Master Class | Scarcity Mentality

Sometimes there just isn't enough to go around...

When we feel like there isn't enough work to go around, we end up jumping on any and everything that comes our way.  We live with the feeling that we just don't know when or how or from where our next job is coming from, so we better take what we can get while we can get it.  It doesn't matter if the work isn't what we want to be doing, isn't our style or our ideal budget, we still have to take it.  

So we take it all.  We're overwhelmed, our dream job is making us miserable, we're working insane hours (night and weekends included), we're anxious, we're working with terrible clients, we have no idea why we decided to take on this crazy idea of owning a business.  

...and the worst part?  We're still not really making any money. 

Most creative business owners answer the same...we just have to take on more clients and work more hours. 

Design House Prep School


...short term

When living with scarcity mentality, we focus only on the short term and what we think is available right this very second without any thought to how it will affect us in the long run.

...ignore the long term options

It's extremely difficult to plan for the long term when our short term scarcity mentality has us scrounging for every little penny every day and unable to focus on the long game.

...jealousy and sadness

When we are struggling so hard to make ends meet and dread getting up every day, we end up becoming envious of others around us who seem to be experiencing successes and happiness. The comparison to our own lives breeds sadness and jealousy. 


So how do we overcome living like this??

- We can start by defining the work we want to be doing and why.

- Taking a good look at our target market and making sure our aesthetic and work has a market to sell to

- Building a brand that stands for our aesthetic and price point

- Market to your target market

- Building strong industry relationships
- Define your ideal client and seeking only to work with them

- Learn to say no

- Learn to set boundaries


We go into detail in our Pricing for Creatives I course if you're interested in learning more! 

Semester III Kickoff!

we're so excited!!!!


Our third semester of courses begins this evening!  If you didn't get signed up during our pre-registration, don't fret!  You will be able to register for any of the courses throughout the semester.  However, remember that we have some amazing homework designed to push us creatively and as business owners that we review together during the first two months, so get registered soon!



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We're doing a GIVEAWAY!!  

Once you've registered for classes with Prep School, make sure to post your "I'm Attending" badge and use our #designhouseprepschool hashtag!  Post between September 1 - September 14th for a chance to win a styling kit from Prep School, including gorgeous paper types, ribbon, postage, and some surprise goodies! 

Victoria Rothwell

Learning how to say NO to potential business, clients, family, friends and even yourself will help you build a stronger and more successful creative business.

This course is a great companion to the Creative Process, Branding and Pricing courses in knowing who you are as a business owner, where you're going, and how to get there.

Saying no to potential work and clients seems like a backwards way to grow your business, we know! But in this course we'll get into how valuable it truly is and how to use it in your favor to better target your ideal clients, create more time in your work day, only get the work you want, and stay sane through all of it.

We will also explore the delicate and necessary art of "spin" aka the best ways to say no.

This course is a great companion to the Creative Process, Branding and Pricing courses in knowing who you are as a business owner, where you're going, and how to get there. 

Saying no to potential work and clients seems like a backwards way to grow your business, we know!  But in this course, we'll get into how valuable it truly is and how to use it in your favor to better target your ideal clients, create more time in your work day, only get the work you want, and stay sane through all of it.

We will also explore the delicate and necessary art of "spin" aka the best ways to say no.

Victoria Rothwell

Do you have awesome artwork or calligraphy skills on paper and no idea how to translate that to the computer? Digitizing your work is the first step in translating your beautiful artwork from paper to pixel.

With a digital copy of your work, you can use your hand-done artwork in layouts and designs, create prints, get products made, use it in your branding and online presence... the possibilities just open up! Digitizing can mean the difference between restarting a whole project because your client changed their colors or just doing a couple tweaks on Photoshop and reprinting. It can mean that you do the same amount of work and maximize your profit when you sell multiple prints of your piece. It can mean you create your own custom patterns made from your own artwork (awesome!) and proceed to use those patterns as wallpaper, fabric, envelope liners, you name it! 

We'll be starting at the beginning and walking you through scanning, editing and using calligraphy and artwork in your layouts and designs. This will be a beginner to intermediate course.

Although instruction will be using specific examples and methods in the Adobe Creative Suite (specifically, Photoshop), we do not require you to purchase Photoshop in order to take the course. The same principles could be applied to other photo-editing software, including free alternatives like GIMP. We do love Photoshop though (this isn't a sponsored post!) and it is often the industry standard, so we'd highly recommend taking advantage of the free trial from Adobe to see if Photoshop is for you. 

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Who doesn't love botanicals?? Timeless and classy no matter the medium, we love incorporating botanical artwork into our work and our office space (have you seen our temporary wall mural?).

Traditionally, botanical sketches are very detailed and precise. These make for beautiful drawings and paintings, and we absolutely love them! 

In this course, we will explore a more whimsical interpretation of line botanicals. Victoria has been doing a version of this style since her art school days, for everything from botanicals to anatomy. We'll be learning how to loosen up a bit and create botanicals with loose movement and imprecisions. She'll walk you through how to embrace imperfections in your piece and stylize your botanical drawings. 

We'll use both pen and brush to explore this style so you can see how it can apply to many different mediums. 

Big Changes!!
Design House Prep School | A School For Creatives

We have a decent amount of things we're changing this semester that we're super excited about!! We chatted a bit about how we're restructuring courses to be available FOREVER (see the blog post a bit further down for more info!), but we have a few other things we're going to be changing as well!

Scholarships:  Each semester, we award two scholarships.  We feel that part of our responsibility as educators and creatives is to give back and help build our own community.  This semester, we're awarding two scholarships, but the courses themselves are going to be different.  In the past, recipients have received class passes for the semester (all 6 courses), but this semester, we're going to allow the recipients to build their own semester by selecting 6 courses from any semester. 

"I'm attending" badge: GIVEAWAY!!  Once you've registered for a course, you'll have access to our "I'm attending Design House Prep School" badge.  Anyone who posts their "I'm attending" badge along with our #designhouseprepschool hashtag between September 1st and September 14th will be in a drawing to win a styling package from Design House of Moira with fun product, paper, ribbons, and styling goodies!

Bonus Videos: We're also changing the structure of our bonus videos a bit.  Since all courses will be available forever and ever, we'll be making bonus videos specific to their semester.  If you're new to our school, we've had a few bonus videos for our first two semesters.  We usually chose topics that are current, relevant or interesting in our industry, but don't take up a full course.  So far, we've had:

- Mistakes We've Made and Lessons We've Learned - Karen and Victoria sit with cocktails and chat about all the stuff they've screwed up, how it happened and how they fixed it (or will fix next time around!)

- No Such Thing As A Bad Client - we ruffled feathers a bit and challenged people to look at client relations differently with the idea of there being NO SUCH THING as a bad client.  

- Bow Tying and Wax Seals - We get asked sooooo often how we tie bows and knots so straight, as well as our process for wax seals, so we made a mini course out of it!

- Styled Shoot - We talked about how to find them, work with them and what type of expectations to have going into it

All past bonus videos will no longer be available for new students, but anyone who registers for a Semester III course will have access to this semesters bonus video(s).  Students of Semesters I & II will retain their access to past bonus videos.  We will, however, resell some of these as a mini course coming up.  


As a reminder, courses are open for registration on September 1st and class starts September 14th!!

Victoria Rothwell
New Class! >> Eliciting support

Maybe you work full-time in another industry, you've been working hard on that creative side-hustle, and you think you're finally ready to go full-time. Maybe you've always been the go-to in your social circle for anything art-related, but you did everything for the joy of creating (read: free of charge) and now you're ready to go pro. Maybe you haven't done anything artsy in years (or ever!), and you're debating whether to dip your toe into metaphorically creative waters, but not sure how to approach reallocating time from your other responsibilities. 

Unless you're a hermit in a cave with zero human interaction (but you somehow have internet?), in which case, hello! But unless that is you, you probably have other people and responsibilities in your life who have expectations and claims on your time. Maybe your family life is structured around you being at work in an office. Or maybe your family life is structured around you NOT being at work, office or not. Maybe you used to give away your awesome works of art for free or at cost, but now that you work for yourself, every hour you're creating things for free is an hour you're not spending on your business. 

Maybe all of that is true and you, your family or your friends are all struggling to adjust to a new paradigm where you want to support each other but haven't developed the right scripts to communicate. Many of us have experienced this to one degree or another, but for those who have really struggled with this idea, this will hit very close to home.  

This semester's course in Eliciting Support will walk you though the struggle of being in a relationship or having friends and family who don't support you or struggle to do so in your pursuit of a creative career.  We'll be looking at communication cues and practices and the laws of reciprocity when working on getting your significant other or family and friends on board with your creative business. 

If anything we described above sounds like you, this is the course for you! Can't wait to see you there!


Victoria Rothwell