Up North

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Last week we had a grand experiment called “Bring the Baby to the Cabin and See What Happens”. It turned out OK… In the the days before we left, Alex suddenly had issues getting back down to sleep after his middle-of-the-night feeding. I’m talking screeching and howling when I leave the room. This caused panic and concern in me, because 1.) we’d be sharing a room with him and 2.) we’d be sharing a cabin with 9 other people, so letting him cry it out didn’t seem like an option. The only solution I saw was that I’d have to be up with him, possibly for hours, until I could get him back to sleep in the most peaceful way possible. So that’s what I did. Every night I was up for at least an hour, usually more, confined to this tiny dark room. To be honest, it was hell. BUT. There were lots of good things about our trip. Time with grandparents, fresh air, the weather was leaps and bounds better than the forecast promised, plenty of lake time, beautiful sunsets, and so, so much more. And having so many hands on deck meant I could claim at least an hour or two of morning z’s.

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NOKKK

I barely have the words or energy to talk about what’s going on lately. I am paying attention and I am as engaged as I can be. I’m spending a lot of time thinking about how best to raise my child in a world where Hate is becoming a norm. What a horrifying reality. I also recognize that as a white person, this is a first for me, but for POC it’s always been their normal. I’m sorry. I have a long way to go. I’m listening and I will show up. I know this is on me. I will help. I will fight.

Because seriously Fuck Nazis.

My new design logo

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A little while ago I was in the throes of obsessively updating my portfolio and creating some projects for myself while I get ready to go back to work, usually in the hours between Alex’s bedtime and mine. One night I was like “maybe I should make a new logo for myself.” Whoa! My old design logo was one I’d had since 2011, before I graduated from school:

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It’s not bad, really, for how shoddy my illustrator skills were at the time, but it’s pretty far away from who I am as a designer now. Then I was an obsessive anglophile and I loved royal history and crowns. Didn’t have much to do with my design, though. Still, I hung onto this identity for a long long time.

While trying to devise something new, I wanted to make sure I went minimal, and probably more type focused. I searched around for the inspiration to hit, and I started thinking about trees. The kicker is that I used up a bunch of good ideas in my blog logo. I’m still not very good at saving my process so I don’t have any to show, but I eventually arrived at this super simple tree/chevron design:CRD_IDENTITY3CRD_IDENTITY4

I love that it’s very much “me”. It’s minimal, it’s bold, it conveys nature and design simultaneously, and it’s a standalone icon as well as part of a wordmark. I love when design can do double – or triple – duty.LOGO_2017

I’m mulling over the eventual consolidation of both my design and photography businesses into “Caroline Royce Creative” or something, but for now I think this bridges the gap nicely. CRD_IDENTITY

The Sweet Summer

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Now Alex’s nap schedule has been evened out, and when everything works out, he has two naps at 1.5 hours each, with 3 hours of awake time in between. That kind of predictability is BLISS. Having this longer time in the morning is particularly nice because it means I get to take a lovely walk with him in the peaceful morning, before it gets too hot and lots of other people are out on the paths.

Having a young kid has completely flipped my expectations about the seasons. It’s revealed things I didn’t know I liked. Having a baby in the fall, I thought, would be a wonderful experience. Part of it was, but then having a little helpless creature throughout the winter was a cold, isolating experience. I remember a lot of darkness, and it didn’t help that this last winter was so disappointingly UN-winter like.

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I’ve never been a lover of summer. I hate being out in the sun, in the humidity, sweating, chafing, squinting. UGH. But I really love certain aspects of it now. The green lushness of my surroundings, maybe even a humid afternoon if it’s overcast. Drinking iced coffees on a morning walk. Daylight extending late into the evening. The smell of the lake.

It’s August now, which, after our annual cabin week, is usually when I’m thinking about fall, and getting excited. Fall means a lot of different things this time around. Alex will start going to daycare in September and I’m going to start working again. We probably won’t get to take as many walks. He’ll be turning 1. All these things I’m scared and excited for will happen with the end of summer. It’s a little heartbreaking.

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A thing I have a real problem with is living in The Moment. I had a whole therapy session about this yesterday! When things are happening, even if they’re nice, and I can stop and appreciate them, it’s always making me think about the future or reminding my of the past. I’m thinking back to when my baby was a little smaller and less mobile, but I’m also thinking about a future where he can walk and run around. I’m thinking about how this summer is coming to a close, faster than I would like, and I’m wanting to just hold onto it for a little longer. It’s hard just stopping and appreciating the present.

How do you stay in the present? How do you stop yourself trying to live in so many different times at once?

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Exercise 2 | Wolf Like Me

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I’ve been doing a lot lately in preparation to go back to work soon. While my resumé and portfolio site are as up-to-date as they possibly can be right now, I’ve taken on a lot of personal projects to stretch my legs/learn new skills/sharpen up old ones. Last night after Alex went to bed I decided to try to some photo illustration. I mean, I’ve done this kind of stuff before a little, like when I worked for Totino’s and even a few times with Vita.mn. But this felt more like doing design for design’s sake. It’s an incredibly enriching process. Even though I haven’t had a real design job in over a year, I actually think I’m better than I ever was before.

(it probably sounds ridiculous, but I did a ton of maintenance on my Pinterest boards over the weekend and now I have like 8 boards for different facets of graphic design instead of one big massive one; like “Art Direction” or “Packaging” or “Typography.” IT was kind of like a light switch off when I created them all and I now feel inspired to just create).

What’s cool about having these self-initiated projects is that a lot of them are good enough (in my mind) that I stick them in my portfolio. Recently I had an almost job offer (ha!) for a designer who can also do food photography. I started the food photo project basically as something fun to do while being a full time stay-at-home-mom and in the process, picked up some skills that are valuable to a potential employer. That’s cool!

With these photo illustrations, I mean, it was just messing around (I made these in InDesign), but who knows, maybe some art director from some magazine someday will be like “Hey I like these, do you want to do something for this magazine?” And I’ll be like “Yeah”. So anyway, with that all said, here’s a few photo illos I did for fun and practice. I began by searching for hi-res photos on Creative Commonsnot really knowing what I would do, and it went from there. I just kinda dig the wolf and winter aesthetic. I think 100% because I am excited about Game of Thrones being back. WOLFLIKEMEWOLFLIKEME2WOLFLIKEME3

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