Productive Summer OOTD

Elleword - Productive Summer OOTD

Yesterday I got lots of work done for a new video based class that I’m going to teach on Skillshare as a way to make passive income. It’s the first of many! I recorded myself working as well as an intro and conclusive video. Now all that’s left are the voiceovers. I hope to finish those before my interview today for a part time marketing assistant gig.

I wore a thrifted Rue 21 peach colored top with lace netting on the shoulders. My skater skirt is from my lounge and fitness thrift haul. I felt so flirty and cute in this. I wore brown wedge shoes (not shown) as Brandon and I hit the Salvation Army to buy supplies for the camping trip I’m chaperoning next week.

Gone on any thrift shops lately? I’d love to see what you bought. Leave me a link or comments below.

Have courage,
Elle | Elleword  | Tweets  |  InstaElle

Elleword - my thrifted peach shirt looked great with this skater skirt. You don't have to spend lots of money to look good.

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

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

We Can Rebuild


I’ve tried to learn web languages starting with HTML time and time again but it never stuck. I would only get more confused and frustrated every time I attempted to learn something. But recently things have been clicking. My supervisor connected me with some learning resources online a few weeks ago. Since then, I’ve been learning like crazy and taking on new tasks at work because of it. I’m so excited! The web industry is not going anywhere but up so I’ve decided to learn how to navigate through basic code to improve my design skils.

The goal is to make $50,000 + the next time I land a new job. My husband is always excelling at work, so I told him that I’d land my higher paying gig before his next promotion. Given that he usually soars upward every two or three years, that gives me two years to make it happen. Not that we don’t share everything, but making it a competition is adding to my motivation to learn as much as I can and creating a body of work that encompasses all of my visual art skills. I’m so grateful for my current job. It has helped me get my foot in the door and use some of the skills that I went to school for. But even though I’ve escaped the world of retail, I still have a ways to go if I want to truly call myself a creative professional.

To help me build a new body of work, my big brother is teaming up with me. He’s an Art Director with years of experience, I’m glad he’s gonna mentor me on this. He has volunteered to send me materials to help get me started and check in with me from time to time as I work on everything. He advised that it would take lots of work and I’d need to be willing to stay up to work on projects. I’ve already started trying out instant coffees and teas since we spoke the other night. (I guess that means taking a nap after work so I’ll have the energy to keep moving forward.) I know this is going to be intense and will result in more nights in front of “Big Mac” (my 27 inch IMac) but getting that creative job and salary will be worth it.

Have courage,
Elle

Why I’m leaving Facebook


At the end of February, I’m giving up Facebook. Here are my reasons.

Living Online – People now depend on FB to stay in touch with others. They have stopped making phone calls and visits. It seems like the western world is losing the integrity of social interaction because we are moving away from actual interaction. That’s why someone can have hundreds of connections online but can’t count on one hand the number of true friends they have. I’m no different. I know and get along with plenty of people but I’ve only made one actual friend since moving here in April 2013. Going forward, I’m going to start taking advantage of face to face interaction and putting the internet in it’s proper place. It is a tool, not life itself. I want to make real friends, go on adventures, and make memories. Continue reading “Why I’m leaving Facebook”

Fasting and Furniture


Whenever a new year starts, Brandon (the hubster) and I tend to participate in a spiritual activity to help us reboot and re-focus. This year, it’s the 21 day Daniel fast. Aside from avoiding certain foods, we are writing in journals daily, praying and getting in some personal worship time with God. This is day two and I am feeling very positive about it so far. At first, avoiding sugar, fried food, meat and dairy seemed difficult but we’ve found some good solutions. I didn’t realize how many products contained added sugars, bleached wheat or chemicals (like tortillas, salad dressing and even some canned fruits). It’s no wonder people have so many health issues these days. There are so many junk foods out there disguised as healthy choices that it’s ridiculous. Continue reading “Fasting and Furniture”

Surprise Staycation Weekend


There are moments when you’re reminded of how wonderful someone is.

My husband received his yearly bonus at work and had planned on buying a Surface Pro but after a few things came up, we weren’t going to be able to purchase it along with the accessories that he wanted. He decided to try again some other time and use the money for other things. Two weeks ago, he told me not to make any plans for the weekend of the 14th because he had a surprise for me. I also had to avoid checking the bank account or else it would be spoiled. I had no idea how to prepare or what to expect so I just waited excitedly, not sure if he was taking me on a date or perhaps giving me some sort of gift. Continue reading “Surprise Staycation Weekend”