Happy weekend everyone! I am so glad it is F R I D A Y!! Designer friend Jaymee made this awesome video of our weekend together at Designer Vaca. I got a little teary eyed watching it. Give me a break I'm 9 months pregnant! I cry over everything. It reminded me of being young and going to summer camp and making tons of new friends that were interested in all of the same things I was! I especially love this retreat because even the girls that I think are going to be "too cool" are not. Everyone is inclusive and the drama you usually brace yourself for when interacting with 50 hot, talented, strong, women is nonexistent. I am so grateful to have been part of a group that was so encouraging and fun! That's what life is all about! Love mixing business with pleasure in such a beautiful way!
Entries in My Work (47)
Just sharing an old project on the blog this morning! While I am taking all of this time to "slow down" I'm realizing that blogging is a fun creative outlet that I really let go of recently. So today I am taking the time to post some images from a past styling project that I got to work on with some friends out in Hawaii. My friend Katie runs a little shop on Etsy called Pretty Swell - selling little fabric garlands and cake toppers. We got together with photographer Tiffany Garfield one afternoon and styled a mini shoot in Katie's living room. I love projects like this! It is so fun to get together with friends and dream up a scenario and set the stage. It is even more fun when the props include fresh strawberries, lilikoi cake and Izze drinks!
I just got back from my trip to Palm Springs last night and honestly I am completely exhausted! Mentally and physically. I attended the annual Designer Vaca retreat with 50 other creative women and it blew my mind! I learned so much and was so inspired by others. I spent the weekend getting to know new people, speaking on a couple of panels, reconnecting with old designer friends and reflecting on how far I have come in a year. It was amazing and just what I needed at this time.
Last year as I drove home I remember writing pages worth of ideas and notes... for days! I re-designed my site and updated my portfolio. I challenged myself to work more more more and more. I revamped my work process to make it smarter and not harder. I took on new challenging projects that I never thought I would. This year as I left I just wanted to toss my laptop in the dumpster on my way out. For the past 9 months I have been looking forward to October - to my due date. Trips were scheduled for all over the country and projects were booked right up to the last second. Literally. I think everyone is still scratching their heads at how I was even allowed on that last flight! I have not slowed down for one second since last year. I have been pushing myself even harder in the last few months knowing that a baby would really slow me down. But now, I don't want to think about work. I don't want to figure out how to push myself harder and be more successful or competitive. I don't want to think about anything but my babies.
I just want to be a mom.
I loved at the retreat when my friend Kathleen (who is also expecting) said that one of the biggest risks she is going to take in the next year is slowing down, and that it is scary. Damn right it is! I am afraid to slow down too! But I am soooo ready to. AND I am so excited for that fresh heaven smell that is going to be coming to me in a couple of weeks! I can almost feel the soft peachy fuzz on my lips. It is all I think about as I drift off to sleep at night. I also want to cherish these last days of just having 1 child. Henry and I have been best friends for the past 2 years and have done pretty much everything together. I know he is going to be the best big brother ever but my heart is aching to just hold him like a baby a little longer.
It's definitly quitting time for me. At least for right now. It's time to wrap my babies in blankets and read them stories and kiss them like crazy. I'm sure when it's time to charge full speed ahead again it will seem like I barely had time to blink. So here's to slowing down. Here's to letting go for a season and enjoying the magic that life can bring.
P.S. I know this post may make it sound like I am really quitting and walking away, but I assure you I am not. My brain is still going a mile a minute thinking up new projects and things that I want to do. I am just giving in to this part of my life and really slowing down for a few months while my baby is small and needs me the most.
Hello! It's been a while! I feel like I blog so randomly these days that it is really hard to just jump right in to a post. I feel like I need to excuse my absence. Or update everyone on something huge that has been happening in my life. Truth be told - I have just been a little busy. Busy with work, busy taking care of that crazy beautiful boy pictured above ... and really busy growing another human.
The November/December issue of Verily went to press yesterday!! I celebrated by eating a huge milkshake and getting in bed at 8. It was glorious! The two weeks before we go to print I always feel like a zombie. Not the slow moving, arms out in front of me kind of zombie. More like the fast, crazy eyed, stop-at-nothing-to-get-a-taste-of-blood, World War Z type of zombie. I work as much and as fast as my tired little mind will allow me in order to meet a deadline. The other day one of my co-workers asked Conor how I got it all done at the last second and he described how I just shut down and go in to "work mode." He doesn't see much of me for those two weeks. I had never looked at it from his point of view before but I'm sure he sees a Zombie. Shut down. Not human. Thirsty for blood - AKA the day everything goes to print.
I'm telling you all of this because in a few short days I will be flying out to Palm Springs to attend the 2nd annual Designer Vaca at the Ace Hotel. I have been asked to speak on a panel with 2 of my other designer friends (Liz Grant and Alyssa Yuhas) about the over-talked about and ever-elusive work/life balance. What is that anyway? I'm pretty sure I have professed right here on my blog to know what that is, but let me tell you - I don't really know for sure! But, hey, who better to talk about it than the huge pregnant zombie in he corner over there! Right? I mean she's gotta know something about balancing work and family and life...look at her! Is she even alive?
I guess I do know a little...I mean I've managed to carve out a happy place in my life - doing what I love while raising a family. I know how to prioritize. I know how to ask for help. I know how to stay organized. I know when to let the house work elude me for days so that Henry and I can just jibber jabber in a language that only he and I understand all afternoon. I also have a husband who knows how to be a partner in all of this and not just another person I have to feed at the end of the day. Gosh, he is amazing. But I DON'T know how to place all of these things in such a way that the scale never tips... aaahhh the scale....
Does anyone know how to balance it all perfectly? Is it really that easy? Just do this, this and this and the scale never tips? I don't think so. And we all know exactly what side of the scale we would let fall if forced to choose. Life wins every time. So I am asking you for practical advise on how to balance the scale. Even if the scale is teetering at best. I know I have my tips and tricks that I will be sharing: child care, communication with your spouse, re-thinking spending habits in order to work less.... etc. But what are some of yours? How do you manage to keep the scale from crashing to the floor? Or how do you manage it all when one side does crash to the floor (as I know it can and will from time to time)?*
*I know from experience -and I just want to say to anyone that is going through this, IT'S OK! That stupid old scale wasn't meant to stay balanced perfectly. Life is tricky and sometimes you have to heroically save your family from a sinking ship and let work go to (you know where) :)
Remember this post I wrote about having some fun projects in the works? Well, the time has finally come to reveal my latest freelance project - Clementine Daily. It has been sooo much fun to work on! And I am so thrilled that it is finally here for everyone to start visiting... daily!
A few months ago Erin Loechner (from the blog Design for Mankind) contacted me about a new project she had been dying to work on. When she explained her vision, "to create a space for real women living authentic-sometimes-frenzied-often-harried-but-always-inspired lives" I knew I wanted to be a part of it!
The site is relevant and fun and the messages strive to make you feel like you are good enough. I am so happy to have been able to work on this project and so pleased with the way it turned out! I hope you hop on over to the site to check it out! And enter the giveway!! (See below!)
Verily Magazine is looking for a design intern for the fall school semester! We are looking for someone who can start September 5th and work with us until December 31st. Click here to learn more.
I'm so excited about this new campaign we just launched over at Verily and wanted to spread the word. At Verily we never airbrush our models. We also strive to use many different body types - not just the typical size 2 model. We are calling for real women to model for our November/December issue and want you to nominate your friends! The model chosen will be featured in our "Runway to Realway" section - one of my personal favorites. Runway to Realway is where we highlight popular trends from the runway and show readers how they can pull it off in real life. Click HERE to read all of the details on how to apply.
Things have been fast paced and hectic around here. Working on Verily has been a tremendous learning experience. It has forced me to learn and stretch and grow in more ways than one. My communication style is different, my time management strategies have changed and over the course of the last 4 months I have gotten a little better at my job (if I do say so myself!). I have failed a few times. I have stressed out to the max. I have cried and gotten angry, but the satisfaction of working with this team has been really rewarding and I wouldn't change it for anything.
While in design school I thought the hieght of my career would be when a stranger asked me to design their wedding invitation. I thought that if someone I didn't even know wanted me to do their wedding announcement that meant that I had really made it. Out of school and a few "stranger" wedding invites later I decided my new dream job was to create logos and brand indentities for small creative businesses... once that came and went my goal was to do some design work for a magazine. After doing some design work for Kinfolk magazine I saw the oppertunity to help build Verily's visual identity from the ground up. When Verily eventually asked me to be their full time art director I was shocked. How did I get here? In school I never would have admitted this - but working for a magazine like Bon Appetite was my wildest dream job. I would never have said that out loud to anyone because I didn't think I was good enough to even dream of that. Instead I set my eyes on wedding invites. Not that there is anything wrong with wedding invites! I still love doing them from time to time but I think I vastly underestimated myself. Now I look at myself and think, "Hey! I'm a lot closer to my wildest dreams than I ever thought I would come! How did that happen?" Now, I know that Bon Appetite is not beating down my door or anything but I don't feel as foolish day dreaming of that occupation anymore. I did hesitate divulging that dream here on my blog just now but maybe it's not as ridiculous as I think it is? Maybe I should give myself a little more credit? Maybe we all should? I have been reading Lean In by Sheryl Sandburg (don't sell yourself short, go all the way to the top of your field and don't look back, be a leader!) while simultaniously gobbling up everything Brené Brown says (you know? be vulnerable? dare greatly? take risks? bla bla bla?) The combination of the two women has made me think maybe we all sell ourselves a little a lot short. Maybe I am a lot more capable and worthy and powerful than I give myself credit for. I like looking at my life that way.
Things with Verily are sometimes up in the air. It is a new magazine and just getting started. I have a baby on the way and I wonder how I am going to get my work done or if I will even have work to do. I've taken some big risks - freelancing, working for a new magazine, having kids young and in the middle of navigating my career path, encouraging my husband to leave a secure job to persue something he loves... It's all a huge crap shoot and I worry endlessly about it. But for the first time in a while I'm actually really excited about what might happen. I am aware that there could be failure along the way... no, scratch that... I fully expect failure, but I'm not as afriad of it as I used to be. I'm embracing it. So, all of this just to say that I am happy with where I'm at right now. I'm excited for Verily Magazine and hope that it continues to do well. I can't wait for baby #2 and the mess that comes with being a new mom all over again. I'm happy to just be me. Even with all of my imperfections and short comings. And I'm totally not afraid to admit that I day dream of bigger and better things than I have right now. And I think I might actually be worthy of "it". All of it.
And guess what? I think you are probably worthy of it all too! What are your goals? Dreams? If you knew you could do anything and not fail what would it be?
Excuse the silence around here.... I knew that working for a magazine there would be times where work got a little crazy. Especially around press time. Well this last week and half have been one of those times. Working at Verily is exciting and stressful... and then when the dust settles you see all of your hard work come together into one beautifully printed piece and it is so rewarding. We are going to print tomorrow and I am still on the stressed side of things but looking forward to the reward side.
My parents have been in town enjoying the hot Texas sun, swimming with Henry in the backyard all morning and afternoon while I work. It's been nice having them around. I like those guys.
I was too busy to mention this earlier but Fox and Anchor was featured in two of Blogshop's goodie bags this last month - Brooklyn and Chicago. I was excited because DesignLoveFest is a favorite blog of mine so to see something I designed on there is a huge compliment. See all of the cute goodies given at Blogshop here.
You know how they always say, "When it rains, it pours!" and you always think, "Shoot! How do they always know!?" Because they are always right. Things come in waves and we are just little people standing on the shore. The good comes rushing in and knocks you to the ground and the bad sucks everything out from under you including the sand under your feet. Either way...you find yourself falling down.
At Verily we just wrapped up our first full issue and started work on our second! The first magazines came back from the printer today and let's just say the whole team was in a dreamy state of pride for what we had accomplished. We are very excited to share the first issue with you - I am particularly excited to show off some of the hard work I have been toiling away on. I couldn't have done it with out some serious help - my graphic designer Loren, my design intern Haruka and a handful of other seriously talented photographers and designers helped put the visual side of the magazine together. I am so thankful to them and happy with what we came up with!
While starting in on the second issue I have also decided to take on another exciting side project. I have been turning down a lot of freelance projects lately to focus on Verily full time but a project came along that I just couldn't say no to. It's one of those projects that you just know you want to be part of because it is fun and happy and makes you feel good about yourself - hence the romantic, girly yet very bold moodboard above. I can't wait to share more about it but for now here is a visual sneak peek of what it will feel like.
On top of the excitement going on at Verily (we are talking dinner parties and editorial shoots galore!) and this new fun project, we have even more excitement coming our way! Big changes are on the horizon for the Riley family and we couldn't be more thrilled. Can't wait to share that news with you either! But let's just say for now, I am that awkward kid on the beach, with goggles on bigger than my head, just laughing as each new wave comes and grinds me into the sand. And I keep on taking wave after wave with a smile. Because when it rains it really does pour!