anchored in: ART

Love Letter to: Erin McIntosh

March 18, 2014

Sometimes I come across an artist who feels kindred to me in a way that I can’t really explain. Erin & I share a name. We share similar styles, and her inspirations are similar to mine. She’s clearly superior in a lot of ways — her diligence with the type of art she produces is astonishing. I just feel like when I look at her work, it’s a language that I understand.

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You can see lots more of her work, here: http://www.greggirbyfineart.com/artists/erin-mcintosh/

AUTHOR: erin coopercomment (2)

anchored in: DESIGN, LIFE

West Coast Sojourn

March 15, 2014

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I’m excited to share with you all that we’ve launched our April 25th & 26th Seattle Digital Creative workshop, and have already sold 3 tickets. We’ll be starting promotion with Coco + Kelley early next week, so I think that our remaining 9 seats will fill up fast. If you’re not familiar with this workshop it’s basically a design bootcamp for small business owners. We believe that if you’ve invested in a brand & a website, you need to know the basics of how to use those assets to promote your business for the long term. That’s where we come in.

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We have put together a fun & energetic 2-day workshop specifically intended for small business owners. Throughout the 2-days you’ll learn basics about design, marketing, promotion concepts, creating within brand guidelines, strengthening & elevating your brand, and how to use powerful tools like Illustrator and Photoshop to do the things you need to do. We talk about designing for web and print, and give each student a guidebook with all the information we cover in class. At the end of the class, we all work on creating a project from scratch using everything you’ve learned from the workshop. Each student is then invited to join our student Facebook group where you can share work, consult with the instructors, and get advice.

Did I mention how excited I am to be going back to the Northwest? I miss my ocean something fierce — PLUS, I’ll be bringing Rachael Taylor with me as my assistant instructor, AND, we’ll be reuniting with our fabulous friend Kelsi Eldredge (who recently relocated to Seattle). It’s going to be a CooperHouse employees of 2013 reunion!

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We’re also having another OKC workshop on May 30th & 31st at the awesome Dunlap Codding space down on Film Row. We only have 10 tickets remaining for the May workshop, so if you’re in town I would definitely encourage you to snap one up. This will be our last 2014 workshop in OKC, because… We’re going to San Francisco in June (dates TBD), and working on adding workshops in Denver, Chicago, Dallas, and possibly NEW YORK. :)

I can’t tell you how much fun I had with our last workshop. It was a fantastic bunch of creatives and I’m thrilled to watch them put their skills into action. If you have any questions, please let me know. I’m happy to chat with you about your small business and whether this workshop would be a good investment for you.

Thanks for reading,

~erin

P.S. There are only 12 hours left to win a FREE ticket to our OKC workshop over at Pencil Shavings Studio — it’s easy to enter and we’ll announce the winner on Monday!

AUTHOR: erin coopercomment (0)

anchored in: DESIGN, LESSONS

Cultivating A Creative Toolbox.

March 8, 2014

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I wanted to share something that I’ve been working on including in my workshop course materials about learning how to cultivate your creativity. We all start out in life with a different set of tools for accomplishing our goals. Some people have natural talents, some have lots of support from their families, some have life paths that teach them valuable skills… But some don’t. You don’t have the same toolbox as anyone else. Our talents, the support & education we receive, the growth we experience, it all varies, as do our abilities to find creative solutions.

1. Stop Comparing.

It’s totally insane to imagine that we should measure our output with anyone else, no matter how similar they may seem to us. Consider simply that every moment you spend comparing is a moment you COULD be spending creating, practicing and honing your own abilities. Also, you have to understand that the struggles you face as you create are vital to building your abilities. We always say that you are not hiring a designer, you are hiring their experience. Experience is what makes a creative person valuable. They’ve been through struggles and they’ve solved them, and that contributes to their toolbox.

2. Focus on Solutions.

The process of finding a creative solution, whether you’re designing, painting, or doing any kind of creative work, starts with being able to visualize the outcome. Knowing what you need the end point to be is the most important step. If you know what the outcome needs to be, then you won’t get hung up on the obstacles. We like to say that if you have no plan, then how do you know if you’re facing an obstacle or an end? So, always start on paper. Sketch the solution, or write it down first.

3. Sharpen Your Tools.

Acquire new skills and experiences like they are what you need to breathe. Share your skills with others. Eventually, your output will be a reflection of the energy you put into creating good work. The journey is what makes your output unique and diligence paired with focus will result in a product that you can take pride in.

I also wanted to mention that something I run into with people who are learning to design is a tendency to rely on tricks or trends. This is why I always encourage my students to start with paper. Your design concepts shouldn’t rely on the Photoshop effects to be good. You should be able to communicate your solution using pencil and paper FIRST. If it’s good on paper, then it will be amazing when you execute it with design software.

So, I’m curious… What are your biggest hurdles when you’re trying to be creative?

 

AUTHOR: erin coopercomment (0)

anchored in: ART

Tuesdays with Bert: Week 4

February 21, 2014

My mojo was absent during my 4th class with Bert. After a draining week, I just couldn’t seem to get my idea to translate. The tone of my painting wasn’t working. All in all, I redrew the face 10 times. I repainted the face 3 times. And I redid the eye at least 8 times. FINALLY, I was happy with it. Pretty happy. Mostly happy. I painted another lady last week, but I just didn’t like her. I posted her to Instagram, and then deleted it and gessoed the canvas. Sometimes it flows, and sometimes… it’s a struggle.

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AUTHOR: erin coopercomment (0)

anchored in: INTERIORS, LIFE

Tiny House. Big Style.

February 17, 2014

Happy President’s Day! The babies are home from school today, and my littlest is still battling a nasty croup virus. (Lord have mercy! I’m so tired of my poor babies being sick!) So, even though my weekend was mostly about taking care of my family, I was able to sneak away for a bit on Sunday to have brunch with my lady friends, and admire the abode of one of my very favorite people, Rachael Taylor of The Salvage Room.

Rachael & her delightful roommate, graphic designer Erin DeMoss, share this cute little 3 bedroom house in OKC and they’ve worked together to decorate it within a reasonable budget. Lots of key pieces are from Ikea, and there are plenty of vintage and handmade items throughout that really tell the story of these two super creative women. They also have lots of art, (some by yours truly!) prints, and little details that totally make the space feel unique and interesting. It’s definitely feminine, but with a little edge. They’ve got a little pink, but hey… they’ve also got cow skulls and antlers. :)

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Thanks to Erin & Rachael for letting me take some shots of your lovely little house!

And thanks to you for reading,

~e

AUTHOR: erin coopercomment (2)