Monday, September 19, 2011

5+ years -- an anniversary for Nic. AKA "how did i get here?"

i just realized, admittedly a few weeks late, that i've hit my 5 year anniversary of being a stationery designer, of being on my own. happy anniversary to me!

my story is pretty familiar to many. it's the same story a lot of solopreneurs tell. i used to be a publication designer -- senior designer at the student-centered magazine CollegeBound Teen. the company was small and family-run, we all loved working with each other, it was a good place to get my start. i got to explore my talents, art direct projects, work photo shoots, and really put my own stamp on something under a great art director and with some really great coworkers in the art and editorial departments. i redesigned the magazine and put all my energies into the pub, and was not interested in doing anything else (like web design). well, like so many other publications but unbeknownst to us, it just wasn't doing very well. and in august of 2006, our CEO laid off 1/3 of the company (people that were primarily associated with the mag) and closed the magazine. i was all of a sudden out of a job.

one of my last cover designs at CB Teen, for Spring 2006.

one of the story spread layouts done for CB Teen.

i was sad, i was in shock, but i sort of knew it had to happen. i quite literally bought the domain for the next day and started to put together my freelance stationery design. i had had some clients on the side since i had done the design for my own wedding in april of 2006, and i just went full-steam ahead with that. said goodbye to my former coworkers (some of whom stayed for the new incarnation of the company), took some awesome office supplies with me, and set up shop at home with my very supportive husband. and so began this adventure.

one of my earlier wedding designs for jaime and anthony.

from one of my current 11 sets in my wedding invitation line, graffiti union.

things have grown and changed quite a bit over time -- the biggest change having come after the economic crisis of 2009, when i had to refocus the business or fold altogether. and now i'm really doing what i always wanted to do -- using my illustration skills and essentially drawing for a living! i get to be home with my daughter all day (as much as she may drive me crazy sometimes and as hard as it may be to work normal hours), i get to choose my work and my clients, i get to develop my own line with my own point of view and determine my own future. all of this adds up to quite a wonderful change in these 5 years, as hard as it may have been at times.

just wanted to say thank you to all my former coworkers who are still some of my closest friends, everyone that believes in my new work, the press that has given me a presence over the years, and the biggest thank you to my husband for supporting me both emotionally and financially. not many men would take such a big economic hit willingly and so happily over such a long period of time. it feels great to know that he believes in me that much.

raise a cup of coffee and toast to your own successes, as i toast to mine. now, off to do more work!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

inspired by: norman rockwell (and my kid)

anna jae started school last week. big, HUGE deal. moments like this always lead me to think of norman rockwell paintings. one day i expect anna jae's day to look like this (wouldn't that be lovely?).

Saturday, September 10, 2011

the anniversary we've all been dreading

we are on the cusp of the anniversary we've all been dreading. the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

as a new yorker, i'm too sad and in too much grief to write much. all the talk around here this week, in the media and in the air, has caused a sort of general melancholy. i don't really want to rehash where i was, what i saw, how i felt. i've told the story for the previous 9+ years. i just feel incapable of telling it tonight.

what i will say is that i'm happy to see the lights, the ghosts of the towers that used to be, on the horizon. they went on already, this evening. sad to be reminded of what's coming, but glad to be comforted by them yet again. my husband and i have always loved those lights. we're glad they are still here. sort of like a giant guardian angel for NYC.

milton glaser, 2001.

i'm am, as always, a proud new yorker that loves her city. i love that i live in a highly mixed neighborhood in brooklyn, with a large muslim contingent, that greets me with smiles every day. i love that i was born here, grew up here, and i can only see living here until i'm old and gray. and i love that no one has taken that from me.

i wish you and your loved ones solace and comfort tomorrow. remember in whatever way works best for you, just make sure you remember. and please, all of us, be safe.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

real client wedding: piper & carl are hitched!

just wanted to do a quick shoutout to a great couple, piper & carl, who were just married this past sunday in brooklyn. these two were great clients, lovely friends, and i'm so happy to know that i had a small part in their wedding. thanks you two! congrats!