petit elefant:: Tell me how you balance work, writing a very popular blog, & being an involved mom?
design mom:: I have a really high threshold for ignoring housework. :) In reality it’s a take-it-a-day-at-a-time thing. I try really hard to only spend time at my computer when the babies are napping/kids are at school. Or when I have child care available. I find it impossible to concentrate on work if my kids are right with me — I usually won’t even answer phone calls. I can do kids. Or work. But not both at the same time. As my blog grows into a business, I have to keep re-finding the balance.
petit elefant:: What’s your favorite aspect of blogging?
design mom:: I landed my first real design job as an art director at Ogilvy & Mather in Athens, Greece during my senior year of college — and while I was pregnant with my first baby. So my professional design experience and motherhood have always been intertwined. The Graphic Design program at my university (BYU http://byu.edu) was excellent. There was lots of emphasis on problem-solving (which is helpful in any profession and in any life) And we were taught to study and appreciate good design across every discipline. My discipline was graphic design, but I was taught about great architecture, furniture design, textile design, photography, industrial design, interior design, landscape design, and on and on. Basically, we were taught how to “design our lives.” To be deliberate about where we lived, how we lived, what we surrounded ourselves with.
design mom:: I look everywhere for good design. Because it exists everywhere. Wedding invitations. Stationery. Ads. Children’s books. Coffee table books. Retail window displays. Food packaging. Clothing. Bed linens. Wrapping Paper. Gardens. Homes. Blogs. Logos. Catalogs. Friends.
design mom:: For me, the best hallmark of good design is excellent typography (either in the product itself or in the marketing materials and packaging that come with the product). You can always spot a well-trained designer by their typography. And it’s the easiest place to mess up. I don’t know if I’ll ever feel like I’ve mastered typography.
design mom:: Consistency is huge. If you post reliably that helps a ton in making your blog great. Whether it’s once every Monday or 10 times a day, readers like to know what to expect and how often to check in.
petit elefant:: What are some of your favorite spots in the blog-o-sphere?
design mom:: This can be a hard question to answer. As I get busier I have less time to explore. I think that’s why I like kirtsy (http://kirtsy.com) so much — it’s thousands of women searching the internet for me. Finding the coolest stuff and putting it on kirtsy. Then the stuff with the widest appeal makes it to the popular section. So if I check in at kirtsy a few times each day I see all the coolest stuff happening online. Shopping finds, funny websites, news headlines, exceptional blog posts. It’s awesome.
, I check in with my family and friends blogs every day. You can also find me trolling the design and lifestyle blogs — the big ones like Design*Sponge and Decor8 — but also lots of lesser known ones. And new ones pop up all the time. People with great taste and style are endlessly inspiring to me. If you’re in the mood to explore, try these:
Love Made Visible: http://www.pomegranita.com/
Simple Lovely: http://simplelovely.blogspot.com/
Look to Nie Nie Dialogues for Marriage & Family inspiration: http://nieniedialogues.blogspot.com/
Look to Every Day I Write The Book because Kacy will make you laugh: http://kasm.blogspot.com/
Look to Backward’s Attraction for Liz’s really thoughtful posts: http://abackwardsattraction.blogspot.com/
design mom:: I suppose everyone in this life has to learn how to put others first in order to be happy. I know it can be learned without becoming a mother, but motherhood basically guarantees you’ll learn to put your own needs last at least some of the time. Any truly engaged mother becomes a better person. They can’t help it. Motherhood is like one big life-long act of service.
Thanks Gabrielle, that was a treat! Great things are in store for Petit Elefant readers this week, so make sure to stop back later this afternoon for a fun Summer surprise.