Artist Showcase: Samantha of My Dear Fellow Co.

Artist Showcase - My Dear Fellow Co

Hi Friends! I’m back from Creative South and I just ingested so much great information. I won’t go into too many details here because I’m doing a post here as well on Sevenality’s blog about what we learned, experienced, and how it’s affecting what we will work on from here onward. However, today I’m so happy to share some thoughts from the very talented Samantha of My Dear Fellow Co. I am a fan of beautiful paper goods and Samantha knocks it out of the park. She also runs her business with her husband which as you know, I’m all about Creative Couples

When did you become interested in illustration?

I have been interested in illustration ever since I was a little girl. As a child, I loved to create things with my hands, and I really enjoyed displaying my creativity by coloring and painting. While other kids were attached to their dolls and toys, I was attached to my crayons and coloring books. When I went to college, I initially intended to become a nurse or a doctor, but when I took an illustration class as an elective, I realized that graphic design and illustration were my true passion. I switched my major, and that was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

What made you start My Dear Fellow Co. and how has it affected the way you create?

Starting my own paper goods shop has always been on my mind. I have always dreamed about incorporating my illustration skills and my love for design to create products that are unique and inspiring. Working as a full time designer for a large company made me come to the realization that I could start my own shop and use my skills and knowledge to express my creative freedom. I am very grateful that I can have the independence to infuse my style and ideas to create something that truly comes from my heart. My Dear Fellow Co. has opened the doors to new opportunities, and I am very happy to be able to bring fresh and exciting things to the world of paper goods.

Candles - My Dear Fellow Co

Where do you seek inspiration?

I develop most of my inspiration from nature and people. I enjoy incorporating the organic designs and colors found in nature, and I am very inspired by classic illustrations in old ads and children’s books. I also love music and find that music influences my creativity and inspires my designs.

What has been your favorite project in your career thus far?

It is hard to choose a specific project, but I think my favorite would have to be the Lure Card Set. My husband was the main source of inspiration for this project. We both love the great outdoors, and we especially enjoy fishing. There is something special about the serene tranquility of the outdoors, and this Lure Card Set reflects the colors and textures that I experience when going fishing with my husband. I think this set brings back nostalgia and fond recollections for many people, and it connects them with those pleasant memories of the past.

Lure Cards - My Dear Fellow Co

How would you differentiate your cards from other stationery companies?

Every designer will develop a unique style based on his or her experiences and inspirational sources. My goal is for my cards and products to be a direct reflection of my personality, and I seek to distinguish myself from other companies by maintaining a cohesive and original illustration style throughout my work. At My Dear Fellow Co., it is a priority to make sure every card is an original design, from the artwork to the typography, and we take pride in creating high quality products that are made in the USA from the finest materials. The whole process from the individual designs to the packaging of each card is carefully completed by hand to ensure the highest quality. It is our goal to give every person that buys one of our cards a wonderful experience and to make sure they are 100% happy with their purchases.

What has been your biggest challenge as a creative?

My biggest challenge as a creative has been to look beyond the distractions in life. It has been hard to turn down other great opportunities to focus on what I am truly passionate about. Life can throw all kinds of challenges at you, but as long as you maintain a clear focus on the people you love and the passions that drive you in life, things will work out for the best. I am very passionate about what I do, and it is my goal to be able to inspire others to reach out to those around them by bringing back the lost art of gifting hand written cards and stationery.

Mom Card - My Dear Fellow Co

What advice would you give other creatives who are thinking about opening their own shop?

My advice would be to go for it! First, find what you are truly passionate about, and your creativity and talent will naturally flow into your designs and creations. Live your life in such a way that you have no regrets and you have put forth all your efforts to express yourself and to inspire others around you by being true to your own style and appreciation of the world. Even if you are simply pursuing your passions as hobbies, one day you will be able to make the transition from a simple hobby to a lifelong career. As you embark on this journey, seek to make friends with other creatives and artists to learn from them and to grow as a person, but always remember to stay true to yourself and to demonstrate your unique talents through your individual passions and personality.

Samantha - My Dear Fellow Co

Be sure to connect with Samantha:

Shop | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter

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Five Non-Technical Traits That Helped Me Land a Technical Job

Hello! By the time you read this, I’ll be on my way to Creative South, a design conference taking place in Columbus, GA. This is my first design conference so I’ll be sure to put together notes and take lots of pictures for roundups. If you’re interested, you can follow my journey on Instagram where I’ll try to get as many photos uploaded as possible. I have two incredible guest posters lined up.  Today’s post is brought to you by the lovely Lisa which you may remember from this week’s Creative Couples feature. Lisa is a fantastic web developer and she’s talking about her newest career move to a web developer at Urban Outfitters!

Also, in case you missed it, we chatted about WordPress Security over at Sevenality. So be sure to take a peek. Thanks Lisa!


Five Non-Technical Traits for a Technical Job

Before I became a web developer, transitioning into a technical job seemed like a feat I’d never be able to accomplish. As someone with a background in the humanities (I studied English and Spanish, and worked as a teacher, proofreader, newspaper editor, and career center assistant), moving into the tech industry felt really inaccessible to me. But little by little, I’ve managed to do it. I’ve been reflecting a lot lately on how I made it happen, especially about the nontechnical traits or actions that helped without me even realizing it. This is the advice I’d give myself three years ago, if I could go back in time.

1) Listen. Ask questions, then listen some more.

I’m an introvert and an observer. Sometimes this is a disadvantage, as I may hang back and check things out for awhile before diving into a new task or social situation. But it’s often an advantage. People love to talk about themselves or what they’re working on, and they’ll remember that you were interested in hearing what they had to say.

2) Help others

Even if you feel that you have little to offer, you still know more than someone else who may just be starting out. Sharing that knowledge early on will help you learn faster, and you’ll position yourself as someone who knows her stuff and is willing to give back.

3) Practice humility

It’s easy to be nervous about learning a new thing and being afraid of getting something wrong. My first instinct is to hide or respond defensively to criticism, and I really dislike that about myself. I decided to invite constructive criticism and seek it out, so that I could learn and grow. I’m trying to be grateful for feedback, even if it’s hard, because it will ultimately make me better at what I do.

4) Engage

Is there a local meetup or users group you can attend to make new friends (that’s how I prefer to think of networking) or learn about new concepts? Join! If not, maybe you could start one or find an online community with and from whom you can learn lots! Pretty soon these meetups or users groups feel more like educational friend hang-out time than a stuffy “professional development” event. Show up and be seen. But listen and be helpful while you’re there!

5) Celebrate others’ successes

At times, I’ve gotten nervous because lots of my friends are people like me — youngish women who were trying to transition into the tech industry. I worried that there weren’t enough jobs to go around. But that’s utterly not true. There’s room for all of us, and it’s not a competition. As soon as I approached it from a perspective of abundance, I could genuinely celebrate my friends’ successes without feeling jealous. Eventually, we all rode a wave of each others’ successes, and could feel really happy and proud of each other.

Photo: Lisa Yoder

Lisa Yoder

Connect with Lisa:  Site | Blog | Github | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter

Design Deconstructed: Client Homepage Design

Deconstructing Design - Client Website Design

Today I’m sharing one of the drafts for a client homepage template web design we’ve been collaborating on. The project looks nothing like this now but as one of the first drafts, I really loved the type treatment I put together for the design. The colors are still very much the same and it’s just interesting to see how projects evolve over time.

What are you working on?

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