Event

Together Everything Is Possible

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Ultimately, the people who choose to champion originality are the ones who propel us forward. After spending years studying them and interacting with them, I am struck that their inner experiences are not any different from our own. They feel the same fear, the same doubt, as the rest of us. What sets them apart is that they take action anyway. They know in their hearts that failing would yield less regret than failing to try. - Adam Grant, Originals Photography by: Yunkin Keophomma

Photography by: Yunkin Keophomma

Almost every week I have the chance to meet beautiful and talented people who are trying to share their craft with the world. Whether they are engineers or photographers, I love hearing their stories. I am inspired by those who hold onto their dreams even when it takes a little longer to break through, to become known for that thing which they are so very passionate about.

Photography by: Yunkin Keophomma

But even more than being inspired by the tenacity and persistence of so many individuals, I am incredibly motivated by how people more and more are joining together to help each other reach their dreams. Because the reality is that while there is much we can do alone, there is much more that we can do together. My favorite artists are those who have been a part of a movement, who surrounded themselves with people who would challenge them even at times compete with them so that their skills were sharpened.  Let's not gloss things over -- Hemingway and Fitzgerald were brutal with each other. It's not fun to have your flaws under a magnifying glass, but as Ira Glass says,

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”

Honestly, we've gotten a little too comfortable with not speaking the truth to each other. The reality is though we may have great aspirations, some of our work is shitty. Only when we look that truth in the face can we get better. We do each other no service by not encouraging one another to raise the bar of excellence. While the role of the critic is greatly dismissed, the critic does call out that sort of underdog spirit in an artist that determines to overcome, to make their voice known. A great strength is embedded in our core when we have to fight for what we believe in.

Photography by: Yunkin Keophomma

Never forget your real identity. You are a luminous cosmic stardust being forged into the crucible of cosmic fire. - Deepak Chopra

Photography by: Yunkin Keophomma

It's about being real, true, transparent, and authentically You. Cracks, bumps, flaws, and all. When the light shines through our imperfections, that's when we are truly able to touch other people's hearts and souls. - Rebecca Campbell

Last summer, I had the chance to collaborate with an incredible group of individuals who are each cultivating beauty in their own sphere. They are people who are pushing themselves and raising the bar in the creative community. We shot at the magical venue, The RUINS, located in lower Queen Anne. Everyone reached out to their contacts and favorite people to work with, and out of this came the ultimate dream team.

As we were shooting I could walk into each room and see these creatives like fairy godmothers absolutely transforming the models and surroundings. But more than transformation, it was each of their ability to call out, to usher out the best light of the individuals they were working with. This shoot while it produced amazing images beyond what I could have dreamed of, it revealed to me that together we truly can do anything.

So let's keep doing it. We made mistakes, we had challenges, but we learned so much. Nobody does it perfect the first time, but goodness we sure are off to a damn good start (I mean can you believe these photos?! Yunkin you sir there just aren't even words). And you know what? Even more than that -- I like you guys, and feel so very lucky to be creating in the same city as each of you. Let's do BIG things, bigger than we can IMAGINE in 2017.

Photography by: Yunkin Keophomma

To everyone else it looked like a single leap. But in reality it was hundreds of little baby steps.

Photography by: Yunkin Keophomma

Together this team made magic possible, let's keep taking each and every one of those baby steps towards our dreams. You all continue to amaze me, and I can't wait to work with them again:

  • Collaboration Producer: @uncommoncartography
  • Photos: @danieljshapiro @yunkinkeophomma
  • Behind The Scenes Photos: @greenteleaf
  • Venue: @the_ruins
  • Gowns: @belltown_bride @pmndesigner   , Justin Zachary Couture
  • Event Design/Floral: @kalebnormanjames
  • Makeup: @j0rdanr0ss @melissakornmakeupartist
  • Hair: @makahmatt 
  • Wardrobe Stylist: @julietandlou
  • Jewelry: @shannonkoszyk / @namikoabloom 
  • Food/Dessert: @the_ruins
  • Champagne/Wine: @preceptwine 
  • Stationery Suite: @greyandcake
  • Models: @annavina10 @noellejohnsun @diana_jean_o @imsuzijane @rodasfeker @_myfriendhanna                                             

Ps: Next week a blog post will feature Daniel Shapiro's photography from this shoot :)

The Fairest Ones

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“Little by little, one travels far”  ― J.R.R. Tolkien

Photography By: Talia Green

How utterly perfect that this blog is to be posted on Tolkien's birthday. His writings have been such a source of inspiration to me. I have always been jealous of his participation in The Inklings, an informal group of literary enthusiasts, which is included C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien who shared and each other's writings. You see there has always been a sort of magical power which happens when creatives combine their talents to craft and shape the world around them.

Photography By: Talia Green

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien

As I sit here writing and listening to Sleeping at Last, I am filled with a quiet sense of excitement and wonder that the artists in Seattle have begun to leave their siloed corners to join together on a journey to give something beautiful to the city and the world. They have individually been working under the radar, quite often thanklessly honing their talents, and cheering each other on, all the while waiting for the day when they will be revealed. Each of us has the ability to recognize that unique essence of a creative, even before they are admired by the press or the masses. We don't have to wait for these artists to gain mainstream recognition, we can support now those who magnify the beauty for the common good. We can support them with our words, and with our financial investment in them + their businesses, showing that we care and we value what they are doing.

Photography By: Talia Green

“In this hour, I do not believe that any darkness will endure.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien

Artists are needed at this time, more than ever before. When people are divided, weary, and lonely this is when the power of art prevails. It allows us to see our life in the perspective of the past and the future. To see we are all interconnected, we do not live unto ourselves. We are empowered with the ability to lift up our fellow man. We can choose to be a hero in the story of our life. How often it is that the hero is not so dear to us because of the love he received, rather because of that which he selflessly gave.

Photography By: Talia Green

“Oft hope is born when all is forlorn.” ― J.R.R. Tolkien

To those who continue to pursue their dreams in spite of the seeming odds, you are not alone. You are important. This is a love letter to who you are now and to who you are becoming. You see something, don't stop, don't give up until you release it into the world.

Photography By: Talia Green

The BIGGEST of BIG thank you's to the incredibly beautiful and talented people who made this dream a reality. This blog contains the behind the scenes images, another blog post will be coming soon with the select final images from the Yunkin and Daniel:

Photography By: Talia Green

  • Photos: @danieljshapiro @yunkinkeophomma
  • Behind The Scenes Photos: @greenteleaf
  • Venue: @the_ruins
  • Gowns: @belltown_bride @pmndesigner   , Justin Zachary Couture
  • Event Design/Floral: @kalebnormanjames
  • Makeup: @j0rdanr0ss @melissakornmakeupartist
  • Hair: @makahmatt 
  • Wardrobe Stylist: @julietandlou
  • Jewelry: @shannonkoszyk / @namikoabloom 
  • Food/Dessert: @the_ruins
  • Champagne/Wine: @preceptwine 
  • Stationery Suite: @greyandcake
  • Models: @annavina10 @noellejohnsun @diana_jean_o @imsuzijane @rodasfeker @_myfriendhanna

Photography By: Talia Green

 

💥Announcing The Launch Of Uncommon Cartography's Partner Program 💥

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Hi!

Can you believe that 2017 is only a couple days away? 

In 2016, I had the privilege of partnering with tastemakers and influencers across a variety of industries (interior design, fashion, food, tech) including @danny.owens, @samuelanthony, @acooknamedmatt, @lanadmitruks, and more! Not to mention delicious brands such as Dueminuti, Shannon Koszyk, The Four Seasons, Tame The Beast, and so many others. Let me just say I collaborate with some of the most talented individual creatives and brands, and I have been racking my mind of how to help you all take your businesses to the next level and make more sales 🌟 

The launch of Uncommon Cartography’s Partner Program addresses the need of creatives and brands to be able to keep their prices competitive and retain more profit by selling to their target customers. This program will connect you with influencers and ambassadors for your brand, who we will then empower to sell your products. Ambassadors receive a 10-20% commission (you set the commission) on items that they sell through their networks (social media, blogs, websites). It can be costly and time-consuming to research, launch, and manage a program like this on your own, so we do it for you. Also, because we are spreading the cost amongst several brands we are able to keep the program relatively inexpensive. 

I am looking to curate 5 -10 awesome brands kick-start this program on January 23💥 Initially, the program will focus on outreach and recruiting affiliates, but as it grows I envision hosting curated pop up’s, affiliate happy hours and more! As you all have been working hard on your social media, websites, content creation, and marketing this feels like a strong next step. What do you think😊

Would you be interested in being one of the curated brands that we launch with? If so, please email info@uncommoncartography.com for more details.

Best,

Esther

Ps: If you know anyone else who might be interested in joining this program, please forward the information along.

Workshop: The New Freelance Economy

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I recently had the privilege of hosting a workshop on "The New Freelance Economy" at General Assembly in Seattle. It was a sell-out event, with 100+ RSVP's. The event featured a presentation, a panel which included Kaleb Willis of Kaleb Norman James Design, Danny Owens, and Ankur Kothari of Olive & Goose and audience Q&A. The workshop was geared towards technology/commerce + art. The attendees when surveyed, were an equal split between art and tech. It was great to see all of the interest and anticipation around the topic of the new freelance economy. The workshop was a clear sign of a shift which is taking place in the economy both nationally as well as locally. There is a desire for artists to learn to operate as entrepreneurs, and for technologists to learn to better market their individual brands.

For more details about the event, and a link to the presentation (which includes startup/entrepreneur and marketing/social media resources), please read below.


Event Details

The Freelance Economy is truly booming with two-sided marketplaces providing the platform for freelancers to connect with employers from around the globe.

Join our panel as they share the ins and outs of freelancing: what it means, how to do it part or full-time, how to price yourself, how to develop your portfolio, where to look for potential projects and what it takes to become an independent contractor.

Learn how you can hone your talents, market them to potential clients and communicate your project goals clearly to channel success. The strategies discussed in this event work for programming, design, marketing, writing and many other concentrations.

The panel discussion will be followed by a drinks and networking.

Takeaways

Come away with new ideas and tools that will help you run your freelance business more efficiently and learn how you can always keep your pipeline full of great clients

  • Develop a game plan to begin working in your field independently
  • Better market your services to potential clients
  • Navigate online and offline resources for freelancers
  • Understand key pain points and for freelancers and how to deal with them such as taxes, insurance, and time management

Link To Presentation

Feature Friday: Studio Lola

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Several months ago I met Jenn Tucker the founder of Studio Lola in Pioneer Square at the Urban Air Market. I immediately fell in love with the Studio Lola fox paper, and since purchasing have gotten to know Jenn a bit more. Her passion for bespoke, and hand-made items that are created sustainably has had a definite impact on me. I thought that you all might be interested in learning a bit more about what she is doing. So in honor of the upcoming small business Saturday, here is a business you should consider supporting :)

The following is Jenn sharing a bit of the inspiration, history and process that makes Studio Lola the unique small business that it is.

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Studio Lola aims to provide home decor that gives you a sense of instant nostalgia for your own place and experiences, with a feeling of comfort, and an added dash of joy.

Originally inspired by the adventuresome spirit of my grandmother Lola (who also had a fantastic sense of humor and loved a good puzzle), Studio Lola has always been the outlet for my need to practice tactile design. After 15 years focusing my creativity in the graphic design industry, I found I missed my retail and three-dimensional design roots, and Lola called me back. 

Like the studio’s namesake, I enjoy solving a puzzle with an end result. The process of developing a product with a new take on an old classic brings me great satisfaction. For me, the research and testing is a part of the puzzle, which ultimately leads to a tactile creation from the very heart of my design aesthetic and personality. Making products for the home melds everything I have learned, loved (and learned to love) together: sewing and designing patterns; graphic design; re-creating a story; photography; home comforts; and sustainability. 

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The way I see it, we could all use a bit of levity in our lives. I like to use my creativity and sense of humor to bring a momentary giggle, a smile of a memory, or a breath of beauty to the day—to—day of others. Studio Lola is my way of sharing the spirit of life, by curating and creating items that bring joy and comfort into your life and home.

One of the privileges of entrepreneurship is the ability to make responsible, meaningful, and sustainable business decisions in matters that can make an impact, no matter the size. Studio Lola values the opportunity to practice a livelihood that you love, supports other entrepreneurs and believes in always finding ways to lessen the human impact on the environment. That’s why Studio Lola donates a percentage of sales to non-profits with similar values for the environment and community. And whenever possible, Studio Lola sources locally made, 100% organic supplies from other small businesses.

I hope that what you find here speaks to your soul in a way that makes it feel like that pillow, or that character has always been yours, and has now found its way back to you, much like placing that perfect piece in the puzzle.

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A bit more information about Studio Lola’s process, and materials:

Studio Lola uses Texas-grown organic cotton that is processed and milled in the USA. Studio Lola dye is from a small company in L.A. that is producing small batch, environmentally responsible UV process dye. It is important to Studio Lola that all aspects of the textile dyeing process are approached as sustainably as possible. 

Photos By: Angela and Evan Photography

Shop Studio Lola on Etsy

2016 Upcoming Events For Studio Lola

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Make sure to check out @studiololacollection on Instagram as they are running a giveaway for this gorgeous pouch!