Sunday, June 26, 2011

Dear Diary: The Misconceptions about Designers...

If you are planning to own or already own a business, then you should know that it is imperative to have a great graphic designer by your side. And the relationship between you and your designer will need to be strong and comfortable. As a professional designer, I have experienced and heard of many scenarios through clients and fellow designers. I thought it would be a good idea to clear up some of the misconceptions that are associated with our profession.

1. Ideas are instantaneous: I believe this is a common misconception with any creative field. Most of the time art comes from inspiration, so it may take a trip to the store or a walk through the park to come up with a solid creation. Our mind doesn't automatically generate a creation instantly. Allow your designer to take in your notes and have a few moments or even a day to think of a concept.

2. We don't take constructive criticism: When a designer disputes a change or a client's idea, most of the time it is seen as he/she is being a "know-it-all." A seasoned designer usually knows what works for your audience. Yes, you are paying for a design and you want what you want, but sometimes your vision or idea may hinder potential business for your company. Your favorite hot pink color on a flyer may not work if you are targeting a male and female audience. A designer passionate about their work will try to persuade you to choose a more logical design. Not only is the person a designer, but they are also thinking as a consumer. It is fine to share your ideas, however allow the designer to do their job as well.

3. We MUST work 24/7 and on your project only: Although most designers (including myself) work more than they sleep, we are still human beings. We like to sleep in on Saturdays, we like to post a Facebook status every now and then, and we like to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner too. In fact some of my clients are probably wondering why and how I took the time to write this lengthy post lol :o) Know your designer's official work hours. If you received an email at 3:00am from him/her one day, it does not mean they MUST work on your project at that time on another day.

4. Simple projects should be cheaper: Design work is normally priced with quotes and some designers have set prices. A simple letter logo may look easy but from what I experience, the simple projects usually take more work and time. Don't associate price with simplicity, when in fact it takes more time to make it look so simple.

5. We overcharge: Like with most hands-on work, you are charged by the time and labor. However, aside from those expenses, we also have charges with photos, fonts, and other designing essentials. Always remember that marketing and branding is a representation of yourself as well as your company, so the investment is definitely worth it. I find that people who go with extremely cheap designers are usually left dissatisfied. They usually have to spend MORE money hiring another designer to redesign what they initially paid for.

6. We are just twiddling our thumbs: The #1 complaint that I hear is that a designer is taking too long. The 1st thing that I ask when I hear that complaint is "Did you give them a deadline?" Most of the time they have not. You cannot expect your designer to know that your project was needed last week if it was not communicated. Also know that projects and project times are unpredictable. The project ahead of yours may have required more time or work. Give yourself and your designer enough time ahead of your deadline to produce a great creation.

Hopefully this post has changed your perception about designers. A positive and comfortable relationship is important for the designer as well as the client. I would love to hear your feedback! Please follow my blog to comment, or email me at

Another Banger Revealed

I told you all that model Lauren would be featured on a book cover in an earlier post. Well it was only proper that she graced the cover for the FABULOUS 5x Award Winning Author Venesha. Kiss the Boys: Fabulous Guide to Love & Relationships is set to be released this Fall. Venesha's book covers are always a joy to create because her only demand is that they are fun and fabulous.

Kiss the Boys follows her latest best selling book, Mirror Mirror: Sweet 16 Tips To A New and Improved You!

For more information on Venesha, check out her snazzy site at

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Habitually Fly Haul

I stumbled across an adorable accessory boutique the other day,, and I must say I instantly fell in love with a lot of the pieces. I purchased a pair of earrings and a vintage pendant-linked necklace to feed my bow and spike addiction :0) Aside from having uniques pieces, the online store also has great prices and FREE shipping.

Friday, June 24, 2011

HONK if you like Oddball Dsgn & Cartel Publications

Seeing my work on wheels is SO DOPE :0) Van wrap and book cover designs by yours truly (Oddball Dsgn). If you spot this fabulous vehicle around the city, please send me a picture. And be sure to check out the Cartel Publications at

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

My June Birchbox

Receiving my cute little hot pink Birchbox in the mail this month made my day! And the excitement continued once I saw what was inside.

1. Laura Geller Baked Blush N' Brighten: Normally the Birchboxes contain sample sized items, but the blush came as a full size. This swirled blush was perfect for the start of summer. One side is a
highlighter and the other side is a nice pink shade. (Swatch below)

2. Kate Spade Twirl Perfume: I like the scent. However it is very similar to Escada Tropical Punch or Liz Claiborne's Bora Bora.

3. Pangea Organics Facial Toner for Normal/Oily Skin: I literally have been looking for a great toner for weeks. When this came in I was so anxious to test it out. While my face is slightly damp after washing, I sprayed the toner on and then followed with my moisturizer. After trying it out for a couple of days I didn't notice a major difference, but I did like how it makes my skin feel after each use. I'll continue to use it.  

4. Deborah Lippman Stripper to Go Nail Laquer Removers: The packet contains one finger mitt and it promises to remove the polish of all 10 toes or nails. I used both packets to remove the triple coats of polish on both my hands and feet and it delivered its promise.

5. Oscar Blandi Olio Ji Jasmine Hair Serum: I haven't tried this serum yet but I like that it's a heat protectant. I will use it with my next washing and give an update.
Deborah Lippman Stripper to Go Nail Laquer Removers

(left to right: Laura Geller Baked Blush N' Brighten, highlight; blush)

Overall I think this was the best Birchbox so far!

Please Excuse My Hiatus...

Hello Viewers, I want to quickly apologize for my hiatus with the blog updates. This is a pet-peeve of mine on some of the blogs I follow, so I understand the concern. I have been super duper busy, but you better believe I think about blogging every second of the day :0) I have so much to update you all on. With my line I work I easily get sucked into robot mode and forget that I am human. Blogging has been a way for me to stay involved with things that I love, so I must remember that!

I would also love to hear from YOU. If there are any topics, tutorials, or product reviews that you would like for me to do, please feel free to send those requests to Thank you!

Love Vida

Sunday, June 12, 2011

My Favorite Drugstore and Department Store Facial Products

Finding the right facial care products can be a win/lose situation. You shouldn't stick with a product that gives you mediocre results. With facial products try to find the BEST! After extensive researching and reading tons of reviews, I believe I've found the perfect products for my combination skin.

The Neutrogena line can be found at any drugstore and the Philosophy & Kiehl's lines can be found at Nordstrom, Ulta, or Sephora. Here is a list of the products that I use to keep nice glowing skin. 
Neutrogena DEEP CLEAN Invigorating Foaming Scrub: This product exfoliates, removes makeup, and deep cleans the pores. I usually use this daily to exfoliate.

Neutrogena DEEP CLEAN Long-Last Shine Control Cleanser/Mask: This product deep cleans the pores and controls shine. This can be used as a daily cleanser or as a mask. I use this as a mask on days when I plan to wear full face makeup. It really does help to control the shine.

Neutrogena On-the-Spot Acne Treatment: I don't get much acne, in fact I may get 1-2 small pimples a month. This acne cream is great for making them disappear without drying your skin.


Philosophy Purity Made Simple Facial Wash: I simply love this wash. Its smooth and creamy mixture is great for my facial massages. And it is also good for removing makeup. I've been using this product consistently for 5 years.

Philosophy Hope in a Jar Moisturizer: This award-winning moisturizer definitely lives up to its name. This product leaves my skin feeling soft and moisturized without the greasy feel.

Kiehl's Ultra Facial Moisturizer: I use this moisturizer before I apply my makeup. It's thick mixture is great for smoothing out the dry areas. And it is also great for the winter/fall months.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Behind the Scenes @ OBD Studios

I had the pleasure of shooting Puerto Rican beauty, Angel Perez, for an upcoming book cover. Angel's lipstick is Rimmel London Lasting Finish Lipstick, In Vogue.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Summerize your Foundation

As the seasons change so should some of your skincare routines and products. Winter skin can bare more products. With heat and sweat from the summer, the skin is more prone to irritation. So your products and applications should be much lighter. If you've ever noticed, a lot of makeup lines advertise tinted moisturizer more in the spring and summer. That is much better than wearing foundation in it's regular form. It's much lighter and healthier. I usually make my own when the hot months hit. Here is what I do:

(left to right: MAC Fix+ Spray, Revlon ColorStay in #400 Caramel, Kiehl's Ultra Facial Moisturizer)

I mix a small amount of foundation with an equal amount of facial moisturizer. The moisturizer won't change the foundation tint, it's just changing the coverage. Usually when I apply my moisturizer my face is still damp from the shower or washing it. But since I'm treating this as makeup, I wait until I have taken care of my body and dress, etc. By the time I'm ready for makeup my face is no longer damp. First I lightly spray my face with MAC's Fix+ Spray, which is a skin refresher and finisher. And then I proceed with the tinted moisturizer, and apply a finishing powder in my T-Zone. The moisturizer added will give off a beautiful summer dewy look. Be sure to travel with blot paper and/or powder if you have oily skin.  

**IMPORTANT: If you are shopping for a moisturizer or foundation during the spring/summer I suggest getting one that contains SPF.

**You can make your own facial refresher by boiling a couple of pure green tea bags, refrigerate and place in a spray bottle. Or if you insist on buying a spray, Sephora sells a much cheaper product than MAC. Evian Mineral Spray for $10 here.

The foundation (left) in it's regular form is clearly thick and will provide a heavy coverage. The tinted moisturizer (right) still provides coverage, as well as a nice glow.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Upcoming MAC Collection: OBSESSIONS

9 lucky beauty bloggers had the opportunity to collaborate with MAC to create a lipglass and eyeshadow of their choice. How DOPE is that! This collection will be online only and sold on the MAC website between June 21-August 21. I am loving every single lipglass color.