All Posts in Graphic Design

February 14, 2017 - No Comments!

Local Tools: 5 Ways to stay productive and healthy this month

February in Vancouver has been tough. We've had more snow than the city has experienced in decades, and health and productivity levels are at their lowest because of it. We've got a roundup of local tools and events to help get you refocused and back on track.

#1. Reconnect and get inspired
Check out Fall For Local speaker evening - all about having a side hustle and owning it. With 4 local entrepreneurs talking, you're sure to come away re-inspired and ready for spring.

#2. Stay healthy!!
URGH snow and colds and infections are the worst. But our resident nutritionist Erin is providing us with 3 work friendly lunch recipes at our hustle session next week. Pop by after work on Wednesday 22nd at 5pm to hear more about the healthy food you can be making at home! RSVP here.

#3. Laugh
A good laugh can do wonders for the soul. Get yourself over to Granville Island on a Sunday night for the Rookie Improv Show and let off some steam!

#4. Avoid burnout
Learn how to avoid burning out - something that's especially important if you're an introvert and spend your energy on interacting with others! Grab a place at member Faris's talk that's happening tomorrow night here at L'Atelier!

#5. Meditate
Something we all know we should do, and most likely forget to do - especially in times of sickness or when we're rushing to get things done. Our tip? Take 5 minutes alone just to sit and be quiet. If in doubt though, make the most out Moment Meditation's current 2 for 1 deal using code "2for1"

 

January 16, 2017 - No Comments!

Local Tools: 5 ways to stay organized and focused in Vancouver

Like everyone else, the dust of new year is settling for us and we're getting focused and organized for the new year ahead. This year, we'll be sharing more tips and tricks about co-working and how to thrive as a freelancer or small business owner in Vancouver. We'll be making sure to feature local ways of achieving this each month, as we love our Vancouver family and want to continue supporting them!

#1: A  C A L E N D A R
To get things kicked off, we're starting with the obvious; you need a calendar to plan for the year ahead of course and luckily for us a couple of our members joined forces to design some fun and functional calendars that you can print at home! Check out Pretty Office Thing's Etsy store to see the calendars designed by Salt Design Co. and use code PRETTY50 for a cheeky discount 😉


#2: A  P L A N N E R
In this same realm, we can't not feature Stil Classics and their amazing planners. Owner and Director Marissa is also a member of our office - Marissa designed her planners with everything she was missing in mind. It's functional, beautiful and has daily to-do lists alongside your schedule so you can check in with each of your daily tasks and never lose focus.

(Photo of the Design Love Planner - which is currently on sale!)

#3: T H E  J O B  H U N T
Need help with a job hunt this month? Talent Collective have got you covered- they're hosting a free(!!) online webinar to help reduce your job hunting stress, nail your resume and avoid common mistakes.


#4: L E A R N I N G
Growing a business or freelance career is tough. Join the team at Brainstation YVR or at Red Academy to acquire more skills that pay the bills!


(Photo from a Vancity Business Babes event at Brainstation in 2016.
Photo credit: Lucy Gregory)

#5: H E A L T H
Lastly, and possibly one of the most important things to consider as an entrepreneur or freelancer, is your health! Make sure you stay focused and stress free this year by putting your mental health first. Moment Meditation start their 3 week challenge on January 23rd - the perfect opportunity to give it a go and introduce a few more calm moments into your daily routine.


(Photo from this journal entry on the Moment site. Unknown photo credit.)

Let us know how you're getting along this month! You can tweet at us @vancityatelier or email [email protected]

December 23, 2016 - No Comments!

“Why Vancouver” Featuring Sabrina Chammas

The startup culture in Vancouver is not only thriving, it’s growing. It’s become a trend of it’s own that inspires, and encourages everyone to join in. People who move to the city see and experience this first hand, and realize that when surrounded by the energy here, there isn’t anything they can’t do. The world is your oyster in Vancouver, but how did that come to be? Why is Vancouver such a hot-bed of self employed creatives?

As part of an ongoing series, we’ll be meeting and interviewing creative entrepreneurs in Vancouver to see how and why they think this has happened, how they’ve benefited from it, and what makes them tick as an entrepreneur; we want to know, “Why Vancouver”

This week is our last interview in the series, and we're coming full circle by featuring L'Atelier founder and owner, Sabrina! If you've been into the office, you will of course know Sabrina, but if not, here's to chance to get to know her a little bit. Sabrina tells us more about why she came to Vancouver, and why she thinks Vancouver is such a great place to have a thriving small business.

Thanks for reading this series, we'll be back in the new year!

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December 16, 2016 - No Comments!

“Why Vancouver” Featuring Mike Stinson

The startup culture in Vancouver is not only thriving, it’s growing. It’s become a trend of it’s own that inspires, and encourages everyone to join in. People who move to the city see and experience this first hand, and realize that when surrounded by the energy here, there isn’t anything they can’t do. The world is your oyster in Vancouver, but how did that come to be? Why is Vancouver such a hot-bed of self employed creatives?

As part of an ongoing series, we’ll be meeting and interviewing creative entrepreneurs in Vancouver to see how and why they think this has happened, how they’ve benefited from it, and what makes them tick as an entrepreneur; we want to know, “Why Vancouver”

This week were hearing from Mike Stinson - the brand spanking new Creative Director of Waves Social! Yes, we've got the Waves crew back at it! They're super social like that (wink wink) and we love their style! Here's what Mike had to say about "Why Vancouver"...

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December 2, 2016 - No Comments!

“Why Vancouver” Featuring Angie Coates

The startup culture in Vancouver is not only thriving, it’s growing. It’s become a trend of it’s own that inspires, and encourages everyone to join in. People who move to the city see and experience this first hand, and realize that when surrounded by the energy here, there isn’t anything they can’t do. The world is your oyster in Vancouver, but how did that come to be? Why is Vancouver such a hot-bed of self employed creatives?

As part of an ongoing series, we’ll be meeting and interviewing creative entrepreneurs in Vancouver to see how and why they think this has happened, how they’ve benefited from it, and what makes them tick as an entrepreneur; we want to know, “Why Vancouver”

If you know todays featured lady Angie, then you know real joy and kindness emanate all around her. Having only recently met Angie (at the UP Conference! Yay!) I am lucky enough to be able to now call her a friend. For you guys though, go follow her on Instagram and enjoy the daily positivity and love she spreads - and super cool graphics!

Her actual job though, is as a graphic designer. A fellow creative, Angie works from home alongside her creative hubby and her dog, Meatball. They've got the Vancouver dream in full blown action and can attest to how it works so well here. Angie explains what makes Vancouver so wonderful and allows her to live her creative dreams below...

  angie-3

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October 28, 2016 - No Comments!

“Why Vancouver”” Featuring Chelsea McKenzie

The startup culture in Vancouver is not only thriving, it’s growing. It’s become a trend of it’s own that inspires, and encourages everyone to join in. People who move to the city see and experience this first hand, and realize that when surrounded by the energy here, there isn’t anything they can’t do. The world is your oyster in Vancouver, but how did that come to be? Why is Vancouver such a hot-bed of self employed creatives?

As part of an ongoing series, we’ll be meeting and interviewing creative entrepreneurs in Vancouver to see how and why they think this has happened, how they’ve benefited from it, and what makes them tick as an entrepreneur; we want to know, “Why Vancouver”.

Part of the beauty of doing your own thing in Vancouver, is that if you want to mix the best of two worlds ("regular" 9-5 jobs AND freelance gigs), well you can! The majority of our creative community is made up folks just like todays interviewee Chelsea, merging multiple jobs to fulfill income and passion needs.

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October 14, 2016 - No Comments!

“Why Vancouver” Featuring Insa Burch

The startup culture in Vancouver is not only thriving, it’s growing. It’s become a trend of it’s own that inspires, and encourages everyone to join in. People who move to the city see and experience this first hand, and realize that when surrounded by the energy here, there isn’t anything they can’t do. The world is your oyster in Vancouver, but how did that come to be? Why is Vancouver such a hot-bed of self employed creatives?

As part of an ongoing series, we’ll be meeting and interviewing creative entrepreneurs in Vancouver to see how and why they think this has happened, how they’ve benefited from it, and what makes them tick as an entrepreneur; we want to know, “Why Vancouver”.

This week we’ve got my gal pal Insa Burch joining the conversation! Insa is the main inspiration for this entire series (Thanks lady!). A fellow Brit, Insa moved out here at the beginning of the year and continuously remarked how much she loved Vancouver, how inspiring it was and how there were SO many people doing cool things.

I hadn’t really stopped to think about it before, but in talking to Insa I realized that she was right - there is a real energy when you immerse yourself into the creative community here - with a fresh set of eyes I could see how it’s pushed me along and allowed me to do what I do.

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October 7, 2016 - No Comments!

“Why Vancouver” Featuring Annika Reinhardt

The startup culture in Vancouver is not only thriving, it’s growing. It’s become a trend of it’s own that inspires, and encourages everyone to join in. People who move to the city see and experience this first hand, and realize that when surrounded by the energy here, there isn’t anything they can’t do. The world is your oyster in Vancouver, but how did that come to be? Why is Vancouver such a hot-bed of self employed creatives?

As part of an ongoing series, we’ll be meeting and interviewing creative entrepreneurs in Vancouver to see how and why they think this has happened, how they’ve benefited from it, and what makes them tick as an entrepreneur. We want to know, “Why Vancouver”.

This weeks interviewee is well known amongst the creative circles of freelancers in Vancouver. As one half of Talent Collective, the bubbly Annika also hosts Freelance Friday, bringing us contractors together so we can bond and network to our hearts content. Here’s what Annika has to say about “Why Vancouver”:

annika Read more

September 30, 2016 - No Comments!

“Why Vancouver” Featuring Alexa Mazzarello

The startup culture in Vancouver is not only thriving, it’s growing. It’s become a trend of it’s own that inspires, and encourages everyone to join in. People who move to the city see and experience this first hand, and realize that when surrounded by the energy here, there isn’t anything they can’t do. The world is your oyster in Vancouver, but how did that come to be? Why is Vancouver such a hot-bed of self employed creatives?

As part of an ongoing series, we’ll be meeting and interviewing creative entrepreneurs in Vancouver to see how and why they think this has happened, how they’ve benefited from it, and what makes them tick as an entrepreneur; we want to know, “Why Vancouver”.

This week we spoke to Alexa Mazzarello of Alexa Mazzarello Creative. Photographer, creative, and all round babe, Alexa is a fellow full time member at L’Atelier. We originally met through the amazingly connected community of creatives in Vancouver, so she seemed like the perfect person to pitch my “Why Vancouver” question to.

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September 9, 2016 - No Comments!

“Why Vancouver” Featuring Miranda Grigor

As part of an ongoing series, we’ll be interviewing creative entrepreneurs in Vancouver to see how and why they think doing your own thing in business is possible, why it has boomed in Vancouver, how they’ve benefited from it, and what makes them tick as an entrepreneur; we want to know, “Why Vancouver”.

Third up in the “Why Vancouver” series, is Miranda Grigor. A cat loving, punk dancing camper, Miranda is one hell of a graphic designer. I work alongside this lovely lady at Flipside Creative, making all sorts of great visuals for kind people across North America. I pitched my idea to Miranda, and asked what she thought on the topic of “Why Vancouver”. What Miranda notes for our conversation, is that us West Coasters have a focus on lifestyle. We aim to be happy first and foremost, and choose Vancouver for the lifestyle, not the job opportunities. If we wanted corporate careers, we would have moved to Toronto or New York, but here in B.C we try to do it all. Check out Miranda’s reasons for “Why Vancouver” (plus why freelance!) and her 5 getting sh*t done faves.

Miranda Grigor

MG: “When I moved to Vancouver I had no idea what I was doing. I was only one year out of design school when I packed my bags and left my life in Ontario to start a new chapter on the west coast. It helped that I had a few friends and family here, but career-wise I was taking a huge risk, leaving my first real full-time design gig at a pretty reputable studio.

I’d just gone through a pretty devastating breakup and it sounds super cheese, but the ocean and mountains were calling me. I wanted to be close to my family, and at that time in my life I was more focussed on finding myself than nailing down a career. I feel like if you're happy with yourself, the work stuff will figure itself out. Spoiler alert: it did.

The design community in Ottawa, where I went to school, is really small and everybody knows everybody else. I had tons of industry contacts before I even graduated, and finding work wasn’t really a problem. But when I moved to Vancouver I knew nobody in the field. Compared to Ottawa, I found the design scene here to be a bit cold and disconnected.

This is totally based on my own experience, but I feel like a big part of the reason freelance is so popular in Vancouver is because agencies don’t want to hire full-time junior creatives. Understandably, it’s a risky investment that may or may not pay off. There also seems to be a serious lack of co-op programs in the design schools here, which means students aren’t getting the opportunity to connect and gain that crucial experience in a real work environment prior to job hunting. So basically everyone is just trying to make things happen on their own. What’s really cool is that a lot of people are becoming really successful in that way. People are initiating conversations and developing their own sense of community.

So like a lot of other designers, I didn't have much luck connecting with agency people when I started out in Vancouver. So I opened my job search to include in-house gigs, and BAM. All of a sudden I was getting job offers. Eventually I settled into a position where I got to be in charge of all things creative. That is to say, I was the only designer catering to six content strategists. Before this I didn’t even know what a content strategist was. The workload was insane but the challenge was really fulfilling to me at that time. The pay was pretty great, too.

The problem with in-house work is that creative people get bored easily. It wasn't much more than a year before I had major brand burnout and I was really missing the variety that comes along with agency work. I still didn’t have any agency job offers, but I had made some contacts along the way so I decided to take on some freelance temporarily until I got my “real job” figured out.

That was almost two years ago.

I used to think freelance was too risky and that I needed the structure of an office to stay motivated. But as my business started to fall into place, I realized I was much happier when I had more freedom in my work life. Something as simple as eliminating my commute made me feel more balanced and fulfilled. 

Today I’ve narrowed my client roster down to a few steady, ongoing contracts which alleviates all that “what if” freelance stress while giving me that itty bit of structure I tend to crave. I get to be my own boss, while still being part of a team. Depending on the day, I get to work with agencies or in-house marketing teams — all on my own terms (for the most part). I get the best of both worlds, plus the downtime I need stay sane.

Word of mouth referrals have really helped set things into motion for me, but I also feel like my authenticity and strong work ethic have been major keys to my success as a freelancer. And even though I Sometimes have to work until 1am to keep up, other days I get to knock off early and hit the beach on a Thursday afternoon. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

1. Do you have a favourite cafe or local spot to work from?
I'm one of those rare people who actually feels less distracted working from home. I’ve got a pretty sweet little office setup with a big window, a big screen, and an endless supply of coffee. Also, when I’m home I’ve always got a dog by my feet and at least one cat in my lap, which makes me pretty happy. But when I do need a change of scenery, I love Lost + Found on West Hastings and Gigi Blin, which is a super cute little cafe in my neighbourhood in south Van.

2. What's your favourite music to listen to whilst working?
This is the hardest question ever. At my core, I’m a rock n’ roll girl. For me, that means everything from doo-wop to rockabilly to surf pop and punk music. But I’m going to take this opportunity to give a shout out to two of my favourite local bands, Dead Soft and Supermoon.

3. What's your favourite thing about summer in Vancouver?
I love that you can bike anywhere. I love hanging out with friends outside at a park or the beach, listening to music. Recently I’ve been making a point to hit up various happy hours with my girlfriends after work. When I first moved here, Vancouver didn’t do the happy hour thing, so I’m pretty stoked we have that now.

4. What's one thing you can't live without?
My cats. That’s two things…

5. What's the best advice you've ever been given as freelancer/ self employed designer?
Always set aside enough money for taxes (thanks Dad). 

If you liked this post, let us know! We want YOU to be part of our community. Send me a message ([email protected]) and you can join one our community events, host a workshop or even be part of this blog series!