Let's have a little bit of a story time...

As you may know, I found my love for creating through paper crafting. So, in high school I had decided that my dream job was to work at Stampin' Up!, my favorite crafting company, as an artist or designer. I'm sure this idea really did seem like a dream to some people, but for me it was a totally achievable goal. I did everything in my power to make it happen. I went to college for graphic design, improved my creative skills, and made connections within the company.

Then, a few months after I graduated it happened! I applied for a couple of positions at Stampin' Up!, flew to Utah for interviews, and was offered both positions. Crazy! I know! I couldn't believe it! Not only was I going to work at Stampin' Up!, but I had my pick of positions! I didn't even have to think about the decision to move from my small town in Michigan to Salt Lake City. I just knew if I had the opportunity to work at Stampin' Up! I would go. So, I went!

It wasn't long after I started working at Stampin' Up! that I began getting the question "Now what are you going to do?" Honestly, I had no idea what was next for me. I just knew that this was something I had worked a long time for. I was incredibly grateful that my hard work paid off, and I was going to take the time to enjoy it. And I did just that. After, awhile though I did begin to struggle with not knowing what's next. That's when I realized how important it was for me to have goals. I had achieved all of my major career goals (graduate high school with honors, go to college, get dream job), and it became incredibly weird not having something to drive me.

I still haven't figured out any major career goals, but that's alright. Instead, I've started setting smaller creative goals, like learning hand lettering, and this has made a huge difference for me. Working on these smaller goals excites me to learn new skills and create on personal projects outside of work. I have no idea where these goals will take me in the long run, but I'm having so much fun (yes, fun!) learning and growing as a creative.

Goals & Gratitude

So, why do are goals are so important? Because they give you a reason to learn, work hard, and grow as a person. They give you the motivation to get out of bed in the morning and make an impact on the world. Without goals you would just be stationary, and nobody would ever see what amazing things you are capable of.

However, goals alone aren't enough. Gratitude is just as important. Be grateful for the things you are learning while on a path to reaching a goal. Enjoy the process. Also, allow yourself to be grateful for achieving a goal. Take the time to enjoy the success. It's like the feeling of crossing something off of your weekend to-do list, except a thousand times better.

Without gratitude there is a tendency to be upset that you haven't reached a goal yet. Even when you reach a goal, you are so fast to move on to the next that you miss the benefits of your hard work. I could have easily gone into a panic state after getting my job over not having a new goal. Instead, I made the decision to enjoy reaching that goal and that has been incredibly important to my happiness. The combination of goals and gratitude is something that I have found to be so important to happiness. I'm more than pleased with where I'm currently at while still being excited for what's next. ♥

Create With Color // Winter 2018

Now that we are well into December, I'm excited to share my winter palette with you! I really love how rich and cozy these colors are. They remind me of being wrapped in blankets with my dog on a snowy day watching a great TV show.

You will notice that the hues are very similar to my fall color palette. This was done intentionally so that there will be a smooth transition in my Instagram feed. Again, my goal of using these seasonal color palettes is to create a curated feed that still has a lot of flexibility.

If you would like to use this color palette in your own work, download the .ase and Procreate swatches here. ♥

Inktober 2018 // 14 Clock

Inktober is a daily drawing challenge for the month of October on Instagram. The idea is to do a pen and ink drawing based on the daily prompt. I decided to take on this challenge for the first this year, except with my own twist.

I have been playing with creating digital art and simple animated gifs, and wanted to continue to do so with Inktober. During September I brainstormed what I would draw for most of prompts in hopes of making it easier when it came to those days. Another thing I did to make the challenge more achievable was establish a color scheme to use for the whole challenge. This took out an additional decision that I would have to make each day. Despite all of my planning, I still ran into some struggles.

The first week of Inktober started off really well. I was able to complete my projects as planned and post them on time. After that I started to have trouble finding time to complete the projects. To make the them go a bit faster I decided to stop doing the animations. Even though this helped a ton, there were several prompts that I didn't have ideas for, and this became a major roadblock. I would get to these prompts and would put them off until I had an idea. However, those ideas didn't always come and next thing I knew it was the end of the month. Later, I decided to at least finish the projects I had ideas for. In the end I completed only 20 of the 31 prompts. While I didn't necessarily complete the challenge of drawing everyday, I still consider my version of Inktober a huge success.

Inktober 2018 // 08 Star

One win for me was that the constraints of the challenge prevented me from overthinking things. By the end of the challenge, I was able to complete my projects in about 30-45 minutes. That is a fraction of the time I normally spend on a project, yet I was super happy with all of my work. The next success was the established color scheme that I talked about before. I really enjoyed the working with one color scheme and the results it produced. Read more about my plan to continue to use established color palettes here. The last thing I gained from my Inktober experience was the confidence to show more of my personality on Instagram. It was fun to talk about my love of peanut butter and my dislike of waking up to no milk. My captions tended to be more story oriented. I really loved that and plan on trying to continue to share more on my Instagram.

Inktober 2018 // 07 Exhausted

It would be easy for me to feel defeated by Inktober, but with these wins I actually feel invigorated by it. I'm really proud that took on the challenge to begin with, and I gained a lot from the experience.

What challenges have you taken on that could be seen as a failure but were really a win? I'd love to read about your experiences in the comments below. ♥