Big Life Update!

This blog post is overdue! Since the end of May, I am no longer teaching as a lecturer at Mississippi State University. I now work as a Product Development & Design Manager at NBG Home– Nielson Bainbridge Group– in Southaven, MS (20 minutes from Memphis, TN). NBG Home represents a family of home decor companies, and is a global designer and manufacturer of home decor products. There are several branches around the world, spanning lighting, furniture, wall art, fabric, decor accessories, and frames. My branch in Southaven focuses primarily on lamps and furniture! This opportunity will broaden my horizons in art, business, and travel.

So far I have received projects to design lamps for Target, Home Goods, Lowe’s, HomeSense, Marmaxx, and Walmart. It is so much fun! I had an interest in product design throughout my graphic design schooling and absolutely loved 3D assignments, whether it was a sculpture or a creative packaging design project, but never thought I would one day be sending my lighting visions to China and be put into production to share with the world. It is so cool to take a stroll with coworkers through the local Target, Home Goods, and Hobby Lobby, and pointing out all the items on display for sale that my coworkers designed. It will probably be several months before my products will be on shelves, but I will totally be that girl taking selfies with my lamps and furniture in stores once they’re out, haha!

How does this job work? We research future trends in home decor and fashion, and our “customers” (aka store brands like Target) send us project sheets with generalized imagery and explanations of what they’re looking for in style and function. We also must work to meet their price points, as well. If the lamp is meant to sell for $12, it’s not going to look like it should cost $40 in style and materials! I do online research for inspiration, sketch, Photoshop together, and list fabric and finish swatch codes, Pantone colors, and dimensions. I construct my ideas in PowerPoint to present to the customer or send straight to China to receive quotes for production in different factories. I make my choice of factory in accordance to quotes and quality, they get to work, and I receive photo samples to approve of their progress.

I also get to help switch out the items in the large NBG showroom in our building prior to particular customers’ arrival for meetings in choosing products to sell in their stores. Our warehouse is FULL of home decor items, and is a dream to walk through to see sooooooo many lamps and shades in every color, shape, and material you can think of. It is also a perk that I got to choose which items I wanted to put in my office for decoration 🙂

Later this month I will fly to High Point, North Carolina with a few others to help set up for the big High Point Market.

I get to do some solid graphic design work now and then, too, such as the ad and email invitation for the High Point Market.

One day when I’m more settled living and working here, and have EVERYTHING unboxed (HA!) in my cute little house, I want to get back to making my hand-recycled paper and open an Etsy shop. I hope you will stay tuned for what’s to come!


First day at the new job!

Design I // Stop Motion Animation Final

For Design I’s final project, we focused on time and motion. With technology speeding ahead these days, it is beneficial to challenge students to try this as a school project.

Students had to produce a one-minute stop motion animation consisting of photography and sound. Creativity wise, the sky was the limit! The best video-editing software available to them were Apple iMovie and Windows Movie Maker. The more frames per second that were compiled, the smoother the video appeared. To put this into perspective, the Wallace & Gromit 30-minute shorts were shot close to 20 frames per second, adding up to be around 35,000 shots per video. That’s a bit extreme for my students, so they were encouraged to place at least two frames per second. We also watched short films by Disney and Tim Burton, and the hilarious YouTube classic “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On“.

It was a challenge for students to work on an art project of this scale, especially if they were new to Apple iMovie & Windows Movie Maker video-editing software. However, they were very proud of themselves for figuring out such a feat. We had a lot of fun in both sections eating snacks and watching everyone’s videos, and celebrating the end of another school year!

Below are some examples of what was submitted. So turn up your audio and be entertained by these one-minute shorts!

* I have permission from my students to promote their work on my website.

2 sections:

Ashley Baker


Lexi Bennett


Cassidy Jones


Taylor Robbins


Taylor Vaughn


Mary Beth McClung


Landen Rucker


Breanna Rochelle


Paige Davis


Wes Edgeworth


Forrest Beasley


Willie Griffin


Laken Beasley


Jacob Ingram


Bess Reilly


Zac Varner

Intro to Computing // Pen & Pixel

My students’ next Photoshop project was entitled “Pen & Pixel,” in which they had to construct a self portrait. It was a requirement to scan in textures, drawings, paintings, or items they could edit to become a part of the image. Many students demonstrated impressive concepts about themselves. Below are some examples that were turned in. All have aspects to be improved upon for their portfolio, but overall I was very pleased with their results!

* I have permission from my students to promote their work on my website.


by Carson Brantley


by Elizabeth Gammill


by Grayson Brown


by Joseph Macgown

Julia-Thompson_pen and pixel

by Julia Thompson


by Madison Wigginton


by Whitney White

photoshop this one

by Mary Hannah Ruff

Intro to Computing // Creature Cartoon GIF

As an added continuation of their first Creature Cartoon project done in Adobe Illustrator, I challenged my students to turn it into a GIF after we started learning Photoshop. There are many ways to make a GIF, but in my research I found it was best to form their creature in Illustrator, and pull the file into Photoshop to put it into action.

I posted my own Part I and Part II tutorial YouTube videos demonstrating the steps on my laptop screen so students could reference them outside of class to produce their own GIF.

Students had to implement at least 3 actions in their GIF to receive full credit– for example eyes blinking, arms moving, and feet tapping. The number of frames they incorporated depended on their actions and how many they personally needed to see the actions to smooth completion.

It was so fun seeing these little guys and gals come to life!

Below are some GIFs that were turned in. All have aspects to be improved upon for their portfolio, but overall I was very pleased with their results.

* I have permission from my students to promote their work on my website.

by Carson Brantley: anxious, fly, antlers ^

by Elizabeth Gammill:  crawl, giggly, long tail ^

by Shannon Shepherd: big feet, running, sad ^

by Grayson Brown: mellow, shell, exercise ^

by Whitney White: afraid, mane, sleeping ^

by Madison Wigginton: calm, short legs, smell flower ^

by Mary Hannah Ruff: long arms, upside down, bashful ^

by Caylee Hubbard: squishy cheeks, happy, climbing ^


Design I // Texture

For Design I’s fifth project, we focused on texture. Students collected an assortment of black and white textures including…
found (photography, magazines, books)
rubbed (charcoal rubbing of physical texture on paper)
created (using a range of mediums to invent a texture).

Then they collaged and glued them together into a quilt block pattern of their choice. They had to be precise and mindful of their workmanship. Since they were working with a grid and pattern, slight mistakes would be noticeable.

Below are some of the composition sets that were submitted. All have aspects to be improved upon for their portfolio, but overall I was very pleased with their results!

* I have permission from my students to promote their work on my website.


by Breanna Rochelle


by Landen Rucker


by Lexi Bennett


by Olivia Lewis


by Bess Reilly


by Samantha Marshall


by Taylor Fikes


by Wes Edgeworth


by Willie Griffin


by Kaleb Baker

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