Collage No. 31 // Mood Nautical Vibes

This time I had something nautical inspired on my mind. Yes, I am a little bit obsessed with everything maritime and nautical I'd say. I love sea shells, the beach, light houses, anchors, everything blue and white striped so basically everything that somehow has to do with the sea. So I thought it is time for a nautical inspired collage/mood board.

Collage No. 31 // Mood Nautical Vibes by Phylleli #collage #moodboard #design #graphicdesign #nautical #maritime #fashion #editorialdesign #artdirection #colorpalette #designblog #freelancer #designer #anchor #thecollageseries

I created a small color palette to enhance the mood here. I like doing this combination of a collage and mood board. It is tons of fun and the results are really pretty, aren't they? 

Enjoy your day! xx, Phyllis 

Collage No. 31 // Mood Nautical Vibes by Phylleli #collage #moodboard #design #graphicdesign #nautical #maritime #fashion #editorialdesign #artdirection #colorpalette #designblog #freelancer #designer #anchor #thecollageseries

Collage No. 30 // Mood:Ballet

A ballet inspired collage had been on my mind for quite a while and now I decided to create one. I love love love ballet and it is a shame I stopped doing it at a certain point as a child but somehow at that moment I did not want to continue anymore...even though I really regretted it in the end and I only started again in my 20ies - then I stopped ballet again whenever I moved to Spain and there I had a very stressful job with changing shifts so that also kept me back from starting again. Now I really want to get back into ballet as soon as my income is a little more steady and stable, then the first thing I am going to do is sign up for ballet classes again. 

Collage No. 30 // mood:ballet by phylleli #design #graphicdesign #logo #branding #moodboard #collage #thecollageseries #femininedesign #ballet #balletcollage #pointeshoes #editorialdesign #fashionmagazine #artdirection #phylleli #designblog

I am sure more ballet inspired collages will follow in the future but this one is the first one for now. Anyone else of you regretting for having stopped ballet or something else that was very dear to you even though you only had that realisation later on after having stopped? 

xx, Phyllis

Collage No. 30 // mood:ballet by phylleli #design #graphicdesign #logo #branding #moodboard #collage #thecollageseries #femininedesign #ballet #balletcollage #pointeshoes #editorialdesign #fashionmagazine #artdirection #phylleli #designblog

Pink Botanicals // No. 14

I guess my love for the botanicals came up after realising how happy all the flowers and plants on my balcony make me. Looking at them cheers me up immediately so no wonder I came up with a botanical blog series. 

Here we are with No. 14 already. Many more to come for sure...and then the turquoise series will follow. That I started a pink series was actually just by chance but I loved it so much that I decided to continue and to make a blog design series out of it. 

Pink Botanicals // No. 14 by Phylleli #botanicals #design #graphicdesign #graphicdesigner #designblog #editorialdesign #artdirection #blogger

Collage No. 28 // In Line With Nature

So this collage relies heavily on natural elements like the gingko leaves and the other leaves. You might have noticed that I am slightly obsessed with everything botanical. It has always been that way, I still remember when I was a teenager and my mom and I went to Ikea, I always loved everything in the textile department with leaves, leave and flower patterns and so on. It has always had a very calming effect on me, therefore I love it so much since in the past I was pretty much the most unbalanced person ever...thankfully that has changed a few years ago and I found my inner peace! I can tell ya, ever since that I feel so much better in my own skin but I will write more about that in 'The Wellness Edition' sometime soon. 

Collage No. 28 // In Line with Nature by Phylleli #collage #thecollageseries #design #designblog #freelancedesigner #freelancer #graphicdesign #graphicdesigner #artdirection #editorialdesign #blogger

Here is collage no. 28, wow I almost reached the middle of my collage series. I am fascinated by the fact that I crated 28 collages already and that I will continue designing them until I finally designed 60 collages in order to challenge myself to stay inspired and creative. 

xx, Phyllis

Collage No. 28 // In Line with Nature by Phylleli #collage #thecollageseries #design #designblog #freelancedesigner #freelancer #graphicdesign #graphicdesigner #artdirection #editorialdesign #blogger


source of the black leaves is jared fowler on bechance, the gingko I found on pinterest, also from pinterest is the photo of the woman - original sources were not available so all I can say is pinterest

Fall Patterns for you

So I thought it was a good idea to make a nice pattern design with the leaf that I found the other day. Somehow while working on this it made me think of Canada! Well, we all know how the Canadian flag looks like, right? 

So here is the Fall pattern in different background colors. I am sure it makes a nice phone background, so just click on it and save the one that you like. Maybe it helps to come into the Fall mood. I have to admit, I still struggle here...I miss Summer a lot and I also did not expect September and October to be that cold! It also does not help that I have been sitting in my apartment without heating for over a week, I caught a cold and my mood is pretty bad. For better days to come hopefully!

Anyone else suffering of the Fall blues? How do you deal with it if so? Please let me know via a comment or shoot me an eMail. 

#fallpattern #patterndesign #phylleli #fallmood #graphicdesign #phonebackground #freelancer #botanicals
#fallpattern #patterndesign #phylleli #fallmood #graphicdesign #phonebackground #freelancer #botanicals
#fallpattern #patterndesign #phylleli #fallmood #graphicdesign #phonebackground #freelancer #botanicals

Enjoy your weekend! xx, Phyllis 

Fall 2017 and a rant about finances

I found this beautiful leaf today on the street while walking through the stormy Fall weather. There are so many leaves with beautiful colors on the street, it is amazing. I could collect and scan them all I guess but since less is more, I decided to go for just one. 

Truth is I am super busy lately doing all sorts of administration work - I barely have enough money to support myself since paying my mandatory health insurance pretty much eats up all the money that I have earned this year. It is a pain in the ass to deal with all that and my financial struggles take lots of my energy and creativity. Besides that I teach several hours per week which is very time consuming as well.

I now understand why so many people in Germany quit being self-employed and freelancing after a short time because it really is tough to pay the health insurance when starting out and barely making money. That also is the reason why so many people don't even start out their self-employed journey. Apparently it is also not wanted from the state's side that you professionally do your own thing since there is not much support for you when starting out, no, it is quite the opposite. 

Fall 2017 by Phylleli #design #graphicdesign #editorialdesign #artdirection #botanicals #designblog #seasonschanging

I have to admit, I am facing rough times lately and I really hope that it gets better soon. From the beginning on I knew that it will be tough to establish myself as a freelancer on an over-saturated market.

It seems that some people have luck and find clients right away while others like me struggle and have to work in another job in order to support themselves besides designing and blogging in order to find clients. It is not easy for me lately and I am not the happiest person these days neither but still I am sure that things will change at a certain point, even though it might still take sometime.

So many women who started out on their freelance journey have a supporting husband or boyfriend at home with whom they share a place, so in these cases it might not be such a vast problem if there is no money coming in from time to time in the beginning, but I am not one of them. I am all by myself, I have to pay all the bills alone so that makes things a little harder and there is more pressure to make financial ends meet each month. 

But I have faith that my hard work will pay off in the end - even if it still a long way to get there, I will not give up until I have established myself as a freelance graphic designer and illustrator. This is my biggest goal. 

I think most people are not quite transparent when it comes to the financial struggles in the beginning and then other freelancers who just start out feel like a complete fail just because they don't make money right away.

Even though I think that most freelancers also went through tough financial times in the beginning, they just don't really talk about it openly. So here that's me, I just started out this year, it is incredibly hard to make money right away, to establish yourself, to find clients. This is usually not an overnight success to make a living of being self-employed so here you are welcome to follow along my humble beginnings that already brought me lots of sweat and tears. I enjoy to blog and I want to be as transparent as possible about my struggles and hopefully one day also about  my successes. 

Anyone of you out there also freelancing? How did you get started and how long did it take to establish yourself?

xx, Phyllis

Collage No. 29 // Mood; Oktoberfest Germany 2017

Today is the 3rd of October which marks the day of the German unity which in German is called 'Tag der Deutschen Einheit' so I felt inspired to do a very Bavarian inspired collage today. It is not my normal style, it is quite a Kitsch design I have to admit, but I had so much fun creating it. Truth is, Bavarians do not even really consider themselves German, they consider themselves Bavarians.

Another truth is, I have never been to the Oktoberfest either. I also don't plan on ever going there, I can't stand beer and festivities like this one (too crowded for this introvert here) anyways - but I had so many images on my mind concerning the Oktoberfest and Bavaria, so many corny images, so I felt like doing a very kitsch inspired collage with a woman wearing a traditional Dirndl (yes, these old-fashioned dresses are called Dirndl and all the girls and women heading to the Oktoberfest get one to wear it there, Dirndls are expensive though, I guess it is just the October fashion statement for Bavarians and women vacationing in Bavaria while attending the Oktoberfest.), of course I also had to include the mandatory gingerbread heart and deers. Deers could not be missing on an Oktoberfest collage, right? 

Collage No. 29 // Mood; Oktoberfest 2017 by Phylleli #design #graphicdesign #layout #poster #kitsch #bayern #dirndl #bavaria #deer #gingerbread #hearts #design #graphicdesign #artdirection #corny #thecollageseries

Sometimes it is quite fun to create something that is quite the opposite of your usual style, which in my case is very clean and minimal, so just creating something super corny or super romantic once in a while forces me to leave my designer-comfort-zone which is a good thing! I just repeat myself, dare to experiment! I also really had fun drawing the hearts <3 drawing hearts always makes me happy which reminds me of the fact that I should really incorporate daily drawing into my routine. 

Have you ever been to the Oktoberfest? How did you like it? 

xx, Phyllis

Collage No. 29 // Mood; Oktoberfest 2017 by Phylleli #design #graphicdesign #layout #poster #kitsch #bayern #dirndl #bavaria #deer #gingerbread #hearts #design #graphicdesign #artdirection #corny #thecollageseries

Alfred Hitchcock "The Birds" Movie Poster

So today for a change, I decided to design a movie poster for the famous thriller 'The Birds' by Alfred Hitchcock. I have not even watched this movie. Fun fact; even though I studied media design and a big part of it was film making, I never ever watch movies anymore. Well, it almost never happens. I don't even own a TV. It is not even that I would not enjoy watching a movie but I guess there are just a thousand things I prefer doing instead...

So here is my Hitchcock poster!

Film Poster by Phylleli / Hitchcock 'The Birds' #design #graphicdesign #thebirds #alfredhitchcock #typography #patterns #symmetry #layout #poster #designblog

photo of the woman found on pinterest - original source is no longer available on tumblr, original source of the bird photo

Pink Botanicals // No. 13

Pink Botanicals No. 13 // Cotton Love is up on the blog today. Wow, I am proud of myself - I made it to blog every day in September, from Monday until Sunday and that was my ultimate goal for the month of September. So I was working on something design-related every day in order to be able to share my design work with you. I am very proud of myself here for having blogged every day this month. 

I might not be able to keep it up to blog every day in October but I will still try to blog at least 3 - 5 times a week. I am also going on vacation for one week in October and I won't take my laptop with me. I really want to take a break from everything for just one week then.

Pink Botanicals // No. 13 #design #graphicdesign #botanicals #editorialdesign #artdirection #cotton #designblog #freelancedesigner #typography #gooddesignmakesmehappy #minimalism

I work so much and recharging my batteries with lots of sunshine, beach and swimming, family time and lots of good food is needed for sure. This year has been very stressful for me with lots of worrying. I am at a better place for now but still there is so much constantly on my mind that I worry about, you might have figured, mainly financial worries once again. I really hope this will get better at a certain point once again because it sucks the energy out of me...who else has ever been in this situation can relate, for sure. 

Oh, I went for a cotton stem today because I really love them - especially in the cold season. They are so pretty to look at and for me they have something very calming and soothing. Well, I just love and adore cotton stems...probably because they are so pretty and fluffy. 

So I hope we all have a good start of October which is tomorrow!

xx, Phyllis

Pink Botanicals // No. 13 #design #graphicdesign #botanicals #editorialdesign #artdirection #cotton #designblog #freelancedesigner #typography #gooddesignmakesmehappy #minimalism

Collage No. 27 // A very pastel mood

Wow, already collage no. 27 - we are nearing number 30 and that means that the collage series then is halfway through. Today I went for something very pastel and flowery just because I felt like it.

Collage No. 27 // Pastel Mood #design #graphicdesign #thecollageseries #freelancedesigner #editorialdesign #artdirection #softtones #phylleli #magazinestyle #nature #flowers #fashion

It is quite amazing to see how my style and concepts have changed already during my personal collage challenge, so let's see what the rest of the series will bring. I am super excited about it at least!

Collage No. 27 // Pastel Mood #design #graphicdesign #thecollageseries #freelancedesigner #editorialdesign #artdirection #softtones #phylleli #magazinestyle #nature #flowers #fashion

xx, Phyllis

Collage No. 26 // A Modern Fairytale

Somehow while creating this collage, Mary Poppins and Alice in Wonderland crossed my mind. Don't ask me why, these were just my major associations my brain came up with while working on this collage. Maybe because of the umbrella? As far as I remember Mary Poppins had one, right? Anyways, I felt like this is a flashback in time while creating this collage, so therefore I named it 'a modern fairytale' and muted the colours as much as possible to give it an ancient touch if you know what I mean by that...

So here I present collage no. 26 to you! So far challenging myself and experimenting with different concepts and styles works out great, I feel that I have evolved quite a lot already through experimenting and just staying constantly inspired and creative. Being creative, playing with patterns and colors and crafting something with my hands makes me so incredibly happy, it is amazing. I am so happy that I figured this out for me and finally took the path that had been on my mind for such a long time already.

Collage NO. 26 // A Modern Fairytale #design #layout #graphicdesign #editorialdesign #fairytale #poster #typography #graphicdesign #designblog #designer #phylleli

Well, if you can dream it, you can do it! So takeaway message from today's blog post is to follow your dreams dear lady reading this! And if you need any support to visually create your dream in form of a brand design, I am here right for ya...

xx, Phyllis 

Collage NO. 26 // A Modern Fairytale #design #layout #graphicdesign #editorialdesign #fairytale #poster #typography #graphicdesign #designblog #designer #phylleli

Pink Botanicals // No. 12

Pink Botanicals No. 12 today! As Fall is here, fallen leaves are found on the ground everywhere. So why not turning a fall leaf into a pink one? Soft tones for a nice change, right? I love experimenting with all the shades of pink...needless to say that it was my favourite color as a kid and that I was crazy about ballet, well basically I am still crazy about ballet even though I have not been doing any ballet in the past 4 years, I stopped once I moved to Spain.

There I wanted to go back into it but it did not work out in the end due to shift working, constantly changing shifts...that sucked the life out of me, one more reason to become self-employed which I finally am, but I still need to create a constant client flow in order to make enough money to support myself financially. Well, as you see we always get back to the main issue money which really is an issue as long as you have not enough of it. I think we should talk a lot more openly about finances in our society but somehow in most circles it is still a real no-no topic unfortunately but I am here doing my best to change this...

Pink Botanicals No. 12 // Phylleli #design #graphicdesign #pinkbotanicals #designblog #artdirection #editorialdesign #blogger #femininedesign

Original leaf print courtesy of via Pinterest

Pink Botanicals No. 12 // Phylleli #design #graphicdesign #pinkbotanicals #designblog #artdirection #editorialdesign #blogger #femininedesign

Collage NO. 25 // Flowergirl dreaming of Spring

Well, since the last collage was dedicated to Winter, this one is dedicated to Spring as the title says it already. Spring, I know - a long long time to go until we finally get Spring here. But, a girl can always dream!

It is so cold outside already and I am dreading the thought of Winter because quite often Winter makes me feel miserable. Instead I'd rather think of Spring and Summer so therefore I created a collage with happy and bright colours, a palm leaf and flowers. 

Collage No. 25 // mood:flowergirl dreaming of spring by phylleli #design #graphicdesign #collage #thecollageseries #typography #logodesign #branding #botanicals #nature #designer #flowers #flowergirl #editorialdesign #artdirection #softtones #freelancer #freelancedesigner #designblog

My goal is to create designs and graphics that cheer me up - especially on days that I find rough. And quite often I find days rough without sunshine and when it is way too cold. Why? Because they are depressing, a lack of light and warmth I find depressing most of the time. That was one reason why I moved to Spain a few years ago, because the German climate and lack of sunlight made me feel miserable.

So on dark and cold days designing something bright, colourful and visually pleasing is something that gives me joy and happiness. To look at a pretty design that I have created gives me a feeling of happiness and comfort. Can you relate? 

xx, Phyllis


Collage No. 25 // mood:flowergirl dreaming of spring by phylleli #design #graphicdesign #collage #thecollageseries #typography #logodesign #branding #botanicals #nature #designer #flowers #flowergirl #editorialdesign #artdirection #softtones #freelancer #freelancedesigner #designblog


_______________________________________________________________________________image courtesy of the woman that is used in my collage as the flower girl here, I found it via Pinterest on

Pink Botanicals // No. 11

So here is another one from the Pink Botanical Series. Wow, already no. 11 - like I said already, no fixed number here of numbers I want to do. I just do it until I get sick of it. Well, or I just switch to the turquoise series at a certain point. 

Pink Botanicals No. 11 // by Phylleli #designblog #designer #freelancer #pinkbotanicals #graphicdesign #graphicdesigner #botanicals #editorialdesign #artdirection #botanicalseries

Collage No. 24 // Feels Like Winter

I was so disappointed that September is so cold already and we are not experiencing late Summer days like I imagined it to be. I was looking forward to late Summer days that make it possible to spend the days outside, to go for another picknick and to soak up some sunshine but unfortunately September has been really cold and rainy so far. It gets dark so early and this is stealing all my energy so to me it feels a lot like Winter already and I can tell ya, I am not a fan of Winter at all. I find it just very depressing and frustrating and I am already looking forward to Spring and Summer again but I know, there I really have to wait. So I decided to go for a Winter inspired collage to at least create something beautiful about the season that I really dislike. 

How do you feel about Winter? 

Collage No. 24 // Feels like Winter #collage #thecollageseries #softtones #moodboard #winter #wintercollage #wintercolors #typography #artdirection #editorialdesign #designblog #stayinginspired #blogger #winterfeeling

Pink Botanicals // No. 10

So after two very blue posts, we get back to the pink ones that I love so much and that you apparently like quite a lot as well. 

The Collage Series has apparently been on hold for a few days but I will certainly get back to it. Hello, my goal are 60 collages in total, so still a loooooong way until I get there. Well, it is a good thing because it forces me to get creative and to stay inspired - and like I said already, once I am done with the collage series, I have new self-initiated projects coming up. My to-do-list is pages long, I just never run out of ideas thankfully...

Pink Botanicals // No. 10 by Phylleli #design #graphicdesign #botanicals #pinkbotanicals #blogger #designblog #designer #editorialdesign #softtones #artdirection #typography #femininedesign

xx, Phyllis 

Pink Botanicals // No. 10 by Phylleli #design #graphicdesign #botanicals #pinkbotanicals #blogger #designblog #designer #editorialdesign #softtones #artdirection #typography #femininedesign

El Pulpo

Well, apparently I am very drawn to all things that have to do with the sea lately. Doing an octopus graphic had been on my mind for quite a while already so that's what I did today. 

I still want to blog every day in September but unfortunately I fear that in October I won't be able to do that anymore, I will only be able to blog 3 - 5 times a week from then on because since I started a part-time-job to financially support myself, I have less time for blogging and designing. I have to prepare my language classes in order to perform well and to make sure my German students learn well and enjoy their classes.

When you first start out as a freelancer, the beginning is tough and it takes quite a long time until people notice you and want to book your services and work with you. I knew right away when I quit my 8 - 5 job that it will take several months until I get my first clients but since I have to pay my bills every month and need to make money, the only solution was to start a part-time job that still leaves me with enough energy and time to continue designing and blogging in order to establish myself as a freelance designer and to attract the kind of clients I want to work with. Well, I will write more about how hard the beginning is especially concerning finances in another 'Freelance Issue'. 

El Pulpo #design #inspiredbythesea #graphicdesign #freelancer #selfemployed #typography #minimalism #octopus #pulpo #design


For now I just want to share this octopus design with you. 

xx, Phyllis 

There's Plenty of Fish in the Sea

Doing a graphic with fish had been on my mind quite for a while. I love everything related to the sea anyways, maritime interior and design always has a very calming effect on me. Can you relate? Looking at posters of lighthouses, fish, ropes, sea shells and so on feels almost like being on vacation already. It is deeply relaxing, the color combination of lots of blue and white probably does the trick as well. 

After going crazy on all the pink I thought it is time to spice things up with a little blue. Well, I am feeling a bit blue lately, so it fits my mood. I was hoping for some later Summer days in September but so far all we get here is rain, cold wind and cold temperatures. Needless to say that I am not happy about it and that this weather and the lack of sunlight is stealing my energy and optimism these days. Well, so I should at least try to create something pretty, that cheers me up, for my blog as often as possible. 

Lately i noticed again that I still suffer quite a lot under trying to be a perfectionist and doing everything the way I think things should be done. I realised that I put an unbearable pressure on myself, like I would never pressure anyone else. It is a big problem because the only thing it does is that it leads to a lot of self-doubt and in the end a creative burnout. Who wants that? Who needs that? Nobody. So I have to learn to take out the pressure and just to look at everything a little more easygoing and relaxed. I know, very often much easier said than done but I am working on myself here to improve it. 

There's Plenty of Fish in the Sea // by Phylleli #design #graphicdesign #posterdesign #editorialdesign #artdirection #designblog #graphicdesigner #designer #fish #nauticaldesign #inspiredbythesea

Well, you know the phrase that 'there's plenty of fish in the sea' right? Whenever we experience a breakup for example, that is what we are told...yes it is true, there are plenty of fish in the sea, but you don't see that whenever you thought you found the right fish for you already and then you get really depressed when it turns out that you were wrong. Then you feel like you dined on illusions and lies...even though it might not have been that way at all and things just ended because of really bad circumstances but nevertheless it leaves you with an odd feeling. 

I am feeling a bit blue lately and I hope it gets better soon again. Until then, I just have to stay strong, I guess. That's life, huh! The good, the bad and the ugly...

There's Plenty of Fish in the Sea // by Phylleli #design #graphicdesign #posterdesign #editorialdesign #artdirection #designblog #graphicdesigner #designer #fish #nauticaldesign #inspiredbythesea

Pink Botanicals No.9 // The Botanical Series

After doing so many collages lately, I decided to do another one for the Pink Botanical Series. I don't know how you feel but somehow I really miss Summer, especially since it got pretty cold already and I was hoping for some late Summer days in September but apparently this is not going to happen. It gets dark so early already and the lack of light and sunshine really has a strong influence on my mood. I really hope we get at least a few late Summer days still. 

Pink Botanicals No.9 // The Botanical Series #design #graphicdesign #typography #editorialdesign #artdirection #designblog