Catching ideas

I took a walk on my lunch break today, in the Baille Ard park that's five minutes by car from work.

My hair was loose and as I walked through the fragrant, chirpy, buggy woods at a relaxed pace, my hair swayed a little with my movements.

As I walked I thought about some different projects I'm working on these days. My body in motion helps me come up with new ideas, come up with the next step. Something that's been feeling stuck, if I contemplate it on a walk, and turn it around in my head like a puzzle, suddenly clicks into place. The next thing to do becomes clear. "Oh, of course!" I think, "That's the solution."

It occurred to me that it's like my hair is catching the ideas. Like all the fronds and leaves and needles, green and lush in the woods around me, my hair is alive, sensitive, catching particles in the air, and turning them into ideas for me.

It may or may not be true, but as ideas go, I like it.

Day 18: Bloom and the Island Blooms

IMG_2848 Today I wanted to share some behind-the-scenes shots from a graphic I made last year, a printed version of which is one of the perks for my crowdfunding campaign. 

This is the graphic:


It originally appeared on a Facebook Page that myself and my classmate/friend Jacquie Blanchard created, called Share That You Care - Cape Breton. The Facebook Page was for a class project we did that was all about using design for social good, and you can check it out and see all 12 graphics we did, at that link above.IMG_2852

I made the island out of lupin flowers in June of 2014. I went out into my backyard and picked a bowlful of lupins from the little patch in my garden.


Then I printed off a version of the Cape Breton vector I use in all my products (bumper stickers, etc) and started laying the petals on top.

IMG_2854 IMG_2855 IMG_2856 IMG_2858 IMG_2859

When it was done how I liked, I got out my DSLR camera and took some photos of it from above. Then I used Photoshop to lay in the text and prepare it for the web.

And that's it! It was a fun day, and looking back at these photos this snowy spring has been a nice reminder that one day, the flowers will bloom again.

For the perk, I'll be getting this graphic printed at 8"X10" from a Cape Breton business on a beautiful stock, ready to be framed.

To see more about my crowdfunding campaign, click here!


Day 17: A Bit About Working With Me

IMG_3644 If you've been looking at the perk of Design Credit over on my IndieGogo campaign, and wondering just what it's like to work with a freelance designer, well, let me explain it a bit! Or at least, explain the process I go through.

It all starts with a chat. Either we talk on the phone, or Skype, or we meet in person. This chat is free - I haven't started the "clock" yet. We talk about your project: what you're hoping to get created, what your inspirations are, what your timeline is, what your budget is. I make lots of notes and ask lots of questions.

Then usually a few days later, I give you an estimate. This is presented in the same sort of format as an invoice, but it's not an invoice. It comes via PDF in your email. It breaks down what I'll create for you and outlines the amount of money we've agreed upon exchanging. You accept this estimate and then my work begins.

(A note about asking for payment up front: every designer and businessperson works differently about payments. Up to this point in my business I haven't asked for payment up front but I think down the road that will change. And obviously the perks work differently... they're pre-paid.)

Charging by the hour is a bit tricky and there is no perfect formula; every designer figures out what works for them. Design is like other services like auto-mechanics or fashion design (and sometimes feels like a weird mix of the two). Nothing ever takes the same amount of time, but here are some general items and estimates of time (although of course it depends on the project):

  • Business card: 1 hour
  • Brochure: 6 hours
  • Logo from scratch: 10 hours
  • Vectorizing an existing logo: 1-2 hours
  • Facebook header image/profile image using your existing branding: 1 hour
  • Illustration: 2-4 hours

Revisions: this is the number of times we'll make changes. The higher the budget, the more revisions I can include. Designers put this in our estimates to avoid scope creep.

Basically, what I've learned from working in other people's businesses since I was 17 -- and from having a side hustle for the last two years -- is that customer service is key. I want to make sure you're happy! So these guidelines are just that: to guide us in making sure the exchange of service for money is fair and that we're both happy with the end result.

You can check out some of my work here in my portfolio, and view the IndieGogo campaign here to purchase some design time! And as always, if you have questions, hit me up at