…in pursuit of what makes life good.

Hands and Hustle Interview



I had the pleasure of having a casual chat with Sabrina Smelko of Hands and Hustle as part of her Hustlers series and it’s live on her blog now. We talk about my experience juggling many creative projects, life as a freelance designer, living with an aging parent and my morning ritual. Take a moment to hop on over to her blog to get a little more insight into my life. You can read the full interview here.

Thanks to Sabrina for inviting me to share. It was truly a pleasure.

Photo by Eileen Roche and graphics by Sabrina Smelko.

Five Resources for Freelance Creatives



As a freelance graphic designer, I am often faced with questions or dilemmas without having a boss or senior designer to turn to. That’s where it becomes imperative to have some go-to resources to search for answers. I have so many, but these are a few I turn to most frequently, some for information and some just as entertainment and to gain some insight into what other creatives have gone through. Whether you are a graphic designer, photographer or even an entrepreneur launching a line of products, these resources should be helpful for all.

1. Freelancers Union: This is a great resource for articles, information about filing the dreaded taxes, contracts, insurance and so much more. It’s a treasure trove of information pertaining to freelancing. I’ve used the Contract Creator a few times to give me a basic contract for new clients. There is also a book, The Freelancer’s Bible, written by Sara Horowitz, that I refer to as well.

2. Skillshare: I love this website. It has classes with almost any topic, from food photography and styling, to handlettering, to business. It is an easy way to learn a new topic and be exposed to new tips and techniques you may want to brush up on. I took a Lightroom class that helped me immensely with learning how to organize and manage all my photos.

3. Creative Inc.: This book is another great one to refer to for advice on marketing, getting paid, working with clients, etc. I like having a pile of books that I can grab for quick answers and this is definitely one of them. There is also Blog Inc., which I read from cover to cover when I was first preparing to launch this blog.

4. FastCompany.com: A great place to find a wide range of articles on any creative and entrepreneur fields. I read this very informative article that a friend sent me on fair pricing that helped me out when providing an estimate for a client.

5. #girlboss: I loved this book. Not only was it informative, but I found her sense of humor and moxie so refreshing. I read it (actually listened to it) just for the entertainment, but found I was really inspired by a lot of what she said.

What are some of your go-to resources for your creative work?

Photo credit: Eileen Roche

Words of Intention: February


Words of Intention: February

Last month, my word of the month was “Breathe.” I found this to be the perfect word to get me through some challenging times. I landed an amazing project that was completely unexpected and quite stressful. At the height of stress, I found that I needed to pause and take a deep breath. It became a mantra of sorts to get me through the toughest parts of my day. And it carried over to my workouts at the end of the day. Nothing feels more stress relieving than breathing deep while exercising.

It may be a few days late, but this month’s word of intention is “Explore”. I want to keep this word in the forefront of my mind this month and beyond so I remind myself to be open to new experiences and opportunities. Life has a tendency to fall into a comfortable routine. That’s not always a bad thing but I fully believe in constantly striving to improve and grow as a person. (Pretty much what my blog name is about!) One of the best way to do that is to experience new things, whether it’s a new hiking trail or a type of food I’ve never tried. I also find that I learn a lot about myself when I allow myself to step outside my comfort zone.

So this month I hope you will join me in exploring in what ever way suits you. What is your word for the month?

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