Category Archives for My Work

Starting A Business? Let’s Talk.

It’s official! I’ve finally got my new Waterfall Creative site up, with a totally different structure and process.

Let me tell you a little story. In a frantic spur of the moment decision earlier this year I took down my portfolio site and placed up a splash page saying something to the effect of, ” stay tuned, something cool is coming.” I knew I wanted to take a different direction with my graphic design business but just wasn’t sure how to go about it. I worked on Yellow Conference stuff and I worked on graphics, with most of my projects taking longer than they should have, with really no consistent process – as all of my clients were so different. This left me and my clients tired, confused and feeling more scatterbrained than usual. I knew there had to be another way!! ;)

Bring in the new Waterfall Creative. I’ve finally taken what I do best and taken out what I’m not so good at. I’ve streamlined my branding process so I can still create awesome looking brands for clients, but going into it, the expectations on both sides are much more clear. I really have a heart for startups, the people who are starting their dream business. So this is who I’m targeting with this new model. I honestly believe deep down in my designer soul that visual branding plays a HUGE part in the initial success of a business. It shows the world that you are legit. You’re not here to play games and you take yourself and your business seriously. You only get one first impression, and you want it to be a good one. It fills my heart to help others pursue and live out their dreams. The new Waterfall Creative is here to make that happen.

So, with that, I’m working on specific terms. I want to get your branding done affordably and quickly. Here’s how we’re going to do it:

1 / Three logo Options. Two rounds of revisions. That’s it! I have you fill out a detailed questionnaire, as well as create a Pinterest board filled with visuals you want your brand to emulate. We will also have a Skype session to chat about what you’re looking for before getting started. This is so I can do my best to NAIL it the first time. I will send you three logo choices, so you do have some options. But ideally, you won’t need any changes as we will be SO on the same page before visuals have even started to be created. So two revisions should be plenty :)

2 / Deadlines. For you, and for me. If I send you 3 logos, and don’t hear back from you for a month, the project loses a lot of traction, and it’s really hard for me to pick back up where I left off creatively. So… you have a deadline on when you can get back to me, and vise versa. This keeps both my head and yours in the game, continually moving forward.

3 / For Websites, I’m using WordPress Templates only. In today’s digital age, there are so many amazing templates that have been created by awesome programmers. I’ve made the decision to only use templates for client websites for 2 reasons. 1- They are much less expensive and go so much faster than creating a custom site (perfect for startup budgets!) 2- They are easily customizable so you can continue to update your site on your own after we are done working together. All it takes is some basic WordPress knowledge (no html required) and you can feel full ownership over your site, without the hassle of going through a middleman and paying extra bucks to make small changes. So, it’s cheaper, easily updateable, and much faster than creating a completely custom site. Now, this isn’t for everyone- some sites might need to have custom functions and a template won’t work. But for most of the small businesses that I work with, it’s the best way to go.

So there you have it! I cannot wait to get started! If you’re interested or have any other questions, shoot an email over to info@waterfall-creative.com. Looking forward to chatting friends!…

09. September 2014 by Joanna
Categories: Design, My Work | 2 comments

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

New Work: Lily Schlosser Fashion Blog

I recently finished up a new blog / brand design for the adorable Lily Schlosser. Lily is a fashion blogger who has a cute/casual style which I am so drawn to. This girl can dress up a vintage sweater with some boots and jeans like no one else. Her natural look and approachable style made me instantly drawn to her- I was so excited when I got her email and started looking through her blog. I knew we had to work together!

Lily needed a brand to match her style. Being that she is approachable and embraces imperfections, I knew a hand done logo would be perfect for her. Something simple and elegant without needing to feel perfect.

We came up with a monochromatic color palette, with a hit of mustard yellow to get her personality in there. The flower petal marks on each end of the logo represented the light hearted spirit of her blog- and have the ability to be used elsewhere throughout the brand.

After creating the brand, we brought the look onto her blog. We wanted to really show off her photos, so bringing in the simple and clean look to the site was very important.

Lily really wanted her blog to feel personal, and the small boot icon I created really was a signature mark of her style. We decided to incorporate the boot and her signature into a small icon that is now used at the end of each of her blog posts. To give her posts the approachable and personal feel that she writes with. I think it turned out really cute!
You can check out the live blogsite here. And definitely keep following Lily’s blog- she’s got some awesome things going over there! We maaay even have another project in the works… stay tuned!!!

Happy Friday Friends!!!

PS- if you didn’t catch it, registration for The Yellow Conference is up and running! Check it one time.…

21. March 2014 by Joanna
Categories: Design, My Work | 8 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 | 15 comments

New Work: AVE Styles

It’s Friday! TGIF people, am I right??! I thought I’d share with you some new web design work for the amazing Alex Evjen of A.V.E. Styles. (If you guys haven’t checked out her Pinterest- go NOW. So much goodness.) Anyways, this project was an extra fun one. Alex had a brand created by the fab Promise Tangeman but needed a new website design. So I got to take the awesome logo and colors that Promise had come up with for Alex, and turn it into a just as awesome website for this lovely lady. Not an easy task, but Alex was such a delight to work with and she made the process SO enjoyable.

You guys will have to check out Alex’s blog for some great fashion advice, and to see more of what this talented lady is up to.

Thanks Alex for being so amazing to work with! You truly are a gem.

You can check out Alex’s full site here, follow her on Twitter here and DEF check out her amazing Pinterest!!

Happy Friday friends! Enjoy the weekend. Cheers!…

16. January 2014 by Joanna
Categories: Design, My Work | 11 comments

Desktop Download | Merry Christmas!

It’s finally here! Now no one can get mad at me for dancing around the house to the Amy Grant Christmas album…. (we all have our guilty pleasures!) I’m a real sucker for this time of year. Christmas trees all over, sparkling lights, people baking treats and wanting me to eat them… What could be better than that??

In respect to decorating the house for Christmas, I had to decorate my computer too. Afterall, it is the thing I spend the most time with on a daily basis. I hand lettered this “Merry Christmas” and placed the words “SPREAD LOVE” on the bottom. Just to remind us all about what’s really important this season :)

Also, I’m fully aware that this hand-lettering trend maaay be a bit overdone. I mean, take a look at Pinterest and you’ll see enough to last you for awhile. But let’s be real- it’s SO pretty! I think that as we spend our days on the computer our eyes are drawn to things that remind us that we are humans and we can create with our hands. We crave it. And as much as I tried to avoid it this little trend, I could no longer stop myself. It’s too fun. And this blog is the space where I can do what I want and have fun with it, right?? So here it is friends, from my blog to your desktop- a little Christmas hand-lettered cheer.
I hope you download it and enjoy! Pick out what size works best for your computer OR your mobile device. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays friends!!

2560 x 1440 || 1680 x 1050 || 1440 x 900 || 1280 x 800 || iPhone || iPad

04. December 2013 by Joanna
Categories: Design, Downloads, My Work | 12 comments

New Work- Naftul Indie Fashion Lookbook


I just recently had the pleasure of creating this catalog for the amazing Naftul. She is an indie fashion designer with clothing that is literally what I would dream up if I could imagine the perfect wardrobe for myself. It’s fashionable, wearable and comfortable. I’m ALL for being comfy. And looking cute while feeling good? Yes please. Here is what Nataly (nickname Naftul) says about her clothing:

“All of the clothes I design are clothes that I would like to wear. So before I begin to sketch, I start with the fabric. I tend to stick with comfortable and airy textiles. I test out samples of the fabric in order know how to work with them and only then am I able to really get inspired. I start out by sketching the basic look of my design and then begin to work on the pattern. Once I have made my first complete concept design, I can begin to duplicate the garment and then sell it.”

She was a dream to work for- the whole process really felt effortless. It didn’t hurt that I could stare at these beautiful clothes all day- which made the entire process fun for me.

Check out the entire catalog on Issuu here.

You can check out her Etsy shop here, and leave her some love on her Facebook!

13. November 2013 by Joanna
Categories: Inspiration, My Work | 13 comments

That Fall Feelin

Happy Friday friends!

I’ve been so loving Fall these past couple weeks. Even though it doesn’t get very chilly yet here in SoCal, there is a shift in the air that you can feel. The skies are bluer, the wind is fresh, and the sun rests in a different place in the sky. So although it’s not cold, I can still feel that Fall is in the air. This is the inspiration for this new desktop download I have for you guys today. “Fall Feel”. It feels like fall outside and I wanted to bring it inside. Thought you all may want to as well!

You can download the files for your desktop, iPad or iPhone below.

Enjoy your weekend!!

Pick your size: 2560 x 1440 || 1680 x 1050 || 1440 x 900 || 1280 x 800 || iPhone || iPad

18. October 2013 by Joanna
Categories: Downloads, My Work | 16 comments

Three Things Lately

Hey guys!! So Summer is really over- (even though it’s still in the 90′s) And I’ve decided to come back to blogging on a regular basis. My goal is to be blogging here once a week- no promises that it will always happen, but I’m going to try!

Life lately has been good busy. The kind of busy that inspires you, not burns you out. (Let’s hope it stays that way!!) I thought I would share with you a couple things that have been happening lately.
1 //  I got some awesome creatives to share with me in my new work space! Woo Hooo! I feel so blessed and really think that God has His good hand over this one. Can’t wait to be spending my days with real life human interaction.

2  //  A project I had the honor of doing branding and packaging design for has finally launched! It’s called Cafe Pour Deux and being the coffee lover I am it’s really right up my alley. It’s a coffee brand created especially for pregnant and nursing mothers. Here’s the thing- a lot of times doctor’s tell pregnant and nursing patients to drink decaf coffee- but what they don’t understand is that decaf is created by using a ton of unhealthy chemicals that are really not good to be feeding your little one- it would really just be safer to drink regular! So Cafe Pour Deux is created as an alternative to the chemically induced decaf. It’s completely organic, made with no chemicals, and has amazing taste. Pretty cool, right? It’s really awesome even if you’re not a mom- it’s just plain good organic coffee. I truly believe in this product – and it’s been awesome to work on. Head over to their Facebook page and follow them on Twitter, or better yet, buy a bag of coffee! Cause they’re really great.

3  //  I’m writing this post from my hotel room in Dallas, Texas. I’m at the Circles Conference this weekend! This is an inspiring conference for creatives in the design field. There are amazing speakers like Lotta Niemien, Carlos Whittaker, and my friend Megan Gilger. It’s always great to get out of LA, and experience new people and places. One of my favorite quotes today was from Carlos, who said that “the more moments we create, the more moments we receive”. His whole talk was about living a life that you design, instead of letting your life design you. Honestly it just inspired me to live life to the fullest. Getting out and making the decision to come to this conference was creating a moment for me, and in turn, I’m receiving so many amazing ones. After Dallas I’m headed to Alabama to see a dear friend of mine, and after that I’m headed to Palm Springs for DesignerVaca! It’s a busy 2 weeks of travel but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.…

19. September 2013 by Joanna
Categories: Design, Life, My Work | 2 comments

A Big Hello! And a New Portfolio Site!

Wowza- it’s been a long while hasn’t it?? I haven’t posted once all summer and to be perfectly honest- it’s been amazing. Being away from this blog has made me realized how much pressure I was putting on myself to get blog posts up. Not only that- but I came to realize how stressed and nervous I was about what people would think of each of my posts. Which is really not cool. It caused me to lose touch of that creativity and spark I love so much about what I do. These things were really brought to my attention after stepping away- which is one reason I’m so glad I did. I feel as if I’ve gained new perspective.

I know I’m never going to be a professional blogger- I just don’t have that desire or determination to make that happen. But I do love connecting with you readers and am so thankful for the relationships I’ve been able to find through blogging alone. It’s really awesome! And I have missed you guys! So I’m just going to bask in that for a bit- focus on the good parts of blogging, and not feel stressed about it. There’s enough of that in everyday life- right??

So if you’re reading this- thanks so much for sticking with me. I have some cool news- during this time I’ve taken off from blogging I’ve FINALLY created a new portfolio site! It’s seriously been over a year since I’ve had a proper one. How does that happen?? This process has helped me have a bit more mercy for my indecisive clients… It’s hard to decide on a look to go with and stick with! I probably came up with 3-4 different concepts over the course of this year and thrown all of them out. Don’t follow my example- because when it comes down to it- done is better than perfect, and I really wanted (& needed) to have this thing done!!

So check it out friends! The new portfolio site of Waterfall Creative! —> waterfall-creative.com

I hope you all enjoy skimming through it. It’s funny how I felt as if I didn’t know what my style was- or if I even had one until I looked at my work all together. I definitely have a style that inherently comes out of me. We all do. Isn’t that weird? But so cool! I’m sure it will continue to evolve through the years.

I have tons more to catch you guys up on from the summer- but this was the main thing I wanted to share. That being said- I can’t say that I’m back to blogging consistently- cause I really don’t think I am. But I can say that I will try to be more active on here. So check back, ok?

Oh and I almost forgot- I opened a Society6 shop :) Check it out here!

28. August 2013 by Joanna
Categories: Design, Life, My Work | 10 comments

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