Graphic Style Lab: Project # 1


Assignment # 1:

Create an album cover that parodies famous 1920's Russian avant-garde design using a photo of yourself.


I wanted to stick with the traditional colors - black, white, and red because I wanted to take more liberties with adding photographic elements, as well as with subject matter. Russian avant-garde is generally more industrial in subject matter and I wanted to go with a more nature theme since thats more my style. I used the coloring and font to keep the Russian avant-garde 'flavor' to it. I used photographs of trees to create a texture on the triangle tree - to give some natural shapes to the hard lines. What I wanted to do was bring natural texture into play with the hard geometric lines of that avant-garde style.


So this didn't come out quite like I'd liked, and took me way longer than I'd hoped. I was thinking I'd do one assignment a week, but that proved to be a bit harder than I thought. Mostly because carving out time always seems to be difficult, but also because I spent a really long deciding what kind of direction I wanted to go in, then an inordinate amount of time scrolling through Pinterest for a good song quote, but never came up with one that wasn't so cheesy it hurt my insides. Hence why I went with some sweet Neil Degrasse Tyson words. I also would have liked to used more natural photo textures, but honestly I'm just now thinking of that and I'm not going to go back in and change things now that I'm writing it up.

I am trying to think about this like school, like homework. Which also proves hard, because I forgot how hard it is to take a class or two while working full time and attempting to have some semblance of a life. But every week. Like homework. I am going to try.

Graphic Style Lab Project

Graphic Style Lab

It's a new year and like most people I am full of resolutions and ideas. One of mine being that I want to keep up with this blog more often, but for that to happen I realized I'd need actual  design/photography projects and things to post about. Enter Graphic Style Lab by Steven Heller, a design work book of sorts with exercises focused on style.

I bought the book months ago, honestly I thought that if I could work my way through it, I'd post some cool projects, build a following, catch the eye of some awesome design firm, then get offered a dream job. Yeah sometime my imagination really gets ahead of itself. But now I'm really looking at it as a way to take a little refresher in design. My day job and photography side project have kind of taken over the last few months and I want to get back to doing some design-y things.

So my plan is to read it, do each project, post them here with a little recap, post on Instagram - maybe I'll even make myself a hashtag for the project so whomever out there in internet land can follow along. It's almost like being in school again, but instead of grade... My work will be judged by likes? oh god!

oh just a test

Hey yo, just testing out some formatting and chit. hoping to have the new site and blog up but this weekend.

For now here is a stupid little excerpt from my notes. happy Wednesday!

changing perspective

do this because i love it

I haven't been posting a lot lately, and I still haven't finished my website redesign. My focus has really been on 'running' my little etsy shop, and when I say running, I really mean learning how to start a small/side business. Black & Bright has been an interesting adventure and a huge learning experience. I went into this venture kind of just assuming things would fall into place, that if I posted enough on social media I'd start to gain followers, that orders would slowly start to roll in from the Etsy shop, that with a little effort things would happen. That has not been the case, but I'm sure you saw that coming. It has taken a lot of time, effort, and brain power and I haven't seen much in the way of return, let me real, I haven't made a sale yet.

I was starting to get kind of down about my supposed failure. But I was reading this article on the   Great Discontent and I had a realization. I like taking pictures, and I like black and white, and if at some point someone else notices and like it too then thats awesome, but I like doing it so I'm going to continue, because it makes me happy. Shifting my focus from my nonexistent customers to doing what I actually like to do, taking black and white photos, is a lot more satisfying. Plus I feel like I appreciate each new follow, like, favorite, that much more. 

So what I'm coming away with is that starting a passion based side business is a lot of work, and it goes slowly, and sometimes you feel shitty about it because you don't get immediate results. But as long as you keep on doing what you love to do and don't focus too much on the numbers you'll be happy. 

Keep on learning, growing, and doing! Happy Wednesday!

site redesign

so i've decide to redesign my website, you'll notice that most of the tabs at the top are gone for the time being, and theres only one thing on the main page:

under construction

i really am re-imagining how i want my portfolio site set up and what to focus on. if anyone has any tips for squarespace that would be awesome or any cool portfolio sites just to check out that would be cool too. but with a site redesign that means there will probably be some layout changes over here on the blog too, but i plan to keep this page up through it so if stuff starts looking weird i apologize! 

anyways this post isn't super exciting but hopefully you are having a good week, and happy hump-day!

100 days of letters {1}

100 days of letters A-H // Blog-Action

if you follow me on instagram you've probably noticed both an increase in posting and that letters have taken over. my 100 days project is still going strong! i'm enjoying both the challenge and the ease of drawing a letter every day. its been a fun little exploration of things we write all the time. 

i'm also starting to think that i might want to create a font when this is all done, i've noticed that i seem to gravitate towards a certain style...

100 days of letters I-P // Blog-Action

for more letters follow along on instagram, and check out the #the100dayproject!

hops logo iterations


recently did the logo for the san diego hop growers association. they are an group of some awesome farmers growing hops in the san diego area. if you don't know, hops are one of the key ingredients in beer, and a lot of these farmers sell their crops to the local breweries. how cool? i'm definitely of fan all all things local. plus i'm a fan of beer so working with a group who is part of the beer making process was interesting.

here are a few of the iteration i went through getting to the final logo. they actually ended up changing the name of the organization part way through so that why the first draft is different. that little twist definitely posed its own set of challenges. overall it was a fun project and they were super easy to work with.

designing for myself

designing for myself is one of the hardest and most infuriating things ever. i get a strange little kernel of an idea, and your brain works on it for  while with out actually putting anything down, when i finally start to get something down on paper it never really comes out how i'd liked or hoped it would, but then the problem is that i've become attached to that idea and have a hard time iterating on it. when designing for myself i also always seem to skip those crucial first steps that i always take in designing for someone else, the steps that help me to understand where the client is coming from, understand what they want from the design, the feeling and message they want to convey. so i find myself starting over and going through the processes of again, in the back of my mind hoping i'll come up with something similar to what my silly brain thought up in the beginning with out any frame or reference, but the case usually is the opposite, but the out come does end up being better because i've gone through the process and the thought behind the design is there.

mood board

my side project needs a logo, which in general is one of my favorite things to design, and after a lot of drafts of what i originally thought i wanted, i'm going back and figuring out what it is i really want, what i want the logo to convey and all that. starting with a mood board really does help, its crazy. now with a bit clearer of a direction to go in, i've got a better idea of what i want and what i need.

the new year

sorry, but holy shit! it's practically 2015! like less than 24 hours!

this year has been... interesting? good? amazing? mediocre? honestly i feel like this year had a lot of ups and down in all aspects of life, from work to personal but everything is evening out at pretty ok. is that bad of me to say? work and my job are great and i've gotten to move up and do and learn a lot of things this year, but at the same time none of that came with out some stress, anxiety, and lets face it, fear. as far as my personal life it hasn't been the roller coaster that other years have been, but it has also had plenty of great and shitty.

all in all i'm pretty satisfied with 2014

i think i said this at the beginning of the year, on the old blog format, if anyone remember that (coincidentally all those post magically disappeared when i switched from worpress to square space, kinda a bummer huh?) but i digress, i said something along the lines of :: that "this year would be a 'building year'". yeah like in sports... but i think i worked my ass off and things are setting up to come together in 2015 and i'm pretty stoked for it!

so bring it on 2015, i'm ready for ya! and to show ya heres a new calendar, you can down load and print, it's sized to print on 11x17 paper and trimmed down.


down load the PDF here!

and have a happy and wonderful new years!


Geo Triangles Nature // Blog-Action

so i have a ton of other work i should be doing, but i find myself going through pictures, opening them up and drawing on the. i really love geometric shapes, and specifically triangles, i even have a triangle tattoo! remind me and i'll show you some time. 

i also love jessica hische's idea of procrastiworking. if you are unfamiliar, the idea that the weird little passion projects you do while you are putting off the thing you really should be doing are ideas worth pursuing. now i don't think anyone is every really going to care, let alone pay me draw pictures on pictures (hey a girl can dream can't she?) but its fun, it keeps my brain in focus and i think looks cool. 

Geo Triangles Blossoms // Blog-Action
Geo Triangles Conservatory of Flowers // Blog-Action

the wacom

i got a wacom tablet! its been on my list for  long time now and i finally decided that it was time. seriously, how did it take me this long? because the wacom is awesome!  however using the tablet is a little weird and unnatural at first, i'm used to looking down at my paper and pencil while drawing rather than at the screen. as with anything practice makes perfect and i do love a good challenge so for the month of novemeber i am going to draw one picture a week with the wacom to get used to using it and get good at it.

here's my first go at it, i seriously drew that speech bubble like four hundred times! 

also isn't my mom's dog holly adrobs! (ha) happy wednesday!

wedding invite mood board

so here a little something i've been working on.

my best friend is getting married and i was super excited when she asked me to do her invitations! so heres a mood board of the direction we are going in! 

Golden Gate Park and Info-graphics

i love golden gate park, it is seriously the coolest park on earth! i'm super luck to live just a few blocks away from this awesome green space and love take walks, runs, and just hanging out on a sunny day there. 

i started this graphic actually last year after one of the music festivals when i had the thought "i wonder how many concerts and festivals take place here, it seems like a lot?". so i started doing a little research, and came up with all kinds of fun facts about the park. thats when i decided it would be fun to put all that info into an easily comprehendible poster.

all the info came from my own little brain hole, and

here are a couple other iteration of the poster

wise words {1}

liz taylor quote

i definitely have those moments when i have to take a step back and a deep breathe to be able to collect myself and realize that everything is going to be ok. i love this quote because its so blunt in its reminder that you are a lot stronger that you think and even if you let the fear or anxiety creep in that you are the only one who can pull yourself out.

the new and improved

well hello there! we're back with a whole new website and blog and design!

new web site

i've started to notice a trend, about every year i decide to redesign my website layout and blog. its a little silly and super time consuming but i am always wanting to learn to things and try out different designs and my own website always just seems like the best place to start. i'll chalk it up to constantly wanting to evolve as a designer and always wanting to how to use the latest web platforms.

anyways i'm super stoked about how it turned out, and in case you are wondering i used squarespace, which is pretty awesome and totally easy to use. 

so heres to always evolving and improving! happy wednesday!

whoa! stuff is changing!

so things are looking a little different around here, so i'm doing a little testing.


so don't mind me while i mess around with stuff, like posting a bunch of pictures and whatnot.

hopefully things will be looking good by next week! 

yay! website redesigns are my favorite!

i love the golden gate bridge!

i love the golden gate bridge!