Anastasia Marie is a super talented stationery and graphic designer based in Vancouver, Washington. I’ve always been a huge fan of her work; she pays extra close attention to the details which show through in all of her beautiful designs. I have fallen in love with her Gift Wrap series over on her blog, you HAVE to check it out!
What inspired you to become a graphic designer? I took a graphic design class back in high school, fell in love, ditched my plan of becoming a nurse, and things flowed from there. It was one of those moments when a small hobby that you had suddenly made sense as a life-long job instead. I had done little craft projects here and there growing up, so when I started putting together my first official class project, I just knew that I had to be a designer.
What do you do to continue to challenge yourself as a creative person? This is harder to do than I actually thought. I sometimes think I’m my own worst critic and I often get in the way of myself. Over the years, I’ve learned how to tackle that and I get better at it daily. I try to surround myself with pretty things in the studio, whether it be a page ripped out of a magazine, a pretty photograph, past projects of mine, a good roll of washi tape, work from other designers that I admire, etc. This pushes me to try new artistic techniques. I also try to routinely meet up with good pals who encourage me and give me feedback on how I’m doing. This means sucking it in if you hear something you don’t necessarily like and making steps to improve. If my creativity feels stuck, instead of sulking like I did in the early days, I now take breaks that sometimes last up to several days in order to revamp. I used to think this was a waste of time, but I find it’s the exact opposite. During this time I play around with things I’ve never done before, like find a new fun way to print something or try a new technique in Photoshop. I come back a better designer and the projects that I got stuck on now get a fresh look.
What are you inspired by on a daily basis?
God. He created beauty in the first place and it’s hard to look at pretty things and not thank Him for being so creative.
Sunshine. You might consider this a strange choice, but it’s a big mood booster for me. I love waking up in the morning, walking into my studio and seeing the sunshine fill up the space. It definitely gets me all motivated to work.
Paper. I’m in love with all things paper. I’m the type of person who buys it just because it’s pretty. Then it sits in my studio collecting dust for the most part. So whether it’s an actual sheet of paper, a roll of washi tape, an envelope, a mini journal, a printed book or magazine — just looking at it makes me giddy.
Craft Items. I guess it’s only fair to add little things like paint, bakers twine, painted clothespins, fun paperclips, mini pencils, etc. next to my obsession to paper. I’m equally just as obsessed with these types of things. It’s crazy how just by filling up my studio with these items, I find myself putting together creative projects I wouldn’t have come up with otherwise.
Meet Ups. Whether I’m meeting up with another local creative gal, spending time with good friends, or snuggling with my hubby (he’s a big inspiration), people are such a big source of inspiration for me. Whether we’re just catching up over a cup of coffee, making future plans, or analyzing our lives, it’s always a good time. I love studying other people’s lifestyles, characters, styles, etc. It makes my world just a bit bigger and my imagination follows suit.
I’m so excited to bring the Inspired By series back! I’ve changed it up a little – now instead of showing pictures of work I’ve asked everyone to share pictures of 5 things that inspire them. I’ve had such a blast looking through everyone’s photos so far, I can’t wait to share them all with you!
We’re kicking things off with Julie Edwards! I first came across her work when I saw these business cards and absolutely fell in love. She has great style and such a sweet personality – enjoy!
What inspired you to become a designer? I suppose my first introduction to graphic design would go back to my high school days when I worked part-time for Sam’s Club in their marketing department. At that time, the department was working on a promotional event that included several activity stations for kids and my job was to create the signs for each station as well as the flyer for the event. I had so much fun creating everything that I remember thinking if I could just do this for the rest of my life and get paid for it, I would be one happy lady!
What do you do to continue to challenge yourself as a creative person? This is something I think about a lot. When your job is to be creative all the time, it is easy to feel burnt out or uninspired. So, I constantly explore other creative outlets outside of my day-to-day work activities. Simply putting myself in a different frame of mind or interacting with other individuals inspires new ideas and thoughts. For example, I am currently taking a photography class on studio lighting where I just learned that I really love styling the set. Now I’m totally inspired to explore that avenue! I also think collaborations are really important and am always on the lookout for people to collaborate with (anyone, anyone?). Not only do collaborations help spark new ideas, but they also keep me accountable and motivated. I also try to take breaks often, attend events like Creative Mornings, travel, spend time with friends and family, and try to have as many new experiences as possible.
What are you inspired by on a daily basis?
Music that makes me dance. Throughout the day, I can be found shamelessly shaking my booty in my living room to songs like, Hit the Floor or to the Latin tunes on my newest record, “The Original Sound of Cumbia.” Taking breaks to dance around gives me mental clarity from the task at hand and a boost of energy for challenging projects. Plus, it just makes me happy.
After the Jump podcasts by Grace Bonny of designspongeonline.com. I just discovered these podcasts and am so incredibly impressed and inspired by Grace. She does an incredible job interviewing top names in the creative industry such as Julia Rothman. The insight into the lives of other creatives and their design practices alongside Grace’s honest discussions about her own vulnerabilities is incredibly inspiring. I walk away with at least one new idea after listening to each episode.
Nail polish! The other day my friend brought over all her bottles of nail polish. She had a ton of colors, which ranged in neutrals, pastels, and fluorescents and it made me realize I’ve been ignoring some great colors. I usually tend to stay within a certain color palette so this was a reminder to cut loose and stray from my norm!
Travel. This past summer I was fortunate enough to take a trip to Istanbul and Paris where I was met with visual overload! Old world streets in both cities introduced new textures (and smells) while palaces like Versaille and Topkapi continue to inspire new designs and patterns. Putting myself in a new environment is yet another way I refresh my mind and the photos of these experiences are always great resources to go to when I’m stumped for ideas!
My support system, Greg (my husband) and Wyatt (my dog). Without these guys, I wouldn’t have a shoulder to cry on, encouraging words, furry cuddles and exercise, or the motivation to do what I do.
Good Morning! I have been a huge fan of Joanna Waterfall (Waterfall Creative) ever since I discovered her design work a few months back. It is super inspiring and has such a “feel good” personality. I am also an avid reader of her blog, which has some great inspiration and resources for designers, be sure to check it out. Welcome Joanna!
What inspired you to become a graphic designer? I was lucky enough to have a high school that offered graphic design classes. Unfortunately I never took one! I always wanted to, but the boyfriend I had at the time was really into graphic design. I always saw it as his thing, and I didn’t want to invade on his territory. (I know I know, really dumb, but I was in high school!) So I took photography instead. This is where I learned how to work a camera and use Photoshop. I really loved it. My plan was to go to school for Photography and eventually have my own photography business.
Come first two years of college, I was an art major with an emphasis in photography. I took painting, drawing, photography, figure studies, 2-d, 3-d and 4-d design… My life was all art, all the time! My junior year, I studied art in Italy. (Talk about art overload!) and when I came back, the world was really a different place. Obama had just been elected (the first time) the economy had plummeted and my family had moved away from my hometown. The reason being that my dad had started a new job as a professor at a small university. I was offered free tuition there, and decided to take it. I transferred schools and went to the university my dad was teaching at. This school didn’t have a great art program, but had a real up and coming graphic design program. With entering my senior year of college, I had been questioning how I would make money using the skills I had developed, so I decided to switch my major to graphic design, fell in love with it, and the rest is history!
What do you do to continue to challenge yourself as a creative person? Great question. I am constantly challenging myself to step away from the computer and create with a paintbrush, a pen and real paper. If I feel like I’m in a creative slump, sometimes I’ll draw with my left hand, and see what happens. Or I’ll grab a few random objects from my house and try to make them into something new. I find that getting out of the norm and thinking with different parts of your brain really helps to get the creative juices flowing.
Where do you go for inspiration? I have found that I am most inspired by talking to like minded people who are making things happen in the world. Going to conferences, or just hanging out with motivated people really inspires me the most. Watching TED Talks are also really inspiring. (Here is my favorite on on the creative process… check it out!) I used to go directly to places like Pinterest, Dribbble, the Graphic Exchange, or other design blogs for inspiration, but I’ve tried to limit that in my process lately. I’m trying to go more into old books, museums, or even cool restaurants that inspire me. A place like an old library is really inspiring as well. It’s like the old version of the internet- tons of information at your finger tips, but you can hold it, smell it, interact with it a way you can’t while sitting in front of a computer screen.
Are there any unexpected places you look for inspiration outside of your field? I love music, and watching music videos has really been inspiring me lately. They are so creative, it’s a different form of art I’ve always been intrigued by. Inspiration strikes at the strangest times… most I can’t really pin down. It kind of just happens…
But out of all my sources of inspiration, I seem to find the most from the natural world around me. Like looking up at the stars on a clear night, or spending some time to look at the ocean, think about all of the wildlife living in it, and how it goes on what seems to be forever. I love taking long drives at night by myself and just thinking about life. Whenever I have the chance to step outside of myself and see the world from a perspective that is greater than my own little world, here I am most inspired.
I couldn’t be more excited to have Matt and Anna on the blog today. In addition to being amazing photographers (they shot our wedding!), they are such an inspiring pair. They are the couple that you want to be around - within the first minute of meeting them I could just see their love for each other and the passion they have for photography. Nick and I knew they were the one’s for us. Here is a look inside their story!
What inspired you to become photographers? Since we can both remember we’ve been making images. Both of us loved (and still do) going through family photo albums, and the need to document real life was almost a responsibility that was passed down from both sets of our parents, through their love of picture-taking. At some point we decided that we wanted to start something together, and we’ve been really blessed by God to have seen it grown so much.
What do you do to continue to challenge yourself as creative people? We challenge ourselves by taking on new projects, and trying out new things! We also push ourselves creatively by connecting with others in our field, there are so many amazing photographers and artists out there that we have gotten to meet and become friends with, and each one is so talented that it is encouraging and motivating. Its fun when you see a friend’s photos or illustrations featured somewhere or get praise, it makes you feel proud to know them, but it also challenges you to go out there and do better.
Where do you go for inspiration? We are constantly on the move with our girls, and often times our inspiration comes from that. If your only inspiration comes from the same industry you’re in, you run the risk of being a carbon copy. We draw inspiration from the places that we travel, old print magazines are always fun, and really just being a part of whats going on around us whether its in the city or on our lake.
Are there any unexpected places you get inspired outside of your field? There aren’t a lot of places that I would say we don’t or can’t draw inspiration from. We just try to be present, and then usually get an idea for a shot, or a concept. There’s a certain blessing and a curse to being a creative-type personality: It’s an amazing gift to be able to create on any level, but often time you can’t ever stop.
Hi everyone! Today I want to welcome Kate Miss. I first came across her beautiful blog For Me, For You and thought it was so clean and well-designed. I came to find out that she is not only a graphic designer but an amazing jewelry designer! I love the aesthetic and simplicity of her pieces, they are classics for sure.
What inspired you to become a jewelry designer? I’m just one of those people who constantly needs to be doing something creative – and because I split my time between jewelry and graphic design, doing something tactile with my hands is really important to balance all of the computer work I do. I’ve always loved jewelry and years ago felt like I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted to wear, so I made it myself. I’ve always been a bit of an artist, and I like that jewelry design is basically creating wearable art.
What do you do to continue to challenge yourself as a creative person? I’m a bit guilty of constantly comparing my work to others, which can be good and bad. It’s bad because it seems like everyone is a jewelry designer these days, and it can feel impossible and hopeless to stand out among the crowd. While that can be really unhealthy and unproductive, I think a little bit of it is good because it makes me push myself to try to make pieces that are more unique and seek out new materials and methods. I think that surrounding yourself with creative people who inspire you – whether it be in person or online – is really key to creativity as well. I recently met a designer in person who I consider to be a bit of my competition, and she ended up being so lovely and inspiring that it felt amazing to turn that slight bit of competition in the back of my head into positive creative energy.
Where do you go for inspiration? I like to take inspiration from two different sources: the material itself and looking at jewelry and art of the past. I’m always changing the materials I use and sometimes just a color I mix or clay I come across will inspire a whole collection. It’s like putting the pieces of a puzzle together. My boyfriend and I are slowly making our way through The Art Museum book that was gifted to us last year – it’s a HUGE beast that could easily break a wrist. I’ve been so inspired by so many pieces in that book – my amulet necklaces most recently were inspired by some of the Egyptian and Greek pieces in the book.
Are there any unexpected places you look for inspiration outside of your field? It’s hard to consider anything outside of my field as I have my hands in so many different things lately, and I’m constantly soaking up the world around me as that’s just what I’ve always done since day one. I think the music I listen to in my studio probably inspires a lot of my work subconsciously. Maybe it’s obvious to some that I’m on a serious Fleetwood Mac kick lately? I also realized that maybe some of my new bronze pieces were subconsciously inspired by a recent Game of Thrones marathon. Shhhh, don’t tell anyone!