FAVORITE DESIGN FINDS

Kellyn Walker By Kellyn Walker. Etsy Holiday Campaign 2012By Melissa Deckert.Irene Victoria Design Co. By Irene Victoria Design Co. OyVia Oy! Blog. food posters by Christina Razueva By Christina Razueva.

I love searching Pinterest for sparks of inspiration. You know, that moment that stops you mid-scroll and makes you take a closer look. Or better yet - makes you say: Man, I wish I'd thought of that!!

These graphics made me say that. I just love the way they've integrated natural elements. Which one is your favorite?

Are you on pinterest? Let's pin together! Find me here!

QUOTED

dream-bigger

There's something about spring and summer that makes me feel... restless. Like anything is possible and I should go for it - whatever "it" is - in a much bigger way.

How big do I really want artsocial to be?

How much do I really want to make this year?

Should I buy a summer house in Italy or France... or both? :P

I think I'll let this quote be my guide for a while.

What are some of your favorite quotes? Those that keep you motivated and give you that extra shot of mojo?

Graphic by artsocial.

BE HAPPY LINKUP, YEAR TWO

be-happy-year-deux That's right, baby! I'm starting another happiness project and the Be Happy linkup will continue. Can I get an hells yeeeah?

After taking last month off to reflect on my happiness project, the blog, my sanity - I decided that my very favorite posts have ALL been on Thursdays. They've all been for the Be Happy linkup. Those posts made me think, they connected me with amazing people, they made me get shit done. Starting another happiness project became an obvious choice.

So I updated the Be Happy page and planned out the next 6 months with new goals and even bigger dreams. I hope you're ready for another adventure! I couldn't have come this far without you.

Here's what I have planned for my happiness project, year deux!

01 NOVEMBER Clients. Get super clear about who I want to work with. Who is my ideal graphic design client? The clearer I am, the better. For reals.

02 DECEMBER Portfolio. Build up an amazeballs portfolio and create a portfolio page on my blog.

03 JANUARY Learn more skillz. Because I learned graphic design through experience (and on photoshop), I want to take some classes to expand my knowledge of design programs like Illustrator. I love you photoshop, but I gots to keep learnin.

04 FEBRUARY Set some serious and mind-blowing financial goals. Hmm is this late to be focusing on financial goals? Anyhoo, I want to set some goals that will blow me away if – nay when! – I reach them. A plan will be devised and followed, yo.

05 MARCH Take Eat Drink Create to the next level of awesome. This month I’ll be co-hosting our 4th event!! Each EDC has been bigger and better than the last. I have some dream locations & dream sponsors, I think this is the month to call on those dreams!

06 APRIL Expand my services. I always love branching out and going bigger. I’d love to start offering full website design. Or open a shop full of awesome blog graphics + templates! That would be BOSS. This is the month I take things up a notch.

Let's do this! Ya with me?

It’s Thursday and that means a whole gang of rad bloggers are talking about happiness. Join the movement below and on twitter with #BeHappylinkup!

be-happy-banner

Original image found here.

VISIONBOARDING

visionboard The first time I made a vision board was in middle school. I sat down with my Teen magazine and cut out words and images I loved; things that represented who I wanted to become. I put everything into a collage and framed it (this was serious bidness).

Since then I've made a few attempts at visionboarding, nothing quite that hardcore... I do have a folder in my office that I fill with things I want... and if it's something I reeeally want, I'll tape it somewhere I'll see it all the time. Is that cray?! Well I don't care, it works...

Anyhoo, I've been thinking about making a vision board for a while now. While I'm surrounded by inspiration (via Pinterest) everyday, lately I don't take the time to print things out and truly focus on what I want to bring into my life... so I decided to make one and print it out. This is a peek at just a few of the things on my board... things that remind me where I want to go, who I want to be, and what I want to wear (hey, nothing is too big or too small for the vision board).

You should make one, too! Here's why:

+ They keep your goals literally right in front of you and act as constant reminders of the bigger picture. Next time you're feeling stressed and overwhelmed with to-dos and emails, spend a couple minutes looking at your vision board and boom. All of those to-dos and emails seem A LOT less important.

+ Vision boards encourage daydreaming on the reg. Who doesn't want more daydream breaks?

+ They're fun to make and arguably the best decorations ever.

Happy visionboarding, friends.

It’s Thursday and that means a whole gang of rad bloggers are talking about happiness! Join the movement below, on facebook, and on twitter with #BeHappylinkup!

be-happy-banner

NEVER BE BORING

never be boring I recently watched the documentary The Eye Has to Travel about legendary fashion editor Diana Vreeland. Diana was a maaajor tastemaker and visionary in the fashion world. I was blown away by how much she accomplished in her career. Not only was she the editor for Harper's Bazaar and Vogue, but she discovered stars like Lauren Bacall, Twiggy, and Edie Sedgwick. Oh and she was the fashion adviser for Jackie Kennedy. No big deal.

More than that though, I was blown away by her strength, determination, and vision. She had zero formal training, yet managed to reinvent beauty and fashion for generations. She was always coming up with new, creative ideas. More than anything, she trusted her instincts.

My favorite takeaway from Diana was: DON'T BE BORING. According to her, that's the worst thing you could be. Embrace the "flaws" that make you different and - like Diana would do with her models - make those features works of art.

Those traits that make you different? Weird even? That's the good stuff, that's the magic, that's what makes you interesting. Forget fitting in and being "normal," embrace what makes you YOU.

Original image: Find and Keep book by Beci Orpin (found on The Design Files).

LET GO OF LITTLENESS

let go of littleness The Be Creative project continues, y'all. March is all about creating more, so I've come up with another mini diy for ya. I say "mini diy" because it's crazy simple.

Just like last week's mini inspiration banner, this diy is also meant to help you remember your goals. It's easier to stay on track if you create reminders for yourself, don't cha think?

Guys, meet the super easy + mega inspirational paper vase:

let go of littleness

"Let go of littleness" is a phrase I came across in Gabrielle Bernstein's book Spirit Junkie. It's something I've thought about a lot lately. Sometimes I do play small and lower my expectations... which I hate to admit I do. It doesn't do anyone any good to play small.

Marianne Williamson says it best in her book A Return to Love:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, famous? Actually, who are you not to be? [...] Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you [...] as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

That's what I want to remember each and every time I look at this paper vase.

paper vase diy

Make one, yo:

Supplies

+ paper bag + white pastel pencil or pastel stick + paint (if you want to paint the sides like I did, obvi I chose gold) + small vase that fits into the bag + pretty flowers + your goal/words of encouragement

Really, the only direction is to decorate that bag! Any way you like. So have fun.

 

Images by artsocial.

DIY: MINI PARTY BANNER

mini banner diy I'm a goal-setter. Blog goals, meditation challenges, creativity + happiness projects - I'm always working on something. With all this striving going on, there will inevitably be days where I'm feeling a bit down, a little behind, and not so strive-y.

I hear in order to achieve a less tangible goal, like "be more carefree" or "act like the effing rockstar that I am," it's helpful to keep your goals in front of you. Write them on a post-it and have them physically on display for you to see throughout the day. I love that idea, but come on, we can do better than a post-it!

Enter: the mini inspiration banner.

I created this "hooray" banner as a reminder to celebrate more and have MORE FUN. Even when we're passionate about our jobs, it's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day of emails and to-dos. Well I'm keeping this banner front and center on my desk to remind me to be lighter + enjoy the process. I kind of have a pink + gold thing goin' on, huh?

mini-banner-diy

Supplies:

+ mini canvas banners + acrylic paint (any color, go wild) + abc stencil + small paintbrush + sponge brush + washi or masking tape + string + a rad word or phrase

Directions:

01 Find your rad word or phrase... pinterest is always great for a little inspiration.

02 Lay out the appropriate number of banners for your word or phrase... plus a few more in case you want to get creative.

canvas banners

03 Paint your canvas banners with the sponge brush. Some curling may occur as they dry. Press them underneath a heavy book for a bit if necessary.

mini-banner-diy

04 After your banners dry, tape them onto a flat surface. Line up your stencil and secure with more washi or masking tape. Fill in the letter using the small paintbrush, it's more precise than the sponge brush. Remove stencil, rinse + dry it to prevent paint smudges. Repeat this step with each remaining banner.

stencil paint repeat

05 String 'em up, yo. Tie a few knots at the ends to ensure the banners won't slide off the string.

mini-banner-diy

I can't wait to share a couple more inspirational diys with you this month as part of my Be Creative project... HOORAY!

mini-banner-diy

Follow my adventures on the gram (@erin_artsocial) for a behind the scenes look at the Be Creative project and catch up on past posts here.

Images by artsocial.

INSPIRED

Is there anything better than getting a letter in the mail? YES. Getting handmade inspiration from one of your best bloggy friends, complete with star-shaped confetti and a handwritten note (folded old school style where you pull the tab and the letter unfolds). Yeah. That's better.

A while back Louise of Laid Off Mom and I decided to mail each other letters full of inspiration and motivation. Nothing expensive, nothing fancy.... and, ya know, it was the BEST thing I got in the mail all week. And that's saying a lot cuz I had ordered two pairs of shoes online.

L's letter totally made my day... maybe even my week. Last week was tough. In this blogging game it's so easy to feel unsure of yourself. I am so incredibly grateful to have stumbled into a community of strong, supportive, and endlessly inspiring bloggers. I heart you all so much. Wow, sorry to get all emo. All that from a letter, powerful huh?  Let's write more letters.

Oh! and guess what Laid Off Mom and I are planning for next Tuesday?? Guess. Nope, I'm not telling you. You'll just have to wait until Tuesday... omigah you're gonna love it.

 

P.S. - I'm so not used to writing letters, I actually typed out my letter to Louise and then wrote it... is that cheating?

Image one by Laid Off Mom | Image two found here.

IN LOVE: OFFICE

My l'office (loft + office) is where I go to think, create, and go on some serious pinning sprees. That space should be the most inspiring place in my home then, right? Right. Does your office need an inspiration boost? Christie of bedsidesign to the rescue...

Happy Monday! I am thrilled that this is the fourth week of the IN LOVE series. Today we are talking about something I am currently planning and working on. You see, when we moved into our apartment in June we stored everything in our second bedroom aka office and it is still in shambles. Over the weekend we started sorting through stuff and really want to pimp it out...so today’s topic is office inspiration! Let’s get inspired.

1. Stylizimo leaves me speechless. I remember discovering this Norwegian gem of a blog and literally spending hours looking at everything. Nina totally rocks all things black + white so naturally her office matches the rest of her sweet Scandinavian style. The way she uses washi tape is to hang up inspiring pictures is great because they are easy to swap out and keep current. I’m trying to keep our office black + white with metallic accents since we use our office to create and are both easily distracted - a clean slate like this is what we need!

2. I always feel like pens, pencils, markers, and paint brushes are everywhere. Why not put them in a cute, geometric cup like this? Ah, organization makes me so happy.

3. Okay so I know I said black + white with metallic accents but these colorful jumbo paperclips are both quirky and useful.

4. Remember Stylizimo, yeah they are back. This is the other side of the desk. Goodness, gracious I love it. It took a lot of self-control to limit this collection to only two photos. Seriously check out her blog. Plus, keeping flowers or a plant in the office would make me totally smile.

5. I’m a sucker for good typography and great quotes. Take it a step further and behold, the Holstee Manifesto. This will inspire the socks off of ya. That is, if you wear socks.

6. Shelves, sigh. I love interesting “collections” displayed in a visually stimulating way. The hubs and I air on more of a minimalistic style so the balance on those shelves are perfect.

7. Shiny, gold, white, keep going - it’s a clipboard. I loveeee this.

8. Since I share my home office with my husband who does freelance photography I love pulling in eclectic accessories that mirror our passions. These vintage camera bookends from Anthropologie  are awesome - plus I love that each camera is different. That’s what makes them unique.

9. A vintage camera pencil sharpener? Oh yeah, I would sharpen pencils all day and it’s only $12! Now added to my wishlist.

Are you working on any rooms or projects? We would love to hear about what you are planning and using for inspiration!

See more from bedsidesign on twitter, facebook, pinterest, and instagram… and you can also get a sneak peek of our pins for the IN LOVE series right ova here.

 

Blog Brunch-y Thoughts

Last Saturday was Blog Brunch aka the best Saturday of the month. Discussing bloggy thangs with talented bloggers from all over the country is a pretty powerful experience - and super overwhelming. It's like being in a room with hundreds of people all talking at the same time. I have zero strategy for trying to keep up with the barrage of hashtagged tweets that stream into my tweetdeck. I basically just hang on for the ride, respond when I can, and try to favorite or retweet every bit of inspiration that comes my way. It's almost like a meditative exercise, you have to be completely in the moment... no? Not a good comparison? This month's topic was all about content. This is a tricky one for me. I feel like I'm still trying to find my niche...

Everyone talks about how important it is to define your blog brand and/or identity and then stick to writing posts that reflect that identity. Welp, artsocial has gone through many changes since it first started. Me and a friend started artsocial as a social media marketing biz for artists, something she knew a lot about. After about 6 months we both decided social media marketing wasn't the right path for either of us. She went on to pursue other passions and I was left with the realization: holy wordpress, I'm in love with blogging.

So, after months of building a brand around social media marketing I shifted the focus of artsocial to "just" an art blog. But after a while I didn't want to write solely about art, that just felt too limiting... I recently started incorporating more of myself into the blog, my experiences with art, my art crushes, the prints I buy for the house, thoughts on becoming a blogger, etc., and this honesty and transparency feels much more exciting than what I was posting when artsocial first started.

So that's the journey. After nine months of blogging, I feel like I'm just starting... which is kind of exciting, but also makes me think "what the heck have I been doing for nine months!" Finding my blog identity has been a process, one that I'm still going through. I'd love to simply fast forward to being an awesome veteran blogger with a boss website! I guess it's the journey not the destination this time... so if you're wondering why the site looks slightly different every time you visit, that's just me trying to find the perfect look for this little brand I'm building :)

AND that's the story behind my blog name, I'm sure if it hadn't started as a social media business for artists, I would've called it like Chai Tea & Gangster Rap or something...

So this month's Blog Brunch was really helpful for this stage of my blogging journey... here's some of my favorite advice from this session.

What rules you should follow...

Golden rules: 1) Only post what you love. 2) Don't post if you're not inspired. If you're inspired by what you're writing about, it shows. Never post just to post. This also goes for every other form of social media - never tweet just to tweet, or 'gram just to 'gram... everyone can tell.

From the tweetdeck:

Jamie Wyckoff @JuliasPoppies: Posting for the sake of posting is just as boring to a reader as it is to you.

Jenn Elliott Blake ‏@scoutrentals: i also listen to my gut 1st and foremost. i ask myself "why am i blogging this". if can't wait to blog it, it's a goodie.

Kristin / Krissy @_kristinb: Post topics you truly love and want to discuss. It'll shine through over fluff.

When you're feeling uninspired...

If you're feeling uninspired, UNPLUG! Walk away from the computer (and that doesn't mean just switching to the iphone). Get outside, give yourself a real break from the interweb.

This next point surprised me, but I agree: don't look to other blogs similar to your own for inspiration. Looking to other blogs can lead to the dreaded envy monster, which can be super discouraging. OR, even worse, looking at other (bigger/flashier/cooler than my own) blogs can lead to the temptation to do some content stealin'. Don't do it. There are an infinite number of ideas out there, you just have to tap into them... and that usually happens with some downtime.

From the tweetdeck:

Amy Anderson ‏@ParkerEtc: Original ideas come from original sources. Read a book, visit the park. But never search other blogs to overcome creative funks.

Juliette Gold ‏@Juliette9Gold: Usually, inspiration comes if you don't stress about it.

At the end of the day...

Blog for you. You've chosen to blog because you enjoy it, right? So be yourself and have fun. That's all we can really do.

From the tweetdeck:

Poppy Magazine ‏@poppylindsay: If I don't like what I am posting, then it shouldn't go up. Never post to please your followers, it's your blog.

Olivia Ramirez @0liviaDee: my only rule is to be myself. there's no need to be someone I'm not in my posts.

 

Were you at Blog Brunch?? What did you think? I'd love to hear from you!

 

images found here: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5