I Don’t Blog At all Anymore

This blog has been long abandoned since I got sick of writing “freelance tips” type articles… so maybe it’s just time for a change? I love to write, so I’m just going to start out here and write… and see what happens…

I guess we could start with getting caught up…

I turned 32 a few months ago, just celebrated 12 years with my partner last weekend, got health insurance for the first time in 5 years and CMD+Shift Design is approaching 6 years of business next month. That all sounds so “grown up”, while most of the time I still feel like anything but.

I started college in 2001 with no intention of pursuing graphic design. I fell into it during my studies and developed a real passion. After graduation I landed a job working in print production, but my dabbling in web development quickly found me falling into the web end of the design world. When I started my own business in 2008, web work was just more plentiful, and it still is… but, I MISS PRINT WORK! I miss logo design, i don’t get to do enough of it! I miss drawing!

To combat this need for less code in my life, I opened an Etsy Shop last year selling portrait illustrations as a “for funsies” side-gig and I love it! Seriously, pay me to draw you and your family — it’ll be awesome! :)

Last month I launched an idea I’ve been batting around forever, a web comic called “Womance,” which as of now I am not able to commit to publishing on a regular schedule — but I’m having fun with it when I can find the time.

I still have my podcast, Pagebreak — which (can you believe it!?) Niki Brown and I have been recording together since 2010! Sometimes it can be really difficult to work recording into our schedules (especially since we have a 3 hour time difference between us) but I love Niki and I love the show and I love the small group of devoted listeners that we have!

Money wise, 2013 was rough. I need business to pick up this year and I’d REALLY like to work more on print projects if that is even possible! Most of my friends in the industry are coders — I don’t exactly run in the print design crowd, so maybe I need to find these people? Where you at?

Anyway, it’s the 2nd week of 2014 — what DO I want this year?

CMD+Shift Design:

I want to spend a large portion of my time doing work that I am both REALLY EXCITED ABOUT that also puts some money in my pocket! I’d like to get some new clients who aren’t just looking for a website, but someone who can really help them with all their businesses design needs. Head to toe. I love that stuff!

If I can get deeper in the black with business, I’d love to go to a conference this year! POssibly a return to Interlink or FrontEnd Design? Or maybe something new?

Pagebreak:

I want to spend 2014 producing some really good content for Pagebreak with Niki. I want us to read more than just the 3 books we did last year and I’d really love to get a chance to see his sweet face again! (We haven’t hung out IRL since the summer of 2012!)

Womance:

I want to keep up with this thing, even if I can’t publish on a regular schedule.  I have a real vision behind this and I’d like to execute it!

Myself:

I want to get out and get more active again. I want to find a way to incorporate Yoga back into my life, I want to go rollerskating more this year, I want to go on some outdoorsy adventures this summer that aren’t just sitting in the park drinking beer (although I want to do that too!)

My Family:

I want to do something special for my parents and parent-in-laws who I love SO SO SO MUCH, and who give so much love and support to me and Eric. I get teared up just thinking about them and how much they mean to me.

There you go…

These all aren’t exactly resolutions I guess, and some of you may be reading this thinking “uhhh… who cares?” But — sorry. I just needed to WRITE and share on this blog for reals… and this is what’s on my mind.

Custom Couple Portraits for Unique Wedding Announcements

After doing an illustration of my bestie for the Facebook Event for her her backyard Chili Potluck, I posted this to Flickr and got a bunch of friends and clients excited about getting their own custom illustration.

I did some research and talked with a number of illustrators who do custom portraits and sell them via Etsy. Of course couple portraits for wedding announcements are an in demand niche on the site, so I put together a few examples and opened up shop!

Custom Drawn Wedding Announcement

If you or a loved one is looking for a hand drawn custom drawn portrait for thier upcoming marriage celebration, you can find my designs/drawings on Etsy here. Or if you are interested in doing something even more custom tailored with me, shoot me a message via the contact form on the homepage.

Wedding Invitation Design

For-ev-erI haven’t blogged in FOR-EV-ER — so I thought I’d get back in the swing of things and share a couple of the projects I worked on lately. With my background in print design and my client base that includes wedding photographers and planners, it seems only natural that I ended up venturing into Wedding Invitation Designs. Here’s just a little bit about a couple of the projects that warmed my heart over the past year…

Melanie & Thomas’ Backyard Family Wedding in Knoxville, TN.

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Melanie and Thomas planned a very intimate gathering including only about 50 of their closest friends and family members (including their adorable pug, Harrison Ford.) The ceremony and celebration was hosted in their close friends backyard in Knoxville, TN.

They came to me wanting a simple invitation that communicated the intimate nature of the event, had a sense of humor and fun to it and was as unique as they are. We utilized a family portrait painted by Knoxville artists Annie Fletcher and created these postcard invitations that set the tone for events celebratory atmosphere!

After the invitations where sent out, I continued work with Thomas and Melanie on Guest Favors, Day-of Program and their wedding website.

 Lindsay & Shannon’s Elegant Seattle Wedding

Lindsay and Shannon met with me months before their spring of 2013 marriage to talk about the theme they had envisioned for their special event. Lindsay talked about the couples love of travel and learning about new cultures. They both talked about Indiana Jones and old maps. Shannon made a reference to a map of Middle Earth. (This nerdy two-some are pretty much my dream clients!) We ended our meeting with Lindsay saying that she loved my work and trusted me to make something that would be perfect for them. This is a lot of pressure, but WOW! What a great thing to hear. I can’t express to these two enough how much their respect and confidence for me and my work means. It surely allowed us to come up with event invitations that are like any others them or their guests had ever seen.

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It’s been a lot of fun! I was lucky enough to work with 2 couples who trusted my creativity and allowed me to run with some fun creative ideas and I’d like to do more of that! If you have a wedding or any other special event coming up, or if you know someone who does — and you want totally unique custom-tailored event invitations, you know who to call! :)