Makers

Creatives. Founders. Parents.

Designer, Studio Founder and Parent, David Conrad

David Conrad is Seattle area designer and celebrity, largely responsible for the growing design community.
It was great getting to know more about him as well as get some ideas for creativity with my own kids.

I hope you enjoy it his answers as much as I did!

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Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a guy, living in Seattle, married to children’s book author and all-around amazing woman. We have two kids, seven and eleven, who are the sun in our solar system. I’m also the owner and design director at Design Commission, a user experience design firm in Seattle where we battle against complicated digital products through the application of two simple concepts – truth and magic.

David Conrad with his wife, daughter and son.

David with his wife, daughter and son.

How did you get started as a designer?

My life as a designer was officially started when my mom dragged me to the International Design Conference in Aspen in 1995. She had a sense that I’d like design and by the end of the first day I was hooked. I also spent a lot of time in high school and college hanging around with geeks and so I learned a lot about networks and computers and that really solidified my interest in the intersection between design and technology. That was the seed that sprouted Design Commission.
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Letterpress Designer, Founder & Mother, Sara McNally

YAY! I got to interview a fellow Seattle-ite!

Sara does a lot. Business owner and operator. Mom. Designer. Wife. Hosts workshops. Sounders fan. And she even speaks in front of large audiences like at this Seattle Creative Mornings event.

But she still found time to answer a few questions for me and I’m so glad she did.

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Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Sara McNally and I own the letterpress stationery company and gift shop, Constellation & Co. My husband Brad and I are in the process of adopting our son who is 9 months old.

Sara McNally, a letterpress designer and Studio owner with her family

Sara McNally, letterpress designer and Constellation & Co. studio owner, with her family

How did you get started doing design and letterpress work?

I went to the Ringling College of Art & Design and studied graphic design. I fell in love with the idea of letterpress during Graphic Design History, and fell in love with the hands-on practice of letterpress once I got to Seattle 6 years ago. I took a class at SVC, apprenticed for a year with a local printer, bought my own press and haven’t stopped printing since.

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Maker Interview: Mom Makes Creative Bento Lunches For Her Kids

I reached out to Nikki after seeing about her amazing talents as a food artist on Instagram.

Read about how she used her creativity to fight picky eater syndrome.

This is one Instagram account you’re going to REALLY want to follow,  so find her accounts below!

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Tell us a little about yourself.

I am Nikki Garcia, a recent stay-at-home mom of 3 with a background in accounting, although I’ve always loved the arts, crafts and all things creative. But like every other parent, I never found time to sit and complete any of the craft projects because it would take time away from my kids, chores and things that needed to get done around the house.
With bento and food art, I allow myself to be creative, but my kids are able to benefit from the time I spend making their fun and healthy lunches.

Nikki with her family after becoming a family of 5.

Nikki with her family after becoming a family of 5!

What inspired you to start making lunches this way?

I’ve got 2 picky eaters. Before bento, I would eyeball it and serve them random amounts of food, then they would pick at it and say they were full. I needed a way to accurately measure how much they were eating. Bento allows me to do this and at the same time, serve healthier food.
I came across creative kids lunches online (Pinterest and Instagram) that looked intimidating at first, but the food ingredients they were using were easily accessible and the steps seemed pretty straight forward.

Super Mario Bento Box lunch

A Super Mario bento box lunch for school? I would even eat PEAS!

How did you learn how to make these? They look very intricate.

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Inventor, Designer & Father of Two, Jacob Durham

I first met Jacob about 10 years ago, and not only is he a kind, humble guy, but he’s also created not one, but TWO very successful Kickstarter campaigns, the BASICS Wallet and BASICS Notebook.

Read below to hear about his early memories as an inventor and where he draws his inspiration.

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Read on if you want to be an inventor, or product designer and need some inspiration

Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Jacob Durham I was raised in Arizona, then when I was in 7th grade I moved to Japan for 3 years, then spent the last two years of High School in Salt Lake City where I currently am living.  After High school I served an LDS Mission in Busan, South Korea for 2 years and after that I started college at BYU Idaho.  I got married in 2008, and finished out my schooling by getting a Masters degree in Accounting at BYU.  After Graduating I worked with a public accounting firm for a year then with my family’s business doing operations for another year, and then got into Kickstarter. Now I am self employed, running Kickstarter projects and selling our products online under the business name BASICS Products.  I have 2 kids that are everything to me. When I am not spending time with them, I like road biking, photography, and developing and innovating cool new products.

 

family picture for jacob durham

Jacob Durham with his daughter, wife, and baby on the way

 

How did you get started doing product design?
I have always loved design and innovation.  When I was young my brothers and I used to invent machines that would do things like pour your cereal or turn off your light for you when you were lying in bed.  I’ve been creating things since I was very young.  I love being creative and I also love business, when I figured out how to use these two passions together on the Kickstarter platform in summer of 2014, I began to get absorbed in the process of developing products and bringing them to the market through Kickstarter.

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4 Productivity Tips From Creative Parents

Since the beginning, this blog has been about learning from other creative parents for me and anyone else who needs it. If you struggle with finding focus, procrastinating to watch House Hunters International, or you just don’t know where to find the time to get your project done, I hope some of these can help.

Here’s some productivity tips to get more out of your day

These are all great tips. Some are from this site, and some are from elsewhere. I linked to the source for all of them if you want to read more.

 

1. Cameron Moll – Authentic Jobs

Priorities over balance

“I find when I focus on priorities rather than balance, that allows me to shift my focus such that if I'm at a conference, that conference for me for three days is my top priority, and giving it my best is my top priority, and then I get back home, and family moves back into top priority.” - Cameron Moll

“I find when I focus on priorities rather than balance, that allows me to shift, maybe, my focus such that if I’m at a conference, that conference for me for three days is my top priority, and giving it my best is my top priority,” Moll explained in a video series highlighting innovative people and their ideas. “And then I get back home, and family moves back into top priority. But that allows me to at least juggle the amount of stuff that’s on my plate at any given time, knowing that the long-term priorities are set, and I just have to deal with what the short-term priorities are.”

Source


2. Leah Remillét – The Thriving Photographer

Top 5 Things

"I end each day by creating my top 5 list.  These are the 5 most important things I want to accomplish the next day & they are where I am going to start every morning." - Leah Remillet

“I break my workday into sections and block out time based on project priorities. I also end each day by creating my top 5 list. These are the 5 most important things I want to accomplish the next day and they are where I am going to start every morning.”

Source

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Growth: How I turned 2,000+ visits into over 16 subscribers in just 30 days! /s

If you can’t tell from the headline, I was excited about the (I’ll admit small) amount of traffic but underwhelmed with the end results, but growth is growth. This is a brand new blog and I’ve never done this before, so getting almost 1,000 hits from one of the blog posts felt like a pretty great first month for me.

TL;DR

The content is good.

But I suck at this.

With some tools, I sucked less. It could’ve been worse.

I’m gonna keep at it!

The tools did well, but I didn't

The tools did well, but I didn’t

My growth stats for the month:

Here are some of the SumoMe plugins I used to both track where users were clicking and collect emails.

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Happy Fathers Day!

Happy Fathers Day!

The card is also funny because it’s like a dad joke

Happy Fathers Day to those that like “dad jokes”

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Interview: Taryn Whiteaker, Stay At Home Mom and Interior Design Blogger

Taryn and I had a weight lifting class together in High School and I’ve been intimidated by her ever since 😉

I was impressed by how quickly she grew her blog and following so I reached out to see if there was something I could learn. Of COURSE there was…

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Read on if you’re into interior design and need some inspiration

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m Taryn! I am the author of Design, Dining and Diapers, a home & garden and interior design blog that covers everything from DIY Projects & Tutorials, Home Decor, Seasonal Crafts, Entertaining, Food and Life with Kids! I live in the greater Seattle area with my husband of (almost) 7 years and our two kids (soon to be 3)! We recently moved into our dream home out in the country, so as of late my blog has been focused on decorating our new home and making it our own.

Portrait of Taryn Whiteaker, creator of design, dining and diapers

Portrait of Taryn Whiteaker, creator of design, dining and diapers

 

Why did you get into interior design? What made you decide to start your blog?

I’ll try and keep it short but there is a story behind it! It really has been a combination of things that led me to where I am now. The saying really is true, ‘everything happens for a reason’. I have always loved the arts and being creative. I learned how to sew at the age of nine by watching my mom make my clothes and before I knew it I was making most of my own wardrobe in middle school and high school. I always had plans to go to design school but in the end I decided to attend The University of Arizona and get a major in Communications and minor in Sociology & French. After I got my degree, I was lucky enough to land a great job doing Public Relations for some amazing companies around the world. It was right around this time when blogs and social media started to make their way into mainstream media and companies started to see the value of having an online presence. I found myself working with bloggers on behalf of my clients and learning a lot about the industry.
Fast forward a few years….In 2011, our daughter was born and I decided to become a stay-at-home mom. I was so grateful to have the opportunity to be at home but it was a hard transition going from the corporate lifestyle to being home all day. I needed something to keep me busy (as if a newborn wasn’t enough). During nap times I started reading DIY blogs and found myself digging into my creative side again. Instead of making my own clothes, I channeled all my creativity into transforming our house into a home and I was loving it! I felt like I found a piece of me again. It wasn’t too long after that I decided to use the knowledge I gained in my professional career and take a chance on starting my own creative blog! I literally had no idea what I was getting into….or what it would become.

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