Posts tagged smartcreatives
The moment you feel it’s time to get a new job

When I discontinued Kickstarter as a client, I didn’t really know what I’d do afterwards. I had ideas, but nothing was set in stone. I knew I didn’t want to wake up in different beds or on couches as much as I used to. I wanted to spend more time at home and in my own bed. Even though it felt crazy giving up a dream client without having something better lined up, I needed it. It had become hard for me to remember and distinguish people because I dealt with so many, and I often felt overwhelmed and not as friendly as I wanted to be. However, after leaving, (and something I’ve mentioned in my last private newsletter.. if you'd like to receive these, sign up here:, I felt a lot of emptiness. It felt like I had given up what gave me purpose for two years. 

When writing Work Trips and Road Trips, I thought a lot about one's purpose and how as a freelancer, it’s your job to think ahead and make decisions. How it’s important to rethink your status quo every single day. And so there were multiple things I did: 

One of the things was to apply for Teach For Austria. I knew it was something I should do to give back. However, I didn’t pass the assessment center, so this most certainly wasn’t the way ahead. Then, I had a coffee with someone. My friend told me of an available position that truly would've been a dream job and combine all my skills and interests in architecture, media, and technology. It would've been a position as a product and innovation manager at a hotel chain. I built a website to apply, but got a phone call from the recruiter saying they were only open to applicants from within the hospitality sector. Right. I needed to think further about what I’d want to do, so I sat down with a glass of wine and post-its. I wrote down what mattered to me and what skills I’d like to use in my day-to-day. How I’d like my day-to-day be. I once recorded a Skillshare class on this subject. After this exercise, I realized it was time for me to rebrand. I then split the keywords in three different piles and decided to restructure my online presence, which led me to creating another Skillshare class on how to structure your website when you’re a freelancer. 

Now, when I said being a product and innovation manager in the hospitality sector would be a dream job, I had some clues what to do next. I’m currently working on an innovation white paper about hotels and restaurants and building a web presence for a boutique agency with that target group. I’ve also just relaunched this, my personal, website to summarize where I’m coming from. I’d love your feedback and I’d love to hear your story on how you’ve restructured your life and how you changed the direction of where you were headed.

#WTART Update 04: Please help us choose a cover! Things are getting serious!

Whenever I look for someone to work with on projects, I look for someone with the right attitude. I don’t care much if the person I want to work with has never done what I need done before. What I care about is if they care about the project and aren’t afraid to try things out. I care to find someone who has a style and is cheerful to take on any challenge.

When looking for a designer for Work Trips and Road Trips, I looked at many different portfolios and saw some amazing work, and if I could have, I would have hired every single one of the designers that applied. (Which, of course, wasn’t possible.) One thing I had in my mind was that given the books come as a series, I needed to look for someone who has a style, but who can also live up to Diana Ovezea's style and the direction she created when designing This Year Will Be Different

And luckily, I found Chris

Whenever I work with designers, I usually give them a briefing to browse the books people share on Instagram because that’s where you can learn to understand what type of covers catch people’s attention. 

These are the ones Chris found that she felt inspired by...Great titles, right?!

Then, she created mood boards to better understand the colors we could potentially work with...

…and last but not least, she sent over a selection of covers that we’d love to hear your opinion about. This is where you get to have some input! What do you think about the colors? What do you think about the different styles? Do you have a preference? Tell us what you think!

I cannot wait to read your comments! <3 

PS: I have updated the description of this project. Please share the link with the friends who you know might be interested. We have a long way to go! <3 

#WTART Update 02: Time to introduce the #WorkTripsAndRoadTrips team

I wanted to take some time to shed light on all the people I consider my team. If I’d have more time during this Kickstarter madness, I’d probably want to draw a (big) family tree to capture the greatness of this venture. Given the occasion and the book title, I’d probably draw a palm tree.  

I’d start with drawing DianaEweChristiane, and Sarah, then I’d draw the faces of everyone who decided to help make this book a reality. I’d draw the faces of the women I featured, I’d draw the faces of the journalists and bloggers who were kind enough to write about this book, and I’d draw the faces of the people who helped us spread the news about this project on social media. Then, I’d most definitely draw the faces of all of you, dear backers. 121, and counting! 

For now, I won’t draw a tree. Not yet, anyway. :) But I’ll tell you a bit more about the team that I’ve gathered to make this idea come to life. 

Please meet the wonderful... 

Diana, who has edited all three books. I found her – believe it or not – on Elance. I was desperately looking for someone who’d have time to start editing immediately, and she was trying to shift careers from teaching to editing. As we all know, it’s hard to break into a field and after her initial, overly-emotional email, we decided to Skype. It was a love at first sight, so to say, because it was one of the most cheerful Skype calls of my life. Now, we actually Skype a lot, and each and every Skype call is an event worth creating A Life Event reminder to post on Facebook.

Ewe is my trusted soul who made this book an eye candy. I found Ewe on Behance when I was looking for an illustrator for This Year Will Be Different. I really wanted to work with her again, so I asked her to create the visuals for Work Trips and Road Trips. However, with this assignment, I asked her to do something she’s never done before. I really wanted to work on another project with her, but then again, I really didn’t want to have the same style of illustrations in two books. When I saw her first drafts, I wasn’t too sure it was such a good idea to ask her to work on something that was most likely out of her comfort zone, but with the second and third batches of collages, she really got me! All l I can say now is just: WOW!

A lady that not even our loyal #SMARTCREATIVES know is Christiane. She found me through the Austrian business network for women, Sorority. We talked about where she’s at in her freelance career, and as it usually goes, as it also was with Diana, I like to work with people on projects that ponder about the sort of questions I’m addressing in the projects themselves. So here you go, soon you’ll get to see Christiane’s designs for Work Trips and Road Trips. She’s the one making sure the fonts are big enough and the cover is catchy!

Of course, I have another secret ace in my sleeve. It’s not just the four of us working on this project. I also have my dear friend Sarah, who is, at least in my opinion, the most patient person I know. She’s the one who’s shot the last two Kickstarter videos with me and also both of my Skillshare classes. I get incredibly nervous in front of the camera, so I need someone on my side who doesn’t lose it when it takes 1.5 hours to get 2.5 minutes of video footage. When Sarah and I met, we’d have never thought we’d one day do these sort of things together. We were both working at a strategic consultancy and happened to share a side of the table at the company where we worked. 

Let me tell you one thing: if you find people you really enjoy working with, be nice to them and keep them close! 

Now, the team isn’t just us and with my future plans for this little endeavour of mine, it’s also going to be you! (I’ll share more details soon.) For now, please take the chance and introduce yourself in the comments. Tell us who you are, where you’re from, and what sort of project you’re working on that you’ve self-initiated and want the entire world know about. And in case you don’t have such a project just yet, tell us what skills you have so that people who initiate projects could find you. I can’t wait to read your comments!

It’s a Wrap! January

New year, new adventures! 

I spent most of January preparing the Kickstarter campaign for Work Trips and Road Trips. It’s already live and you can see it here!

Ewelina, the illustrator I hired to create the collages for #WTART has, once again, done an amazing job! I knew she’s incredible, given she illustrated This Year Will Be Different, but the collages she made of the women I interviewed blew my mind. We’ve also found a designer, so be ready to help us choose a cover for Work Trips and Road Trips! I’ll post about it on this blog and also write a Kickstarter update once we’re ready to share the designs with you!

Before the end of the year, I’ve agreed with Sean, who I work with at Kickstarter, that I’d focus on the fashion category the next three months. As part of this sprint, I’ve attended the Fashion Fairs in Berlin and also Modefabriek in Amsterdam. I’ve hosted an event for fashion designers, which was part of the Embrace Your Hustle series, and I was also fortunate to be able to organize a lunch for fashion journalists.

I wanted to make the lunch really special, so I hired Sophia Hoffmann to host it. She then, being a perfectionist herself, asked the Rag'N'Bone Man team to create the flower arrangements. The event looked beautiful and the food was so tasty! I can only recommend Sophia’s cookbooks. She truly is the vegan queen!

If you’re a fashion designer and are reading this, please get in touch, as I’m currently working closely with designers on launching their Kickstarter campaign!

It’s a Wrap! December

I spent about ten days in New York this past December. As you might remember, I visited New York before the election and coming back in December, I came back more or less right after the election. The city felt different and everyone I spoke to, every single one of the wonderful people in New York, said to me that the day after the election felt like the day after 9/11. The streets of New York went quiet.

For the very first time, I didn’t really enjoy being there. Usually, New York is cheerful, but this time around, it really wasn’t. I attended Art After Trump, an event organized by the Housing Works Bookstore and the Creative Independent. I must admit, when I came back home to Vienna, I felt exhausted. All I wanted was to nest, so I started redecorating my apartment. I sold a bunch of things and then bought a new sofa and a coffee table that went well with the carpet I bought in Marrakesh. Making home home and taking the time to take things easy felt like the right thing to do.

In December, the projects I was excited about the most that I helped come to life on Kickstarter were Property Of’s Reflective Backpacks for Bikers, WingBrush, Bionic Toys, and A Good Plan, better known as Ein Guter Plan. I also gave a talk to documentary filmmakers.

My contract with Kickstarter would have ended at the end of the year, but the team at Kickstarter and I decided to extend it until the end of March. I’m planning to take things easier in 2017 and focus on my personal projects. Can’t wait to share more about my plans with you soon!

Happy New Year everyone! <3

It’s a wrap! July

Summers in Europe are usually much quieter. Ours wasn’t! As part of the TOA conference, the Kickstarter team, our friends at the Openers agency, and I organized a huge event, The Kickstarter Block Party, to celebrate one year of Kickstarter in Germany! We had a bunch of creators present their work, there was a comedy show, tasty food, and I gave an intro to Kickstarter right after Yancey’s talk! 
This month, I also spoke at the IHK Crowdfunding Night in Munich and at the Technical University in Darmstadt.

My favorite project I helped out with was ReBlend. Also, not to forget, I’m proud of having been featured on the Common-Knowledge blog. You can read it here.

One last piece of big news is that I started writing the next installment of the #Smartcreatives guides. Look out for Work Trips and Road Trips. I’ll most likely update my Instagram and share my progress there.