By Amanda Guy--Our Designer
Last Thursday, Wheelie was extremely proud to host the first ever Montana Camber Exchange through Camber Outdoors, an organization dedicated to encouraging women's leadership from the backcountry to the boardroom. After several weeks of planning and preparations, the event finally arrived, and we packed the lawn with some badass ladies and a few supporting fellas for an evening of networking, eating, drinking, and speeches. These like-minded individuals were able to gather, meet new people, and discuss their passion for business in the outdoor industry.
Formerly knows as the Outdoor Industries Women's Coalition (OIWC), Camber Outdoors was founded 1996 to empower and encourage women in the active-outdoors industry.
By: Lisa Slagle
I’ve noticed a recent trend in the outdoor industry—ranging all the way from local clients to massive brands like The North Face and Burton—and it’s something I’m actually super stoked about.
Brands have upped their photo game.
The outdoor industry specifically is so extraordinarily visual (mountains, sunsets, ski shots, parking lot tailgate parties!) that companies who hire professional photographers or videographers look infinitely more professional, legitimate, and purchase-inspiring than companies who take a few shred shots with their phones on a Saturday afternoon and use these low-res, unedited files for their websites and marketing.
By: Lisa Slagle
This morning, my golden retriever trotted up to me while I was making coffee/toasting a bagel/wearing one sock/checking email on my phone, and he literally used his nose to flip my iPhone out of my hand. My phone bounced across the kitchen floor, and I looked down at my dog incredulously. I swear he smiled.
Called out by a dog.
I love working outside.
I used to landscape for the hotels owned by Crested Butte Mountain Resort, right at the base of the ski area. I drove around in a giant truck with a water cooler in the back, hanging out the window, watering flowers, trying to keep them alive at an elevation of 9,380 feet. On Tuesdays and Fridays, I mowed the massive, steep lawns of five hotels. I planted trees, built benches at the bus stops, and dug flower beds with a pickaxe and a shovel. I stored weeding tools in the back pockets of my Carharts and my iPod in the chest pocket of my hideous bowling shirt uniform with the CBMR logo. I was blonde, strong and tan. My arms made Michelle Obama's biceps look like amateur hour.
13 things I learned in 2013 (mostly from people, but also from running a business):
1. Friends aren't random. Life is a series of choices, one after the other. You and your friends have all made decisions to get to where you are, and there is something incredibly significant about that. Be unconditional to your friends because we are kind of in it together.
2. Making decisions is easy if you ask yourself, "Is this awesome?" If yes, keep doing it. If no, then change it.
3. There is a difference between purpose and pursuit. I'm finding purpose in the pursuit.
4. Products are souvenirs of a story. I'd rather sell stories than products, and that's my approach to branding and design.
5. Money is circulated. Time is spent.
6. Stick with the attentive ones.
7. The concept of "play" is underrated, but "play" is the pinnacle of focus and interest. It's important, and should always be made time for. It's the art of being present, content, and engaged. I value my time to play.
8. I'm grateful and lucky that most days, my work feels like play. I think I have it good over here on 2nd Street.
9. Never check your work email on holidays and weekends.
10. Anyone who helps you clean up a horrific pile of dog shit in your kitchen on New Year's Eve ten minutes before midnight is probably worth keeping around.
11. If you teach at a community college, it helps to have a good sense of humor.
12. Creativity breeds creativity.
13. Always try to say "yes." Turns out it's pretty fun.
It's the Sunday after Thanksgiving, and I spent the afternoon in my office, smashing actual fruit slices into the scanner, determined to produce full-color scans without "too much juice glare." Life is funny, I think.
By: Lisa Slagle
I'm working on the Wheelie Creative Design winter ad campaign this week. Above is the web banner and Facebook cover pic I came up with. It took a full day of riding my bike around Whitefish, Montana to get the right shot, so I thought it was worth posting a bit of the design process.
by: Lisa Slagle
I used to date a guy who worked at the dump.
It was the only job he could find when we spent a summer in Bend, Oregon three years ago, and he was a champ for going with it. At least it paid well, and toddlers stared at him in awe from their car seats as if he had the best job in the most interesting place possible. Citizens dumped their trash in Location A at the landfill. He transported an open-bed semi truck bursting with trash from Location A to Location B, dropped it off, and went back for more. He came home and told me about the strange or magnificent, often pristine, usually usable items that he moved around that day. It was actually illegal for landfill employees to bring anything home from work, so he simply told me about the truckloads of furniture, exercise equipment, building materials, and electronics that he moved from A to B. We talked about it a lot, and these images of piles of inflated soccer balls and retired iPhones stuck with me. I think about the amount of trash we all produce. I try to be conscious of my resources, and I often think about sustainability in my personal life and at work. How can I, as a designer, work sustainability into my company? What is my version of sustainable design, and how can I do it better?
I was obsessed with Saturday Night Live.
As a little kid, I would sneak downstairs to watch it on this weird, little TV with a massive antennae that had been relegated to the basement in my parents' house. I was too young to understand half the jokes, but I didn't care. I still thought sketch comedy was hilarious.
I believe everyone is an artist. My clients often look at proofs or samples and initially say something along the lines of, "Wow. I never would have thought of this. I can hardly draw stick figures" or "I'm not creative at all." Everyone is creative, though, and whether it's through drawing, painting, computers, sculpture, photography, interior design, cooking (talk about a personal lack of skills...), or another medium, artistry hides within every single person-- it's just a matter of releasing that hidden creativity and letting it do its thing. It's an individual evolution from concept to production that we refer to in the industry as the ever-ominous, vastly ambiguous Creative Process.
Recently, I gave my students at Flathead Valley Community College the assignment to write a few paragraphs on The Creative Process. For the most part, all of them killed it. I was impressed by the honesty and thought that went into everyone's answers. A lot of students mentioned creating with music in the background. Almost all the responses were funny, heartfelt and just barely self-deprecating. A few students included samples, and a few of them wanted to talk to me in person about their processes. I like it when I can get other people's wheels to turn, especially creatively, and I like it when someone sets my mind in motion, too. In fact, I appreciated everyone's efforts so much that I decided I might as well do my own homework assignment and post my answer. The exact assignment was: Write a blog post about your creative process– how you find inspiration, how you work through your ideas, and what you think helps you produce the best possible design solution. Must be 3-6 paragraphs.
By Lisa Slagle
Let's talk about gratitude for a minute, mostly because I'm about to go back to Colorado for two weeks, and life feels good. Lately, work has been challenging, busy, and exactly what I have always wanted, and sometimes I can't believe how good I have it.
Maybe it's selfish, but I believe that nothing--absolutely nothing--in this world is better than snowboarding with my friends.
And today, that's all I got.
Graphic Designers and Keeping the Creative Fire Stoked
casually written by Lisa Slagle while listening to a lot of Santigold
I am a freelance graphic designer in Whitefish, Montana. I spend a lot of time working on a computer--- alone, doing awesomely nerdy things like sifting through code looking for a misplaced "]" or kerning a headline to perfection for hours. Some weeks, I spend more time with Adobe Illustrator than with my friends. It happens, that's just the way it goes. Don't get me wrong-- I love graphic design and running my own business. It's the best. Sometimes though, as with all jobs in the creative industry, staying inspired and fresh takes a little bit of effort. So, for all you designers procrastinating on the internet right now, here's my take on stoking the creative fire!
10 WAYS FOR GRAPHIC DESIGNERS TO FIND INSPIRATION:
1. GO OUTSIDE! Grab a dog, jump in a lake, ride your bike, sit on a chairlift. Hell, just go sit on your front porch or a park bench. This is called Real Life, and it's like a retina display times eight billion. Everything is so three-dimensional.
2. INTERACT WITH REAL HUMAN BEINGS. Eye-to-eye. Let them talk, listen to what they have to say. Soak up some of their stoke. Sometimes graphic designers geek out a little too much, myself included, so it's always important to bounce ideas off others or at least just spend some time with people who see the world differently than you and your computer screen.
3. LISTEN TO MUSIC.
Loudly. Maybe even dance, or at least silently headbang behind your monitor. It's fun. Go ahead, try it.
4. LOOK AT OTHER ART.
Click around on design websites. There is an infinite amount of cool stuff out there to give you new ideas and keep your design current. My favorite is http://www.creativebloq.com
5. DRAW WITH REAL PAPER. AND A PENCIL. OR REAL PAINT.
It's cheaper than therapy, and pretending you're in art school again is good for the soul. I also think fine art makes better designers.
Sometimes I forget to do this, and then my brain shuts down a little.
7. LEARN SOMETHING.
Lynda.com is a great place to learn new techniques within the programs you know and love. Then you'll want to practice your techniques and test out your newfound knowledge.
8. SCARE YOURSELF!
This is where I find inspiration. If you don't know this about me, I'm obsessed with snowboarding. I believe at the core of my soul that inspiration is waterproof-breathable. It can usually be found at the bottom of cliffs or hovering invisibly beyond a jump, or in that quick gap in your chest when your body drops faster than your heart. I think that letting your survival senses kick in every now and then (okay, or at least six times a week) is really good for appreciating your life and keeping inspiration overflowing, but hey, maybe I've just watched Point Break too many times.
9. OBSERVE YOUR SURROUNDINGS
Art is everywhere, and planet earth is unbelievable. Have you watched ants as an adult? They're fascinating. Observe people walking down the street. That's always interesting. Appreciate the clouds. Sit on a roof. Climb a tree. Don't talk, just watch. You'll learn something, I promise.
10. TAKE A BREATH AND ENJOY YOUR LIFE.
Life is pretty good at Wheelie Creative Design these days. Business is booming, and I feel very fortunate to have many terrific clients right now. My clients are a huge part of why I love my job.
Recently, one of my clients asked me a very interesting question:
What makes a good designer/client relationship?
He had never worked with someone in the creative industry before, and he wanted to make sure he got what he wanted while also respecting my business practices. (This instantly makes him an excellent client to work with.) I thought for a moment, smiled, and delivered my best answer: communication. That's really what it comes down to, not only in design, but all workplaces and relationships. After thinking more thoroughly about his question for a few days, I decided the designer/client relationship is a great topic to write about. I'm a bit biased being on the designer side of the conversation, but here goes:
WHAT MAKES A GOOD DESIGNER/CLIENT RELATIONSHIP:
What do you think? Did I miss anything?
It is spring, and I am alive.
Winter never really came this year, not like it usually does. The snowfall, it seems, kind of half-assed it, which is fitting because it feels like that's what I've been doing in Salt Lake City since the moment I arrived here. Barely showing up, hinting at being present, but never fully committing.
Wheelie Deep Thoughts
This is where we showcase fun stuff-- new work, case studies, weekly updates, job openings, and general awesomeness from members of the Wheelie Crew.
Read Posts About:
Glacier Park Conservancy
Spencer Trail Signs
Glacier Park Inc.
Whitefish Trail Signs
The North Fork
The Montana Scene
Logos We've Made