So it's been a real long time since I blogged or for that matter posted on facebook or did anything other than post snaps on IG because WTAF 2017. But I do like to talk so here we go, fresh thoughts for a fresh year y'all.

I have always been a really loud individual, I mean just the volume of my voice is literally too much and I always have an opinion and am rarely shy to blast it from my talk pipes. But ever since Fall '16 I've kind of been speechless, which I know is bad, but I have to be 2 things- honest and authentic and here's me being honest: If I started yelling every time I got mad about the state of affairs, I would have started yelling and never stopped. I would be mainlining blood pressure meds for sure. I sort of shut down instead, turned inside myself and to my immediate family, blocked out the negativity and decided that the best thing I could honestly do was focus on my kids and the fact that they gotta be good people you know? It's like eradicating diseases.. vaccinate them as babies and eventually there's no more polio right. So I have been trying to focus on raising kind small people. ((And also quietly stuffing money in mattresses and teaching my kids basic survival skills because straight up there are days when I'm not sure we are gonna be here in 20 based on politics / environmental disasters / mass shootings. I mean..)). 

I have still been doing a lot of design work, and have once again discovered that the best clients and largest percentage of my client base is people who have known me in past roles and search me out to do work for them in their new ventures. It validates my authenticity over any kind of bullshit I ever was fed about how I wasn't "well behaved enough" around clients. Guess what, ten years later those people have new roles and are seeking me out to work with because of my authenticity. Ha! Aside from my design and art direction work, I have opened a shop with my sister in Kingston, WA which is also an office for Vocal, and is pretty much a delightful clubhouse to hang out in and play jams and draw pictures whilst selling paper goods and girl power t-shirts to the greater Kitsap peninsula. You're welcome. I have noticed 2 types of customers absolutely love our foul-mouthed greeting cards and GRL PWR ephemera: Teenagers and old ladies. Which, if you think about it, are the 2 times in life where women especially have ZERO fucks to give. I def remember the angsty days of not caring as a teenager and can't wait to be an old lady with even less patience. Honestly, it's just us middle aged moms and lady bosses who are so worried about what everyone thinks. Looking forward to being over that hump.

Anyway all of my rambling aside, 2018 is gonna be more honesty, authenticity and building a strong compassionate family and if we keep up our current path success will follow. I think this is a subconscious survival tactic, somewhere between fight and flight that I didn't know I had. Vocal's business goals are strong and have been on track starting this 5th year (so crazy) but I'm way less about world domination and way more about pro bono work, art docent projects in kids classrooms, traveling with my family, watercolor painting... basically I'm super zenned out right now, working on everything from the inside out, trying to help where I can, and I hope everyone has a healthy and chill 2018.. We need a chill year. Go find a pot shop. (Vocal probably designed some of the packaging in there). ha.



the hustle economy

It has always been a blessing and a curse to be as eager as I am to raise my hand. A million times it has gotten me in trouble, embarrassed me or caused major social anxiety and yet i have never stopped being quick to volunteer. As much grief as it has caused, as I watch my daughter grow up, I notice that she is the same way, and I'm proud.
If teachers asked a question, if coaches needed a volunteer, if clients wanted an explanation. Even if it wasn't my place, I always have found myself raising my hand.
i volunteer to help, to lead, to go first, to try, to explain, to read out loud. I imagine some portion of the population has to be like that, or else not much would move forward in life, right?

I also know that very few people are blessed with talents so strong that they never have to speak up. I was not blessed with such talents. I wasn't the smartest- but I was quick and curious. I wasn't a strong hitter, but i could bunt my way on base and steal my way home. And i'm not an amazing designer. But I am a good talker. I can talk my way through a lot of situations- I'm the thousand words that pictures are worth. I'm not afraid to respond, to sell, to question, to fight for work. I am willing to lend a voice to things I believe in that aren't being heard. It's why I named the company Vocal.

Recently I was a featured contributor in a book called The Hustle Economy: Transforming Your Creativity into A Career. (get it here) It's been exciting and nerve-wracking and I've felt out of my league with other contributors but it also feels amazing to just go after things like that. And that's why I'm proud of my daughter. She's wrong sometimes, but she raises her hand. She's the smallest kid on the team, but she tries twice as hard. And as annoying as it might seem to her peers, if she sticks with it, she can turn it into something amazing, because being curious and also willing are some of the most important things to be. And there will always be people who need to hear things, or to have things said, that they themselves can't say. 

Discover your strengths, even if they embarrass you sometimes. Turn them into tools. They can be a huge advantage. Everyone has a differentiator that can help them hustle. And if you don't want to hustle, you better ride shotgun with someone who does.