Side Hustle: a journey of creative freedom and clarity. Also, bullet journaling really is all that.

For the last 6 months I’ve been trying to get my side hustle off the ground. It has been a mind-boggling amount of work, and I’m nowhere close to where I need to be to make this a viable side stream income.

I feel like I’ve made a thousand false starts, but I’ve also learned a ton about:

  • WordPress, Shopify, Instagram, Etsy integrations
  • Marketing, Affiliate marketing
  • Creating repeating patterns
  • Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, Captivate, Procreate
  • My fancy Epson printer
  • Print on Demand (PoD) sites: Redbubble, Society6, ShopVida, TeePublic
  • PoD Dropshipping services: Gooten, Printify, Art of Where, Printful
  • Bullet Journaling

And most importantly, I’ve learned about:

  • My own limitations
  • What it is exactly that I do and don’t want to do
  • What doesn’t work

I’m clearly still working on what does work. I have a full-time and very demanding job. I also have a family that needs to be fed and paid attention to (whateverrrrr). I was giving myself an unrealistic schedule for my side hustle (blog every single day!) and felt like a failure when I didn’t even come close to meeting my own expectations. There are many times where you just feel like throwing up your hands in defeat.

Bullet journaling to the rescue!  I finally caught on to the bullet journal craze; it really is all that. Honestly, it’s been a game changer. I even have a personal bullet journal and a work bullet journal. It’s helped me find a ton of clarity and I created a schedule that I feel like I can live with.

First I identified all the things that I want to give my attention to regularly:

  • Creating screenprints, illustrations, and all over print patterns
  • Making tutorials
  • Blogging
  • Uploading to Print on Demand Sites
  • Market Research and Marketing (blurgh)
  • Free Creative exploration
  • Self education

This list is TINY compared to what I was originally trying to accomplish.

To make this doable in my busy schedule I’ve defined out a 6 week cycle that consists of creative output (illustrations, patterns, screenprints) and some sort of product creation (uploading stuff to PoD sites, making tutorials), self education (Skillshare FTW!) and creative free play,  and finally putting myself out there (blog posts, the dreaded marketing).  Each week contains Free Friday, where I can just do free creative exploration and play which most often results in nothing, but sometimes results in a kernal of an idea that grows into something wonderful

Here’s the schedule:


  • Creating: Screenprints
  • Putting myself out there: Blog Post
  • Putting myself out there: Marketing
  • Creative exploration: Free Friday

  • Creating: Illustrations
  • Product: Upload any new work to Print on Demand sites
  • Product: Upload to Etsy
  • Creative exploration: Free Friday

  • Creating:  Over Print patterns
  • Putting myself out there: Blog Post
  • Putting myself out there: Marketing
  • Creative exploration: Free Friday

  • Creating: Themed exploration
  • Product: Upload any new work to Print on Demand sites
  • Product: Upload to Etsy
  • Creative exploration: Free Friday

  • Creating: Tutorial
  • Putting myself out there: Blog Post
  • Putting myself out there: Marketing
  • Creative exploration: Free Friday

  • Creative Exploration Week!
  • Product: Upload any new work to Print on Demand sites
  • Product: Upload to Etsy

I started this last week and it was more wonderful than I could have imagined. Having an entire week devoted to screenprinting gave me so much freedom to give it my full attention rather than be thinking about all the other stuff I had to do. I wanted to play with my new screenprinting toy that my husband got me and do a simple three color print. I decided to do my very favorite food, artichokes!

Since I create the screenprinting separations digitally, it also meant I had a digital file to play with, which I did and uploaded on products on Redbubble and Society6:

This week was Illustration time, and I created some fox illustrations (by request) and I LOVE how they have come out, here’s an sample of the first illustration I did:


My next blog post will be about the creative process that happened and all the resulting art and products I produced from drawing a single fox.

That’s plenty for now!

— Davida

Artist Crush: FLATOWL

In the Art Prints area of Etsy, it can sometimes be difficult to find prints that were actually created by the shop owner, which is why I was so delighted to find FlatOwl’s gorgeous Print shop full of modern abstract geometric minimalist prints created by the mysterious FlatOwl. Who is she?

Rich, subdued colors, textured geometrics; she’s everything I aspire to be. I’m not going to say anything more, just scroll through some eye candy from here on out.

Little Black Forest
Calm and storm
Dusty mountain

Okay, I lied. I’m going to pop in here and say something. The other thing that has me crushing on FlatOwl is the fact that she sports a variety of styles. Carry on…

Happy Bunny
Fishing net and Chained birds

Crazy Quick Illustrator CC Tip: Toggle between Pen and Direct Select

I’m kicking off a new series I’m calling Crazy Quick Illustrator CC Tips.

I’ve been teaching myself illustrator for the past few months, and have learned a ton of amazing tips and tricks. I’ve decided to start recording some of them for myself and other illustrator noobs.

This is the first in my series: Hold COMMAND to toggle between Pen tool and Direct Select.

Here’s a video to see it a bit mores slowly:


10 funky, funny, and sweet Valentine’s Day cards on Etsy this year

In no particular order.

Yeah, so, apparently there’s a lot of NSFW cards on Etsy. I’ll skip them for this post, but hey, just do a search for “Valentine’s cards” and you’ll find them. Also, Valentine’s Day cards involving fart jokes are a thing.

Here are my favorite absolutely Safe For Work, fart-free cards to pick up for your special one in time for Valentine’s Day.


From the Etsy shop: Wonderflies

This is just too cute – and the shop has plenty more with different animals if turtles aren’t your thing. But how can turtles not be your thing??

Turtle Card, Turtle Anniversary Card, Cute Anniversary Card, Turtle Lover card, Tortoise Greeting Card, Valentine Card for Her, Card for Him

“Turns out I like you a lot more than I originally planned”

From the Etsy shop: CoulsonMacleod

This made me laugh out loud… which is admittedly not hard to do – I like laughing a lot. This is not the only card with this saying on it, but I like the simplicity of the text design and the distressed red font.

Funny Love Card; Personalised Love Card; Valentine Card; Card For Girlfriend; Love Card; Funny Anniversary Card; Boyfriend Card

Cards made out of real wood!

From the Etsy shop: CardsWooden

Wow, all the cards in this shop are gorgeous, and there are plenty of Valentine’s styles to choose from. They are a little pricey, but hey – they’re made of actual wood! Completely worth the price.

Valentines Day Card, Valentine Card Him, Valentine Card Her, Valentine Day Gifts, Valentine Gift Him, Valentine Gift Her, Love Wood Cards

“Our bond can’t be broken”

From the Etsy shop apaperaffaire

Here’s a card for us nerds. My love of all things science attracted me immediately to this card. Plus – that color scheme is a favorite of mine, and one I use a lot in my own work.

Chemistry Valentine Card, Anniversary Card for Him, Geeky I Love You Card, Geek Card, Science Beaker, Card for Boyfriend

“Have A Damn Fine Valentine’s Day”

From the Etsy shop: SmudgeAndSplash

As a child of the 80s this is definitely the card for me. I remember when Twin Peaks first came out; my mom and I would be glued to the television each week, ready to have our minds blown. David Lynch does not disappoint. Alas, this card would be meaningless to my husband, but I’d sure be happy to receive it!

Twin Peaks Card | Twin Peaks Valentine Card | Damn Fine Valentine’s Day | Twin Peaks

Love Cats

You’ll find hundreds of cat themed cards on Etsy, but I like the understated nature of this one. The art is simple and adorable without being cutesy.

From the Etsy shop: PurposeandWorthetc

Love Cats cards for Valentines Day, wedding, anniversary, engagement, cat valentines card, two cats card, matching wrapping papers

Star Wars Puns

From the Etsy store MyLittleStarStore
I don’t think I’ll be able to pass these up for my son’s Valentine’s Day Cards for his classroom this year. Plus they are downloadable, meaning I can procrastinate!

“You light up my life”

From the Etsy shop LeinevaarIllustrator

I love finding talented illustrators and artists on Etsy. This artist specializes in beautiful pen and ink illustrations and this card is no exception. Check out all her stuff.

“On a scale of 1 to 10”

From the Etsy shop LowriCHmorgan

Did you binge watch both seasons of Stranger Things like I did? This card is the best, but I do admit I think it would have more impact if it didn’t have “You’re an eleven” at the bottom – just the picture is a good enough punch line.

3D Paper Cut Pop Up Flower

From the Etsy shop stoykasart
These little pop up paper cut art cards are everywhere these days, but I found this one particularly beautiful, and the origami style folding is clever.

What I’ve been working on

My house is a mess. It’s a disaster. I would add photos to prove my point, but it would be too embarrassing. It should be known that my house is almost never really clean. But, it’s worse than I’ve seen it in a long time. I can barely stand to walk into the living room.

And do you know why? Because art. Because creative passion. Because color palettes and learning new Illustrator skillz with a z. Because I was glued to Illustrator all weekend making repeating patterns in gorgeous, rich color palettes to sell as downloadables on Etsy.

My weekend goal was simple – make a pretty color story based on a particular vintage red color I’m obsessed with. Here’s what I came up with, starting with the base color on the very left:


My plan: I would create the color story, make at least one pattern, maybe two, and start building up a pattern library over the next few weeks. Then I could translate that pattern into more color stories, and so on.

Well, I ended up making seventeen patterns in multiple palettes. SEVENTEEN! In multiple colors, meaning I now have over 100 different variations of the patterns, with more to come.

Here’s just a taste.


So, that’s what I did this weekend, instead of clean, or grocery shop, or do any of the other 100 things that need my attention.

That top left pattern is my favorite, and one of the last ones I created. I pulled it into Redbubble. It looks mighty fine on a pillow!


I simply cannot get enough of Mid Century Modern design right now.

I’m serious, I’ve become obsessed. It’s a problem – please send help.
I’ve even started collecting Mid Century Modern Design color palettes on my Pinterest page. Just the colors! Green-gold? Yes, please. Mid century modern patterns, mid century modern prints, mid century modern furniture. I love it all.

Here’s some prints I’ve found on Etsy featuring a Mid Century Modern flair.

Mid Century Modern Bookcase, Modern Furniture, Retro Table, art for kitchen, Jax Paperweights, Retro wall decor, Lounge Art, modern decor

From the shop: Tomas Design

Mid Century Art, Retro wall art, Mid century print, Pebbles Wall Art, Mid Century Modern Print, Abstract Art, Yellow, Textured Wall Art

From the shop YoYo Studio

Millennial Pink Forest Green Mid Century Modern Print | Blush Pink Print | Abstract Geometric Art | Olive Green Print | Pink Wall Art

From the shop ThePeoplesPrints

Mid Century Modern Motel Sign Print | Mid Century Modern Art | Neon Sign Print | Mid Century Modern Wall Art | Neon Sign Art | Motel Print

From the shop RetroRoadsidePhoto