Category Archives: message

Why pretty graphics make a difference for your business (and how to make yours look good)

gimmespace!

OK. I have a bone to pick… PLEASE STOP POSTING CRAPPY GRAPHICS!!

I know, I’m a total design snob.

Being a designer for 15 years will do that to you. I also just like to look at pretty things in general. I’m very sensory oriented.

But, snobbery and eye candy aside, there is good reason for this demand.

Back when I was a designer full time, my tagline was ‘Making the world a better place, one design at a time.’

There is so much truth in that sentence, regardless of who is making the graphics – you or a designer.

Pretty things make people happy and happy people do awesome stuff. They’re more creative and inspired and motivated to do the things that change the world.

And in the online world these days, awesome stuff is also what goes viral and gets shared all over the internets. And the stuff that gets shared millions of times IS WHAT CHANGES THE WORLD the fastest!

Whether or not someone has a trained eye for design,
they pick up on crappy looking design.

Except, the non-trained eye clicks away because they feel uncomfortable. And because they didn’t realize it was that distorted, pixelated image on your site that made them feel uncomfortable, they might think that… {GASP}… YOU make them uncomfortable.

Let’s just sit with that for a moment…

Crappy looking materials for your biz make people
project that crappiness onto you.

(click here to tweet that!)

Ew. We don’t want that.

The good news is that YOU ARE NOT CRAPPY!!

YOU ARE AWESOME!!

And there is an easy way to fix this… make your biz look HOT with badass images!

Hey guys, look at my mandala!!

Umm, it's kinda blury .................... AHHH, MY EYES! .................... OOOO! That's PRETTY!
gimmespace!

Here are a few simple tips for creating pretty graphics:

1. Handle image size in the proper ways.

Photos are not infinitely scalable or stretchable. They are made of tiny boxes called pixels and when you scale an image larger, the program you’re using has to guess what would fill the extra space you just made, which is why it ends up looking pixellated. Also, there can be a tendency to stretch or squish an image to make it a certain size.

To avoid this… use crisp, clear images that are large enough to do what you want with. Always scale the image proportionately – if you need it to be smaller, crop away!

Where to find these crisp, clear photos? My favorite stock image site to peruse is veer.com.

OR

Use your own! I use my iPhone and she takes lovely pictures. Here’s a fun little course if you’d like to improve your iPhonography skillz. 

2. Use PNGs when posting on Facebook.

For whatever reason… Facebook makes JPG images with text look funky, whenever possible, use the PNG format instead.

3. Edit your photos.

An easy way to make your images look good is to edit them. You don’t need fancy editing knowhow or software to do this. Even though I’ve been a designer for 15 year, I just use my phone these days!

It’s easy to make any photo look more interesting with some filters and text. Here are my fave apps to use:

  • Instagram – Tip: If you put your phone on airplane mode, you can apply filters without actually posting the image to your feed. Go through the entire process of posting – the post will fail because you’re in airplane mode and will store your filtered image in the Photo Album. Then you can continue to play with that, sexy looking image in…
  • Afterlight – Has filters and some basic editing features. But I love it for the frames! They come come in all sorts of shapes – hearts, stars, every letter of the alphabet etc etc etc. Also has some fun options to add light leaks which can make your images more ethereal.
  • A Beautiful Mess – Use this to add text and doodles to your images! It also has some backgrounds to choose from if you just want to do
  • Over – Another text and doodle/drawings app. This one has loads of fonts to choose from!
gimmespace!
My photo + Instagram + Over
gimmespace!

4. Hire a designer

If you’re not artistically inclined and/or don’t enjoy making the arts, it pays off to hire someone to do it for you. Seriously, your bottom line will thank you in more time to do YOUR thang, less frustration struggling to make things look pretty and, well, keep reading…

BUT! Before you do ANY of this, you need to…

*** Find your brand STYLE so you can create unique, on-brand images. ***

Embodying the proper energy for your business makes your brand look sexy and your audience TAKE NOTICE!

Like anything, designs carry energy with them and the energy you want people to see and the energy your business is actually exuding should match.

You wouldn’t design materials for a university in the style of a preschool, right?! Well, the same thing is true for your business – people really pick up on the subtle nuances of what you put out there. The more cohesive of a brand image you create, the more magnetic your brand’s voice gets.

If people aren’t paying attention, how are you going to change the world?!

So yea…

1. Find your brand style

2. Make your brand LOOK as hot as it REALLY IS

3. Change the world

The end.

gimmespace!

Don’t know your brand style? Weird Heart/Wild Heart will show you!

And also, I’m raising my rates! I have a few spots left in each of my programs at the old rates and then they DOUBLE in investment – check it out here.

gimmespace!


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Being yourself and doing what you love can change your life

I have a little story for you!

You may or may not know this, but I’ve been drawing lately… a lot.

And all this drawing has added a whole new dimension to my business.

I’m telling this story for two reasons: 

1. To share with you how finding a creative practice you love can be life altering.

2. And to show you exactly what rocking your WEIRD can do for you!

 

<3 Love letter to you and me mandala <3

 

It started in earnest last fall.

Well, technically, I’ve been drawing since I was a wee child (we all have!), took lots of art classes while I was growing up and then majored in art.

When I graduated from college, I became a graphic designer. All of my creative energy went into designing all day and I stopped making art for myself.

Over the past few years, though, I’ve been doing more consulting and less design and last fall, I started to feel like something was missing.

I wasn’t really sure what it was, but I knew that I was feeling burned out…

Being an entrepreneur is really hard sometimes!

It’s stressful to constantly be exposing yourself to the world and if you’re like me, you’re not very good at ending the work day at a reasonable hour because there’s always more you ‘could’ be doing.

So yea, burned out.

When you’re burned out, all you wanna do is chill out and relax and enjoy yourself.

It turns out it can be surprisingly difficult to relax and enjoy yourself when you feel like there’s a lot to do. The guilt monster immediately showed up, throwing all kinds of profanity in my direction.

But that was the whole reason I had gotten myself into the mess of feeling burned out in the first place.

I was also having quite a hard time remembering what I *actually* liked to do for fun!

So, I decided to go way way back in the archives… to childhood!

I knew I liked to hang out in nature… so many, many walks ensued.

And while I was walking, I found a playground and rediscovered the swings, so I added that to my list. But, it turns out that adults without kids aren’t really welcome in playgrounds anymore so… that was just sort of awkward!

I read some of my fave books as a kid.

These things were all successful at helping me call up that glorious feeling of freedom and curiosity.

And then I dug out the art supplies…

It started with a few handmade cards and some futzing around with watercolors.

I liked it because I could make whatever the heck I wanted without having to think about pleasing anyone. It was all in the name of feeling good.

Over time, I noticed that I had naturally started gravitating towards making art whenever I was feeling overwhelmed by other things in my life or feeling creatively stuck and scared in my biz. I’m pretty amazed that in a matter of a few weeks, art making had officially been inducted into my subconscious as a tool to use to take me from feeling ‘UGH’ to feeling ‘WEEEEEEE!!!!’!!!!

 

This one is about sacred geometry.

And then my friend Mariah Neeson sent me this video on how to draw a mandala.

And EVERYTHING JUST EXPLODED!

I had always been very intrigued by mandalas but was way too intimidated by their intricacy to try drawing one (it turns out it’s insanely easy!).

Suddenly I was a drawing maniac. I couldn’t WAIT to draw everyday!

And then something really interesting happened… I noticed that what I was drawing completely reflected whatever was going on inside me – whatever I was struggling with, or celebrating, emotionally or mentally ended up on the page.  Of course, I later found out that Carl Jung touted the mandala as a representation of the inner self which explained a lot.

 

Drawing as play!

 

Every time I drew a mandala, I discovered something new about myself or solved a life problem or transformed a crappy stressed out mood into a calm one… and in the rest of my life, I saw huge changes!

I started accepting and loving myself more, expressing myself more opening, I launched a passion project, I grew the ovarios needed to state what I wanted and needed, transforming several important relationships in my life and so so many other things.

So there I was… drawing my daily mandalas and loving it! (my handle is @poodlecat if you’re curious to see them – or you can look at the Instagram album on my Facebook page)

And other people were loving it, too! Any time someone would email me or call me, they’d bring up the mandalas and how much they were enjoying them. I was really surprised by just how into them people were!

So I decided to package up all the stuff I had been exploring through my daily mandalas into a drawing workshop to see if other peeps would want to experience (and re-experience) just how effing awesome drawing is!! And thus Be Drawsome! was born.

And it turns out that all kinds of people, artists and non-artists, are super excited about drawing!! WOOHOOOO!!

 

Letting go of old crap.

 

Something that’s been there all along but that I had no clue would transform me and have such an impact on the people around me. So there you have it, the 10 month process of seeking, playing, discovering and sharing a deep part of myself.

The lesson: go after what makes you feel good,
enjoy the heck out of it and share it with others.
Be your weird self and you will totally changes lives!

 

 

 

 

If you’re curious to explore drawing, would love to have you in the latest Be Drawsome! Workshop! Check it out here!