Tad Carpenter Creative Mornings KC

Last Friday I had a chance to hear Tad Carpenter of Carpenter Collective speak at Creative Mornings KC! It was my first Creative Mornings talk and especially special because Tad was one of my teachers at KU. Here are a couple notes from his talk:

  • Remember we do this because we want to, not because we have to.

  • We GET to do this. Every day you’ve been given a gift to make stuff.

  • When design is good it’s a team effort.

  • I’m never going to be the most talented, but I’ll never be outworked.

  • Play removes limits.

  • It ain’t about the end result, it’s about the exploration.

  • Being creative means you have to keep taking risks. The greatest rewards in life come out of risks.

  • How can your work better the world around us?

#My5Days Screen Printing

A few weeks ago I spent a Friday screen printing for the first of my 2019 #My5Days! Every year I look forward to having the time to either try something new or spend a day exploring. I decided to letter our neighborhood’s name for t-shrits and prints for this first day away! I’m really happy with how they turned out and I love having a better understanding of screen printing for future projects. Thanks to Press Monkey Studio for leading this workshop, if you need any custom printing done Brian is your guy!

Letters Are Lovely | #My5Days Screen Printing

The More of Less

Hello, friends! It’s been awhile since I recapped a book, but I recently finished The More of Less by Joshua Becker and I couldn’t help but take a few notes. This book talks about minimalism and now living with less can lead you to live a happier, more generous, life. I definitely don’t consider myself a minimalist, but I have been making an effort to be more conscious of my purchases and I found many of his points really inspiring.

Letters Are Lovely | The More of Less

If you have ever been overwhelmed by your possessions, or thought about living a more minimalist life this book should be on your list! I think this quote best sums it up:

Liberation from the need to possess. And liberation from conforming to a society built on consumerism. This is the promise of minimalism: to rejoice at the sight of all the things we do not need. And to have our lives finally freed to pursue the things we want to do. I want you to have the same joy, to experience the same liberation.
— Joshua Becker

Valentine's Day Cards

While out and about shopping for Valentine’s cards I was happy to see my lettering applied to a couple new cards this year! I can’t wait to send this sister card to one of my sisters, and I also love working on mono-weight scripts — this “hello” lettering was no exception. I hope you are making plans to celebrate with those you love!

Letters Are Lovely | Valentine's Day Cards
Letters Are Lovely | Valentine's Day Cards

Hallmark Signature Valentine's Day Card

One of my favorite card collaborations is now available for Valentine’s Day! I created the lettering for this piece and my friend Leslie worked her design magic to make this card come to life. The entire piece is quilled and really really stunning in person. I can’t wait to frame one for my office!

All Photos © Hallmark Licensing, LLC

Made in the Middle 2018

This weekend I attended Made in the Middle, a creative conference in Kansas City founded by Tad and Jessica Carpenter of Carpenter Collective. I wasn’t able to attend their first conference two years ago so I was thrilled it worked out to go this year! The conference started with a day of workshops on Friday (I attended a live recording of Andy J. Miller’s Creative Pep Talk Podcast!) and continued with an opening party at Messenger Coffee.

Letters Are Lovely | Made in the Middle

Saturday was a day full of lectures, and below are a few of my key takeaways from each of the six talented artists/designers/engineers who spoke. To say the weekend was inspiring is an understatement, and I’m truly proud to be a creative working in the Midwest.

Letters Are Lovely | Made in the Middle

Amber Goodvin

  • Defining myself loosely opens doors for me.

  • If I put out the work I want it comes back to me.

  • My creativity comes in seasons.

  • Taking time to reflect is an important part of my process.

  • Amber took time to audit her work and pursue styles that she wanted to work on, even if it was different from work she was known for.

Dawn Hancock

  • Lift each other up.

  • 100% of perfectionists think they are imposters.

  • The more you put projects out into the world the more they come back to you.

  • Take the risks.

  • Hire people who are smarter than you who truly give a damn.

  • It’s okay not to be okay.

Steve Frykholm

  • The first in-house graphic designer at Herman Miller, Inc.

  • If you have what you believe is an original, creative, terrific idea but you get timid and wonder what your client might think ... present it anyway.

  • You must disrupt the status quo.

  • We are all extraordinary.

  • There can always be a first time.

Mina Markham

  • Purposely Lucky

  • Just say yes, it is okay to be scared.

  • Collaboration breeds creativity.

  • Visibility has consequences.

  • Create without regrets.

  • Communicate your place in the market, know your unique value proposition and build connectivity into your business.

Andy J. Miller

  • The key to your creative career path is waiting for you to say yes.

  • Life is hard, but it doesn’t mean it’s bad. Hard and bad aren’t the same thing. (Andy’s Dad)

  • You have to go through all the levels, the maze is the key.

  • A creative path can be rocky.

  • You don’t know what dark places your creative work might pull people out of.

Dana Tanamachi

  • Be grateful for seasons where you can learn and grow in anonymity.

  • Who is flourishing because of the time, resources and skills you possess?

  • Relearn what you thought you already knew.

  • Seek out and plan those teachable moments, have a willingness to learn (teachability).

  • Write down your 5 year/10 year/20 year goals.