End of Summer Diary

2016_summer_recap

Okay, so…I know it’s kind of annoying when people are like “omg it’s almost October already” but omg it’s almost October already. I’m happy about this because a) October is my favorite month/Halloween is my favorite holiday, b) I live in Arizona where it’s 100 degrees at night, and c) I’m making a big change in my life this fall and I’m nervously excited about it.

So I thought I’d share a little with you about my summer, as well as what I have planned for the fall. As Gretchen Rubin says, September is the new January…

A summer of realizing stuff


Maybe Kylie Jenner was on to something. I don’t know about you, but this summer was all about self-reflection and thoughtful changes for me, particularly when it came to my business and creative projects.

Let’s break down what happened, and what contributed to those changes.

01. Read Danielle LaPorte’s Desire Map.

For those two seconds where Periscope was hot, someone I followed mentioned Danielle LaPorte and her “core desired feelings” concept. In a nutshell, it’s a flipped way of approaching goals, where you decide how you want to feel on a daily basis (i.e. bold, creative, abundant, etc.) and then shape your goals around those feelings.

Killer, right?

I could write five, really long and rambling posts about how this concept and book changed my life, but ain’t nobody got time for that. I will say that before I implemented her teachings, I was pursuing goals and building my business in a way that wasn’t actually what I wanted…yet I had no freaking clue. I was just moving along on autopilot, totally oblivious to the fact that I wasn’t happy.

But after getting real deep with myself and making a few changes, I feel more joyful + confident in my path than I ever have, ever. As Danielle puts it in the book, it finally feels like home.

02. Changed my business name and shifted…well, everything about it. 

So after reading the Desire Map I did a few things.

First, I killed my branding e-courses and unfollowed most business-y people on social media. I realized that this whole info product, e-course, uber-marketing trend that’s going on right now isn’t for me at all – I just went along with it without stopping to question it, because that was the circle I found myself in.

(But hey, there’s nothing wrong with that stuff if it lights you up! It just wasn’t for me).

I circled back to my roots and realized that creativity and design are my loves in life. I’m a designer; that’s what I do best, it’s what I love, and it’s how I help people. And as soon as I admitted this to myself, I felt a million times lighter. Like I was finally being myself.

So second, I changed my marketing strategy, particularly with social media. If you follow me on Instagram you may have noticed. Whereas before I was all about tips and tricks and blog post this and that, now I have a much more organic approach. Instead of obsessing over followers and likes and scheduled content, I’m posting what feels right, at the right time, and hoping it resonates with a few people.

03. Created just for fun. 

I did more personal and self-initiated projects than ever before, and I can’t tell you how much fun it was. For a long time I felt like I could only create within the realm of client projects, and anything I did outside of that wasn’t “real” or didn’t have merit.

What the?

I was so, so wrong about that. Especially when you do what you love for a living, you have to create just for fun. Like it’s actually vital to your sanity and passion for the thing. Whether it’s a logo, full brand identity, or mixed media series, my skills and creative confidence only increase when I create for the fun of it. So I’ll definitely continue doing that.

I guess it was a summer of realizing stuff after all?

 

A big change for this desert-dweller


As far as my personal life, big changes are afoot there as well. I was born in Minneapolis but grew up in Phoenix, and with frequent visits to family in LA, I consider myself a west coast girl through and through. But changes are inevitable in your twenties so…

 

We’re moving to the east coast in November!

 

My boyfriend Mike is originally from Connecticut, and we’ve hit a point where we could do with some new energy and a change of scenery. And while we’ll start out in Connecticut, the plan is to eventually move to Massachusetts or possibly Rhode Island. Obviously the cool thing is I can build my business from anywhere, and I’m excited to get to know a brand new creative community.

 

Of course, I’m nervous too, and there will be a lot to get used to. But despite being a super homebody-introvert hybrid, I’ve always been a pretty adventurous person, and actually thrive on change. So I can’t wait to see what the east coast has in store for us. (And if you’re out there and want to be friends, reach out and say hi).

 

We’ll be spending a long week there at the end of October, and this Halloween/autumn freak can’t wait. Visiting Salem is obviously on the list, plus lots of cider donuts and New England architecture…keep an eye out for the recap (pictures!) when I return.

 

What else is in store for fall?

 

So between moving (which includes a cross-country drive…crap), new client projects, and acclimating to life in an unfamiliar place, I’m gonna have my hands full this fall. But true to form, there’s lots more I’d like to accomplish, both personally and professionally.

 

01. Work on more restaurant and/or packaging projects. 

 

I’ve been obsessed with restaurant branding since I first got into design, and I would love to work on more projects like these. It’d also be fun to design a full packaging suite, perhaps for a lifestyle or beauty brand.

 

On top of the changes I’ve already mentioned, I’m also re-working my business behind the scenes, particularly when it comes to how I work with clients. I’ll share more about that after I test the waters a bit more.

 

I’m also due for a site redesign, which is something I’ve had on my list for a while but haven’t gotten around to. Would definitely like to start 2017 with a fresh new website.

 

02. Keep creating just for fun.

 

I have creative interests outside of graphic design, and it’s my intention this fall to spend more time in those areas. I’ve mentioned on Instagram that I keep a little jar of folded-up creative prompts, and like to make a game of picking from it every so often to work on something fun. Client projects have taken precedence the past few weeks so I’ve been neglecting it, but I know that’s just an excuse; this fall I’ll make the time.

 

03. Meet people and explore my new state. 

 

Having lived most of my life in the same place around the same people, I’m excited to see some new faces on the east coast. Between that and the difference in architecture, plant life, colors and sounds (shhh, I’m in denial about the snow), I’ll be surrounded by inspiration.

 

04. Eat Connecticut pizza.

 

Because apparently it’s the best. (But who needs a reason?)

 

How was your summer? And what do you have planned for fall? 

Posted in Life

By Savanna Hunter-Reeves

Savanna Hunter-Reeves is a designer and art director with a love of simplicity (and super spicy pho). Her goal is to help you build a beautiful and effective brand, through thoughtful design.

  • What a great post! I totally know what you’re feeling when you were following all the business-y ecourse people. I was doing that too and found myself obsessing and stressing out over my newsletter strange until I realized that I didn’t really care about that and it wasn’t making me happy in my business. I’ve lived your new direction on your Instagram and live your self-initiated projects! Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Savanna HR

      Yes, I remember you were going in that direction too! Yep, I was stressing over every little thing and not even for something I enjoyed smh. It seems like you’re having a great time at Go Live HQ so wooo I’m happy for us haha. And thank you for the kind words, I’m glad you’ve been enjoying the new stuff <3