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MCS Free Video #2!

Getting started is the hardest part!  In this second video, you'll hear our stories about beginning our creative journeys!  If you signed up for the Modern Calligraphy Summit free video series, you should already have an email with a link to watch this second video. If you haven't signed up yet, click THIS LINK to get it!

#moderncalligraphysummit

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Modern Calligraphy Summit 2.0 SNEAK PEAK!

Not sure what type of watercolor and/or calligraphy tools to order? It can be so difficult to know what to use... don't worry, I'VE GOT YOU COVERED!  Modern Calligraphy summit has a cool (and free! HELLO!) video series where you'll learn the preferred tools of me and my fellow Modern Calligraphy Summit 2.0 instructors, and learn how we got started in calligraphy and watercolor. Just click THIS LINK and enter your email address to get instant access to the first video! #moderncalligraphysummit

 

 

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Shop Pigment Workshops January 2017

Shop Pigment is one of my favorite places to teach for SO many reasons; incredible natural lighting, decor to die for, they continuously outdo themselves with the refreshments spread and there is always positive, happy energy for everyone that walks through their doors!  Teaching there is so much fun for me.  This last weekend I taught my signature Intro to Floral Watercolor and Intro to Modern Calligraphy workshops (#monvoirworkshops on Instagram if you wanna check it out!).  Whether you are a first timer or seasoned in your craft, getting back to the basics and focusing on color theory and technique do worldssssss for honing in your craft!

With that said, we love working together so much that we decided to book more workshops together!  On Saturday, February 18th. I will be teaching Intro to Floral Watercolor from 10am-1pm and from 2pm-5pm I will be teaching Modern Calligraphy.  If you are interested in learning more about the classes or where to sign up, click HERE!

I hope to see you all there!  

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San Clemente, CA City Guide

My hometown, San Clemente, is seriously the best, you guys.  It's a gritty surf town with a small town feel and some incredible spots to eat, get coffee, etc. I get a lot of questions about my favorite go to places to eat, drink, shop etc.  SO I have decided to create a little San Clemente City Guide!

To kick things off, you're gonna want to start your morning coffee at Bear Coast.  Minimalist vibes complete with subway tile, wood tables with custom designs (including one by yours truely) and ocean views make for the ultimate coffee experience.  With branding by Sarah Armstrong of A Name Brand Co., you're sure to snap some seriously awesome Insta pics and they're coffee is on point.  

One of my favorite places, for obvious reasons, is San Clemente Art Supply.  This is where I get all my goods for my watercolor needs! It's family owned and in a cute Ole Hanson style bungalow with AMAZING prices on art supplies. Don't miss this place.  

If you want the best frickin' burger of your life, you'll need to go to The Riders Club for lunch.  And I'm not the only one that thinks it's that good, they were voted Best Burger in San Clemente through the SC Time's People's Choice Awards! It's a smaller place, with a few beers on tap and again...THE BURGERS. 

Next, you're going to want to go take a stroll down Del Mar Street.  This is the main street in San Clemente, full of local shops, eats and cuteness.  Make your way to Melrose in The OC for some pretty good finds in the clothing department and great prices! 

You can also take a stroll at sunset on the beach trail from North Beach down to Riviera.  It's ultra romantic, so bring a hand holding buddy! The views are insane.

You can also head to San Onofre State Beach for great surfing and camping!  A "staycation" if you will for OC citizens.  BUT, you gotta buy a state park pass to get in.  Worth it! 

I've got a few favorite dinner spots.  One of them is Sonny's; a quaint little Italian/Pizza joint tucked on the corner of El Camino Real and Avenida Palizada.  Another favorite dinner and drinks spot is The Vine.  You gotta request barside, not restaurant side, for seating in the "cool" side.  The Vine has rockin entrees, wine and craft beers!  The vibe is totally wine cellar.  Lastly, Pierside.  It's located right next door to my favorite coffee shop, Bear Coast.  Their seafood is super fresh, I always get something new when I go and happy with it everytime!

Lastly, my favorite place in the world, Mom & Dad's house.  I'm there at least every Sunday, I get to hang with John and my parents after church, we have lunch, relax, play games, make cocktails, reminisce, and go through old embarassing photos of myself (hence the most ultimate #tbt photos you guys have ever seen!). Of course, can't tell you where that's at, but growing up in this quaint, beach town was such a treat! Make sure to check out these spots, head to the beach with your coffee, and enjoy people watching - the locals here are gems!

Welp, that's all folks!  Enjoy!

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Join Me In Paris June 18-24, 2017!

I am so incredibly excited for the Fat Tire Rendevouz in June, I can hardly stand it!  I mean a full week of creative workshops, coffee, wine, cheese, gardens, bike tours, the Eiffel Tower, Versaille....I could go on.  I will be teaching a Floral Watercolor lesson in the garden of Giverny. IS THIS REAL LIFE?  STEP ASIDE MONET!...jk, Monet. But, what?! 

Aside from myself, there will be other amazing artists teaching as well! Among those, Lauren Essl will be teaching us the basics of her stunning calligraphy and Estelle Preston will be guiding us on how to make the most beautiful floral arrangement.  This will be hands down the most inspiring week of your life with Anna Routh there to document the whole trip with her stunning photography!

To register and learn more about this once in a lifetime opportunity, click HERE!  I hope to see you there!

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"Your time is limited...

... so don't waste it living someone else's life." - Steve Jobs

If you guys don't know me by now, I believe in clean, minimalist, modern design when it comes to staple items in my wardrobe and my home. I'm a sucker for Scandinavian inspired homes on Pinterest (I mean, seriously. Look at that board on my pinterest, it's full of minimalist design) and even in my work, you can see the theme of clean and modern, with punches of color of course, throughout. That is why I have been LOVING my Daniel Wellington watches.  

I know that no matter what my vibe is for the day; a casual day at work, business attire, cocktail attire, shopping at the flea market, a wedding, you name it! I can always count on my watch to be part of my outfit.  The new Classic Black collection by DW is time-honored.  They really said it best, "An extension of our flagship Classic Collection that pushes the understated minimalist style beyond traditional boundaries."  I wear the Cornwall.  I just love the fabric band, it goes with everything!  

So, in spirit of the holidays, my friends over  @DanielWellington are offering my loyal followers (you guys!!) their own special discount!  Perfect gift for Christmas if you ask me.  Enter code MONVOIRDW at checkout and get 15% off your total purchase!  Go to www.danielwellington.com now to take advantage of this awesome discount!  

#danielwellington #dwclassicblack

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How Does the Biz Work? Advice From Mon Voir Founder: Jenna Rainey

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Almost everyday I receive emails, comments, or DMs regarding the ins and outs of my business. From how to send files to print, how to clean up watercolor after scans, to what to charge, taxes, and more! It can be so overwhelming when you first launch into a creative career. It's incredibly hard to navigate the nuances of client communication and problem solving, not to mention the, but how much do I charge in order to feel like I can at least pay my bills?! I started my business almost 4 years ago and the pain and anxiety of just going from one mistake or unknown to the next was at times unbearable. But it gets better. If you put in the time, play to your strengths and have a whole lot of patience, it will work out. You may not come upon the immeasurable success of that one person you covet on Instagram, but you will figure out how to conduct a business without it literally crumbling to the ground in failure. 

Below are some of the questions I receive most frequently along with my answers. I can't stress enough, though that my answers and methods won't be what's best for everyone. Hard work and self-awareness is key to really knowing and discovering what works best for you as a freelancer or for your business/agency. Don't ever stop short in gifting yourself with the dedication of long hours spent googling something or the time and dedication to fix a problem or mistake and DO THE RESEARCH. You can't just go from one person's advice and comments to another in order glide to the top. You have to put in the work and time. It's painful at times, but absolutely crucial. So, without further a do, here are some helpful tips to encourage you to put in the sweat and get work done! I hope this helps or encourages you if you're struggling to figure out pricing and navigate the dark world of starting a creative business!

How did I get started?:  By pure accident! I found a box of art supplies while moving (it was mixed in with our stuff), and I decided to start painting, drawing and calligraphing with the materials inside the box. It was a release for me, as I was working at a financial planning office at the time and felt like my soul was being crushed. From there I started creating pieces for friends and family, adding my work to social media and pretty soon I was getting paid jobs based on people finding me through HASHTAGS on Instagram. HASHTAGS PEOPLE! Yes, this is the world we live in. With learning design programs, pricing, taxes and just that nitty gritty business stuff, I learned everything on my own. Party of 1, thanks to Google, Skill Share, Lynda, YouTube videos and other websites that taught me how to use a scanner, Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, etc.  Being thrown into the lion's den forced me to grow as an artist and business owner tremendously. I learned by making huge mistakes in the beginning, which taught me my strengths and my weaknesses and helped me remember what not to do. I became a student of the business that I was accidentally in charge of and focused a ton of energy on the industry I was in and the people I was reaching. I highly suggest taking the time to invest in yourself and your business by learning as much as possible...always learning. It will be so worth it in the long run! Time and patience is CRUCIAL here. If you want the shortcuts by asking someone who's already successful and in a different league in their business, they can't give you all the answers! Each person and business is different, and learning on your own is hard but is always a good idea. YOU are responsible for your business and where it goes, it is up to YOU to take control and make it extraordinary! This doesn't mean that I don't recommend asking for help along the way. Something that saved me early on in my business was reaching out to someone who was in the right position in their career to become my mentor. Mentors are lifesavers. They're also like therapists in a way too which is GREAT.

How do I showcase my prices?:  Once I started getting paying jobs, I felt kind of all over the place.  I decided to create base design fees and go from there.  I made a pricing guide to show my clients in detail the services I offered and what my prices were.  I thought it would be best to show any potential clients my design pricing first (pre-cost of goods/printing/tax/shipping/etc) to let them see if I was within their budget!  Like most companies and as my business grows, add inflation and cost of living, my prices tend to increase every year or sometimes every quarter. Know your market. If you don't know what your market is, write down a list or description of who your dream client is. What's their income? Interests? Style? etc. Then create pricing based upon reaching that market. This part is mostly trial and error, especially if you're just starting out. For the newbies, there is some huge benefits to just taking the lower paid jobs or styled shoots just to get your name out there and build your portfolio. HOWEVER, it is never ok to just charge less than what the market is asking for so you can get more work, because that is undercutting your value and the hard work and sweat that's been put in by your competitors within your industry (aka other designers and illustrators in my case). Know your value and know your market. 

What if a client wants to know what the total cost will be?:  This may seem like a basic question for some, but I get this question quite often! For a client wanting to see a breakdown of costs, I always create a custom estimate.  After I find out what the client needs (desired package/design fee, paper, printing methods, quantity, etc.)  I create a custom estimate based upon these interests. That's why it's crucial in the beginning to ask the client their color palette, their style and interests, so you can get a better sense for what paper and printing methods to quote for. I add in my design fees based on the requested package, add in paper costs, printing costs and any additional services such as assembly or calligraphy addressing. That way my clients can get a better understanding of what the real pricing is going to be and it is broken down piece by piece! Remember, this is an estimate! This will not always be the exact pricing. A lot of factors move around and change during the entire process from design to assembly and shipping. But always make sure to mark up your cost of goods and factor in sales tax (if applicable to you and where you live). For us, we charge 8% sales tax on any physical goods as that is the percentage requirement for Orange County, CA. Just google your location and what your sales tax requirement is and your good to go! Only charge sales tax to actual product, never to your services. For example, I'll add sales tax to the cost of printing and materials only, not design fees/packages and calligraphy addressing.

What if a client changes their mind?:  Once a client agrees to use my services, I have them fill out and sign a client/artist agreement and request a 50% deposit to secure their spot on our calendar.  This is protection for both the client and the artist.  This ensures that the client has secured to use our services for their needs, and that we do not book anyone else that will compromise the deadlines/scheduling for project. Scheduling is a whole other topic as well, but briefly, factor in how long your different projects take you and schedule out each job accordingly. I always give myself a buffer of 2 weeks for any hiccups within the process.  This protects myself as the artist and designer, for security.  Sometimes our invitation jobs are booked months or even over a year in advance.  If a client backs out last minute, I am without that project for 8-12 weeks.  To be honest and transparent, this is my business, my livelihood and this is how I make a living to provide for my family.  I cannot afford to risk taking on a client without the security of a deposit.

Once I take on a client, how does the process work?:  Each client gets 3 proofs.  I get images, a pinterest board or any other inspiration/direction and I go from there. We start with sending them a mood board and overview of the direction before I begin artwork and designs. Then, I create the first round based on the initial requests.  From here, the client provides me with their feedback on color, layout and overall design. I make a 1st revision round based on their requests.  After that 1st revision, most clients decide that is what they were looking for and we get the production agreement signed and go into printing.  If the client decides they need to make a few more adjustments, we can go into a 2nd and final revision round.  At that point, the client can decide to sign off on the designs and go to print!  If there are still adjustments that are requested after this point, an additional revision round fee is added.  

What if a client wants to add in more things during the process?:  As long as timing permits it, additional items can be added on during the process.  There is another client/artist agreement signed and their final payment will reflect the added costs. Always protect yourself by updating them with costs along the way if they add or take things out to insure that everyone is on the same page and there will be no surprises when the final invoice comes through! 

How long does it take to create a wedding invitation suite?:  I made a timeline blog HERE.  This breaks down timing and how long everything takes FOR ME and the way we do business.  I cannot stress enough that you need to book your desired designer/stationer ASAP.  Do not wait until 3 months before you wedding to start looking.  I request at least a 4 or 5 month advance from the date you need your invitations by to ensure everything is organized, not rushed and there is enough time for last minute items/printing/shipping. But every business is different. Some people book further out in advance than we do, some don't. Some designers work better with a faster turnaround time, some need more time between jobs. It all varies.

This didn't cover everything I'm sure. You can't really cover everything with one blog post, but I plan on devulging more advice and secrets in more blog posts...essentially an "advice column." Comment below with questions, or topics you'd like to read more about from me! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fallspiration!

It's Fall!  Even though we are still wiping away our upper lip sweat here in sunny, hot Southern California, we are excited for the season!  I compiled a few of my favorite things about autumn into one, extremely crowded collage!  So throw on a blanket, cozy up next to your fire and enjoy!

  • First, Tinge Floral!  I love this bouquet, the deep chocolate tones mixed with peach and soft lavenders can be gorgeous for a fall wedding.  This brings uniqueness to the season and separates the typical autumn bouquet from the rest.  Plus, she's super crazy talented like WHOA.  Check her out HERE!
  • Next up, Oh So Beautiful Paper Maple Bourbon Hot Toddy brings a fall flavor kick to the palette!  Yummy, warm, delicious bourbon with maple syrup and pecan bitters? DELISH. Click HERE for recipe!
  • If you aren't following Linda Lomelino on Instagram, it is time that you start!  Her photos are so visually stimulating and gorgeous and I want to eat everything she makes!  The deep, dark images give me all of the feels.
  • Our go to coffee joint for a warm cup of joe in the fog filled morning is NEAT!  Located in Costa Mesa, Boss Babe Ally Garvin opened the shop exactly one year ago and it is our favorite coffee shop EVER!
  • Ok, I DESPISE pumpkin spice.  Like throw up in my mouth a little (see picture of Walter below).  BUT!  My beautiful madre just brought me these Trader Joe's Pumpkin Spice Granola Bark, and I seriously love it.  It's not too pumpkin spicey, ya know?  They're gooooood!
  • SWEATAH WEATHAH
  • The leaves changing in the fall in my favorite city, Chicago! Man, I miss it there.
  • The Lane took beautiful pictures featured in the 'Brands We Love' on their website!  Check it out HERE!

That pretty much sums it up!  Thanks for reading guys.  We just love this time of year and everything about the season.  What are your favorite things about fall?  Comment below!

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Brit+Co Re:Make 2016!

Some of you guys probably followed along with my trip via Instagram and my insane amount of stories ;), but MAN! What an awesome weekend! Brit+Co did such a great job this year with putting together this conference. There were so many amazing speakers and inspirational talks. I had such an incredible time. The amount of color and crazy, decked out booths with every opportunity to take a selfie was just crazy. Overstimulating and wayyy too many things to recount for sure, so check out my highlights from the weekend below!

  • Being in San Francisco is the best, I absolutely LOVE that city - the energy, the architecture and charm. It's simply gorgeous!
  • Hearing Brené Brown speak.  That woman is so wise and inspirational.
  • Meeting some of my followers in person (you guys rule!) - thanks for coming up and saying HI!
  • Teaching two watercolor classes to rooms full of 200+ people at a time (WOW!) - that was a wild ride!
  • Seeing the level of energy with a room full of 2,000+ creative and powerful women, ready to take on business and life...that was awesome!

Below are some photos I found stalking the #remake2016 hashtag.  Thank you to everyone that come out to my workshops!

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C&H

We are absolutely in love with Cristina & Hanley's colorful Mexico wedding!  Here are some of our favorite photos from the wedding; including the place cards, invites, table numbers, custom signage and other pretty things Mon Voir created for this incredible destination wedding!

From Bash Please… "Cristina and Hanley came to us thinking that they were going to get married in Ojai, but after chatting with them about what they pictured for their wedding weekend, we knew that Mexico was a better fit. They are both so lively and full of energy, and they wanted to create a full weekend of celebration with their closest friends and family. We guided them towards the Riviera Maya in Mexico. With its incomparable beaches, incredible local flavor, and unparalleled customer service, we knew it was the spot for them. The Rosewood Mayakoba is one of the most beautiful resorts in the world, and its attention to detail of design and service is impeccable. We wanted to have the design of the wedding capture the local beauty and flavor of Mexico and keep it cohesive with the thoughtful simplistic design of the Rosewood Mayakoba. We sourced local goods and textiles, worked with an amazing florist based out of Mexico City (Gabriela of La Muses de las Floras) who foraged for all local plants and florals to create wild yet composed native arrangements and installations, and let the Palapa at the Rosewood be the backdrop for an unforgettable night. We kept the palate for the wedding fairly neutral to keep in line with the existing design and natural materials of the property with pops of Papaya, and Anthurium. We tried to create a balance with the contrasting natural materials local to the area and simple, modern designed papergoods and signage, in the hand of Mon Voir, that lend themselves to the clean design of the hotel. There were churros, fireworks, a surprise guitar performance by Cristina’s dad, and dancing into the wee hours of the night."

 

 

Photography: Our Labor of Love | Videography: The Wedding Artists Collective | Event Planning: Bash Please | Floral Design: Gabriela Salazar | Wedding Dress: Rue De Seine | Cake: Rosewood Mayakoba | Invitations: Mon Voir | Shoes: Gianvito Rossi | Catering: Rosewood Mayakoba | Hair + Makeup: Styling Trio | Lighting: Encore Productions | Fireworks: Special Events Mexico | Linens: La Tavola Fine Linen Rental | Music: Elan Artists | Rehearsal Dinner Venue: La Ceiba at Rosewood Mayakoba | Rentals:Canteiro | Wedding: Rosewood Mayakoba Beach

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Custom Wedding Stationery Timeline!

There are SO many deadlines to remember for your big day, so we want to help take the questioning out of stationery deadlines for you!  Please remember to reach out to your desired designer ASAP once you have a locked in date and venue.   Many stationers book months and months in advance, so we want to make sure that there is enough time to create your dream invitation suite! Below is a timeline to live by when it comes to custom stationery. These are the timelines we go by here at Mon Voir and others may do it differently, so make sure to always reach out in advance and provide your timeline and wedding date in your inquiry!

Save The Dates.  The typical custom design and printing process for save the dates is 6-8 weeks.  You will want to reach out to your stationer about 10-11 months in advance to begin coordinating dates to get started.  If you want your save the dates in hand by July 1st, you will need to begin the design process around May 1st.  Make sense?  If you are having a destination wedding, you will want to mail out your save the dates approximately 8 months in advance, and 6 months in advance for non-destination weddings.  So, if you are having a destination wedding on November 1st , you will want to mail out your save the dates early March.  And for non-destination weddings, early May.  

2 Piece Suite:  A custom main invitation design, reply card design, inner and outer envelope design + printing takes 8-10 weeks.  You want to give yourself, and your designer, enough time needed!  So, if you need your invitations in hand by July 1st, you will need to begin the design process around April 15th.  

3 Piece Suite: A custom main invitation design, reply card design, inner and outer envelope design, information card design + printing takes 10-12 weeks.  If you want to give yourself enough time and you need your invitations in hand by July 1st, you will need to begin the design process around April 1st.

4 Piece Suite: A custom main invitation design, reply card design, map design, information card design, return addressing design for inner and outer envelopes and printing takes 12-14 weeks.  If you want to give yourself enough time and you need your invitations in hand by July 1st, you will need to being the design process around March 15th.

Additional Custom Designs:  A day of item such as a Menu, an Itinerary or Program takes approximately 4-6 weeks to design and print (unless you want all three items! In which case, you will want to begin the design process 4 weeks earlier).  If you need your day of item in hand on July 1st, you will need to begin the designing process around May 15th.  If you are doing all three day of items and you need them in hand by July 1st, you will want to begin the design process around April 15th.

Calligraphy Addressing:  A minimum of 2 weeks is needed to complete calligraphy addressing, however 3 weeks is recommended.  If you need your addressed envelopes in hand by July 1st, you will need to make sure your calligrapher has the final address list around June 7th.

Escort Cards/Place Cards: A minimum of 2 weeks is needed to complete day of escort or place cards, however 3 weeks is recommended.  If you need them in hand by July 1st, you will need to make sure your calligrapher has the final guest list around June 7th.

We hope that this helps to give you a better idea as to when to reach out to your stationer and how long the process takes!  Please also keep in mind that your stationer may be booked farther in advance than you think, so reaching out ASAP will give you a better chance at being able to work with the designer of your choice! It is such an enjoyable process when working with the perfect designer for your style and event and making sure you have plenty of time to sit back and enjoy watching your stationer transform your ideas and vision into beautiful paper!

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Modern Calligraphy Summit 2.0!

Hey everyone! Did you read that title?! Well, it's true! I'm so excited to announce that I will be a part of MCS 2.0 this year as one of their instructors. I filmed my course a few weeks ago, and let me tell you guys I couldn't be more excited to bring you this content!!

So, what is MCS? Well, some of you may know from last year, but Modern Calligraphy Summit is a collection of online courses catered to the calligrapher, artist, designer or even hobbyist looking to grow leaps and bounds in just that! Think seasoned professionals teaching you from their own studios the tips and tricks they've learned along the way. For my course, I will be providing you all with in-depth instruction on my watercolor process from paintbrush and paper, to how to properly scan and digitize watercolor and then my secrets for cleaning up my paintings in Photoshop. This is the real deal, guys. I've been getting asked a TON this past year about which scanner I use, how I remove the watercolor paper background in post-production...and let me tell you, this info didn't come easy to me! I've been spending most of my career as a creative professional fighting the battle of self-taught designer and I've found an amazing solution to (miracle rather), for digitizing watercolor so that it looks like the original sans paper background. If any of you are watercolorists who have scanned and brought your work into Photoshop, you'll know what I'm talking about - it's pretty tricky! But with my course, these techniques will be demystified. Promise.

But hey, when you sign up for MCS 2.0, you don't just get my class! There's a slew of other talented instructors teaching incredibly valuable content for the calligrapher, artist, creative wanting to start a business, grow their current business, or advance their craft! It's going to be, hands down, some of the most valuable information you can watch from your pjs or comfort of your own home and practice yourself. We'll even be doing a Skype Q&A at some point with all the students who sign up!! 

So do you wanna know how to sign up? Right now until 8/30 there's an early bird registration rate of $249 for ALL OF THAT CONTENT!! Make sure to jump on this early bird rate before it jumps up to the regular price. Click HERE to register and sign up for what could possibly change your life and career!For real though, if I had this sort of thing at my fingertips when I was starting my business, I would've shed a lot less tears over mistakes and would've began making more dollars much quicker. Sitting there on google late at night by yourself trying to figure out a few Adobe tools can be quite maddening. Or even if you are comfortable with Adobe programs, understanding the foundations of watercolor, the materials that work best and how to paint and design a repeat pattern will be so valuable to learn. Yes! We cover my technique for designing a repeat, it's good stuff. 

Believe me, watercolor, calligraphy and design wasn't something I ever thought I would do - it snuck up on me! But, this passion and career of mine has impacted my life in so many ways - for good! I can't imagine my life without them. I hope you join in the journey of continuously learning and challenging yourself to be better. MCS will surely do that for you! **Make sure to sign up by clicking my link above as this ensures I get the credit!** 

xo,

Jenna

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We're Moving!

Photo by Mike Radford

Photo by Mike Radford

It is a bittersweet day here at Mon Voir and La Salle HQ.  We've been offered a new workshop space and office in Irvine (right next to our printer!) and have decided to leave La Salle HQ!  It is a sad day to leave this incredible space, but doing so will allow us to focus more on workshops/classes and custom stationery and design. And the new space is going to be gorgeous with a private conference room, concrete floors, roll up glass door, and soon enough, a coffee shop going in the front! What?! With our current space (La Salle), we're busy with upkeep on a photo studio and rental space and not to mention, being right next to our printers at the new space will make press checking on jobs a lot more convenient!  A stationer's dream to walk next door and check on the letterpress ink color or how a digital run is coming out...it will be so nice! We will be moving into our new office in a couple weeks and made the decision LAST WEEK! Everything is happening so fast, but we couldn't be more excited! 

This also means that we will no longer be running La Salle HQ, and will be passing the photo studio onto a new guy!  He is an amazing photographer and is so excited to take over the studio! We will also MAYBE be hosting a mini garage sale here next weekend (furniture, paintings, clothing, etc.) but will keep everyone posted on when that is actually happening! Check out some of the amazing furniture we're selling!

Our experience occupying La Salle HQ was one for the books. It really is a great location; right next to the beach, a short walk to our favorite coffee spot, close to lots of bars and restaurants.  The space itself is SO cool, with an upstairs loft with a bathroom and makeshift shower, a downstairs office space, full kitchen and an 800 square foot room with an enormous photo wall. A dreamy space for sure and convenient for my husband and I to live upstairs for the past year and a half. But it's time. It's time for Mon Voir to grow and focus more on what we do best and time for John and I to have a separate living space - mainly so I don't work 24/7 ;). We'll be keeping you updated on Instagram and the like with how the move is going - we can't wait to show you guys the new space and have you in there for some fall workshops!!

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New Booklets Are In!

I have been working on revamping my booklets for some time now, and I am SO happy with how they turned out!  Click HERE to take a look at the shop and check them out!

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Calligraphy Supplies!

I LOVE calligraphy!  Can't you tell? ;)  I get quite a few questions about what I use for my supplies.  I figured I would write a blog about what I like to use and why, so here we go! 

First thing's first, the holder!  I prefer to use straight pen holders for myself as well as for my workshops.  I choose this because it is easy to use for both left and right handed calligraphers, and I have more control over the style I wish to create with it.  An oblique pen holder is great for if you want to create an italicized style lettering, but it is really difficult to use for a lefty (I am not a lefty, but that's another reason why I choose straight pen holders for my workshops). 

Next up, nibs!  The brause steno nib (also known as the blue pumpkin nib) is perfect for beginners because it is stiffer, which means you can put more pressure on the nib without breaking it.  The Hiro 41 nib is slightly more flexible, which is great for intermediate calligraphers! Once you have a grip on the amount of pressure to use when writing, you'll find this nib to be easier to use in the long run.  The Brause Rose nib is my FAVORITE nib to use because it is very flexible, I can write with it on soft and textured papers such as handmade paper or watercolor paper. 

Ink!  I use a Sumi ink, it is a thick black ink. Very opaque and easy to use. It's just the best! That is all :) 

If I wanted to create a custom colored ink, I like to mix Winsor & Newton Gouache and water together to create any color imaginable!  It is a little trickier to get the right consistency at first, but once you get the hang of it, it's definitely worth it instead of buying pre-made bottles of ink as these are usually too thin or not the right color. 

For paper, I prefer Borden & Riley #37 layout bond paper.  It is a blue and white cover, easy to spot.  It is great paper to practice on for designing as it is transparent and super easy to see through for tracing.  It is really thin paper though, so I only use it for practicing and spot calligraphy for designs.

There ya have it kids!  A list of all my favorite calligraphy things to hopefully help you along your calligraphy journey!  All supplies can be found through Art Supply Warehouse or Blick.   If you can't make it to one of our in person classes, I highly recommend taking an online calligraphy class with Lauren Essl's through Brit+Co, click HERE to take a a look!  Be sure to sign up for my newsletter and follow me on social media to learn more tips and tricks about calligraphy and when I will be hosting workshops!

 

 

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It's Like A Heat Waaaaave!

It's that time of year in Costa Mesa.  The time of year where civilians can buy fireworks off the streets and light them off in the middle of the night causing minor heart attacks in all of us.  The time of year where, without sunscreen, you might spontaneously combust during the walk to your car after a day at the beach.  It's the time of year where we try and mask our upper lip sweat with preposturous amounts of powder and we wouldn't even dream of leaving the house without all the hairties we can find (because neck sweat).  And we LOVE it!  Summertime in Southern California is what it's all about!  People travel from all over the world to visit where we live and we are not taking it for granted!  Gorgeous beaches, great food, nightlife, we have it all.  So, we decided to put together a few of our favorite things around here.

One of our favorite summertime appetizers is Shrimp Ceviche, and Habana has the best by far! Tiger Shrimp and Ahi Sashimi located inside of a coconut with plaintain chips!?  YUM!  They also make the BEST Sangria, we recommend the white/red blend!

Having s'mores at a bonfire is the best!  How can it be summertime without it?  Can't have one without the other.  You show up to a bonfire you better bring graham, chocolate and marshmallows!  There are TONS of great locations by us, it's hard to choose one!

Hart + Honey made a great blog on how to make fancy DIY flower ice cubes!  Such a cute idea and adds flair to add to any drink!

If you grew up in Southern California, Summertime TASTES like one of Dad's Original Frozen Banana or Balboa Bars.  A turorist's dream is our nostaglia.  But Arrested Development is one of our favorites so we just decided to use Bluth's instead :)

Why leave the state when you can airstream up the beautiful coast?  ROAD TRIP!  If you've never driven up PCH from San Diego --> Big Sur we highly suggest it!  There are tons of campgrounds at the beach that come with a sceneic drive and beautiful rest stops.  Doesn't get any better!

Bear Coast Coffee are our homies, and they have THE BEST location EVER!  Ocean view, steps from the sand, this coffee joint has the best beans and the best vibes.  They use Ritual Coffee, YAASS!

Okay, we know.  Donut floats are so Instagram right now.... BUT THEY'RE SO CUTE!  We caved.

 

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What's So Great About Coworking?

We stumbled upon this article about why working in a coworking space is beneficial to you and your business, and we couldn't agree more!  It's worth the read!

Click HERE to read original article!

Coworking is the modern take on the traditional office space. It allows professionals from various backgrounds the opportunity to work in a shared space, keeping costs down and idea sharing up while avoiding the monotony of being in a traditional office. It is in these spaces where you’ll find an eclectic group of business owners, entrepreneurs, and remotely working employees for larger entities.

This being said, coworking spaces are a great place to set up your start-up or small business and provide countless opportunities to help you with your marketing efforts. Here are my top 6 ways that coworking helps your business improve its marketing:

1. THERE ARE NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES ABOUND

Pretty much all coworking spaces have one feature in common – they host networking events on a regular basis. As you very well know, networking is a great opportunity to talk to like-minded business people or connect with businesses/entrepreneurs that have a need for your services. An active coworking space can be a hive of activity every day, encouraging you to get your face out there and market your business to fellow members.

Even if your coworking space doesn’t have a calendar packed with upcoming events, the unique layout of the space still encourages B2B interactions on a daily basis. This means you’re practically networking just by being at the office! According to a 2015 Huffington Post infographic, 91% of people that work in a coworking space said they “have better interactions with others after working in a coworking space.” These increased interactions mean you’ll be in a better position to gain referrals or collaborate with others on different projects.

2. COWORKING SPACES USUALLY OFFER TO PROMOTE YOU OR YOUR BRAND AS PART OF YOUR MEMBERSHIP

Marketing your company or your brand can start to become expensive as you try to increase your exposure to potential clients or customers beyond your organic (unpaid) reach. Coworking spaces provide you with the opportunity to extend your reach, usually as part of their membership package. For example, they usually list your business name, a description of your services, and a link to your website on their website’s member directory.

They may also have a cork board or video screen where you can post announcements about your company or display your logo and info. Additionally, they usually offer a place for you to share your business card so that visitors or members perusing the space can get more information about your company and contact you.

3. YOU’LL GET A PHYSICAL ADDRESS FOR YOUR COMPANY

It’s great to not work out of your house and be able to have a place to meet with clients face to face. It’s also a requirement to have a physical address for certain marketing strategies, including improving your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for a better online presence or conducting promotions like Groupon discounts. *(La Salle HQ address available for dedicated desks only)*

Part of SEO is listing your business on Google My Business and getting onto Google Maps. Without a physical address, Google won’t be able to verify your Google My Business account and therefor you won’t show up in local search results or on the Google map when someone is looking for local businesses in your industry. You could potentially use your home address instead, but then you run into the problem of random people showing up to your house after getting directions for your business from Google Maps.

On the other hand, your company may want to set up a promotion through a vendor like Groupon to reach more people. The problem, however, is that usually when you try to set up a Groupon promotion, a representative from the company will call you to double check if you have an actual physical location or if you’re using a home address. If you give them the latter answer they will inform you that you cannot conduct a Groupon promotion. For quality control and safety purposes, Groupon only allows companies with a physical address to use its platform. This policy is likely in place for other platforms as well.

Coworking grants you the privilege of having a physical address without having to pay a fortune for a traditional office location. Although the amount you pay will depend on which coworking space you set up shop at and what kind of membership you purchase (i.e. floating membership, dedicated desk space, or private office).

4. YOU MAY BE ABLE TO HOST OR SPEAK AT EVENTS HELD IN YOUR SPACE

If your coworking space hosts events for members (and possibly the general public), they will usually give members the opportunity to speak at or hosts these events. For example, Green Spaces hosts at least one event per month and allows qualified members to speak on topics relevant to their business.

Being a speaker at an event has multiple marketing benefits for your company. For one, the coworking space will be promoting you and your company via their own marketing efforts to get fellow members and the general public to attend their event. It’ll also give you something to promote to your own community or through advertising to increase attendance and brand awareness. If all goes well, a third party may even pick the event up and put it on their event calendars giving you and your business more free exposure.

As a speaker, you’re able to showcase your expertise on the topic chosen for your presentation. This helps build trust with potential clientele or customers that are in the audience and could generate more intrigue into your business. It is not uncommon to be approached after a presentation by someone who either wants to discuss your topic further or wants to talk business. Plus, all of the photo ops and social media exposure during and after the event will help get you and your logo in front of a larger audience without spending ad dollars.

5. YOUR MARKETING PROJECTS WILL GAIN A BOOST IN CREATIVITY  

There are numerous studies out there supporting the fact that coworking spaces improve performance and bolster creativity. Let’s face it – the more bored or irritated you are, the less likely you are to produce a creative marketing campaign. And boredom doesn’t just occur at a stingy office – it can also strike you while at home and isolated from other members of the professional community.

According to an article by Fast Company, 71% of participants in a coworking survey said they saw a boost in creativity “since joining a coworking space”. With all the new found inspiration, you’ll be able to conjure up fresh new marketing ideas. You’ll also be more likely to complete those ideas within your deadlines since 64% of coworkers are better able to complete tasks on time.

6. YOUR DESK NEIGHBOR PROBABLY OWNS A MARKETING COMPANY

If you’re not looking to do your own marketing, you can always find a fellow member that owns a marketing company (like Davies Media Design) to do your marketing for you. Coworking spaces are great resources for finding people that do what your company needs, and do it well. Plus, you don’t need to drive anywhere to conduct a formal meeting with them. You can sit down with them in your coworking space and chat with them about your needs and how they can help you satisfy them.

Then, if you decide to hire your neighbor for their marketing services, you’ll have peace of mind knowing they are only a few steps away should you have questions. They may also purchase your services later on down the road, or offer to exchange services for a mutually beneficial relationship.

CLOSING

Coworking is essentially every small business’s best friend as it provides low-cost solutions to get off the ground and offers more marketing opportunities than the average working environment. It helps keep the entrepreneurial spirit alive, while creating a better bond between your company and your community.

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La Salle HQ Opens Coworking Space!

We couldn't be MORE excited to annouce that we have officially turned into a coworking space!  We might be a little biased, but we are here to tell you why La Salle HQ is the best coworking space to get into.  

La Salle HQ is based in Costa Mesa and is near some of the coolest bars, restaurants and coffee shops around.  Located just 5 minutes down the 55 freeway, 1 mile from the beach and a 3 minute walk to Common Room Coffee, we're pretty much in the most perfect spot.  These are some things you want to think about when picking your coworking space.

La Salle HQ benefits:

-Plenty of street parking (not metered)
-Attached to an 800 sq. ft photo studio (discounts for dedicated desks!)
-Private, upstairs conference room
-Vaulted ceiling to make it feel extra roomy
-8 available desks equipped with storage space
-Full working kitchen and fridge
-Skylight for plenty of natural lighting
-Security locks and cameras
-Studio available for workshop and event rentals (discounts for dedicated desks!)
-Close to endless restaurants, bars and coffee shops
-1 mile to the beach
-Larry (our enormous banana leaf tree, he makes a statement)
-Printer/Copier
-Lounge area complete with a long velvet couch and cowhide rug
-Shower and bathroom upstairs

We invite you to come and experience La Salle HQ and the new coworking space for an open house on June 16th from 7pm-10pm!

Interested in applying for a dedicated desk?  Click HERE to fill out the application!

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