Category Archives: Inspiration

Business Card Inspiration

I’m going to redesign my business cards soon, so I’ve been wandering around the internet hoping to be inspired. These are some of my favorites finds so far. Have you seen any good ones lately?

If in doubt, you can’t go wrong with black ink on kraft paper. (source: ghost)

business card inspiration

This one makes me wish I had a beard so I could illustrate a cute, beardy self portrait. (source: Jared Andrew Schorr)

business card inspiration

Tape business cards = genius. You could go around sticking your business cards on people—even against their will! You’d just have to be sneaky about it. (source: akula kreative)

business card inspiration

Yes to hot pink edges. I tried to do this with gold spray paint once but failed miserably. I adore the llama too. (source: Shyama Golden)

business card inspiration

I love the idea of giving business cards a bit more dimensionality, but this wouldn’t work well for my purposes. I keep a stack of cards in my bag to pass out on the fly, and I think I would end up with a mess. (source: oh, hello friend)

business card inspiration

Washi tape and twine is another winning combo! Although I may be too lazy to assemble something this intricate. (source: Mint)

business card inspiration

The cool kids print on tags instead of using the typical business card format. (source: Joseph Parra)

business card inspiration

How great is all this layer-y, hand-stamped goodness? (source: oh, hello friend)

business card inspiration

In other news… if you commented on my blog this week, I’m sorry to say that your comment has been lost in cyberspace. Sorry! My butt-munch of a web host randomly lost all my website changes for the past week, and since I only backup my database once a week I don’t have them either. Sad! Just wanted you to know I didn’t delete them out of spite or anything!

The Makers Summit 2015

Last weekend I went to The Makers Summit, a business conference in Greenville, SC that encourages and inspires creative entrepreneurs as they grow their businesses. There were keynote speeches, workshops, panel discussions, parties, crafts, and scrumptious foodstuffs. I’m wistfully drooling just thinking about those big piles of soft pretzels with pimento cheese.

The best part for me was getting to meet other business owners and hear their stories. Running an online business can be alienating sometimes, and it’s awesome to know there are others out there doing what I do. I flipped through the notes I took at the conference, and I want to share a few little nuggets of wisdom I jotted down between doodles.

The Makers Summit 2015

What you say “yes” to and what you say “no” to define who you become. Understand the dream you’re trying to pursue, and choose your “yes”s and “no”s accordingly. —(paraphrased) Jeff Shinabarger, Plywood People

This is a great reminder. It’s a struggle for me to focus on my goals for Wit & Whistle: to revel in creative freedom, to make work I’m proud of and have fun doing it, to maintain a healthy work/life balance, and to avoid unnecessary stress. I have to say “no” to a lot of opportunities to achieve these goals, and I have to constantly reassure myself that it’s okay not to strive for somebody else’s idea of success.

“A great product is the best marketing.” —Nathan Bond, Rifle Paper Co.

I’ve found this to be true! Every time I’ve paid for advertising it hasn’t been worth the money. So, I concentrate more on creating new and better products than on my marketing efforts. If you make high quality products that people like, they have a way of making their way around the internet eventually. It was pretty unanimous among everyone at the conference that having a strong presence on Instagram is one of the best ways to spread the word about your work. I’ve resolved to post more regularly over there.

“Creativity is earned wisdom that comes with effort, time, and failure.” —Jeni Britton Bauer, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams 

Creativity isn’t some mystical super power that only certain people are born with. It’s a muscle. You have to use it often to strengthen it and practice to get good at wielding it. I thought “effort, time, and failure” summed up the process perfectly.

Gather

I asked my friend, Michelle Smith, if I could snap some photos to share of her new space in Cary, North Carolina. I think you’ll love it! She created this magical place called Gather—a combination coworking space, coffee/tea shop, and boutique featuring local makers. Gather also offers classes to teach everything from cake decorating and hand lettering to writing press releases and product branding. It’s basically a one stop shop for getting plugged in to the creative community. On top of all that, it’s gorgeous in there—incredibly stylish but still nice and homey. Just the kind of place I’d like to curl up with my sketchbook and a cup of tea.

Tonight there’s a party at Gather from 5–10pm! All merchandise will be 20% off (perfect for holiday shopping) and the Will & Pop’s food truck and Oscar William’s Gourmet Cotton Candy will be there, not to mention beer and a band. Not too shabby for a Thursday night. See you there?

Gather: Coworking/Coffee Shop/Boutique in Cary, NC

Gather: Coworking/Coffee Shop/Boutique in Cary, NC

Gather: Coworking/Coffee Shop/Boutique in Cary, NC

Gather: Coworking/Coffee Shop/Boutique in Cary, NC

Gather: Coworking/Coffee Shop/Boutique in Cary, NC

Gather: Coworking/Coffee Shop/Boutique in Cary, NC

Gather: Coworking/Coffee Shop/Boutique in Cary, NC

Gather: Coworking/Coffee Shop/Boutique in Cary, NC

Hey Raleigh/Durham/Cary people! For a while now I’ve been toying with the idea of planning a meet-up for local Wit & Whistle readers. Conveniently Gather has a conference room available for rent. I think it would be fun for a small group of us to get together for an hour or two to chat while working on whatever (portable) creative projects we have in progress, whether it be drawing, calligraphy, sewing, knitting, jewelry making, etc… It would be a great way to meet some fellow creative types, and I’m betting we’d all become fast friends. If we enjoy ourselves we could talk about making it a monthly thing. I’m not really sure if this is a good idea or if I’m just being weird, but the thought keeps nagging at me so I wanted to get it out there. Leave a comment below or send me a message to let me know if you’d be interested in meeting-up early next year, and I’ll email you if it’s going to happen!

Chanticleer and the Fox

My parents are on a redecorating/renovating kick, and they recently gave my sister and I a box of our old books to pick through. I came across Chanticleer and the Fox and snatched it up. I think it must have been my mom’s when she was a kid, because it didn’t stir up any warm fuzzy childhood memories for me (not to mention this copy was printed in 1958). Still, I was happy to claim it as my own because of the gorgeous illustrations!

It was illustrated by Barbara Cooney, who also illustrated (and wrote) Miss Rumphius. You’d never know it though, because Barbara used two completely different illustration styles for each book. While I prefer the story of Miss Rumphius, the illustrations in Chanticleer and the Fox appeal to me most. I love the uncluttered spreads with plenty of white space, and the limited color palette is right up my alley. I’m temped to cut out the pages and frame them!

Chanticleer and the Fox children's book

Chanticleer and the Fox children's book

Chanticleer and the Fox children's book

Chanticleer and the Fox children's book

Chanticleer and the Fox children's book

Chanticleer and the Fox children's book

Little Big Books

I received a copy of Little Big Books for Christmas from my parents, and I have to share its awesomeness with you. It contains loads of children’s book illustrations in a wide range of styles. I’m pretty sure that almost every designer/illustrator has “write and illustrate a children’s book” on their bucket list, and I’m no exception. This book is filled with the kind of jealousy-inducing artwork that will motivate you to pull out your sketchbook and get cracking!

Little Big Books review

Little Big Books review

Little Big Books review

Little Big Books review

Little Big Books review

Little Big Books review