1. September 8, 2014
    MONDAY MUSING | 5 | the creative process

    the creative process | PINEGATE ROAD

    A good friend of mine sent this copy along to me last week, and I giggled out loud reading it. I bet I’m not the only one who’s creative process resembles this. Here’s to more awesome days, and less of number fours.


  2. September 4, 2014
    Pinegate Road reader survey results

    Pinegate Road reader survey results 2014

    You guys are the best. Thank you so much for taking the time to fill out the survey that was posted last week. Your answers and suggestions are helping me brainstorm and plan in so many ways. It’s getting me pretty excited! This will certainly not be the last of the reader surveys, that’s for sure.

    Annnnnnd, here’s probably what you’re really waiting for…

    The recipient of the $50 Etsy gift certificate goes to the lovely Chelcey Tate!

    Thanks again everyone! Hope you’re having a great week. Chelcey, I’ll be in touch with you shortly about the gift card.

  3. August 28, 2014
    6 tips for creatives working full time and freelancing

    6 tips for creatives working full time and freelancing

    While the juggle of freelance and other commitments has been something I’ve been trying to balance for a little over five years, this past year was the first time I took on the responsibility of full time employment. This has been a hard transition for me, as I’ve had the tendency to bite off way more than I can chew. Literally and figuratively — I’ve been to the doctors a couple times this year because food keeps getting stuck in my throat! Serious there, but kidding aside, I’ve picked up a few tricks along the way that have been born out of some serious mistakes as well as taking notes on what was going well. If I can give you one over-arching tip, it’s to notice what’s going right, and to keep doing that.

    Anyways, here are my 6 tips for creatives working full time and freelancing on the side:

    1: Specialize

    Since moving to Ohio, I have worked on all sorts of projects on the side. I’ve taken on styling and photography, copywriting, consulting, branding, web design…the list goes on. What I’ve been learning over this past year is that I feel best when I am working on shorter-term projects. For now, I’m trying to focus on contract lettering projects. I can concept and letter over my lunch breaks, and then come home to edit and send off finals and be done with a project within a week. Getting work out the door on my off time, while still having a weekend full of fun feels incredible. I give this up a little when I take on bigger projects that require full-days of work that I can only do on the weekends. I’ll take them on here and there, but for now my heart is with these lettering projects because of the flexibility they afford my schedule and the passion I have towards doing them.

    2: Under promise, over-deliver, and over-estimate

    Over-promised, missed deadlines, apologies, and guilt. Been there, and I’m through. Keep lofty goals to yourself, and tell your clients about half of what you hope to accomplish. It’s not deceitful, it’s just honest. I’d much rather the client be happy with what they 1: assume they are getting and 2: a little something extra, than to be promised something huge and grand and end up with something less than. This is a huge one that I’m still working on. I get ahead of myself, and I let my passions speak louder than what my time allows. Also, over-estimate the time that it will take you to complete a task. Unless you’re up against a strict client-given deadline for a certain deliverable, double up the time you think you could get it done in. If you get it done early, your client is happy, and you’re happy! If you run in to snags, you have that buffer time to smooth them out.

    3: Learn to say no, to say yes

    My 2013 goal was to learn to say no. It’s treated me well. When you’re working a full time job, you usually have the liberty to take on only the projects that you’re super passionate about. Your regular work pays the bills, and the freelance is a little something extra. When you’re taking on these extra projects, they should be fun. This is one of the huge perks of doing both! You get great creative projects to do at work, and you get different projects to balance out those other creative needs on the side. Say no to anything that doesn’t immediately have you saying heck yes! When you say no to the so-so, it opens your schedule to say yes to the thrilling projects when they do come along. It’s so worth it.

    4: Connect with peers in and out of work

    Working for a creative company, I’m lucky to have so many other people who are in this very same position. A group of us have a monthly sushi lunch where we catch up with our lives, and usually end up talking through the struggles and benefits of doing this working full time and freelancing thing. Being a blogger also lead me to finding one of my creative soul sisters at work, which has lead to us collaborating and chatting about so many things we tackle in life as creatives. Outside of work, it’s been important to me to connect to others through instagram, by leaving comments on others’ blogs, and to be active in the online creative community. I definietely had my moments where it was all too much, but a blog post here, a ‘great job’ comment there, it all adds up! All of this leads to a network of people that are there for you in different but necessary ways. These connections help keep me inspired, and they help me gauge some of that ‘what’s going right’ business. It’s too much burden to be a solitary creative. Reach out, open up, and find out the possibilities of what some of these creative relationships can do for you all!

    5: Take smaller bites

    This is something that I’ve been learning since I went to Pursue in April. One of the speakers (eeep, I can’t remember who! Giving myself a wrist-slap) showed us how writing out to-do lists for our to-do lists in teeny tiny steps actually helps you get more accomplished. Herm!? Yeah. So what you do is that for each task you have that seems a little daunting or that you can’t quite make yourself manage, you write out every tiny step that is put in to that to-do item. Maybe it’s as simple as buying a new calligraphy pen — yeah, lettering girl at heart here. For example:

    1 – open safari

    2 – google ‘calligraphy pen’

    3 – browse for a calligraphy pen shop

    4 – compare prices at different shops

    5 – choose which one works for you

    6 – put it in your cart

    7 – get out your wallet

    8 – type in your card info

    9 – click purchase

    10 – celebrate!

    Kidding, kind of, on that celebration part, but honestly this does work. I’ve been breaking up to-do’s at work and it has been helping me manage things that seem a little daunting to me. By breaking up to-do’s for freelance, I’m able to get small aspects of work done on my lunch breaks that I would have otherwise spent worrying about how I was going to get the whole project done during the nights that week. Taking bite-sized pieces of work, and of food, is just the way to go for a more productive you.

    6: Give yourself grace

    This is the biggest one of all. I have extremely high expectations for myself, and it’s bitten me in the butt in the form of emotional sabotage waaaay too many times. Look at you, you’re basically working two jobs! That’s excellent! You did your dishes this week? CONGRATS. Learn to give yourself the opportunity to mess up, and learn in the process. Smile and solve when something does go wrong. The freaking out wont help the matter. I realize this is all simpler said than done, but it’s something I try and remember when I feel like I’m just going about life all wrong.


    And that’s that! For those of you who are working full time and freelancing, do you have anything else to add? This is certainly a work in progress, and I know we’re all just trying to figure it out one day at a time. Hope this helps full time workers, freelancers, and anyone just trying to manage their work load.

    PS: you’ve got this!


  4. August 25, 2014

    monday musing | 4 | Pinegate Road

    As I’ve been working through some of those perfectionist tendencies, one of the biggest takeaways was how much worrying and talking and figuring out I was doing versus how much action I was actually taking. I’ve always been an advocate of ‘actions speak louder than words’ mentality, and here I was sitting around talking about all the things that I could be doing to reach my goals. I’d been telling Todd for months how I was going to write a budget and really get in control of my finances, or how I was going to take a few hours to myself to finally get this site redesign underway.

    This past week, I decided to ditch the perfection, and lean in to the doing. What came out of it in one week was incredible. I felt so productive, and I actually started to realize how getting things done imperfectly feels more perfect than any of that worrying ever did. Everything I’ll do in life will still be a work in progress, but the only way to get to where I want to go is to take those small steps and actually take action. In my free-time this week I was able to write my budget, launch a blog survey (finally), send off the homepage and structure for this site redesign, and then take the entire weekend off to go to a German festival in Toledo. Work and play. Definitely messy, but worth it. I focused less on what I wasn’t accomplishing—which paralyses me in to non-action—and focused on all the little steps that I was taking to propel my goals forward.

    Today, my eyes are definitely sparkling.

    PS: Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to complete the reader survey. I can’t believe I have gone so long without getting any of your input — it’s been amazing to hear. If you haven’t completed it, you still have time to do so for your chance to win a $50 Etsy gift card. Hope you have a great week!

  5. August 22, 2014
    survey + $50 etsy gift card giveaway!

    2014 Pinegate Road Reader Survey + $50 Etsy gift card giveaway

    Guys, I’m in some major need of ‘figuring it out.’ Pinegate Road just turned three, and not once have I held a reader survey. Eeep!

    As part of my goals for this year, I wanted to edit down certain things in my life. As Pinegate Road has grown—and turned, and paused—over the years, I’ve never had a great grasp at exactly what has been going on here. That’s just the honest truth. It’s been my little place for experimenting with design, connecting with new friends, and sharing what I’m trying to work through. It’s my hope that over the next year as I continue to settle in to work and my life here in Cleveland, I start to really settle in to what Pinegate Road can bring to YOU. In order to do that, I have to do my research, and figure out more about who you are. I’d love if you could click below and spend three minutes, tops, giving me some invaluable information.


    The survey is 10 questions long, and they are all answers you can click on. Yay! After you’re through, please leave a comment on this post letting me know you completed the survey. Optionally, it would be so appreciated if you left any feedback about Pinegate Road, what you like / what you dislike / what you’d like to see in the future / etc. with that comment. Anything goes. This will help me re-focus and shape Pinegate Road for the future.

    As a thank you for taking the time to give me your thoughts, I’ll be randomly selecting from the comments on this post and sending out a $50 Etsy gift card to one reader. Hint, hint: you could get a lovely ceramic addition from Emily’s shop when she’s back from vacation! While the survey will be open for the next couple months, and I’d appreciate feedback at any time, the winner will be chosen from those who leave a comment by midnight next Friday (August 29, 2014).

    Thanks everyone! I hope you have a wonderful weekend.


  6. August 18, 2014
    MONDAY MUSING | no. 4

    perfectionism | monday musing no. 4

    Anyone else dealing with perfectionist tendencies? I’ve been having an off couple of weeks, and after a candid conversation with my boss this morning, she sent along this article. Yes, yes, and more yes. There’s a difference between realizing it, and taking action. I’ve realized that I need to delve more in to why I have these tendencies and start to practice habits that help me learn that perfect is not always good. I’ll take happy and enough over overwhelmed and perfect any day.

    PS: Can you spot where I’m a work in positive progress here? ;)

  7. August 13, 2014
    the object enthusiast styling + photography

    the object enthusiast photography and styling | Pinegate Road

    This past March, I hopped on a flight to Omaha to meet up with Emily of the object enthusiast. We started blogging right around the same time and have been creatively collaborating for the past couple years. This past winter, Emily contacted me about getting her online presence in tip top shape now that her business has grown. It’s been an absolute dream to work with her over the past months to make her shop’s website a reality. While it’s currently being developed, I thought I’d share some of the photos that we took of her work for the site.

    the object enthusiast photography and styling | Pinegate Road

    Emily’s story is an amazing one. After starting her ceramics career in Kansas part-time after she graduated college, she decided to take the leap to full-time ceramics work when she moved to Omaha with her boyfriend last year. Since she’s been focusing 100% on her ceramics, her career has skyrocketed. It’s truly amazing to have watched this growth happen, and I’m so proud and excited for all that Emily has done. As of last week, her ceramics are being sold at Anthroplogie, she has been a featured artist on Etsy, and she continues to gather accolades from all over the blog world. Go, go Emily!

    the object enthusiast photography and styling | Pinegate Road

    These photos were all taken at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts. It was an incredible space to work in — perfectly imperfect backdrops everywhere and natural light galore. We gathered blooms and props the day before the shoot, and spent the entire next day styling and taking photos. This was one of the first projects that I have worked on where I incorporated my photography chops in a big way. I took it as a personal challenge to add this passion of mine to a client project, and I’m happy that Emily was willing to put her faith in me and let me have at it. It’s amazing to me what can come out of a project when the people working on it are just in-tune as far as aesthetics and an end vision go. Thanks girl!

    the object enthusiast photography and styling | Pinegate Road

    Sharing this is getting me excited to see the site working! Eeek. I’ll be sure to keep you all updated as it comes alive. Happy Wednesday!

  8. August 11, 2014
    weapons of mass creation 2014

    weapons of mass creation featured designer 2014

    This weekend marks a pretty big milestone in my design career. I’ll be heading to the Weapons of Mass Creation festival here in Cleveland as a featured designer. Some of you may have seen a little bit of this stamping craze that I got in to last month, and that was all in preparation to take part in the National Poster Retrospecticus that will be held at the festival. Along with taking part in this event, I’ll be spending my weekend soaking in inspiration from speakers that will be traveling here to Cleveland from around the country. I had a major pinch-me moment when I saw Grace Bonney’s headshot pop up as one of the speakers at the festival. Gah. That’s stuff my design-girl dreams are made of.

    While I made the move here shortly before last year’s event, with my unpacking craze I wasn’t able to make it to the festival. I don’t know what to expect in it’s entirety, but I’m crazy excited to take part in an event that celebrates artists, designers, and creativity in this expansive way in my new hometown. Cleveland, I love you, honestly and truly. I was gushing to my coworkers last week about how there really couldn’t have been a better place for me to end up after graduation. It’s events like this that make me realize that the decision to move here was one of the better choices I’ve made in my life. There’s still a long way to go and a lot that I haven’t explored here, but after a year I can really say it’s feeling like home.

    If you’re around the area, or are making your way to Cleveland for the festival, be sure to reach out! Send me a tweet, and I’ll be happy to come say hello. It will be amazing to get to know the creative community here in a new way, and there’s no better way to experience some major inspiration than in-person events like this.

    Hope to see you this weekend!

    You can purchase tickets here.

  9. August 4, 2014

    monday musing | 3 | PINEGATE ROAD

    When it comes down to it, that happiness thing, it’s really all in your control. I know I need this reminder more often than not.

    Happy monday friends.

  10. July 30, 2014
    brand refresh process — color palette + logo

    Logo and color palette process | PINEGATE ROAD

    With the portfolio and blog getting a rehaul in the next few months, I’ve been busy trying to make little tweaks here and there to the visuals of Pinegate Road. There are some things that were feeling great aesthetically from my last big rebrand, but as I was working within certain areas, it just didn’t seem flexible enough. I felt like there was a certain kind of persona this brand was creating, that just wasn’t entirely true to what Pinegate Road is at the core. Things just got too crisp and clean, and I like a little mess around here sometimes I’m realizing. The creative journey is never nothing but pretty.

    With this slight refresh, I wanted to get the love of hand-lettering back into the brand. This new logo was hand-lettered and then vectorized to keep those asymmetrical qualities you usually lose when you make a logo fresh from the digital space. The added ‘g’ also is working better with how I’ve been abbreviating the brand from the start. PR just screams public relations to me, and it just needed a slight tweak.

    The color palette is a complete work in progress. If I learned anything from working with the Angela Hauck brand, it’s that I shouldn’t be afraid of color. While still keeping a more subdued natural spin, I wanted to build out a color palette that works with the Pinegate Road brand and one that could stand up to possible growth. If products start to be a part of the future here, I need some go-to hues that I’m not just picking out with a color dropper as needed. Having a larger palette of hues that work together is something that stationery world is making me take note of. It’s the details that keep things together, and this is my first stab at making the color process work towards a cohesive brand look beyond those five colors I picked out specifically for branding purposes.

    Have any of you worked with building out a large cohesive color palette? I’d love tips if so! I’m up for any suggestions on this palette. Is there anything that’s standing out to you? Any colors you think are missing? There’s something about this that I’m not entirely thrilled with, but I can’t quite put my finger on it. (Help!)


















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