Rapid Recharge // Thankful

Episode 277. Aired Wednesday, November 21, 2018.

Or listen here:

First off I want to tell you how thankful I am for you. Thankful you are reading this, thankful you take time to spend with me live or watching or listening to the show each week.

This year has been a doozie. It has had its ups and downs. Thankfully more ups than downs but I am grateful for the downs too. They help me appreciate the ups even more.

I thought my world was going to change and it did, but not in the way I had planned.

That is often how it happens, we plan for ______ and we get something else. How we react is really what counts.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are ‘affiliate links.’ This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

Here is what this Rapid Recharge episode is going to be about:

I want to tell you about the Change Cycle that Martha Beck talks about in her book, Finding Your Own North Star. I started this book when Oprah had a daily daytime talk show. HA HA. Talk about a slow reader. That I sure am. This year started off with a severe medical issue, that wound me up in the ER and in a horizontal position for the last week of 2017 and the first two weeks of 2018. In January I started my sabbatical, the first and only one I have had in 14 years. But it did not start off in the way I had thought. I was really sick and unable to do any work for the first 3 weeks. Seeing the good in this situation was difficult, but I definitely found it.

Sabbaticals are projects that allow you to travel and do things you can’t do during the regular semester because of time contraints, travel, etc. You have to apply for it and you can only apply for one every six years.

So we will talk about this change cycle. I finished the book two weeks ago. I also read, Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic in the month of October. This was another one that revolutionized the way I was thinking.

This week I am excited to share what I have been learning with you. It is crazy and fun and I feel like it will be more real when I get to share it with you.

The taking action step is hard, the dreaming step is hard sometimes too for me. We will talk about these quadrants and how these four steps have become clearer to me in the last few weeks.

I am stoked to tell you about some conversations I have had, some things I have read, and things I have experienced that might also impact your work, your creativity, and your life.

Join us live each week and become part of the Design Recharge Family, subscribe and get the link to come to the live recording.

Sign up at http://www.rechargingyou.com


Support the channel and the podcast and get extra content delivered to patron’s only at: https://www.patreon.com/dianegibbs


My favorite way to build websites is with the Elegant Themes Divi theme. Talk about making custom web design easy. It is the only theme I need. Based off of a grid system and now with a visual builder, you can now customize your website super easy with this wordpress theme. I build all my sites with the Divi Theme which allow me to create custom sites that use business strategy specific for that client and my design knowledge to build an easy to use and update website for my clients. Elegant themes puts out tutorials and are always updating the theme to make it more robust and easier to use. You can pay per year or do what I did and do the lifetime membership at $250 then you can put it on as many websites as you want.

Check it out here:



Audible has changed my business and my life. I listen to more books than I physically read nowadays. I listen when I workout, when I mow and I have a long commute. I have been able to listen to books during those times and these books and this app has really helped my business grow. I have the gold membership, I get a new credit each month for less than $15 (1 credit = 1 book). Often the price of the subscription is significantly less than the price of the book I am purchasing. I have been a member since 2010 and LOVE it.

Try Audible and get 2 free books:



Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are ‘affiliate links.’ This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.

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: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/pp-078-be-champion-date-lots-things-diane-gibbs-design/id1142986267?i=1000411675867&mt=2

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 www.instagram.com/bluedeerdesign


Watch the episode: https://youtu.be/X-UTL7wYYa4


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: http://bit.ly/DR-Jamal



Follow Jamal:


Instagram: @jayworking

Twitter: @jayworking

Facebook: JWRKN

YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_EnoQ140nWHMVLcH6ECQVg

Snapchat: https://www.snapchat.com/add/jayworking

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/jayworking/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jamalcollins1/

Google+: https://plus.google.com/+JamalCollins013



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: http://amzn.to/2EBBOkT
2.5 inch Xyron Machine: http://amzn.to/2BB0tDf
1.5 inch Xyron Machine: http://amzn.to/2C6amKc

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 diane@rechargingyou.com

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.