First week: an update


Remember last week how I posted about that challenge to myself to create things? Get things done? I have a (long-ish) update for ya about what I've completed this week.


99designs Logos

How did I start?

I was thinking: how can I start creating more designs on Illustrator, while being productive at the same time? I recalled Tim Ferriss mentioning 99designs in his podcast. It's a marketplace for designers and clients to connect.

I'd never thought of signing up as a designer before, but I thought I'd give it a shot and make something.

I'm most comfortable with creating logos - so I found a contest, read the design briefing, and submitted this logo:


What Happened? 

I received feedback from the client saying to "jazz up" the diamond a little, and test out different fonts. I went a little crazy and ended up making these mock ups:




Then I found some more contests and submitted these designs:




Yes, I spent my Saturday afternoon drawing a toothfairy...

What Next? 

I didn't win any of the contests. However, I did learn about iterating on your designs, reading design briefs, how to create vector art, how to outline type, how to create illustrations in Adobe Illustrator, and how to better present your designs. I'm going to continue submitting designs on 99designs to improve my skills, try new design techniques, & keep those creative juices flowing. (Logo + Website + Email Campaign)

How did I start? 

This project has been dragging on for a while. My mom had asked me to revamp her website & logo, and to help her create an email campaign. We started in August, and after hitting a couple roadblocks while integrating the MLS listings plugin into her website, I'd given up.

After making it my mission to get things done I decided I couldn't give up on this project. I identified the main things that needed to be done to finish it, and got started.

What Happened? 

(1) I started with the most annoying issue - integrating those listings. All the technical lingo I kept coming across confused me - never in my life have I heard of a cron job or htaccess page.

After googling for potential solutions (and screwing up the site's htaccess page), I reached out to the plugin's support team. Luckily, they were extremely helpful. Amer from the team offered to check out the backend to see what was going wrong. After adding a few missing cron jobs to the hosting panel, all was solved :)

(2) The final logo design is yet to be decided, but I created this option for her:


Let me know what you think in the comments below!

(3) Testing the links was the easy part (I'd just put it off until now). I ran through all the links, fixed up some widgets and menu issues, and now we're good to go!

What Next? 

The website is done! The mail campaign is too. You can check out the finished product below:

Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 12.46.08 PM

Click the image above to check out her live site.

Long Story Short (Logo + Illustrations)

How did I start?

This is a fun project that I'm excited to share with you. As part of an awesome team, I'm creating a product that will help Canadians get & stay informed about politics.

After thinking about how important it is to create, I decided to take action. We needed a logo & some initial illustrations done up. I volunteered to do both.

What Happened? 

(1) The Logo - I started off by brainstorming on Illustrator. Our team had decided on the values we want to embody, and with transparency in mind I began designing:

Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 1.02.25 PM

After sharing these designs with a team member, we decided we liked this one the best:


Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 1.04.00 PM



To share it with the team, I learned how to use logo mock-up .psd's. I wanted to show them what it would look like in print:

Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 1.05.35 PM Screen Shot 2015-09-11 at 1.05.53 PM

(2) The Illustrations - Now, this one was a little scarier. The core of our product is this primer. We want to use simple illustrations to teach Canadians about the basics of the political system. But, we needed someone who could do the illustrations. I've always liked doodling, but never would I call myself an illustrator. But - I volunteered to try it out.

My teammate had created a text outline for what we wanted to achieve with the first primer. The goal: tell people what we're trying to do, why it's important, and get them to join us.

After digging out my old sketch pad, I got started:






By no means is this our final draft (or even in the correct order). To share with my team, I added some boxes & numbers corresponding to each "scene", uploaded into Slack, and now waiting for the feedback to stream in.

What's Next?

Honestly, I had a blast drawing these. I know I can improve my use of colour and shapes, and the thing is - I'd like to. Doing this also got me thinking about how to transform this physical creation into digital art. FiftyThree's pencil is now on my wish list (it's compatible with Illustrator's iPhone/iPad app, and even has it's own app called paper).

 That's all for now.

But to conclude, I'm pumped. This week felt super productive and fun - and I still managed to get all of my other freelance work done in the meantime.

I'll share another update soon! Let me know what you're thinking.