Elleword is Transforming

I went to XO Coffee in Downtown Plano, TX. There was a live band there :D

I’m currently juggling three huge projects and they are taking up all of my time and energy to produce. I haven’t blogged on here in so long, my apologies. Hence, I’m making some changes. I want to turn Elleword into a photo diary. Life and Style will still be the main theme but I’m doing it for the love of sharing and tracking my days as I live life courageously. Let me know what you think of the new direction. Here are my pics from today. Sorry, some of them are not as great because I took them with my phone (I really need to upgrade!!).

I’m getting back to OOTDs so I can force myself to dress well every day. I can’t be walking around looking crazy if I expect to reach out to potential clients on a moment’s notice. After I got dressed, I headed across the street to a new coffee shop that opened up recently. It is so cute! I found a great spot to do some business planning for Gernelle Nelson LLC and two top secret projects that I can’t yet share but am stoked about! Here are some pics from the coffee shop.

I went to XO Coffee in Downtown Plano, TX. There was a live band there :DThis is a pretty drink that my new friend ordered XO Coffee in Downtown Plano, TX.A sweet college kid gave me some of her cookies at XO Coffee in Downtown Plano, TX.I met some fellow Spanish learners at XO Coffee in Downtown Plano, TX.

And now for my OOTD. I wore way more neutrals than usual for this look, including my husband’s sweater from Express. I call it my tomboy style, haha.

Elleword: My neutral tomboy OOTD for March 1, 2017

That’s all for now. I’m off to cook dinner!

Have courage,
Elle | Elleword  | Tweets  |  InstaElle

Moving Forward in 2017


2017 started with a romantic road trip to New Orleans with my husband Brandon and learning that one of my weddings had be published in a magazine! I wanted to just revel in the moment but time waits for no woman. It’s January 19th already. Time is moving on, I should too. I have some goals for myself that require more work and energy than I’ve needed in the past. I’ve already failed a few times to keep my new routine but I’m not giving up. It takes time to establish a new habit so I won’t give up, slack off or be too hard on myself. Just gotta take it day by day and improve.

My Daily Goals

  • workout 30 minutes
  • drink water and avoid junk food
  • prayer and read the bible
  • hand out a business card and work on something for my company
  • look at my bank account and budget
  • make $50

 

My Company Goals

  • Find a way to network with people one on one each week
  • book a new client each week
  • blog weekly
  • keep $1000 in the bank
  • partner with venues as a preferred photographer

So Here’s What You Missed

Elleword - Brandon and I unpacking our new apartment

Aside from reaching the big five year milestone in our marriage, Brandon and I have had so many things happening back to back. I thought I’d share what we’ve been up to in a blog post; here we go.

On The Home Front

 

We moved into our dream apartment complex a few weeks ago! Eventually we’ll be able to land our dream floor plan, but for now, we’ve settled into a cozy space on the fourth floor. Justice (woof) has adjusted pretty well to our new space. He loves his new bed that we bought for him and tends to eat snacks and store his toys there. It’s actually pretty cute to see him snuggled in there. Our complex is a great place for people who enjoy being social to flourish. There is a happy hour held every Wednesday where residents can mingle of snacks in our 24 hour clubhouse. I’ve met so many fun and interesting people who I think could become our friends in the future.

Brandon and I tend to camp out at night in the clubhouse while working or surfing the web. We could purchase an internet package but it’s nice to get out of our apartment for awhile. One of our favorite things to do is watch DVDs over dinner in our small home theater. To keep the carpet safe and our food fur free, Justice isn’t allowed in there. We’ve also walked way more than we used to now that there is a park across the street. We even took a 5 mile bike ride up the street and around the corner on a few bike trails. Hopefully, we’ll get a good fitness routine going where we can use the 24 hour gym at the complex as well. One step at a time 🙂

As Far as Work Goes

Brandon just spent most of the last two weeks out of town for work conferences and meetings. He’s been working harder than ever trying to make the project that he and his team are working on a success. There’s a possibility that he could get a raise soon but for now, we’re in the ‘waiting’ stage. It’s been frustrating for him to not know what they will decide since he’s doing his best, but we try to focus on enjoying ourselves together when he gets off work. That seems to really be helping him to relax. I hope he gets the raise but in the meantime, I’m working hard to help him with our finances by budgeting and working on finding clients.

I’ve shot two weddings this month and I have one on the 12th of November. Business is starting to get rolling for Gernelle Nelson! I hosted a photo booth at our apartment’s halloween party and landed some perspective clients, one wedding included. I even met the editor of a local magazine who asked me if I’d like to take images for them sometime. Um,… Yes!! I’m praying for guidance on how to be social, and how I can help others while building my company. Just gotta stay consistent!

That’s enough of the updating, I’ve written quite a lot for the night and don’t want to bore you! Have a good night readers.

Have courage,
Elle | Elleword  | Tweets  |  InstaElle

Getting in Sync with your Spouse takes time, Don’t Give Up


us

Brandon told me that he was having a stressful time at work so I treated him to dinner and a movie. As the night went on, he told me that spending time with me made him feel relieved, relaxed and calm during tough situations. Hearing him say that means so much to me. Things were quite different earlier in our relationship. Continue reading “Getting in Sync with your Spouse takes time, Don’t Give Up”

My Work Wardrobe Capsule


One of the things that I’ve been doing while establishing my company, Gernelle Nelson LLC, is planning my marketing strategy and coming up with a brand standard. I thought it would be great to do the same thing with my wardrobe. While I am not shopping for another 10 months, I want the items that I wear when working with a photography client to match my brand words = Stylish, Classic and Feminine. I went through my visual wardrobe and pulled out the items that I felt matched these words and my company color scheme. Please let me know what you think. 😀

By the way, my company website, Facebook and Instagram pages are up. My full website content will be up by the end of the month. Check me out, leave comments and follow me. I have a voucher for a free print for my first 100 clients on the website. Sign up ok? 😀

Website: Gernellenelson.com
Facebook: Facebook.com/gernellenelson
Instagram: Instagram.com/gernelle_nelson

Hace courage,
Elle

Gernelle Nelson Wardrobe Capsule

Have courage,
Elle

It’s Official, This Girl is a Boss!

Portrait of Mikayla by Gernelle Nelson

All of my personal projects (my blog, Youtube channel and style archive) have been on hold for the last couple of weeks but for a good reason. After lots of prep, I’ve finally started…

Gernelle Nelson LLC is open for business!

FB: facebook.com/gernellenelson
IG: instagram.com/gernelle_nelson
www.gernellenelson.com

Cue the celebration music and bust a move my friends! You’re now reading the blog of DFW’s newest women & wedding photographer! Continue reading “It’s Official, This Girl is a Boss!”

Let’s Get Down to Business!


Morning!

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been studying up and planning a strategy for my creative career. I currently work at a marketing firm but the goal is to go solo. For a few years, I’ve wanted to officially establish myself and create a studio space but I’ve been too afraid. Afraid that I’d fail or file taxes incorrectly or too afraid to talk to people. Well, I’m over that now. I have stopped focusing on the fear and started looking at the benefits of what working for myself will mean. Being able to do something I love. Networking and getting out of my comfort zone. Traveling with a flexible schedule. Creating the types of things that I want to create. Continue reading “Let’s Get Down to Business!”

Changing Lanes: I’m not that kind of artist


I’ve been doing a lot of contemplation about my career lately. I know what I went to school for, but is that really what I want to do for the next 30 or so years? I’ve known that I’ve wanted to be an artist since I was five years old, that much hasn’t changed. But the type of art that I’m choosing to pursue has. I spent 5 years of college and 3 years afterwards working towards becoming a graphic designer. I thought, how cool is that, you can create art with a computer for other people’s businesses and such. But the more experience I gained in the field, the more I began to wonder if it was the right option for me.

6d0c6ab7ca2533ed6a7489a154c39b4d

Graphic designers have to make things solely based on what someone else wants. I could come up with a great design for someone but it doesn’t stay that way because the person wants to add a bunch of text and images that take it from visually pleasing to something that looks like the spam postcards you get in the mail. You can try to convince the client that the extras are bad for business, but most of them don’t understand or care. They think it’s Burger King so they should be able to get whatever they want. This frustrates me because my name ends up being associated with that crap. I want more control over my work. This is the top reason that ultimately inspired me to go for fine arts.

Fine artist have more freedom and influence on the finished product. People value their work as it stands. I think the projects are more inspiring and entertaining as well. I would love to illustrate children’s books, movies and graphic novels. Of course that would mean making sure the client likes what I make, but I’d still be able to be true to my personal style. Most of my illustrations will be done in Adobe software. Besides that, I plan to keep photographing people. I’m starting a Youtube channel and Patreon page as a means to bring in more funds as well. I feel really excited about taking this leap of faith and that it’s going to yield great results. I can’t wait to get on here and say “I quit my day job!”.

Have courage,
Elle

Starting from the bottom. . . Again


You know that moment when you think you have pretty decent skills in one area, only to be shown that you aren’t as skilled as you thought? Well friends, that is where I found myself last night.

As mentioned in a previous post, I’m working with my brother to update my design portfolio. It has been a few years since I held a graphic design staff position so I suppose it is normal for me to be rusty. The sucky part is that I’ve gotten weaker in the area of composition and how to prioritize information. Jr asked me to do a couple of mock designs and a mood board as my first project. After reviewing my work over the phone, out of my three concepts, he said that one had a bit of promise but it still lacked in major areas. My mood board tanked too. Sheesh, I’m starting from the bottom again!

He sent me some articles to look over and asked me to re-create the mood board. My mind feels shocked and fried all at the same time. To think that my skills have sunk this far. . . That proves that if you don’t make it a point to keep up with design trends over time, you’ll get left in the dust. Two years is like 14 in the creative sector. I’ve been working wherever I can just to bring home a paycheck since 2012. Sadly, none of those jobs involved Photoshop. My brother mentioned that I should have tried honing in on my skills while I didn’t have an industry job. I know he’s right but I still got irked. It’s hard to create something without an actual design brief or someone to give you feedback on the work. When you have a day job serving coffee to snobs and borderline depressed about your life, it’s a-whole-nother ballgame.

After college, I couldn’t understand how I could do so well in school and not find work anywhere in my field. Because of my degree, it was also difficult to find minimum wage work because I was overqualified. I was unemployed for six months before finally finding a few retail/fast food/stipend jobs. The longer I worked at these places and dealt with the clientele that comes along with them, them more hopeless I felt. One night during a conversation about work with my husband I went from laughing to crying uncontrollably. I felt like a failure. The little checks that I brought home couldn’t pay any bills. People talked to me like I was an idiot all day and I was doomed to spend my 30 minute lunch breaks in a cramped inventory space. I couldn’t take it any longer. I prayed a lot during this time and my husband agreed to move us elsewhere so I could have better opportunities in the Dallas metroplex.

Being in Texas gave me courage. It took nine more months of being a barista before I landed the interview for the company that I currently work for but it was worth it. I wasn’t able to get the design job I applied for but they hired me on as a support team member. Now that I’m back in the field, I really want to get back to making art. My current position is not about creating, its about maintaining and managing. I manage the content, apply design treatments to content based on what’s already there, delete it, but I don’t create anything.

As all artists, I’ve grown restless of not creating for hire. Once I get my skills back up to par, I plan to apply for as many design spots as I can. Aside from designing again, I also want to make more income. I’m a married woman and two years away from 30 (though I look 16 most days). Needless to say, I have some goals and loans that require funds, more than I currently make. I won’t reveal my salary, but let’s just say, I can’t live on it and pay all of my bills without my husband’s income. I still feel like I haven’t reached the goal of feeling like I have much to give our family financially. However I’m grateful that one of my paychecks can now cover our rent and not just a week’s worth of groceries.

It would have been easy to get bent out of shape after having my work evaluated but the truth is that I have been much worse situations. I may not have the needed skills now, but one skill that I never let get dull is my ability to learn. I am going to put time aside to work on whatever my brother sends me, read the articles, takes notes, and fail again and again. If you stick with something long enough and work hard, progress is only a matter of time. If there is something you want to do or become in life. always remember that we all begin at the starting line, not three feet away from the finish line tape. You’re not going to be as good as you want to be in the beginning so don’t even trip. Don’t look around to see who is ahead of you. You are running in a one-woman (or man) race so focus on putting one foot in front of the other. It’s ok to fall, to feel bad or angry. It’s not ok to quit. You don’t always have to know where you are going. You just need to have the courage to take the next step.

Have courage,
Elle

Closing a Door


Sometimes you keep pushing on a project, thinking “If I just find the right element, this will work”. But after trying everything you can, lack of motivation or resources, you either go with what you have or start over. I’ve chosen the latter.

I’m starting over with my entrepreneurial endeavors. I’ve worked under the name Our House as a photographer for about four years now. I’ve learned a lot, gained much and had a few setbacks. The biggest thing that stands out to me is that I want to do more than photography. I love to draw, to illustrate, to write, to read. I don’t want to be limited to one art form. Our House was branded as a photography biz to the point where many people only ask about photos these days. Nothing wrong with that. I’m just ready for more options, for creative freedom.

This time around, my husband and I are going to open a new brand dedicated to several creative services, products and projects. We’ve started the ground work recently and plan to get the ball rolling asap! I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Have the courage to take the next step!
Elle