Uncomfortable and Afraid, But Doing it Anyway

Episode 217. Airs June 28, 2017.

This week I am lanching a brand new part of the Recharging You brand. I am launching Recruiting Creatives. Tune in and hear about how tackling this scary thing has me diving off the edge of the starting block.

What shape will my dive be? Will I fall flat and belly flop? It doesn’t matter what matters is if I get back up and try again. This has been one of the hardest lessons for me to learn and I will have a special guest too. Someone who has been encouraging me all along and who was one of my first matchmaking clients.

There will be a few analogies, so get ready.

Rapid Recharge // New Year = New Start

Aired, January 4, 2017. Episode 197.

I have been thinking about 2017 a lot more than I usually think about the new year. This time of year is one of reflection and inspiration for me. But in looking back, I have to be honest with myself about things I did not accomplish and at the same time be proud of all that I did do.

But don’t you want to know why there are things on the Didn’t Accomplish Yet List? Because I did not make them a priority.

I tend to put other people’s needs in front of my own, and enjoy putting out other’s fires instead of dealing with my own. But this year God revealed something to me on a walk yesterday. He has been waiting on me to do something so that He can do something.


Today marks day two of my ReFresh / ReBoot. I have so many things I want to do. I need to first start with a list of goals (that are realistic).

I need a list, do you?

Goals for 2017:

  1. Create more. I feel like I did pretty well last year but want to do even better this year. Sometimes I get too consumed in my head and my self-talk can be debilitating.
  2. Face my fears and be more COURAGEOUS.
  3. Plan where and what my business needs to do to get where I want to be. I am in a defining stage right now. It is scary and freeing, but today mostly scary. I have had my own freelance business for over 20 years, and been working it as Little Bird Communications for 14 years.
  4. Grow Design Recharge. You can help with this by sharing the podcast and the YouTube channel and leaving comments here, on YouTube, or Sound Cloud.

Plans and goals for my design business:

  1. I want to clarify my audience for Little Bird.
  2.  Create content for that audience (entrepreneurs).
  3.  Reach that audience
  4.  And complete list item one from 2016’s goals, which was to rebuild little bird’s site.




Since 2016, I have chosen three words to define my year. Last years words were Action, Connect, and Believe.

Action was to make more and not get caught up in it being perfect. I did that and feel like I am ready to do more.

Connect was to continue to connect more designers and illustrators through Design Recharge. I did and hope to do even more this year.

Believe was to believe in my abilities and all that God has given me and not doubt myself so much. I still need to work on this quite a bit.


For 2017 my words are:

Courageous: Taking on challenges, especially ones concerning my creative voice.

Prioritize: Meaning don’t put off something because it is for my personal business for the sake of work.

Communicate: I will communicate clearly my message. I will start by re-evaluating my business, my talents, my interests and passions then define who I am and what I want my business to be. I will write more blog posts, I will share more helpful videos. And as a result, dI will grow personally and my business will grow.


Episode airs Wednesday, Jan 4 at 2:30 pm ET / 11:30am PT.


Some topics we will discuss?

• Showing up

• Out Work not Over Work

• Building Your Business and I will share a simple plan to track that growth

• Taking time to Learn New Skills

I challenge you to write your three words and what they mean in the comments below. And thank you for letting me be a part of your journey with you.


Here is the pdf. Let me know what you think. Please share your goals in the comments below. Dream Decree – Goal Setting 0117














When Side Projects Turn to Client Projects

I am bringing you on my journey of how my illustrations have been getting me some work from clients.

I regularly volunteer at my church and work the computer during the service, putting words on the screen during the songs and making sure the sermon slides are advancing properly. It is very rare that I have to advance the pastor’s slides so I use the time to take notes during the first service and during the second service I draw. Sometimes I draw during both. Most of the time I am drawing something my pastor is talking about.

A few weeks ago Jeremy Steele, one of the pastor’s at my church, was talking about Christmas decorations and from that I started drawing (and listening). I began with a Strathmore watercolor postcard pad.

img_7119I thought I would start sharing the tools and products I was using. I started by using a uni pin pen .01 size, black and waterproof and fade proof because I knew I was planning on using watercolor on the piece.

Here is a picture of it.







Then I used a combination of different colors from my Derwent Inktense pencils. I have the 24 pack.

I then added water with a fine detailer water brush by Ranger.


I added some of my water soluble crayons at the end.

From that post of the ornaments, I got a call from one of my favorite clients (and friends) asking for me to do a holiday card for them. So I began the same way as always, first with sketches, then laying a light pencil line down and covering it with the .01 black uni pin pen. You can also see a blue tint on a few areas on this version.


The blue is a watercolor resist pen by Molotow But I have also used a fine line resist pen when doing small details. How it works is like a wax or much like rubber cement. It will not let any color get below the resist and after everything is dry you can easily rub it off.







You can see some detail shots here:

























Two projects one a Holiday card and one a craft project for the client. I hope y’all enjoy these behind the scene looks.





img_7193Here I used a Stabilo-All Pencil to do the final touches. Once you activate the pencil with water you can create great shadows and intensify the black. I bought a full pack of 12 pencils. But you can purchase just one. Here is the link for the single pencil. Or if you want to be more economical you can buy the pack. Here is the link for the 12-pack.

For the black and the red I used a Large Faber Castell Marker.

I used a white Molotow 2mm round tip/1mm extra fine acrylic paint pen. I have a bunch of these in different sizes and colors. I love how they write. They are very opaque and I love that about them. Then finished the piece by writing North Pole with this paint pen and final touches with the Stabilo-All black pencil.


The links above are my Amazon Affiliate links. Thanks for reading the post and for all the encouragement.

Please leave a comment below.

Rapid Recharge // Positivity

Episode 188. Aired October 12, 2016.


This week on Design Recharge I will be talking about the power of being positive and how changing how you talk to yourself and what you say to others can impact your life. A few years ago I made a change in my life to only say good things about people in my life and to try and think more positively internally about myself. See I have a bad habit of being really critical of myself and saying things to myself I would never say to someone I know. Last year I read a book by Brené Brown called Rising Strong. Like many of her other books it reached me in a powerful way and brought to mind what I had been doing to myself. Come hear a few of my stories and ask questions.
#rapidrecharge #positiveattitude #positivity


Things we talked about today:

Brené Brown’s books:

Rising Strong

The Power of Vulnerabilty


Punctuation formatting

A quick video about using and formatting punctuation correctly.

Where do those silly commas, periods, and other punctuation go?


And another one about hanging punctuation and ellipses in both Adobe InDesign CC and Adobe Illustrator CC.

Do Amazing Things Where You Are

No matter where you are in life or in your career, your words, actions, and attitude matters and can be infectious to others. We don’t all work at the best agency in town, or the place where you can work on finding your creative voice. It always seems like life is better somewhere else.

I have found that it is best to try to get the most out of right where I am. I know that I am there for a reason. The reason may not be that I am not ready, but that other person I am going to touch isn’t ready yet.

You are where you are for a reason. I would love to know what you think about this type of post and if you would like to see more of them.

Scotty Russell you inspire me so much. I also finished your creative south podcast today. You are doing exactly what I am talking about. Check out his podcast interview here, and watch the interview I did with him a few months ago here.


Just to clarify, I think if you are not getting fulfillment you need to keep looking, but know that it will come. Someone may need to leave before a spot for you is available. Don’t give up. Just find contentment and keep learning and growing in your current situation.

Entering the Job Market

At this time of the year, I usually get a lot of calls and visits from designers who have recently entered the job market and want to know how to get a job.

  1. First question I usually ask is “Where are you looking?” is this job market saturated with designers? If so, move to a larger city where there are more opportunities.
  1. Are you reaching out to people online or via a phone call after you send your resume?
  1. Are you only applying to jobs you see posted in the newspaper, online job postings from non design agencies like craig’s list?
  1. Instead of applying only for jobs that are advertised create relationships with designers and ask to bring your portfolio to their office and see if they can give you any pointers on your portfolio.


Designers know other designers. Friends tell their friends if there is an opening and then if they see someone they are impressed with then they will send potential candidate to see their friend.

Getting a job in the creative field is about relationships and getting your work in the eyes of plenty of people. Because they might not be hiring but they might know someone who is.

You will probably have to move. Rising Seniors get ready to do that. Plan on that being a reality, unless you live in a big city like Denver, Atlanta, Chicago, Raleigh, Birmingham, Austin, Phoenix, Las Vegas, and plenty plenty of other cities that have multiple design firms.

Look at the most recent How Magazine’s, or Communication Arts’ Design Annuals and see the firms you would love to work for. Where are these firms? Go there. Create relationships with these people before you move via social media.


Summer Convictions


New projects are brewing and they are all about you, helping you grow and refine your voice and your business. But I need your help because I want the Rapid Recharge episodes to be focused in these areas where you are in need of advice and guidance. I always want to bring you value for the time you give me each week.


To help me better develop the right kind of content please answer these two questions:

Who are you? & What do you struggle with?
  • These can be pain points in business or life.


Rapid Recharge // Coming Down from CS16

Aired on April 13, 2016.    Episode 165
Enjoy this Creative South 2016 recap! FUN for all. Get your crew and join us in the chat or even come on screen (just have your earbuds).