Snapshots: Kate Spade

Hands down, one of my favorite designer brands is Kate Spade. Her accessories are so colorful and cute and I pretty much live by her mantra, "Live colorfully". I just love how clean and modern her aesthetics are. Everything is colorful yet it's somehow subtle at the same time. She tends to use a lot of simple geometrical shapes and lines to compliment her colorful designs, which is something that I've adapted to my own design aesthetics. Probably one of my biggest fashion inspirations.


Stay Motivated: Design Books

Whenever I talk to my fellow creatives about design work, the most popular topic we get on is "how to keep motivated". It's a constant struggle trying to be intuitive and keeping motivated with our own design work. This is especially true for those of us who work for a company, agency, or work under someone in general. We are always designing for someone else. We are always designing for clients. More times than not, we have to venture out of our comfort zone to design something that we don't even like! It's no surprise that designers become unmotivated. As I've stated in my 'RAW Tuesday' post, I started this blog as a way to keep motivated and to keep doing design stuff outside of client work or whatever my 'boss' wants. And one of my favorite/best ways of keeping motivated is through design books. 

Now, this is 2014. We are at an era where almost everything is digital. Hell, even most design works are digital (except my job is an ad agency so we do mostly print work....but that's besides the point.) and there used to be a time where it wasn't always all digital. Not that design books showcase 'analog' designs all the time, they are at least tangible and something you can refer back to. When I'm doing design work for myself or on a project that I'm passionate about, I always refer back to my many design books. I'll go through my books every once in a while and bookmark certain design elements that I'm really digging at the moment. Then I'll go back to them for inspiration. Also, there's something more 'real' about seeing the designs on paper, with the correct colors, than just seeing design works on the computer. 

This is the newest addition to my Victionary design book collection. I'm a huge fan of Victionary's books and if you're a designer and haven't heard of them, you should check them out like RIGHT NOW. They have such creative, colorful, and wonderful books. Even non designers would appreciate them. Plus, they look pretty damn awesome on your coffee table.
This particular book, as the name suggests, is about neon (fluorescent) colored graphics. If anyone is familiar with me as a designer personally, I'm a huge fan of color and BRIGHT colors mixed with subtle or monochromatic colors. There's something very alluring about mixing hints of bright colors with subtle colors and this book really spoke to me. It's also kind of fun that on Amazon, they don't let you choose the color of the cover (it comes in orange, green, or pink) so it's kind of a surprise when you get it. As you can see, I got the pink version (just what I wanted! \^0^/). (The first thing I thought of was "2NE1" lol. Kinda reminded me of their album art.) 

Whenever I get a new design book or new magazine even, I'll keep it on my desk for a while. Mainly because, I know that if I don't have time to read it the minute I get it, I'll be reminded to read it throughout the week whenever I do have the time. It's also just nice to have some form of inspiration on your desk or near your work area. 

And lastly, keep it updated! I bought a magazine holder to put on my desk so I can selectively choose which books or magazines I want near me. Design books aren't exactly 'cheap' and even for me, I've collected all my design books over many years. The Victionary books range from $25-35 typically if you order from Amazon. And although that's not a huge investment, it's not like I can order new design books every month. It adds up! My bf got me a free subscription to Vogue magazine a while back, and although I don't actually read Vogue, fashion is another form of design and it's something that motivates me as well! Magazines are much cheaper, so if you just need some visual inspiration, you'd be surprised at what you can get out of fashion magazine publications. And there's tons of those. (I'm actually subscribed to Glamour, Vogue, Elle, and Elle Decor! They're usually like $15/yr! It's so much cheaper to just subscribe than buying it off the stands.) As a designer, I look for elements of aesthetics that I feel that I could incorporate for my design works. If you're only bound to graphic design books (or whatever your design field is), venture out! Fashion, interior decoration, and culinary magazines all inspire me! Look beyond the content and scour for visual ideas that you could potentially use. 


Visual Exploration: Geometrical

Snapshots: Takumi sushi

My bf and I used to live near this amazing sushi place and we would primarily go there to treat ourselves to all you can eat. I've been to this place before a few times without getting the 'AYCE' option, but it just doesn't cut it. There are too many things to eat there to just get one plate of sushi. They are really good for their rolls and although most of them taste similar, everything is so fresh and just melts in your mouth. This place is by far, our favorite sushi spot. Unfortunately, we now live an hour away from there and the last time we ate there was over a year ago, before we moved. So we decided to take an impromptu trip down there to treat ourselves. We pretty much ate so much we were in pain. So worth.


Music Spotlight: Chris Brown "Don't Think They Know" feat. Aaliyah"

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It's fine if you hate Justin Bieber because you think he's just another dumb, delinquent, rich kid. It's fine if you hate on Chris Brown because you don't agree with how he handles his anger issues. All understandable. But most of the people who 'hate' on these artists don't even listen to their music in the first place. If I like a song, I like it because I like it. I don't like it because the man behind the song is a millionaire or is known for his charities. I don't like it because the girl behind the song is one of the nicest people in Hollywood. I don't care. These people are not and will probably never be my friends in real life so I really don't care what they do with their lives unless they somehow personally affect me. They are not my "heroes" or 'idols'. I just like their music.

And I'm not writing this because I felt like I needed to explain why I listen to Chris Brown--who is again in the media for causing some trouble. I'm writing this because it's just something that personally irks me. Like how people hate on Michael Jackson for being a 'child rapist'. Like....I'm not even going to get into that because that's another topic to get into. But I've always liked Chris Brown. He is one of the only mainstream R&B artists today that is actually an "R&B" artist. I know there are others, but he's been around for a while and he's been consistent. Bottom line, I like Chris Brown's music. Sucks that he may be a sucky person but that's not really my problem.

Let your ears be the judge.


RAW Tuesdays: The Truth About Design Is........

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When I first started working in the "real world" of graphic design, I realized just how absolutely wrong I had been for the last five years or so. I had this ideal in my head of what my job would be like: Cute, artsy, modern furniture with an equally artsy and quirky coffee mug, all the while designing beautiful flyers and web banners all day long, spinning in my bright orange chair, and having the time of my life.


Deliciousness: Regret the ice cream later because lactose intolerance.........


Coffee Perspective

Funny story. I changed my blog URL (from 'noxinoxi') because I thought it just fit me better and my lifestyle, and my blog name is 'DOUBLESHOTS', which I was btw, referring to photography--not so much coffee. I knew there was a pun there, but I didn't really think it had anything to do with my blog. Anyway, and here I am uploading photos of coffee. And it just hit me what an absolute addict I must be.

Ok, so it's not really that funny. But the point is, I guess I engage in this 'coffee culture' more than I realize. I'm pretty ignorant about coffee but there's something about coffee and their respective cafes and shops that I absolutely love. I'm sure I can speak for many others. It's the atmosphere and the aura. It's the smell and the bitter taste that tingles and often burns your taste buds. Everything from the flavor, to the color and the condiments make up this 'coffee' experience. It's so much more than just an expensive caffeinated or decaffeinated beverage. It's like a little R&R in every cup.


insta-favs: travel & lounge

I know it's been a while (what, 4 months?). Since my last post, a lot has happened. The holidays came and went with a blink of an eye. I had a job, then left that job due to the distance. And I start my new job this Monday. If you're wondering what I did with my free time in between finding a job--I did absolute nothing. 

If you're wondering why I didn't post photos here while I had the free time, all I can say is it's probably because I was being lazy. I played a lot of video games during that free time and being completely unproductive /thuglife. I also posted quite a few photos on instagram and realized how convenient it is to document my daily life with my phone camera. Oh, and I also got an iPhone since my last post. Seriously, for photography loving people, iPhone is a little beast. I hate to admit it, but after being dedicated to Android for the past 5yrs and switching to an iPhone, I'll never go back. iPhone's photos are so clear and crisp. It's still just a phone camera, but it takes photos so much better than my Galaxy S3.

Anyway, Instagram is great because you can be all artistic and actually tryhard in getting your photos to look nice. After all, everyone wants "likes" right?? I also downloaded about 10 different camera/photo editing apps. I only use about 4 of them most of the time...."only". It's become quite the addiction. And although I don't advocate skimping on blogging and just posting on instagram, I do think it's a neat app that can push me to be creative with photos. I posted a collection of some of my photos since I've last blogged. My iPhone would never replace a legit camera, but hey, it's better than nothing.