What you need to know before painting a mural on your building.

With the rise in murals around the area, I have recently been asked to do the design for two in our area. One is for Barnhardt Jewelers on the side of their recently renovated brick building and the for Nest Homes on the side of large barn.

With both of the designs, a lot of thought went into the what to the design process.

Here are Five things to consider when planning your mural.

  • Consider the location. Are you choosing the best place for your mural? What is the foot traffic or drive by traffic and are you using the best place possible. Also it is important to consider your audience – who will see it most regularly.
  • Consider the size. Often times this will depend greatly on your paintable space and/or the space you are allowed by obtaining a permit from a city council.
  • Consider what you will need to do. If you are in city limits or on town walls and/or the exterior of buildings, you will need to get a permit which may include: allowing you to paint or apply a print, the size you are allowed to do and the location. You may also want to consider hiring a muralist or a printer depending on how you plan to apply the mural.
  • Consider the medium. .This is important, especially when working on an exterior mural that is subject to the elements. Hire an experienced painter that specializes in murals or work with a printer that can apply a heat applied material to your space.  
  • What are you trying to say? On both of the murals I worked on, we were trying to quickly show a message and support the business so we knew 2 things: we needed the logo very present and we needed the words to be large and easy to read.

With Nest Homes we wanted a simple message of supporting local farms and farmers. The design went back and forth on adding animal silhouettes but ultimately we kept the design simple – I think it turned out great! Nest Homes used The Barn Artist who has completed multiple barn murals across the country. He did an amazing job!

May be an image of outdoors and text that says 'Û nest WE SUPPORT OUR HOMES LOCAL FARMS ★** *'

The mural for Barnhardt Jewelers was very different, located in a historical downtown setting.

This mural quickly showed the newly updated logo and also was telling the town of the stores new location as well as a quick glance into what the store does.

Being in the city limits, the design was limited to a very specific size and as it was printed on exterior brick permits had to be pulled with the city.

It’s no secret: murals make our neighbourhoods beautiful! They add color to building walls and streets that would otherwise go unnoticed, which is a treat for locals and tourists alike. Murals attract new local businesses, help bring customers to pre-existing locations, and boost the economy of an area.

They have the opportunity to tell the business’ story, create a unique experience, engage citizens, increase foot traffic and tourism, increase appreciation for the arts and artists, and increase overall attractiveness of the space.

Please share your favorite murals! Comment here or tag me at @dryinkdesigns on Social Media.

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5 things every mobile website should have.

It is time. Time we stop making the mobile version of our website boring. Time to stop letting them be an afterthought of the desktop website.  Face the facts… over half of the time someone views your website it will be on a mobile or tablet device. 40% of people ONLY use their phone to search website.


All sites should be RESPONSIVE. Responsive design basically means that your design will be created in a way that it can be viewed on many platforms… mobile devices, tablets and of course desktop computers.  If your site is not currently responsive, let’s work on that!

  1. Always have your logo visible and have your visual brand present.
    • Creating a lasting visual impression is such a big deal and you will want to make sure that your log is front and center!  Consistency is KEY here and you want to make sure everyone knows exactly who they are looking at.  I always suggest having your logo and your colors visually present.  This can be done with text, photography or graphic elements, but it sets the tone and keeps visitors on your site longer – (SEO people!)
  2. Make it super easy to find the menu – some people call that stack of three lines the hamburger, but this is KEY if you want people to explore your site.
    • There were years I spent trying to over design my sites… trying to make the menu so cool that people would want to just sit and mess around with the navigation.  Well, those days are long gone.  You get about 5-10 seconds for people to easily navigate to the page they are looking for, or sorry – they are moving on to the next.
  3. Have your social media easily accessible!
    • Simple… have it up top, have it down bottom… Social Media is the new business card and people will follow you and “keep your information” with your social media profiles.  There are ones I suggest for various reasons, but that is a topic for another day.  Must haves – FB and IG!
  4. Have a way for people to contact you. After all, this is the main reason we want people to come to our site… to be able to contact us!
    • As much as you would like to think people are reading your entire site… they aren’t!  They are looking at your home page, maybe a portfolio, possibly your about page.  They aren’t going to search for a way to get in touch with you.  People do not take time any more, and if you do not have an easy way for them to contact you…. they won’t.
  5. Have a call to action.
    • This is a simple graphic that prompts a visitor to take the next step.  A few of my favorites are listed below.
      • Phone number – these should be directly linked so the visitor can do it easily with one touch!
      • “Contact us” page
      • “Follow our blog” or “subscribe to our newsletter”
      • “Download a free guide”
      • “Follow us on social media”


Do not let your site be dull. It should be interactive, clean and large enough to read, branded (with more than your logo) and simple to navigate!

Questions?? I’m here to help!  Contact me to day!


responsive design.jpg

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Speak for yourself

I have had my business now for just over six years.  I have grown this business to a place of comfort.  I have done MY design, MY way and served clients on visual branding, website design and marketing.

I read a quote today by MLK that says, “You must decide to speak for yourself; nobody else can speak for you.”  Today it rings clear. For years now I have received questions from clients making sure that I was the one doing the design.  I have had people come to me for designs based on drawings that I do just for fun.  People always comment, I always know it is from you because of your handwriting or it is my clean style.  Even at my wedding, my dear florist, Springvine Design, said – you are no longer allowed on Pinterest… You tell me what speaks to you, not what you think others believe to be beautiful.  I ended up with the most amazing wedding that was so true to myself.  So why – why was I pushing myself  to conform to others when all of this talent was in me?

New days are ahead!!!   I have always compared myself to others.  Looked at other designers, followed trends and made sure I was fitting in.  Well now is the time for a shift.  I am giving more of myself these days.  What does that mean?

  • I am following my gut vs comparing my design to others.
  • I will use my years of experience and knowledge, and share that with you.  It may be design tips or what I consider to be a trend – but it will come 100% from me.
  • I will share my art and my passion for design.
  • In hand lettering – I will use my handwriting and my style vs trying to copy what I see as beautiful as I thumb scroll through IG.
  • I will create an email platform for you all to share inspiration and education on graphic design.  I have learned from some of the best through the years and now it is time for me to give back!

With all of this said, Is there anything you would like to hear?  Like to learn?  PLEASE share!  I am here, with my whole creative self for you!

Want to dig deeper and tell your story?  Contact me to get started today with your creative process!!




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Hand lettering Challenge – #letteritjune – Part 2

I will say that participating in the hand lettering challenge by @Jennymaiedae has proven to be very helpful to me and my practice!  I have really enjoyed experimenting with different pens and papers.

A recap of my first half of the month can be seen here.

Now for a few favorites for the end of the month.

Hand Lettering Quote Hand Lettering Quote Hand Lettering Quote

Hand Lettering Quote

Hand Lettered Quote

I hope you like viewing these as much as I like doing them!


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Handlettering Challenge – @letteritjune

I have practiced calligraphy and hand lettering for years, but recently I have put more focus to my practice.  When @Jennymaiedae posted her line up for #letteritjune on Instagram, I knew this was something that I wanted to participate in.  I am about halfway through the month and have really enjoyed how I have pushed myself and tried new styles, techniques and pens.  I have also used a bit of my faux calligraphy, which you can see more on this here.

Below are a few from the first 15 days of this month!  If you do hand lettering I challenge you to join in!  This has really helped me.  Follow along on Instagram or Facebook to see all of my sketches and drawings.

you are so loved don't stumble over something behind you let love grow cheer others on sometimes it ends up differently



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DIY Adventure Nursery for Baby Boy

I have been spending a little bit of time away from writing again… I have a special someone taking up my time these days!

On April 7 we welcomed the most precious little guy!  He has give us a joy we didn’t know could exist.


I had a friend of mine take newborn photos of him and his special space.  So before I go on… thank you to Tiffany Evans.  We love the way everything turned out!

I am a lover of all things artistic, home made, DIY, and creative.  I knew I wanted to make / paint / draw a lot of the things to fill his nursery.  What I didn’t expect was all of the other beautiful things people made for me!  I love every ounce of what is in his special room!

nursery gallery wall

I the picture above you can see all of the items that are included in his gallery wall.  Far left is a wooden plaque I purchased at Hobby Lobby, painted and hand lettered a quote “be brave, little one”  I loved the way it fit his adventure nursery!  Here is a closer look.

adventure nursery sign

The golden “X” is a quick painting I did and above that was a card someone had sent me once – a small golden mustache.  Who doesn’t love a good mustache card 🙂

In the center was a gift from a sweet friend of mine, the arrow was a hand made/painted gift from another sweet friend, and then below that is a painting I did of some gold feathers.  These were a simple painting and then I hand drew some lines in pencil.  I am really happy with how that turned out.

gold feathers home decor

Here is the mobile that I made and a picture for above his crib.  The mobile was made out of painted wooden balls in various sizes, some twine and a cross stitch circle.  I didn’t really have a plan, but started with my vision and I am so happy with the final product!

The sign was my very first attempt at painting on canvas.  I have gotten better, but loved something about the imperfections this one has.  I see it and am reminded of where I came from.  I love a quote I often tell myself from a blog I follow – It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful – The Nester.  If it was made with love, it is perfect to me!

DIY nursery mobile and sign

Here is a picture of the mobile mid process!

DIY nursery mobileI can’t wait to read a book to our sweet boy every night!  I love everything about the idea of story time and him asking questions about the pictures!  These shelves have some artwork I painted, some photos from our maternity photoshoot with Emily Chidester (more on those here), an anchor that a friend made for a shower I was given as well as a tree design another friend of mine drew with leaf thumb prints of shower attendees.  In addition, a bank from grandma and some stuffed animals from friends!  All of my books are gifts or goodwill finds.

Nursery shelves

And finally here is an old dresser that my husband used as a child.  For christmas his parents had it painted blue to match the new room and then I found these adorable drawer pulls at Hobby Lobby.  They are one of my favorite things about this space!
baby boy nursery drawer pulls

I can’t wait to see our guy grow up in this room and let him know that his Mommy and her friends made each little detail so special for him!




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Halfway House – A New Brand

I am talking a lot about being inspired lately.  It drives me to be better not only in my career, my design, but also my daily life!

I love dogs… I have grown up with a house always full of dogs.  If you follow me on Instagram – please follow me on Instagram – you will often times see pictures of our girl, Bella.  She is a beautiful, spoiled Blue Merle Great Dane that we just love!  You will also see pictures of my parents and friends dogs as well!  It’s worth a follow!

Here is a recent pic… this one i’ll call.  “Mom, I’m trying to sleep, please get out of my face”

great dane

I love my girl…  Love that she is here to keep me company when I work and can’t wait to see her relationship with our baby when he arrives.  I will be honest though, at 120 lbs, she can be a handful sometimes.  She likes to play, run through the house and at almost 2 years old, is still ALL PUPPY!

Recently, I was contacted by a group of ladies who do fostering.  You guys – these gals sometimes have more than 10, more than 15 dogs at their house at any given time!  Out of the goodness of their hearts.  They are amazing and do such an amazing thing fostering puppies and dogs of all ages and breeds until they find their forever home.  These dogs may need special medical attention, which they provide, or may just need a warm and loving place to live until they are adopted, but all the same they are rescued, fostered, and loved until they go on to their families.

The group of women, named The Halfway House, is a small rescue located in Salisbury, NC (about one hour northeast of Charlotte, NC).  They came together to help find homes for unwanted dogs- both in the shelter and in the community. They ensure that all dogs are fully vetted and spayed or neutered and look for homes where they will be an member of the family, not just another pet.

I mean look at that face!

halfway home rescue dog

You can find The Halfway House on Facebook where they give updates and photos on a regular basis.

You can also find them on their Adopt A Pet page as well!

Unlike most groups or companies that come to me, they had a very clear concept of what they wanted their logo to look like.  You can tell these women had put so much thought and love into this concept.  I was so happy to bring this to life for them!  I see this as a home full of dogs sharing love!

Halfway House

Next it was time to choose their colors.  I gave them a selection to choose from, all bright, fun colors that I felt could represent their group!

color logo choicesI really love the one they chose!  It was the most popular on social media as well, so I know they made the right choice!

logo design

Then I gave them a few more logo layouts for various placements, a pattern, and some icons they can use!  I am really happy with how it turned out and can’t wait to see what these ladies do in the future for all of the pups!

brand design

Now for some more of those beautiful doggies!

foster puppy, rescue

Some time on vacation with his foster mom!foster puppy, rescue

This guy is NOT leaving his foster dad’s lap!foster puppy, rescue foster puppy, rescue

This guy’s smile makes my heart melt!foster puppy, rescue foster puppy, rescue foster puppy, rescue foster puppy, rescue foster puppy, rescue

Enjoy your new homes babies!!!


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