What's one non-negotiable in your creative process? Is there anything you have to use, do or incorporate in order to successfully create?
I need to have the illusion of time and space. I’m still recovering from a lot of self-imposed time drama. Probably left-over from working in a corporate office and at an agency, where impossible deadlines were the norm. When I feel any tension around time can leave me feeling a bit panicky and frustrated, which never results in my best work.
I also love music for creativity — I curate a Pomodoro Playlist series called Nutropics (Playlists for your Mind State) that are two hours of music with 5 min breaks every 25 mins. Whenever I need to do deep creative work, I put one of them on and it flows.
To be 100% honest, I’m still working on my perfect creative flow formula. Music and this idea of time and space bring on a sense of playfulness rather than pressure. That seems to be the ticket for me right now. I’m lucky that in my business, I have created this as a non-negotiable — it wasn’t always the case in my work.
Next I’d love to incorporate more movement practice into my day. I feel like there’s still some lingering stagnation. Other than my daily walks, I think dance and yoga are in my future for some deeper creative connection.
I am actively working on eliminating distractions as they really interfere with my creative process. When I am in a deep creative flow, I might as well be on another planet. But on my way there, I find myself reaching for my phone, Instagram, for snacks, responding to non-urgent emails. Getting rid of these distraction impulses is a constant battle of the wills, with distraction the likely victor.
What does a typical workday look like for you?
I try to wake up before my toddler so I have time to do my morning pages and hypnosis meditation. This happens maybe 50% of the time. Then I usually do morning play and breakfast with my son who is 18 months. Sometimes I take him for his morning walk, where he falls asleep and then I get stuck into work.
By the time I make it to my desk, everyday is very different. If it wasn’t for my Notion Template, I would be all over the place. I’m finally getting to a point in my business where I can delegate a lot, so the mornings are usually looking at that. What do I need to do? How are timelines looking? What can I delegate? What isn’t working?
I am best in the morning, so if it’s on the agenda, I save any creative design work for that time. In the afternoons my attention wanes, and that’s when I do emails, client check-ins, etc. I’m trying to get away from the computer more, so in the afternoons sometimes I will go for a walk. This is when I get the best ideas for my business, flesh out my launches, and problem solve.
On Mondays and Fridays I try to work on my business, so I look at my finances, plan out my week, set up my VA, touch base with any contractors. I’m at a real growth phase of business — moving out of technician and managerial roles and into the CEO role. My big focus right now is sales, so I’ve been working really closely with a coach to help me get more comfortable with that side of my business. It’s been really (surprisingly) fun to step into this role and see so many of my ideas come to fruition, like my Sales Page Template which I just launched super successfully. It’s so rewarding to see something go from an idea to something that is actually helping people IRL.
How do you decide what photos/images to utilize in your work for a website as a mock up? Where do you go to find them?
Usually they are provided by the client, I require clients to send assets like photos ahead of the project start date. Death To Stock is also a great resource for photos that don’t feel too stocky!
What's been your favorite project you've ever worked on?
Great question! Hard to decide, but I think I really enjoyed the Girlboss Rebrand the best. I was commissioned by ilovecreatives to do the social templates. It was fun to work closely with the ILC and Girlboss team. It was such a testament to the incredible work that comes from creative collaboration. It was a real team of girlbosses working together to create something impactful, and even now people reach out to me asking about it.
Looking back, after that project I felt like I could really OWN the title of a Designer. It’s such a funny thing, we are born creative, yet the term “Designer” and “Creative” can feel so exclusive. I think purposefully, so the people who are “creatives” seem like this special group. It makes me really sad to think so many people have been told they aren’t creative, and therefore don’t have access to that innate part of themselves. I built my business on the belief that everyone is creative. And the Girlboss project proved the power of that philosophy.
I think that’s what I love so much about Moodelier. You are actively making creativity accessible to people in such a beautiful and fun way. I’m so excited to collaborate with you soon as I think we are very aligned on this.
How do you implement personal projects in your schedule? Any advice for fellow creatives on how to carve out the time to honor their own creativity?
I’ve had to ruthlessly delegate the small tasks that were taking up so much of my time that I didn’t need to do. It’s essential to have time for yourself, your family, your friends, things you enjoy outside of work. If you aren’t finding time for that, you need to look at what you’ve overcommitted to, where your boundaries have been crossed and what you can actively start getting off of your plate. It’s super easy and not that expensive to outsource and delegate, the hard part is letting go.
Okay, we have to know: are you a morning person, or a night owl?
Morning person. I’m one of those annoying people that wakes up enthusiastic to start the day. Like I just can’t wait to see what’s going to happen. Every day is a wonderful mystery. And morning is a beautiful time — a gift of quiet reflection, a place to decide what kind of energy you want to approach the day with. You can listen and choose in the mornings.
What's one thing you love doing when you're *not* creating?
Hanging with my 18 mo old, Neil. Nothing is more fun than being silly with him.
What are some of your favorite platforms, tools, blogs, and resources that you look into regularly that we can share with our readers?
Figma! I am a Figma evangelist. I even made a little course on how to use it as a brand designer. Anything that makes designing feel more accessible is great by me.
What is your enneagram?
No idea! I try to stay away from these sort of labels as I see people getting really stuck in these predetermined ideas of themselves. Then it becomes — oh I’m an enneagram 4 and an introverted extrovert and a manifesting generator and an INFP and a Leo sun Scorpio moon Cancer rising… The stories we tell ourselves are really powerful. I like to think that I’m always growing and evolving. All evidence has shown that’s the only truth there is. If you ever find me saying I’m an empath or talking about my numerology you’ll know I’ve taken a wrong turn somewhere.
Lastly, How do you incorporate colors in your work? Are there any tools you use for generating color palettes?
I’m obsessed with color! It’s magic to me. Like music. I have been thinking about doing a workshop on color palettes. I usually start with a moodboard and color drop a bunch of colors from it. Then I play with all of them to create a palette. I don’t really follow any rules, I just get a feeling around color. I know when it looks right for the mood / tone I’m after.
I want to hear how you started coming up roses and i love your branding so much, from the visuals to the tone of voice, and language you chose to use are so on brand!!
I started Coming Up Roses after working in content marketing in the Music Industry for almost 10 years. After working at a big company, spending nights and weekends at shows and festivals and not really seeing an upward trajectory in the company that seemed like something I wanted to do, I started playing with the idea of starting my own business.
I always felt creative growing up, but I felt excluded from the “creatives” at the company where I worked. I had this idea about reclaiming my creativity by starting my own social media / design business. The only issue is, I didn’t go to design school! So what did I know. I think around this time I discovered ilovecreatives and the incredible Puno Puno. And I signed up for the Squarespace course out of curiosity.
It was such a wonderful invitation into this creative universe when I was desperately looking for permission to be a designer. During this time I moved to Sydney, Australia from Los Angeles, so it helped me separate from the identity in LA that was so closely tied to live music and festivals. My whole life in LA centered around that.
When I got to Sydney it felt like a fresh start. But when my husband and I first moved there, I felt really isolated and lonely. I left my entire community behind in LA and I found myself on the other side of the world, in the opposite seasons, just like — what the hell did I do moving here? I would pass a house in our neighborhood on the way to the train station that had these beautiful roses and I would sing “everything is coming up roses” as a mantra to comfort myself that things would be okay soon, and I would settle in and find my way.
A couple months later when I went to register my business and was thinking about the name, that mantra came back to me. I thought, what a beautiful way to encapsulate my whole ethos. And to cut a very long story short, I stopped and started for a while. I kept going back to contract work, too worried about going all in on myself.
It wasn’t until I had my son in May 2020 that I felt this incredible power. Like, I can birth a human. Surely I can make a business work. During this time, I hired a coach named Jerico Mandybur, who helped me flesh out a lot of my point of view, tone of voice, etc. They were a great mirror as I was starting! I really recommend getting a coach, and Jerico is just wonderful if you’re looking for someone.
I also used Instagram as a tool to play and experiment with my audience and style. I had no followers and the stakes were low. Things started working pretty quickly there though. I think I’m a pretty personable person, so there’s some sort of magnetic element happening on Instagram. I also have a good eye for design. So even though my early efforts seem a bit cringe now, judging them would be silly, as they’ve led to where I am now.
I feel like I’m rambling now, but I guess the best thing to say is that I haven’t gotten to where I am today alone. I invest a lot and often. Creative collaboration is why I started this business. It’s what keeps me growing!
To find out more about Kelsey McCormick check out her IG: @cominguproses.co