:: Give Thanks – FREE Layered Photoshop File ::

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As a designer I’m always curious about the process of how designs are crafted. For someone to give you insight into their process is priceless.  Sharing this knowledge is important and helps build up those around you. That’s why I’ve decided to give you one of my works in a layered Photoshop (PSD) format so you can take a gander inside, get inspired and learn from it. Feel free to share.

Download: Give Thanks layered PSD


:: Passion Projects ::

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This week I’ve heard the saying “passion project” repeated a few times and it struck a chord. It conjured up feelings of struggle and joy.  Whether you’re investing extra time and energy into a side business, producing a video, or feeding the less fortunate, these projects can have a huge and positive impact on your quality of life.  The struggle is not knowing where to begin. The struggle is making it come to fruition. The struggle is doubting and worrying how it will turn out. Yet, the pros outweigh the cons here. Knowing that you saw a project from start to finish should give you increased momentum and direction in life.  You’ll feel awake especially if you’ve made a difference in someone else’s life. So ask what makes you come alive, and go do it! A little theme music below.

Diz GibranImpossible


:: City Lettering Series – San Jose ::

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It’s a lot easier to get inspired and manifest dreams when the people around you are pounding pavement like no other. What’s even more beautiful is the communal aspect of it all and how many contribute beyond themselves. I’m not from here, but this piece is an ode to one of the cities that has helped nourish a consortium of talented souls. A handful I call friends. This one is for you San Jose.


:: (INSPIRATION) The Work of Erik Otto ::

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We meet many who artists who are dedicated to their craft and churn out work left and right. Some seem to be more concerned with quantity instead of quality for fear of being left behind and/or monetary needs. Occasionally, you’ll meet an artist cut from a different cloth. Someone that has an intense, almost spiritual, connection to their work. An artist more concerned with the message ingrained in the fabric of their piece and will sacrifice well-being to ensure the work isn’t compromised. Ladies and gentlemen meet Erik Otto.


:: Still Trying to Help Japan ::

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The orders for the Help Japan Print are still coming in and that means more donations for the International Rescue Committee. I’m grateful for all the support so far! Really hope to make this a continuing tradition during times of need because it feels good to give back in some way.

Purchase Print: Help Japan Print
Promo Video: Help Japan Promo Video


:: How to Manage Your Time ::

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I was introduced to this concept a few years ago as I was looking through a book on my brother-in-law’s desk. The book was called “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” written by Stephen Covey. His system advocates the use of four quadrants to help you structure out your daily activities in accordance of importance and urgency and deal with them accordingly. This has been part of my business and personal arsenal ever since!

Quadrant 1: Quadrant of Necessity
Only crisis activities should be in here, items that need to be dealt with immediately. However, don’t spend too much time in this quadrant or you could burn yourself out!

Quadrant 2: Quadrant of Quality and Personal Leadership
This quadrant is highlighted because Covey emphasizes this is the quadrant that we should focus on for long term achievement of goals. This is where you define your priorities. What will keep you balanced? For example, you may know that good nutrition, sleep, recreation, and maintaining healthy social relationships are important but do you consciously make time for them in your daily or weekly routine? Managing your life and the lifestyle will help you manage your time. Eventually you will want Quadrant 2 to outweight Quadrant 1.

Quadrant 3: Quadrant of Deception
Quadrant 1 and 3 may seem similiar but to differentiate the two ask yourself: “Is this task related to my goals? Does doing this make any difference to me?” While you may feel that activities, such as Facebook or email, need your attention right away, too much time spent on Quadrant 3 activities can seriously reduce valuable personal time. This may leave you feeling pulled in too many directions at once.

Quadrant 4: Quadrant of Waste
If you’re spending many hours on Quadrant 4 activities, you’re either having a great deal of fun or spending a lot of time procrastinating! This quadrant puts no value in our lives whatsoever, but remember, the objective is to find a balance.

Adopting such a system takes time and some reprogramming. I used to draw out the matrix and fill in my agenda daily. I admit I don’t do that as religously but it’s all etched into my mind. Do you have any time management tips or suggestions? Feel free to share them here.

Learn more: Time Management Matrix explained more thoroughly


:: (INSPIRATION) The Artwork of Stablished ::

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Ratha Nou is the genius and creative eye at Stablished, a motion design and directing company here in the Bay Area. As a friend and mentor he exemplifies what passion, hustle, and work ethic embodies. That alone is inspiration enough. However, what astounds me is the ordered chaos in his print, video, and 3D work. Raw and uncut.


:: (DIY) Decorate Blank Walls for Cheap ::

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Ever wanted to decorate the drab walls in your home or office but not spend a fortune on artwork? Me too. In the process of looking for artwork to grace our walls it became obvious that canvases cost too much, posters looked cheap, and Ikea wasn’t cutting it anymore. We needed large panels to accompany our high ceilings. My wife came across this article that provided us with the perfect solution … Fabric Panel wall art. You could customize the size of your “canvas”, choose your own fabrics/art, and it wouldn’t cost triple digits. Winning!

Continue reading for step by step instructions

:: (Inspiration) The Work of 123Klan ::

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A syndicate that is impregnable is how I would describe 123Klan. Their style is highly distinguishable. A mash up of quirky, clean, hand-drawn, and exaggerated designs. A lot of heads who start out as graffiti artists usually end up doing graphic design and 123Klan is no different. However, their ability to balance and excel in the two fields is where they draw the line. What truly inspires me about them is where they came from and how far they’ve gotten by not compromising their style. Quality + Quantity.