of the same kinds of projects I've always done: logos, books, ads, brochures/catalogs/other print, and, of course, full-on marketing campaigns including signage. The thing I've always done behind the scenes though has been art and illustration. I began sharing my work publicly after realizing how much volume I had in drawers that wasn't seeing the light of day. It was then that I decided it was time to start making more art again and marketing it. However, my site didn't leave a good first impression after trying to fit this "new" element of illustration into my portfolio. Let's just say the procrastination set in.

Inspiration is for amateurs. I just get to work.

After almost two years of trying to make the previous web site design work and getting a metaphorical jolt (again) from a single Chuck Close quote ("Inspiration is for amateurs. I just get to work."), I decided to go much simpler. I decided to stop trying to make something that wasn't working well into something that was easier, cleaner and more enjoyable to maintain and update. While doing these things for clients is always the objective, I'd let the attention to detail for my own marketing plan slip. So I decided to implement and prioritize my own professional deadline while maintaining my obligations to clients. That metaphorical jolt turned into a kick in the butt.

Welcome to my new web site. I can honestly say it was a joy to create. Because a web site is constantly evolving, I know I will still be finessing things along the way. In the meantime, please peruse, share, critique and hopefully enjoy.

This career I've been fostering along with my incredible roster of clients has been one I've loved from the get-go and sharing it with others is an honor. Now I'm off to work! Yay!

New States of Inspiration

This past month, I took a exploratory holiday out west followed by a research trip into the surface design world. Traveling from Nashville to New Mexico then on to New York—all very different places full of inspiration—was quite the transition.

All the textures of the New Mexico landscapes, even if they are mostly shades of brown, are simply beautiful.

All the textures of the New Mexico landscapes, even if they are mostly shades of brown, are simply beautiful.

New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment and a state I had once considered living in after graduating from college, has been a draw for me since I was a teenager—what looks from afar to be so arid, dead and multiple shades of brown contains such incredible surprises of beauty, life and color upon closer inspection. My friends and I spent many days hiking amidst otherworldly landscapes of canyons, cacti, cap rocks and other geological formations that look straight out of sci-fi movies.

Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument felt like a trip to the moon!

Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument felt like a trip to the moon!

Mostly though, the draw of the NM visit was a couple of artists I’ve grown up admiring for their personal strength, grace, beauty and the perseverance in mastering their art. One was my high school art teacher, a major influence in my life in so many ways; and the other was of course, Georgia O’Keefe, an artist that has become somewhat synonymous with New Mexico.

As a budding artist in my youth, O’Keefe’s work had me obsessed and her inspiration feels as strong today as ever. She loved beauty and art-making and she didn't seem to let much stand in the way of her her nature to do things her way. She was strong in her convictions and drawn to the softness of nature.

I agree with Georgia.

I agree with Georgia.

Visiting her home and studio revealed how she designed her surroundings to nurture her talents: clean and simple décor with nature visible from every angle. Not only just an artist, she loved every act of creativity she fostered: gardening, cooking, even camping. I certainly would have loved to have known this woman personally. Visiting the places she still haunts was the next best thing I could ask for. I feel sure that I will return one day.

After a week of exploring in the high desert landscapes, I headed to NYC to assist a couple of very talented artists at a trade show called Blueprint. (What a transition of landscape, but that’s a whole other topic.) The show features artists in the world of surface design which encompasses everything from greeting cards, apparel, wall art, wall paper, home décor and so much more.

While I walked the floor of the Blueprint show last year (as well as the bigger show called SURTEX), this time I was assisting, observing and visiting with other artists as art buyers stopped by their booths to ask questions, discuss trends and interests, and negotiate future projects. Melissa Hyatt and Ine Beerten were gracious in their time, knowledge and talents and I am very honored to have been given the opportunity to observe them in action.

Melissa Hyatt was a first-time exhibitor at Blueprint so I learned a lot in the hours I spent assisting in her booth. And making a new friend was a bonus!

Melissa Hyatt was a first-time exhibitor at Blueprint so I learned a lot in the hours I spent assisting in her booth. And making a new friend was a bonus!

I spent the whole last day of the Blueprint show with Ine Beerten. She travels all the way from Belgium (can you say yummy chocolates?) for the NYC licensing shows (this was her second time at Blueprint and she has also exhinited at SURTEX). She generously shared a wealth of information on how to navigate the world of surface pattern design. Her style is cleverly whimsical and we share not only interests in art but she's also a yogini like me!

I spent the whole last day of the Blueprint show with Ine Beerten. She travels all the way from Belgium (can you say yummy chocolates?) for the NYC licensing shows (this was her second time at Blueprint and she has also exhinited at SURTEX). She generously shared a wealth of information on how to navigate the world of surface pattern design. Her style is cleverly whimsical and we share not only interests in art but she's also a yogini like me!

As a print designer for much of my life, seeing another side of a design industry that is quite different from what I've been used to has been incredibly inspiring and admittedly a little intimidating. I will always be a designer and the challenge to expand my potential as an artist is exciting to say the least.

If you're interested in watching my growth in this realm, please sign up for my e-newsletter (link in the bar at the top of this page) and/or stay connected through social media by clicking the gray icon of your choice below. My work can be found on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Behance. And if you feel inspired to work together on any projects, please reach out!

Oh, and that trip to NYC: it ended on a very synchronistic note. The Brooklyn Museum had an exhibit that I stopped in to see on my way to the airport featuring Georgia O’Keefe’s artwork and images that photographers captured of her alongside bits of her wardrobe. She may well be the American artist who best branded herself in modern-day history as an independent woman with her sharp features, loose black dresses, and wide-rimmed black hats. The photos that captured her reflective, distant gazes to the gorgeous horizons of her creative inspiration showed she was an artist in every sense of the word.

What a treat it was to end my NYC trip standing in front of this famous image by Yosuf Karsh (right) of Ms. O'Keefe standing in front of the famous door that captured her imagination for years until she was able to purchase the property that became her home. The week before, I stood in that entryway and took my own picture of the skull she lovingly hung there in her New Mexico home.

What a treat it was to end my NYC trip standing in front of this famous image by Yosuf Karsh (right) of Ms. O'Keefe standing in front of the famous door that captured her imagination for years until she was able to purchase the property that became her home. The week before, I stood in that entryway and took my own picture of the skull she lovingly hung there in her New Mexico home.

It’s clear to me that O’Keefe really loved the work she was gifted to create which in turn was and continues to be loved by others. Thanks to Ms. O’Keefe and of course to my high school art teacher, Ms. Fritts, for sharing your truth with the world. Your influence lives on in so many inexpressible ways. I am grateful for it all.