Today is an Opportunity, Not an Obligation

Have you ever watched those motivational videos on YouTube? Photos and clips of athletes running, climbing mountains, surfing huge waves, practicing on a basketball court overlaid with a deep voice hammering home the point that in order to achieve what you want, get to your dreams, accomplish amazing results, and live the life you want, you've got to change your mindset? 

I love those videos.

And I realized recently that they're usually focused on physical achievement. The visual part anyway - typically they highlight men and women accomplishing astronomical physical feats - or even ordinary ones that most people still wouldn't strive to achieve. But what of the men and women who's dreams and goals are to own their own business, make their living through art, build their own house, travel the world, write a book, master the art of French cooking? The action shots of those people might not be as visually stirring (the artist in her studio, meticulously detailing an illustration, the writer at his laptop, searching for the right adjective, the aspiring chef in her kitchen, tasting a Bolognese sauce and making notes), but that doesn't mean they're any less inspiring. 

What does it mean to really go after goals? If we can begin to consider that our minds are actually built like a circuit, and the missing link between where we are and where we want to be is in rewiring our thoughts, then it seems achievable, doable, maybe even a relief, easy. But here's the real deal: that takes practice. Constant honing, developing, nurturing. The mind is not so easily swayed, and will, just like a boomerang, come back to its comfortable and natural habitat time and time again - until the natural habitat is positivity, optimisim, knowing that you are great, the best, that you will achieve what you want. 

As a freelancer and self-employed person, the one who goes out there and determines my own destiny, I practice this every day. And it just dawned on me that the motivational video of my own life, my success today and in the future, might not look like so many of the ones that already exist. The shots might be of me in my office, typing this very blog post, drawing words, brainstorming creative projects, having coffee with other like-minded creative and entrepreneurial men and women, taking yoga, calling potential clients, making lunch in the middle of the day, etc. etc. etc. And at the end of the day, when I sometimes want to only focus on what I didn't get done, what I haven't achieved, and all the 'what if's that come along with that, I practice filling my head instead with belief. That this, today, this moment, right now, is another opportunity. Not an obligation. This is an opportunity for me to live my dream, share my passion, touch someone else's life, offer freedom, time, attract adventure, wealth, and stories.

So I challenge you, dear readers, to try this out this week. Every morning when you wake up, say to yourself, 'I've got this amazing opportunity to live, to be, to create, today.' Train your mind to be your biggest and most unconditional fan. 

If you liked this post, share your thoughts in the comments below. And click here for a free PDF download of the inspirational motivational quote I created just for you. Feel free to Pin, Tweet, Instagram, reblog, repost to your favorite followers, and add the @jillyink so I can be a part of the conversation!

 

Cheers to you and this amazing Monday.

Free Friday Artwork: Cut Through the Bull

It's so gorgeous here in Oakland, it's almost impossible to stay inside and do work! I hope wherever you are that the weather is beautiful, or if it isn't, then you're able to make it a beautiful day regardless. This week has been all about getting to the intention behind everything. Everything from relationships and communication, to work and career, can be strengthened through a clear intention and objective behind it. And it may take some time, practice, some trials and triumphs, but when you really, fully, listen to your gut, cut through all the bull (that we tell ourselves, and we listen to from other people), every action you take will be aligned towards your goals.

So for your free Friday printable, here's a little minty reminder to get straight to the point. Click here to download a PDF, and then print it out, put it on your desktop, share it with your friends, and then go LIVE it!

 

If you liked this post, tell me all about it in the comments! Add the @jillyink if you share it with your friends, and then go have an amazing weekend.

 

Cheers!

International Women's Day

Happy Monday everyone!

I started off my week (last night) looking at and reading a lot of posts/pictures/stories relating to International Women's Day. The major thing I took away from all of it was the fact that, for this one day, the overwhelming attitude by women, for women, about women, was positive. I'd like to think that this is the case every day, but the truth is, we still have a long way to go in consistently and compassionately lifting each other up. 

 

I try as often as I can to highlight and put a spotlight on other women that are doing amazing things, contributing their talents, their love, service, skill, time, and effort to others. Women who fiercely drive towards their passion, and along the way inspire, encourage, motivate, and even mentor other women trying to do the same thing. We don't have to live in a world where the only way to the top is to step on the shoulders of everyone we see as competition. We can be ferocious in our intention to get there, and generous with others along the way. Who's to say we can't all stand at the top together.. and take a really awesome group photo?

 

International Women's Day was yesterday, March 8, 2015 - but I wanted to extend the spirit of female power to the beginning of your work week. Click here for a free PDF download of this print, and if you like this post, comment below! Share the message with the other awesome ladies in your life, and be sure to tag @jillyink on any social media conversations, so I can jump in and see your thoughts!

Cheers to an amazing and inspiring and memorable Monday.

Source: international women's day quote

Fight For What You F*cking Love

Happy Friday!

The typical Friday attitude is usually, 'the week is over, now I can finally relax.' Well, what if it was different? What if Friday marked the beginning of something? Or the next step in getting to where you wanted to go? What if today, instead of backing off, or letting up, taking your foot off the pedal, you pushed harder, stayed committed, motivated, focused? 

I've been doing a lot of reading and practicing of how powerful mindset is, and I truly believe that if you're working towards or within something you love, the day of the week, the time of day, where you are, what you're wearing, etc., is all incidental to the goal. To love. So today, for the free Friday download, I'm sharing with you my intention for this TGIF: 'Put up a fucking fight for what you love.' (pardon my French).

Click here for your free download, and post it wherever most inspires you!

If you like this post, go ahead and comment with what drives you, or what it is that you're fighting for. Be sure to share it, and add the @jillyink so I can stay tuned into the conversation. As always, have an inspired and amazing day!

 

Cheers.

Spotlight: Lisa Milestone of Pippa & Co


Today I'm turning the spotlight over to another creative entrepreneur local to the Bay Area. Lisa Milestone has single-handedly (or with the help of her darling husband) brought the bespoke party scene to Alameda with Pippa & Co.

The space is gorgeous, light, airy, colorful, with clean lines and a distinct palette. The beautiful dip-dyed window display was made by local artist Victoria Nicoll, and the walls are adorned with various signs, Glam Fete tassel garland, and super chic samples from her balloon bar. Her wares are carefully curated, from the little baby moccasins to the birthday crowns, cake stands, and state-inspired art prints. She's done such a great job of filling the space with products that both little tykes and their super stylish, design-oriented parents would love. And that's not to say that any aged passer-by wouldn't enter and find something darling enough to take with them as well.

She also has a fabulous workshop series. You can join the community in her space and learn anything from wooden spoon carving (with Melanie Brantes), wreath making (with the Twigss Floral mother-daughter duo, Melissa and Addison), weaving with Ama Wertz, how to make Easter egg pinatas with Tiffany Turner of Papel SF, and even modern hand lettering with yours truly. The workshops are reasonably priced, and always catered with yummy snacks, accented by relaxing and upbeat music, and everyone walks away with knowledge, a fun experience, and a new skill to practice. 

I've loved getting to know Lisa, and hearing her story behind Pippa & Co. If you're local to the Bay Area, be sure to visit her on Santa Clara Avenue in Alameda, and come prepared to stay and shop for at least an hour. There are so many goodies to uncover!


- Note: If you're interested in taking my Intro to Modern Lettering Workshop at Pippa & Co., registration is now open for the class this Sunday, March 1st from 11am - 2pm PST. Head on over here to sign up and secure your spot. Class is limited to 12, so grab a girlfriend and register!

Jilly Ink Featured on Snippet & Ink | Julia Lake Parties | Buell Photo

Good morning beautiful world! 

 

I'm so excited to share with you one of my favorite (favorite!) weddings from 2014. I got to work with darling Julia Lake on a very summery floral and fruit inspired day up in Winters Park, California. The weather was beautiful, the Inn was airy and open, the grounds were impeccable and colorful, and everything Julia brought in her basket of goodies made the day unforgettable. After delivering the watermelon up to the venue (yes, I literally carried the watermelon), I was stunned and not at all surprised by the beauty of the day. I'm thrilled that the ladies behind Snippet & Ink chose to feature the wedding today, so grab another cup of coffee, sit back, and swoon over these amazing photos by Buell Photo!



Here are the other amazing vendors that made this day beautifully possible:

Photography: Justin Buell / Venue: Inn at Park Winters in Winters, California / Event Planning & Design, Floral Design: Julia Lake Parties / Dress: Ulla Maier via Marina Morrison / Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Veil: Sara Gabriel / Jewelry: CatbirdTiffany & Co. / Bridesmaid Dresses: Jenny Yoo via Nordstrom / Suit, Groomsmen Attire: Suit Supply / Shoes: To Boot / Stationery: Consider the Lilies / Calligraphy: Jilly Ink / Hair, Makeup: Beauty Box Makeup Arts / Linens: La Tavola / Ceremony Music: Charlotte Carlson, fiddle / Reception Music: DJ High Top Wrangler / Catering, Desserts: Buckhorn


See the original post and read more!

Motivation Monday - Oscar Inspiration from Common

Good morning beautiful world! After watching the recap of the Oscars last night, I'm incredibly inspired by all the moments and quotes and outwardly focused speeches that took place. It seems like everyone has a cause that they're bringing awareness towards, whether it was calling your mum or dad, wage equality for women, ALS  and Alzheimer's awareness, and calling attention to how much farther our country still has to go with respect to race equality. 

So for this week's motivation Monday quote, I'm sharing the words from Common last night as he and John Legend accepted their Oscar for Best Original Song, Glory. I think it's beautiful, poignant, and speaks to so many other issues, even when taken out of context. 

Click here to download the PDF, save it to your desktop or print it out for your inspiration board!

If you like this post, please feel free to download the print, like it, share your comments, share with your friends, and remember to add the @jillyink when posting on social media! Until Wednesday, have an amazing start to your week!

Free Download Friday - For the Bike Lovers

Biking Beauty - Preview Good morning and happy Friday! As promised, this is the first installment of my free downloadable illustrations to take with you for the weekend. It's so beautiful out here in California, but whether you live somewhere warm, or you've been in a wintry tundra for the last few months, dreaming of perfect bike riding days can help add a little fresh air to your daily pursuits. At least that's what the inspiration was behind this illustration. It's available here for you to download and print out, or save on your desktop. And if you'd like a ready-made beautiful print of it, it's also available for purchase in a myriad of different sizes over on my Society6 page.

Click here to download: Biking Beauty

Happy biking, or bike day-dreaming, and enjoy your weekend! If you enjoyed this post, or like the illustration, be sure to share or re-tweet it to all your bike-loving/typography-loving/hand lettering-loving friends. As always, remember to reference @jillyink, and to stay up to date with more free giveaways like this, and my perspective on being a creative entrepreneur, make sure to subscribe to the Ink Blot!

Cheers!

sf crushing: wineries and wedding venues

sf crushing- wine country having lived in the bay area for a month and a half, one of the most popular topics of discussion amongst our friends and the new (wonderful) people we've been meeting is wine country. everyone has their favorite vineyard, with great stories about the wine, food, their experiences, and the gorgeous landscapes. i'm very much excited to snag a ride out to sonoma and napa and taste what this california soil and climate have to offer by way of its grapevines. in the meantime, i've been pouring over photos, and these are my top picks for gorgeous spots to hold either a big, or intimate wedding ceremony and reception.

 

Scribe Winery

scribe site

as a writer, and a designer, i'm already in love with the name and label that this winery boasts. take a look at their website, read their very personal stories, and that love intensifies by the sheer passion these fellas have for what they do, and where they do it. and then you find photos of their pick-up parties. this past february, they had chris fischer of martha's vineyard fame (always love a good nod to my home state of massachusetts) come and put together an insatiable array of gorgeously prepared food to pair with their wine bounty. just to be present at one of these events looks like it would be an experience filled with great food, amazing wine, cozy fireside conversation, beautiful views, and fun company. i can't wait to visit for a tasting, and am seriously considering joining their scribe viticultural society.

**Note - At the moment Scribe isn't holding wedding ceremonies or reception parties on their grounds until they finish renovating the Mission-revival style Hacienda on the property. Down the road, they may be open to those kinds of inquiries, but for now they're keeping their focus on the Scribe tasting experience.**

 

Photo by Allan Zepeda Photography

Photo by Allan Zepeda

Photo by Allan Zepeda

photography by allan zepeda

as featured on Style Me Pretty

 

Gundlach Bunschu

gun bun site

imagine being ushered through a cool wine cave, being handed a glass of authentic sonoma valley wine, and exiting to a breathtaking view of an expansive vineyard under a clear blue sky. this is the experience guests encounter at a gundlach bunschu wedding. it sounds, and looks, incredible. add to it some rustic wine barrels, stone walls, and the natural beauty of vines - everywhere - and this particular winery provides such a light and bright environment to share such a special day with friends and family.

gun bun ceremony

gun bun barrel

photographs by jessica burke

as featured on Style Me Pretty 

 

Annadel

annadel site

this vineyard has everything that i love about infusing different textures, elements, and maintaing the authentic beauty of its location. with old winery ruins and a barn amidst rows of greenery and the most romantic big, beautiful trees, annadel provides so many opportunities for photo shoot backdrops. virtually touring these grounds is making me antsy to get there in person. it looks like it meets all the needs of both an intimate and larger wedding celebration, inviting a great conversation between the outdoor expanse and indoor coziness. bonus - they also provide roses to the san francisco flower mart, so how amazing that the florals might be available right at the venue!

annadel wall

annadel vineyard

 

photographs by collin hughes

as featured on Snippet & Ink

 

excited to start tasting the wines from these gorgeous venues! tune in next when i shift focus over to the amazing professionals behind the wedding lens. have a beautiful week!

 

sf crushing: letterpress letterpress

sf crushing letterpress my very dear wonderful talented friend, rebecca elliot, came to visit san francisco this weekend, so it seems only apt that my next sf crushing series is focused on letterpress studios in the bay area. rebecca herself is a letterpress maven, with a giant hunk of steel of her own back in chicago, and meekling press as her homestead for printing unique and quirky (not to mention exceptionally well-written) books and story collections. in her honor, here are my picks for this corner of the country's best handlers of old vandercooks and chandler and prices.

 

Olive Route

 

olive route

 

olivia san mateo, owner of this berkeley based print shop, has such a lovely, natural eye for collection. each piece in one of her wedding suites can stand well on its own, but put together with all the elements, the whole unit speaks clear and well-constructed volumes about the couple getting married. i especially love her use of texture, natural elements, and of course, varied types of type. i really appreciate a designer who can weave a story into their work - and her use of layers, small details, and perfect color palettes does this for everything she prints.

 

Twig & Fig

twig & fig

 

another berkeley enterprise! twig & fig have, first of all, such a quirky and fun website - this tips me off firstly that their work is made up of personalized and unique elements. i love their uncomplicated, slightly edgy, sophisticated, and utterly fresh approach to designing. it's clear that their inspiration comes primarily from the people they work with. which, when paired with masterful letterpress and design skills, ends up yielding incredibly gorgeous stationery and invitations.

 

Aerialist Press

aerialist press

 

well, apparently i'm in love with letterpress studios based in the east bay. it might be a little biased, since i'm in oakland now, but seriously, when you go take a walk around aerialist press's website, you just tell me how hard it was for you to leave. not only do they have an abundant portfolio of gorgeous, delicate, type-and-illustration-driven designs, but when executed onto paper, the final product takes your breath away, it's made so well. i also have a particular penchant for design teams that are motivated not only by their clients' love, but by their own. alexandra and craig have such a lovely story, and it's evident that they infuse every project they undertake with the same passion and dedication that they share with each other.

 

 

so much love for these paper wielders. tune in next week for a peek at some of my favorite winery wedding venues in the area!

happy birthday! cards!

IMG_4256 there are a handful of very very special people who have birthdays in march, and this year i decided to make some custom hand lettered birthday cards to send their way. orange and white, with some very cool gold metallic gel ink on the envelopes. these aren't up in the shop, but if you're looking for something to help say, 'hey! you! i'm so glad you were welcomed onto this planet when you were!' - well, i'd love to help make that happen.

IMG_4252

 

IMG_4255

sf crushing: florists and floral designers

sf crushing- florists  

if there is one thing i've been appreciating like whoa since being out here - especially for the season and how drastically different it's being represented here versus chicago - it's the abundance of plant life. honeysuckle practically wraps a lasso of scent around you as you walk by, forcing you to stop and bathe in the sweetness surrounding you on the sidewalk. the flower buds on the tree outside my living room window have blossomed and burst and since given way to small bright green leaves. there's crazy jurassic fauna and spiky fluorescent flora. everything smells like heaven, especially after it rains.

to celebrate this bouquet of floral inspiration, my next sf: crushing focus is on the floral designers and florists that harness and arrange and display and showcase and set free the plethora of local flowers and ferns and branches and everything else at their disposal.

 

here are my top three for now:

 

studio choo homepage

 

Studio Choo

the name, first of all, is adorable - as is it's inspiration (i also tend to have a particular penchant for other creative jills or jillians). the work that this duo - jill and alethea - puts together is just breathtaking. all of their arrangements and installations have a backyard cozy comfortable feeling, but with an elevated sensibility. their use of local grown flowers, and the care they take to showcase each bloom, is heartening. i just want to go live in their studio - what a thoughtful and artistic space to spend their days! take a look through their blog - i love how each post not only showcases the stunning visuals, but tells a personal story of each project's inception.

 

twigss homepage

 

Twigss Floral Design

as soon as i opened up the website for twigss, i fell in love. i'm obviously the target audience for a hand-drawn laurel wreath and hand lettered logo design. and then they're a mother-daughter team. and then their philosophy is so spot-on, i feel like i already know them. and then their photos and their flowers are just. well, they're just gorgeous. i love the seasonal influence that takes precedence in each of their displays, bouquets and headpieces. and i also love their appreciation of the entire lifecycle of a flower - from bud to bloom to decay and deadhead. i've been pouring over their blog, and i suggest you do the same.

 

chestnut & vine homepage

 

Chestnut & Vine Floral Design

succulents. succulents. succulents. i've been looking for a floral designer/florist in the bay area who uses succulents in an artful way, and svenja brotz of chestnut & vine has hands-down the most gorgeous, lush, well-thought out arrangements using these amazing plants. succulents of all different colors, sizes, and paired with the interesting and complimentary blooms - i could look at her website all day. and i love that she's based in the east bay, just a bit north of where i am, up in quaint and bustling berkeley. bringing a european sensibility to the abundant materials of northern california, she's got a real talent for combining skill, vision, and resources. i just want to fill my home with her creations.

 

next week in the sf crushing series: invitations and paper goods. this is a special one, so i'm excited to share with you my favorites in the world of paper and design. have a beautiful weekend!

 

a quick gem and giraffe question

dear lovely readers - i've decided to spend the next hour and a half drawing gemstones and giraffes. what are some of your favorite gems - cuts, shapes, kinds? concurrently, what are some of your favorite lady and dude names? i'll be posting some of these sketches later on today, and you might just see a combination of some of these favorites in the mix!

new online hand lettering workshop!

new online lettering flyer for all of you who have been yearning to learn how to hone your own hand lettering skills, i have a treat for you! i'm running an online 6-week  hand lettering workshop, live via skype. this workshop series is intended to be a private lesson experience, with half hour sessions every wednesday at a particular time slot, giving you ample time throughout the week to practice the skills we went over. there will be fun practice homework, and i'll be at your disposal the entire length of the program to answer questions, provide feedback, and share helpful guidance.

open to beginners and more advanced students alike. the workshop runs on wednesday evenings from april 2 - may 7. there are 5 time slots available:

3:30pm pst | 5:30pm cst

4:15pm pst | 6:15pm cst

5:00pm pst | 7:00pm cst

5:45pm pst | 7:45pm cst

6:30pm pst | 8:30pm cst

 

you must have access to skype, and a materials list/course syllabus will be provided upon registration. sign up at www.jillyink.com/workshops. looking forward to seeing you on the web!

 

Screenshot 2014-03-19 12.14.21

sf crushing: wedding planners

sf crushing- planners I can't tell you how excited I am to be in the Bay Area. Seriously. Not only do I get to wake up in the gorgeous Lake Merritt neighborhood, just minutes from nature, culture, urban atmosphere, and farm fresh produce, but I also get to work alongside some pretty talented individuals in the wedding and event industry. So, to highlight my love for this area, I've decided to start a new series: 'sf crushing'. First up, some ladies from the wedding planning side of the industry. From my experience, working with some awesome wedding planners in Chicago (you, you, and you!), these ladies have to be multi-faceted. They have to be organizers, time-table enthusiasts, visionaries, designers, stylists. They have to be able to keep everyone on schedule, in line, and most of all, happy. And that's just their relationships with other vendors. To the clients, the happy bride and groom, they have to be a mentor, friend, sometimes therapist. I take off my bike helmet to the people in this industry that love every single part of it. So many people think that a profession in wedding planning is just fun. These professionals prove that it takes a lot of work, but when done well, and with love, it IS fun.

stacy mccainStacy McCain Event Planning - www.stacymccain.com - San Francisco, CA

- Stacy and her team create timeless landscapes. The whole wedding, from start to finish, is styled with perfection, with the whole event in mind. It's apparent that she takes the time to get to know what is most important to her clients, without compromising on the other pieces. As a designer, I appreciate how clearly she seems to communicate the vision of her clients. As a person, I appreciated even more how lovely she is in person. She is absolutely someone I would trust to handle the specifics of such a momentous day.

lovely little details

Lovely Little Details - www.lovelylittledetails.com - napa, atlanta, new england

Jacin definitely seems like the kind of woman who knows what's important. She limits the number of weddings she plans to 5 per year, serving couples in the Napa Valley, Atlanta, and my home region New England. I appreciate how much attention to detail she puts into each of the weddings she plans, and adding floral design to the mix just makes me love her more. Plus she seems genuinely enthusiastic about her love for elements both big and small, and having such an exclusive client roster, it's refreshing to know that she's willing to go knee-deep into building each and every event.

esla events

Esla Events - www.eslaevents.com - San Francisco, CA

I first fell in love with Laurel of Esla when scouring design and newly popped up wedding blogs from my cubicle at Random House. She has a dreamy sensibility, and anything romantic with a bit of an edge captures my attention instantly. I also have an interesting soft spot for anyone who's lived in New York for a period of time - something to do with surviving and thriving there, and then taking that same work ethic wherever you go - and the fact that she's lived and gleaned inspiration from the various places she's resided. Whether her events are indoors or outdoors, there always seems to be an element that's a little unexpected. In my book, that's the mark of someone I'd definitely want to work with.

 

Have fun spending the rest of the afternoon pouring over the websites and galleries of these three. And to celebrate my favorite thing about being somewhere warm and sunny (and the faint scent of honeysuckle in the air), the next spotlight in the series will be on florists and floral designers.

 

And as a reminder! To all west coast couples - I'm offering a 10% discount on all wedding lettering services if you book with me by the end of the month. For more information, send me a note at jilly.ink@gmail.com. Cheers!