12 Instagrammers To Follow Right Now

Thursday, July 28, 2016

There is no denying the fact that I love Instagram. I would say it is my favorite social media due to the creative aspect of it. Yet, while I love to take, edit, and share fun moments, what truly inspires me is following other creatives. Therefore, I have compiled my "top 12" of Instagrammers to follow, each account diverse from the next in content, location, and artistic style. There is truly someone on the list for you to follow and be inspired by. Enjoy!

01 | For The Travel Guru: With The Locals (@withthelocals) | I found this account when my own home town of Little Rock, AR was feature over a year ago, and have loved following along ever since. Each week, a new Instagrammer "takes over" the account showing us around his or her city. Exploring a town through a true local's eyes allows you to see a city in all its glory-- and often without the tourist cliches.

02 | For The Artistic Soul: Face The Foliage (@facethefoliage) | These pretty floral faces are not only crazy creative, but will inspire you to take apart that bouquet and start creating! Plus, that fox portrait. *Heart eyes*

03 | For a Peak at the BTS Life of a True BOSS: Jen Gotch (@jengotch) | Founder and CEO of Ban.do, Jen's life is anything but boring. Her feed showcases fun behind the scenes action at the office as well as her a close up look at her own life. 

04 | For The Target Lover: Target Does It Again (@targetdoesitagain) | As a Target-addict myself, I appreciate the daily reminder that, YES, I do need to go to Target. Again.

05 | For Baby Fever: Mary Lauren (@marylauren) | There is just something about following along a growing babe. Beautiful images abound of doing life & doing it right on this mama's feed.

07 | To Get Office Inspo: Wandering Office (@wanderingoffice) | Anyone else obsessed over pretty work spaces? I'm so obsessed that I have an entire Pin board dedicated to it. This Insta-account is perfect for office inspo while also a push to get to stop staring at the phone and get to work.

08 | For the Adventurous Spirit: Jannik Obenhoff (@jannikobenhoff) | The 16-year-old, based in Munich, Germany, describes himself as "just a boy with a camera", yet his photographs portray much more. These stunning images will make you gasp each time he posts through his amazing composition and use of light. Now, I have decided that I must travel to Germany to see these sights in person!

09 | For the Hip Pet Lover: Warby Barker (@warbybarker) | Honestly, I'm not much of a dog lover. But these pups + my favorite specks (Warby Parker) get me every time. Sadly, my pup, Eleanor, will not for the life of her let me get a good shot of her in my glasses. I mean, come on!

10 | For Beautiful Photography: Kinsey Mhire (@sincerelykinsey) | Kinsey uses light so beautifully in her images and captures moments that will be cherished forever. Her skill + natural surroundings makes every shot truly killer. 

11 | To Follow an Up-In-Coming Graphic Designer: Connor Dwyer (@connor.dwyer) | As a current SCAD graphic design student,  Connor's minimalistic aesthetic & clever creations are too good not to follow.

12 | For Endlessly Creative Content:  Design Love Fest (@designlovefest) | I mean, the Design Love Fest creative director, Bri Emery, makes even lightbulbs and junk food look cool. Now that is what I call a true creative.

Pop on over to Instagram and give these creatives a follow! While these people inspire me, who on Instagram inspires you? 

P.s. For those who saw this post un-finished this morning -- I am so sorry! I accidentally scheduled the post without realizing I was missing a few things. ;)

Why Printed Images are Better than Digital (with Artifact Uprising)

Monday, July 25, 2016

Surrounding yourself with things you love is important. Whether it is artwork, handwritten notes, concert tickets, or those vintage owl figurines you just had to buy, these items are physical reminders of your personality and treasured moments. While the remnants may appear to be mundane or insignificant to your neighbor, to you they are lovely, sentimental, and make you smile. That simple grin alone is why I am a big believer in immersing yourself in the good and the true things of life -- from friends, to experiences, to the cute pillow on the sale rack at Target -- to understand that each day brings joy. While physical items do not equate or are necessary for a full life, I think that in a world with so many problems, pain, and injustice, it is okay to remind yourself there is still beauty. In the people you encounter, the situation you are currently in, and on the walls of your home, there is still beauty.

We often decorate with art and various knick knacks, and yet our photos -- a memory that appears so personal -- tends to be kept on our phone, only visible to our own eyes. We often forget that our photographs, too, are an art form. And, like the beautiful painting passed down from your grandmother, they should be showcased. So I ask: why is the art of a physical photograph lost? I have narrowed it down to this: convenience. (That, and well, saving the trees. But that's another story.) The cool thing about this issue is there is a easy solution -- take action. We live in 2016, and printing photos is easier than ever. Most orders can be placed in five minutes on your Smartphone during your lunch break, and picked up just a few hours later.

There is something about taking a photo of a special moment, and therefore getting to keep that memory forever. More than that, what a privilege it is to have those images go from your five inch iPhone screen to a beautiful print. For me, Artifact Uprising* does just that. With just twenty-five bucks and a few clicks on your phone or computer, you can get twenty-five 5 x 5 inch high-quality prints. Additionally, AU's products include framed photos, photo albums, cards, and wall art. All beautiful, simple, and personal. 

All in all, a printed photo is better in view of the fact that it is physical. Because, we as humans inevitably remember occasions best in their most concrete form. It is that "proof" that we need to remind us that it happened, was accounted for, and can be recollected. However, what makes a printed photograph so valuable is the memory itself; truly, it is the intangible things of life that are forever.

So, I encourage you to print a few photos this week. Maybe it is the last three photos on your camera roll or your favorites from a trip a few summers back; but, whatever it is, let's get it off a screen and into your hand. Let's practice remembering with fondness. Let's surround ourselves with more beauty.

*Note: This post was not sponsored. But, heck-- I wish! Let's connect, Artifact Uprising.

03 | In the Process with Sally Nixon

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Today, I'm almost giddy because I get to share an interview I did with Little Rock local artist, Sally Nixon. I have followed her work for a while now, and am always impressed with her drive to create consistently as well as portray women in a beautiful, yet real, light. Nixon has been feature on The Creators Project, Bustle, Its Nice ThatCosmopolitan, and The Huffington Post. This interview is a part of H&H's "In the Process" series (look at previous posts with Helen Hung and Laura Supnik), where I am interviewing various creatives from all walks of life, locations, and artistic work. Nixon's work inspires me everyday -- and often to the point of not just looking at her detailed illustrations, but testing the water with my own creations. As you read the following interview, I hope you enjoy her work and artistic outlook as much as I do!
H&H: How did you get where you are today? 

SN: I grew up in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, the youngest of five girls. I’ve always been interested in art and telling stories through images. In 2013, I graduated from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock with a BFA degree in studio art with an emphasis in illustration. Since then, I’ve been doing freelance illustration for a number of magazines and businesses.

H&H: How would you describe your work in three words?

SN: Detailed, colorful, feminine

H&H: Where do you find inspiration for your art? How do you continually look to that inspiration in your profession despite deadlines and the occasional creative-block?

SN: I find inspiration everywhere. That sounds really cliche, but it’s true. I’ll be watching TV and see an object or a pattern I like and design an illustration inspired by it or make a note to include it in the next project I have. When I have creative blocks, it’s usually because I’m not that interested in whatever I’m drawing, which can happen with certain freelance jobs. So I’ll look at my Pinterest boards or my sketchbook where I keep notes and photos of things that inspire me and I’ll try to find a way to include some of those things in the project at hand. 

H&H: Many creative people (myself included) struggle with the idea of originality and creating something new in a world when everything has been done already. Do you struggle with this? What are your thoughts on getting past this inner conflict?

SN: I used to worry about that a lot, but I finally just accepted the fact that everything has been done and there is no such thing as a completely original idea. And that’s okay. Every creative person has their own unique style and it’s more important to focus on honing that than trying to come up with a brand new idea.

H&H: The Creators Project comments on your work stating, "[s]eeing women in art who aren’t being watched and aren’t being assessed, who aren’t sucking in their stomachs, arching their backs, or dewily parting their lips, is wonderful, refreshing, and deeply relatable." How do you hope to portray women, and the human person in general, through your art?

SN: Realistically. I want my artwork to be relatable to the average person. My favorite comments to get are “oh, that’s so me!” or “that reminds me of my best friend!” 

H&H: Most of your work is very detail-oriented. About how long do you spend per illustration?

SN: It depends on the size of the drawing. All of the pieces from my 365 project were four inches by four inches, so I could get those done in one to two hours. The larger the piece, the longer it takes. I just recently finished one that was 11x16 and it took a week and a half. 
H&H: I loved your 365 days of illustrations you shared on Instagram. What was the hardest part about that process? What lessons did you learn along the way?

SN: The hardest part was probably finding the energy to draw on the days when I really didn’t want to. There were a few times when I was sick and the last thing I wanted to do was get out of bed and draw. But I did it anyway and didn’t die, so it all worked out. The whole reason I started the 365 challenge was because I was bored with what and how I was drawing. Doing an illustration a day forced me to branch out creatively. Plus, the more you do something, the better you’ll get at it. 

H&H: What is next for you and your art? 

SN: I’d love to do a book(From Cate: I will definitely be your first preorder.)

H&H: What advice would you give to fellow artists with the same desire to create?

SNWhatever your area of interest is, do it as much as possible and think about it as much as possible. And be stubborn. If someone says you’re not good enough, then get good enough. And tell that person to fuck off. 
For me, Sally's creative work gives me permission to be myself, yet also finding rest in that fact that there is someone else out there sneaking in a piece (or five) of cake at midnight. So for that, and this beautiful conversation, thank you so much, Sally! You can check out her work on Instagram under @sallustration or on her Etsy page here

What about her work inspires or draws you in? Share in the comments below!

The Perfect Summer Indie-Dance Playlist (With Sophie Roads)

Monday, July 18, 2016

Sometimes I like to think of my life before iTunes or Spotify. Then I quickly stop because that is a sad life, and just not worth the time. Yet, if I am being completely honest with myself, my music taste was not shaped by own accord. Maybe 20% of it is, but the other 80% is due to two people-- my older brother, Jackson, and my long-distance bestie, Sophie. 

Sophie currently lives in North Carolina, but has lived near and far-- from Dallas to my hometown of Little Rock to the UK. There are a lot of words to describe her, but most of all she is someone who is always kind, a constant encourager, and incredibly creative. Soph lives her life with a lot of grace and a lot of creativity. I am more than proud to call her one of my best friends!

Sophie's encouragement and advice has been a large part in the creation process of this blog, so I owe one big thank you to her (thanks, Soph!). She is good a multitude of things, but what she is a pro at is finding the perfect playlist for you. There have been many times that she has sent me a song to listen to on a hard day or a good playlist that makes you want to dance. And, I simply can't keep her stellar music choices to myself. So, once a month, we get to metaphorically gather around Sophie's laptop and see what is on her current music playlist. This month, we decided the best way to describe it was indie-dance. I don't know if that makes us wannabe hipsters or not (*cringe*), but at the end of the day it is the perfect soundtrack for your summer. Enjoy!

01 | Broken Record - Louis the Child Remix feat. Joni Fatora // Soysauce

02 | Send My Love (To Your New Lover) // Adele

03 | Lost // Jack and White

04 | Good Grief // Bastille

05 | Oceans // Coasts

06 | Better Love - From The Legend of Tarzan // Hozier

07 | High You Are - Branchez Remix // What So Not

08 | Rising Water // James Vincent McMorrow

09 | Hell No // Ingrid Michaelson

10 | Amadeus // Family and Friends (Cate's favorite pick!)

11 | Boardwalks - Sonny Alven Remix // Adele

12 | Welcome To Your Life // Grouplove

13 | Bridge Burn // Little Comets

14 | White Flag // Joseph

15 | Alaska // Maggie Rogers

16 | Moving Mountains // The Brevet

You can follow Sophie on Spotify where this playlist is found (or click the link HERE) under the name Sophie Roads. Now, grab a friend & take a drive or have a solo dance party in your home; the latter, which tends to be my favorite mode of music listening, is actually happening right now to the song "Alaska" by Maggie Rogers. Yet, whatever you do, life is better with a good soundtrack in the background.

Included playlist provided by: Sophie Roads, 17

H&H Update: Out For The Week!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Sweet, consistent followers! I will be out for the week due to a mission trip. Though I schedule most of my posts, I will also be taking my annual "social media cleanse" as well as a quick break here on H&H. I am learning that it is perfectly OK to rest for a second and focus on the real stuff, you know? Yet, if you are reallllly missing those two posts of mine and needing some good content (remember the chat about content that uplifts, here?) to read throughout the week, here are five places to check out.

01The Art of Journaling on Creating A Lovely Life (A favorite post from my previous blog of five years)

02Four Ways Anyone Can Fight For Justice via Darling Magazine blog (SO good)

0323 Ways To Treat Yourself Without Eating or Buying Anything via Yesandyes.org (Save yourself some money and calories this week)

04 | The Lively Show podcast, specifically episode #100 with Elizabeth Gilbert (have gushed about this here) by Jess Lively (New episodes every Thursday / Can find on Podcast app on iPhone)

05 | @SaraDietchy on Youtube (Especially her series, Creative Spaces TV)

And, a quick word-to-the-wise: Immersing yourself in creative, uplifting content not only inspires you throughout the week but is necessary to a life of growth & creativity. What will you engage in this week?

[P.S. As I will be out-of-town, please pray for me and my team as we share our lives + true Love with those we will encounter. Specifically, for leadership + patience + authenticity in conversation. *Hugs*, Cate ]

Art as a Necessity [Quote by Rainer Maria Rilke]

Thursday, July 7, 2016

A lot of times we run out of words, and I think that in these moments we must choose to listen. With intention and with narrow focus-- to not let outside distractions fill our minds to the point we are no longer engaged. Because, it is when we are fully engaged that we learn.  So, to keep it short & sweet, here are some wise words from 20th century German poet, Rainer Maria Rilke on the need to write.

Go into yourself. Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depths of your heart; confess to yourself whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write. 

This most of all: ask yourself in the most silent hour of your night: must I write? Dig into yourself for a deep answer. And if this answer rings out in assent, if you meet this solemn question with a strong, simple “I must,” then build your life in accordance with this necessity; your whole life, even into its humblest and most indifferent hour, must become a sign and witness to this impulse. Then come close to Nature. Then, as if no one had ever tried before, try to say what you see and feel and love and lose...

...Describe your sorrows and desires, the thoughts that pass through your mind and your belief in some kind of beauty - describe all these with heartfelt, silent, humble sincerity and, when you express yourself, use the things around you, the images from your dreams, and the objects that you remember. If your everyday life seems poor, don’t blame it; blame yourself; admit to yourself that you are not enough of a poet to call forth its riches; because for the creator there is not poverty and no poor, indifferent place. And even if you found yourself in some prison, whose walls let in none of the world’s sounds – wouldn’t you still have your childhood, that jewel beyond all price, that treasure house of memories? Turn your attentions to it. Try to raise up the sunken feelings of this enormous past; your personality will grow stronger, your solitude will expand and become a place where you can live in the twilight, where the noise of other people passes by, far in the distance. And if out of this turning-within, out of this immersion in your own world, poems come, then you will not think of asking anyone whether they are good or not. Nor will you try to interest magazines in these works: for you will see them as your dear natural possession, a piece of your life, a voice from it. A work of art is good if it has arisen out of necessity. That is the only way one can judge it.” 

Let's continue to the conversation. What in your life do you see as a necessity? Do you see the need for creation, in any & all forms, dire to a full life?

Creative Content That Uplifts: Little City Magazine

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

*Note: Due to the (American) holiday yesterday, this post has been delayed a day. Will be on schedule for this Thursday!

In an era that is continually throwing content at you, it is easy to fill your mind and heart with words, images, and messages that are empty. By "empty", I mean that places like your Instagram / Facebook / Twitter feed often leave you feeling jealous or with FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), the Youtube Videos you watch make you feel as if your life is far less pretty or adventurous or [fill in the blank here] than the person behind the camera, and the blogs or articles you read seem as though everyone has it figured out except for you. Here's the thing: that is normal. At least we can all rest in that fact alone, yet we must not let that be the end of the discussion. I think the problem here is that we spend more time looking at our phones and computers than we do with people we love. We spend more time contemplating an edit or caption than we do asking about someone else's day. We spend more time pinning pretty images than we do actually creating them. That, too, is a fact of our generation that is both sad but very real. 

The cold, hard truth of this is that these are issues that we must face head on in order to live a full life. The first being we need to put down the dang phone. We just do. Yes, it is hard. But, no, we will still live. When practiced, we will not just "do life" through a glowing screen, but truly live a life that is both beautiful and messy, and most importantly, a life that is in the here and now. One with people you love looking at you in the eyes during a moment that does not have to be captured in order to be remembered. That is a full life. It is something much easier said than done, I will admit as this is a goal I continually try and fail and try again at achieving. The other problem is that when we are on the internet, we are not surrounding ourselves with content that uplifts. Whether is be the images we look at, the words we read, or the overall meaning behind the work, it leaves us empty

But, guess what? There is good, uplifting, authentic content out there. I am slowly finding it and choosing to fill the time I spend looking at a screen with it rather than scrolling through my Instagram feed for the 12th time in the hour. (Pro tip: Start small. Try just limiting yourself to look at your various socials once every hour.) Therefore, I want to share these places that celebrate real lives, like I hope H&H does and continues to do. 

Little City Magazine is where you should start. The online magazine launched just last week and is described as "a community of creatives led by faith". With articles on fashion & beauty, entertainment, lifestyle, college & career, and adventure written by various contributors, it not only uplifts but also inspires you to take action to grow. And, some exciting news in this, too: I have the opportunity to be a contributor as well! I am overjoyed to share an article on the topic of college & career in a week or so, and cannot wait for you guys to read it.

So, hop on over to Little City and fill your heart & mind with more than empty content. Even if it is simply a click away, this is a way we can actively pursue the good and the real things of life. 

Where do you find content that uplifts? Let me know in the comments below.

by mlekoshi