and there were a few ideas I had that I didn’t feel motivated enough to complete. However I found that the goals that were on my 2020 vision board that I saw everyday, reminded me that I deserve to be my best. Those goals were more likely to get completed that any other. Vision boards are great in visually seeing your goals everyday to keep you motivated to complete short-term and long-term tasks. Organize all your new years’ goals in one place and create a PLAN to achieve them. So no matter what happens in 2021, you can build good habits everyday to keep a positive attitude that you DESERVE get it done. You DESERVE to be that elevated person.
What Will Be in the Vision Board Kit:
Reflection between this current year and the new year
Guiding you through finding content for the board: such as positive statements, photographs and illustration reflection
When I graduated university a few years ago, I was freelancing and applying to several creative agencies. When applying for web and graphic design jobs, one of the job applications had an assessment question that still stuck with me today: what is your creative process?
I never actually thought about my process. What I do from start to finish that is consistent in every project. I also did not think it was as necessary to know as I do now, but having a clear process made the work become WAY easier throughout my years of designing.
What is a Process?
According to Merriam-Webster, “to subject to or handle through an established usually routine set of procedures.” A process is a procedure of creation, from conception to final result. Several people have processes in their everyday routines. Having a process is human nature but we never stop to think what our current process is, and how we can actively perfect it to increase our productivity.
My Personal Creative Process
This is where I gather all the information and expectations of the project needed. This includes asking the client or project manager what is the final goal. I then research elements of the project I am least familiar with, and I look at how other creators’ (or people in the field) projects, to see how they went about completing similar projects.
2. Idea Conception
This is one step I rarely skip: getting inspired. I search creative designs and concepts to get an idea of what is it there and to help spark ideas before starting. I have a list of websites and apps that give creative inspiration, feel free to check them out!
3. Creation I start to create. Sometimes I start one with one idea, than another idea sparks. Depending on the timeline of the project sometimes I have multiple versions.
4. Feedback and Revise Getting feedback with a draft is so important for my piece of mind. I like to show my progress so I know I am going in the right direction to my stakeholders. We can get so anxious in showing a draft version of our work, and end up completing it without micro-revisions. Criticism is good if it is constructive and clearly communicated, and can help the end result to look even better.
Reflection Once the project is done, it’s always nice for me to reflect back for next time. This is how I (try to) grow as a person and become better. In a way, this is personal feedback from myself, and is an underrated step. I also like to upload my work online (when I get the chance) and add onto my list of skills if I learned something new.
Create Your Stress-Free, Efficient Process Today!
What is your creative process right now? What step in my creative process so you think can be added to yours? I’d love to hear in the comments below.
Happy Sunday! As many of my readers know, I work full-time at a company creating in-house designs and running their social media, but I also freelance when I get spare time and energy. Lately I have been asked to do a lot of small projects before the holidays. I do not officially have a design consultant company so my communication with my clients can be really casual. In the past as a junior designer, I have run into issues with not communicating enough before starting a project. Here are some questions EVERY visual creator, designer, photographer should ask their clients before starting a project.
Ask Your Clients THESE Questions Before Starting Their Work.
1. What is the goal of the final product?
You want to know what they want to achieve with this project. Knowing exactly what their end result should be can help you with your research.
2. What does the brand look like now?
As a creator you should know what you are working with. Get to know the brand, their target audience, what they sell or the service they provide. Also look at previous projects and ask them what they want different this time around.
3. Do you have examples?
As a visual creator, we tend to play the guessing game on what our customers/clients want based on product descriptions. Stay true to your visual roots and ask for a visual example.
4. What is your budget?
This one is tough. Talking about money from the start can be uncomfortable but be sure that they know at some point what your work is worth. If they want something out of your scope, let them know that it will cost extra before starting.
5. How can I communicate with you in the future?
On my consultation assessment form, I added a question that says, “How comfortable are you with technology”. I usually like to communicate through email and sometimes will text for quick answers, but not everyone is comfortable with email and would prefer to talk on the phone. I had a client who wanted me to set up an Instagram page with 9 posts to start, not realizing the client had no experience with social media and very little with technology. It is good to know your client’s background in technology if you are creating a digital product.
Everyone wants their work to be original. They want their visual content to be modern but nothing anyone has seen before. Personally I am constantly searching for inspiration as a visual designer, so that the content I make is forward thinking. Finding inspiration is at the top of my list in my creative process.
Finding Visual Inspiration Online.
I am always on the lookout for new and upcoming trends because in the digital world, trends move so fast. My creative process starts with research. When I have free time I like to do a quick search of trends, but I discovered following other designers, design account, and design topics on social media is much more effective than just searching for articles on Google when the time comes to create something new. You want to stumble upon new ideas rather than search for them.
All of them are very unique. Ranging from graphic design, mixed photography, web design, product design & more. I like to follow accounts in these websites, or follow the blog so it goes straight to my feed. Again this is just the start of my creative process. Many other steps are taken along side with visual research: including client assessment (having the client give deliverable expectations and the goal for the design/product) and target audience research. A few of these blog sites are great at explaining the creator’s creative process and steps they took to create their final product, so I would encourage you to check them out!
I am sharing my top visual resources for blogging and social media.
As a blogger, we are always looking for resources to bring our social media content to the next level. Most of us do not have the capacity to take our own photos for EVERY post, and creating a graphic from scratch can be difficult, so finding free resources of graphics and royalty-free photos have been a game changer.
Here are some of the best websites I use to take my posts to the next level.
The BEST Photo Resources on the Web
Wondering where bloggers get that cute dog stock photos, a model looking productive on a computer photo or the dreamy beach house photos? These websites are where. If you are not the best photographer or just do not have the time or resources to set up environmental photoshoots (shooting in the subject’s environment), these website will help you. Blog posts that have a compelling photo bring more traffic and increase your SEO score.
Try and stick to a theme when getting photos, and if you want to go the extra mile, edit the feature photos to go with your aesthetic.
The BEST Quick Design Resources on the Web
I am a graphic designer who is fully capable of using Adobe Creative Suite programs such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign to create graphics, but if I want to create or something quickly (especially for my personal brand) I usually run to apps and websites that give hundreds of already made templates which can be customized for my needs. Also if I need to quickly edit a photo before posting, I use easy to use apps for that. Here are just a few:
PicMonkey – Advanced but easy to use photo editor. Oldie but goodie. Used to be free but now there is a small monthly fee, but if you want to invest, give the free trial a try. https://www.picmonkey.com/features
Airbrush (iOS and Android app): Great for doing quick yet detailed photo edits to your social media posts. They have a great library of filters as well. https://appairbrush.com/. I will be creating a whole post about apps I use to edit my social media posts next week.
Other Resources That Will Save You Time
If you are working on Adobe files like photoshop and want to own those cool fonts you see online for free, this is where you can find and download them (or link them to your code!).
Struggling to find a color palette that works for your brand? These resources are great to see what the colors look like together, and can easily be exported in many ways. All of them provide HEX # codes to be reproduced anywhere online.
I hope that this list helps you with your blogging or social media journey as a visual content creator. More graphic design posts will be coming soon. I have been a graphic designer for several years but I am always learning. Read about my design story and how I chose the visual design field!