Best of 2014 from Lesley Myrick Art + Design

Best of 2014 from Lesley Myrick Art + Design - recap of the best Indie Business, Inspiring Words, Art + Design, and Personal posts from the past year
Just like that, it's mid-December and 2014 is coming to a close. (Also, Ford turns 11 months old today. How am I suddenly the mom of an almost-toddler? Slow down, buddy.) I LOVE the anticipation of the arrival of a new year. There's something so invigorating and exciting about a fresh start.

While the thrill of creating new plans and goals can be a great motivator for change, it's important to first reflect on the past year in preparation for the next. This is something that high achievers do - and don't you want that caliber of success in your life too? Take time to both to celebrate your successes and to review opportunities for growth. Write everything down! I'm a big fan of Evernote for this.

Once you've reviewed the past year, use those insights to create your goals for 2015.  While I start this process in Evernote, I also handwrite my goals for the year on an index card and pin the card above my desk. "Out of sight, out of mind", as the saying goes - and I want these important reminders in plain sight daily to motivate me.

I hope the holiday season is a magical one for you. Take some time to prepare and set yourself up for success in 2015! 

Here's a look at some of the best and most popular blog posts from Lesley Myrick Art + Design in 2014:

Indie Business:

Inspiring Words:

Art + Design:

Personal:

A Fun Freebie:

PS. Here's my 2013 recap, if you're interested. 

Image: Erica Marr Films for Lesley Myrick Art + Design. Have something to say about this post? I'd love to hear from you on Twitter! Tweet me @lesleymyrick.

Define Your Blog with a Brand Identity

How to define your blog with a brand identity. Indie Business tips from Lesley Myrick Art + Design.
You may not even realize it, but if you have a blog or website, you have a brand. What you put out there on the internet is a visual representation of what you, your blog, and your business have to offer, and it's crucial that your brand identity be clear and consistent. 

Let's back up for a second and define what we're talking about. A brand identity is simply "the outward expression of a brand including its name and visual appearance" (thanks for the definition, Branch). It's the words, colors, fonts, and graphics that make up your digital or printed materials. While you may have already thought intentionally about these details, if you haven't, now is a great time to start. Do your wordmark (business name) and symbol (logo) appear the same everywhere they're used? Have you intentionally selected the fonts you use for blog post titles and body copy, and do you use them consistently? Is it easy at first glance to identify the color palette of your blog? Do the avatars and colors used on your social media channels mirror your website? And if you have printed business cards, do they match your online branding?
I created the brand identity above for Lesley Myrick Art + Design in preparation for the new website that's in the works to be launched in January 2015 (sidenote: eek!). Visually assembling the elements of your brand is an incredibly useful exercise that I recommend for anyone with an online presence. If you're not Photoshop-savvy, a simple document can even be created in a text editing program like Microsoft Word or Open Office. Keep it close by as a handy visual reference.

With the new year just around the corner, it's a great time to review your website and begin to define your blog with a clear brand identity. 

Find more Indie Business posts here with tips on blogging, business and productivity. Happy Monday!

Images: Death to the Stock Photo and Lesley Myrick Art + Design. Have something to say about this post? I'd love to hear from you on Twitter! Tweet me @lesleymyrick.

Holiday Gift Guide for Artsy and Stylish Gals

A holiday gift guide for artsy and stylish gals from Lesley Myrick Art + Design. #giftguide #holiday #christmas
Confession: this "holiday gift guide" is really "gifts Lesley wants" in disguise. (Sneaky!) Since many of you are awesome artsy females who also like unique and stylish things, I thought you might like to take a peek at what I've been wishing for - for my wardrobe, for my home, and for creative projects.

This heart sweater. I have completely, 100% become a Madewell fangirl. This sweater is not helping me resist.

prize candle. I have never burned through a scented candle so fast before. Why? Because hidden in this candle is a ring worth up to $5000! The kind folks at Prize Candle sent one my way, and I had that ring outta there so fast. It's like the girly equivalent of gifting lottery tickets. (Spoiler: my ring was only worth $10. Sad trombone.)

Stacking initial rings. I'll take one "N" and one "F" for my two favorite dudes, please.

Rubber letter stamps. I love this clean, sans-serif font for making greeting cards. And they're a steal at $13.

This t-shirt. Because. It's. So. True.

Gorgeous agate Christmas ornaments. I would totally string a longer leather cord through one of these and wear it as a pendant necklace. Just sayin'.

The most perfect scented candle. This tobacco and patchouli scented candle is the best. It's the perfect fall/winter scent, and guys love it too.

This leather tote. Indulgent and totally beautiful.

A subscription to Domino magazine. Domino has been my favorite design mag since its launch in 2005, and I'm a crazy hoarder who has kept every issue. So naturally, a 2015 subscription is in order.

What's on your wishlist this year?

Images: linked above. Have something to say about this post? I'd love to hear from you on Twitter! Tweet me @lesleymyrick.

PS. This is a sponsored post, but all opinions are my own. I only partner with sponsors who fit the ethos and integrity of this blog. Thanks for understanding and supporting businesses like Prize Candle.

No Fear In Love (Free Printables + iPhone Wallpapers)

"There is no fear in love, because perfect love casts out fear." 1 John 4:18. Free #iphone #wallpapers and #printables from Lesley Myrick Art + Design. #collageart #bible #verse
You guys. There is a big shift happening. I'm in the middle of a huge redesign of my blog and website to further focus my web presence on exactly what Lesley Myrick Art + Design is all about, and what I can do for you. My current "blog as a website" is expanding to become a full website with a blog component. This is a change that I wish I'd been aware enough to have made long ago. For years I've been struggling with the pressure to always have fresh content on my blog for new viewers to land on, which has resulted in hundreds of quick, easy posts that don't have a lot of substance.

And you know what? That's not a good use of my time, or yours. You deserve good stuff! And that's what I'm going to give you from now on. Because I've realized...

I'm not a "blogger".
I'm an artist and designer who has a blog.

There's an important distinction there: the blog is not the end goal; it's the means to an end.  If you're someone who is into art, design, and creativity, you're in the right place. I want this blog to be a space for you. I want you to get value from being here - whether that's through learning a new art technique, being inspired to redecorate your home, or getting free stuff (more on that in a minute!).

So changes are coming. Good changes. Changes like making space for a new design and new focus. Eagle-eyed readers may have noticed that I've trimmed a lot of extraneous content from the blog sidebar, and also that a lot of posts have gone missing. I have literally unpublished hundreds of posts. Posts that have felt like "filler" content. Posts that don't bring real value. Posts that were shared for the sake of sharing, not for the sake of sharing something awesome. My hope is that if you scroll through this blog, all of what you read will be worthy of your time.

To say thank you for reading, and thank you for just being rad, I've made some free stuff for you! Below are links to two 8x10 printable collages (perfect for framing) and two iPhone wallpapers. Everything is free for personal use. (Shoutout to Madewell, whose catalog pages became the background images for these pieces.) The collage diptych above features one of my favorite bible verses from 1 John 4:18: "There is no fear in love, because perfect love casts out fear".

8x10 printables:

iPhone wallpapers:
These are sized for the iPhone 6, but will scale for any iPhone.

Here's to letting go of the fear and living from a place of love. I'm so excited to launch my brand new website and blog. Stay tuned!

Image: Lesley Myrick. Have something to say about this post? I'd love to hear from you on Twitter! Tweet me @lesleymyrick.

Do Less

Do less with more focus. Free printable from Small Fry blog, via Lesley Myrick Art + Design. #inspiringquote #printable
A good reminder, isn't it? Do less with more focus. Use your time wisely. Eliminate distractions. Get done what you have to do today so you can move on to what you want to do this weekend.

Happy Friday!

Image: Small FryHave something to say about this post? I'd love to hear from you on Twitter! Tweet me @lesleymyrick.

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