Flashback Friday!

It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?

Henry David Thoreau

 

It’s flashback Friday, and we’re updating some of our favorite portfolio pieces. While this is never an excuse to lose inward focus; we have been incredibly productive (aka busy) tending to our new and existing client needs. The goal this fall is to continue to focus inward from time to time, to keep the portfolio fresh with works that we’ve been throwing down on. In the meantime, take a look at a few updates on what we’ve been working on and keep your eyes open for more.

 

View Work

 

 

Do the work you love.

When you love the work that you do, it doesn’t feel like work.

 

Can we really do good work and the work we love, and continue to succeed? Sure! Do we have to work with miserable people on either side of a project? Nah. As an independent contractor, I’m really grateful for the clients that I get to work for. And I strive to be a great designer and strategist for my clients, and above all – a partner. I have the opportunity to work on projects that are fun and fulfilling. I believe in the idea that when you do the work you love, that it doesn’t feel like “work”. Of course, there’s the actual work that goes into it, but again, when we love what we do it’s fun. But how do we make sure we’re getting the good projects and great partnerships? Here’s a couple of considerations for you independent types out there:

Are you valued?

You’re bid or proposal was accepted for a reason – you’re a pro! When you can share and apply your expertise to a conversation, and it’s considered in the process, you’re doing good. Sometimes you might find yourself being overly controlled, and not sure what to do. This is a good opportunity to remind a client as to why they hired you in the first place.

 

Do your clients give you time to be creative and do good work?

Clients should understand that things don’t just magically appear. There’s a process. You know it, they should know it. If they don’t, that’s okay because this presents an opportunity to educate your clients on what you need. They’ll thank you for being clear and transparent about what you need to do good work.

 

Are you getting along?

How’s the energy in the room? Or when you meet up with a client? Does it feel sticky? Does the conversation flow naturally? Pay attention to the vibe in the room. If your gut throws red flags, or you have any sense of hesitation, you are in a good place to reconsider this project or client relationship. Remember, respect goes both ways.

 

Do the work you love, build healthy relationships with your clients, understand and respect each other in the creative process. Remember, you don’t have to do work that you don’t want to do or that you’re not comfortable with. It’s especially important to remember this as we’re building and growing our businesses.

design5sixty4 we'll take you there

Design related questions? Want to work together? Let’s talk!

Open Studio | July Edition

 


You’re Invited!


 

You’re invited to join us at Design5sixty4’s Open Studio!

Hosted on Friday, July 7, 2017. In the spirit of celebrating Independence Day, we’ll be talking about what it means to be independent, along with the supporting core values.

There will be light snacks and beverages for you to enjoy, and casual hangs as you enjoy a nice stroll through the downtown galleries for First Friday. The Cottonwood Center for the Arts is also exhibiting a great collection in the gallery space that you’ll certainly want to check out.

In the way of art and supporting this community that I’ve come to love, I’m hosting this beautiful piece by Al B Johnson for a continuation. You can read more information on this artwork here. It looks absolutely amazing in the space, and I hope you can stop by to enjoy it! Also, it is for sale! <nudge> You know, if you’re into it.

“Pronounced Hyperbole”
Al B Johnson

Looking forward to seeing you later this week!

Artist Spotlight: Al B Johnson

Showcasing artists is one of my goals in having a studio surrounded by so many talented creatives.

To start, we’ve been hosting Al B Johnson’s “Pronounced Hyperbole” at Design5sixty4. Al B is an artist located at the Cottonwood Center for the Arts in Colorado Springs. He is a contemporary abstract acrylic artist, with an eye for bright color, minimalism, and movement. He is an artist, teacher, and identifies himself as a student, constantly expanding his ability in mastering new techniques.

Al B Johnson, Pronounced Hyperbole

His piece “Pronounced Hyperbole” is featured at the Design5sixty4 studio, and complimented upon arrival of my clients, or any passer-by’s who catch it. The biggest element feels like the Eiffel Tower in Paris, that also seems to be a common catch with on-lookers. To the left of this piece is a patch of blocks that feels like looking up to windows on a tall city building. To the right of that, I imagine a small bunch of towers, or a cityscape possibly. While Mr. Johnson tends to throw bright color in his work, this piece, in my opinion, wouldn’t hold the same power if it had anything more than black and white. It’s a beautiful piece that leaves me feeling like I’m in the mix of a rush in the concrete jungle. Personally, I love the big cities, which feels like what draws me to this piece.

 

Al B Johnson, Pronounced Hyperbole

Al B Johnson, Pronounced Hyperbole

 

Come by Design5sixty4’s open studio this Friday to see it for yourself.

If you’re interested in purchasing this piece, you can message me or you can reach out directly to Mr. Johnson:

Website
Facebook

Independent Diaries: Grief and Business

Life happens.

And so it happened for me and threw me into a whirlwind of grief and sadness. I lost my father in early April, and there is absolutely nothing in this world to prepare me for this kind of loss. It affects everything, and it certainly affected my business. Thankfully, I have had some incredible support from my clients; and I’m incredibly thankful for them.

Running a business without a team to pick up the slack forced me to show up and do the work. But there was no way I was doing this at 100% capacity. It took a little bit of openness to seek the support that was needed. So, with that, I want to share some tips from my recent experience as a solopreneur when in the midst of grief and loss.

Discuss your situation with your clients: 

We are all human, and as uncomfortable as it might seem, clients appreciate knowing what’s going on with the people they contract for work. Send an email, or if you can handle talking on the phone, discuss your situation and let them know that you’ll be taking a little time to process grief.

Keep them updated: 

Touch base with your clients. Let them know where you’re at on expected projects. The last thing we want to do is miss deadlines, but if one is creeping up and you need an extension or extra creative support, let them know.

Take the time you need to grieve:

As hard as it is, I had to listen to the grief when it held me back. The moments that I went against the process, it hit me ten-fold later in the day or in a moment when I needed to get through a deadline. When I allowed grief to hit me, and I rode that wave, I was able to come back to the project with a little more clarity, vs. the times that I tried to push through and swim against the current.

Facebook’s COO, Sheryl Sandberg has recently implemented a 20-day policy at Facebook for grieving; and I hope to see other businesses follow suit. A couple of days is not going to cut it, and I feel like some family close to me could’ve benefited from more time to process. Even still, this kind of policy doesn’t work for me, because someone has to keep my business afloat and that someone in a solo position is ME! I was back in my office the next week trying to work and took everything just to keep up with email, and each week following was more productive than the last, but I realized in hindsight, it took me about two months to finally feel focused and ready to return to my studio.

“Grief, when it comes, is nothing like we expect it to be. … Grief has no distance. Grief comes in waves, paroxysms, sudden apprehensions that weaken the knees and blind the eyes and obliterate the dailiness of life. Virtually everyone who has ever experienced grief mentions this phenomenon of ‘waves.'”

Grief is like the sea. Sometimes it’s calm, other times it’s swallowing you in a tsunami of emotion. Let it, because resisting makes it worse, in my experience at least.

I’m going to leave you with a few resources shared with me, along with some articles that I stumbled on along the way. I wish for no one to feel the heartbreak of losing a parent, or anyone that you hold dear. If you do, I hope this helps you to give yourself permission to take care of you to be able to take care of your work.

Option B, Sheryl Sandberg

Joan Didion on Grief

Seneca on Grief

Grieving the Death of a Parent, Nancy Stordahl

 

Take care, friends.

Give Your App User Control

As a designer working with websites and mobile apps I have the opportunity to focus on very different mediums in terms or size, utility, capability and most importantly User Experience, referred as the UX of UI/UX. The UI part stands for User Interface, for those new to this. While there are many different aspects of designing, this post will focus on how much control to give the user.

 


user control, app design, development

App developers like to think that they are in control, and that’s understandable from a coding perspective, but in reality, it’s the designer’s role to give the user control. The best apps let the user feel that they have complete control of the app, or more to the point, their data. After all, don’t lose sight that to a user, an app is really about data, image, music or videos that interest them.

Your app designer should understand the user and the data. Certainly, an app can suggest a flow, but it’s usually a mistake to design an app that takes control of most of it. We’ve all seen apps that take the user down a path where screen after screen loads, with no choice but to go along for the ride. We want to avoid this roller coaster.

READ MORE from my guest post at inCaffeine’s Blogspot!

Open Studio at Design5sixty4

Well, Hello!

It’s been a while, and there’s been a lot of moving gears. Of course, I’m hoping to get a little more ahead and timely with these invites, but I’d be doing everyone a disservice if I didn’t at least make some kind of announcement.


You’re Invited!


 

Join me Friday, April 7, 2017 for D564’s second Open Studio. I’ll have light snacks and beverages for you to enjoy, and casual hangs as you enjoy a nice stroll through the downtown galleries for First Friday. The Cottonwood Center for the Arts is also exhibiting a great collection in the gallery space that you’ll certainly want to check out.

In the way of art and supporting this community that I’ve come to love, I’m hosting this beautiful piece by Al B Johnson for the month of April. More information to come on this artwork. It looks absolutely amazing in the space, and I hope you can stop by to enjoy it! Also, it is for sale! <nudge> You know, if you’re into it.

“Pronounced Hyperbole”
Al B Johnson

Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow!

D564 has a new studio!

We moved!

It’s been a busy couple of months, friends! In between deadlines, there have been some significant changes on the business front. I’m happy to share with you that Design5sixty4 has moved into a new studio! If you follow my social media, well, you already know and there are some exciting bits to add.

Design5sixty4 new studio

Design5sixty4 is located in the wonderful Cottonwood Center for the Arts (CCA) in downtown Colorado Springs. CCA is a great community of creative business from photographers, authors, designers, and creative artists. The creative energy around this space is flowing in abundance and I love it!

First Friday is an event that happens on a monthly basis. The Cottonwood participates in this event, along with many galleries in Downtown Colorado Springs. In conjunction, I’ll be hosting an Open Studio every first Friday, and welcome you to swing by before or after you check out the gallery of amazing work!

And finally, each month I’ll be featuring artists work in my studio. The goal with this is, well you know my favorite hashtag – #bettertogether – I want to support and showcase this amazing community of artists. I’ll be sharing their work on my instagram, twitter, and facebook, along with a write-up here.

Stay tuned! There’s much more to come!

 

 

The only time I got off track was when I decided to know my competition. What a mistake! It was much better when I didn’t give a crap!
Barbara Corcoran

First and foremost, I love Barbara C! Secondly, seriously… competition is out there and we’ve gotta keep our edge, hold our own, and at least be aware. I’ve learned through my own cycles that when we spend time fretting over who the competitor is or what they’re doing, we can easily lose sight of our own vision and get off track.

A couple of thoughts:

There’s enough work for everyone. So, don’t feel like you’re going to be out. With the right mindset and commitment to our goals, we’ll be taken care of.

Get to know your community. If it’s one thing that I’ve learned from volunteering with AIGA and engaging with the design communities — there’s a lot of amazing lessons here actually, but let’s stay on course — it’s that no one is *that* stressed out about what others are doing. It’s a very supportive community full of people who are always rising each other up vs taking each other out.

So, I share Barbara’s words, with a little splash of experience. And even as a reminder to myself. Whether it’s personal or professional, mind your business. Do your best, focus on your goals, and don’t  stress about what the others are doing.

Now, get to work.

Oops…

Okay, friends. Here I am – back on WordPress. And did it give me a million reasons to leave it ***again*** today. First and foremost, I want to apologize for blowing up any inboxes today. I have been making updates and I’m not sure how or why you were notified of old posts, but I hope that this funky behavior does not happen again.

I’m giving WP a fair chance again, despite my back and forth with this platform. The biggest reason is that a platform like this is so much easier to update than my in-between custom builds. My goal is to write more this year without too much hassle. So, let’s give that a go, shall we? 😉

 

Again, I apologize for any inconvenience or overload I managed to blow up your inboxes with today.

Illustrator K.C. Green