Posted in Attitude, Personal Life, Uncategorized

Notevember 8 : 2 Birds / 1 Stone

Amateurs create work when they feel motivated, but professionals create work on a schedule.” – James Clear

This is the quote I’ve been agonizing about. The words that started this whole obsession with schedules.

I want to create awesome things, but I get so lost in the weeds – and lately, it’s been driving me nuts.

Looking back, I have made a fair amount of improvement as a graphic artist with things I knew I needed to improve on :

  1. I can let things go
  2. It doesn’t have to be 100% flawless or fleshed out before showing a concept
  3. I can work super fast when necessary
  4. I’m able to hear out opinions and objections without taking it personally
  5. I no longer wait until the conditions are perfect to respond – short messages are better than nothing!

Everything I struggle with in business are the same things I struggle with in life in general : Avoidance, Perfectionism, Magical Thinking, Communication, Follow Through, and Consistency.

I knew this from the get go.

I’m a big fan of ‘Two Birds/One Stone’ method, so I thought, “Hey, maybe I can get paid to fix my life!”¬†Nothing says, “I believe in you” more than a steady paycheck from a good client.

I feel like I’ve gotten out of freelancing, exactly what I put in so far – which is why I’m trying to step it up a notch.

My website is a step in that direction – a blend of personal and professional characteristics. It’s not perfect, and I’m still working on updates, but it exists and I’m happy about that.

Come to think of it, having my own website has been on my goal list for a long time : Check.

I’m going to make a very short, easily attainable goal everyday for the rest of Notevember at the end of every post. That way, I can get some momentum of setting/reaching goals.

Today’s goal is : To write my post in the morning tomorrow so I’ll have enough time to think about and put into practice an actual goal. ūüôā

Posted in Personal Life, Uncategorized

Notevember 7 : Schedule-Schmedule

Thanks to a very well timed comment on my last post, I had an epiphany.

Sometimes, I get very caught up with how things “should be done” rather than how they actually are in the real world. This idea of a ‘schedule’ has eluded me for so long because I can’t picture it, there’s Way too many details for me to remember and I rarely look at the clock.

Truth be told, I knew as I was writing it that it wasn’t going to work.
…but I’m Super Amazing at making lists.

After reading this blog post about doing the same thing over and over, I realized that I was repeating history. Sure, some of the details changed, but same basic formula of using the clock to chart my progress.
Tasking the cold-hearted, uncaring, beast of time to loom over me to make sure I do what I need to do. 

Time is an abstract concepts I’ve never fully been able to grasp – for many reasons, the biggest two being: I’m a very visual thinker, you can’t see time. And I’ve probably psyched myself up too much over it.

My worst nightmare: 
“What time is it?”
“A quarter past.”¬†
I *Am* however very good at seeking out patterns and following instructions.
So, disregard that last post about schedule making because I’m not making anymore schedules.


Instead I’ve mapped out my overview of my average day. (Unfortunately, I drew with a light pencil and couldn’t capture the awesome glory of it with my phone camera.)

I’ve decided I’m going to take this month of writing to really nail down what I want to keep consistent. Back in my second Notevember post I wrote “Goal for Today : Make daily / weekly / yearly goals” which, I quickly realized was not something one does in less than ten minutes.

Maybe I can do it in a month. So let’s change that to “Goal for the Month: Make Goals for Life”.
Totally not overthinking anything at all.
Posted in Attitude, Personal Life, Psychology

Notevember 6 : Commitment Issues

This happens Every Single Time.

I decide to start something new or try to do something – again – and I’m almost instantly hit with a “Commitment Check”. I start a new project/challenge and something happens to test just how much I’m Really Committed to it.
I’m pretty sure this is a common thing that happens with everyone so I’ll share my insight on the matter. This is how the pattern of events normally proceeds:

  1. On a whim, decide to take (or Retake) on a challenge 
  2. Excitement / Motivation die off
  3. Slow slide off band wagon
  4. Wave of procrastination/avoidance/exhaustion
  5. Timely reminders of habit changing and the benefits following through
  6. Stable-minded re-commitment to challenge
I’ve seen myself go through this process over the span of hours or months depending on how quickly I become aware of what’s happening. And sometimes, I’m completely aware, but entirely¬†apathetic. It’s rare that I abandon a challenge all together, but it can be put on the back burner for quite some time.

These past 6 days of slacking/overthinking were the Commitment Check Effect.
And, as usual, I had the timely reminder of how and why to get myself back on track. This time it came in the form of a podcast from The One You Feed. Of course the first episode I listened to was a mini-episode about how Avoidance drains you of all energy Рwhich complimented the habit building tactics of the next episode. One major point was to deconstruct big tasks into smaller manageable ones. But by the time I think about how to deconstruct the main goal, I need a nap.

I’m going to take a concentrated stab at schedule making, yet again. But this time, with a second back up routine for when I can’t do something when it’s normally scheduled*. Some things in my schedule I already do – but I reach a point of “what now?” and get tired thinking about what I should do next. I figure this is the perfect spot to¬†implement¬†routine things.


Eliminate Decision Fatigue
Accomplish Daily Tasks
Incorporate Small Consistencies
  • 5AM : Feed Cats / Make Coffee / Check Email / Write Blog Post / Work Projects
  • 10AM: Clean Kitchen / Catbox / Crochet¬†
  • 2PM : Waste an Hour**
  • 4PM : Go for Walk
  • 7PM: Draw
  • 10PM : Edit Website

Backup Plan!*

  • 10AM :¬†Feed Cats / Make Coffee / Check Email / Work Projects
  • 4PM : Go for Walk
  • 7PM: Draw
  • 10PM : Write Blog Post
*Backup Plan is not an “I don’t feel like doing it right now, I’ll just do it later” plan. This plan is for those days when things just don’t go as scheduled
**Why would I schedule a “Waste an Hour” on my routine list? Because this gives me the opportunity to relax and not feel bad about it.

So, here we go again! If at first you don’t succeed – Try, Try again.

Posted in Attitude, Personal Life, Psychology, Uncategorized

Notevember 2 – Goal Setting

I have the lifelong habit of biting off more than I can chew. Mom’s gentle warning “Your eyes are bigger than your stomach!” was foreshadowing for the rest of my life – my ambition is more than I can physically handle.¬†

So, what then? Do I lower my sights? How can I make things manageable enough to actually complete?

“How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”¬†My sister said as she was helping me with my multiplication tables – this entire scene feels significant. Like a dream chock full of subtle clues about my future.

The theme of setting small goals to accomplish big things has been a constant in my life – however, I’ve never liked¬†this way of doing things. In fact, I’ve stubbornly resisted this method with every ounce of my being – but, it seems to be just as stubborn as I am because it keeps reappearing.

In school, I had a ‘goal card’ I had to make fresh with new daily and weekly tasks to accomplish a long term goal. The start of each day was to evaluate what was done yesterday and was the aim was for the day in context of what needed to be done that week – month – year.
The stinging irony of my schoolbooks being named “PACE” isn’t lost on me either.¬†

But, that’s all so dreadfully boring and unmagical if you plan things to happen and then they happen. It’s always more exciting if things just serendipitously fall together!

This is a prime example of having the answer screaming at you and trying to find ‘another‘ answer because you don’t like the truth. “I don’t know” starts out as an excuse, and then with maturity, becomes a blatant lie to yourself.

I realized that I’ve been looking at it from an all or nothing mindset – It’s either routine or¬†spontaneity¬†– not both. But this isn’t true at all.¬†In fact, my love of winging it can be incorporated when things can’t go as planned. Maybe, the solution is in the problem.

So here we go again, with the daily/weekly/yearly goals – but with an attitude adjustment and foresight of how to deal with the boringness of it all.

Goal for today : Make daily / weekly / yearly goals for next post

Posted in Attitude, Design, Personal Life, Uncategorized

Welcome to #Notevemeber

Inktober was so much fun and breathed life into the idea of having rituals and routines to make something happen, I decided to follow it up with Notevember.  This is a popular event among writers with a whole bunch of rules and guidelines.

As with Inktober, I won’t be following any of them ūüėÉ Instead, my goal is simply write a note every day about things I’d personally like to improve in and how to go about it.

So, here we go!
And yes… I know it’s November 2nd. Time management is on my list of topics to come. ūüėɬ†
Posted in Attitude, Design

What I’ve Learned During #Inktober



This was the first year I decided to participate in Inktober – a month where artists from around the world draw/ink/create/share one piece of art every day using either their own ideas, subjects, or the official Inktober Prompts.¬†There’s a TON of talented artists out there and part of the fun of Inktober is having an easy way to connect with and be inspired by them.

I chose to do my own Inktober featuring my beloved spiders! Not actually my idea, my sister and fellow artist suggested it to me and it sounded like a pretty great idea. I had concerns at the beginning with my attention span and possibly being tired of spiders by the end of the month.

But, NOPE! I think I love spiders even more now. And I can’t deny everyday when I’d browse around for my new subject, just looking through the vast variety of species made me extremely happy.

A few things I learned in the process that I want to remember that carry over into other parts of life : 

  1. “Feeling like it” is completely over-rated.
  2. Even a half-hearted attempt at something completely new and different can be amazing. 
  3. Routines make it much easier to get in ‘the zone’.¬†
  4. I fight routines tooth and nail.
  5. Suspending judgement is the only way to get anything done.
  6. It’s easier to let go of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ ways of doing things than I thought.
  7. It’s okay to be late, just don’t give up entirely. Get back on track in the middle of the night if necessary.¬†
  8. The middle of creating something is my favorite part.

Today is the last day of Inktober, and I am 5 days behind. Sometimes I have a problem with ending things – I don’t want it to end so I’ll drag it out. I think that’s what happened here. Oh well, I’ll catch up as soon as I can. These last 5 posts will be more artistic than accurate representations (you have no idea how I agonized about how many leg segments to show), especially since my #spidertattoo ideas seemed to be more liked than any of them. Check it out:

I have a similar daily challenge I thought of for November, but haven’t fleshed it out yet. #Staytuned .

Posted in Design, Uncategorized

Votes are in!

A heartfelt THANK YOU to all of you who helped me by voting for which design you liked best!

Voting Stats: 
A = 22
B = 9
C = 6
D = 11
E = 5
Using of everyone’s input, I made a few revisions and believe I have a MUCH stronger design than any of the previous ones. Here’s the breakdown:
A + D : These two were most liked by those who voted, and many people couldn’t decide between the two. I’m not exactly sure why since they don’t look similar at all, but that’s what happened.
Equally appealing to men and women
B : Many people liked how bold and clean this design is – but the white space seemed to confuse people.
Only men preferred this one
C : People liked this one for the same reason as B, because it was bold and clean.
More men Preferred this one
E : The least liked of all, which I expected. One person asked to see what it looked like without the border, and it looked like a squashed spider! D: Which I do NOT promote!! I’m glad she asked for that though, otherwise I might not have realized it until too late.
Only women preferred this one

Other Insights: 

I got a TON of feedback from some people I didn’t know paid that much attention to my feed. Some people I haven’t talked to in quite some time and it was a good way to reconnect. ‚̧
My goal is to make a design that’s attractive to either gender. Mainly because I love making T-shirt designs and I want either gender to be able to wear a shirt with this logo on it and feel cool about it. With the geometric framed ideas, I was thinking they would make cool necklaces, but … but I’m not really committed to making that happen so, not a big factor, that was just the thought behind it.
I had no idea how many people really loved my hh design of my current logo! I was really surprised when people started suggesting I put it on the designs that didn’t have it. This was a Huge encouragement so thank you for that. ūüôā

More About the logo: 

Everything about all of these designs means something.
I had two perspectives to view the spider from : in a Web and Facing Forward
I chose a hexagon because this ties into my photography business Honeycomb Images¬†which I’m trying to mesh into this somehow without it being too abrupt. It also made a nice ‘web’ shape and gave the spider placement. Also, it’s a cool way to show radial symmetry and reflection. Since a lot of my art is geometric, it tied into that too.
A spider facing forward at eye level was important to me because this is how I try to face problems (‘try’ is the keyword there!). Spiders are usually viewed from above because we’re so much bigger than they are, but still they can make grown men scream like little girls.
It’s highly¬†beneficial¬†for our own sake’s and those around us to take a direct look at exactly what scares us and try to figure out why…and then see if we can turn it around for our¬†benefit.
In one way, spiders represent the small fears and habits that either make or break our lives. They can be a nuisance, a terror, or ideally – the thing that keeps all the other pests away.¬†Details and small things matter in the grand scheme of things. The devil’s in the details. Big, amazing things that happen are great, but it’s the little, daily habits that can really improve quality of life.

I’ve revised and narrowed it down to 4 designs. The voting last time proved that all those designs were good since they all got at least one vote ūüėČ I’m pretty confident that any of these would nail it …. but which one?

Which one do you think is best and why?


Posted in Attitude, Design

Help Me Choose!

I‚Äôm modifying my logo a bit for my new website launching in September, and I’m all tangled up with internal conflict – maybe you can help.
I know what I’d like to be incorporated with it – Spiders, Geometry, Symmetry or Asymmetry, Negative Space and possibly my current logo.
I sound like so many of my clients right now. …but not the good clients that say, “You’re the designer, I trust your judgement!” The picky clients that ask for endless revisions and keep saying, “It’s good, but…something isn’t right.”
I wonder if I attract these clients because I have this problem internally. I’ve always said, the hardest client to please is myself. Second guessing and self-doubt are my main obstacles.
I’m wanting the same thing that a lot of my clients ask of me. I want it to represent so many things in a glance. …and it’s a bit unreasonable.
The work I’m going to showcase will be about angles, contrast, asymmetry, symmetry, geometry, nature, and oddities – mixed in with symbolism and personal insight into how these things relate to life.
Elegant, but not girly.
Edgy, but not scary. 
Fun, but not cartoony. 
Bold, but not boring. 
I want it to look good on screen and in print.
I want it to be a good watermark.
I want it to be scalable. 
I want it to be the most amazing thing ever made.
This is why I feel like I have a lot of patience for the client – I feel exactly like them. All the time. On every design project I do.
I’ll know it when I see it!” …but actually, I won’t.
I’ll know it when it’s put in to action.
Negative space logos are my favorite – but I‚Äôm not minimalist. Which is very popular right now… but not at all who I am. And not really a job I enjoy doing.
Anyone that knows me probably wouldn‚Äôt use the word ‚Äúminimal‚ÄĚ to describe me in ANY way. ¬†I like vintage, geometric, eclectic, and weird things.
Logos ‚Äėshould‚Äô be inherently simple, easy to understand at a glance, easy to remember, and unmistakable. Can this be done without being boring minimalist?
“A genius hits a target no one else sees.”
Most of my projects are minimalist and simple designs. None of which I’m particularly proud of and have yet to point to one and say, “Yeah, I did that!” A lot of them tend to be corporate boring jobs. And frankly, I‚Äėd rather Not attract more of that type of work. …But money is money. So here we are. A logo is the equivalent of ‘dressing for the job you want’.
I’m sick to death of minimalism and perfect lines.¬†I hate perfection. It’s So Boring.
Recently, I had a different type of client (@TangerineCoastalMarket)  who didn’t want simple or minimalist (which is in high demand right now), but instead wanted vintage, abstract, and almost realistic logo. That project was a lot more fun and fulfilling than most of my previous projects.
With this logo, I’d like to see if I can attract people looking for a more risky style.

This is my internal debate – should I ‚Äėfollow the rules‚Äô or just go with my gut?

Here’s a few below I feel like are ‘close’. I’d LOVE to get feedback from you guys to see which one is liked more.

VOTE! A. B. C. D. or E.

Which one sticks out to you the most?

Posted in Attitude, Design, Personal Life, Psychology, Uncategorized

#Workmode Hello Holly Vlog: Rule of Threes

Last night, I was having a conversation with a client of mine and he introduced me to the “Rule of Threes”.

The Rule of Threes can be a lot of things, as I found out when I looked it up after we talked. In context, he was referring to a method to narrow down a focus in business – specifically how to market myself and narrow down what I want to do with my business.

I wonder how many other designers have great conversations like this with their clients. Truth be told, I often pick my clients brains about business strategies and try to absorb as much of their lessons from experience as I possibly can without being too obvious. I feel like this is another reason why I prefer working with start-ups, new businesses, and small businesses that need an update.
Maybe I’m an entrepreneur at heart – maybe I’m taking notes for later.¬†

I’ve worked with a few Engineers lately in particular (engineers seem to be¬†some of the most interesting brains to pick), who have really let me in to their thought processes and I love it – I don’t always understand it, but, I file it away for later so hopefully one day I will.

This is probably my favorite part of what I do – being able to openly talk with super interesting people. The line between “Client” and “Friend” is very blurry for me – I would call almost all of my clients ‘friends’. They’re people I’ve gotten to know really well over the phone, internet, whatever – and once you work on a project with someone, it’s pretty impossible to Not form a connection. For me, anyway. I wouldn’t know if this is the case for other designers because THEY NEVER TALK ABOUT THIS!¬†

Anyways, back to topic. 

The rule of three in this context is making a concept catalyst.

Ideas that react with problems to synthesize solutions.

Dividing the concept into two categories – Overall Concept and Description – I narrowed down what it is I really do … and I feel like I’ve found a lot more.¬†
Probably the best thing I got out of doing this exercise was the ability to clear the clutter in my head. 

“Graphic Design” is a very vague term and can mean a lot of things.
It’s easier to say what I don’t¬†do than what I do. And usually, if someone requests something I haven’t done before, I’ll take a calculated stab at it. 90% of the time it works out. 10% of the time I finish it – but, don’t exactly nail it.
Trying out new things lets me know immediately what I’d like to do more of or stay away from in the future.
Posted in Personal Life, Psychology, Uncategorized

3AM Internal Alarm Clock

Why I’m usually up at 3AM in no particular order:

  1. Someone is Snoring Loudly
  2. Cats. Cats are being loud.
  3. I’m thirsty.
  4. I had a weird dream and now I need to look something up
  5. I had a night terror and woke up screaming.
  6. I read somewhere waking up at 3AM is the perfect brain frequency for working on creative projects.
  7. I was born at around 3AM, so now I feel like it’s a “lucky” time for me.


So, what do I do with this time? 
I use this as “extra” time. I can do whatever I want! If I want to draw, I draw. If I want to play a game, I game out. I exercise, do yoga, write, read about spiders. Whatever I want to do.

Sure, I could probably use it to work or do something “productive”, but I noticed when I try to do that, I get sleepy very, very fast. I need this time to be pressure free.

And that’s what works for me. Anyone else have this weird internal alarm clock thing happen to them?

What do you do with your “Extra” free time?