Wallpaper Wednesdays is now back in session, and this week we are getting inspired by one of the most genuinely sweetest people you'll have a chance to come across online - Mallory Overton of Castle Paper Co. I was instantly drawn to her work because her calligraphy style is so unique, and scrolling through her images immediately made me feel inspired and uplifted.
Reading through her captions, you start to get a sense of her personality - she's authentic, down-to-earth, and the type that you'd want to be BFFs with! You can see it in her writing that she puts a ton of heart into her work and it is truly a reflection of who she is on the inside.
Taking a look through her work, she creates beautiful wedding stationery, place cards, invitations, and prints (to name a few) and they are all sophisticated with a touch of playful whimsy. I just love them ALL! Her work has been featured on Style Me Pretty, and rightfully so because she's got major skills.
If you ever find yourself in search for a calligrapher, Mallory's your girl. Head to her site and tell her what you need. Whether it be for a wedding, event, business, or even for your home - she can design something that you will be absolutely head over heals for. And since she's one of the most down-to-earth people you will ever meet, the process will be even that much more fun and stress-free, I'm sure. She also does copy editing. What can I say, the girl knows her stuff!
If you're the type that could stare at calligraphy for hours, do yourself a favor and follow Mallory on Instagram because she posts the prettiest photos of her life and work and makes everything look so completely effortless. I couldn't include all of her pretty calligraphy photos if I tried - so go ahead and see for yourself.
Wrapping it up, I asked Mallory to answer a few questions for us - so enjoy - and at the end of the post download her free wallpapers that she totally made for all of you.
Q & A | Mallory Overton - Castle Paper Co.
1 | DID YOU ALWAYS HAVE A PASSION FOR ART AND WHEN DID YOU START PURSUING IT?
I have always had a passion for beauty, and I’ve always had a strong sense for the way things look and feel + can observe that from an early age. I do consider writing to be an artform, and I started pursuing that in high school. I only started to pursue art as an endeavor about two years ago, so that piece is pretty new for me! I like it, though.
2 | WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION?
Outside. I love gardens. They bring out my inner eighty-year old. I get a lot of thinking done as I walk around; I love walking through my neighborhood to start the day. I’m also really inspired by museums + libraries, which feels a little cliche but it’s true. Museums because they make me feel small but in a good way, and remind me of the human spirit + how great it is to be a member of a group of creatures that can’t help but to create. Libraries for a similar reason, but with the added layer of story. Books carry so much nostalgia for me, as I was a much better reader as a child. I still love the idea of reading but find my attention so divided with things like, well, Instagram.
3 | WHAT MEDIUMS DO YOU USE?
Paper :) does that count? I have always loved + collected paper. I use a lot of markers, Tombows are my fave for brush markers, and Le Pen for felt-tip. I also use watercolor and acrylic ink for calligraphy and for painting. My new thing is to make tapestries out of linen that I can write on, so fabric is being added ot the list!
4 | IN THREE WORDS, HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE OF ART?
Okay, well whimsical would be one word. And sophisticated (sometimes). And then also intentional, because it’s both how I approach creating and how I try to use what I create.
5 | DO YOU LISTEN TO MUSIC WHILE CREATING ART? IF SO, WHAT’S ON YOUR PLAYLIST?
Yes, that or a podcast. But usually music while I’m creating -- right now, I have Spotify’s 70s Smash Hits playlist on repeat. But I mean, I also listen to Bieber. I’m all over the place. It has everything to do with my mood.
6 | DESCRIBE YOUR MOST TREASURED ART PIECE TO DATE - ONE THAT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF.
A large-format piece hanging in my bathroom. Usually the things I make I grow tired of from spending so much time with them, or I see the imperfections + that prevents me from enjoying the finished product for what it is. But this piece that I love I wrote because the words moved me so much + I wasn’t worrying about how it looked, I was just writing it because I wanted to. I often think that I’ll probably have it forever -- it’s a C.S. Lewis quote about God’s love for us, and I love to read it every day.
7 | NAME ONE ARTIST YOU ADMIRE.
Oh, man. Just one?!! Well, I am really inspired by Ali Nelson, of Ali Makes Things. The way she combines words + her story feels very close to my own heart! I am always interested to see what she is putting out there.
8 | WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO EMERGING ARTISTS?
Don’t worry about what skills, tools, expertise, experience or vision you don’t have. Use what you do have, right now. If you are in this for the long term, you WILL have days where it feels like you’re going nowhere. We all do, so try not to get discouraged. Try instead to zoom out and ask yourself what you can do today that will bring you closer to your long-term goal--whether it’s based on a month, year, or lifetime of work.
9 | WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS?
Honestly, as a creative I imagine myself to be capable of way more things that I probably am, but I could see myself getting back into flowers, and I often dream of having a co-working/event space where a couple of my friends and I could work and plan fun events together + use our space to give to people! I have some dreams for it, but we’ll see what happens :)
10 | IF YOU COULD BE ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD RIGHT NOW, WHERE WOULD YOU WANT TO BE?
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Disclosure: All designs are original and for personal use. Artists retain rights to all designs and they may not be copied or reproduced in any form or likeness. We love when you share, but please link back to the original post. Enjoy!
Ok. I'm kindaaa obsessed with Instagram. AGAIN. Just when I was starting to move away from the platform, they pull me in with their new feature. Have you seen it yet? Instagram Stories. It's like Snapchat, but without the fun filters, but that's okay. In time, I'm sure they will come out with something that's as equally addicting as Snapchat. I just love how everything is on one platform now because I just can't keep up with it all. I sucked majorly at Snapchat, so I'm glad that this all happened. I also like how I am able to post things in my stories that don't need to stay on my wall because I can get pretty anal about the look and feel of my feed. In that sense, I am so loving it and plan to share a little more on there that is more candid and hopefully you can get to know me a lot better and get a better feel of the chick behind the screen.
With all that said, I wanted to start doing a weekly roundup of my week in photos. Since I started Hello Lovely Living, I have developed a love for photography, particularly nature, styled photos, still life photography, and flat lays. I want to continue to explore where this will take me because I just love doing it, and it really gets me excited to create - be it through taking photos, creating DIY projects, painting, writing, and the list goes on. I take photos of it all! All the photos you see here on Hello Lovely Living and on any of my social media channels were taken by me unless I specifically tag the source - then all credit goes to that person. I am all about sharing original content, so I do my best to create my own stuff. As an artist, I think creative control goes hand-in-hand, so I understand how it feels to feel proud of the things I create. It's liberating and exhilarating.
Anyway, before I go into a totally different tangent, I just thought I'd share that all with you guys. I hope you find inspiration in these images and that you get more of a glimpse into my world.
Without further ado, last week's recap in photos.
August 1-8 | 2016
So, did you enjoy perusing through my photos like a stalker? Kidding! I'm allowed to joke once in a while, right?! I may not be good at it, but I try! Hahaha.
I definitely enjoyed putting this together because it gives me a mental recap of my life in a way. Sometimes life can pass by so quickly, so it's nice to take a minute to reflect on the more valuable things in life like memories. It's so important to be grateful for every single thing, and I am certain this was just that exercise I needed.
If you liked what you saw and want to stalk me some more *wink wink*, you can see the rest of my photos on Instagram and give me a follow. There, you can also take a look at my original captions, and hopefully they will inspire you in some way and give you the occasional giggle. Hope to see you there!
So, tell me, which social media platform do you prefer? I'd love to hear what you think in the comments below!
Perfectionism. It's something that I've struggled with for all of my life, and I think it's something that a lot of us deal with in general. Is it a form of anxiety? I don't know, but it has caused a lot of anxiety in me over the years. I decided to talk about this topic for those of you who have the same struggle and who are trying to overcome it. I don't think I've necessarily overcome it, but I am miles ahead of where I was before, so that's a good sign! Maybe I can offer some insight that can help you to see perfectionism for what it is and then redefine the way you see it and break free from its grip on your life.
I want to speak specifically to those of you who have serious dreams and aspirations and who have plans to do big things, yet have been held back in one way or the other by feelings of perfectionism. I know how it feels because that was (and at times, is) me. One thing that I can tell you from experience that will be the most important statement in this post is that perfectionism comes with a cost.
The reason why I say that the cost of perfection is time is because the more time you spend on visualizing the perfect plan or the perfect execution, the further and further away you get from actually achieving your goals. I'm not saying that planning things out is bad, I'm talking about reciting everything in your head a zillion times over until you finally feel that everything is perfect - which is rarely ever. Perfection is unattainable, so it is an unhealthy cycle to be in.
So, what is the biggest threat to perfectionism and the solution to overcoming it?
When you decide to act upon your dreams rather than waiting for the perfect conditions, you not only punch perfectionism in the face (take that perfectionism!), but you build your confidence. I really believe that perfectionism is a form of insecurity because we feel as if we have to live up to certain standards - unattainable ones - and since it is created by us for us, we keep creating conditions of perfection and that cycle never really ends because it is in the mind. It is also a form of fear because what we fear is not having control over things, so we do everything in our power to control the conditions until we feel that they are ideal enough.
One thing that I had to really learn is to distinguish perfectionism from being detail-oriented - which I now see are two very separate things. I've always been both, so knowing that being detail-oriented is a very positive trait and holding onto that while learning to let go of perfectionism has really changed the way I go about my life and the way I view things.
If this is something that you would like to work to overcome, in no particular order, here are strategies that I have used in my thinking process that have helped me so much in dealing with perfectionism.
I made this free printable for you (yes you)! Click the button below to download it instantly!
1. Don't overthink things.
I tend to do this A-LOT, and I'm a prime example of someone who really can't make a decision to save her life because I tend to be an over-thinker. Overthinking is one of those time-wasters, because while thinking about all of the ins and outs of the good, the bad, and the ugly may cause you to feel a little more secure about your decision in the short-term, it will most likely lead you to many of your insecurities as well. This process will be even longer than you anticipate - we're talking years. You'll most likely come up with reasons why your idea sucks or reasons why you should just not ever do it. Ever. Perfectionism can cause you to convince yourself to believe things that aren't even true - like that you're not good enough, skilled enough, or talented enough. It's pretty overwhelming, so of course your brain will shut down out of pure exhaustion - and give up (which we want to avoid).
2. Make a decision.
What is it that you want to do? What is your dream, and how will you get there? First off, making a decision to do it in the first place is your first step to overcoming feelings of perfectionism, which prevents you from ever starting. When you commit to an idea, you block out any other voice that will distract you. Decisions are hard as it is, so ticking this off from the get-go will get you moving forward rather than entertaining that dialogue of perfectionism which states that you must have this, that, and the other sorted out first before you even commit to the idea. Committing is so important because it literally switches your brain from deliberating to the process of action.
3. Just start.
Now that the tough part is over, here comes another step that will be equally hard for the perfectionist. Of course - you have to make sure everything is absolutely perfect before you start, right? Wrong. No matter where you begin, whether you are inexperienced or you are a professional, you will have to start from scratch. The preparation starts now, not at Step 1 - that was the part where you were stuck in your head. Step 3 is where you already have one foot out of the door, and you're saying, "Heeeeello World!"
4. Follow through.
No matter what feelings come up, commit to follow through with what you set out to do. It's easy for you to want to throw in the towel when things aren't turning out the way you had envisioned, but that is exactly what will happen. Things will not turn out perfect. You may even discover that the very thing that you wanted to do just doesn't give you the satisfaction you thought it would - and that is perfectly okay. The sooner you learn, the better, and the clearer things will get.
5. Have the end goal in sight.
As a perfectionist, it's easy to give up on the process if it doesn't appear the way you want it to in the beginning. If you don't see the perfect results, you may start to question yourself and then you may not give your all to see things come to pass. Things take time, and in that, it is very hard to see things perfectly aligned as we envision it. I, myself, always have this idealistic view that can get in the way of reality. There are high expectations that I set for myself, that if I don't live up to them, I feel like I'm doing something wrong, then fear creeps in. It's something that I've had to overcome with motivating myself daily and reframing my expectations.
6. Grace not perfection.
It's so easy today to feel the weight of the entire world on your shoulders. There are pressures coming from everywhere to be perfect, so it can feel overwhelming when you feel like you won't ever live up to what is portrayed out there. What I have learned is that my idea of perfection will never be attainable, so I'm just going to go for it and give it my best shot. No matter what the outcome is, as long as I am staying true to myself, that is all that really matters. When you value yourself over ideals of perfection, amazing things start to happen, and you begin to see your dreams realized.
7. Let your hair down.
Just be exactly who you are and you will feel no pressure to be perfect. When you realize that you are enough and that you have exactly what it takes to succeed, you will start to enjoy the process more than you ever imagined. You won't need validation from others. You won't let fear guide you - your dreams will. You will begin to see that one dream will lead you to the next.
8. Take it one day at a time.
When we visualize what we want to achieve, we usually have this fantasy in our heads about how we want it to look and how we want it to be done, which is overwhelming in itself. In creating the future you want, taking it one day at a time will get you further than trying to craft the perfect month or year or decade. For example, if you want to create a brand, you may look at other brands for inspiration and feel pressured to look so polished and put together like them. The reality is that it took that brand years to create the brand that you see today. Take it one day at a time and know that every single day you are getting closer to your vision coming full circle. It will take time, but this time it is an investment into your future.
9. Don't compare yourself to others.
It's so easy to think that in order to be successful, you have to learn every single trick of the trade, which means you'll have to read every book, go to every seminar, and watch every motivational speech every recorded just to feel secure. Don't get trapped in the idea that everyone has the answers because you will end up chasing them down instead of chasing your dreams. Getting caught up in what everyone else is doing will take a toll on your individual journey. Instead of doing what you were created to do, you will stunt your growth by getting caught up in other people's journeys. Your journey is going to look different from theirs, but it is not any less effective. Do you and the lessons and results will follow.
10. Have faith.
The process of pursuing your dreams comes with a lot of uncertainty, which can be very difficult to deal with at times. One day you may be having the best day of your life, then the next day you may feel defeated and torn. Realize that it will be a process that will be full of challenges and questions, but with faith, you will know how to get through the tough times and not lose your enthusiasm moving forward. Learn how to shake off your mistakes, learn from your failures, and keep going. You will reach a beautiful place even if the journey getting there wasn't perfect.
I really hope this was helpful and encouraging for all of you seeking to step out into the unknown. The next time you feel like everything has to be perfect before you start something, come back to this list and let it encourage you. You don't need to be perfect, just real. Chase them dreams, girlfriend! And leave perfectionism in the dust.
Psst. Just in case you missed it. Click the button below to instantly download this free printable!
What are your thoughts about perfectionism, and how has it affected your life? I'd love to chat in the comments below!