Archive Page 2

Flickr Fave | Dan Swenson

Just recently saw these new updates by Dan Swenson on Flickr. He has the most awesome style when it comes to photo manipulation. I’m loving the reflections in the first one… Such an easy/simple way to play around with your designs. Just flip it!

He has heaps more goodness in his stream, check it out.


Photo Messin’

More jammin round with my photos.

I think the summer we never got at summer time might have arrived this week. I took these pics yesterday arvo.. Love getting the afternoon sun.

Never Stop Exploring.

One thing I’ve been doing a lot of lately is exploring. I think everyone will know what I mean when I say this, but at the moment it seems that we’re all getting sick of being online & on our computers all the time, correcto?

Another reason I bailed from the 9-5. To get more outside time. No matter how much work I have on, or what I’m doing, I ALWAYS find time to get outside and do a little exploring. This is what keeps me going. I’ve mentioned it here and there in a couple of posts, but I go a little more in depth here.

I’m finding that my outside/exploring time gets me more motivated when I do get back to the computer, or when I have work to do. The more time I spend out and about, the more I get really into my work.

Any of you that do this will know what I’m talking about when I say this time actually helps me become more creative. It refreshes your mind. It leaves all those ‘inspirational’ images & words you saw throughout the last week/month/whatever behind, where they belong, on your computer.

Now it’s your turn to get out and see these things with your own eyes, in real life. 

Instead of having a whole month or two where you’re burning yourself out, weekdays & weekends, try and balance it out! For me at the moment, I have one whole day a week where I don’t do any work, and I’ll go for a road trip, or jump on a train or the ferry or something.

People say ‘Oh man I wish I could do that, but I’m so busy, I don’t have time, I have SO much to do.’ I call bullshit on that. Find the time.

Stop running around like a crazy person and take time to actually LIVE your life.

Extend your deadlines.

Stop being so easily contactable 24/7.

Rather than having one big weekend off every few months, try and balance it out and schedule some ultimate chill out time every week. And I mean serious chill out. No computer, no phone, just exploring time.

The last two Saturdays have been my exploring days… And the weather has held out amazingly for both, which made it all the more awesome. I’ve also acquired a love for my backpack, and trains. (Say wah? Yeah, I never thought I’d say that either.) But somehow throwing a couple of cameras in a backpack and jumping on a train to who knows where, is freakin exciting stuff. On Saturday I went to the Blue Mountains, which is about 2 hours west of Sydney. (And surprisingly it was only about $11 return.) The whole ‘wandering around with a backpack on, with a camera in hand, living it up’ thing is amazing. It’s inspiring. It’s living.

This has probably actually become my fave thing to do. I imagine it’s not going to go away either.

So what I’m trying to say is, get outside to find your inspiration, and don’t compromise your exploring/chill out time for anything. We get so chained to our computers & our ‘online lives’ sometimes, that we forget there’s a world out there to be explored. Even if it is just your own backyard.

*And if you need even more motivation to get outside & away from the crazyness, watch this movie. I’ve watched it about 5 times in the last week… And it’s partly what fueled me to get outside even more. Hopefully it changes the way you think about things, as it did with me.

*pps I’ve fixed up a few buttons & pages on ze blog. Gotta keep it fresh.

THE FREELANCE LIFE | Things I’ve Learned So Far. Part Five. Working Tips!

These are a few random tips about designing + dealing with clients + working in general that I’ve picked up. I wish I knew these things when I was first starting, so hopefully they’ll help some of you out!

– Always get at least a 50% deposit. No matter how big/small the project is. Cover yourself from the get go.
Once you get to work with clients you’ll know if you can trust them or not, and you might be able to become a bit more relaxed on this.

– Ask questions. Ask as many questions as possible about what the client has in mind for the design style, then put your design mind to use, and create an inspiration board. This is super easy to do + it helps both of you get a good idea of where to take the project. I have a bit of a mini questionnaire that I give to my clients to get a better idea of where they want to go with the design. Just things like what type style they prefer, colour preferences, anything to stay away from, etc.

– Use templates when sending the artwork.
Don’t just send basic JPGS/PDF’s. I like to use a pretty basic template, with very minimal info/text, to keep the focus purely on the artwork. Just my logo and basic info on the cover page. Then on each proceeding page a tiny bit of info about each option. Just basic info like ‘About Eve Logo Design. v03. March 2012.’ So you & the client can easily see where you’re at. See the example below…

– Start using an invoicing app.
I started off using Invoice Machine. I’ve migrated to Freshbooks now, but I highly recommend Invoice Machine if you’re just starting out. It’s easy to use + you can send invoices & estimates straight from the website.

– Give yourself time! Don’t rush things. Design something, then sit on it for a day or two, then go back to it.
You might have a completely new idea that you never thought of before. Fresh eyes can make all the difference.

– Cover yourself every which way possible in your quotes.
This includes things like including how many revisions are in the price, how much you’ll charge if the client goes over that, and any other terms you want to include. The last thing you want is for the client to come back and say ‘oh but this was/wasn’t included in the quote?’. I’m still in the process of nailing my quotes/invoices etc, so I’ll share more on this when I’ve got it a bit more sorted.

THE FREELANCE LIFE | Things I’ve Learned So Far. Part Four. Do your thing! + Freebies!

I think I may have mentioned this in one or two other posts, but one of the things I’ve picked up lately is that you have to stop asking for permission & advice, and just do it. Whatever you want to do, just freakin do it. Stop asking for permission. If you’re onto something good, then it will work out, and if it’s a dud, they hey, you learnt something.

Lately I’ve found the less I ask for people’s opinions, and the more I just start doing, the better it is. Whatever your thing is, just start doing more of it! Doing more of what you love leads to amazing things.

I’ve also made the above image as freebie wallpapers for your computer/iPhone/iPad! I find that having these kind of quotes in your face all the time really helps. A constant reminder to keep at it.

Click here to download!

*I might start going for a record of the longest blog post title ever with this series. I’d be in with a chance.

*Graphics were created especially for, please do not re-distribute, all links must be placed back to this original blog post.

THE FREELANCE LIFE | Things I’ve Learned So Far. Part Three. Productivity Baby!

One of the hardest things to get used to when you start working from home is actually getting yourself in the zone to do work. For me at least, it’s kind of like when I was studying… Everything you do is on your own time, but you just have to make sure you get your work done.

I’m still adjusting to it to be honest, and it’s defiantly one of those things that varies from person to person.

For me personally, I try to get out of my apartment as often as I can. When I have a hard deadline to work to, I’ll usually stay home and do it, where I can spread my stuff all over the table/apartment, and can just go crazy & blast my music, & get in the zone that way. But when I feel the need to be inspired, that’s when I try and get out. I absolutely love working at cafe’s, and changing up the scenery as often as possible. I find when I’m chilling at a cafe, working on moodboards or getting my creative biz on, I’ve got my earphones in, and I’m people watchin’, that’s when I feel the most inspired. I could easily sit in a cafe working all day like this.

I’ve also found a couple of apps/websites to be coming in mega handy for to-do lists & ideas etc, and just being hella productive in general.

My hit list of hot sauce apps to keep you on track: 

#01 | Dropmark – Kind of like the bigger & better sis of Pinterest. It’s more ‘creative person’ orientated I think, and it’s awesome to use with clients & collaborators. You can have any number of collections, which are all private, and you also have the option to share them with people. I find it super handy to use with clients, for them to put in their inspo photos/images, and also to upload proofs to, so everything is kept in one place.

#02 | Evernote – I think it’s safe to say that Evernote has taken over many computers lately, mine being one of them. It’s a stellar note-taking app, and you can also save web pages directly from your browser into it (which is one thing I fell in love with from the get-go).

#03 | Wunderlist – A productivity/list making app. REALLY simple & easy to use. I resorted to using Wunderlist after having way too many unorganised notebooks with a bajillion to-do lists. They have an iPhone & iPad app too!

Other random working tips:

– TAKE BREAKS! Biggest & most important point. If you don’t take breaks you’ll burn out. Seriously. Just chill out & have time off the computer. At least once a week,(if not more) I’ll take one day where I’m not on the computer at all. I’m getting into the habit of turning off my phone for that whole day too. Freakin’ AMAZING I tell you. Nothing like total disconnection to refresh your mind. Take breaks while you’re working too. Even if you’re 100% in the zone, take a break. A fresh look when you get back might be just what you need.

– Just start. I saw a blog post somewhere the other day, (no idea where), but it mentioned how we should just get used to ‘starting’ things, and not stress about how/when we’re going to finish them. Stop putting things off, and just start working on them. Pick up where you left off each time. Just get used to starting, and the finishing will do itself.

– When you’re working, sign out of all social media etc. This might be different for different people, but when I sign out of Twitter etc when I’m meant to be working, it actually stops me going to it. I can’t be bothered signing it, so then I get back to work.

– Find your inspiration in experiences. Don’t feel like you have to sit on the internet for hours on end to get inspired for a project. Leave your computer at home for a morning or afternoon, grab a camera & a notepad, and head out. Take photos, draw random things. Do whatever you want. Treat that as your research.

So those are my few random working/productivity tips that I’ve picked up so far. More goodness tomorrow!

THE FREELANCE LIFE | Things I’ve Learned So Far. Part Two – Get Inspired

In my first post on Friday, one of my things to think about was doing research on other creatives who have taken the jump too.
I think this helped me a lot in taking that final jump, knowing that other people have done it, and reading about their success.

I’ve come across a few awesome people who blog regularly about freelancing, & how they deal with certain freelance biz, like getting clients, getting inspired, etc. They’ve all been a huge inspiration to me so far, and continually produce the goods when it comes to giving awesome advice.

I’ve only included the few very best ones that I’ve stumbled across, as I think sometimes getting lost in the internet & reading too many stories can get a bit intense with about 150 different things flyin round in your brain.
SO, here you go!


01 – Nubby Twiglet. There’s a good chance most people will have heard of Nubby, but if you haven’t, get on that! I’ve been following her for a good few years, I remember reading her blog while I was still studying a good 4 or 5 years ago. She’s never afraid to dish the dirt, good and bad, about being a creative & living the freelance life. She has a stack of good posts about Blogging, Business & Marketing, and LOADS more. I especially loved this post she did not too long ago, about doing what you love in 2012.

02 – Jeremy and Kathleen – Freelance Matters. When I first came across this lady, I knew I was onto something good. Another awesome sauce creative that isn’t afraid to share her advice & lessons with the world. She has a whole section on her blog called ‘Freelance Matters’, totally dedicated to freelance biz!

03 – Women in Business. An Australian website run by Claire Lancaster. The posts & things Claire posts about aren’t always about freelancing, but she has some really awesome advice in general about business & getting your ideas out there. She’s done a few posts with downloadable templates too! I loved these two, How to organise your start up notes, and her One Page Business Plan.


01 – Turning Your Dream Job Into a Reality, by Kimberley Smith. Kim is one hell of an inspiration to so many people, me included! I brought her book last year, when I was starting to think about going full time freelance. She gives it to you straight and hits you with awesome tips & tricks to get you living your dream.

02 – You Are the Map Maker, by Bernadette Jiwa. A big stack of inspiring stories from other creatives who have changed the game. I absolutely loved reading this, & I’m still going back to it when I need a burst of inspiration to get me going again. With contributors like Nubby Twiglet, Jessica Hische, David Airey & more, this is a must read. (And it’s a free PDF!)

So hopefully those few links of goodness will keep you going for a while.

Just remember to take it easy, and don’t get too lost in the internet researching advice & success stories. Get inspired, then go your own way. Carve your own path & live your own life.

Tomorrow I’ll have a few tips about working & productivity!

Hey! I'm Sian, and I’m a free-spirited creative wizard. I have a passion for working with people who are on a mission to live their dream lives, and are electrified by the unknown beauty that the future holds. Twelve by One is my place to share awesome finds + write about this amazing world we're living in. Read more here!


*All photos are my own unless otherwise stated. Please credit me if you're going to post them anywhere. Thanks yo!