So for anyone who follows me on social media, you probably have already heard about my next great adventure. Next week I will be moving cross country to sunny San Diego! Its such a huge leap going from the east coast to the west coast, but I’m super excited about it.
A couple of weeks ago, I flew out to San Diego(my second trip) to interview at Digital Telepathy. First before I go on, let me tell you… they have an AMAZING office! Back when I was in San Diego in early June for Valio Con I met an awesome guy by the name of Dustin LaMont, who works at DT. We simply chatted a couple of times here and there over the very long conference and followed each other on twitter. Now, I’ve always believed in networking but I’ve never thought that just this simple interaction would lead to me moving over 2,000 miles cross country!
I won’t be the only one making this long journey to California. My mom and two of our dogs will be braving the long drive from Savannah to San Diego. Its going to be exciting making the trip out there with her and the dogs. We are all each other has really, and I couldn’t just leave her here in Savannah alone. (:
Currently we are in the process of packing up and getting ready for the big move. As I’m writing this I’m surrounded by boxes(I guess the new studio photos will have to wait for when we get to California). Its going to be a long and stressful journey and I only hope we don’t go completely cuckoo for coco puffs along the way!
Well I guess I will wrap up this blog post and get back to work! Hope you all are having a great week so far and that you have an even better weekend!
Over the course of the last few weeks, I’ve been working on a fun little web design exercise. Some of you may know the blog, Unsplash(if you don’t go check them out! They are freaking AWESOME!). Well, I decided that it was time that they have their own website instead of just a tumblr blog to host their amazing photographs. As some of you know, I’ve recently started to branch out into web design and thought this would be a great way to really test my newly developing skills.
Since I started on this project, there have been two awesome guys who have helped me by critiquing my work and giving me pointers along the way, Peter Deltondo & Dustin LaMont. Definitely go check out their work on dribbble! They both have been a huge help for me since I have struck out on my own. Looking forward to working with them more in the future!
Below you will see some of the full web pages that I’ve created so far for the website. I’m still not finished quite yet but I wanted to at least show everyone what the website looks like so far. If anyone has any suggestions, tips/tricks, critiques, or anything like that please feel free to leave a comment. I am always looking for feedback on my work, especially things like this!
Thanks for stopping by and reading this and I hope you’re having a great tuesday!
Food for Thought | The Importance of Side Projects
A couple of weeks ago I started this illustration series. Its been a fun exercise that I’ve done late at night or during the day when I’ve had a little free time in between projects. When you put aside time to create things just for fun, you really get to stretch your creative imagination a lot more than just working on client work. That is one thing I have found recently. If I have a little bit of creative block on a project, I will just switch over to a quick little side project like this one here. After I finish the piece I find that my creative block is gone and I can really get back into the groove of things!
I’m not saying that something like this can help everyone or even help every time. Its just something that I find works, at least for now. As creatives we are always pushed and pushed and pushed again to squeeze every little bit of creative juice that is floating up there in our grey matter. Sometimes we need a little something, something that helps to stimulate our creative minds. We need to do something that is fun for us. Its important to refill those boilers of creativity with fuel.
Sorry I know I’m kind of ranting now. Haha
I guess before I end this post I will leave you with this.
There is always going to be a struggle for people like us, whether they are designers, illustrators, photographers, writers, etc. To create on demand for a client or boss. Sometimes we just have to step back create for ourselves. We have to release the creative flood gates on our own side projects or else everything else will dry up like the Sahara.
Last year after our big office party, I came to the realization that I wasn’t happy with myself and how I had let my weight get out of control again in my life. I remember saying to myself, “Hey! You’ve got your dream job, but what about the life you have always wanted?” At that moment I decided that I wanted to make some real life changes.
To set the stage, here’s a little back story. I have struggled with my weight since elementary school and even started dieting that far back. I remember other kids teasing me and calling me horrible names. Fat Ass. Wide Load. At the age of 11 I was already wearing a Mens XL and by 14 I was wearing a 3XL. I remember taking gym class in high school and having to run timed miles. My best time when we started? Over 16 minutes.
Every day was a struggle to get up and go to school. As my mom would attest, I never wanted to go. From ages 10 to 18, I missed the maximum number of days each year of school. I hated the way people looked at and treated me, which only fueled me to eat and drink more soda. At my heaviest, which was when I was 18, I weighed 365 lbs. I was drinking a 12-pack of sugary soda each day, and a whole pizza every other day for dinner. I never went to a doctor because I was afraid he would say I was diabetic, which I probably could have been.
I could barely live with myself. I was full to the brim with self loathing and I was completely and utterly depressed. I couldn’t even get excited about the fact I was about to graduate high school and go to college. Those were probably some of my darkest days.
The summer before college I lost 20 lbs by exercising like crazy. Ultimately, though, my weight fluctuated and stayed stagnant throughout my first semester. One of my biggest breakthroughs came when I quit ingesting all soda, coffee, energy drinks, etc. for my 2010 New Year’s resolution. It was a long time coming. The first few months were murder and no one wanted to be around me at all. I was angry, irritable, and always has a pounding migraine. But I did it and I haven’t had any addictive drinks in over four years now.
My weight yoyo’d through the remainder of college, eventually getting down to 268 lbs my junior year. It was the first time I had been that weight since middle school. Unfortunately, it didn’t last long and the stress of my senior year slowly brought my weight back up to the 290s again by the time I graduated.
After starting here at Focus Lab, almost a year ago, I got too comfortable where I was with my weight. I was eating out every day for lunch; on weekends my mom and I would go out for dinner. I even tried taking natural diet supplements to help curb my appetite to help me lose weight. I lost weight but being off for just a couple of weeks brought all the weight back with a vengeance. By the time of the office party I was back up to 301lbs (it could have been more, because I didn’t weigh myself for a while). I hated that I had let myself go once again. Unlike the previous gazillion times that I had let it slide, I decided I was going to do something about it.
And I did.
I did a lot of research and watched countless documentaries on eating healthy and exercising. I must have watched Hungry for Change and Food Matters over 100 times each just to learn and get inspired. I learned so much about what I was putting into my body and what was good or bad.
Around this same time, I also started going running every other day. When I was little, before I gained so much weight, I used to love running and was even one of the fastest kids in my 1st grade class. Now, I was actually able to run for the first time in years. I worked my way up to running a half a mile without stopping, then a mile, then two miles, then a full 5K without stopping. Eventually I was able to run seven miles without stopping. Remember that 16+ minute mile I talked about earlier? In March of this year, the Focus Lab family ran it’s first 5K together and I ran my fastest mile in my life, 9:02. That’s a big difference from a 16 minute mile! I ran the total 5k in about 41 minutes.
Having read this, you are probably wondering where I am today. When I initially started in November of 2013, I weighed 301 lbs. By May 2014, I weigh 260 lbs. Which means that in the past six months I have lost 41 lbs and run a total of 150 miles (including two 5Ks). I am super proud of myself for all of this and I’m excited with what is to come in the future.
Here is the second installment of my “City Block” series. Really excited with how this one turned out. I was up late last night finishing it up and getting it ready to post today. I don’t know how many blocks will be in this series but its a fun little exercise on creativity! I never even know what the block will even look like to begin with.
Dribbble | 2,500 Followers & 2 shots on Popular page!
Was super excited when I saw that I might get two dribbble shots on the popular page. When it actually happened I was ecstatic! I don’t believe I’ve had two shots on the popular page at once. Additionally today, I reached 2,500 followers on dribbble which was mind blowing. In the past week, I’ve gained over 100 followers which has to be my best week to date on there. This is only the beginning though! There is definitely more to come and I can’t wait to show everyone what more I can do and create! If you haven’t had a chance to check out my profile on dribbble, don’t be a stranger! I’m hoping to post a shot daily for as long as I am able to!
Really excited I finally get to share this branding project. This was one of my last branding projects that I worked on at Focus Lab and probably one of my most favorite! The guys over at Druid just launched their new brand today and put together this pretty awesome blog post to announce it! (http://druid.io/blog/2014/07/23/five-tips-for-a-f-ing-great-logo.html) I really hope you all enjoy this brand as much as I do and everyone else at Focus Lab. Going to possibly post a few more shots over the next couple of weeks for you all to see more of the branding work we did for Druid so be on the lookout!
If you’d like to see the dribbble shot that I posted click here.
Something that I’ve thought about making for a while, my Top 12 (I couldn’t pick between the last three) movie list. I’ve made many of those in the past and as time goes things change. But here it is at last. In correct order.
1. Jaws I still remember the first time I watched this movie when I was a little kid (maybe 4-5). I was on my mom’s bed in her room watching it while she was downstairs. I was sooo scared to get down from the bed because I thought if I swung my legs over a shark would come from under the bed and take a bite out of me! Haha I’ve always had an amazing imagination.
2. The Rocky Horror Picture Show First time I saw this movie I was 11 years old and my best friend at the time had a MASSIVE movie collection. One night while staying over at his house we were trying to figure out a movie to watch. He was like “I KNOW!!!” runs to one of the many VHS racks they had and comes back with this movie. He said it would be perfect to watch because my name is Rocky. First time watching it I was like O_O? But later on in high school I truly fell in love with it. If it wasn’t for this movie, I would have never met the love of my life.
3. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off Wow so this movies has always been close to the top of my top favorite movies of all time! I remember watching this all the time with my Granny. When ever I was sick and staying at her house from school, we would watch this movie. Every time I watch it I think about her. Its really funny because when I got to spend time with my brother in San Diego earlier this month, he told me she used to sit him down in front of the tv and play this same movie! Haha I miss my Granny.
4. Forrest Gump Almost everyone who knows me knows that I truly love this movie. I have watched it over 400 times (427 by last count, give or take two or three). When I was in elementary school I had this VHS in my VCR and played it every single day for over a year. I kinda think the main reason was because it was actually stuck in the VCR and I wanted to play in my room and not in the living room. This movie though has become another symbol for me and my baby though, we both love this movie!
5. Hook Another movie that I’ve probably watch hundreds of times before. I honestly think it was one of my first VHSs (and my first ever DVD). I remember watching it over and over again as a kid. Always loving the movie and especially Robin Williams (one of my favorite actors of all time next to Bill Murray and Jim Carrey). It’s also a movie that my cousin constantly goes on about because I made her watch it sooo much when I was little.
6. Lethal Weapon (all 4) This is one series of movies that I have watched my whole life. Many many times me and my mom have sat together during a long saturday or sunday and watched the whole series of movies. This will always remain on my list of favorite movies.
7. Home Alone (1&2) These are my all time favorite Christmas movies! I always watch these at least three times over the holidays starting from Thanksgiving all the way to Christmas. It has been a tradition as far back as I can remember.lol
8. Lords of Dogtown Wow. This movie sums up for me the best summer of my life (2007). I just remember having an awesome job at our local movie theater being able to watch tons and tons of movies for free! (the job was overall very very crappy though Haha). Every time I watch this movie I think about that summer.
9. Real Genius I Love this movie! I remember watching this over and over again before I went off to college. I felt like it was kind of prepping me for college or at least putting my mind at ease a little. Love the soundtrack as well!
10. Jurassic Park Talk about a movie that I made my family watch a lot! Haha I have always loved Jurassic Park(and dinosaurs as a whole). I got a chance to see Jurassic Park in 3D when they re-released it. One great memory I have though is going to see the third movie with my aunt in theaters.
11. Mrs. Doubtfire GREAT MOVIE!!! This movie definitely makes me think about the 90s. Once again another movie with Robin Williams! No matter how old I am it always has me cracking up!
12. What About Bob Probably one of the most underrated movie of all time. This is the movie that introduced me to the great Bill Murray! I hope that one day they make this movie on Bluray to add it to my collection. Its been a while since I’ve had a chance to watch this movie.
I could go on and on and most of you probably could tell that all of these movies are from my childhood.