An Experience of a Lifetime

My hopes for this internship were to gain new skills while fine-tuning my current strengths, and to gain real, hands-on exposure in the digital marketing world with a company. As I write my final blog post, I realize what a truly unique opportunity this was, and that those hopes were largely surpassed; I am leaving with a great deal more than I had ever anticipated or imagined. I am grateful for this experience—it is quite an accomplishment, and will be an impressive contribution to my resume and portfolio upon graduation from the clinic next Wednesday! For a student, this is an experience of a lifetime.

The last two months felt brief, and flew by. During this process I have: had chances to attend several networking events; volunteered for tech events; met prestigious people in my field, and listened to distinguished speakers; got the inside scoop of upcoming workshops, classes, tools and resources; gained real experience working for a fantastic local start-up company by photographing …

Get Digi with It—My Design Process Part Three

The final entry in my blog series on my design process, is bringing everything together digitally. Research, mood board, sketch it out, then bring it into Illustrator. Typically, I use tracing paper over my illustration from my sketch book, finalize it with micron pens, scan it into my MAC, and use the pen tool to trace and refine the design in Adobe Illustrator. The only real advice I can offer on this topic is, make sure you have nice, clean curves and lines, holding shift to keep things tidy while tracing. You don't want to have a "your points are showing" moment, so address these issues and use those handle bars as you go! 

Alternatively, I sometimes bring a sketch into photoshop, load the selection, make it a tiff, trace in Illustrator, expand and clean up, but I feel that a good, crisp pen trace does the best job, myself. It depends on the project; I bring in lots of textures and the like from the sketchbook, but this post is more aimed at brand marks and logotypes.…

Sketchy Business—My Design Process Part Two

Here, in the second blog of my Design Process series, I will talk a little about sketching. As mentioned previously, I begin with research, move on to mood boarding and style-tiling, then I sketch it out. This step is necessary in everything I do, and is never skipped. Even if it's a project that the client has put a short timeline on, or something simple, I always make the time for sketching. It works out the thoughts I have in my head, and reveals possibilities. It also is helpful when working on projects with awkward dimensions. From logo creation and development, landing pages, posters and worksheets, to iconography, this system guarantees my best work and creativity.

I go through several books a year, of many different sizes. My purse contains a small sketchbook for travel, and my pencil roll, filled with rulers, erasers, a sharpener, tape and mini stapler—you never know when you may want to attach something inspirational you find in the world. Along with this, I always carry …

In the Mood—My Design Process Part One

Today, I thought I'd share my design process in a series of three blogs. I've already discussed the importance of researching, investigating industry norms, and discovering a target audience, but I haven't talked a lot about what comes after that in my process. 

Here, in the first of the series, I'll talk about what I do after I've probed the competition, and laid the groundwork—creating mood boards and style tiles. 

My mood boards consist of a combination of Pinterest, and collecting inspiring items for the project, then pinning them on a physical board or in my sketch book. Inspiration comes from many sources and in many forms: a vibe or mood of a photograph, a color palette that reflects the product or concept, typography that speaks to the project, patterns, and anything else that may emulate the brand/identity. I then take all of it, narrow things down, process and absorb it all, and build an ultimate board digitally to refer to while designing. It keeps me anch…

"Our ability to handle life's challenges is a measure of our strength of character." ~Les Brown

Down to four days left in the semester, I am plowing through finals week. This summer has tested me with several challenges—a 16 credit gen-ed course load, an internship, 3 clients, my job, and I have now officially begun the process of moving. PHEW...It's been intense, to say the least. I am a proud and hard-working student. That said, these four "A"s were not easy to earn this semester. It has taken extreme organization, so I thought I would share how I made this little personal miracle happen:

Admin. Mondays: When running your own business, it is crucial to have systems in place to help. One day a week, I dedicate time to really clean everything up and get coordinated, by addressing the basics: keep the workspace organized; have client meetings booked and set up on the calendar for the week, and weeks ahead; have a filing system; have places to easily grab invoices, contracts, and other important docs; read, reply, and send out necessary emails; and create weekly job f…

Two Entrepreneurs' Journeys

The panel for this week's all-clinic meeting included: Joe Nashif; CEO US-Mattress, and Cash Butler; Founder, Clarilegal. This was a valuable discussion to me, because their combined experiences echo my own personal journey. Following, are some important and special thoughts and ideas I took away in particular from their stories on the journey to entrepreneurship, as well as a few of my own.

Cash, (pictured left) has primarily worked for very large corporate banks. While the money was great, he began to feel a lack of freedom working in a large corporation, and didn't feel challenged at all. Now that he is an entrepreneur, he realizes, "Even though the money's going the wrong way sometimes, I am happier because I am growing something." He went on to point out the importance and benefits of using social media—Digital has become a main channel, and it is the best way to get noticed and leave impressions.
Joe, (pictured right) started up back when the Internet was j…

Keep Calm. ...and do Analytics.

Last week I took the Google Analytics Exam, and failed with a 64%. I've had no prior experience with analytics, and thought I'd fail fast to get a feel for the test! Well, THAT certainly worked. Hah! However, it's not really that bad, considering I went into this almost blind with minimal studying and practice! Once you fail, you have to wait 7 days to take the exam again. 

Over the last week I prepared by re watching the beginner academy videos, checked out YouTube tutorials as a fellow intern suggested, practiced with my blog, and borrowed the Analytics book to study—loaned to me by the aforementioned intern. Now, said intern was successful on her very first go, and received a 94% to boot, so I followed all of her advice. This morning was my 7th day, I took the exam, and I passed! 

I'm attaching my certificate in all its glory to mark the occasion! Go, me!!!