Dippin' Daisy's x Nicole Goldfarb

So… how did this all start?
I started my design career working as a graphic designer at a social/digital advertising agency in NYC. I really enjoyed my job, but I found that at the end of each day I still had so much pent up creative energy. I felt so constrained by brand guidelines and dreamed of creating designs with more colors, fonts, and graphic styles. On a whim, I bought myself an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil and began drawing every night after work for hours upon hours. I fell in love with illustration and eventually built up a wide portfolio of drawings that I decided to turn into art prints to sell on Etsy. I never thought anything would come of it, but word of mouth began to spread and as my art sales increased, I also began picking up freelance design jobs, which turned into a nice little side hustle. 
I was fortunate enough to work on some really cool projects where I was given the opportunity to design textiles for a beach chair company in South Africa and create a giant wallpaper for a bakery in NYC. I soon fell in love with freelancing and found myself taking on more and more projects, all while continuing to juggle a full-time job and my online shop.
Through freelancing, I was able to tap into all my creative passions – illustration, photography, art direction, typography, and graphic design. I loved being able to work on a wide array of projects with awesome brands, and I loved creating
I started my design career working as a graphic designer at a social/digital advertising agency in NYC. I really enjoyed my job, but I found that at the end of and selling art that brightened people’s day! Eventually, I left my full-time job and set out on the road to full-time freelance! I have now been working for myself for over 2 years and it’s been the most fun and wild ride!  
Who or what inspires you?
I am most inspired by vibrant colors, geometric and organic shapes, the beach, and uplifting quotes. I love to use bright colors, whimsical illustrations, and cheerful words throughout my work. I also really love the style of the 1960s and the vibe of Palm Springs (I’ve never actually been but it’s #1 on my list of places to go in the U.S.)! When I’m brainstorming and creating new products for my online shop, my intention is to infuse art and creativity into everyday objects to take them beyond the ordinary. I believe that everything has the capacity to be beautiful and spark joy, no matter how big, small, functional or nonfunctional it is.
What's the best advice you've ever been given?
The best advice I’ve ever been given isn’t so much of a quote to live by, as it is a way of thinking. My parents have taught me to fully embrace the unknown, to see the possibilities and excitement in the uncertainties of life. What my future holds is still a question to me, but I am not in the least bit scared or weary. I’m thrilled to see what is to come! I’m in no hurry to get all the answers either. I’m enjoying the journey and soaking it all in! I think this way of thinking has helped me to harness a positive outlook on life that is reflected in my work in a big way. I’ve made looking on the bright side a way of life and I hope to do the same for others!

How do you balance your creativity with your business mind?
I usually try to break up mundane business activities with fun creative projects. For every “boring” business task I check off, I allow myself to then work on a fun project for a good while. I usually knock out most of my business-related tasks first thing in the morning so I can spend the rest of the day working on the good stuff that I love to do! Then if there are any biz tasks left at the end of the day, I feel ready to tackle them again because my cup feels full after having worked on an exciting creative project.  

Any business moments that have just been super satisfying?
That’s a tough one! Hmm honestly…I’d have to say this collaboration with Dippin’ Daisy’s is up there!! I have had the absolute best time working with the DD team and I really love the designs we came up with together! It was so much fun to work on this project because our brands align so well and the creative ideas flowed naturally and with ease. I’m really proud of the beautiful and fun designs we came up with. It’s also really cool to have my name be attached to the designs because so many times I’m the behind the scenes designer/illustrator. Having that recognition is really special to me! I love doing collaborations like this and hope to continue to do more in the future!

We love all your motivational quotes on your socials — do you have a fave?
Ah such a tough question!! There are so many that I love, but if I had to pick a favorite I would pick this one: “Don’t ever compare your living, breathing, beautifully imperfect real-life human self to someone else’s controlled online content.”
When I saw this quote it deeply resonated with me. Instagram is a big part of my work and my daily life. I get most of my clients and shop customers through Instagram, so I spend a fair amount of time on the app. I know first-hand how easy it is to get wrapped up in the picture perfect lives of those you follow on Instagram. You start to obsess and compare yourself to others and wonder why your life doesn’t look the same. But here’s the thing we all need to keep in mind, we are only seeing a very small glimpse of these other people’s lives. We are seeing the best of the best and they’re only sharing with us what they want us to see. Odds are we aren’t seeing the good, bad and ugly days. We only see the really, really pretty perfect days. That is why we cannot compare ourselves to anything we see online because the “reality” we’re comparing our reality to isn’t actually a true reality at all.
Experiencing a global pandemic is hard. 2020 was a tough year. For literally everyone. Whether they showed it or not. Make sure to give yourself credit for all you’ve accomplished in the past  year! You are a living, breathing, beautifully imperfect real-life human – now don’t you ever forget it!!

What does a typical work day look like for you?
No two days are ever the same, which I love, but typically speaking, I start off my workday by answering emails from clients and shop customers, packaging online orders, and doing website maintenance. Then I spend the majority of my day working on creative projects, which differs almost every month. You can find me doing any one of these tasks throughout the day: creating illustrations for sticker sheets, designing graphics for Instagram, photographing products for my website/IG, designing new products for my shop, or art directing a photoshoot. I love that I get to spend my time doing a variety of different creative things!!
I try to finish my workday around 6/7pm, but sometimes I get carried away and work well into the night. If I can sneak away from work at a reasonable hour, I will cook dinner and then hang at home or on the beach with my boyfriend and our golden retriever.

Are you a #TeamMorning person + do you have a morning routine that helps you get through the day?
Yes, I do! I am not a morning person in the slightest (I’d much rather work at night), so I like to take it easy in the mornings. I wake up around 9am and start my day with a mandatory cup of coffee and breakfast. My mornings are pretty slow and I make a lot of time for self-care instead of rushing right into work. Sometimes I work out and sometimes I online shop or scroll on Pinterest for creative inspiration before really kicking off my day. I joke that my brain doesn’t work before 10:30am so this routine really works for me!

Speaking of routines, you seem like you have your sh*t together - are you a naturally organized person?
Why thank you!! It’s funny you asked this because I’m not naturally an organized person at all, quite the opposite actually. I’m more of an organized mess, and depending on the week, I sometimes lean more towards just a mess hahah. My studio office is usually cluttered with art prints, frames, candles, flowers/plants, and sticky notes with ideas. I work very hard to keep all my professional work super organized though. Because my business has many different facets, I’ve found that I have to keep organized otherwise things get crazy and nothing gets done. My emails and computer files are neatly organized into dozens of folders and my weekly to-do list is broken out by client work, ecommerce work, and personal chores. My boyfriend has helped me immensely in becoming more organized with work stuff. He is hands-down the most organized person I’ve ever met. Funny how opposites attract! I didn’t even know you could create folders in Outlook until he taught me! 
Any tips or tricks you’ve picked up along the way that you can share with all the boss babes?
I love to-do lists! I have so many of them to keep me on track and productive throughout my days. I have a weekly master to-do list that is broken out into 3 sections (client, online shop, personal) with to-do’s that are both big and small. I include things like email so and so back, send final proof to X, and photograph new merch for launch. I also make daily to-do lists so I know what projects and tasks need to be checked off each day.
In addition to work to-do’s, I like to include fun personal to-dos on my lists that are exciting and feel fulfilling! I have found that in order to be my most productive self, I need to set aside time for myself and fun activities. Doing things that may be viewed as “unproductive” like eating lunch out, playing with your dog, or getting a drink with a friend, are actually still productive things because they help fuel your mental wellbeing and in turn help you to be more focused and productive when it comes to work things.
2020 was definitely an interesting ride to say the least.
How have you pivoted during Covid?
Oddly enough, Covid has both helped and hurt my business in different ways. My online shop definitely took a hit, but my creative services work picked up a lot. I haven’t been able to do many in person pop-up shops like I have in the past, so I’ve had to find new ways to reach customers. I’ve just recently started to break out in the wholesale space to get my products into retail stores. I used to sell exclusively through my site, but now with Covid, I am looking for new ways to get my art out there. The creative services side of my business saw a boom with Covid because more and more brands started to focus their attention on having a strong digital and online presence, which is what I specialize in! I do a lot of social media content creation and branding for Instagram and found myself busier than ever at the start of Covid.  

We know travel has come to a halt this year, but if you could
go on your dream vacation, where would you wanna go?
I love to travel and am absolutely dying to go to Thailand!! Their beaches and crystal-clear water are phenomenal and are calling my name! I also love Thai food and would happily spend every day of my trip eating a new Thai cuisine or classic Pad Thai noodles. The architecture in Thailand is also out of this world! I would have a field day taking photos of absolutely everything in sight! 

And lastly, do you have any words of wisdom to all the other creatives out there who are trying to make it?

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different styles, techniques, vibes, colors, etc. I remember feeling pressure to develop a specific style when I was first starting out, but it’s okay (and good!) to explore before settling on one style! I am known to design with bold bright colors, playful illustrations, and a mix of modern and hand-drawn fonts, and even though this has come to represent my personal style, I’ve learned that my style is constantly growing and evolving along the way. Know that eventually you will find your unique style that sets you apart from others, but before you do, make sure to try out lots of things! When you’re starting out, there feels like an endless amount of creative directions to go in, because there is! It’s exciting and also somewhat overwhelming.
One thing I love to do is to create a mood board once a quarter that represents the look I’m aiming for. This helps me nail down the direction I want take my art in. I make a private board on Pinterest and add everything and anything that I gravitate towards. Then I carefully comb through it and print out my favorite photos. Before I cut and paste them to a board, I go through each photo and ask myself why I like it. In doing this, I learn more about what inspires me, what I am drawn to, and why. I then hang my mood board of collaged photos in front of my desk so I can view it every day! When I’m designing new products I often refer to it to make sure I am staying in line with my vision and artistic style.