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

Day 334: Coming around full circle

I was looking at some beautiful photos of Australia on Pinterest and was captivated by the images.

The photography work of each image was amazing!

The images inspired me to go back to a card series that I started earlier in this design challenge, the retro Thank You cards of places around the world.

Today’s card is inspired by Poulnabrone Dolmen in Ireland. And yes, I did visit this historic site when I traveled to Ireland in college for a photography class.

I could sit and look at that rock formation for hours, no, days. No wait…weeks at a time.

Anyhow, here is my card with the “Thank You” in Gaelic.

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.”

12.03.14 Inspired by Poulnabrone Dolmen © 2014 Stacy Schilling

12.03.14 Inspired by Poulnabrone Dolmen
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

Day 306: The fog is starting to lift, slowly

Today I woke up tired, again, and was dragging through most of the morning and afternoon. I only started to slowly wake up when Kay got behind of the wheel and took charge!

I didn’t get car sick, but her driving woke me up, and I’m been feeling more awake than the past three days.

I think it also helps that I have a card done a lot earlier today than the past three days.

Anyhow, today’s card is inspired by a backdrop and poster. When I first looked at the backdrop, I thought it was a curtains! The pattern had this cool looking retro type shape design done in yellow and gray, which is why I mistook it for curtains. On top of the backdrop was the poster framed out in yellow, gray and white. Using everything as inspiration, I recreated it for today’s Thank You card design.

Let me know what you think.

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.”

11.05.14 Inspired by a backdrop and poster © 2014 Stacy Schilling

11.05.14 Inspired by a backdrop and poster
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

Day 292: Find something positive to get you moving

I was reading an online article and the writer talked about three ways they earned extra income.

Afterwards, I was inspired to do something very similar for myself. I’m not going to share my idea, but I want to see how it turns out first. So, you’ll just have to wait until I announce the news, if I ever do.

Anyhow, I’m still hungry and tired today, but not as bad as the last two days. Dinner’s in the oven right now, so I’ll be a happy person in about 20 minutes! 🙂

Okay, okay…I’ll show you the Thank You card now that is inspired by packaging. There was this cool picture showing gray and white packaging that I really liked, and I turned the design into a card.

Here it is.

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.”

10.22.14 Inspired by packaging © 2014 Stacy Schilling

10.22.14 Inspired by packaging
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

Day 274: Late and determined to finish

I’m late with a Thank You card for today, but I’m determined to finish this design challenge I started for myself at the beginning of the year.

So, today’s card is inspired by a branding identity and here it is.

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.”

10.04.14 Inspired by branding identity © 2014 Stacy Schilling

10.04.14 Inspired by branding identity
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

Day 273: The countdown is over and still going

You’re probably wondering if my title for today’s post makes any sense, and it does, but to me.

See, I had a countdown going on for my trip to see the show, Dirty Dancing, tonight.

I was pretty excited when I saw on the schedule that I did not have to work tonight and I scored a ticket to the show for tonight’s performance! Hot dog! 🙂

I’m looking forward to my evening out despite the rain.

As regards to the other countdown that’s still going on, that refers to my Thank You cards. I have done (and tried really hard) to design and post a Thank You card everyday this year. It hasn’t been easy, but I have kept on moving along with determination and fight. Plus, it’s turned into a habit that I can’t break just yet. And don’t ask if I’m going to do something like this again next year, because at the moment, I just don’t know. There have been good and bad things about doing this design challenge and blog, and I’m just not yet sure if it’s worth my time, blood, sweat and tears. Or, if I should just stop.

Guess we’ll found out next year.

Anyhow, onto the card which is inspired by calendar blocks.

Years ago, a good friend gave me a set of calendar blocks and I change the date every day. It’s a habit so I know what day it is, but don’t ask me the name of the day because I woke up today thinking it was Monday. Go figure.

Anyway, someone actually made their own from scrapbook paper and numbers and I really liked their design. So, I morphed their design into a Thank You card for today. It’s got a retro / shabby chic / country kind of vibe all rolled into one. I can’t really explain the design concept, but I’ll show it to you instead.

Here it is.

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.”

10.03.14 Inspired by calendar blocks © 2014 Stacy Schilling

10.03.14 Inspired by calendar blocks
© 2014 Stacy Schilling

Day 272: Twinkle, twinkle little star

Today’s card is all about the stars.

I was inspired by some retro business cards where the designer created an object that represented a letter. For example: P was for popsicle, Y was for yarn, and L was for library. So naturally I had to recreate a Thank You card in the same design style and color palate.

I actually typed in the words “Thank You” in Google to see what images came up and I found a lot of text, and very little objects.

But then the stars started shining at me and that’s how come I used them in the card.

So, here it is!

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.”

10.02.14 Inspired by a business card © 2014 Stacy Schilling

10.02.14 Inspired by a business card
© 2014 Stacy Schilling