Category Archives for Life

Sometimes all you need is a change of scenery.

It’s funny as a creative how much my surroundings have an impact on my work and what I produce. I’m the kind of person who cannot work in the same space 5 days a week without feeling tired and unproductive. When I’m able to change up my scenery a bit- even if I’m still in my office but I’m facing a different direction, I notice it has a huge impact on my motivation levels. Something in seeing the world from a different lens, taking in something you haven’t seen from that angle before, it allows my mind to think more clearly.

This week I’m in Dallas, Texas at The Circles Conference. We just finished up day 1 and I can’t tell you how cool it is to be able to sit back and soak in the inspiration after spending all last month working on my own conference! I noticed that the moment I got to the airport and was sitting at my gate (I like to arrive to flights very early..) the motivation to get stuff done kicked in major and has not stopped since. The entire plane ride I was writing down idea after idea of things I wanted to do, the inspiration was just flowing from me.

I’m not sure if it was the excitement of being in the airport, or if it was the fact that I was excited to attend Circles, but I can tell you that motivation was coming out of me in a way it rarely does.

After Circles, my husband is flying and meeting me in Dallas and we are embarking on a 2 week bus adventure through the Southern States and East Cost. We’re taking the Megabus to Austin, New Orleans, Alabama, Atlanta, Washington DC, ending in Richmond, and our plans are very minimal. We don’t actually know where we are staying in some of these places so if you have any suggestions, feel free to let me know! I’m so excited to tour this part of the country I rarely get to, but I’m really most excited to just be placed in different areas and different circumstances, meeting new people and to see what comes of it.

I’m writing this post because in thinking of how much being in different circumstances motivates me, I want to encourage you to head out of your normal view. Wether it’s something as simple as turning your desk in another direction, or working from a new coffee shop in your neighborhood, get out of your norm, and see what happens. Us creatives have to switch it up!!

Just some thoughts from me to you!! Trying to get back in the groove of this blogging thing :) Have a good one peeps!…

19. September 2014 by Joanna
Categories: Inspiration, Life | 1 comment

What I Learned from Putting on The Yellow Conference + Other Things

Hey guys!! What an exciting few weeks this has been for me. First off, Yellow Conference happened last week! It’s crazy to think that this idea I had in the shower turned into an actual thing that people showed up to, enjoyed themselves, and learned a ton! It honestly is so empowering to see thoughts and words, these things that we cannot touch, turn into something tangible and real. It makes me think harder about the power of our thoughts and words, how we don’t give them enough credit. We think that because we can’t touch them, they don’t mean as much as the tangible. But my goodness, look at what my thoughts and words (combined with an amazing team’s thoughts and words) turned into! 

I’ve learned so much about myself and creating through this process. I’m a bullet points fan, so here are a few bullet points summarizing my biggest takeaways from organizing this thing.

~ Don’t underestimate the power of collaboration. Being a freelance graphic designer, I’ve gotten so used to working by myself, communicating with people mainly through email, and interacting with just a select few on a daily basis. But the best work happens when you collaborate with people you trust, who care just as much about your vision as you do. My girl Alex Michael May from Beautilitarian was my right hand lady throughout this process. She has amazing ideas, cared about the outcome, and worked her booty off to make The Yellow Conference spectacular. My office mate, Marina Terteryan was another person who had a huge hand in the conference. She took Alex and I’s crazy ideas, brought us back down to earth and practically thought through the details we needed to nail in order to make these ideas come to life. Without these ladies collaborating with me, Yellow would not have been the same. So I’ll say it again, don’t underestimate the power of collaboration! As much as you think you can do it all by yourself, it will be that much better if you bring in the right people.

~ On a daily basis, don’t focus on the big picture. This might sound strange to some of you, but it’s something that really helped me get through the daily to-do list. Don’t get me wrong, the big picture is what Yellow is ALL about. BUT- there are tons of little things that need to be done in order to make that big picture happen. So I put my head down, crossed as many things as I could off my daily to-do list, and kept going. If I stopped to think about what was actually happening (over 150 women coming to this event that I was putting on) I became super overwhelmed with a mix of stressed emotions. So instead, I focused on the small tasks that needed to be done- and watched the big picture come together on it’s own the 2 days of the conference. Start with a big picture idea, but on the daily, put your head down and work!

~ Approach your work with a fresh mind. I’ve gotten a lot of comments from people saying that this conference blew a lot of conferences that had been going on for years out of the water. One thing I think that happens in any industry, is that we become used to the way things are and have been done for years. It’s hard to step out of what you know and have been doing. It’s hard to think outside the template you’ve been using. One thing that I think really helped this conference stand out was the fact that I had NEVER done anything remotely close to this before. I didn’t know what was normal, and had only been to one real conference in my life. So I made it up! Coming in with a fresh mind can help creativity thrive and allow you to stand out from the competition. If you’ve been doing the same thing for years, try forgetting what you know and approach it from a new perspective. What would you do if you had never done this before?

~ Don’t overthink anything. Just do it. The moment I started thinking too hard about something, it would never get done. Go with your gut reaction and feeling- you know your brand and your business. Make a decision and get moving. Nothing was ever accomplished by thinking too hard. Sometimes I wouldn’t even know what I was going to say in an email to someone, but I figured it out as I started typing. This doesn’t work for everyone, but for me, I just need to keep moving forward to get anything done.

~ End every event with a bonfire + live music. Because s’mores. And ocean.

~ Last one. Care about your people and see them as the amazingly smart, beautiful and talented human beings they actually are. This is key. Too many business owners think their audience is dumb and won’t notice things. This is NOOT true. People can smell lies from a mile away. They can tell if something was half-assed. They are smart. Treat them that way. Transparency is key. If you make a mistake, own up to it. If you have something to offer, share it! Treat them as you would treat your best friends and they will keep coming back. But don’t do it for that reason- do it because they are humans and they deserve to be treated well.

That being said- I have a little secret for you guys that I’m not announcing anywhere else until Monday.

I have re-launched Waterfall Creative! It’s been a long time coming. I’ve been re-working things behind the scenes, have new people I’m working with, and have streamlined my branding process so it works well for startups and myself while I now balance 2 businesses. I will announce more info about it next week, but the main differences are I’m now just working with WordPress templates instead of with a programmer. It makes it less expensive for clients and honestly, less hassle on my end. I’ve been using templates for my sites for a few years now, so why would I not use them for clients? I’ve also made it so you can go through the process quickly and affordably. There are 3 packages to choose from- each catering to different client needs. It’s quicker, so clients don’t get as many revisions and need to be decisive- fair warning!!

But I wanted to let you faithful blog readers be the first to know about my relaunch. To thank you for sticking around here, I’m giving the first 5 people who book with one of the 3 new packages 25% off their package price. I’m now opening up slots to start in October. So shoot me an email at joanna@waterfall-creative.com and be one of the first 5 to book!! I hope this helps out those who are working on their dreams and need a brand on a budget. That’s my goal with this!! Looking forward to hearing from you!!

Thank you again for being amazing. Your support has just filled me up, and I’m so thankful for this tribe of women world changers who are shaking up the world for good. Have a great weekend ladies!! Enjoy it.

Photos by: Joanne Pio, Brienne Michelle Photography, SmileboothTake Heart Creative, Chelsy Walker. Furniture by Found Rentals. Florals by La Fluer Kitchen, Chalkboard art by Little Cat Design Co.…

05. September 2014 by Joanna
Categories: Inspiration, Life, My Work, Yellow Conference | 16 comments

Checking In

Hey friends. It’s been awhile since I’ve posted here! Since launching the Yellow Conference and running that whole shebang, I’ve def put my blog to the side.

I can tell you that life these past few months has had a lot of ups and downs. There’s been some great things that have happened, and some really hard things. Seems like life is just like that. I feel as if I’m in a real transition phase right now. I’m really growing and learning so much about myself and where I want to head with my life. It feels good- but there sure are growing pains!

I’ve had a taste of what I can do with The Yellow Conference and my creative juices are totally flowing on that end. Ideas are coming easily and I’m very motivated on that front. On my graphic design/business end, it’s been taking a lot more discipline for me. I know that creatives struggle often with this. We’re emotional beings, constantly looking for fulfilment and inspiration. Work doesn’t always get us there- but when it does, it’s so good. We get a taste of that and think it should be like that all of the time. I’ve had to just accept the fact that it’s not always like that. Work takes WORK. Even when you’re doing what you love.

These are just some things I’ve been learning lately.

This summer is going to be very busy- all good things that I’m truly looking forward to. I will check in here as often as I can! Just wanted to tell you that I’m still kicking, learning and growing a ton, and am very thankful for all that’s happening in my life, even the tough stuff.

Have a great weekend friends! Enjoy it to the fullest :)

27. June 2014 by Joanna
Categories: Life | 2 comments

Portrait Time

It’s been too long since I’ve been on here. Last week I had an amazing time on vacation with my husband and two friends of ours. We went on a cruise to the Eastern Caribbean and saw some of the most beautiful beaches I think I’ve ever seen. I will definitely be posting about that here soon, but in the meantime I wanted to share with you these photos that my talented friend Joanne Pio took of me awhile back. We went to Little Dom’s in Los Feliz- which was awesome if you’re ever in the area. It’s not often I like photos of myself, I’m super awkward in front of a camera (like red in the face I don’t know what to do with my hands status) but she did such a good job capturing a few moments from our lovely coffee time together I had to share them with you. 
Happy Wednesday friends!…

12. March 2014 by Joanna
Categories: Life | 21 comments

The Yellow Conference

There’s been a very special project that I’ve been working on since the beginning of the year. This week the word has slowly been getting out, but I wanted to officially announce it here. This year I will be organizing The Yellow Conference. It’s a little idea I had in the shower, that has now turned into something that’s actually happening. It’s SO cool to experience dreams that turn into reality!

You can read more about the conference on the website, but right now, we are just getting the word out along with the mission and big picture idea behind the conference. So help me spread the word through TwitterInstagram, and Facebook! Our actual location will be announced next week, and registration will open the following week + the official schedule will be announced. The conference will take place August 28th and 29th, here in the LA area.

You guys, this thing is going to be amazing. I mean, just take a look at a few of the speakers that we have, and you’ll get a taste of the vibe of this place. We have Sarah Dubbledam, the creator of Darling Magazine coming, Promise Tangeman, the rock star designer, and Aja Brown, the 31 year old mayor of Compton who is doing crazy awesome things to turn that city around. And those are just three of them!

You can read more about the conference on the website, but I wanted to make it official as the word has slowly been getting out, and tell you guys first! I am beyond blessed to be apart of this new adventure, can’t wait to see what comes of it!!! Would love your support!!

Thanks friends!!…

27. February 2014 by Joanna
Categories: Life, My Work, Yellow Conference | 14 comments

Headed to Hume

I’m taking an early weekend and headed up to Hume Lake to be a high school conselor for my church’s youth group! I’m really excited as Hume holds a special place in my heart.

It’s where I first learned to make my faith my own. It’s where spent a full summer during college, learning more about myself, and it’s where my husband and I had our very first “real” date. It’s a meaningful spot for me, and I’m stoked to get up there for a few days this weekend.

Have a great rest of your week friends, and I’ll see you back here next week!!…

14. February 2014 by Joanna
Categories: Life | 2 comments

Blooms

I’ve been super drawn to photos of flowers these days. I’m not sure if it’s just the fact that spring is just around the corner, or if I’m just feeling flowery.


Things around here have been super busy, but really good busy! I’ve got some really exciting projects I’ve been working on lately, and cannot wait to share them with you. But in the meantime, I had to stop in and tell you guys that I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and stop to smell the flowers, even if they’re just on Pinterest :)

Peace!!…

07. February 2014 by Joanna
Categories: Inspiration, Life | 2 comments

Some Weeks…

Happy Friday you guys! I have to admit, I really thought about not posting a blog this week. But I’m REALLY trying to stay consistent here- so here it is you all. My blog post.

This week I was able to head up to my home town on the Central Coast of California and spend some quality time with my sister. I’ve been working from my laptop during the day, then hanging out with my sis and working on her wedding stuff through the evening. (My sister is engaged!)

I forget how gross the air is in LA until I step out of my car after the three hour drive up here. It smells so good. And you can see the stars at night. They’re so pretty.

I oftentimes take my job for granted, sometimes when it gets hard I  just wish for something that didn’t take me over so much. But then there’s weeks like this, where I can sit in a coffee shop all day, have a view of the ocean, and hang out with my sister. All while continuing to work. It’s an amazing thing that makes me so thankful for technology and the internet.

Anyways, I’ve had my share of stresses these past few weeks, and some days they can really get to me. But slowing down, breathing and remembering what I have is my motto this year. And I have so much to be thankful for. Like this little walk I took this morning. On this beach. Where I grew up. So much goodness.


Have a great weekend friends, enjoy it!!…

24. January 2014 by Joanna
Categories: Life | 4 comments

Do This Everyday

Happy 2014 friends!!! I thought it would be appropriate that my first blog post of the year be about something I’m planing on doing (*almost) everyday this year, to bring more joy and happiness into my life.

Let me start it off with a little story…

Once upon a time there was a man named Glenn Pickett. That man had a love for music, bike riding, and doing what is right. He had a strong sense of integrity, and shared it with his family and friends. That man is my dad. I get older and realized how darn blessed I was to be raised by a guy like him. This Christmas my dad gave my brother, sister, my sister’s fiance, my mom and my husband all a special gift. He gave us each a moleskin journal with a poem written inside. Each of the poems were written specifically for the person receiving it, about that person. It was a special Christmas morning as he one by one presented us with our journals and read the poems out loud to us. It was especially cute when he started crying while reading the poem he wrote for my mom. *cue water works!

But besides the poems, inside the journal my dad had written down 5 things he himself had recently committed to doing daily, with the intention of bringing more happiness and joy into his life. He asked us to join him in this exercise, using the journals he gave us to document the process. Next year, we will get together and share some of our highlights. We all gladly accepted the challenge.

So friends, I wanted to share this with you to offer it up as something you could do this year as well. No pressure to do it everyday (the exercise one is toughest for me!! Some days I count small things like 5 push ups as exercise!) I haven’t stuck to the everyday habit so far, but I try to do it almost everyday. It’s been awesome to see that there are always things to be thankful for, even on the crappiest of days. I’ve found on the days when I can not immediately think of any moment that would be worth reliving, if I search a bit harder, I’ll find one. Every time. Even if it’s as simple as that moment I looked out the window and saw that beautiful sunset.

I really think that living a life of gratitude leads to fulfilment and contentment in any circumstance. Being thankful for what we have is a habit we need to bring into our everyday lives.

So if you don’t have a specific New Years Resolution, (or even if you do!) join me in doing these 5 simple things each day. See how it slowly morphs you and brings you more joy. And when we are filled with joy, we can accomplish great things. You never know what could happen!!

I hope you all have had a great start to your year, 2014 is gonna be a good one. I can feeeeel it.…

09. January 2014 by Joanna
Categories: Life | 26 comments

6 Holiday Drinks to Sip

By this time you’re either rushing to finish up work, running around picking up last minute gifts, wrapping, or relaxing cause you’re on top of it and eating something yummy. Me? I’m blogging from my studio then headed home to wrap! I’m all for holiday drinks to sip while wrapping presents or spending time with friends and family. So I thought I’d gather together some of my favorite festive drink Pins for you guys to explore.

Below are each of the links to the drinks pictured above where you can go check out the instructions and learn how to make these things!

Lavender Hot Chocolate
Moscow Mule
Cranberry & Rosemary White Christmas Sangria
Frosted Gingerbread Martini
Honey Sage Gin Fizz
Spiked Hot Chocolate

I will be blog-breaking it until after the new year. So join me back here in 2014 for some more creative play over here, ok? Can you believe it’s the end of 2013?? I really learned so much about myself this past year. 2013 was very reflective and a time of looking at myself, really thinking about what I want to do with my life and the person I want to be. I’m stoked to have some confirmation come from that time of reflection and I can’t wait to see what comes of it in 2014. Thanks everyone for following along this little journey with me. I hope you have a Merry Christmas and a wonderful break. Cheers!!…

23. December 2013 by Joanna
Categories: Just Lovin, Life, Randomness | 2 comments

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