Day 365: At last, how sweet it is

At last!

This is my final and last post of the 365 Days Thank You Card Challenge and I’m so happy it’s FINALLY over! 🙂

Don’t get me wrong, but I’ve enjoyed pushing myself as a designer for an entire year and it hasn’t been easy. I’ve never made myself do something like this, and it was hard at first, but got much easier as time went on. Some days I found my inspiration right away, while other days I was almost beating my head against the computer desk to come up with an idea.

You have to understand something about creative people.

There is no way to turn on creativity like a light switch. You can’t flip a switch and expect something creative to flow out. Creativity takes time and happens when you least expect it. It cannot be forced or rushed. There’s a process behind it. You have to go away from what you’re supposed to be doing, and find something else to occupy your time. When your mind isn’t thinking about the design, then the ideas will start to flow like a bowling ball rolling down the ally. First the ideas start out slow, and then the momentum picks up and things are whizzing right by you. Soon you have so many ideas coming out your head that you can’t stop it. It’s like when I volcano finally erupts. It just bursts into the air and there’s nothing that will stop it. The same when creative has finally kicked in.

However, now that I’m putting this design challenge to bed, I can focus my attention on other things in my life and hopefully, more client projects.

I love being a designer and creating something out of nothing for my clients. It’s a cool process to stare at a blank page on the computer only to find out later that you’ve created a finished product that either seen by billions of people online or something you can touch and feel with your hands. I wouldn’t trade what I do for anything else, but it’s what makes me, me!

As for the Thank You card designs I’ve created all year, some I love and others I wish I could have done something different.

Here are a few of my previous favorite cards:

01.08.14 Inspired by Paris and the 1950s © 2014 Stacy Schilling

01.08.14 Inspired by Paris and the 1950s
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

01.22.14 Inspired by the De Stijl Dutch style © 2014 Stacy Schilling

01.22.14 Inspired by the De Stijl Dutch style
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

05.20.14 Inspired by water © 2014 Stacy Schilling

05.20.14 Inspired by water
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

06.19.14 Inspired by a patterned box © 2014 Stacy Schilling

06.19.14 Inspired by a patterned box
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

07.15.14 Inspired by a branding board © 2014 Stacy Schilling

07.15.14 Inspired by a branding board
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

07.25.14 Inspired by a typography image © 2014 Stacy Schilling

07.25.14 Inspired by a typography image
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

07.28.14 Inspired by Cincinnati © 2014 Stacy Schilling

07.28.14 Inspired by Cincinnati
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

10.27.14 Inspired by another designer © 2014 Stacy Schilling

10.27.14 Inspired by another designer
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

11.06.14 Inspired by a WordPress website © 2014 Stacy Schilling

11.06.14 Inspired by a WordPress website
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

12.05.14 Inspired by a web graphic © 2014 Stacy Schilling

12.05.14 Inspired by a web graphic
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

12.06.14 Inspired by soap packaging © 2014 Stacy Schilling

12.06.14 Inspired by soap packaging
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

And at last, the final Thank You card in this design challenge.

Thank you all for being a part of my journey to become a better designer.

Graphic Designer & Production Artist "From idea to page – flawless digital/print design & production."

Graphic Designer & Production Artist
“From idea to page – flawless digital/print design & production.”

12.31.14 Inspired by New Year's Eve © 2014 Stacy Schilling

12.31.14 Inspired by New Year’s Eve
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

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Day 195: Going back to Cali, Cali

I wish I was going back to Cali!

I miss LA so much that it hurts. I love, love, LOVE the weather there – and today it feels like an LA weather day. There are so many one-of-a-kind restaurants that I miss eating at such as The Original Pantry (my ultimate favorite place for breakfast!), Dinah’s, Don Antonio’s, Lemonade, and so many others that I could literally eat my way through LA!

Surprisingly enough, I am not overweight by any means. I’m actually very petite, but I have a great appetite for good food and LA has it all. Even food trucks!

Anyway, my inspiration for today’s card comes from LA because I was at work talking to someone who lives in San Diego (I like S.D., but it’s not my favorite compared to LA.) and she got me a little homesick for all the wonderful things I miss about LA. Like the beach, not having to deal with freezing, cold snowy weather, great shopping, and so much more!

So, since I was in a LA kind of mood and the weather reminds me of LA, why not create an LA card for the retro card series.

Remember, I have one for Paris, Sydney, New York, London, and Pisa, Italy. And now one for LA. I’ll probably have more cities for series, but I’m not sure which one I will do next.

In the meantime, I have only thing to say, “I Love LA”.

Graphic Designer & Production Artist "From idea to page – flawless digital/print design & production."

Graphic Designer & Production Artist
“From idea to page – flawless digital/print design & production.”

07.17.14 Inspired by Los Angeles © 2014 Stacy Schilling

07.17.14 Inspired by Los Angeles
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

Day 146: Surprises happen when you least expect it

I hate surprises!

Who came up with the idea of surprises needs to hide out before I find them because I do not like them.

However, on the flip side, I did have a nice surprise today.

On a really rare night when we all have a moment, I had dinner with my family. It’s literally been months since we’ve done a family dinner and it was a nice surprise.

Growing up, someone once gave us the idea that anyone in the family at anytime could call out “family night” and we would have to drop what we were doing and have dinner together. It didn’t matter where we went, usually whoever called “family night” got to choose the restaurant, and then we would spend time together eating and talking. It was a lot of fun and when my brother had kids, we included them too.

I normally don’t join in family night much anymore mostly because my schedule is so busy and I work nights. But when my schedule allows it, I try to make time.

And I surprised myself with another surprise when I actually sat down and wrote an article tonight.

For the past four years, I have been writing three columns for the Examiner.com: LA Marketing, Jobs and Small Business Examiner. My schedule has been so busy and I haven’t had the energy to write an article until today. And in case you’re wondering what qualifies this graphic designer as a writer, well I hate to break it to you but I do have a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

So, I have plenty of writing experience under my belt.

I’ve written for my college newspaper, yearbook and radio stations, and the copy for several client’s projects.

But my passion still is art and design.

Here is today’s card.

Graphic Designer & Production Artist "From idea to page – flawless digital/print design & production."

Graphic Designer & Production Artist
“From idea to page – flawless digital/print design & production.”

05.28.14 Inspired by a logo design © 2014 Stacy Schilling

05.28.14 Inspired by a logo design
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

Day 120: The series is finished

Today is the last day for Autism Awareness month, and my series of thank you cards dedicated to it.

It hasn’t been easy trying to create an entire month back-to-back dedicated to one theme of cards. However, I did it!

Starting tomorrow I have to start finding new inspiration for cards and I have no idea what will actually inspire me. Oh the joys of being a creative.

Anyway, here’s the last card.

Graphic Designer & Production Artist "From idea to page – flawless digital/print design & production."

Graphic Designer & Production Artist
“From idea to page – flawless digital/print design & production.”

04.30.14 Inspired by Autism Awareness © 2014 Stacy Schilling

04.30.14 Inspired by Autism Awareness
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

Day 119: Rain, rain go away

It started out as a beautiful sunny day, and then it turned gloomy and gray with rain showers. Sure the rain is good for the environment and makes the plants, grass and trees grow, but it can get old. I do like to fall asleep to the sound of the rain clamoring down on my tin roof, but I am glad that I don’t live in Seattle.

Anyhow, this is the second to last card in the Autism Awareness series as April ends tomorrow.

Graphic Designer & Production Artist "From idea to page – flawless digital/print design & production."

Graphic Designer & Production Artist
“From idea to page – flawless digital/print design & production.”

04.29.14 Inspired by Autism Awareness © 2014 Stacy Schilling

04.29.14 Inspired by Autism Awareness
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

Day 117: Sunday Funday…not so much for me

It’s going to be another warm and sunny day and I’m going to miss out because I have to work. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job and don’t mind working on Sunday. However, I do miss the sunny weather, especially since I had three winters in a row!

I know…I got to spend two months in Australia last summer (their winter), but still…I miss the warm weather! I’m a beach baby, not a snow bunny.

Anyhow, since my day is jammed packed and I have to work soon. Let me show you today’s card.

04.27.14 Inspired by Autism Awareness © 2014 Stacy Schilling

04.27.14 Inspired by Autism Awareness
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

Day 114: It’s been two years

Wow…time sure does fly by when you’re having fun or least expect it.

So, today is my two year anniversary at the store and I still can’t believe that it’s been this long. No, I didn’t have to work today.

It just shows that when you love your job and you work with great people, it can be an enjoyable place to be – besides home.

Anyhow, here’s today’s card.

04.24.14 Inspired by Autism Awareness © 2014 Stacy Schilling

04.24.14 Inspired by Autism Awareness
© 2014 Stacy Schilling