Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Planning to be Creative! #timemanagement

Hi There!

I read this article the other day: "The Pace of Productivity and How to Master your Creative Routine" (thanks to a friend of mine who shared it!). It was interesting and inspiring, and it gave me a big enough nudge to evaluate my daily habits.

I waste SO much time.

I don't really mean to waste time. I have come to the point where I only blog about stuff I truly feel is important, versus blogging because it's "Blogging Monday". I'm pretty good at not constantly nitpicking about housework, because even when the house is clean, there is still something to be done. I don't turn the television on during the day. I don't go out drinking for hours. I do well at only going on Facebook in between customers as I wait on tables, or while I shove cereal down my throat before work, or while in the car (but not driving, of course!). And I hardly ever play silly games on my smart phone. (If you're wondering, yes, I still have time for fun...)

My biggest problem?

The After-Work Time Suck.

That's what I'm naming it, now that I can easily recognize the monster that it is. Being a waitress most nights and a creative person most days, by the end of the day both my body and brains are tired and sore, and I just need to zone out. So my husband and I plop down on the couch and then it goes all down hill from there.

The worst part is that half of the time we aren't even watching our pre-recorded shows. We're mindlessly staring at whatever garbage happens to be on, even re-runs and stuff we don't care about. We're just too tired to go to bed. Go figure!

Normally this sort of thing wouldn't matter, since I am pretty useless at being creative or even receptive to new information at that time of day, but the late nights turn into even later mornings, where I am hitting the snooze button about fifteen times. And THAT is a waste of precious creative time!

Plus, I really do miss being able to sit and read a book for a bit just because I want to.

So I compiled some notes and put together a little schedule for myself. It's strict only during those important morning hours, and then after 11:00 am I am welcome to do whatever my little heart desires. Like chores. (Ha!) But it gives me those few extra morning hours of creative fun, a solid seven hours of sleep, and an enforced bed time... all of which I am in dire need.

Here is what it looks like:

Of course, this can all change at the drop of a hat when the schedule gets all messed up or someone goes on vacation or calls out sick. But this can be useful for the majority of my days. And, here, take one for yourself! Print it up and fill it out, and give this Creative Planning a shot!

I don't know if I will fail or succeed, but I'm certainly going to give it a try to see if these new habits stick! Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below! Do you schedule your creative time, and how well does it work for you?

As always, thanks for reading! :)

So far, it has been over a week, and EPIC FAIL.
But I will conquer this.
I will.
I will do it!!!
I will try again, fresh, starting tomorrow, June 8th.
(Plus, I have begun to read "Manage Your Day-to-Day" and it is spurring me on!)

Monday, May 27, 2013

From Start to Finish: Froggie Birthday Invitation!

Hello hello!

Today I'm sharing my latest project: a birthday invitation for a cute little boy named Nathan!

Nathan's family has been friends with our family for ages, so when his mom decided she wanted a custom invitation made, she knew just where to turn. Originally, she was looking for something with Kermit the frog on it, as the character has a very special meaning to the family. We knew that since he is a copyrighted character, I couldn't actually create something with Kermit on it, so I chose to use him as inspiration instead!

I began by sketching out a basic layout, based on my client's idea:

Using Photoshop, I scanned the sketch and kept the line work to come up with a cleaner design layout:

I found I really liked the rough lines from my original sketch, and with my client's approval, I decided to turn it into a design element. So I roughed up the text a bit, and added texture to the background:

My client and I were both happy with the results, so from there I created my own little Froggie:

The front...
The back

He very much captures the essence of the real Kermit without infringing on anyone's rights, (at least not intentionally!). This way, Nathan's family will still be able to recognize the cherished character that decorated his hospital room, and who helped them keep their chins up as they wished upon a star for their little boy's recovery. Hence, the theme, "A wish come true- Nathan is two!"

We're all so excited to be able to wish Nathan a very Happy Birthday!!!