GUYS, I’M OPENING A SHOP!

AS-the-shop

I’ve been thinking about starting a graphic design shop for a while now. In fact, I started one a few years ago as a place to freely design and brainstorm. My goal with that shop was simply to start creating. More. A lot more. I wanted the practice. When things picked up for artsocial, I closed the shop but that idea never left me…

Just like a writer has a daily writing practice, I want a daily design practice. To do just that – practice and experiment… and maybe make something horrible BUT maybe make something super amazeballs. Something that will be helpful and the perfect fit for somebody.

So I’m opening a shop! Ah! Full of exclusive logos that I can help you customize in days, not weeks (wahoo!), templates for your blog posts, and other graphic design goodies. AND each month there will be some freebie downloads, too! I love me some free downloads. Et tu?

I’ll be adding to it every week starting in 2015. Tell me, from one creative bosslady to another – what would you love to see in the shop?? Leave a comment below or email me (erin@heyartsocial.com)! I’d looove to hear what would help you and your biz the most.

The virtual doors open on January 5th. Get excited, friends! 2015 is going to be BIG :)

xoxo,
erin

12 MORE DAYS ‘TIL CHRISTMAS

artsocial-gift-guide

Whaaa! I can’t believe it’s almost Christmas. We got a tree last weekend and it put me in the Christmas spirit SO fast. I think it’s that tree smell… it brought back so many memories of decorating Christmas trees at my dad’s house. And we got a BIG tree this time. No more tiny-I-live-in-an-apartment trees for this girl!

Anyhoo, I wanted to share one last batch of favorites from my ultimate gift guide – which I really should’ve called Erin’s Giant Wish List, because I want e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g.

P.S. a motorcycle scarf?? I know. I’ve been watching a ton of Sons of Anarchy lately… no spoilers! I’m only on season 5. I could never pull off a motorcycle scarf, so please get it for yourself or someone you know so I can live vicariously through your badass fashion sense.

Happy final shopping days, friends!!

01 field notes 02 hat 03 motorcycle scarf 04 hey ring 05 odds and ends dish 06 water bottle 07 iphone charger 08 giant gem speaker

BECAUSE I HAD TO

why-I-started-artsocial

I was recently asked, Why did you start your own business? Is it worth all the time and effort?

Short answer: Because I had to. I couldn’t NOT do this. And HELL YES it’s worth it, no question.

Long answer: Starting my own business almost wasn’t even a choice. Something inside me had to do it. I knew I needed to give myself the freedom to try doing my own thing. The freedom to create and collab with other like-minded people. The freedom to quit my day job and get “the fear” (Friends, anyone?), so I could figure out what the heck I wanted. The freedom to make mistakes, work through my blocks, unlearn, relearn, and just go for it.

I’ll admit it, it would’ve been soo much easier to stick with the day job. But I would’ve been miserable. When I decided to start doing graphic design, I felt like I was finally listening to my gut. And that feels really great.

Sure, it’s not all great. Running a business is exciting and terrifying at the same time. You can never say for sure how everything will pan out. How well your program will sell, how many people will sign up for your e-course, if anyone will read your posts…

But you know what? It doesn’t matter. Because you have to do this. It’s your calling. It’s part of you and even when it’s hard, it’s the best thing in the world.

Do you run your own business? Why did you start your biz? Isn’t it SO worth it??

xoxo,
erin

 

Photo by Sugar Photography.


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THE GOOD STOCK PHOTOS

death to the stock photodeath to the stock photodeath to the stock photodeath to the stock photo

Yes, they do exist. Coming across a good stock photo is like spotting a unicorn in the wild. You’re not sure if it’s real and you’re afraid it will suddenly disappear if you tell anyone.

Okay, I haven’t found a unicorn in the wild (YET), but I do have a stock photo rec for you…

Death to the Stock Photo has changed my life. I’m sure you’ve seen their photos around. All of them are gorgeous and the subject matter is always the BEST. You’ll actually want to use these photos. If you haven’t signed up for their free monthly photo packs – yes FREEEE – then I’d highly recommend doing so right niz-ow. I’ll wait for you to get back…

They also offer a premium option, $10 / month for an extra pack of photos and access to all past and future packs online. For what I do, that’s a no brainer.

HUGE thank you to the crew at Death to the Stock Photo. If you’re ever in Denver, please let me know. I must buy everyone drinks!

Now that you know, you betta tell somebody. Go forth and spread the word. Good stock photos do exist! Hooray!

xoxo,
erin

JUST DO IT ALREADY

just do it already

We’re heading into month numero dos of Tiffany Han’s 100 Rejection Letters (what the heck is that, you say? Catch up on my first post here!). I can’t believe how many light bulb / a-ha / oh duh moments I’ve had since starting only a month ago.

It’s crazy what can happen if you’re willing to just sit in the discomfort of the tough questions. What do you really want? What do you love about your job? What do you want to change? Who is your ideal client?

At first these questions feel excruciating. Like omg you’d rather do anything else than answer them. ANYTHING ELSE. Oh Dancing with the Stars is on and Alfonso Ribeiro is doing the Carlton?! These can wait… NO! They can’t. Enough dodging the important questions. My business means more to me than that.

If you hang out with these Qs long enough, the answers will slowly start to reveal themselves… here’s what I’ve learned so far:

01 I’ve learned that I absolutely love designing for other people. I love helping them feel confident in the way their business looks.

I love working closely with an entrepreneur, helping her with her day-to-day graphic design projects – and contributing to building a brand that’s recognizably HER.

02 I’ve learned that everything happening in your business is telling you exactly who your audience is and which services would help them the most. Who’s contacting you, who’s following you on social media, what are your favorite projects? Pay attention. The answers are there.

My audience? Coaches and bloggers. And saying that makes me the happiest because I love coaches and bloggers!!! Hello, my people! Needless to say I’ll be revising my services and bit, which leads me to…

03 I’ve learned it’s okay to change. As Tiffany says, no one is paying that close attention to your business. It’s okay to change what you don’t like and what’s not working. No one will care, no one will be mad. (And if they get mad, they’re super weird. Block them immediately.)

I think that’s the biggest thing I’ve learned from 100 Rejection Letters this month (and from Tiffany’s uh-mazing podcast. If you’re not listening, clear your calendar and binge listen. Now.)

I need to give myself permission to grow and change. However and whenever I want.

No more thinking, planning and researching. Just do it already.

xoxo,
erin

 

 

Image by artsocial.


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THE ULTIMATE GIFT GUIDE: WEEK 2

the artsocial gift guide

Guys, this gift guide is becoming dangerous. There’s just too much cute! The items above are some of my favorites so far… and we’ve got another month to go!

Whether it’s used for serious holiday shopping or just to beef up your pinterest wishlist, this gift guide is so much fun to put together. BIG thank you to everyone who’s pinning, commenting, and following along. It means the whole world to me. I wish I could buy each of you incredibly meaningful gifts (Leslie Knope-style) but since I can’t, I’ll just keep gift guiding :)

Hooray for shopping early! We’re kicking so much ass right now.

Join the gift guide par-tay here or on pinterest!

book | necklace | earrings | backpack | book | scarf | shirt | terrarium


AS shop coming soon

THOSE COLORS

those colors!

L-O-V-E the colors from this photo by Sugar & Cloth. Those pinks! I mean, come on. I’m in palette heaven.

One of my favorite places to find palette inspiration is pinterest. I’ll find an image with the right colors + vibe, then pick out juuust the right shades for whatever project I’m working on at the time. Another great resource for palettes is Colour Lovers.  Ohmygah, it’s amazing. Make sure you have a few hours to spare before diving into that site…

I’m working on a new passion project right now – that I can’t wait to share soon! – and I think this palette needs to join the party.

P.S. should we make these rose cocktails with floral sprinkles? I think so, too. I’ll come by after work. After all, Mondays need a happy hour…

Image via Sugar & Cloth.

THE ULTIMATE GIFT GUIDE IS BACK

artsocial ultimate gift guide

I had so much fun sharing my favorite things for the holidays last year, I’m doin’ it again! And this year, I’m going all in. I’m starting early – because if you’re anything like me, waiting until December to shop gives you major anxiety AND you’d rather order everything online to stay as far away from a mall as possible.

So it’s on. STARTING TODAY! Gifts for your besties, your sisters and your misters. I’ll be adding to it until December 18th so there will be plenty of goodies to pick from. Whoop whoop!

Check out the full guide here or following along via pinterest!

Image by artsocial. Gift guide collected and curated via rewardStyle. All opinions and recs are my own. Happy holiday shopping, friends!