Thursday, March 28, 2013

Answering Your Questions Part 1: Why I Haven't made Yellow Heart Art Full Time

A couple of days ago I had created a post giving you all the opportunity to ask me anything. I am breaking up the questions over a few posts since some are longer to answer than others. Since I am still writing up this series you can still ask me anything over here if you missed out!

Why haven't you taken the plunge to quit your day job and take Yellow Heart Art full time? I'm looking into doing this for myself pretty soon and I go back and forth. Another person's perspective would be awesome.

This is actually a great question because its not one I talk about much on the blog. I struggle with this all the time. Everyday when my car makes that left turn into my company parking lot my heart literally sinks. Don't get me wrong, my immediate boss is great, it's just not something I enjoy. Yes, I do work full time as a graphic designer (which is what I went to school for and it is also how I design items for Yellow Heart Art) but there is zero creative freedom. Everything I design is for corporate clients so I have to adhere to their branding standards. I get asked a lot "Why don't you ever show us your design work from your job?" and the answer is because it's not me. Sure, I design stuff for well known companies like Nikon, HBO and Sony but they tell me what fonts, colors and images to use. I pretty much make come to life what is in their head.

I haven't taken Yellow Heart Art full time yet because a lot of other women in the handmade world (not ALL but most) are already married. When you're married you're able to go onto your husband's health insurance and use some of your husband's income to offset any bills if you need to. Even though I have been with Bub for 5 years now we are just boyfriend and girlfriend. I would never pressure him to marry me just so I can take on Yellow Heart Art full time. Also I live out on Long Island which is unfortunately a really pricey place to live. Just the taxes you pay a year for your house (JUST the taxes) are anywhere from 9-12 grand. That's not included mortgage payments and home owners insurance. I am all about taking risks and living a happy life but I want to make sure him and I can be at a place financially where I can take that plunge. If we were living somewhere else where it wasn't as expensive to live I think I could've quit my job 2 years ago. But we both Long Island too much to want to leave this place.

I don't think I will ever really be able to take Yellow Heart Art full time, I think when the time comes for me to pursue Yellow Heart Art I would also have to do other things too like book more freelance clients, which is totally fine with me since I am still doing my first passion which is Graphic Design :)

Trust me, that time is coming, and I hope that its sooner than later. I also know that if everyone waited till all the cards fell just right to pursue their dreams then no one would ever really achieve anything. I understand that the timing will never ever be "perfect" or "right" but I still need to be responsible. I'm ok with making materialistic sacrifices (I don't need clothes, shoes, purses or jewelry) BUT I am not ok with making "experience" sacrifices. I want to be able to travel the world and see things that most 20 somethings don't see. I want to enjoy the time Bub and I have as just *us* to see Europe and other countries. We're going to have a find a balance of "wants" and "needs" for when that time comes, and I am totally fine with that.

It's gonna happen guys, and when it does you will hear me shriek at the top of my lungs. There also might be a celebratory dance--oh hell there will definitely be a celebratory dance (gangham style anybody?)

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

All This is Worth it

The other day I may or may not have had a total melt down. Said melt down might have included downing an entire bag of mini eggs (ya know, not the 1oz bag but that huge muthah of a bag that costo has once a year....yeah...that) as well as watching Real Housewives re-runs to make myself feel better (what? Those bitches are insane. Watching other people be cray helps me be less cray--kay?) (PS-promise to never say "cray" again) (Cray) (sorry, its out of my system now, girls scouts honor)

While looking at the speckled eggs in my hand in all their chocolatey glory (seriously cadbury how do you make a mini egg so amazing?) I realized something. All the stress. All the "what ifs". All the "what on god's green earth am I doing?" is all worth it. In the end something amazing will come from me riding for free on the hot mess express these past few months (I have ridden the hot mess express so many times that my card has 9 punches on it, the 10th punch is on the house!) (mom, are you proud? Your little girl gets to ride a fictitious train for free)

That's where the inspiration for this print came from. No matter what you're going through: A recent move across the country, giving birth to a new baby, changing jobs, leaving something that isn't good for you, going to a new's all worth it. Each and every little bit of it is completely worth it all.

All This is Worth it by Yellow Heart Art (in color)

 All This is Worth it by Yellow Heart Art (in black and white)

what is something you're struggling with lately that is totally worth it?


OH HAY BY THE WAY (that rhymed)
As you know I announced on my facebook that we are releasing a pre-order for a newly designed Yellow Heart Art T-shirt. You all voted and picked charcoal gray as a color you want to see as our new Tee! The design isn't released yet but there will be a limited number of T-shirts available. We are giving away coupon codes to the first 15 people who email me (yellowheartart at gmail dot com) to ONLY be used on the t-shirt when the pre-sale goes live. This code will not be available for any other products in our shop. USE SUBJECT LINE "T-SHIRT CODE" WHEN EMAILING ME.

If this is a hit you will be seeing more Yellow Heart Art Ts in our shop! SO STOKED!

Also, now is the chance to ask me anything you want about me! Go to this post for deets.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Ask me anything!

I feel so horrible when I get an email from a blog reader or someone who stumbled upon my shop and I don't have the time to give them a proper response since I am so.stinking.busy.

Here is a run down of my day:

• Wake up at 7:30am, go to work for 8 hours
• Process Etsy orders when I get home
• Throw in some housework/cleaning/laundry/cooking/bub cuddle time
• Create graphics for a popular wedding blog! (hint if you follow me on facebook you'll know who I'm talking about) (so happy for this new opportunity!)
• Create new Yellow Heart Art products for my shop
• Design logos, branding or other items for my freelance clients
• Attempt to write blog posts
• Keep up with my twitter & facebook account
• Keep up with my own  branding and update line sheets for wholesale orders
• Keep up with my inventory to make sure I never get low on important items
• Help my friends with artsy fartsy stuff for their weddings, baby showers, engagement parties or bridal showers. (It's so bad if one more person asks me for help I have to turn them down, in fact I need to get better at saying "no" because I need my life back haha)

Thus the really annoying automatic email message you get from me letting you know I'll get back to you in 2-4 business days because, well, homegirl is tired and can only do so much. Yes, i hate that message too, but its better than not being able to write back to people right away and having them think I am totally ignoring them. Don't get me wrong, this isn't a "pitty party" post, I love what I do and wouldn't change it for the world! I just feel bad that I don't have enough hours in the day to write back long emails to all you amazing guys!

So enter this post. Now is your chance: What do you want to know about me? I'm pretty much an open book and anything is up for grabs! People have asked me about Bubs and I relationship, what it's like being with a military man, how I got into art, tips on how to run a handmade shop, what is it like living in NY and even how I do my hair (yes, it may be super long but it is definitely on the hot mess express most days) Now I'll have the time to sit down and really think about what to say to you lovely guys instead of shooting back a quick 1 sentence email that has so many auto correct errors on it you need a translator to figure it out.

I'll create an in depth blog post answering all your questions! I won't be answering any photoshop/illustrator tutorial questions though since that isn't about me :) thanks in advance for understanding!

Monday, March 25, 2013

New Art! For You Design Lovahs

Lorem Ipsum are 2 words every graphic designer and typesetter is familiar with. Lorem Ipsum is well known "dummy text" that designers use as a place holder for "real" copy so they can start designing something.

For example: If you are designing a Magazine Article for Cosmopolitan but the writer doesn't have any text yet you can go to and type in how many letters, paragraphs or words you need to fill up the area of the article temporarily until the writer is ready to send you over the copy.

It's also good for other situations like if we are limited to a certain amount of space to design something we can place the dummy copy in there to see how many words or characters can fit in that space. We would then tell the editor the amount of words they are limited to for that area.

See? Don't you fee more knowledgeable now.

I created this print for all my designer friends out there. I am loving this new water color look I am adding to everything, I think it needs to start to make more of an appearance in my shop. Also? This is one of my first prints done completely my hand and not using any fonts!

Snatch up this print here!

any prints, designs or words you want me to add to the shop? Holla atcha girl!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Supah Deals!

I'm all about a good deal. In fact it gives me some sort of weird high when I nab a pair of $150 boots for 40 bucks. It's like "legal stealing" (yeah, it's a legit thing) (ok it's not) (hoping it will catch on)

Me and some friends of mine are offering up great deals in our shops! Can you believe its been a year since Gina and I released the launch of our Photoshop for Bloggers ebook? We have loved reading all your tweets, facebook statuses and blog posts about how this book has helped you understand the basics of photoshop and apply those skills to your blogs, handmade shops and personal photos.

Gina and I decided to discount the book from $24 to $15 for one week only! This deal will expire March 26th so get on that shiz.

You have probably heard me mention Julie from Julie Ann Art a few times here on the blog. I am a ha-uge fan of hers. I also had the opportunity to meet her at a blogging conference last year and since then we constantly text each other with mini brain storm sessions on how to improve our shops.

She is going to release new products soon, and you can get an exclusive discount to these new items if you sign up for her mailing list (just visit her blog and sign up on the left hand side). Also? Homegirl is a rockstar and recently locked a deal with Urban Outfitters. Her cards will be hitting Urban's shelves soon! How amazing is that?


My other BFF Ilene from Much Love, Illy is also running an amazing deal right now over at Brickyard Buffalo. For 5 more days you can nab her signature Golden Rod Poppy Garland Headband for 40% off.  

She is seriously one of thee most genuine people I have ever met before in my life, please support her handmade biz!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Learning a New Hobby

I have always been into art. When I found out that I could participate in an online water color class I knew I wanted to be a part of it. Plus, for only $20 I had zero excuse to not join. I also might have been hoarding water color paints, papers and brushes for 7 years waiting for the *right* moment to bust those bad boys out (confession alert: My name is Leonora and I am a craft hoarder. Go on, ask me how many pounds of clay I have. Then ask me if I even own a kiln to fire said clay. I mean, nuking it in your microwave gives it the same results, right?)

So, with a marathon of Say Yes to the Dress playing in the background I dusted off my 10 year old water colors (ok, I might have lied when I said they were 7 years old...) and created my first fashion water color pieces.

the verdict? In to the love.

a little tip if you wanna get into water colors: they are super tricky to work with. You have to work backwards and go from light to dark. Don't worry, its going to go through a massive "ugly phase" just push through and keep layering and layering. Also, it will never be "perfect" since water colors are so loose. So ya gotta go into it with that in your mind.

I can't wait to hang these in my peach, gold and gray inspired studio! (oh hey, thats right, I may or may not have a studio soon but more on that later ;) )


In case you missed it!

I explained why Pantone Colors are so important and why they exist

We are nearing the end of our pot of gold contest, winner gets $20 credit to Yellow Heart Art!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Why are Pantone Colors so Important?

Every year my twitter feed blows up by the end of the year when Pantone announces their color of the year. Last year was tangerine tango, this year emerald got its moment to shine.

Being a graphic designer I use pantone colors all day erry day. Before I became a designer I didn't really know what the deal with Pantone colors was. I didn't know their importance to the design, fashion and print world.

Pantone is short for Pantone Matching System, which is also short for "PMS" (hand to heart the abbreviation is for reals PMS) Every year Pantone releases a swatch book full of colors that are given a number code. PMS color 286 is a medium blue, PMS color 362 is a lime green and PMS color 186 is a tomato red.

These swatch books I speak of? They are a pretty penny. They are approximately $80 to $100 per book. I know what you're thinking "ok, pretty sure my local home depot has a shit ton of swatch books for free. boom"

The difference with these swatch books though is that the colors are printed SO accurately and precisely that if you were to buy a swatch book and compare the colors to your swatch book to your friend's swatch book living in Japan the colors would be exactly the same. Now for anyone who has ever printed images from more than one printer you know that the colors will never be the same from one printer to the next.So it really is amazing that a company like Pantone can print out THOUSANDS of books and have them ALL match.

For example big name companies like Nikon, Coca Cola and Forever21 have PMS colors in their logo design and branding. Every Forever21 across the US will have the same shade of yellow on their clothing hang tags, their 3-D logo cut outs, and their shopping bags. Basically Forever21 tells their print vendor "Hey, I want all of our shopping bags to match PMS color 109". The print vendor then pulls out their PMS book and prints out a ton of test runs of their Yellow color until it matches up with the 109 color in their swatch book. Forever21 will then take their swatch book to make sure the shopping bags sent from the vendor match the 109 in their swatch book, which it should since ALL swatch books no matter where they are from will have the SAME shade of color in every book.

Am i making sense?

So basically, its important for companies (or your logo) to have PMS colors so that when you are getting business cards printed from one vendor and shopping bags printed from another vendor your stuff will be printed at the same color with no surprises. That is why the Pantone Matching System exists. Sure, I can say to a print vendor "Make sure my heart in Yellow Heart Art is yellow", well what kind of yellow? Bright yellow? pale yellow? mustard yellow? dark yellow? brown yellow? Sure, I love my heart to be a mustard yellow but what I think in my mind is a mustard yellow might not be how someone else interprets mustard yellow. Thats why I would provide a PMS color of the exact Yellow I have in mind.

Normally this process is very hard to achieve and a lot of companies will charge more to have your logo printed using PMS colors.

The fashion industry uses PMS colors too. When they are designing a dress using a shade of green they absolutely LOVE there will be no surprises. They simply pick a Pantone color from their swatch book to have their print vendor match it.

And that, my friends, are how PMS colors are born.


PSSST in case you missed it, help us find our pot-o-gold! If you do there could be a $20 credit to Yellow Heart Art in it for ya!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Things I Want, No Need, Yes I Definetely Need These

I love Etsy. I love the community, the fact that people are making things with their own fingers, and that I get to support small business owners so they can live out their dreams.

Granted I am on a ha-uge spending freeze at the moment that doesn't mean that I can't share my faves with you all and live vicariously through you.

The type nerd in me is totally swooning over this. Words that form the shape of New York? COME ON PEOPLE. *AND* she got the shape of Long Island right! A lot of times people think we are a blob, long island deserves more respect than that guys. We are not a blob, we are shaped like a fish. No seriously, google image that shiz.

Men: earmuffs. Ladies: let's be real, that time of the month sucks. It makes you want to cry whenever you see an ad for the ASPCA, yet it also makes you want to launch a grenade at your ovaries. At least I can try to calm myself down by looking at this cute little guy while he houses my hot water bottle.

you guys I waited 7 years for this moment...SEVEN FREKKIN YEARS but I FINALLY get to buy little girl swag for my new niece! ! ! ! You know Aunt Leonora is going to give her a tutu for everyday of the year. I'm not kidding, she will be given 365 tutus.
Dear Brother: You're Welcome.

You never know when you're going to need to go all "Chuck Norris" on someone's ass while browsing the cupcakes at your local bakery or trying on the latest Aztec leggings at Target. This necklace makes you look fashionable and bad ass all rolled into one, and really what more can you want in a necklace?

A moment of silence for how fabulous this ring is please.
Plus side? This will leave a mark when you punch out anyone who comes near your last Samao cookie (sorry guys I tend to get violent when it comes to seasonal cookies that cost the equivalent of a weekend trip to Paris)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Some Random Things

So, I'm kind of fried. I can't think of any fun projects to show you or any worth wild DIYs, so here is a list of random shiz bout you're favorite Leonora (I think by default I am most people's "favorite Leonora" since, well, how many Leonora's do you know?)

• I never wanted to date a dude who had the same name as my dad, was in the military or in the fire department. Sooo that fella I've been with for 5 years? He may or may not have all 3 of those things. (ok he does) (well played life, well played)

• My pinky toe on my left foot doesn't go down. When I come out of a pool and walk on concrete I only leave behind 4 toe prints. I used to be really self conscious of my toe and would never wear flip flops or sandals, but now whenever someone stares at my toe I just laugh and say "Yeah, it's pretty freaky right?" (embrace your weirdness)

• My 2 front teeth are fake. When I was 14 I fainted face first down a flight of stairs and my face took all the impact. My 2 front teeth broke and I had to get 74 stitches in my mouth. My face resembled the last scene of Rocky. My mom covered all the mirrors in the house with blankets so I couldn't see myself. Till this day I still don't really know what I looked like when it happened. Since you're not awkward enough at age 14 let's throw in some porcelain teeth and some barb wire in your mouth, that'll get the guys knocking on my door. (disclaimer: No dudes knocked on my door)

• When I was a little kid I would always bend over and stick my head between my legs because I loved seeing how things changed when they were upside down. I should've known then I was a little picasso in the making.

• Hugs put me in a better mood

• I get really awkward around children, even more so if they are not related to me. It doesn't matter how old they are or how many times I've seen them, I still get really out of my element.

• If you play with my hair you are automatically my most favorite person in the entire world at that moment in time. You could probably ask me for a million dollars and all the twinkies in the world and I would make it happen for you.

• Only my close friends call me "Leo" and only my boyfriend can call me "Toots"

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Works in Progress, From "Olive" Us

I haven't done a works in progress post in a while. I was contacted by Eryn on Etsy about creating a custom stamp for her. Her daughter's name is Olive and she wanted something to stamp onto cards and packages that said "From Olive Us". She originally wanted it in a thought bubble but I had a different idea in mind...

(yes, I know, this stamp makes me want to go down to the social security office right now and change my name to Olive too just so I can use this bad boy) (Just call me Olive Jennifer, the artist formally known as Leonora Jennifer the 3rd) (just kidding guys there is no "3rd" Leonora) (just threw that in there to sound legit) (moving on)

Oh, and that awesome card? I gave it to my blanket hogging friend Ilene and my friend Julie makes and sells them!

Ya dig?