[SIDE NOTE] studio/practice sneak peek.

I'm so excited to share a little sneak peek at a side project I've been working on with Anne Ditmeyer for quite some time—say hello to Studio/Practice, a curated library of tips + tools for creative biz!

Having freelanced straight out of school there are so, so many things I wish I learned in school [ahem, we'll be building this out #thingsiwishilearnedinschool]. Don't get me wrong, I loved [almost] every conceptual minute of design school, but there's a boat-load of practical advice you just don't learn in the classroom or even on your first couple jobs, especially if you're heading the freelance route.

So, Studio/Practice initially grew out of my time teaching + commuting to and from design class while serving as an adjunct professor at my alma mater. During the same time, Anne and I's Skype + phone conversations turned from swapping stories, advice, and resources into dreams of a handy collection of our favorite finds for other freelancers.

We're so excited to share Studio/Practice with you, but we're still tying up loose ends. In the meantime, we've created a simple sign up for early access + some fun #freelancemadlibs to help make Studio/Practice even better. Would love to hear your thoughts + what you hope to see on Studio/Practice!

PS Read up on Anne's insights over on her blog.

Studio/Practice is a place where we can continue to grow, learn, and connect as creatives outside the classroom. Through our experiences, conversations, challenges, and triumphs, we’ve learned that running a business is not about having the answers, but knowing where to find help. In the spirit of the entrepreneurial economy, our goal is to share discoveries/insights with fellow freelancers.

[SIDE NOTE] studio assistant[s].

We're looking for one [or a few] design-minded, stellar studio assistant[s] to join the team!

Assistant[s] will serve as a right hand, carefully executing projects/assignments while picking up tips on working with clients, conceptualizing + managing projects, running your own business, and all those nifty little [real world] things you don’t learn in school. The ideal candidate[s] should possess a strong work ethic, meticulous craftsmanship, and an eye for color, type, and details. An entrepreneurial spirit doesn’t hurt either. 

We’re looking for someone to work one to two days [or about 5 to 10 hours] a week. Ideally, we'd love to have someone based in Brooklyn/NYC, but we're open to other arrangements. 

Interested candidates, please submit your résumé + portfolio [URL or PDF of samples] to hello@laurenoneilldesign.com, and include “Studio Assistant” in the subject line. 

In the body of your email, please include a short note why you are a great fit for this position + the best piece of advice you've ever received. If you're on Pinterest or have a blog, feel free to send a link to that as well. Please keep attachments under 5MB. Candidates should be comfortable working on a Mac. 

We're looking for a jack/jane-of-all-trades comfortable taking initiative + handling the following tasks:

     • Sketching/ideating for projects
     • Assisting in project moodboard creation
     • Assisting in design production + styling
     • Archiving inspiration + project files
     • Formatting print/web ready files

We have a variety of clients with different project needs. Most projects revolve around editorial, identity + collateral, and web design as well as art direction + prop styling. That said, we have a number of exciting projects in the hopper and this opportunity is perfect for an energetic, design-minded go-getter who is highly-motivated, resourceful, organized, and reliable. There’s potential for several rewards + additional opportunities, and pay will be based on experience. 

Please email all completed application materials + questions to hello@laurenoneilldesign.com, and include “Studio Assistant” in the subject line. Please keep attachments 5MB or under

[image from the russell + hazel 2010 holiday catalog—addicted to their binders + paper goods!]

EDIT: Thanks so much for all the great submissions, we're still accepting applications, but looking to make a decision in the next couple weeks.

[SIDE NOTE] holding pattern.

I've been fascinated by airports for as long as I can remember—there's something about the comings + goings, the organization + operation, the... I can't quite put my finger on it... that's so intriguing to me. Day-to-day, I glance out my window and watch planes circle about waiting to land. Whether DCA, JFK, or the little local airport, I've always lived in a direct flight pattern of an airport.

With a creative block on a project, I took to google mapping airports and was enamored by the beautiful satellite shots on my screen. I couldn't help but share on a little Tumblr named Holding Pattern.

So, that's not exactly a 'holding pattern' you say... You're right, but I love the idea of circling above an airport waiting to land. I feel like that mirrors my process of searching for + cropping the right shot. Plus, I love the fact that a lot of the taxiway markings are patterned across an airport's tarmac.

I've just picked random places out of my head, but if you happen to have a suggestion, feel free to leave a note + I'll see what I can do!

[photos via google maps | cropping by lauren o'neill]

[DULY NOTED] summer blues + whites.

Nothing says summer like a crisp blue + white combo. Since we're hitting the dog days of summer, I couldn't help but share this fresh Pinterest pairing perfect for setting sail or lazing poolside.

If you know me, you know I love a hint of nautical + a good tote, and this is no bag exception. Made from reclaimed sail cloth by Maine-based Sea Bags, these rugged carryalls are perfect from port to paradise.

And I just love these dipped coral pendants by Academy Jewelry for Of a Kind. Handmade in my hometown of Richmond, Virginia, I just can't pass up these baubles.

[photos via sea bags j.crew + academy jewelry for of a kind]

DULY NOTED is a column of image pairings + juxtapositions as found on Pinterest.

[NOTE TO SELF] diy-ish moving.

I've taken a bit of a [much-needed] hiatus while moving from DC to Brooklyn. It's been so nice to settle in + explore the neighborhood, but I thought I'd pop in with a few updates from my downtime...

I must admit that this is my first big move… ever. I grew up in Richmond, Virginia, and my parents have lived in the same house from the time I was two years old. I never experienced the joys/craziness of moving as a kid, and even going to college and moving to DC everything was done piecemeal since I wasn't too far from home [i.e. less than 90 miles away]. That being said, I tried to be extra prepared this time around and decided I'd share some of my tips from my relatively low-stress move from DC to Brooklyn. In a dream world, I'd hire someone to take care of everything for me, but since [let's be real] it's not completely cost-efficient at this point in my life, I decided to take on some things by myself. By no means do I cover everything here, but rather a few key points that streamlined the process...

I ended up getting most of my boxes from liquor stores + Trader Joe's, which was really handy. They were really sturdy and a good size for me to carry. I did however pick up newsprint, a mattress cover, a couch cover, a rug cover, and clothing covers for extra ease—Uhaul has some other great packing materials too. I also rented an appliance dolly for moving big things, which was SUPER handy. I was able to cart furniture and plenty of boxes at a time. Thanks for the tip + help, Dad :)

I also color coordinated boxes with tape for each room. You can pick up different colors of masking tape from the home improvement store. It made it really easy for determining what boxes go where upon move in. I also marked fragile boxes with neon gaffers tape, so it would be a clear reminder to be careful with those boxes!

I had a small 'Pack the Truck' party and invited over some of my closest friends for dinner + drinks, and oh, yeah, to pack the truck. It was nice to see everyone before heading out of town as well! Do be sure to lock the truck with a very secure lock post-packing. I backed it into our garage so the back door wasn't accessible even if someone tried to get in. [My bike was recently stolen through a locked gate and two U-locks, so obviously wanted to be extra safe with this detail.]

If you're going the DIY[-ish] route, hire a few helping hands. Through Uhaul's website, you can hire moving help. Since I was moving across states and through some tricky city streets/parking situations, I decided to hire someone to drive the truck for me. Probably the best decision I made. I didn't have to stress about missing a turn, driving the long stretches of the New Jersey Turnpike, or navigating Manhattan at rush hour.

I also decided to hire two people to unload the truck. That way I wouldn't get all sweaty, and I could easily direct where things went. It was incredibly low-stress, and I wasn't exhausted the day after. It also didn't cost an arm and a leg, which I was most concerned about.

Take off work while moving, even if you're just moving across town. Last time I didn't do this, and I definitely regretted it throughout the process. Since I work from home, I was also able to schedule my move for mid-week, which was really, really nice. I could book extra help + a truck without too much lead-time. Also nice because I didn't have to feel guilty about asking my friends to help over a weekend; instead I could plan to enjoy + settle in then!

Did you know 'stressed' is 'desserts' spelled backwards? I had a [small] box of chocolate on hand for pre- and post-move craziness. Anne of Prêt à Voyager's parents gave me the perfect little box. It was nice to take a moment here and there to stop and reflect instead of getting caught up in things. A nice little pat-on-the-back [aka you're-doing-a-good-job-with-this-whole-moving-to-a-new-city-by-yourself thing].

Upon arrival + after unloading all my boxes, I planned to get some fresh air, pick up some groceries + fresh flowers. The flowers were a a great 'welcome' to making me feel at home, even if nothing was quite unpacked.

Four days before moving, I went ahead and cooked enough meals to last me to my move date. This way, I could go ahead and pack my pots and pans as well as my dishes and flatware. I ended up using disposable containers, paper plates, cups, and flatware so I wouldn't have to wash any dishes too. So, so helpful, and I wasn't battling nightly cravings for carry out [plus, I was able to use up some things in my fridge].

I also made a little survival kit with a few essentials: bottled water, cash for tipping + tolls, printed directions + phone numbers [should my iPhone die en route, which it did], chargers, ibuprofen, first aid supplies, change of clothes, measuring tape, doorstop, box cutter, and plastic baggies. Definitely came in handy throughout the day.

Do you have any other tips for moving/getting settled in a new place? I'd love to hear :)

[instagram shot by by lauren o'neill]

NOTE TO SELF is a column of helpful, handy tips for life. Those things you figure out as a twenty-something and look to share with others. Hopefully you find these tips useful!

daniel frost.

Recently, I came across the work of Daniel Frost thanks to Pinterest. I love how Daniel elegantly captures moments of action with bold but delicate gestures. His whimsical characters + interesting use of color and shape are a perfect nod to summer [bonus!].

How fun is this series of kites he created?!

Loving his other commissioned work as well:

Be sure to check out more of Daniel's work on his blog. Can't wait to see more from him!

[illustrations by daniel frost]

swan dive or cannonball?

The clever folks at Kate Spade always have something fun up their sleeves. This year's swim campaign is no different! While we wait for the summer season to heat up, dip your toes [or dive right in] to this choose your own adventure video.


Teaching sophomores + juniors this semester has been a fun experience. I really enjoy getting into the creative process with students—providing insight + guidance, but also observing as they develop their ideas + methods to problem solving.

In compiling grades for midterms, I snapped a few shots of one student's embroidery work on her project. In the spirit of keeping Austin weird, she embroidered colorful cacti + assembled a torn watercolor collage for her final piece. I love the direction she took, and the final piece was beautifully crafted.

Since then, I've seen a lovely array of embroidered designs pop up on the web, including Maricor/Maricar. Not only is their work stunning, but I love that they capture the process on their blog. Depending on the direction, the process varies. Truly fascinating!

From sketching to watercolor to embroidery, Macho Distrust from start to finish...

How great are these patterned letters? You can even commission your own initials. What a great housewarming gift :)

Certainly keeping Maricor/Maricar on my radar.

[images via maricor/maricar]

new york state of mind.

Lovely time getting away for a long weekend in the city. Despite the cooler temperatures, we had a wonderful time meeting new friends, trying some tasty eats, and exploring the sights and sounds of Brooklyn. It was so refreshing to spend some quality time disconnecting. There's nothing better than simple pleasures... people watching over brunch, happening upon a charming restaurant, and making summer plans on park benches. More of these moments are definitely in order.

Being in the company of some wonderful women and putting faces to names at the Design*Sponge Biz Ladies lunch was so inspiring. Besides new friendships, coming away with some great insight, tips, and advice [especially concerning time off] was just what I needed.

As we narrow down our search for neighborhoods + apartments, I can't help but get excited for the next few months. It seems like the right move at the right time [Brooklyn already feels like home], and I'm looking forward to the new opportunities + friendships along the way.

spring break checklist.

Spring break is officially here, and I'm so looking forward to a little R + R to regroup for the rest of the semester + take care of some major things on my list. Sarah from Note to Self kindly asked if I would guest post while she's wrapping up her studies. If you missed it earlier this week, hop on over and see what I'll be doing over spring break [hint: NYC on my mind]!

Nº 1 vespa jute pouch from jonathan alder / Nº 2 brooklyn + coney island bus scroll from flying junction / Nº 3 mmmg lines ver. 2 grid sketchbooks from the hatch + tape dispenser / Nº 4 neon pink duck bag from baggu / Nº 5 gold foiled hello notes from tokketok + essie 'haute as hello' nail polish / Nº 6 brass number clips from kaufmann-mercantile

[SIDE NOTE] wayfare magazine.

Wanted to take a few moments to share a new project I've been a part of since early fall—Wayfare Magazine. Alongside a talented team + group of contributors, we've put together a new digital magazine with a fresh approach to travel + lifestyle.

Fellow art director + editor, Anne Ditmeyer put together a thoughtful overview on our approach to a new format for digital magazines. I'll be following up the next few days with more insight + my favorite features, but for now, I hope you have a little time to enjoy wayfaring!

[image by the very talented peggy wong / cover design by lauren o'neill for wayfare magazine]


So hard to believe a new year is here! What a full year 2011 has been—fun projects, new friends, inspiring challenges, exciting opportunities, and more. Seeing things take form over the last year has been both a teensy-bit trying and super rewarding. Regardless, I feel so fortunate to be doing what I love with the support of friends + family.

Moving into a new year, I'm excited by a fresh start! A chance to tackle some life-list to-do's and refocus on what makes me love what I do. Over the holiday break, it's been nice to pull out my sketchbook and really plan 2012. There are a lot of things in the works—some near completion, others just getting started. I can't wait as things unfold, and I hope you'll stick around for what's to come.

Speaking of life-list to-do's... Just today, I accepted an exciting offer to teach two graphic design classes next semester at my alma mater, VCUarts. With the #4 ranked graphic design program in the country, I'll be in the company of some amazing colleagues + hardworking students.

I'm thrilled by the two classes I'll be teaching: Print Design II and Imaging II. The former will tackle the bridge between print + web, print methods + materials, and publication/editorial design, and the later will explore semantics through type + image via various media. I'll have the opportunity to work with some great designers + teach some of 'those things you didn't learn in school (but wish you did)'.

Should prove to be an interesting few months!

[image via present & correct; treatment by lauren o'neill]

give colorfully.

It's been a bit of time since I've posted here. Things have been go-go-go the past two months, and I'm very anxious to share some recent projects. In the meantime, I've spent my free time getting into the holiday spirit with a little early shopping and these Kate Spade videos...

And as a Beetle girl myself, I just love this behind the scenes video of the Kate Spade crew wrapping a bug:

Admittedly, I've even watched Love Actually and tapped my holiday iTunes playlist a time or two...

Hope you're easing into the holidays + making fun plans with family and friends :)

[videos by kate spade]

matthias heiderich.

These photography studies of line + color are just stunning. I've pinned Matthias's work before, but viewing the full studies sure does take it to a new level. Love this series...

More lovely work from Matthias Heiderich out of Berlin.

[images by matthias heiderich]

[SIDE NOTE] foster your way infographic.

The lovely ladies over at BITTERSWEET kindly asked if I would contribute an infographic for their quarterly zine. Just received a copy + so stoked to see it in print!

Every quarter they focus on a specific topic that highlights the work of area non-profits. This fall they turned their attention to foster care + juvenile justice. After a fun + inspiring zine lab bouncing ideas with other creatives and non-profit reps, I started out on a 'Game of Life' concept outlining ten ways to help DC foster kids.

It's so exciting to see how the other contributors interpreted the ideas we discussed. Certainly a worthy publication to pick up at select shops around town.

[infographic: lauren o'neill for bittersweet*zine | image: lauren o'neill]

SIDE NOTE is a column of my recent design work + news.

[DULY NOTED] fielding + coco rocha

Last week I jetted off to sunny California for a little R&R. Perfect time to take a breather, get a change of scenery, and feel inspired. For the last few months, I've been squaring away some pretty big (+ exciting!) projects. Though some are still in the works, I'm oh-so-excited to share soon!

Getting back into the groove, I hopped over to Pinterest, and while I was scrolling through my pins, I noticed this juxtaposition that I couldn't resist sharing. Love the contrast, undulating lines, and tiny pops of red.

[photos via the art of fielding + coco rocha for elle quebec by nelson simoneau]

DULY NOTED is a column of image pairings + juxtapositions as found on Pinterest.

homemade pizza.

Summer is my favorite time for homemade pizza. I love adding seasonal vegetables and crisping it on the grill for added depth of flavor. Before summer slips away completely, I thought I'd share a slice or two…

Last week, I was in my hometown for a few meetings, so stopped to see my family for a quick visit. Walking through the garden, I couldn't resist snipping a bouquet of herbs as a special souvenir. Later that night we threw together a pizza and topped with the greens. So tasty!

Karen from Sunday Suppers has a great archive of grilled pizza recipes for anyone interested. I'd dying to try this combo next—manchego (my favorite cheese, at the moment), figs, and serrano ham. Yum!

[photos by lauren o'neill]

the art of the menu.

I love a good restaurant identity, but so often the branding fails to carry through on the website and menu. While I'm dying to get my hands on a restaurant branding project, I've been eyeing this new site, Art of the Menu from Under Consideration. Great site design + great collection of menus!

Order up!

[image via art of the menu design by mucca]