Kensie Kate

Happy, colorful design & hand lettering

Happy Sunday!

happy sundayKensie Smith
"Trust God, and believe in good things to come." -Jeffrey R. Holland

"Trust God, and believe in good things to come." -Jeffrey R. Holland

Happy Sunday!

happy sundayKensie Smith
"God's light is real, it is available to all." -Dieter F. Uchtdorf

"God's light is real, it is available to all." -Dieter F. Uchtdorf

9 Kid President Quotes You Need in Your Life

Lettering, DesignKensie Smith

Some things I'm a fan of: Saltwater sandals, babies, new pens, and Kid President. 

More than anything, I want to put more good into the world. I tell everyone that I just want to spend the rest of my life creating happy things that make people smile (that's actually the Kensie Kate mission statement), which is exactly what Kid President is all about.

I think if I ever met Robby Novak (Kid President) in real life, we would definitely be best friends. Without further ado, here are 9 Kid President quotes you need in your life. 

9 Kid President Quotes You Need in Your Life
9 Kid President Quotes You Need in Your Life
9 Kid President Quotes You Need in Your Life
9 Kid President Quotes You Need in Your Life
9 Kid President Quotes You Need in Your Life
9 Kid President Quotes You Need in Your Life
9 Kid President Quotes You Need in Your Life
9 Kid President Quotes You Need in Your Life
9 Kid President Quotes You Need in Your Life

 

 

How to Conquer Your Biggest Blogging Hang-Ups for Good

BloggingKensie Smith

When I started blogging 5 years ago, I really just wanted a space to share the designs I was creating as I was figuring out how to use Adobe Illustrator. Over the years, it became a place to share family memories, uplifting thoughts, and things that I was working on. But more than anything, I’ve always hoped that this space would be used to put more good into the world. I have a list of potential blog posts a mile long, but despite all my dreaming, wishing, and planning, I’ve never been good at blogging consistently.

And I know I’m not the only one. Blogging regularly is hard! I not only want to share my biggest hang-ups, but how I’m overcoming them for good.

Despite an overwhelming desire to put more good into the world, I’ve struggled (sometimes even dreaded) with blogging for years because:

  • I’m worried no one will care
  • It’s really hard to find the time
  • I’m not confident in my writing skills
  • I don’t know what to post about
  • I lose motivation

Can you relate? If so, let’s talk about how we can overcome these struggles for good.

How to Conquer Your Biggest Blogging Hang-Ups for Good

We’re worried no one will care

One of the reasons I want to blog is because I love reading other blogs and want to create things other people will enjoy. But it’s really hard to invest the time and energy when you don’t think anyone will care. When you’re constantly surrounded by other blogs and people who make it look so effortless, It’s really easy to fall into a comparison trap and tell yourself that someone else could do it so much better than you. When you’re feeling inadequate, remember this:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”  -Marianne Williamson

We don’t have time

When we start blogs, we have no idea just how long everything will take. Start out slow. There’s no rule that says that you have to publish a new post every day or even every week. Just choose a frequency that you can stick with. I have no room to talk, but consistently really does matter.

One thing I have been a lot better about is planning ahead. Instead of waiting until the day of to brainstorm, plan, and execute a blog post, use a calendar to schedule when posts will be published, and then give yourself plenty of time to do it right. Not only will you feel less stressed, the quality of your content will increase dramatically. I knew that I was going to be writing this post so I had plenty of time to think about what my biggest struggles have been, rather than trying to remember them on the spot.

We aren’t confident in our writing skills

I can’t tell you how many times I haven’t published a blog post because I didn’t feel like the writing was strong enough. Now instead of letting a post sit it my drafts folder forever, I switch up the format to something I’m more comfortable with. When my words don’t feel strong enough, I try to use graphics or other designs (something I feel much more confident about) to supplement.

But the thing that’s helped the most is just starting. I’ve found that the more I write, the easier the words come. And I hardly ever start by writing the first paragraph. I just kind of start in the middle, where I feel more confident, and then fill in the beginning once words are flowing a little bit better.

You can also try switching up the format of your posts. If essays and lengthy explanations are intimidating, try making lists or tutorials. If writing out instructions isn’t your thing, focus on telling more stories.

We don’t know what to post about

This has easily been my biggest excuse. “I’m not married and I don’t have kids so I can’t write posts about my family.” “I live at home so I can’t really post about how I decorate.” “My life is boring and I have nothing to share.” This is another time where it’s all too easy to play the comparison game. It’s so easy for me to look at other blogs and think, “well I can’t do that.”

So here are a few questions to help the ideas start flowing:

  • What questions do people regularly ask you?
  • Who looks up to you?
  • Who is your biggest fan?
  • What do you do differently than other people?
  • What do you get ridiculously excited about?
  • What do you use every day?
  • What do you feel strongly about?

What aren’t other bloggers already talking about? Those are always the most interesting posts for me to read—the ones that haven’t been done a million times already.

We lose motivation

I’ve created endless lists of posts. I’ve filled out editorial calendars. I’ve had big plans and grand intentions. I have genuine reasons for wanting to blog. I get really excited and publish a few posts, and then I lose steam. I get so behind that I give up for a little bit until I decided to start the whole process over again.

How do end the cycle? How do we stay motivated and continue when the initial excitement wears thin? You have to care about what you’re blogging about. You have to plan content that genuinely excites you. You have to stop looking at what everyone else is doing and figuring out how to replicate it. Easier said than done, right?

I’m clearly no expert when it comes to blogging consistently, but I’ve going to give it my best! What about you? Do you have any other blogging struggles that I missed?

Illustration: Sunglasses (as Worn by The Alison Show) Part 1

Illustration, DesignKensie Smith

It's been a long time since I've done any illustrations just for fun, so for a while now, I've been wanting to give myself a challenge to get back into it. On my way to church, I had this idea that I just couldn't let go of. I'm a huge fan of Alison Faulkner (also known as The Alison Show) for years and I decided to illustrate 30 different pairs of sunglasses she's worn in selfies. This required some really intense Insta-stalking (um, I scrolled all the way back to 2012) but the creepiness was worth it (I hope. Alison, please don't be freaked out.) and I love how this project turned out. Here's the first set—which one is your favorite? 

sunglasses-20.jpg
sunglasses-19.jpg

The Best Places to Print (+ 4 Tips for a Better Printing Experience)

Business, Small ShopKensie Smith

I've been selling prints for almost 5 years now! I can hardly believe it. I've made a lot of mistakes and learned a lot of lessons in that amount of time. I want to help you avoid some of the same mistakes I made, so I'm going to start sharing information that would have been really useful to me 5 years ago. 

The number one question I get asked is about where to have things printed. I totally get it. It can be really frustrating to find a reliable location that is high-quality and convenient. And so I present to you, a list of my favorite places to print (+ some tips that will help you have a better printing experience.)

My favorite places to print based on quality, speed, and price.

1 | Alphagraphics

Alphagraphics was were I printed my designs for the very first time and they've never disappointed me since. Their staff is highly knowledgable and the quality of their printing is excellent. Sometimes I email files and then they call me when they're ready to be picked up (almost always the same day) and sometimes I bring my files in on a flash drive and usually they're able to print them right away. Their pricing is higher than a lot of other places, but there is a peace of mind that comes from knowing that your order is always going to be printed beautifully and accurately.

Quality: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Speed: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Price: ★ ★ ★ 

2. FedEx Kinko's 

FedEx Kinko's is a pretty standard print shop. There are locations all over the place, which is nice. I've always been able to walk in with files on a flash drive and have them printed immediately. They quality isn't stellar, but it's decent, especially for things like labels or things that don't have to be perfect.

Quality: ★ ★ ★ ★ 
Speed: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Price: ★ ★ ★ ★ 

3. Printmark (Provo, UT)

I actually haven't printed here before, but if I still lived in Provo, I totally would. I've heard wonderful things and everything I've seen printed by them has been really high-quality. Their pricing is really competitive too. 

Quality: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Speed: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Price: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

4. BYU Cougar Creations (Wilkinson Center)

I've printed here a lot of times since it was a 5-minute was closer to my apartment than any of my classes at BYU and because their pricing is so cheap. They do a pretty good job, but I had to have things re-printed a few times. I would always go in person and if something didn't look right, they were able to re-print for me. 

Quality: ★ ★ ★ 
Speed: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Price: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ (they get 6/5 stars because it really is that cheap)

5. BYU Printing Services (North of the Marriott)

First things first: if you live anywhere near BYU and need wedding invitations (or any other large order like that), go here! Every time I design wedding invitations for my friends, I tell them to go here. They're pricing is so good and the printing is much higher quality than Cougar Creations. They aren't a same-day service so I don't print with them super often (because I usually need things quicker), but if you have a large order and can wait a few days, this is your place.

Quality: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 
Speed: ★ ★ ★ 
Price: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ (again, they get 6/5 stars because it's that good)

6. Persnickety Prints

Persnickety Prints is an online print shop with amazing quality. They use photographic printers, which is awesome for photos, but not the greatest option for prints. I don't print here very often because I usually like to print things where I can get them the same day.

Quality: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 
Speed: ★ ★ ★ 
Price: ★ ★ ★ 

7. Moo.com

If you like the idea of ordering things online rather than going to a print shop, Moo.com is a great option. They're printing is excellent and they have a lot of options for paper and different products. Things that don't have to be ordered often (like business cards) are great options.

Quality: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 
Speed: ★ ★ ★ 
Price: ★ ★ ★ 

8. Vistaprint

If you are just starting out and literally need the cheapest option possible, this is your place. They quality is not awesome (some things turn out better than others), but you won't find anywhere cheaper. I have printed business cards and postcards with them. You don't have to order super high quantities, which was really great when I was starting out and trying some different products.

Quality: ★ ★ 
Speed: ★ ★ ★ 
Price: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 

And now for a few tips that will make your life so much better (or at least make printing less of a headache :)

Tip #1 | Always request that things be printed actual size

This is probably pretty obvious, but there's nothing worse than getting a whole stack of prints, only to realize that they're all an 1/8 of an inch too short. 

Tip #2 | Get your order cut

I clearly remember the day that a blessing from heaven in the form of an Alphagraphics employee told me I could have my whole order cut to the right size for a couple of dollars. Every print shop I've ever been to has had a guillotine cutter that is capable of cutting a whole stack of prints at the same time. Most places charge 50-75 cents per cut. SO. WORTH. IT. 

I'm still not completely over the fact that no one mentioned this to me before and I spent endless hours cutting every single print and piece of chipboard by hand. Oh yes, they will cut chipboard too. I buy a whole box at a time and then have it all cut for less than $5.

Cutting individual prints or pieces of chipboard is for suckers. And I was apparently a sucker for a really long time because no one bothered to tell me there was a better way.

Tip #3 | Screen color does not equal print color

I'm sure you already know this, but things don't always look the same way they did on your screen once they're printed. I like using colors that I've printed before and know turn out well to increase my chances of being happy with the final product, but be prepared to have to adjust. It's a good idea to print one of everything to check the colors before printing the rest of your order.

Tip #4 | Use bleeds

Have you ever cut something and you get that pesky white edge no matter how close to the edge you try to cut? That's the reason designers use bleeds. A bleed is a border that goes around your design so that when it's cut, the color goes all the way to the edge. A 1/8 inch bleed is pretty standard. That means that if I want to print a design that ends up being 8x10, my print file is actually 8.25x10.25. 

So there you have it. Any printing locations or other tips I should know about? Happy printing!