{#WCW:} Miss Brittney Blanco!

{ Shannon Silver interviews Brittney Vawn for her secrets on how to balance freelance design & her full-time job! // Champagne at Shannon's }

The internet is a cool world. It is a way to connect you with so many like-minded people. In this case, Brittney Blanco.

TL;DR – Meet Brittney here

As Champagne at Shannon’s was coming to fruition, one thing I desperately needed was a logo. I had an idea of what I wanted, but couldn’t quite seem to be able to put it on paper. I purchased a temporary logo from Fiverr {which is a great option if you are looking to start a blog and need an inexpensive logo} on my Coming Soon page, but I knew I wanted something different for my actual logo.

Logos are tough. You want them to reflect yourself and your brand – you also want it to flow with your design, look great on the social media accounts, and have parts of it you can snip out as mini logos. I had no idea where to start, but then one of my favourite bloggers, Brittany at Thrifts & Threads {different Brittney/Brittany!} started a really rad series all about starting a blog. This seriously was my bible as I got started. I desperately needed a logo and went the 48 Hours route, just like she did { << check her post for the low down all about 48 Hours Logo }

For those unfamiliar with 48 Hours Logo – pretty much, you set up a contest with your price as the prize. The higher the prize, the more your contest stands out. To hold a contest, it costs $29 with a $99 prize minimum,  therefore $128 bare minimum all in – which is a really good deal, btw. I upped my prize to $200 to stand out a bit  – and I am sure glad I did!

If we are being completely honest, though there were great submissions, I knew from Brittney’s first prototype that she was the one. I had some suggestions, and she worked with them perfectly – in fact, my current logo, she thought to add the two champagne glasses which I really loved.. and an idea I did not even think of! Long story short, she knew exactly what this random stranger from California who is starting a blog wanted. And not only made it happen from my suggestions, but applied her own thoughts to something really great.

She was such a pleasure to work with, that I got her contact information, and we have been in contact ever since!

Again, the internet is a very cool world.

She is now my go to girl for all things design and photoshop related. She is extremely talented, specializes in clean / minimalistic images, and always seems to know exactly what it is I am looking for.  in fact, if you are looking at starting a blog – shoot me a note and I can connect the two of you { her contact info will also be below }.

She is also just a really great person and someone who I can seriously just e-mail for hours with girl talk. I love the girl because she is extremely ambitious, has big dreams, is wise beyond her years, and is damn good at what she does. Can we also talk about how gorgeous she is? It really isn’t fair! For all of those reasons, I HAD to have her as one of my Powerbabes for my WCW series.

Also, I have a fun announcement for an upcoming series that we are teaming up on! TL;DR – details here

Without further ado, Meet Brittney Blanco!

{ Brittney Blanco x Champagne at Shannon's. }

{ Shannon Silver interviews Brittney Blanco for her secrets on how to balance freelance design & her full-time job! // Champagne at Shannon's }

 Introduce yourself!

Hey! I’m Brittney! I’m a 23-year-old graphic designer, and I recently moved to the suburbs of Chicago back in May of 2015 to chase my dream and gain more opportunity, and I can’t lie … I’ve always been in love with the city! I’m currently working full-time as a graphic designer at AND Agency in East Dundee, Illinois, and you’ll usually find me freelancing in my spare time as well as working on a few special projects that I hope to turn into a business in the near future.

Tell me about your work.

Throughout my time in college, I was always trying to figure out what my niche was, and I always wondered what kind of style I would lean towards in the end. Eventually, I realized my work has always been clean. I’m drawn towards minimalist design and clean lines, and today, my work reflects that. I’m a “to-the-point” kind of girl. {<<< which is why her work stood out to me! }

Where do you find inspiration?

Everywhere! I’m always searching for inspiration on websites such as Designspiration, Dribbble, and Behance, however, I’m able to find inspiration in the most unexpected places. For example, I can be looking through a menu at a restaurant and find it. You just have to be aware of your surroundings. {<<< a girl after my own heart! I seriously find so much inspo in menus – but I’m weird, I read them like novels. Current favourite menu design: Wayfare Tavern in San Francisco – anyways, moving on!}

How do you balance your FTJ with your freelance work?

I won’t lie … It’s definitely hard work, however, it’s all about figuring out what works the best for you and what you’ve got going on in your life. {<<< Remember the #1 most important step here?}

Never take on more work than you can handle because having a life outside of work is just as important.

If you have 15 hours to dedicate to freelancing a week, then absolutely go for it, but if you only have a couple of hours a week to dedicate to freelancing, then that’s 100% okay too.

I’ll typically dedicate a couple of hours every other day after my 9-5 job or an hour or two on the weekends to complete my projects. Also, make sure you’re communicating with your clients to not only make sure you’re both on the same page, but that you’re also understanding what the client specifically wants so you’re not taking up even more of your free time working on revisions.

Overall, don’t feel as though you need to rush into freelancing. Start out slow and then work your way up to more responsibility. {<<< PS – this answer is perfect for people balancing a FTJ & a blog}

What are your short-term and long-term goals?

I’ve been eager to start a business of my own in the near future. I’d love to sell prints, stationary … You name it! It’s been this dream of mine for a while now.

For my short-term goals, I’d like to keep my ideas flowing and make this dream of mine a reality by creating a sketch or two every night, get my name out there whether it be through social media or by word-of-mouth, set up an Etsy shop, and start to create a solid following for myself to get people interested in my work.

My long-term goals include being my own boss, collaborating with a “big” reputable client in order to grow my business, and continue to expand my knowledge of design. It’s ALWAYS changing, so that is a must for me! {<<< THIS. THIS. THIS. Evolve with your industry. }

What is your advice on working full time while trying to start your own business?

I LOVE my full-time job, but I also love the idea of starting my own business. I would never do anything to jeopardize what I’ve got going on now, so I make it my mission to work around it.

My advice is to start small and come up with a schedule after your 9-5 job that works for you in order to get things done.

Maybe take a couple of hours one day to get your new business exposed and the other day to get feedback from family and friends. Also, taking the time to come up with small goals for each week will be a lifesaver. And … I have to say this again because it’s very important to me … Nothing is more important than taking time for yourself and spending time with friends and family. Don’t overwork yourself!

{ Shannon Silver interviews Brittney Blanco for her secrets on how to balance freelance design & her full-time job! // Champagne at Shannon's }

What is the first thing you do when you wake up?

I SO wish I could say that I’m able to get right out of bed and take on the day, but in reality I’m pushing the snooze button about 5,000 times. Ha!

Biggest Beauty Secret? Spill!

I’m all about achieving a healthy glow even in the dullest, driest winter months. A great highlighter will do the trick and it’s my all-time favorite beauty product. I literally apply it everywhere and I’m not exaggerating. I don’t go easy on this stuff!

A sweep across the high points of the cheeks, across the nose, on the cupid’s bow, and in the corners of your eyes will not only give you that sun-kissed glow, but it always makes you look more awake. I HIGHLY recommend the shimmering skin perfector, “Opal” by Becca Cosmetics. 🙂

What is your dream collaboration?

Hands down I’d love to collaborate with Sugar Paper.

For anyone who isn’t familiar with them, they are a luxurious and chic stationary business founded by Chelsea Shukov and Jamie Grobecker  {<<< Fun fact, they are DGs too! Any other sisters that read C@S?! } in Los Angeles. Their design is simple and absolutely gorgeous and their products have been featured in VOGUE and Vanity Fair. I’m obsessed to say the least. You also may have seen some of their products in Target. Love them!

What are some of the challenges in your field and how you handle them?

There are SO many challenges being a graphic designer, however, for me, I’m glad they happen because otherwise I’d never grow in this business.

For example, this field is extremely competitive, however, I like to keep my self as up-to-date as I can with not only the programs I’m using but with new trends in design as well because there’s more an more designers entering the playing field everyday.

I make it a priority to create lasting relationships with my clients because I value the trust we have between us.

You could be the greatest designer on planet, but if you can’t communicate effectively with your clients and be personable, then you might lose business no matter how much talent you have.

Another challenge I usually face is being a perfectionist. It sounds silly, but once in a while I become so engrossed in what I’m doing that the project will take me longer to complete than I had anticipated. Instead of dwelling on that, I like to turn it into a positive by understanding that I truly care about my client’s wants and needs, however, maybe taking a little more time to sketch out my ideas exactly how I want them or calling the client to make sure things are clear could be beneficial.

Favorite book?

This probably sound so cliche and girly of me, but I can’t help it … I love ‘The Notebook’. The book, the movie … everything about it. I’m a sucker for it!

{ Shannon Silver interviews Brittney Blanco for her secrets on how to balance freelance design & her full-time job! // Champagne at Shannon's }

Who is your role model or who inspires you?

I don’t think one person inspires me. Instead, I’m more inspired by people who are living success stories and people who made their dreams come true. They remind me that anything is possible and it’s never to early or late to go after what you want. I’m really drawn to positivity and happiness, and these people give me the motivation to get out there and reach for what I want no matter what.

What do you envision in your future and how do you plan on accomplishing it?

I feel like I’m really starting to tap into my artistic power, and I’m realizing what I really want to do in life, so I truly envision myself working as my own boss and inspiring young professionals like me at my age now to go out there and get what you want.

I think sticking to a schedule that allows me to get things done, gaining exposure, and building a trustworthy following will get me there. I understand it will be a lot of hard work, but I know it will all pay off in the end.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

This is a tough one! I’ve always been told to believe in what you do when no one else will. I’ve always taken this to heart because there have been moments when I’ve been told my ideas weren’t good enough or I wouldn’t be able to do this or that … but I’ve always pushed that aside and I’ve shown them what I could do.

I turn the negativity into positivity, and it only motivates me. { <<< PS – Kendall Jenner has the same advice 😉 & they are both so right – Stay TRUE to you. If something doesn’t feel right, walk away. }

{ Shannon Silver interviews Brittney Blanco for her secrets on how to balance freelance design & her full-time job! // Champagne at Shannon's }

 

A HUGE thank you to Brittney for sharing her knowledge with us. I also am stoked to announce that her and I will be collabing on a fun series which will be a few Photoshop Tutorials. I figured I’d HAVE to share her knowledge with you guys, and we are going to focus on all things photoshop related in regards to blogging! Stay tuned! I know this is a series I, myself, will find VERY helpful! Anything you would love to see? Let us know in the comments or on my latest Instagram photo.

If you would like to work with Brittney, you can contact her directly, or e-mail me & I can make an intro!

{ Follow Brittney on Instagram // see her work HERE }

What was your favourite part of the interview? I personally loved her advice on balancing her FTJ and her freelance. You can seriously apply the same advice to blogging!

Love,
Shannon

 

  • Comments ( 4 )

  • If only I had read this before I spend countless hours trying to figure out PS and create a logo on my own… Needless to say, I failed.

    My favorite part of the interview (apart from the hilarious pictures) was the commitment to her FTJ. You can want both, but you have to figure out a way to work around it! Especially among bloggers complaining about “the job” and favoring the blog is so common. I mean, if you don’t like what you do, why keep on doing it?

    Linda,
    Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

    • Anne – Agree 10000% and it was refreshing to see that answer & again in this comment. I LOVE my FTJ and work very hard around it. I can understand favouring a blog because it is something that you (generally speaking) created from the ground up (and usually with an end goal in mind), but I think many forget how important actual work and professional experience is!

      It’s absolutely okay to want both and to work hard for your goals, but working anywhere will give you experience to ADD to your credentials that you (again, generally speaking) are probably posting about. On the other end, some people are in an entirely different industry, but blog about things they are passionate about which is totally great too! It keeps the passion alive and strong, but there are simply intangibles that just working full time will teach.

      To put it bluntly, my blog would not exist without my background of about ten years now in food, wine, spirits, event coordination, etc… And I would not have it any other way! If I did not have that background and/or passion, why should anyone care to read here in the first place? Anyways, stepping off my soapbox now lol but so great to not only see this in her interview, but in your comment, as well. I love doing both, and I love seeing others that enjoy it too.

      Weren’t her pictures great? She is seriously such a doll, and I am so glad to have been introduced to her. I know the blog loves it too because she did a rad job with the designs of things. Thanks so much for reading and I always love your thoughtful comments! xx SS

  • This was a great read!

    Happy Wednesday Doll,

    BLOG | Taislany

    • Thanks babe! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. She has such great advice!! Happy Wednesday & thank you so much for reading, Thais! xx SS

TOP