Client Lore : David Deeble – Comedy/Unnatural Acts

One of the many perks of being a graphic designer is getting to see the world through another set of eyes. One of my most treasured clients, David Deeble, helped me gain a bigger picture perspective based on how he adapted his career to his life situation.

David Deeble doesn’t just juggle billiard balls, grocery sacs, and other random objects – he juggles family(which, from talking to him and working with him, always come first), motivational speaking, comedy, psuedo magic, corporate entertaining vs theatrical, and nurturing his own dreams despite obstacles standing in his way. Recently he posted a video where he candidly tells of how he went from #1 Juggler to the #1 Funniest Unique Juggler he is now.

When I started working with Dave, I had only done some very sporadic volunteer work on a military base nearby. Which, isn’t usually the most fun or the most fullfilling since there’s so many different committees and redtape to get past before a design is approved. But volunteer work is always better than sitting at home twiddling your thumbs. The biggest problem I’ve had being a freelance designer is figuring out what in the world to do. Not having a boss is both awesome and terrible. You have all the responsibility to find yourself jobs and do them, which is usually a position in itself in the ‘real job’ world.

Purely by happenstance, I stumbled across David’s blog and commented, and mentioned somewhere on the form that I was a graphic designer. The thought briefly crossed my mind, but I didn’t really think he would be asking me for designs. When he did, I felt like I was getting in over my head. My *first* off base client. And he’s practically a celebrity, being on the Tonight Show and America’s Got Talent. But, since I listen/read/watch all these motivational podcasts/articles/books/tedtalks I know to just say “yes” when opportunity comes knocking. That’s definitely one of the best career choices I’ve made!

While working with him, I’ve learned quite a few things. You don’t immediately have to know how to do all the things you’d like to do – all you have to do is try. “I didn’t have to get it right the first time.” People have a lot more patience than we give them credit. His consistent positive feedback really fed my confidence and I’ve vastly improved over the past year and getting better all the time.  Underneath it all, he inspired me to get better at what I’m doing because I could see there was a real purpose behind it. My goal behind the designs I create is to help people visualize their goals and encourage them to keep at it. I want to make something people are proud to put their face on. Something that cements their identity into their dream. Something that spreads the word about what this one person is daring to do.  “If you know what you want to do, all you have to do is figure out how – and that’s a much easier question to answer.”


Logo Revision

There’s something to be said for going with your gut.

After we ‘finished’ SD’s logo design… something still didn’t feel quite right about it. I could tell she wasn’t in love with it, but for whatever reason, I let it slide and called it good enough.

As we approached the end of the media kit, I just couldn’t take it anymore and had to go back and rework it. I don’t remember even thinking cognitively about it, it was just something that needed to be done. There had to be a way to make it better. And I did.


Much cleaner, more elegant – my husband said it had an Oprah feel! haha. She LOVED it and said she wanted to put it on Everything – that is the response I was looking for.

Bottom line is, I’ve got to remember to push myself, don’t stop until I see on the screen what I’ve imagined in my head.

Almost there!

There is really nothing comparable to having a project nearly complete. This little piece of time is one I really like to enjoy – The work has all been submitted, waiting for the final feed back. It’s like that moment just before you’re finished with a long workout, those few last steps slowing before walking. It’s brief, but powerful.

When SD requested my help for a media kit on the 13th and wanted to know if I could complete it by the 30th – I really didn’t know if it was possible or not. Much less a media kit + a logo. Here it is, 2 days before my deadline and we’re almost there. And it Looks Amazing. This was a big, learn as you go type of process, and I’m getting much more efficient with my time management and learning curve.

Really, I owe my first big time client, David Deeble HEAPS of thanks for being such an understanding client and baring with me during the times I was really just aiming blindly at the target of what he wanted. Working with him has given me so much confidence to branch out and try things – say yes to things I’m not completely sure how to do yet.

And what do you know. I’m getting better.

My time management has vastly improved, ability to stay focused and in ‘flow’ for hours at a time – minimal structured avoidance (which, coincidently has served me well since I’ve been using that time to exercise). I have the distinct feeling that I’m really going somewhere and I’ve written a few physical ‘mile markers’ down like how much I want to make per month, how many projects I want to submit per month, and who I’d ideally like to work with.

I always say working ‘with’ instead of working ‘for’. I’m not sure how this is taken by the majority of the clients I work with, but I try to put emphasis on it because the design isn’t my design, it’s ultimately their design. I’m only the processing machine for ideas. I wonder if sometimes this puts pressure on the client, but that may be a good thing. I believe it’s important for them to know it’s a team effort.

That was one of the greatest things about working with SD – before I began designing anything, I laid it out for her that to complete it by the time of deadline, I would need her to be in contact with me frequently. And she more than rose to the challenge by giving me the amount of information I requested and ample ideas of what she wanted the media kit to say about her as a person.

I’ve been so very fortunate to work with good people that are awesome at communicating and very patient. It’s creating a strong foundation for when I do end up working with someone on the opposite end of the spectrum.


Here are a few logos I made in the process and then the logo that was ultimately chosen. She wanted a vibrant logo – pink and blue – that put emphasis on her public speaking as well as her fitness. That was no easy task! She ended up going with a very ‘athletic’ text and a microphone with the chord forming the S –

Something tells me I'm not done with this logo. Something is off, I just can't tell what, the microphone doesn't stand out enough.. but that's the thing about logos, they seem to develop on their own time.

Something tells me I’m not done with this logo. Something is off, I just can’t tell what, the microphone doesn’t stand out enough.. but that’s the thing about logos, they seem to develop on their own time.

Here is the evolution of Saran's logos

Here is the evolution of Saran’s logos


And a few pages from Saran’s media kit:

I quickly learned, Simple is the way to go with media kits!

I quickly learned, Simple is the way to go with media kits!

This page I'm especially proud of because it really shows who she is, smiling and reaching out with gifts in her hand.

This page I’m especially proud of because it really shows who she is, smiling and reaching out with gifts in her hand.

She had a TON of testimonials, which I'm proud to say I managed to fit nicely in 2 pages.

She had a TON of testimonials, which I’m proud to say I managed to fit nicely in 2 pages.

Look Back and Smile

Last week seemed like a fairly productive week in retrospect – I entered in 3 contests on crowdspring + designed something cutesy for ‘Siblings Day’. I made a budget template for clients and mapped out some financial ideals as far as my own business. Which may or may not be reasonable, but just facing my financial fears is a pretty big deal. I’m hoping the more familiar I become with numbers, the easier it will be to estimate better prices for my work. After doing so much pro-bono work, getting paid for At All seems amazing, but I’ve been low balling quite a bit judging from the prices I’ve seen on line for similar quality work. 

Actually, looking back over the week I’m pretty proud of myself. Considering it takes 2 days for me (1 day to design, 1 to reflect on the design) to make a design and submit it to Crowdspring, doing 3 in one week is really saying something. I can tell I’m learning a lot from what the others submit. Looking at the other submissions really helps figure out what works and what doesn’t. I’m slowly figuring out that interacting in these communities (crowdspring, deviant art, ect..) does a lot for conjuring up motivation. Maybe it’s just the attention seeking side of me, but something in my soul springs up whenever I get a “Awesome design!” or “Great composition!” comment. The give and take of compliments/encouragement/critiques between designers is a beautiful thing. Even running into a friend today who said they liked what I’ve been posting today was a big motivator to get to work on more designs. The part that seems slow and frustrating  (which seems like the majority of the process) fades over into hopeful optimism for better future designs. 

This week may be a bit lacking in the out put since my step daughter is visiting for the week and we’re taking a short trip with her, but here is what I designed last week: 





Eye on the Prize

Here is a little short term goal calendar I made for a designer friend:


When I was going to college for my Design Diploma, the importance of keeping a schedule and being self disciplined was stressed in every class. There were no excuses for being late. There were no excuses for not doing your best. If you didn’t do the work, you got a bad grade or didn’t pass the class – worse yet, you didn’t get to learn the material.

This wasn’t a huge adjustment for me. I was homeschooled as a kid and had to develop the skills then to prioritize, make attainable goals, and follow through. But I have to say, with all these creative tools at my fingertips, creating a ‘goal chart’ is a lot more fun! Not only does having a pleasing visual reminder help – but the creation of it itself focuses your efforts and commits you to the process.

Vision for Honeycomb Designs

Welcome to Honeycomb Designs official blog! 


Some background info for those who read this to get to know us a littler better and what our goal is as a creative team. 

Right now, our team consists of me (a stay at home wife and stepmom to a beautiful girl) and my husband (Air Force Enlisted Biomedical Technician/log). I started pursuing Graphic Design as a career after the prodding of my husband – not realizing that I could do something really fun for a living rather than working endless receptionist jobs which were also fun, in a I-love-talking-to-people and helping-people-out-with-things-they-don’t-have-time-to-do-themselves kind of a way. I was finding that I didn’t a lot of personal fulfillment or satisfaction at the end of the day.

My parents owned a hardware store when I was a teenager, which is where I learned how important advertising is to small businesses especially. Whenever I meet or read about a small business owner, my heart goes out to them because I remember the long hours my parents spent at the hardware store – after their ‘normal’ jobs, doing inventory, going over quickbooks, doing research to find what products to emphasize in the store to make it better.

I went with them on a few trips to Hardware shows where the design and packaging of the many booths was what either pulled a client in out of curiousity or merely blended into the abyss of gray tables and metal chairs. Samples was everything. Even if it was just a mini plunger or keychain or some other knicknack that had little or no functional use (Stress ball, anyone??). The colors, the displays, and most of all the people manning the booths made the whole event come to life.

At the same time, I had recently discovered iron-ons and was actively making my own T-shirts. I wish I knew what happened to them! My parents favorite design was “I (picture of a realistic heart) My Parents.” At the time, it seemed very ‘cool’ to be against your parents, so in my nonconformist way, that pushed me further to make a statement about how I loved them. I seemed to always be bucking against some cultural system.

Fast forward to a few years ago when I was exposed to the chance I could actually make money at this – and help others (refer to above things-I-liked-as-a-receptionist). I attended the Art Institute and earned my Digital Design Diploma which taught me the basics of the Adobe Suite products (Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, ect) as well as basic instructions about file size and working with clients. This was extremely helpful and really got the ball rolling.

I’m a humanitarian at heart and have lately been looking more seriously into missions for clean water across the globe. As an artist, the process of thinking-about to actually-doing sometimes takes longer than I’d want to admit.

Which is, in part, the purpose of this blog.

This blog won’t be all about what I’m making lately (though that will be here, too) but it will also be about the internal struggle one goes through to get something from their thoughts out into the real world. Which is my mission statement as a company, “Helping others materialize their dreams.” I’m hoping to network with other designers, give my current and future clients a more personal view, and use this as a measure of growth for myself to keep me accountable to my hopes and dreams.

Things I’m interested in Designing: 


T-Shirts and other apparel 

Advertisements / Awareness Ads

Fantasy Art

Story Art / Bookcovers

Beyond this, I’m willing to try my hands at anything – infographs are particularly intriguing to me. I’m also a photographer (mainly landscape and candid shots) and love to write. Other things I love include playing the Ukulele (my drumset isn’t as easily transportable and I had to leave it behind), travelling, talking to strangers (actually, I have yet to meet one!), playing a few online games (I’m a poser, I just play for the graphics), volleyball, running, biking, hiking, and inline skating.

“This sounds like it’s just you doing all of this, where does the rest of the team come in?”

My husband and teammate is the refiner and editor. After I’ve been looking at a design for a few hours or weeks, I stop seeing it. He’s the second pair of eyes that can give an objective opinion and critique, “I like the composition, but what if you did this..” or “It doesn’t really tell me what such -and-such is about when I look at it.” or “*silence* + high pitched toned apologetic/defensive statement.” If I get that last one, chances are I need to work a lot more on it. He keeps my ego in check and level headed.

In time, we’d like to collaborate with others creatives as a part of our team.

Now you know a little bit about Honeycomb Designs. Enjoy reading, comment, and check back often!