European Destinations

We’re headed to Amsterdam, Belgium, and France & in search of some recs!!

Michael and I knew that we wanted to head overseas for our honeymoon, but had such a tough time deciding WHERE we actually wanted to go. We circled around New Zealand, Italy, Germany, France, and a good portion of Northern Europe, too. But in the end, we decided that we didn’t want to be traveling around TOO much, and ended up creating a fairly simple route that we’re pretty pumped about. Our two week journey begins in AMSTERDAM, where we’ll spend a solid four days adventuring around all of the canals and doing who knows what. Neither of us have been there, so we would love to hear your favorite places to visit + things to see! We’re also thinking about a day drip out of Amsterdam, but aren’t settled on where yet. Any ideas!?

Next, we’ll take a train ride down to GHENT, BLEGIUM. There are so many cities in Belgium that were recommended to us, but Ghent won our hearts with it’s smaller feel … while still having all of the big city amenities, too. We’re thinking of possibly day-tripping out from here, too. Bruges, perhaps? It’s almost impossible to choose. HELP?

Be Free, Lance | Managing Feedback

When I first started freelancing, I let any negative comment ( no matter how big or small ) effect my day … and sometimes even my entire week. Constructive criticism is KEY for any good client relationship, so there’s really no reason to let it become a barrier. It’s bad for both parties involved and just isn’t healthy. Feedback doesn’t need to be thought of as a scary or bad thing. Instead, allow it to define forward movement and create positive collaboration between you and your client. Although I’ve seen a serious shift in the way I handle feedback, there is always room for learning and growth. Here are just a few tips I’ve found helpful for successfully managing feedback :

DISCONNECT PERSONAL ATTACHMENT As creatives, it’s easy to get attached to the work we create and share with clients. But just because we like something doesn’t mean that the client is going to as well. Or that it is even right for their end product. Do all that you can to be subjective and approach feedback in an open + honest way. Learn to let go when it’s important and that will make all the difference.

BECOME A PROBLEM SOLVER One of the worst things you can do is mull over negative feedback and let it eat you away. I know it’s hard … but as soon as you receive feedback, don’t even give your wandering mind the time of day. Instead, become a problem solver immediately. Outline any problem areas shared by your client and start brainstorming ways to solve them. By doing this, you’ll be too busy to even wallow in negativity. Just move forward.

Creative Diaries | David Schwen

I’ve been following the work of David Schwen, a creative director and designer from Minneapolis, for some time now. Being a designer myself, his studio portfolio is definitely eye candy and one that I love catching up with. I promise, you’ll enjoy all the color and inspiring concepts!! Plus, he’s the first male feature for Creative Diaries, so this one is a bit special. For this creative diary entry, he was to focus on one single work day and answer a few simple questions about the good, the bad, and the inspiring. This is what happened, truthfully.

WHAT IS THE FIRST THING THAT YOU DID THIS MORNING : I am out in LA for the time being, working at GOOD Magazine for a week as an artist in residency. Since I’m still on Minneapolis time, I woke up very early and went for a nice long walk. It was great to see LA before LA even woke up. Very peaceful and serene as the sun started to rise.

Creative Diaries | David Schwen

DESCRIBE ONE CHALLENGE THAT YOU FACED : It’s actually not a creative challenge, but a very practical challenge. As I was heading out the door, the button on my pants came off. I had to scramble to get a sewing kit to quickly fix my pants before I left. *just a note* the button was already loose, not because it popped off from my waste size being too big for my pants.

DESCRIBE ONE ACCOMPLISHMENT : Starting out on my first illustration at GOOD, I was able to come up with a solid sketched idea that I was happy about, for one of the editorial features. It’s pretty interesting being inside of a studio and agency again, after I’ve been so used to working at Dschwen for a while now.

Creative Diaries | David Schwen

DESCRIBE ONE THING YOU LEARNED : It’s easy to get caught up in working on projects and trying to find new projects. Today I learned that I need to take more time observing what’s around me. While on my walk this morning, I found a perfect constructed smiley face on the sidewalk, created out of smashed gum, a random object and a leaf. I didn’t alter it at all, and was very amused with my find.

Creative Diaries | David SchwenCreative Diaries | David Schwen

WHAT IS THE LAST THING YOU DID FOR WORK : I had to work on another project for a client while out here in LA. I brought some materials to experiment with — but I had a lot of fun getting my hands dirty, creating textures and mark-making for an identity project.

AND JUST FOR FUN, DID YOU EAT ANYTHING TASTY : I was able to enjoy some very tasty LA famous tacos from a food truck over lunch. So good, that I didn’t have time to take a photo before they were eaten.

Moodboard by Rowan Made

I am SO excited to share this moodboard with you all, as it’s for a pretty cool project. At least I think so. ;) Here’s the thing : I’m a complete foodie. So whenever an inquiry comes in that involves food, I usually have a little dance party and get WAY too excited. Over time, it’s fun to discover the types of projects you like working on MOST. And for me, that happens to be bakeries, restaurants, caterers … and popcorn makers! This client is actually a sister duo from New York City, looking to start their own line of popped goods and beyond. And in New York, you know the whole “best of / you gotta try this” mentality? For pizza, bagels, etc.? Well, that’s exactly what these ladies want to be for popcorn! We’re creating something that is a little bit luxe, yet not out of reach. Perfect for somebody on the go, who needs a quick + reliable treat. We already have their brand finalized and are moving onto package design, so you can bet I’ll be sharing more with you all ( including some process snippets ) along the way as soon as I can.

PS. For those of you in the good old US of A, have a happy Fourth! I’ll be checking out tomorrow and relaxing the entire weekend, as it’s supposed to be quite nice. What kind of plans do you all have??

Little Insights | Breanna Rose

life as of late has gone a little something like this

ONE Due to stress and other various reasons, I’ve been dealing with some pretty tough back pain for the past two months or so. It was a bit of a wake up call to calm things down in this busy life. So after five visits to the chiropractor, many epsom salt baths, and new stretches added to my work routine, I’m finally starting to see improvement. My back doesn’t constantly hurt any longer as I’m slowly making some lifestyle changes and shifting my mindset. All for the better. :)

TWO Living in the midwest makes summer pretty special. It wasn’t that long ago that snow was on the ground … and it won’t be much longer until it’ back. We have this small window of time that many of us take for granted, so I’m trying to get myself outside to enjoy the beautiful weather ( even if it’s unbearably hot ) and fresh blooms as much as possible.

THREE On Friday, Michael and I went on a date. We hit up Barrio ( great Mexican food! ) in St. Paul, then visited our old neighborhood stomping grounds for some Izzy’s ice cream, which is seriously the best. We used to be able to walk to this place, but now have to drive a good 15 minutes. We hope to move back that way within the next year or so … then it can become a regular again! Oh. And PS – - we went on a walk after we grabbed our ice cream to hike around the Mississippi River, and the water level is pretty dang high. If you look at this picture, you can see a tree top under water. Yikes.