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.

Be a Champion and Date lots of Things Interview with Scotty Russell and the Perspective Podcast

Recently I was honored to be interviewed by Scotty Russell for the Perspective Podcast. I was stoked! I love Scotty and this podcast!

I have listened from its inception and have gotten so much out of it.

We talk about how I think designers are like beavers and how my superpower is connecting people. Want to listen to Scotty Russell’s interview with me? I would love to know what you think. Please share it below.

Here is the link:

Talking Podcasting with Mark Hiron on the Creative Waffle podcast

This month has been full of amazing conversations with some incredible designers. This week the tables were turned on me, as I was interviewed by Mark Hiron from the UK for his podcast called Creative Waffle. You can find more about Mark and what he is doing on instagram at


Watch the episode:


Listen to the podcast:

I am honored to have been featured on The Futur podcast with Chris Do

You can find me on the futur podcast with Chris Do in a two parter. This is part one. I am honored to have become friends with Chris and look forward to many more talks.

Episode 51 released today, April 30, 2018.

Chris also made a video about his trip and speaking at the conference. He is facing fear head on and this is such a great act of courage.

The Part Two episode of the Futur Podcast you can find here:

Jamal Collins // Teaching at Risk Kids to be Design Entrepreneurs

Episode 246. Aired on March 9, 2018

Jamal Collins grew up in Cleveland, by the time he was leaving high school Cocaine was the new thing. Many of his friends were dealing drugs and he knew he had a choice to make. He decided to go to college and studied graphic design. Jamal worked in the industry as a designer for years but was unfulfilled. He found his true passion and life’s work in what he is doing now.

Jamal is changing lives in Cleveland. He is teaching at risk youth design and how to think using creative problem solving skills. Talk about creating social change with your actions. Jamal is a living, breathing example of what you can do when you apply your talents and skills to help others.

I will be digging into Jamal’s story and sharing how we can help these Cleveland kids this week for $15–$20. Are you ready for that challenge? With $15 or $20 ticket you can pay for one kid to go to a 4-hour workshop on Saturday, March 10. HERE IS THE LINK:



Follow Jamal:

Instagram: @jayworking

Twitter: @jayworking

Facebook: JWRKN

YouTube Channel:







Make a Homemade Custom Label / Sticker

Have you wanted to know how to make a sticker but haven’t wanted to purchase 50 of them or 500 of them. You just need a few, well this video will show you how to make a sticker / label easily on a tight budget.

Xyron machines are found at any craft store or on amazon, links below: 5 inch Xyron Machine:
2.5 inch Xyron Machine:
1.5 inch Xyron Machine:

They help me to make stickers and labels for some homemade products or projects I am working on. Also I have used them to show clients a dummy of what their label will look like on the packaging etc.

Have a question on how to make something? Leave a comment below.

Or do you have suggestions on how I can make Tip videos like this better? shorter? etc. Please leave a comment below.

Rapid Recharge // Competitors or Allies

Episode 221. Airs July 26, 2017.

Are you better alone or do you and your skills get enhanced when you are around other people? Better alone or better together?

My dad read me this joke that he shared with his Sunday School class last weekend. It has stayed with me ever since.

Here it is, (honestly I tried to find the source. But there are so many versions out there, I couldn’t find the original in the time I gave myself.)

A visiting Pastor was attending a men’s breakfast in Farm County.  He
asked one of the impressive older farmers in attendance to say grace
that morning. After all were seated, the older farmer began—

“Lord, I hate buttermilk.

The Pastor opened one eye and wondered to himself where this was
going. Then the farmer loudly proclaimed, “Lord, I hate lard.”

Now the Pastor was worried. However without missing a beat, the
farmer prayed on, “And Lord, you know I don’t care much for raw white

Just as the Pastor was ready to stand and stop everything, the farmer
continued, “But Lord, when you mix ‘em all together and bake ‘em up, I
do love fresh biscuits. So Lord, when things come up we don’t like,
when life gets hard, when we just don’t understand what you are sayin’
to us, we just need to relax and wait ‘till You are done mixin’, and
probably it will be somethin’ even better than biscuits. Amen.”

It made me think about competition and allies, and community and contrast. Competitors often push us to go further, but allies help us by lending a hand or solution or give us the support we need. Contrast in design is so important for a message to be seen. Contrast allows a viewer to see what’s important because it’s standing out.

Contrast is like the hot pepper, but you need the right amount and you need something to pair it with, something that makes the intense flavor palatable.

All over the internet there are recipes for habenaro peppers and fruit, or chili peppers and chocolate. People need contrast too, especially to grow. People can be palatable too, for example their personalities, energy, and moods make some people easier or harder to stomach for longer periods.

But just like peppers, depending on how they are used (amount, what they are paired with) they can be exactly what a recipe calls for. Am I making any sense?

See sometimes I get the idea I am too much for a lot of people. Honestly I have a lot of energy and people get turned off by it. So I have had to figure out how to read people to adjust my level of intensity accordingly. I don’t just chili pepper my way through life. I adjust or hold back and give them a little more pineapple instead of so much habanero, if you get my analogy.

I used to get the feeling like they are looking at me from hasmat suits thinking if I am nuclear or not.

I feel like other people feel this way too especially when we lose a job, or a client breaks up with us or if we are having a hard time finding clients or finding work. When we experience situations like these we tend to do a ask ourselves questions like, “What did I do? Why are they letting me go? What didn’t I do? How could I have done better, improved, communicated, etc?” The inner ramblings are endless. I replay events, situations, scenarios over and over, but get no where because the people aren’t able to tell you. Or I fear they aren’t telling me the real story to save a relationship, save themselves from an awkward situation, or because they don’t want to hurt my feelings.

At times like these, I think it’s time to investigate ourselves and do a deep dive on what is really going on. BUT you can take it too far and your self-analysis can become toxic and your self-talk and self-confidence can really go through the wringer if you take it too far.

That is where your core community comes in. This core community helps you assess the “real” problem, and helps you find a solution, gets you connected with your larger community. Your larger community also has a role, those people are the cheerleaders and the encouragers. We need people who will rally for us when we are too tired to do it ourselves.

This means you have to reach out and tell people when you are struggling. When we lose a job, or a client or have a hard time finding a position or growing our freelance business it is time to search for your core community. These are the people on the inside. Think of yourself and your work like an apple. Most of your larger community only sees the skin and your overall shape. But your core community is smaller and they are within the fleshy part, they reside close to the core. They know where they bad spots are and where the sweet spots are.

When you go into self-analysis mode it is important to have your core community there. These people are there to tell you when you have gone too far, or when you need to keep pushing. These are people who know you, or know your work. These people are colleagues, creatives you admire and trust, but most importantly the love you enough to tell you the truth. They will call you out on something when no one else will. This is probably not hundreds of people but a smaller group of people who are working within your industry already.

I have been asked to open a patreon many times. But it doesn’t set well with me. Instead I am going to build a group of core communities. About a year ago before I knew how much time the Interim Chairperson position would take, I had asked y’all if you wanted a facebook group or a slack group. There was a good bit of response for both. I thought I would be able to do slack better than facebook. There will be a larger group, the larger community for you to interact with. The core communities will have their own slack channel. Everyone needs four or five people to be in a core community group with them. I would like to see if y’all are interested in something like this.

Over the years people have asked for a place for critique and advice. I have debated on this so much. And feel like the core community is a better place for this. I haven’t worked out all the details but it will be a monthly subscription to the large group and to be placed in a core community. As you grow and change you can request a different kind of group that will serve your needs better. But I am just trying to see if this is even something you are intersested in.

If you are interested in being part of a core community or just interested in finding out what it entails send me an email that says YES CORE COMMUNITY. That is all I need. If I get enough response I will reach out to you then start teaming people up based on their interest, experience, and needs.

Send the email to

or send me a tweet to @designrecharge

If you are interested in learning more about Recruiting Creatives, sign up here. And look for new information starting Sept 1, 2017.


Uncomfortable and Afraid, But Doing it Anyway

Episode 217. Recorded live on June 28, 2017

This week I am launching 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 had two special guest, Dustin Lee from RetroSupply and Suzanne Sarver also from RetroSupply. Dustin has has been encouraging me all along and he was one of my first matchmaking clients.

Connect on Instagram & Twitter: @designrecharge

Or email me at diane [at]


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