Creative Insights: Jamie Starcevich

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Happy Wednesday, friends! I’ve been MIA on the blog this week, I have been feeling a bit of burnout lately. Thankfully I have Creative Insights to jump back into the swing of things. This week I’m incredibly excited to have Jamie from Spruce Rd. on the blog. This girl has talent. I discovered her on Twitter and have been a huge fan since. She recently launched her new website and once you have a look for yourself you’ll know what I’m talking about. 


 Tell us a little bit about your business and what it means to you?

I am the blogger, graphic + web designer behind Spruce Rd., an independently run boutique design studio! I love working with small businesses developing their brand into something that is unique to them, and takes them to the next level. Branding is my absolute favorite part of the process, I love starting fresh! The idea behind the name Spruce Rd. is that when collaborating with businesses, we journey together to develop a solution that freshens up their visual identity.

Spruce: Neat, smart, stylish, dapper. To freshen up appearances.
Road: The journey from the old to the new.
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What is one daily ritual you can’t live without?

Over the past few months I have began working out more, and investing in my health. This is a fairly new daily ritual, so I hope it sticks! I alternate between running about 3 miles on the treadmill and doing Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred home videos. When I know my body needs a break so I don’t get injured, I like to do Yoga with Adriene on YouTube! It is important that I work out since I am sitting at my computer throughout most of the day!

When you’re not creating where can we find you?

I love trying new coffee shops or restaurants with my husband! We make an effort to go on at least one date night per week, and trying out a new place keeps it fresh and interesting. I also love visiting with friends, watching movies or TV shows, and getting to know new people in our city.

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What do you struggle with most when it comes to running your own business?

Patience! I just opened up my studio in January of this year, so it has taken a lot of patience regarding attracting the clients + projects that I would most like to work with! I created Spruce Rd. with the intention on working only with a selective group of clients, that are the right fit for my vision + values. I know, I know, good things take time… but this has been a tough lesson to learn!

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What’s one business goal you hope to achieve in 2015?

Since I started my business at the beginning of 2015, I have a plethora of business goals! One main goal is to post consistently to my blog. I have really enjoyed blogging so far, and it has been such a great outlet to meet other creatives in my industry, as well as help them with any tips + resources that I can offer. I also hope to attract new clients that value the work I do, as well as are in line with the vision behind my business. I have longer term goals too, that I am making steps toward in 2015!

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How do you treat yourself?

Business-wise: Fonts! I know… nerdy. But I get so giddy when I purchase a great font, and can’t wait to use it! Personally: Starbucks! I don’t drink coffee or tea, so a vanilla steamer is my drink of choice. Basically a hot “vanilla” instead of chocolate. Also: chocolate.

Any tips for staying organized? Do you have any project management tools you can’t live without?

Basecamp is hands down the best project management system out there. I have tried several free + simplified sites that are similar, but they just feel incomplete. I also use Evernote like nobody’s business! It is great for brainstorming ideas, writing blog posts, and saving your favorite articles. Can’t recommend these products enough!

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Favourite part of living in San Antonio, TX. Any favourite coffee shops / restaurants?

I have only lived in San Antonio for a couple of years, but I love the culture here! We are pretty close to Mexico, so the Mexican food is awesome. The former Pearl Brewery has been converted to lofts + restaurants with renowned chefs. The culinary institute is there as well. Some of my favs are: La Gloria, Il Sogno, and The Granary. Everything in the Pearl is so beautifully curated. The architecture is industrial + modern, and each shop and restaurant incorporate great branding, so I am appreciative of that aspect as well! It is located next to the river, so it is a beautiful place to walk down to the river walk, and enjoy the outdoors.

A genie grants you 3 wishes for your business, what are they?

01.  A steady stream of *perfect* clients. I send them a proof, and they have no revisions! They love it! They tell their friends, who happen to also be *perfect* clients. The cycle continues.
02.  Make friends with a few fellow awesome blogger/designers out there.
03. Collaborate with said awesome designers on a fun + exciting project!

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Do you have any tips for someone wanting to get into graphic design?

Yes I do! In fact I just posted an in-depth blog post about this topic not too long ago. I would recommend to focus on concept + typography first and foremost. These are the two critical elements across every design discipline: web, print, branding, stationery, etc. A good sense of typography sets you apart from designers without as much experience. I would also suggest researching a ton, and find out what you are drawn to in particular. If there is a certain designer or aesthetic you enjoy, find out what it is referencing historically in graphic design. Aim to create with depth and authenticity. Through understanding graphic design history, and the meaning behind certain design aesthetics, you can achieve a design that has depth, rather than mimicking a current designer’s work.

Also, understand that it takes time to get to really hone in on your graphic design skills. While in school, and the first few years working professionally as a designer, you will most likely not be where you want to be visually. You just have to be persistent, and you will get there! Humility will take you a long way, so embrace this struggle and learn from other designers, co-workers and mentors to help push you further. Invest in your education through college classes, e-courses and books about graphic design.

Make sure to check out Jamie’s links below!
  • Thanks for having me on your blog Meagen! I really enjoyed it!

    • Thanks so much for taking part 🙂 I’m a huge fan of your work!

  • Wonderful Q&A! I’m excited to go check out her site. I love that she stays true to who she is as a designer and her style by sticking with clients that are the best fit for her. I truly think that’s the best way for client & designer to be happiest. Yes! Vanilla Steamer! My absolute favorite drink from Starbucks. I always feel like I’m the only one to order it haha. I make my own at home with vanilla syrup from Whole Foods and steamed milk 🙂

    • Thanks Brooke! 🙂 Next time I’m at Sbux I’ll have to try the vanilla steamer, sounds soo good.

  • @honestlyb:disqus! You are not alone with vanilla steamers! I always feel like a kid when I order them… but they are so delicious!

    It is hard to stay true to your vision behind your business, but I am with ya and think that it is what makes a client + designer happy, as well as have a smooth experience!

  • I just recently found Jamie’s blog + I fell in love immediately. It is very evident that she is a great designer + I love that she sticks to a certain aesthetic consistently. It makes for great, eye-catching content. And her content doesn’t just look good, it’s also full of incredibly helpful tips + I love it. Great interview!

    • Just saw this overwhelmingly sweet comment, Julie! Thanks so much! So glad we found each other’s blogs through Twitter :).

      • You are so welcome! Your work is incredibly inspiring. So happy we found each other too! 🙂

    • Thanks so much Julie 🙂 <3