Lettering + dreaming.

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I recently read an article that encourages one to create something everyday to share. Not just your latte picture (GUILTY AS CHARGED), the wing of an airplane (look at what a great little traveler I am!), or the Texas sunset- but something that you’ve created or worked on. It helps you stay inspired, connect people to your vision, and refine your craft. This is something that I really want to embrace because I can too often get sucked into the habit of creating only when I get a job to do so. So today’s project was lettering.

This message has meant something to me in the last year. Listen, I have alot of big dreams. And I often let my fear of man steal that fire inside of me. But this is me deciding that it’s time to move full steam ahead. And I hope you do too.

Create something awesome this week guys. This life isn’t just a read through.

XO, K.

 

Image: John Hoyland

Lettering/Typography: Me

California.

For the past few weeks, I’ve been in a bit of a creative rut. Not in the sense that I’m not creating, but that I am over creating and left with my tank on empty. I needed a time where I could rest and take time to do something that was for myself. To create things without being told what I needed to accomplish. And while I am blessed beyond measure to be paid to do what I love, I have been desperately craving a space to slow down and play.

When Sarah (read more about this beauty here) invited me to stay with her in San Diego for some sun, creativity and helping with her non-profit, I was ready to drop everything and head to the waves.

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I flew in yesterday morning- after a 5 hour flight squeezed between 4 crying/fighting toddlers. So it was an extra sweet surprise to be picked up and taken straight to the beach. It was like the first breath of the coastal air released a knot from my back.

The rest of the night was left to enjoying some fish tacos and Malbec at a fun little place called Craft and Commerce with Sarah and her husband Joshua. We passionately talked about our adventures traveling or our thoughts on justice. It felt so good to be sitting alongside people who know what’s going on in the world and want to do something about it.

Sarah and Joshua’s house is completely refreshing. Minimal in the most efficient way. Everything is white and uncluttered. They share a car. And while they laugh that they haven’t quite settled in, it’s a breath of fresh air to live in this uncomplicated home for 10 days.

Today Sarah and I did some work together and brainstormed ideas and talked about our business visions. Later in the afternoon, she let me borrow her beach cruiser to bike around with my camera. Riding around, I realized I hadn’t done something like this for myself in MONTHS. Just pedaling around in the sunshine with no agenda or timeline. I would snap photos and listen to music, and it was intoxicatingly wonderful.

California-3648 California-3658 California-3667 California-3670 California-3673 California-3675 California-3682 California-3687 California-3695 California-3700 California-3708I’ll keep you guys posted on the trouble Sarah and I get into.

XO, K

 

When you decide to be an artist.

Well. I promise I’m still alive, I’ve just been under a pile of projects and I have been exhausted in the best type of way. I’ve been in New Orleans doing interior design for an upscale boutique. It was so much fun being able to really get my hands dirty and do everything I love at once: paint, design, photograph and eat. And boy did I eat. I won’t even start on that subject, because I won’t be able to stop gushing about the things you can consume in Nola.

The woman that owns the store graciously allowed me to stay in her guest home- a small cottage hidden behind her beautiful victorian home. It was previously a carriage house back in 1822 with all of it’s original wood and flooring. I was over the moon about it with it’s simple white washed walls and worn in bones that held 200 years of history.

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Something I love about Nola is it’s sense of community. The stores open later in the morning and everyone walks to cafes with their close friends and dogs. Every morning, the sunlight would pour into the carriage house- waking me up without an alarm clock at 7am, and by 7:30, Dianna and I were walking to a local breakfast stop, with her french bulldog Poppy in tow, for coffee by the gallon and a pastry. People would come up and talk to me like I was a long lost friend- asking about my life and giving me advice about my upcoming trip to Europe. This was so refreshing (and a bit shocking, honestly) compared to the typical awkward smiles from strangers followed by them avoiding eye contact by scanning their instagram feed.  On the first day, I thought we might have just happened to stumble upon a few friendly people by chance, but as the days went on, it really was that the majority of people were asking “how are you” without wanting to hear an unauthentic “great!!” in return.

Dianna requested that I create a holiday display for the store that wasn’t your typical Christmas decorations. So I decided to make the entrance of the store into a wintery snow land that embraced the season while still bringing the focus to the furniture. I really wanted the customers to have an interactive element to get engaged into the display and leave with a positive emotional tie to the store. So I decided to make a “wishing tree” where costumers could write down something they wish for or want to do before they die and hang it on the tree.

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I painted a huge branch (quite a bit more messy and used far more paint that I expected) and suspended it from the ceiling so that the stories would hang over you as you shopped. Within a few days, the tree was full of beautiful wishes from one wishing that she would write a novel about her humorous dating relationships to someone wishing that they might live without abandon this year. As a lover of stories, I would check it over and over to see if there were new ornaments to read.

On one of the last days I was there, Clint was released a week early from his rig due to bad weather and was driven to New Orleans to fly out from the airport there. So he was able to come surprise me and see the store, grab some local food and stay in the carriage house with me for the night before flying out the next day. I thought it was so fun that we both happened to be there at the same time and were able to meet up.

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Other nights, Dianna showed me the dangerous addiction that is Nola food, go to an art gallery show and meet some new amazing faces. I couldn’t have asked for a better week.

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And honestly, I am still in complete awe that I have been given the opportunity to get paid to use my passion for design. I remember a few years ago being so reluctant to completely submerge myself in the creative world. I hoped business school would stomp it right out of me and I could have a career in something “normal” or made people “proud”. And honestly, I was pretty scared. Putting your art out to the world is so extremely vulnerable and exposes a part of your soul. What if people think it’s weird or I flop right on my face and into a big fat puddle of acrylic paint? What if people don’t get what I do? (Spoiler: they don’t.) As the years passed, I found the only things that made me feel truly alive were those design projects that I would do in the safe secrecy of my own home.

And then I dropped the bomb. “Oh hi parents. You know all those business classes I’ve been taking for the last couple of years? Soooo.. funny thing is… I think I want to be an artist. Oh. And move to Austin. Oh…and one more tiny detail..funny I almost forgot..I’m get married.” And of course, in my subtle and mature manner, this was sent in a text message. “GOIN TO B AN ARTIST! LUV U LOTZ!”

So then there were those years in between where I struggled to find out what being a designer even means and where I fit into that equation. And then those art classes that made me feel like a failure as [TRUE STORY] my teacher picked up my art work and threw it on the ground saying “if I wanted something cute, I would have gone to F*&#KING HALLMARK”. Well tell me how you really feel.

And then that time I was hired as an office assistant as, what I’m sure was, a pity hire because I was newly married with both Clint and I in college in a brand new city and didn’t have 2 dimes to rub together. And then she happened to see something I was designing on my computer and asked if I wanted to apply for the position of a graphic designer for the firm. Of course! The only minor problem was, I didn’t know a thing about graphic design. Like- I didn’t even own photoshop. I used the free version on the school computers. So, I faked it until I made it. I would go home and spend hours teaching myself design from youtube videos and books. I studied every designer I could find and tore out pages of magazines to try and reduplicate them myself. Then I would go to work and design. And then I would go home and work on it for hours without pay to make sure it was perfect. And I found out that I liked graphic design. A whole lot. And the clients kept coming back. And we got paid and got to use the heater! BOO YA. And so began design. Finally I had found my place. I wasn’t an artist I was a designer. And you can imagine my relief. I can’t hardly draw a stick figure and was in art classes with teachers who were surely quite fearful for my creative future. But DESIGN?! I could actually do this. And love it.

From that time on, I found my place in interior design and graphic design as my happy and alive place. And I have been blessed beyond my wildest dreams by people who took a chance on me and allowed me to try and make their companies more beautiful. Since then, I have had the pleasure of working with people ranging from small homegrown companies all the way to designing for Free People/Anthropologie. And most of those opportunities came from really putting myself out there in an uncomfortable way, hoping that I might have something to offer them.

And yes, I still have the people who think “I don’t have a job” *palm to forehead* or don’t understand what I do, but I am now doing exactly what I feel God wired me to do. And there are still those days I wish I didn’t have this unquenchable desire to completely redesign everything or have to resist the urge to reposition the furniture in someone’s home, but I am so completely happy and fulfilled by what I’m doing and all the projects I am taking on.

And through my crazy and sometimes awful (my resume being all the grey hairs on Clint’s head he’s sprouted during the last 3 years) journey, I have learned that you have to make the leap. You HAVE to. And people are going to think you’re weird and you’re going to feel insecure and want to leap back to the safe monotonous side of life, but it’s so worth it. Because the world has a way of embracing and changing for a person who is brave enough to grow up to be themselves. So leap! And then write me a letter and tell me all about it.
XO, K.

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when I can’t sleep

I am a night owl. I do my best thinking, writing (and sometimes self destructing) in the night. Tonight I decided to journal and put together a few of the pictures I’ve been virtually collecting of what’s been inspiring me lately: flowers.

I tried my hand in floral arrangements lately with a few styled shoots/weddings and I am hooked. Line. Sinker.

Sometimes I don’t understand how nature has the capacity to be so awe inspiring.

 

 

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XO, K.

lettering lessons

During the Circles conference, I was completely inspired by the many designers and their use of lettering. Particularly the transformation of drawn lettering into an online graphic- which I had absolutely no experience in doing.

For the past year, I have been following an artist by the name of Sean McCabe. I love his attention to detail and his transparency in how he creates his work. During the conference, I make friends with the guy who is sitting next to me. We chit chat about what the do and what we’re working on and he hands me his business card. “UHM- HELLO, YOU ARE SEAN MCCABE?!” I screamed in my head. And then politely gave him a collected “well, nice to meet you Sean” instead.

So, as the day goes on, he tells me about this “skill share” he has in which he teaches you how to create lettering vectors. I about ran home and started working on it right then.

*Side note: If you have never checked out Skill Share- you are missing out. While this is a well known thing in the designer world, until that day, I was blissfully unaware of this absolute GOLD MINE of talent that is shared from leading professionals in all different mediums on how they do their work. Needless to say- I’m now an aspiring professional of everything.

Here is my first go at lettering:

Before// drawn out on paper with a sharpie pen and snapped with my Iphone.

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I then put the image into Adobe Illustrator, where I created outlines. The rest was just a bit of tweaking with color changing and designing.

After//

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It made me realize how overcomplicated I believed that this process was and how simple and fun this art form can be, as long as you have the time to create it.

I’m excited to get more into lettering and maybe crank out some prints. We can all dream.

XOXO, K.

austin street art.

It’s no secret how much I miss Austin. I was spoiled rotten by living in a city that encompassed everything I love. A city where you didn’t even have to go looking for an amazing dive bar, live music, delicious hole in the wall, or a store busting at the seams with vintage vinyls and apparel. But distance makes the heart grow fonder, and I treasure each time I have an excuse to make it back to my stomping grounds.

Something that I love about Austin is it’s saturation of artistic expression. While some people find this to be overwhelming, I am so interested in the varied ways that human’s choose to leave their mark on the world. The amount of character and passion that is embraced by this city is so quirky and fun. It’s like walking into your grandfather’s study that is littered with knick knacks, but the intention behind every object makes you feel at home.

This trip, I decided to snap a few shots of graffiti with my friend Whitney from an area called “Castle Hill”- a sanctuary for spray paint artists that are free to billboard their art onto huge cement walls. It’s different every time you go, as each work of art is always evolving or covered up by a new one. I was pleasantly surprised to find so many heartfelt messages on the walls, not just Jnko Jeans font scribbled into different tag names.  austin-0671 austin-0673 austin-0681 austin-0701 austin-0705 austin-0710 austin-0717 austin-0719

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It was actually Whitney’s birthday, so the picture of her by the cake with “Happy Birthday” beside it was quite fitting. And the last one is of her little fluff of a son, Juju.

If you ever happen to find yourself in Austin, here are just a few places that I would stop by:

1. Hop Doddy. Oh how I miss that place. Truly the best burger you can imagine with plenty of cold hops to wash it down with.

2. Kayaking on Towne Lake. You can rent canoes or kayaks for 10 dollars an hour/30 for the day and spend the day paddling through downtown Austin with a friend or lover or bottle of wine. You can even paddle board. Or be super hip and take a paddle board yoga class.

3. Congress. This street is teaming with antique shops, costume shops, boutiques, rustic/quirky hotels, and great restaurants.

4. The Oasis. This HUGE three-floor restaurant looks out over lake Austin and is super beautiful at sunset. Great prices for a fun date night or night out with the girls.

5. Castle Hill. Because I just blogged about it. Duh.

And I just realized from my list that I like wine and food. Welcome to my life.

XOXO, K.

introducing WCW// shop owner + kendallhannaphotography

I have been extremely excited about some recent projects I’ve been working on- including partnering up with other creatives to produce some things I’m pretty smitten over.

Recently, I have had the absolute pleasure of working with Hannah from Cottonwood Road on some styled photo shoots. It has been so fun to team up with another woman who has a similar creative dream and have the freedom to make our visions for business and art a working reality. So, she was a natural candidate for a new bi-weekly segment that I am starting called “Woman Crush Wednesday”, where I will be interviewing women from all walks of life that have a skill, advice or passion that inspires me. And I believe their words are worth passing on. I am hoping to help women (and men!) find advice and inspiration from other women and promote the vital need for us to be a gender that encourages each other (and not to be jealous or backstabbing of other women’s accomplishments). These women will be everything from entrepreneurs to public speakers to the makers of the most delicious pies who are ready to share their sugary secrets. May you find the strength to follow your dreams from these warriors.

Hannah Hagaman | Shop Owner | Photographer | Creative Partner

Photography by yours truly. 


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K: What was the inspiration for the name of your blog?

H: The house my hubby and I live in was once Preston’s grandparents home.  They built the house on a beautiful piece of land when there weren’t many other homes yet in the area. The street was originally named Cottonwood Road. I’m not sure why I fell in love with it when I heard the name but I knew I had to use it. It reminds me of old times, beautiful trees, dirt roads, and new beginnings.

K: So I know that you sell handmade goods on an etsy shop. Mind telling me a little about it, and what led you to start it?

H: In June of 2012, American Flag shorts were all the rage, so I decided to make myself a pair. My sister actually loved them and insisted that I make her some and suggested that I sell them. At that, I just jumped in! I made and sold over a dozen pair in only two weeks. It was hard work and I learned a lot that summer but it created in me a new desire for making things with my hands and selling to folks who loved my work.

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K: What advice would you give to people trying to sell their own handmade products?

H: To those trying to sell handmade things: QUALITY. That’s the one word I will leave you with. Do things the right way, with integrity and make a fantastic product. Make it well, don’t skimp on materials or time making it. Make sure you price it according to the work you’ve put in too. If what you make has great quality, it will be worth every penny.

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K: So, you’re not the only Hagaman that loves making things with their hands. Tell me a bit about your hubby, Preston’s, hobby/business in woodworking and how he started in that. 

H: My sweet hubby has a new found love for building things. Right now it is just a hobby, though he has a few things featured on my etsy shop.  He’s made me some wonderful things for our home! What started this love was my asking him to build me a wooden canvas made of pallet boards for me to paint Texas flags on. From that time forward, he is always thinking of new things to build, for himself, for me or for our home.  He’s made me a kitchen island, benches to create a breakfast nook, a bath caddy and a huge outdoor party table complete with ice buckets for drinks. He’s extremely talented.

K: Okay, you know my love affair with reading, so I must ask: what are your favorite books?

H: My favorite books. That’s a tough one. I used to be an avid reader and now I rarely have a book in my hand. Someone get me hooked again, give me a great book to read! No judging allowed, but my favorite book series will always be the Harry Potter series. Adventure, fantasy, drama and magic. Another one of my favorite books is Redeeming Love. Everyone needs to read this book. The perfect love story.

K: I will always shamelessly love Harry Potter. Outside of your growing business, what are your hobbies?

H: I really enjoy photography. Though this is slowly becoming my job, it will always be a hobby as well and I rarely am seen without my camera. I love being behind a camera, capturing the world around me and the people I encounter. It truly brings me a sense of joy like nothing else. It allows me to see God’s creation in new light!

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K: What was the last project you worked on, or currently have your hands dirty with?

H: Thanks to you, my sweet friend, I now have the new A Beautiful Mess book and I am looking forward to diving in and experimenting with photography in new ways.  I am also looking forward to collaborating with Kensfolk to give young women new style ideas and hopefully a sense of confidence that goes beyond what they wear.  As for my etsy shop, well, it’s almost fall here in Texas and I am hoping to get two new lines of gorgeous linen scarves out there soon!

K: I actually own one of the scarves you made for last fall/winter and always get compliments on it. As for you, how would you describe your personal style?

H: My personal style is an eclectic mess.  I honestly wear what fits my body type well and the way I’m feeling that day. If I’m feeling carefree I’ll grab my floral skirt and silk top for a boho look. If I’m feeling up for casual dressy, I’ll immediately grab my dark skinnies and a blazer. My go to clothing item might be my little black romper for days when I just don’t have a clue what to wear. I have a lot of vintage and many garage sale treasures and I rarely go out and buy clothes from a store. Because of this I have a wide variety of styles and staples to choose from and get to experiment with style every day.

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hannahshoot-0445K: What have been your favorite pieces of advice or inspirational quotes you’ve loved?

H: “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life” – Pablo Picasso

“Embrace the current season of your life” – Gabrielle Blair

“All I need today is a little bit of coffee and a whole lot of Jesus” – UNKNOWN (this is one for every single day)

I also really love words. I love finding new words, I’ve never heard before and finding their meaning.  There are some really beautiful words out there.

My favorites today are: “meraki (v.) to do something with soul, creativity or love; to put something of yourself into your work” and “redamancy (n.) the act of loving the one who loves you; a love returned in full.”

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K: What is your dream job?

H: I would love to be a full time photographer.

K: What do you find to be the most challenging part of being an artist? Blogger?

For me, the answer to this question is a lack of confidence. There are many times when I simply don’t have confidence in myself or in my work and this tends to lead to less work rather than trying harder.  Sometimes all it takes is one person’s kind words about my work and other times I have to suck it up, fake confidence, and continue practicing and putting myself out there by myself.  The only way that I will ever improve and do things with excellence is by doing what I love a little bit every day.  Thankfully I have an awesome hubby who supports me and encourages me daily!

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K: What/where do you go to find inspiration for your work?

H: Thanks to Pinterest, inspiration is pretty easy to come by. Reading and viewing fellow photographer’s/blogger’s work is also extremely helpful and gets my creative juices flowing. But sometimes, I just get so sick of looking at a computer screen and that’s when I go on adventures.  I like road trips and taking long walks in the woods. Even simple, gorgeous morning light and the smell of good coffee is enough to inspire me for the day.  Seeing God’s beautiful creation, especially at the golden hour entices me and excites me.

K: What’s your advice to new aspiring photographers?

H: I still see myself as a new aspiring photographer, so this advice is for myself as well.  Take photos every day. Try out every kind of photography (couples, seniors, landscapes, food, etc) before choosing what direction you’d like to take.  Try new things and see what works for you. Make yourself get up early and take photos at sunrise, then test your knowledge of your camera and try to shoot at night with a single lamp or even the moon as your light source.  Remember that it takes time, don’t get frustrated with yourself because you’re not Richard Avedon overnight. The more you shoot, the more you will learn and the better you will be.

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K: Favorite blogs?

H: Chalk White Arrow, Kensfolk (duh), Local Milk, The Wiegands, The Daylee Journal, The Day Book , Kelli Murray, Treasures and Travels

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K: Thank you! If you could conquer any talent you don’t already have, what would it be? (ex: being a surfer, able to cook really well, be a marathon runner, etc.)

H: Oh goodness, there are lots of talents I wish I had, but almost my whole family has some kind of musical talented, except me. I can carry a tune, but my sister has the pipes (aka she’s moving to New York to pursue a career on Broadway). I think I’d like to be able to play the guitar and sing. (cliché? Maybe.)

K: Learning how to play the guitar has been on my bucket list for over 10 years, so I relate.

What is your advice for newly married couples from your own experience?

H: Yea marriage!! Oh my, I have lots of advice. I’ll try to stick to just a few things.

1) Learn how to resolve conflict well. Figure out what your conflict language is and conquer that sucker. Timing is everything. Don’t argue if you’re hungry, angry, lonely (or lost, in my case), or tired (HALT).

2) Be in community.  Have other young married friends to live life with. Not just for the bbq on Saturday but really being in each other’s lives. Digging in, getting your hands dirty, asking the really tough questions and allowing accountability in your life.

3) Last one, GO ON DATES! Make one night a week date night and go have a sit down dinner and some kind of fun. Talk, laugh, cry, whatever but just make spending time one on one a priority. My hubby and I, once a month, challenge each other with our dates. We give the other person a word, color, phrase, numbers, anything and they have to come up with a date night surrounding the topic. See HERE on my blog for ideas!!

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K: Thank you so much for taking the time to interview with me! Is there anything else you would like to add or say about yourself?

H: I have a slight addiction to coffee and popcorn. I love me some Jesus and get excited His creation and His people. I have a passion for light. Not just the light from a gorgeous sunrise that touches the earth in the morning or the soft, dreamy light that comes only after a heavy rain but a light that is within people. The kind of light that brings smiles to faces and joy to the bones.

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How great is she?! A huge thank you to you, Hannah, so spending the time to interview with me and for picking me to photograph some head shots for your blog! You are truly beautifully stunning, inside and out.

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Check out Hannah’s photography blog HERE tomorrow for the unveiling of the bohemian bridal styled shoot that we collaborated on!

XOXO, K.