Tools & Supplies I Use
Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links. I use all of the products listed below and recommend them because they are companies that I have found helpful and trustworthy. Please let me know if you have any questions about anything listed below!
iPhone 7 Plus - About 75% of the photos here on this blog as well as many of my product photos were taken with my iPhone. Proof that it's not about the camera--you can take great photos with almost any camera or smartphone as long as you have good lighting and composition!
Canon Rebel T5i - Even my DSLR is not "professional" level. It's one of Canon's base lines and takes really great photos and video. I shoot completely in Manual without flash. Again, good lighting is key for pretty photos. The main difference between the T5i and T3i is really just video. So if you aren't planning on shooting home videos or becoming a YouTube star, save yourself some dough and go with the T3i.
Painting & Crafting
Koi Field Sketch Travel Watercolor Kit - I LOVE this kit. I keep it in my purse at all times along with my mixed-media journal. It's perfect for taking a break at work from looking at the computer screen while still keeping those creative juices flowing. Sometimes I'm out and about when my next greeting card idea pops in my head so I just whip out my watercolor kit and get to painting!
Mixed-Media Art Journal - The thing I love most about this journal is how flexible it is with different mediums. I can use it for watercolor, acrylic, markers, and even just as a normal sketchbook. It stands up to everything. I keep it in my purse, along with my watercolor kit, and bring it out any time I'm feeling creative.
Graphic Design & Marketing
Adobe Creative Suite - I am a professional graphic designer by day as well as for my illustration side-gig so I need the best of the best when it comes to graphic design software. While there are many free options, the level of detail I get from Adobe's products is unbeatable. TheAdobe products I use the most are Illustrator, Photoshop and Indesign (print and digital design), Premiere (video editing), and Dreamweaver (web and newsletter design).
Iconosquare - I use Iconosquare to track my Instagram analytics and follower-growth. Instagram is a big part of my blog and the social media platform I focus the most on. So I pay for Iconosquare's premium features so I can see what posts do the best and what I need to be working on.
ConvertKit - If I've learned anything over the years, it's the importance of a solid email newsletter. I'm still working on building mine and consistently emailing my subscribers, but ConvertKit is seriously the bomb-digity. I used MailChimp in the past and liked aspects of it. However, if you're planning on using content upgrades and sending specific lists certain things, I highly recommend switching to a more robust platform like ConvertKit or LeadPages.
Did you go to design school?
I didn't! I've always been a creative person but I actually have a degree in Architecture. In school, we learned the very basics of Photoshop for mocking up our building renderings. When I realized I enjoyed designing the presentations more than I enjoyed designing the actual buildings, I decided to teach myself the rest of the design suite (Illustrator, Indesign, etc). I never went to school for it and learned by doing tutorials online and just by doing projects along the way.
I want to start a blog. How do I even begin?
Crafted Love started out as just a hobby blog where I posted my DIY creations for my friends to see. So start small—don't worry about trying to make money or get a huge following quickly. Just pick a topic you are passionate about and start blogging! And don't make the mistake I made. Don't promise to post every day or 3 times a week. Start small and only post when you have something to say. Quality over quantity. Otherwise you'll burn out. Trust me, I know—I neglected this blog for 2 years because it started to feel like an obligation.
Once you have your niche picked out, if you are looking to turn your blogging into more of a side income, I highly suggest investing in a domain name and a good blog design. While the content you write is ultimately what is going to grab followers, people inevitably will make a quick judgment on your blog within the first few seconds of being there. So make it pretty!
Do you have a 9-5 day job?
I do! I work remotely as a graphic designer and digital marketing manager. My day consists of strategizing and designing email marketing plans/opt-ins as well as various other things like website design and SEO. Never a dull moment.
Have a question that's not been answered?
I get a ton of emails and I do my best to respond to each one but I’m drowning in my inbox lately. If I missed something you’d like to know, leave a comment in the box below and I’ll add it in!