Downloadable Wallpaper: hustle n rose

SLL_HustleRose
SLL_HustleRose

Last night I was working when I received an instagram notification that my work was shared by a profile called Hustle n Rose.  Hustle n Rose is a podcast for business-savvy women and people of color. Along with podcasting they make an effort to highlight the work of black artists on their instagram. Let me tell you, designing and blogging is hard and its even harder to break in if you're a person of color. It still scares me to put my work out into the public so I really appreciate when I receive love and shares from other people/creatives. This is the second time they've shared my work and as a token of appreciation I was inspired to create a rose centered wallpaper. Enjoy. 

FITYMI: CREATING YOUR PORTFOLIO

SLL_Creating_Your_Portfolio

Honesty time:  I overthink almost everything. It took me awhile to realize that my procrastination issues were a result of overthinking and getting stuck on this idea that everything needs to be perfect. Once realizing that, it started to be really easy to catch myself and take a step back – its still a struggle. 

I'm telling you this for two reasons: 1. I've been struggling with social media content. Over the weekend I finally realized that I'm overthinking it and should really just share what I'm doing or going through. Which leads me to reason number 2; I'm creating a new portfolio and have almost nothing to put in it. Meaning I'm forced to create my own projects – meaning there's a huge door open labeled “OVERTHINKING” for me to walk into. 

If you take a second to google "self-initiated graphic design projects", you'll find pages of ideas that you can use to build your portfolio, such as: recreate the branding of your favorite restaurant, or create a personal icon set. Lets be honest, we've all seen those and while they're good projects I think its time to take it to the next level. Sidenote – most people think you only need self-initiated projects if you're a beginner with no work. Not true! A lot of my current professional work isn't exactly the type of work I want to bring in and show off. Your portfolio, no matter the profession, should showcase the type of work you want to get hired to do. Do you hate presentation design? Then don't put those in the portfolio, you'll save yourself in the long run. To change that, I've come up with a list of self-initiated projects that can accompany my existing work. Here are a few examples of sample projects and a couple of tips of how I came up with them. 

Fill the Void

Find what's missing and fill the void. The catch is, don't think simple. You don't have to start with the mom and pop shop (unless that's what you're into). Think about your dream jobs. Let's say you want to be an illustrator in the fashion industry. Go pick up the latest issue of your favorite magazine, find an article that didn't include original artwork, and create the artwork as if it were assigned to you. You already know the magazine, you're familiar with its design, and you have the content to base the work on. No brainer! Once you have it completed: promote, promote, promote! If you're posting on social media, be sure to tag the brand - you never know when they may need a designer. I love the brand Refinery 29, and freelancing for them (because I'm too poor for NYC), is on my list of dream jobs. My plan is to find an article that didn't include original artwork on Refinery 29's site and create my own illustrations to accompany that article. I vote we all be bold and take it to the next level (as you should do everything). Do you really love what you made? Find a unique way to package it and send it to the company. Remember there are a million ways to get in contact with someone, and social media is no exception

CHALLENGE YA SELF

Do a self-initiated challenge. Don't pick just any olthing, push yourself forward and do something that's completely in-line with a dream job you have.  For example, I want to design in the music space. I have a few ideas around designing one album cover per day, or picking an album I like and creating a separate cover for each song on the album per day. The challenge forces you to complete a design in a certain time period and gives you a body of work that is aligned with what you want to do. Again – do it, post, and share! *Tip: When targeting people and brands I definitely believe in aiming high, but remember that a person/brand with a huge following may have less of a chance to see your work. Aim high, but also include the middle men. 

Make it up 

Technically, most self-initiated projects are made up but still based on a brands current content - sometimes you may need to pull something completely out of thin air. If you've checked out my art direction board on Pinterest, you can easily tell that I'm drawn to set design and photography that incorporates bright colors.  *Tip: Figure out what you're drawn to and copy it. I don't mean rip off the person, but find inspiration to create what you see and make it your own. Since I've identified that I'm really into set design I've created a project that allows me to play with that. The first thing I figured out was the concept. Imagine working for a magazine or on a set and they tell you the grand idea behind the work. Create that grand idea! And, actually, it doesn't have to be grand - it can be really simple. I chose the idea of vices. Now that I have the concept I can create the set based around my inspiration items. These concepts can be applied to anyone, creative or not.

I can talk about projects all damn day, but one of the biggest things I want you to remember is that you are your own creative director/boss for these assignments. Anything that you're drawn to you can create for yourself. Don't allow the lack of variety of projects in your professional life deter you from the type of work you really want. On the flip side, don't sit around and wait for the grand opportunity, create it for yourself. If you need any help with brainstorming projects (because that's kinda my forte), let me know. No matter the profession.

Laci out.

Creative Crush Wednesday: Tasha Bleu Photography

For everyone that works a Monday - Friday, 9 to 5 we're almost there y'all. To keep you inspired I want to share my next Creative Crush Wednesday, Tasha Bleu. Tasha is freelance photographer and genius behind the media company Treu Blue Imagery.

Let me tell you, Tasha is a BEAST.  Since I'm a stalker of creatives I admire I have a little information on Tasha. Tasha began her career in Providence, RI by watching YouTube videos and doing her research on the history of photography. Fast forward a year later and her photos were featured in Elle. Fast forward another and she became a contributor for Hypebeast. From there she's worked with people and brands such as: Adidas, Nike, Complex, and Roc Nation. To recap: you don't need a lot to get to the goals you want, you just need to put the work in and be passionate about it. *soak that in, enjoy a few pics and we'll finish this a few photos down.

JOPLIN CREATIVE + TREU BLEU IMAGERY

JOPLIN CREATIVE + TREU BLEU IMAGERY

DIMEPIECE LA + TREU BLEU IMAGERY

DIMEPIECE LA + TREU BLEU IMAGERY

PALACE + TREU BLEU IMAGERY

PALACE + TREU BLEU IMAGERY

PUSHA T + TREU BLEU IMAGERY

PUSHA T + TREU BLEU IMAGERY

SWIZZ BEATS + TREU IMAGERY

SWIZZ BEATS + TREU IMAGERY

Tasha specializes in modern-contemporary street style photography. In the beginning she focused more on menswear but now (in my opinion) her work has branched out while keeping the focus on street-wear culture. In an interview (can't remember which one) she mentioned also wanting to start a magazine, clothing line, and much more! 

There's a few reasons why I admire Tasha. 1.) She's an black woman in the creative field KILLING IT 2.) Recently she had a billboard in Times Square. That reminded me how far you can take your influence as a creator if you put in the work 3.) She's making a name for herself in a male dominated industry while sticking to her morals. 4.) Her photography is wonderful!

As many, I definitely want to work with Tasha in some capacity one day, she's on my bucket list of influencers. To read more about her check out some of the interviews below. Let me know what you think and if there are artists I should check out LIST THEM!

Interviews

Artsy Magazine

5th Element

Miss Bish

Black Lives Matter

Unless you've been under a rock you've heard about the multiple murders that have occurred in the US in the last week. As I said in a recent Instagram post, I can't give you a Jesse Williams speech because I'm more of a visual person but I'm exhausted.  I'll never understand why someone could hate another human because of the color of their skin so much to the point where they don't value their life. It'll never, ever, ever make sense to me. The hatred that has been shown in this country is unreal. Stemming from two black men being killed at the hands of police officers to 5 officers being killed in Dallas at a protest. Its unreal.

I'm in fear. Not just fear for myself but fear for everyone, especially my black brothers and sisters. As I was leaving the grocery store today an officer pulled beside me and my heart dropped, you would've thought I was a drug dealer or guilty of something. In reality the image of the officer scared me to death, the light couldn't change faster. The fear is real.

This post is just as scattered as my thoughts because I honestly don't know where to start so I'll wrap it up. I'm scared. I'm scared to exist in this world. I don't have the answers to what we should do to fix this problem but we need love, we need equality, we need action, and we need peace NOW.

 I'm thinking of ways to create positive vibes and promote love in the community, starting with my work. One more note, if you believe "All lives matter" I can't with you. Of course your life matters but there's a specific group of people being targeted. And if you're silent you're also apart of the problem. Stay Woke.

Below are a few action items and articles that can help you if you're confused around the idea of black lives matter, or if you're racist as hell.

Action Items:

Click here to find your legislator

Donate to Philando Castile's family here

Donate to Alton Sterling's family here

Stay Woke articles/videos:

Our Black Citizens

All Lives Matter (not)

My Plate Matters

The Nightly Show

All Houses Matter

 

 

I don't know what I'm doing

Let's have a honestly moment here, I have no idea what I'm doing in life 90% of the time. The lonely 10% is when I'm eating, sleeping, or pooping. Other than that, no idea. When I was young I figured I'll grow up and have all of my shit together, guess what? I don't. Will I ever? Maybe, Maybe not.

When I moved to California from Alabama I felt all the pressure in the world, not from friends and family but from my damn self. I was walking into a completely unknown world and being a black girl from the south (and by myself) that was scary.  I reminded myself every morning that failure is not an option and I'll make a lane by any means necessary, plus I really didn't want to go back home. That meant that I needed to be the BEST and become an expert at my field.

Once I started my job I realized I really don't know shit. 

Now I knew I had a long way to go in design (and I still do) but there were so many other things that I didn't know. For example the program Keynote, which is the Apple version of Powerpoint (and a lot better). The very first project I had at Imagineering was assisting in designing an exhibit which required interactive iPad designs and just my luck that was my assignment. Again, I JUST found out what Keynote was when I got there. I didn't know what I was doing, but through the grace of God and Google I did it lol!

When I was transitioning out of Imagineering I went on a massive entertainment job search. I was applying for a job with ABC where the requirements included fluency in After Effects. If fluent meant "you know how to open the program" then I'm your girl! I met every single requirement but that one. I went to my boss and said "hey Trish I really like this job but I don't know after effects." She looked at me and said "Laci do you think any man would say oh I don't know how to do this so I'm not going to apply? Apply and figure it out later." She was right, I applied, used Skillshare to at least know where the buttons are, got the job, and never had to use after effects. 

I can give so many examples of situations where I was asked to do something, had no idea how to do it, but found a way to push through it (usually thanks to Google). I'm at a point in my life where I'm searching for whats next. I'm often faced with the question "well what do you want to do" my problem is I don't want to do just one thing and honestly I don't think I should have to. Yes I love design, but what about photography? what about videography and the idea of crafting music videos? What about designing a product and creating content? These are all things I'm interested in and all things that I will do. Do I know how to do them all? fuck no. Will I fake it till I make it? Absolutely. 

This long winded blog post is to let you know two major things, number #1: its okay not to have it all together. Between social media and the fake rules society makes we all think we should be expert adults when at the end of the day we're just older kids with bills. I've been in rooms with executives and presidents of companies who will admit "I have no idea what I'm doing" now of course they do a little bit but there's plenty they don't know and are usually making it up as they go. 

Number #2: You don't have to know what you're doing to get shit done. I want to make a product, I'm going to make a product. Do I have any clue what to do? No. Whatever that dream project is that you want to get off the ground but don't know how, just start somewhere! Even with Google. We've all heard the famous line from Field of Dreams "if you build it they will come". I've heard so many people say things like "once (fill in the blank) happens I'm going to get started. But guess what? once that one things happens you'll find another reason to hold you back. For example an ex coworker would always say "I'm going to work on my brand when my son makes it to the next grade" once he did that it was "I'm going to wait until he gets settled". Don't procrastinate, don't wait until you have it figured out, don't wait until whatever irrelevant milestone you have set in your head. Just do the shit. (I'm telling this to myself as well). One day everything you're doing right now will make sense. As I said before, I'm looking for whats next and I have no idea but I'm going to continue to do the work that makes me happy until I figure it out. 

PS. I'm going on an overdue vacay, I'm still planning to post but if not I'm somewhere with champagne.

Fake it till you make it.