What has been your favorite part of the program?

That is a tough one, there are just so many aspects that have been amazing. I would have to say that when I started this program, I was as close to square one as you can get. I figured I would eventually have to hire someone to create my logo, but I truly had no direction to give them, besides the name of my business and what I am trying to sell.

I had no particular ideas as to how to even tell someone where to start. It would have been a big, fat, "Hi, my name is Kristin, my company is called The Ardent Homesteader, and I make caramel...um...can you make me a logo?" Ugh. Even if they came up with something I liked, there is NO WAY POSSIBLE that it would ever be as good as what I, who have no experience, have done for myself with Jenna's help. Going through all of her exercises, fighting my own doubts about myself along the way, and coming out with the designs I have is CRAZY. They are so much more personal, meaningful, and perfectly fit the brand (now I know what that means!) than anything anyone, no matter how talented, could have ever done. It truly blows my mind.

2. Biggest aha is also hard, as I feel I had many. 

First one...doing the exercises regarding "if your brand was a person, who would they be?". I cannot lie, some of the things we had to answer seemed strange at first. Favorite color, really? Then, we did the mood boards. There is something called a mood board? Really?!?! Then, that translated to color. Then concept. Then, IT ALL MADE SENSE. It was like Mr. Miyagi having Daniel paint the fence, wax the car, and sand the floor. Dude, Jenna taught me design like the karate kid learned karate. What the what?!?

Second one...doing business cards. I had already come pretty far along and was super excited with my first attempt. Jenna was, too. She expressed to me that I did a good job, they were great, but for the heck of it, why not try again but first seek out a different point of inspiration. I found an ad on behance (a place she suggested to look for great design) that I loved and the way it used a landscape image was something that had not occurred to me before. I then took a picture that was VERY special to me, that followed that aesthetic, and played around some more. That was it. It was awesome. Personal. Special. AND it fit the brand!

3. The biggest obstacle for me was having no previous design or marketing experience.

I have never felt particularly artistic or creative besides in the kitchen. I mean, I love photography, but I am an amateur at best and cannot draw to save my life. I had never used Photoshop or Illustrator before. Ever. Talk about a learning curve! However, Jenna is a very good teacher. Knowledgable, enthusiastic, and patient. The videos were incredible and her being so accessible to all of us was ridiculously amazing. I truly cannot believe what I have learned, and the course isn't even over yet!

4. My favorite assignment was probably pulling colors from images through the color picker. It is super fun and I love that colors I am using for my work come from images that speak to me.

4. LOL. Seriously, if I can do it, ANYONE can do it.

6. I really love that this is a group effort. We are learning so many amazing things from Jenna, but also from other people in the group. Seeing others work through bad ideas and get to something really great gives you hope when you feel like you are in over your head. Having other folks in the same boat as you makes it less daunting. So, you not only get the expertise of the instructor, but you get to to show your ideas to, and get feedback from, fellow classmates, which can be soooooo helpful. You also learn things through other people asking questions and getting answers from our guru, Jenna. The Facebook group has been incredible for getting INSTANT feedback and is immensely helpful. The group method, coupled with having an amazing leader, is da bomb.