Susannah Brinkley is the professional graphic designer, blogger and brand coach behind Garnishing Co. and Feast + West. She loves to help bloggers and creative entrepreneurs establish and develop their brands by helping them make the most of print and web design.
Susannah's Take 5 is a glimpse at the things that help her day-to-day as a creative, inspire and motivate her, make her work life a little bit easier, and some just-for-fun stuff that brings her joy...
This trick of the trade.
Hands down, Instagram! I love Instagram for a lot of reasons. It has taught me how to be a better photographer, and reinforced me when I doubted my talents as one. It has been a place to make friends, find story ideas and connect with other bloggers and biz owners. It is also a great source of inspiration for me. When I am feeling blue or non-creative, a look through my feed is sure to spark an idea.
South Africa. I am half-South African, so it’s a big part of me. A big draw is the familial connection. My mother grew up there, and her family still lives there. My sister lived there for a time as well. I am grateful that I have had the opportunity to visit many times in my life. My mother has a saying that goes, ‘Once you’ve been to Africa, you spend your life trying to go back,” and I believe her. South Africa is a truly beautiful country, almost like another world. The culture is a world apart, and yet so familiar as well. I always come home from a trip with a ton of new experiences, memories and knowledge. Just thinking about it makes me want to go back again…
Before I started my blog Feast + West, I read Joy Cho’s book Blog, Inc. I had been a blog consumer for years, and I had a background in graphic design for books, magazines and newspapers, but blogging was a whole new endeavor. A lot of Blog, Inc. was for the very newbie, but there were definitely whole sections that opened my eyes to new aspects. Some of my friends told me they tried reading the book after they had started blogging, and it wasn’t much help. But, if anyone out there is considering blogging as a hobby or as a career, this is a good place to get started.
ByRegina.com! I am just in love with Regina’s epic work ethic, prolific and helpful blog posts and endless stream of helpful content. She writes about business, social media and websites. She is a force and she’s committed to making the Internet a better, friendlier, more amazing place to have your business. If you’re a blogger, freelancer, shop owner or other creative biz owner, you will probably spend hours perusing and pinning everything she does. She’s a friend now as well, but I still recommend her site to everyone because of how much she helped me when I was starting out.
Tool. One of the biggest mind-shifts for me was takingStrengthsFinder 2.0. It’s an assessment/personality test but for me it’s also a way of thinking. You receive your top five ‘strengths’ that describe how you solve problems, think and communicate. I first took the StrengthsFinder assessment in college. At first, I thought it wasn’t for me. For example, I thought it was telling me I was a goody two-shoes (something I had been called as a kid, and hated it). But then, I realized I could be using perceived weakness to my advantage. If I work hard and earn compliments or even accolades or awards, then I am motivated to keep doing great work. That’s just one of my strengths—I see now how my top five play into my work, relationships and thinking. This book has changed how I approach problems and achieve goals. I recommend it to everyone!
Find out more about Susannah's work and services at Garnishing Co. and Feast + West. You're invited to join her mailing list for her font pairing ebook and access to her resource library. Thank you so much, Susannah!
Take Five with Creatives is a short-format glimpse into the lives of makers, artists, crafters, bloggers, writers, designers and female entrepreneurs who are paving their own creative way. Photos courtesy of Susannah Brinkley.