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Adobe Photoshop on the Ipad Pro – My Thoughts.

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Organized creativity

I’m a planner. I love to plan. I use an A5 Malden Filofax and I love it! I love creating my own inserts, weekly calendars, dividers and stickers. So much so that I’ve recently started designing inserts to sell over on my Etsy Store.

Planning to me is a mindfulness method. I’ve been at points in my life where I haven’t used a planner as much, and my stress levels have been a lot higher than when I have planned. Just the simple act of writing down your appointments for the week, things you want to achieve that week or writing notes to yourself as a form of self preservation is such a confidence boost. Ticking things off the “To Do” list helps with that sense of achievement and “supermumness” plus the 8 year old Nia in me loves the fact that I’m still making diaries and stickers just like I used to, sat on the floor in my bedroom with bits of paper, sellotape, a biro and a stapler to hand.

The thing about planning and being organised is…its either in you or, you have to learn the habit. If you want to that is. No one ever said that you HAVE to be organised. But in all seriousness, it does help quite a bit with life in general.

When my twin girls were born, planning and organising was a saviour. Especially as I had an 18 month old as well. There was a routine, that I stuck to, even down to what time I had a shower and what time I could leave the house to run errands. It also helped anyone coming to the house to help out as they knew what time the next bottle feed or nap time was if I needed to pop out on my own for a while.

Now that my three are 8, 8 and 9 and a half, I still plan. This week is half term and I’ve planned days for work when I have child care and days for being “home” with the kiddies, making memories.

This is the current set up I use. It’s easy to use because it’s so simple. Appointments on one side and to do’s on the other. With 2 blank boxes for whatever needs noting down that week. I may change my mind in a few weeks and decide another layout is better suited to my needs. But that’s what I love about having a ring bound planner rather than a “book” planner or for the correct technical term, a perfect bound planner.

If you have purchased my downloadable planner printables.l, let me know in the comments what you think! I love receiving feedback so that I can keep improving my products and services.

Bye for now!

Nia xxx

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Staying inspired

It’s probably been written about a million times before. Its the crux of every single creatives life I know. It’s so important to nourish, yet so often forgotten about or ignore. I’m talking about creativity. We all have it within us. Its what we choose to do with it that’s important though.

Creativity is like a muscle. Keep exercising it and it will get stronger – Makes sense right?! After all, we all (me the least at the moment!) go to the gym or do some form of exercise to keep our body’s in top condition. We eat healthy food to fuel our body’s so that we can do the exercises that keep us in good health. It’s just the same with creativity. We need to practice our skills, develop and refine our craft consistently so that we can reach the level of expertise that we want. Think of it this way. You wouldn’t enter an Olympic competition without having first put in months if not years of practice. The same goes for graphic design and illustraion. But what happens when you just have nothing left to give mentally or physically.



Trearddur Bay Anglesey North Wales
Instagram picture of planning in a filofax by niasian design

Life isn’t linear. It throws us curve balls constantly. So for those of us who are in the creative industries, where our livelihood is reliant on our ideas and inspiration, making sure we keep our “creative bank” topped up is so very important. There are many ways to stay inspired. But one of the ones that is most overlooked is rest. I don’t mean the early to bed early to rise type of rest. I mean actually stepping away from the computer/pen & paper and actually going out and doing something completely different. Take me for example; I woke up this morning, not feeling 100% as I do most mornings because of my fibro. I spent a couple of hours working away on some client work, but really wasn’t feeling it. But I pushed through and got the bulk of what I wanted to do, done. I then did something I don’t always do but should do more often. I took my dog to the beach. Such a simple thing to do. But it made all the difference. so in light of all of this, here are my top 10 things to do to stay inspired or get the spark back!!

  1. Get away from your work area – Especially if you work from home as I do. Having a break will give you time to breathe and think about things from a different angle. 
  2. Schedule regular exercise – even if its just a short walk, a yoga session in your front room, exercising is scientifically proven to help release endorphins – AKA the happy hormone!!
  3. Use a planner – I’m a stationery addict, and I love a good planning session. I currently use an A5 Filofax Malden to plan 90% of my work. The rest goes into a black notebook I have specifically for design projects. 
  4. Watch some inspirational videos or listen to your favourite podcasts! – “cheese factor alert” I do love a good motivational video on youtube. The ones where you have someone speaking in a very compelling tone and giving a right good old speech about working harder than your competition. 
  5. Spend time with family – quite often, a good old fashioned family day will help bring my mind back to focus about what’s really important in life, and the reasons why I work so hard at building this little empire of mine – I have three little people watching me and taking inspiration from me!! (#nopressure!)
  6. Plan a weekend getaway – I recently had 3 glorious days in London with my husband for our 6th wedding anniversary. We went to watch the Smashing Pumpkins, visited an old friend and ate way too much pizza! 
  7. Refresh your music playlist – I’m a big music lover and have had Spotify for many years – but quite often, I can get bored with the same old music every day. So this is a simple one; play some different music!! I’ll link my Spotify profile for you in case you wanted some music inspo!! Also, try the daily mixes. Ive discovered loads of bands that I wouldnt have thought to listen to. 
  8. Talk – Go out and talk to people. In a socially acceptable manner of course. I doubt many would appreciate a random person coming up to them in the street and kicking off a convo about how the world is going to end… What I mean is, go and see your friends, pop in for a coffee and a chat. See how other people are doing. Connect with them. I have a few friends who run businesses locally to me – but they are on their own (think barber, tattoo artist) So I go and visit them as often as I can. Of course, they have their clients throughout the day, but having a friend pop in to see you is just lovely!
  9. Stay focused and organised – I have a whiteboard above my desk which I use to write down big goals, like projects I’m working on, Ideas I want to pursue and inspirational quotes. 
  10. Treat yourself!! – This is obviously budget dependent, but I find buying a magazine and some chocolate really helps when Im feeling low and stuck in a rut. My current favourite magazines are The Computer Arts Magazine and In The Moment Magazine Both of these titles are like chicken soup for my soul! 

So there you have my top ten ways to stay inspired. Your main takeaway from this should be  – Don’t beat yourself up if the ideas don’t come pouring out like a tap, or you feel like you’re a shitty designer. Everyone goes through it. And we all come out the other side with bigger and better ideas. The key is to work through it, acknowledge it and learn from it. 

Id love to know how you stay inspired. What do you do when that designer doubt creeps in and everything feels so bleak and boring?

Lots of Love

Nia xx