Everyone faces the challenges of finding motivation every day, whether you are starting a new project, trying to find the energy to exercise, or a multitude of other tasks and responsibilities. It's easy to fall into the slump of procrastination, but it's important to overcome this obstacle and achieve what needs to be done. When you accomplish daily tasks, you will feel more satisfied with your day-to-day life, which will lead you to a happier state of mind! As we all know, this is easier said than done. The following is my personal method for overcoming procrastination and finding motivation.
1. Get organized.
Remember in grade school when we had daily planners? I still keep a paper planner with me at all times, and I write down everything I need to accomplish each day as well as in the future. Whether it's sketches for a new project, sending a completed project to print, or reminding myself to exercise, it's all organized within my planner. It's easy to prioritize projects when I'm able to flip through the calendar pages and see the deadlines that lie ahead. I find it easier to see everything on paper in front of me than in multiple places (notes, reminders, emails, etc.) on my phone. I also find that it's also more satisfying to physically cross off an item from my handwritten to-do list than it is to hit "Delete" on my keyboard. Crossing things off my list is a small but helpful motivation tool.
Clear your mind of everything except the task at hand. Clear. Your. Mind. Now focus!
3. Get excited.
Think about the reason why you chose to accept a particular project. Something about it had to excite you enough to want to do it, and this excitement should motivate you to get started. If it's a project you were assigned that doesn't particularly interest you, think about praise from your supervisor for completing the job well, or something positive that will result from completing the task. Finding anything to be enthusiastic about provides motivation to begin the project.
4. Picture the end result.
Visualize how you want a project to look when it's complete, or whatever your end goal for a particular task might be. Although the end results may vary from your vision, finding determination to accomplish a goal is a good way to become motivated to begin working towards it.
5. Find inspiration.
What inspires you? For example, a quick Pinterest search for artwork I admire gives me ideas about how to start working towards my vision for a project. Make a Board or a folder on your desktop with photos or documents that inspire you, and reference them throughout your journey to your goal.
6. Start somewhere. Sketch, write, move.
In college, I minored in Creative Writing, and my professor taught us that if you don't know what to write, just start put any thoughts that come to mind down on paper. Before you know it, you will have a concept worth exploring. The same idea can be applied to projects, exercise, or any task you hope to accomplish. For example, when I have an entire wedding suite to design, I start with something small and simple, such as drawing florals or choosing type pairings. Once a project is started, it's easy to become focused, excited, and motivated to reach the end result.
7. Avoid distractions.
Without even realizing it, you have overcome procrastination and found motivation! The last step to accomplishing your goal is to avoid distraction and remain focused until you are finished. Clear your mind of all distractions. Clear. Your. Mind. Now focus!
Before you know it, you will have completed your project or task at hand, and you can be proud of the results!
How do you avoid procrastination and find motivation? Leave a comment below!
How can a logo design impact your business? Whether you are in the process of opening a start-up company or you have been in business for many years, few things are more important than your brand identity, which starts with a logo. Obtaining a professionally designed logo (as opposed to a "logo" your cousin Jim did on the cheap) is paramount to the success of your business or brand for a number of reasons:
1. Making a strong first impression
A logo is the first thing people notice about your business. When you hand someone a business card, his eyes move directly to the logo. If a person is driving through town looking for a new hair stylist, the logo on your sign is going to draw her in or scare her away before she ever sees the inside of your shop. Say you are the proud new owner of a web design company, but your logo begs the question as to whether you passed high school art class. Potential clients are going to leave your site within three seconds of arriving because they already lost trust in your company. First impressions are everything when it comes to attracting clients to your doorstep or online store. If you have a state-of-the art logo that matches the quality of the product or service you provide, consumers will make the split-second decision trust your business enough to explore what you have to offer.
2. Concisely defining your business
A designer can develop a logo that showcases the purpose of your business in a unique and concise way to set you apart from the competition. Effective logos simply and clearly depict what your company has to offer. Whether your brand is creative and fun, highly professional and formal, or quirky and exotic, a logo helps consumers to easily identify if your company can meet their needs, or at the very least, attracts their attention to do further research into your business.
3. Building brand recognition
After moving past the initial first impression stage, people begin to associate your company with your logo and overall brand identity. The easier it is to recognize your logo, the better. A recognizable logo also helps to grow consumer loyalty. Consider some of the most successful companies in history: Apple, Chevrolet, Facebook, McDonald's, etc. All of these companies have instantly recognizable logos that invoke consumer trust solely based on brand recognition. Strive to attain this level of brand recognition amongst your target audience.
4. Instilling professionalism & trustworthiness
A well-designed logo translates to business professionalism and trustworthiness. As a business owner, you invest time, effort, revenue, and so much more into building your business and promoting your product or service. However, the lack of a strong brand identity may result in wasted resources. Consumer trust starts with the outward appearance of your business; although they say never to judge a book by its cover, this is exactly what consumers do when shopping around for the best place to spend their hard-earned dollars. When a consumer sees that you invested in a reliable image for your company, they will trust you to provide quality products and services. Therefore, it's well worth the investment to obtain a professionally designed identity for your business to maximize consumer trust.
5. Rising above the competition
If your business has a beautifully designed, trustworthy logo, it is sure to attract more customers than competitors who failed to recognize the value of brand identity. A strong logo design invokes confidence and generates consumer loyalty to your business. Everyone wants to have the best, trendiest, most reliable products on the market. Invest in a logo that shows your customers that your brand is the best you can buy.
Give your business the logo and brand identity it deserves. Let's work together to develop a design that tells your story, attracts clients, and grows your success!
So your wedding is in less than a year, and you've been looking at gorgeous examples of wedding invitations that feature hand-painted florals. However, you don't want to order from a generic site and risk someone else sending out the exact same invitations, plus none of the designs include your specific wedding flowers that you spent hours choosing.
On top of wedding planning, you are also in charge of throwing your best friend's baby shower that's only two months away, and she wants monkey-themed invitations, but all of the designs you've found on the internet are super cheesy. Talk about stress on top of stress!
Sounds like you could use a designer with a fine arts degree!
I graduated from Clarke University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 2015. (Wait, isn't it next to impossible for art majors to find jobs? Short answer: no, and I'm always looking for ways to incorporate my handskills into the designs I create for you!) In college, I took three-hour-long drawing classes to refine my skills in different media, including pencil, charcoal, oil pastel, ink, etc. Knowledge of the proper techniques to use diverse drawing media allows me to develop artwork specific to your vision, whatever it may be. Additionally, I learned basic painting techniques, mainly using acrylics, but since graduation, I have taught myself to watercolor, and I absolutely love it! I also dabbled in printmaking, book arts, sculpture, photography and learned to integrate these different art-making methods into digital designs, complete with expert use of typography.
What does this mean for you? The skills I worked to refine in college (and beyond) allow me to help you, dear client, with whatever style invitation you can imagine! Whether you want watercolor bridal shower invitations featuring a specific floral arrangement or adorably illustrative baby shower invitations, I can bring your ideas to life in a way that will impress your guests and make them excited for your event! What are you waiting for? Let's work together to create something awesome!
Four years ago today, I walked down the aisle of Sacred Heart Church to marry my best friend. It was a day filled with so much love, surrounded by our family and friends, and I still replay parts of it in my mind, especially on our anniversary.
How do you celebrate your anniversary? An even better question:
What should you get your spouse for an anniversary gift?
An anniversary gift should carry the sentiment felt on your wedding day and serve as a reminder of your love for one another. No pressure, right? Not to worry! This post is filled with inspiration for creative, personalized gifts to give your spouse this year!
1. A Customized Wall-Hanging
A wall-hanging featuring the lyrics to your first dance song or your wedding vows makes for an incredibly heartfelt gift that will take your spouse back to your wedding day. It may even prompt a sweet dance in the kitchen to relive your first dance!
2. Update your home decor!
Depending how long you have been married, your home decor may be in need of an update. Organic decor, such as natural wood paired with simple greenery, is very trendy this year. Why not print a photo of you and your spouse on wood along with your favorite quote to describe your marriage? This gift would make a great statement piece to place on your end table to replace the outdated ceramic figurines.
3. Commission a painting of your wedding flowers!
You spent so many hours planning each detail of your wedding, so why not turn one of the most significant details, your wedding flowers, into a signature gift? I absolutely love water coloring, and I would be thrilled to paint your wedding flowers as a special gift for your spouse.
4. Create a customized blanket or pillow!
Printing your favorite photo(s), quote, or significant phrases related to your relationship or family makes for a fun, lighthearted present that is sure to lead to more cuddle time on the couch watching your favorite movies!
5. A Statement Card
Some couples prefer to keep anniversaries simple. Purchasing a card that makes a statement can be just as meaningful as an expensive gift! Contact me to order a custom card that is sure to put a smile on your spouse's face.
6. A Handmade Sign
A handmade sign can make a super cool personalized gift! The possibilities are endless and can match any style, whether it's for a man cave, a statement piece in your bedroom, or anything in between! Pictured is a sign that I made for my best friend's wedding. It was such a fun project made almost entirely from reclaimed materials! Order one today! I would love to turn your idea into reality!
Design by Faith offers services to achieve all of these gift ideas! Let's get started on a personalized anniversary gift that your spouse is sure to love!
As a bride or groom, you have so much to think about in preparation for one of the biggest days of your life. Planning a wedding can be stressful, as I discovered firsthand during my own experience, but when it comes to your invites, working with a wedding invitation designer will allow you to enjoy the stationery process! Why hire a stationery designer as opposed to ordering wedding invitations online or taking a DIY approach?
1. Every wedding day is as unique as the bride and groom—your invitations should reflect your personality and wedding vision!
Because couples spend so much time contemplating each wedding detail, from the color scheme to the flowers to the reception hall lighting, these elements should be flawlessly incorporated into wedding stationery. A professional wedding invitation designer is able to develop a stylized wedding suite exclusive to each couple that encompasses the important details the couple has painstakingly chosen. Websites simply do not offer the quality of personalization or customer service that a stationery designer provides. Professional designers are able to expertly combine typography, colors, graphic elements such as monograms, paper quality, and the proper wording to create a stunning wedding suite that perfectly matches your wedding vision.
2. Wedding invitations set the tone for your entire event, and become a keepsake for people to remember the day.
Wedding invitations are the first tangible glimpse into your wedding day that guests experience. Why not impress them and make them excited to attend your big event? Wedding invitations should be a work of art. When guests feel the hand-selected paper and marvel over intricate or quirky detailing, they are sure to mark your date on their calendars as one they cannot miss and save the invitation in a special place.
3. Professional designers are experts when it comes to organization.
A professional designer is accustomed to meeting clients’ needs within a strict deadline. We also know exactly what information MUST be included on an invitation (dates, time, location, etc.) The last thing you want is to muddle through designing your own invitations and realize after you’ve sent them out that you forgot to include your wedding date! (This actually happens!) Additionally, we know all of the pieces that should be incorporated into a wedding suite, and we can design all of them for you. Websites such as Shutterfly, Zazzle, and Minted, sometimes leave holes in your wedding suite, such as lack of a “guest information card” design, so you are left to DIY something that doesn’t quite match the rest of the stationery. Not to mention, these websites may charge ridiculous amounts for simple pieces. Professional stationery designers will help you avoid disaster, keep things moving smoothly to ensure the invites are ready on time, and focus on ALL of the pieces of your wedding suite, so you can focus on other aspects of wedding planning—like cake tasting!
4. Creativity comes easily to professional designers.
I have had several brides tell me that making design-related decisions on their own stresses them out, and they end up frustrated with the invitation designs they attempt to create, even with the help of a website template. If you decide to hire a professional wedding designer, rest assured that your wedding suite is in very capable hands, and we love what we do! I promise my passion for designing wedding stationery will be evident throughout the entire process, should you decide to work with me, and I strive to make it a positive experience for all of my wedding clients! If you are ready to hire a wedding invitation designer, I am ready to work with you! Visit the Contact page to get started!
Do you like to listen to music while you work, or do you enjoy working in silence? Music is part of my design process. I do my best design work with my favorite playlist on in the background (or blaring, depending on my mood and level of focus). Some of these songs earned a spot on my playlist for no reason other than they’re fun to listen to, thus requiring no further explanation. For others, I have some commentary as to why I love them. Mostly, I am inspired by upbeat music, and I curate my playlist accordingly so I can focus on designing rather than skipping through songs. What songs are on your playlist? Comment below! I’m always looking for new music!
1. One Foot—Walk The Moon
Try to be in a bad mood while listening to this song. I dare you. It’s impossible.
2. 3AM—Matchbox 20
Rob Thomas has my all-time favorite singing voice, and this is one of my favorite tracks from his band.
3. Kiss This—The Struts
4. Kiwi—Harry Styles
5. Lola Montez—Volbeat
I can’t understand half of the words, but I sing along anyway…it’s hard to resist! Fun fact, this song is about an actual woman who lived in the 1800s. Her history is quite scandalous. https://allthatsinteresting.com/lola-montez
6. Slide—Goo Goo Dolls
So much nostalgia is attached to this song. It takes me back to my childhood, listening to it on a tape in the car with my mom.
7. Best Day of My Life—American Authors
Another good mood song!
8. Move Along—All American Rejects
9. Thunder—Imagine Dragons
10. Make You Mine—High Valley
Sometimes I stray away from the rock genre and enter into today's country genre. I love the folksy rhythm of this country song; it makes me want to dance.
11. Make It Sweet—Old Dominion
It’s no secret; I love going to concerts. Old Dominion put on one of the best vocal performances I’ve ever heard, and I’m a huge fan of this band.
12. Green Light—Lorde
Season 6 Finale of New Girl, anyone? I find a lot of new music on TV show soundtracks.
13. Electric Love—Borns
14. The Wire—Haim
15. Panic Attack—Glorious Sons
This song is anthemic, yet the lyrics describe the suffocating nature of a panic attack. It’s such an unexpected juxtaposition, and I love it.
16. Come with Me Now—KONGOS
17. Smells Like Teen Spirit—Nirvana
I will forever love Nirvana.
18. New Politics—Harlem
19. Get Up—Shinedown
Whenever I need a little motivation, this song helps me to find it.
20. Never Comin’ Down—Keith Urban
This man can play guitar and banjo like you wouldn't believe, and he looks good doing it! If you've never been to a Keith performance, I highly recommend it!
21. I Like Me Better—Lauv
Rarely do I dip my toes into today’s mainstream pop genre (I find most of it boring), but I’m inspired by the unique instrumentation of this song. I wish more songs sounded like this one.
22. Why.2—Collective Soul
23. Any song by Blink-182
Blink-182 is the sole reason I made it through all-nighters working in the design lab during my college years. It’s hard to fall asleep at 3:30 AM when Blink is blasting through the speakers.
24. Drunk on a Plane—Dierks Bently
25. I See the Sun—Tommy Henriksen
26. Stay a Little Longer—Brothers Osborne
27. Help—Papa Roach
This was my favorite song for the entire year of 2017.
There you have it! A playlist of songs that I find inspiring and enjoy listening to while I crank out designs. I hope you check some of them out; maybe you will want to add them to your own playlist. Don't forget to comment some of your favorite songs below!
When I started college, one of my main questions I often posed to my professors was, “Where can I find inspiration? Where does creativity stem from?” Throughout my college years, my graphic design professor, Eric Wold, taught me that creativity doesn’t come from nowhere; rather, a process behind creativity exists. I am grateful to have learned the importance of the design process, and I still practice the same method each time I begin a new project.
Every time I am presented with a project, an initial idea comes to mind as to what the end result might look like. However, rarely is my preliminary idea anything close to the final product. To get out of my own head, I do extensive photo research beginning with imagery related to the project at hand, such as business card design, before vastly broadening my search to find color scheme inspiration, typographic inspiration, etc. I may draw color scheme inspiration from exotic rainforest imagery. Layout inspiration may be derived from interior design photos. Pattern inspiration may come in the form of Mexican tile imagery, from which I will pull basic elements to create my own designs. I compile these images categorically into contact sheets and print them so I am able to see them all at once. Juxtaposing this found imagery produces unique design inspiration.
After I compile my photo research, I begin sketching the ideas that come to mind. I generate several thumbnails of different ideas, especially if I am working on a logo design, and then select my favorites once I exhaust my thoughts or feel that I have produced enough usable concepts.
I select the strongest concepts from my sketches to digitally render in a design program. I usually create a rough draft of three to five concepts, depending on the complexity of a project, as well as the budget. Rest assured, the design I develop for you has been well thought out, and many options have been considered in an effort to produce the best possible work.
Refining the Work
At this point, I generally show the client one to three design proofs to gage their preferences. After the client decides which direction they want the project to take, I refine the chosen concept to meet their standards.
After revisions are made and clients are satisfied with the final product, I provide them with the final file or prints. At this point, I reflect on the design process, thinking back to my initial idea and comparing it to the final result, whether the design turned out as I thought it would or took a completely unexpected, yet powerful, turn for the best.
I’m going to be incredibly honest. The first time a client told me she was planning a “green” baby shower, I thought she meant the color scheme for the party was green. I designed an entirely green baby shower invitation (which actually turned out very cute), and luckily the client realized my misunderstanding and explained to me that a “green” shower is a sustainable baby shower. (I had a good laugh at myself.) Guests were asked to bring unwrapped gifts to the party in an effort to cut back on waste and also to save everyone from sitting through hours of watching the mama-to-be open presents. Win-win!
Follow these tips to host your own green shower!
Electronic invitations (evites) are an option—and I would be happy to design them for you!
Request cloth diapers on your gift registry!
If parents-to-be choose to practice an environmentally-friendly parenting style (and save some major cash in the process), including cloth diapers on the registry, and other green items, will help guests to better follow the theme and respect parents’ wishes.
Check out these cloth diapers featured on Shark Tank: https://fuzzibunz.com/
As mentioned above, request unwrapped gifts.
Ask guests to bring a book instead of a card.
Opt for real dishes or recyclable paper plates and cups, and use cloth tablecloths.
Avoid non-biodegradable plastic or Styrofoam plates and cups, and choose recyclable paper tableware instead. Or, add elegance to the event by using real china! Also, ask friends and relatives to borrow their cloth tablecloths for the party, with a promise to return them afterwards.
Use your creativity when planning games and activities!
Ditch tradition and have fun planning a green baby shower! Strive to create a fun experience not only for the mama-to-be, but guests as well. A simple way to ensure everyone enjoys the shower is to think of clever games with sustainability in mind. Examples include parenting trivia, racing to diaper a stuffed animal (which will be given to the mama-to-be afterwards), painting onesies for the baby, diaper bag memory, guess the baby photo, or write letters to the baby or funny advice cards for the parents-to-be. The options are endless!
Ideas to Add?
Post them in the comments below!
In a word, YES! No need to go through (what I like to call) an online giant like Fiverr or Shutterfly. Why not support a local business, receive a signature design completely customized to your vision, and pay the same amount or less than you would from an online giant? Design by Faith can help you achieve each of these, and I promise it will be an enjoyable process! Because graphic design is my passion, I am happy to work until you are satisfied with the product I create for you. Online giants are unable to provide this type of customer service, and you run the risk of choosing an unoriginal, uninspired design, all while paying more for the product.
Consider your wedding invitations. Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life, and the wedding invites you send out will set the tone for the entire event. While sites like Shutterfly have several designs for you (and everyone else) to choose from, Design by Faith provides 100% customized invitation designs at an almost always lower rate than this online giant, and others, are able to provide. Same goes for Christmas cards, birthday invitations, baby shower invitations, etc.
Let’s talk logo design. Design by Faith is a startup company; I’ve been in business for less than a year. Trust me, I understand what it’s like to be on a tight budget when it comes to running a business. Luckily for you, I work with clients on all different budgets, and my starting rates are incredibly affordable compared to those of other designers. I find it invigorating to create a strong image for a fellow startup, or an established business. In contrast, consider the cost of a poor logo design: the loss of potential customers due to an unreliable identity. Investing in a strong logo design and brand identity will help you to generate revenue through attracting clients to your brand new business, or if you own an established business, a refreshing re-brand could be exactly what you need to appeal to new customers.
While I create many more products than wedding invitations and logo designs, these are two strong examples of how custom graphic design is affordable for people on all budgets, and it will help you in the long run! One of my character traits is that I am incredibly hardworking. I grew up on a farm where there was always something that needed to be done, and I have carried this work ethic into my design business. I love to be busy, so I would honestly rather provide my clients with reasonable rates and take on more clients than find a few clients who are willing to pay top-dollar for my work. So let’s get started! I look forward to creating your vision for you! (To view my rates, please visit the Services page.)
If you have any questions about this topic, leave them in the comments, and I will be happy to answer them for you!
Thank you for reading!
Hello, and welcome to my weekly blog about design-related topics, the ways in which graphic design can make your life better, and the life of a freelancer. I'm so glad you stopped by, and I hope you enjoy my first post titled, "What is your Goal?"
What is your Goal?
In fourth grade, I joined a local 4-H club called “Prairie Hill Be Natural.” Writing a "goal sheet" was one of the requirements to take a 4-H project to be judged at the county fair. As a fourth grader, I had no idea how to form a goal regarding the cookies or photographs I planned to enter, and I despised filling out those forms. As I got older, my parents, teachers, and role models asked me the same question in various ways:
What is your Goal?
This question became more relevant as people started asking about my future goals. Needless to say, I found it easier to answer questions about where I saw myself in ten years than setting a “goal” for baking a batch of cookies. During my junior year of high school, I set a goal to become a graphic designer and own a business someday. After four years in college and earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, I achieved my initial goal of becoming a graphic designer. I was hired out of college by Boyd Gaming where I worked for a summer before returning to Kendall Hunt Publishing Company, where I had previously interned, as a textbook cover designer. This remains my day job, and most days I enjoy it. However, my life lacked passion. My passion is print design in all of its forms, so I decided to achieve the second part of my goal in the fall of 2018 by starting Design by Faith. My small business has allowed me to exercise creative freedom in designing a variety of projects for clients, from a logo for a snowmobile club, to a business card for a lawyer, to elegant wedding stationery. I am so grateful to my clients for trusting me to turn their unique project requests into reality, and I have found so much joy in creating each and every design.
My next goal is to grow my business. Starting Design by Faith was fairly easy. I developed a clean, user-friendly website to display my work and started advertising myself on social media. However, my creative mind is hungry for more, and that is where you can help me achieve my newest goal. Simply “Liking” and “Sharing” my Facebook page helps me to connect with new clientele. If you have worked with me, tell your friends about your experience, or write a review on my page. And of course, if you have a design project in mind, don’t hesitate to hire me! I have big goals and ideas to expand my business, and words cannot describe how much I would appreciate your help in achieving them.
I promise all of my blog posts will not be “pleas” for help or trying to sell you something. But this seemed like a good place to start to allow my content to reach a larger audience, and in the end, help more people to achieve their design vision. In the future, I hope to write about topics you can relate to on a personal level, to inspire new ideas, and to better explain the perspective of a graphic designer. I hope you will follow along!
What are your current goals, and how do you plan to achieve them? I'm interested in reading your ideas! Leave a comment below or on my Facebook post.
Check out my next blog post coming next Thursday, “Is Custom Graphic Design Affordable?”
Thank you for reading!
Faith is the proud owner of Design by Faith, a freelance design business specializing in wedding stationery, invitation design, logo design, and all forms of print design. Time away from her computer is spent running, bicycling, frequenting concerts, swimming, gardening and doing other outdoor activities. To learn more, visit the About page!