1. March 17, 2014
    PORTFOLIO | hey man business cards

    Hey Man Business Cards | 2 |  Pinegate Road.jpg

    This was a pretty spread out process. My dad came to me last spring asking me to create business cards for their new neighbor.

    For those of you who don’t know, a couple of years ago my parents made a big dream of theirs come true. They moved out to a farm in a town of about fifty people in the middle of South Dakota. I give my parents huge kudos for living out their version of the good life, and they’ve set a great example for me to live out my own version. Thanks guys :)

    Annnyways. The business cards. Yes. When my dad gives me a project without a deadline, it almost always takes a year to complete. No joke! Hah. We finally made these a reality before Christmas, and I’m pretty happy with how they turned out. Their neighbor Paul is a hay farmer, and he goes by “Hey Man.” You know the best part about this project? Type nerds, get ready—I was able to use the typeface haymaker for an actual hay farmer. Kind of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, yes? It made me giddy.

    Hey Man Business Cards | Pinegate Road

    For the cards, I experimented with a couple different type and image layouts on dribbble and went with some of your suggestions. This is the first time I was able to integrate dribbble comments in to my process, and that was a really neat experience! I’m definitely going to try and be more diligent about posting progress shots there. I had my dad go out to Paul’s farm and sneak some shots on his iPhone for the photo portion of this card. While I would have loved to shoot it myself, the natural beauty of the landscape there was hard to mess up (sorry dad!) so I was fine using an iPhone photo on such a small printed surface area. The back features a barbed wire detail, and a Hey Man monogram with space for notes. We used Stationery HQ for printing. They are amazing for both prices and quality — I use them for all my personal digital printing.

    So in all, this was a pretty new experience for me. I feel like the clients I usually work with end up being a lot like me. They are usually females, and usually have a similar aesthetic. With this project, I definitely had to stretch myself and make a card that a farmer would love to use while still staying true to the Pinegate Road design aesthetic. Have any of you run in to this growth opportunity? What kinds of things helped you stretch past what you would ‘normally’ do? I’d love to hear!

  2. January 16, 2014
    DIY | mossy monogram wall art

    mossy monogram wall art | PINEGATE ROAD

    Took a teensie break from binge-watching Scandal over winter vacation. Ever since finding these gold frames at an estate sale a couple months ago, I’ve been wondering about what to put in them. I’m not a huge collector of prints or art, as I have that DIY mentality and always think I can do something myself. Note to self: get over it and buy an art print already! Falling back on my habits, I tried creating a modern monogram out of natural material to pair with one of these new-old gold frames. I love the mix of natural, modern, and classic so this DIY fits right with the style I have going on in my apartment. Follow along if you’d like to make your own! Also, if you’re ever bored, hanging out in Cleveland, and it’s a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday: your welcome. I don’t think my fellow Clevelanders realize how good we have it in the estate sale realm!

    mossy monogram wall art | choose a monogram | PINEGATE ROAD

    Print out your favorite monogram, however large you’d like. This will be your base for the moss. I used Futura Bold for my “K” as I liked how clean and simple it would look paired with the natural fibers of the moss. I challenge you to explore what kind of letter fits your frame, your living space, and your personal style! As a side note, I believe I got this moss at Joann Fabric — it was left over from a project. Look in the area in any store where they have the fake flowers. This is usually sold in packets and people use it to cover up the floral foam when making arrangements. I…well, I use it to letter of course ;)

    mossy monogram wall art | place the moss | PINEGATE ROAD mossy monogram wall art | cover the monogram | PINEGATE ROAD mossy monogram wall art | cut around the monogram | PINEGATE ROAD mossy monogram wall art | finish cutting out the monogram | PINEGATE ROAD mossy monogram wall art | place mossy monogram in a frame and hang | PINEGATE ROAD

    I’m pretty pumped this wasn’t a catastrophe. Also, using frames that have space in-between the glass and the back is key. If you don’t have a place to get something like this, try searching for shadowboxes on amazon. A classic monogram or a script one would look great paired in a minimal white frame as another option.

    Happy crafting!

  3. January 8, 2014
    MOODBOARD | fitness guru

    moodboard | for a fitness client | PINEGATE ROAD

    Well here’s something bright and cheery to welcome you in to the new year! Working on this brand has been such a refreshing thing for me. Not only because of the vision my client has, but by how we’ve all been working together. While I rarely take on exchanges for design, I knew in my gut I had to take this opportunity and run with it — quite literally! My client will be working with me this next year to help me meet my health goals, and in return I’m helping her build out her online presence. She has a talented friend on board who is also going through her own personal health transformation, and it’s been pretty awesome combining our three visions so far. This project is for the mind, body, and soul and I couldn’t be happier about kicking it off at the start of this new year.

    core brand values | for a fitness client | PINEGATE ROAD

    This is the first time that I’ve shared keywords with you all. They are such an important part of how design decisions are made throughout the process. They are gleaned from the core of the client’s vision for the overall brand. This is where I’m so glad that I hunkered down and finished that communications minor in undergrad! hah. Having words and their associated meaning to transcend into design aspects is incredibly valuable. That’s what can transform a brand that’s not bad to a brand people genuinely want to connect with.

    Throughout all of our conversations, I noted themes and picked out words that kept popping up. After some final exploration, they were placed in three different categories and the strongest keyword was picked for each to stand as a core value for the project. Certain aspects about the project were introduced at the very beginning of our collaboration, but it’s in this process that the design decisions start to have something to lean on. If a design element is created, it better be for a reason that falls back to one of these core brand values, or it’s watering down the brand experience.

    For this moodboard, we have a mix of bright colors that play with the idea of empowerment. You can’t shy away from these hues. Using sans-serif typography as well as geometric shapes will keep things clean, simple, and relatable. Using these same shapes and lines to possibly create a larger design element would add to the feeling of connection. My client is trying to build community with her ventures, so showing this visually would be a fun addition! Elements will be used in a way that flow, change perspective, or have an essence of moving through eachother. This relates to the transformative nature of fitness, and how my client uses her talents to help others transform their lives.

    Oooh man am I excited about this one!

  4. December 16, 2013
    DIY | monogrammed gold sharpie mugs

    DIY monogrammed gold sharpie mugs | PINEGATE ROAD

    You’ve probably seen this pin floating around, right? It’s been in my head from the moment I saw it, and I knew it would come in handy come Christmas time. Thinking about what to get my co-workers for Christmas was daunting. You don’t want to over-spend and make them feel like you’re trying too hard, and you don’t want to give them something meaning-less just because. You want to do it right, and give them a little something to show them you care. In my case, I wanted to thank them for all the help they’ve been giving me as I started this new position, and the support they continue to give me as I learn my new job. Thankfully I work with a small team of five, and since our jobs involve picking out shiny adornments for stationery items we’ve all established gold and white as a favorite color combination. While I had thought about these for a little bit, these monogrammed gold sharpie mugs would make the perfect last-minute office gift to whip up this week if you’re stuck on what to do. Filled with matching Ferrero Rochers and tied up in cellophane with a golden ribbon, these are sure to spread some holiday cheer.

    DIY monogrammed gold sharpie mugs | the ingredients | PINEGATE ROAD DIY monogrammed gold sharpie mugs | draw on the monogram | PINEGATE ROAD DIY monogrammed gold sharpie mugs | prepping the mugs | PINEGATE ROAD

    Here, you’re going to want to thicken the letters where you would naturally make thicker strokes when doing calligraphy. Here’s a handy little guide to show you how if this is something you haven’t done before. I added polka dots as a simple accent around the top and bottom of the mugs, but the decoration is up to you! Pre-heat your oven to 425° and bake the mugs for 30 minutes. Turn off your oven, without opening the door, and let these sit in there until they are completely cool. After reading a couple posts about sharpie plates, this last step is key! And that’s a wrap:

    DIY monogrammed gold sharpie mugs | how to wrap it | PINEGATE ROAD

  5. December 9, 2013
    FROM THE DESK OF | jen serafini, designer & blogger

    From the Desk of Jen Serafini | PINEGATE ROAD

    I’ve been following along with Jen Serafini and her design for a little bit now, and I just knew she was the perfect next person to ask to be in this column. She shares about her process, her inspiration, and all about design over on her blog — she’s definitely a girl of my own heart in those regards. I hope that you enjoy this peek into Jen’s space and process as much as I did! Also, that wood-topped desk is incredibly dreamy and has me thinking about making my own version over here shortly. 

    Hi! I’m Jen Serafini, an art director and graphic designer living in the Windy city with my husband and little pup. I spent four years at Syracuse University where I earned my BFA in communications design. It really taught me to look at design as a holistic and strategic process that goes beyond just a pretty picture. When everything comes together and tells a cohesive story, that’s the good stuff. Currently, I work as a senior designer at Pinch Provisions and take on my own freelance clients as well. When I’m not designing, you can find me making pizza with my husband, decorating my apartment (over & over), eating sour candy, traveling, and endlessly searching for the perfect NYC bagel out here in the midwest.

    From the Desk of Jen Serafini | desk detials | PINEGATE ROAD

    What gets you jazzed?

    Exceptional typography, a great pair of shoes, editorial design, black and white patterns, bold colors, new york pizza & bagels, sour candy, a glass of red wine, the couch and my husband (and pup)

    Where do you go to find inspiration, and what are you inspired by?

    Lately I’ve been trying to step away from the computer and find inspiration in my surroundings. Chicago has such a talented creative community and I’m always blown away by the passion and pride that’s derived in this city. Whether it’s a photo shoot or a design conference, meeting other driven creative people and hearing their stories leaves me feeling so energized, inspired and excited to create.

    When I’m stuck at my desk, Designspiration and Design Work Life consistently has an amazing variety of work to browse through!

    From the Desk of Jen Serafini | a recent project |PINEGATE ROAD

    Tell me a little about this project and how it was inspired:

    This is a recent branding and blog design project I did for Girl Meets Brooklyn. I was really excited about this one since Cassie was so fun, energetic and enthusiastic about the creative process. It was a very collaborative and enjoyable experience from start to finish. The result is a fresh, bold design and a fun layout that breaks out of the standard blog template. I was really inspired by the architecture of the Brooklyn Bridge and used that as a jumping off point for the graphic patterns on either side of the site. I wanted the design to reflect a modern industrial look that compliments her content and personality. (blog developed by Dennise Saxton)

    From the Desk of Jen Serafini | on her desk | PINEGATE ROAD

    How has blogging effected your creative life, and vice versa?

    Having an online presence has opened the doors to so many new relationships and collaborations with creatives in my city and across the country. The blog has also provided me an outlet to share my process and creative exploration which is a great exercise for me as a designer; it helps me explore and grow outside of my normal client work.

    From the Desk of Jen Serafini | inspiration and process | PINEGATE ROAD

    If you could give one tip to the rest of us, what would that be?

    Take advantage of every opportunity you can and be passionate about the work you create. Sometimes the best projects are the ones with low budgets, or personal explorations after hours. Have an open mind and be willing to share your experiences, good or bad with others – there’s always a lesson that can be learned!

    Huge thanks to Jen for sharing with us today! Head on over to her blog for more inspiration and process — you won’t be disappointed!

  6. December 5, 2013
    PORTFOLIO | obaby illustrations

    obaby app | illustrations by kelsey cronkhite | PINEGATE ROAD

    Silly to say, but I’ve never had to keep a freelance project reveal this secret. I’m beyond excited to share with you all what I’ve been up to the past couple months. When I was contacted to work on this project, I knew it was a dream come true. I had the opportunity in front of me to letter away for an amazing new app that helps connect families to share cherished moments. This is the first project where I’ve really been able to delve into illustration, and it was such a unique opportunity to hone in on those skills. My heart’s gushing you guys.

    Obaby is an app that uses illustrations created for all the moments children bring to those around them as overlays on photos. There is a collection of over 600 illustrations completed by myself, Megan Gilger, Kyle Steed, and Karli Ingersoll. These are some true talents I’m so proud to have been paired with. Even though we were working all throughout the world, it was so neat to see how our illustrations have been put together in packages to honor the moments made in childhood. Megan and her husband Mike have been working with the Obaby team to put together the Obaby brand, including the app and website. Huge applause to you guys and the entire Obaby team — I think it’s pretty much perfection. It’s simple, color choices are spot-on, and makes you want to share stories through this medium. This message from the website explains it all:

    obaby app | website | PINEGATE ROAD

    obaby app | story behind the app | PINEGATE ROAD

    Ooh, and I finally get to share some process with you all! Between work projects being kept secret—with items going to retail sometimes a year after our team works on them—and then this project being hush-hush, I’ve been missing being able to share the behind-the-scenes happenings. Here’s a little peek into some of the pages torn from my sketchbook for this project:

    obaby app | sketching | PINEGATE ROAD obaby app | sketchbook | PINEGATE ROAD obaby app | process | PINEGATE ROAD

    While I completed around 150 illustrations that ended up in the app, you need to check it out for yourself to see all that it has to offer! But since, well, I can’t help myself—here’s a few more of the final offering:

    obaby app | more illustrations by kelsey cronkhite | PINEGATE ROAD

    obaby app | app in action | PINEGATE ROAD

    So, are you ready to Obaby?

  7. November 28, 2013
    holiday desktop wallpaper

    Holiday desktop wallpaper by PINEGATE ROAD

    I’ll just say that this post wasn’t supposed to happen. Right now I should have been flying high above the midwest about to land in the little capitol of South Dakota to rent a car and meet the rest of my extended family at my parents new home. Things don’t always work out as planned, and I’m trying to be ok with that. Because really, in the grand scheme I’ll hopefully still be spending Thanksgiving with my family and that in and of itself is something to be crazy thankful for. Having been sick this past week put me in an altered state, and after a plane delay and a possibility of getting stranded in Minneapolis until Friday was mentioned, I kind of lost it. Me and my tears. After a few phone calls, and a couple silly stories from my aunt I got my spirits back up and decided to take this extra night in Cleveland to share a little something with you all.  Fingers crossed the flights go smoothly and my body starts to cooperate so I can join in all the Thanksgiving fun!

    I wanted to give you a little thank you present for always being so supportive of what I do around these parts, even when it is a bit crazy time. Thank you, honestly. I designed this lettering a couple weekends ago for my Christmas cards, and thought it would make a great holiday desktop wallpaper. I love changing my screens out for the different holidays, and just maybe you do to. I have so much fun arranging items into lettering it’s not even funny. Who would have thought that was something you could get in to! I’m pretty thankful it is :)

    IPHONE // IPAD // 1900×1200 // 1600×1200 // 1024×768

    Happy Thanksgiving everyone! And happy positive thoughts all around.

  8. October 29, 2013
    FROM THE DESK OF | maggie waller of type & title

    From the Desk of Maggie Waller of Type & Title | PINEGATE ROAD

    Maggie Waller was my first graphic design friend. Truly. After stalking anyone taking the major at Iowa on the early version of facebook, I found Maggie and for some reason she accepted my stranger-friend request. Hah. Thanks for your leap of faith lady! Besides a few short months working in the same studio in Iowa City, our friendship has been mostly of the digital variety. Maggie and I have most recently bonded over our passions for hand-lettering, freelancing, and blogging. She just launched her new studio, type & title, and I’m so proud of all the lovely that she’s been able to accomplish in these past few months. Get it girl! 

    From the Desk of Maggie Waller of Type & Title | Desk Details | PINEGATE ROAD

    Hello! I’m Maggie Waller. I live in San Diego, where I do freelance design and lettering under the name type & title. I started working from home a few months ago when my husband and I moved to California from Texas for his job in the Navy. I’ve loved words in every form for my entire life, so it only made sense to dedicate my business to the design of type, lettering and communication!

    What gets you jazzed?

    Sharpened pencils, long train rides, a well-designed magazine, a neutral color palette, the ocean, a good postcard, home-brewed beer, knitting, and public art… lately, I’m especially inspired by a well-curated site, blog, store or space. I love finding & meeting people who know their aesthetic and wear (or design) it well.

    Where do you go to find inspiration, and what are you inspired by?

    My go-to trick for inspiration is to get out of the house! On a daily basis, that usually means taking my pups for a walk. They’re thrilled to get a mid-day break and it clears my head. I almost always come back with a new idea or approach to a project. Working from home is an entirely new experience for me. I’m learning that I really need regular breaks and interaction to get out of my own head — sometimes that’s a dog walk, meeting a friend for coffee, or even a break to check Instagram… connecting with other creative people can really inspire me to create something myself!

    From the Desk of Maggie Waller of Type & Title | Ampersand Sketches | PINEGATE ROAD

    Tell me a little about this project and how it was inspired:

    These sketches are the initial ideas for my hand-lettered ampersand tote bag. I’ve wanted an ampersand tote for I don’t know how long, and eventually my DIY instinct kicked in and I decided it was time to design one myself. I tend to be ridiculously picky about typography (which is partially why I’ve gotten into lettering) so I knew I was going to end up with a hand-drawn letterform.

    Ambersand tote by Maggie Waller of Type & Title | GIVEAWAY on PINEGATE ROAD

    How has blogging effected your creative life, and vice versa?

    Blogging and I have had an on-and-off relationship since high school (hello, livejournal) and I keep coming back to it, which is something I’ve never been able to do with a journal. I think putting your thoughts and work online where there’s a potential audience can keep you making work. Blogging makes me feel like I’m contributing to a community  — even if only one person sees my post, that’s one person I’ve connected with. Connection fuels creativity!

    If you could give one tip to the rest of us, what would that be?

    Do it anyway. I’m still brand new to working-for-myself, but it took me a really, really long time to even begin following my career dreams — I stalled for years because I was scared to act. It seems so crazy now! It’s easy to want to quit, or not even begin, when you have no forward momentum, but you can’t get that unless you actually do something. “I can’t do this but I’m doing it anyway” is one of my favorite quotes ever. We’ve all been there! Just do it anyway.

    Thanks again Maggie! Be sure to follow along on Maggie’s journey over at type & title, she’s sure to keep doing some pretty great things. Maggie has been kind enough to send along a tote to one lucky reader! Follow below to enter the giveaway. AND, if you can’t wait for your chance to win, you can get your own here

     a Rafflecopter giveaway

  9. October 23, 2013
    ADVICE | 1 | web design and development for designers

    Advice | As a graphic designer, how much should I know about web design and devleopment? | PINEGATE ROAD

    In the past couple weeks I’ve received two emails asking just about the same question. As a graphic designer how much web design and development is necessary to know? Insert the eyeballs looking around the room for an applicable advice-giver, here. I write this as the girl who’s learned to touch coding as little as possible and is currently making a living as a stationery designer. Paper-lovers unite! I have some serious issues with technology. All this aside, I do have something so say about the subject.

    What I’ve learned through seven years of schooling, a couple years of freelancing on the side, and a few more part-time design jobs, is to try it all. What these beginning years as a creative professional are there for is to learn what makes you tick and see where that takes you. I’m totally still on my own journey to find what makes me tick, and that’s what this blog is for. I’m thankful that I dove head-first into coding with this blog, and that it even brought a couple clients my way that wanted me to try my luck at web design and development for their sites. Then came the tears. Big fat terrible tears all over my keyboard and time spent on family vacations tweaking in courier looking for a slash and dash that may or may not be misplaced and causing that web font to display on some pages and not the others. Taking that breath in now. I quickly learned that coding was not for me — but through these projects I learned that I loved to work with creative individuals who needed help building their brands visually. I also learned that I loved to design for the web, but that I needed a little help on the development side. And this is OK. Actually, it’s more than OK, it’s great! Always look for that silver lining.

    The important thing to know about any aspect of design is that you don’t have to do it all. You can certainly be well-rounded, and it helps the budget to be able to do a few things on your own, but we were never meant to do it all. What throwing yourself into these new experiences does is that it helps you learn the language of the subject matter. In the worst-case-scenario, even if you learn that you hate whatever you threw yourself into, you’ll still be the better for it. It’s kind of like that one time when you took French in high school and we able to buy a croissant using the mother tongue while in Lyon. Anyone? :) Think of your skill-sets in terms of being conversationally adept in the subject matter. If you find that you were crying over your keyboard like me when it came to the coding, you’ll have learned enough about web design and development to hand your developer files and notations that make sense. The first time I handed files over to a developer, she commented that they were a breath of fresh air. I knew what kinds of files she would need, and I knew what information to give her because I’d kind of been there. Learn how to communicate and how to collaborate with those who’s true passions lie in web development (or lettering, or stationery, or social media…). That’s where the beauty in collaboration lies.

    When the blog world started throwing around the word collaboration on a regular basis I thought everyone was talking about how wonderful it was to write for other blogs, to collaborate on posts, and generally collaborate on blog-specific material. What I found out was that it was less of that and more of the above. The blog world opens you up to making connections with others who can help you out. Those that have rocking skills in things that you know you would rather not deal with. This frees you up to take on the matters you’re truly passionate about, and gives those that are truly passionate about what you’re not an amazing project. Win-win.

    I’ve recently put my money where my mouth is and am hiring out for a personal web project — this experience is definitely helping to put me in the client’s shoes and it’s scary! You’re giving a little part of yourself away when you’re a creative who’s relying on someone else to help your visions come to life. That or I have serious control issues, hah. But through my client’s experiences, I know it’s for the best. Once you take that leap, it feels so great to have the weight off your shoulders and to know you’re going to get a better outcome than you could ever have had on your own. Great is the product of collaboration.

    Whew! Excited to get that off my chest. Do you feel a little bit better? I know I do. As you might have been able to tell by the title of this post, a reoccurring advice column has been made. Email me if you have any questions about anything you might think I’d be uniquely situated to answer, and I’ll work on getting back to you here.

    I’d also love to hear your thoughts on the subject at hand in the comments. Do you find it helpful to know a little about a lot of things and focus on one main thing? Or do you try and make it all happen yourself? Do you have a story to share? We can all learn from successes and failures, and it’s usually in those failures that I find I learn the most, hah.

    Hope you’re all having a lovely week.


  10. September 30, 2013
    REFLECTION | 5 | getting in the flow

    REFLECTION | getting in the flow and how to find your happy place | PINEGATE ROAD

    It’s a helluva start, being able to recognize what makes you happy — Lucille Ball

    There’s something about picking up, moving, and starting this new journey in Cleveland that has me a tiny bit paralyzed. It’s less about where I am physically and more about where I am intrinsically. Moving here marked my first big step into career-land, which was my top goal and priority since before I can remember—yes, really. Now that I’ve made this leap, I’m taking some time to sit and simmer and decide on my next big goals professionally. What this short time of reflection has done is that it’s jogged my crazy forward-future-production-oriented-thinking brain into thinking less about next steps. What has been able to seep in is that I’ve been thinking more about what makes me truly happy and how I can bring more of that into my life in the future. Shhhhh, I know that’s next steps too! One thing I’ve been noticing is how my phases of happy-having interact with others. It gets me all crazy and happy on the inside when I can sit down with a friend and really help them identify what they want out of a certain experience, or to help them sort out next steps in life. I think this might be why I love design so much — working with my clients to help them sort out the vision of their brands is such an endorphin kick. It makes my heart so full to play even a tiny part in helping people along their journeys, in whatever way possible. It’s a unique thing when people reach out for help, and your specific talents align to create something wonderful. I recently heard from a friend who’s résumé I helped design after she was laid off at work, and she told me how many compliments she got on it even after she was employed in her field (!!!). Being able to help others with something that you love doing might just be at the core of this happiness-finding. Getting all gushy over here, please don’t mind me.

    The other day I was browsing online, and one link lead to another, and all of a sudden I was reading more in to happiness and how to find it through your career. This article kind of punched me in the face. What struck me the most was the simple tid-bit on how happiness and ‘getting in the flow’ correlate. To get in the flow, and really experience a heightened form of happiness, the activities you’re engaging in must align with your talents and be working towards a personal goal. I started recollecting times when I really get in the flow of doing something and decided to dissect what I did, and what intrinsic goals they were working towards. I thought of the flow as the times when I lost track of time, and simply was happy and working towards a certain something.

    Light/clean cooking—I’m drawn to the challenge of creating my favorite (fatty) foods in clean, healthy, alternative ways. It’s my own weirdo belief that almost anyone can create something that is out of control awesome, but it takes hard work and dedication to create something that is just as great tasting, but healthy. Sarah and Caitlin are pretty much my heroines in this regard.

    Rowing—While is is a little bit past tense, and kind of still present tense (bear with me here), there was something about competitive rowing that completely cleared my brain. I got in the flow so much so that during junior nationals in 2009 I almost herniated three of my lower discs and ended up being sent to the hospital by ambulance directly after the race (we did win gold though!). I didn’t even realize I couldn’t move my back until I hit the finish line and my brain finally caught up with the duress my body was in. Being the best I could possibly be at rowing was my goal all-throughout high school. Experiencing the flow out on the water was what made it all kind of worth it. While I lost the passion for rowing early in my college career, I’m glad I was able to focus on other passions and really start the journey that lead me to where I am today. Recently, I’ve joined the rowing club in Cleveland, and I’m happily rowing once a week. I’m meeting new people, getting to experience Cleveland from the water, and have fun doing something I know I’m passionate about—without the competitive edge.

    Lettering—Now I find myself getting lost while I letter. Seeing a uniquely formed L can get me fake scribbling on my desk with my finger in no time, and then I find myself an hour later having filled up pages in my sketchbook with new formations of words and letters. Lettering really is my happy place, and I know I have a long way to go still and that very journey is what keeps me practicing.

    Getting in the flow is hard for me. I don’t know about you, but how often do you make excuses to not do the things you know you enjoy? Because flow-inducing activities inherently coexist with goals, they’re paired with actual work, and there’s something about taking that initiative that just doesn’t always happen. I know I love lettering, but sometimes all I want to do is melt into my couch and order a pizza at the end of the day (negative double points for the flow) instead of sitting at my drawing table and playing around with pens and inks. Getting in the flow takes energy! About a month ago, I started working on a project that really got my flow back after work. All I can say at the moment is wow, and thank you. When you put yourself out there a little bit, and work hard and keep that flow happening, things really do come to you at all the right moments. With this client, I have been able to push myself in so many regards and do something that involves a lot of lettering. There is a whole lot of happy that has filled my insides being able to work on this, and that’s something I’ll start to take note of as I take on more freelance and build my future career.

    After this search for the flow—who am I talking like this, really?!—I realized that these activities are the foundation to passion-finding. The next time you feel the flow, take note. These could be the very activities that can help propel your career, and more importantly, help you truly find happiness. Have you thought about the things that get you in this state of mind before? I’d love to hear what flow-inducing activities you get yourself into — it’s kind of a like a tiny little peek into someone’s core self in a way. It’s in the flow that you can possibly find out what you are meant to do and be — that’s pretty crazy and amazing.



















Fixed cost web hosting. Pay once, hosted for life.