Being Dramatic

I feel like when things start falling apart, the crumbling starts on ALL the edges. Sometimes it feels that way and we are just trying to hold our pie together. Maybe I am being dramatic, honestly nothing is falling apart. But sometimes having a job, running a side business, having a family (furry pets and people), seems like too much.

On top of that we are getting our house ready to sell, exciting for sure. Needless to say there is a lot to do. Yesterday I realized I had agreed to speak at an event but booked my ticket before I knew my time slot. oops. Well it is a big OOPS when you live in a town with an airport that has only five terminals. If you get my meaning? No one flies here directly, and there are few flights after a certain time, because almost all flights are connecting somewhere.

The fee to change the flight was $200 and it would mean another night stay AND missing another day of work. NOT GOOD. Prayers up for a solution, nothing is resolved yet.

So last week on the show I said that this week would be a Rapid Recharge, but I forgot that this week was supposed to be an off week of Design Recharge. I usually try and take off one week when we have a month with five Wednesdays. Our guest for next week had to reschedule. And because of that I was thinking of doing a three part Rapid Recharge.


Talk about placing more toppings on my pie that already feels like too full. And some of it I am doing to myself. Needless to say no show this week.
Ashleigh and I are working on filling the spot for next week. We have a few emails out and super excited about who it will possibly be. All options are AWESOME!

I am fine. I don’t want anyone to worry, but life has not been smooth lately. Lots of sick kitties, student issues, work issues, and this summer has been slow client-wise. Starting back to school is always a little stressful too. Meeting new students who have “heard” about me (heard that I am a hard teacher). Students call in a panic in need of classes, etc. All while I am trying to prep for classes, which is both exciting and nerve-racking especially when I am trying a new project or two.

I am asking your forgiveness and am going to take this week off and try and get the Patreon page up. Still working on the site update too, but it might have to wait til December when I have more than 1 week off.

Ok so that’s what’s up this week.

Too Much Info or are we ok. Let me know what your summer has been like in the comments below. Look for a pie painting later today.

Josh Cleland // Life as a Children’s Book Illustrator

Episode 264.

This week I am excited to introduce my friend and amazing illustrator, Josh Cleland. Josh like many got his start as a designer and then transitioned into doing more illustration work. The goal was to work as a children’s book illustrator and his dream has come true. Josh not only does children’s book illustration but other illustration projects and even a design project here and there. He will share with us what the world of children’s book illustration looks like and maybe bust a few myths we might have about that part of our industry. He has a love for Portland, so all you Pacific Northwest people will have to rally for this episode.

Listen on SoundCloud

Follow Josh at:
Twitter/Instagram: @JoshCleland


Things we talked about:

Special dropbox link with actions for texturizing in photoshop Good for 30 days. Expires Sept 8, 2018.


My Teacher is a Monster book by Peter Brown.

Kyle Webster’s Brushes

How his character a day project helped him with his creativity and getting work

He had major breakthroughs as a result of personal projects

Josh would put these personal projects on the top of his website and share these on Dribbble and other social media and as a result got more work creating art for kids. This includes posters and children’s books.

The Portland West Side Poster

His shop on Society 6.

Angela Navarra // How to Get Work as an Illustrator

Episode 263.

This week I am excited to introduce you to Angela Navarra, she is a freelance designer, illustrator, and letterer and is going to be sharing her experiences about getting work on her own, through an agency (and how to vet the agent right for you). I am excited to be back after a few weeks off and now refreshed.

Here are the questions we are going to be discussing:

1. Angela, you started your career as a designer and have transitioned to being a full time freelancer. How much of your time do you spend doing design work? Illustration work?

Being a designer and art director in publishing has worked to your advantage, because now you know what people are looking for. When did you go full time as an illustrator and why? How has this transition been challenging?

2. You worked for a few years before you got an agent and have learned a lot about having an agent, positives and negatives. What are some of the things you have learned and now you are able to look for when finding an agent?

3. How did/does your agent push you? How was creating collections key to being able to sell your work?

3.5 Sometimes it feels like we just need a break to be able to get the bigger client work, was having an agent key to this? What else have you done to make connections in the industry to be able to land work like this? Or is it just a matter of keeping your social media active and producing new work on a consistent basis?

4. Has your agent ever wanted work on an unrealistic time line? How do you keep busy but also keep your sanity?

5. How do you get work on your own, through relationships, social media, etc? Do you think it helped having an agent in the beginning? Would you do it the same if you had to do it all over again? I think about illustrators and lettering artists who are not so close to a big city and wondering what they can do to get more work? How does it work when you get work on your own, does your agent get a cut? Did you work that out in the initial contract?

6. Your illustration work has a lot of tactile quality to it, there is a lot of humor as well. The color palettes and textures you use, along with your lettering make your work full of life. Do you come up with personal projects to keep your illustration work fresh?

7. How often do you play on or off the computer with drawing tools or new techniques?

8. Do you create a self-promotion each year for clients or for potential clients? Like your toaster calendar.

9. What is something you have learned this year and it been a game changer?

10. How is your time management while you juggle being a mom and an entrepreneur?

11. What is a goal you have for your illustration work? (Editorial illustration)


Follow Angela at:


Things we talked about:

Tackling Debt Like a Disease // Drew & Whitney Hill

Episode 262. Part 4 of Struggle to Soar series

This week we conclude our month-long series about people who have gone through the valley and are now on the mountain top and are able to look back at their fight with clarity and share some advice with us. This series is called From Struggle to Soar. I hope these stories bring you encouragement and hope to get through your journey.

This week (Special Saturday Show), I am interviewing my good friends Drew & Whitney Hill, you might know Drew from Inch x Inch, a non-profit that helps keep art in schools. (interview link here). Drew is an art director at Element Three in Indiana, but in the middle of this battle, he still found time to co-start a non-profit.

Drew and Whitney have been together since high school, they have twins and were in $205,000 worth of debt. Have you ever said you “had” to have the best computer, iPad, iPhone, etc. well designers are known for our gadgets, actually all creatives have a lot of things we need to be able to make our art. So being in this field comes with a price tag.

Drew and Whitney were fed up and drowning, then tackled it in record time and are NOW, DEBT FREE!!!!! We are going to hear about their journey tomorrow on a special Saturday episode. Catch the live episode and find out how they battled the Debt Monster with a little help from Dave Ramsey.

Follow Drew and Whitney:

@drewhillad – Instagram / Twitter
@the_whit – Instagram
@thehillosophy – Instagram / Twitter
@inch_x_inch – Instagram / Twitter (Link to our appearance)
Show notes:

Scott Biersack // Finding Balance as a Freelancer & Entrepreneur

Episode 261. Part 3 of Struggle then Soar series

Aired Wednesday, June 27, 2018 at 2:30pm ET / 11:30am PT

This week I am interviewing my good friend Scott Biersack. There are so many things in Scott’s life that make him perfect for this Struggle then Soar series. Scott has a drive and grit like you would not believe. He is not only a designer, letterer, illustrator, typographer, he is an entrepreneur. And like you being an entrepreneur means you are juggling a lot, and sometimes your health slides. Well, not anymore for Scott, after a wake-up call from his body, he made some serious changes and is loving how his body feels and how his life has changed. Watch the recorded episode and find out how he is battling the Balance Monster.

Scott Biersack shares his personal story of finding balance. It’s ok to take time for yourself. It is crucial to the creative process and fighting creative block to meditate and exercise to aid in stress reduction. Relieving Stress as an entrepreneur. Feast or Famine mentality of a freelancer. Meditation, Yoga, diet, and exercise have aided in finding balance. Creating time for yourself allows you to be more productive.

Find Scott at:

Find full show notes at:

Find more great episodes at
Connect on Instagram & Twitter: @designrecharge

Become a part of the Design Recharge Family and get access to the interviews each week. Sign up at

Doing a Daily Challenge // Rapid Recharge

Aired Thursday, June 14, 2018.


This week I will be talking about what I am learning about recently, which includes doing a daily challenge, working with others, feeling like giving up and knowing when to and not to give up. I will hopefully be able to share some analytics insights with you as well. I hope you will join me for this quick update.

I was supposed to have Tara Victoria and Brad Weaver on but we are rescheduling their episode and why that did NOT stress me out, rather it was a blessing.

Life gets messy, it’s what you do with the mess. This week is showing me that and allowing me to share what I am doing when things don’t go as planned.

Isn’t that what we have to do as designers, pivot regularly. Seriously no project ever goes super smoothly. If it does for you and on a regular basis, please get in touch with me and let’s talk. I need to know what you are doing.

Show Notes:

We talked about color palettes:

Adobe Kuler

Brian White actually has a palette maker:

Jason Shults // Beating Cancer with Design

Episode 259. Part 2 of Struggle then Soar series

Aired Tuesday, June 5, 2018.


This week I am excited to share an inspiring story of a battle with cancer. Jason Shults is an in-house designer at The Ohio State University, he battled cancer and will share how design acted as therapy during his battle and recovery.

Jason has now committed to giving much of his freelance time and funds to Cancer Research and has been changed by this battle for the better. He has a laid-back, warmth that you will not believe and HOPE. I am excited to introduce y’all to Jason and hear his story.

Cancer affects 1 out of every 3 people in the US gets cancer (1 out of 2 people in the UK). These statistics are astonishing but it means more than likely someone we work with or we, ourselves will battle with this beast. He will share advice on how to support co-workers who are dealing with Cancer, and advice for creatives dealing with the beast themselves.

I hope you will join us for this episode of Design Recharge LIVE on TUESDAY, June 5 at 2:30pm ET / 11:30am PT.

Chris Do // Growth is Uncomfortable

Episode 258. Part 5 of the Scaling Your Business series and Part 1 Struggle then Soar series

Aired Wednesday, May 30, 2018.


Listen on Apple Podcasts or soundcloud.

This week concludes our month-long series about Scaling Your Business and introduces our next series, From Struggle to Soar.

This week I am excited to interview Chris Do. Chris not only is the founder of a successful design firm, Blind, he also has a successful YouTube Channel, course site, membership community, and podcast (The Futur). He is an educator and a prolific content creator, we will dig into his backstory this week.

Chris is passionate about teaching students and business owners the skills we rarely get in school. His audience is made up of entrepreneurs who are trying to get to the next level. He helps creative entrepreneurs through his courses and content he is producing at The Futur. Chris dove deep into what makes him tick and by doing that has learned about others. He utilizes role play in his classes and online content. There is so much we can learn from him.

But life was not always a walk in the park for Chris. His family immigrated here when he was very young. He moved around a lot and never felt like he fit in, until design school. Where he found his place. Chris has learned a lot about life from the struggles of growing up in a new country and learning a new culture along with his parents and brothers. Chris has built two thriving businesses and is the epitome of the struggle then soar series.

Get ready to learn about how important culture fit is for hiring, how to talk to clients and communicate your value, and how Chris fought his way through childhood to now stand up and give you the tools to be a strong, creative, business leader for your company.

I was on Chris’ podcast The Futur a few weeks ago, after meeting him back in February, we had an instant connection and continued the conversation. Check them out here: Part 1 and Part 2

Scotty Russell // Find Your Tribe

Episode 257. Part four of the Scaling Your Business Series

Aired Wednesday, May 23, 2018


This week I interviewed one of my go-to people for getting inspired. His story is not only inspiring and littered with grit, he is vulnerable and loves to help the creative community. He loves them so much he has created a community, a podcast, and shared how to do this along his journey.

He is always growing and clarifying his focus. You will be amazed by this letterer, designer, illustrator, cat loving, pizza dude. I am so proud to learn from and share my good friend, Scotty Russell with you.


Follow Scotty at:

Or Follow him on Instagram at:


Or join his Facebook Community

And you can Support his podcast on Patreon: