Be Inspired

5 Favorite Planners for the Creative Fanatic Planner


What a better way to say hello to a wonderful new year than to dedicate this space to find new ways to get more intentional, organized and purposeful in 2016.

Being a creative entrepreneur is not an easy task. It takes lots of focus to plan and courage to execute our plans. Paradoxically our creative right brains insist on creating a successful business.

And what is required for a successful business? Among many things…

It requires planning and action.

As you already know here at Dari Design, I am the one obsessed with planning. I love organizing my life so much that I have to be careful about actually remembering to execute the plan. The times of my life when I’ve been the most efficient, productive and happy have been the ones I planned out. Even when I plan to do nothing, I feel better doing that “nothing” because it was planned out.

I know it sounds like my life lacks spontaneity. But don’t be so quick to judge.

Last month I was reading a post of one of my favorite entrepreneurs. I consider her a creative fanatic planner  Theresa Reed from the Tarot Lady, she was talking about how she likes planning her day to the minute:

“I don’t just create a schedule because I want to be fruitful in my efforts… I plan rigorously so that my life has room for the other things that I want to do outside of work: namely, cooking fancy meals and reading (and soon, photography – it’s on my list as my most wanted hobby). My schedule is simple and strict. This sets up a rhythm for me, my family, and my clients.”

I can relate so much with her words!

For some people, planning is a turn on that sets the right environment for fun activities, extra time and even relaxing. For other people, planning is such a turn off that they feel restricted and suffocated, leaving them with no desire for executing the plan and even less desire to plan for fun stuff.

It’s a fact that planning will provide a more realistic path to reach your goals.

Just like in money management. Budgeting will take you closer to your goals than not budgeting.

A goal without a plan is just a wish –Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Successful people plan, budget, sit down to reflect and hold themselves accountable.

Now the trick is to find the right planner for you. And because I enjoy so much looking at planners and analyzing them I curated two lists of five planners to help you choose. One list for the Creative Fanatic Planner and another one for the Creative Free Spirited Planner. The Free Spirited planner’s guide will come out next week, please stay tuned for it!

Here is my list of 5 Favorite Planners for the Creative Fanatic Planner:


1. Your Best Year by Lisa Jacobs 

I love this planner. I like the simplicity of the layout. It feels clean and it helps bring forth clarity. The actual planning part is my favorite of all planners in this list. Lisa takes the time to really dig into your priorities and goals forming processes efficiently. There is also invaluable content to help you stay focused as a business owner, using key questions and exercises. Plus it’s impossible to not get inspired with her stories and by how she openly shares her experiences.

I wasn’t so in love with the actual day to day calendar area as I was with the planning prep content. Don’t get me wrong, the whole planner is amazing, but I found this area in other planners to be better suitable for me. The only thing I would add to this planner would be samples of how to fill out the worksheets and a visual description for how to fill out each area. Most of the samples are on Lisa’s website, which sets me a little off track since I wanted to be completely off line during my planning sessions.

This planner was created with the creative entrepreneur in mind.  It’s heavy on marketing and business tools. Also, if you care more for the day to day part of planning without doing much of the goal setting or prepping I’ll recommend using another planner.

This planner costs $17.49.


2. Shining Year workbook by Leoni Dawnson 

I purchased Leoni’s  whole package. I wanted to mainly explore the Shining year in life and the Shining year in business. There are many favorite things about this planner. I love how Leoni makes every bit about planning super visually attractive and inspiring. She is very creative when illustrating all the goal setting prompts. It makes you get into a hands on creative planning mode. I also love how after each area she gives tons of amazing resources to go even deeper into exploring and learning about that area of your life (or business). The planner is mostly hand drawn. Nothing is boring about this planner.

The big difference is that most planners will ask a question such as: What habits do you want to cultivate this year? next to a blank area for your answer. In Shining year, Leoni asks the question and gives you a playground space to answer. A page filled with illustrations that represent ideas of habits that you can cultivate plus fun areas to fill in with your own habit ideas. The reminder and ideas are key for me on these planners.

The whole set comes with a day to day workbook and other fun stuff. I wasn’t too fond of the day-to-day planner mainly because of the size and it needed more details for my style of planning. Another plus is that Leoni shows the whole book on her website. A lot of times, the planner creators don’t show their product very well, understandably because a lot of people abuse of their kindness and steal their work. However it’s hard for the buyer to buy a planner that you don’t know how would it look on the inside.

This planner was definitely created with the creative woman in mind. It’s super colorful and feminine. I recommend the Shinning Year workbooks over the daily planners and over the downloads. It’s a special experience to plan directly onto the original book.

This bundle of planners costs $64.95.



3. Dream Book 

I didn’t purchase the Dream book this year (because it was sold out) but I’m completely in love with it. I spent a ton of time looking at the working pdf sheets and I think this planner is a masterpiece. I love the fact that you can purchase the dream work separate from the planner, although I will choose to have it together. The simplicity of the design is beautiful as well. One of my favorite things about this book is that it does many of the thinking work for you. It gives handy dandy prompts to not forget things that we commonly forget. Their website and planner contains very easy to understand worksheet diagrams so you know how to fill in each area of the book.

You can purchase a downloadable pdf from their website in case you want to get started today. I would say all their books (and specially the dream book) can be use any time of the year.

This book is for those who forge rituals. The men or women hoping to balance their physical, spiritual and mental life while arriving at their dream goals.

This planner costs $45.00.



4. Inner Guide Yearly planner 

This is the planner I’m using this year! The set up is a mix of personal and business life with an emphasis on self guidance. I don’t like the cover design much (well I’m a designer you know, this things are important ;-) but I love the simple layout and the way this whole book was thought through. The goal setting part at the beginning is light but profound. On the weekly spread there are tons of bits that inspire me and motivate me. A different “staying on track quote” every week. A being present diagram that reminds me of what areas of my life I’ve been connected in a meaningful way. It has space for ideas, reflections, to-do lists, priorities and an area to “be grateful for …”

This planner balances perfectly my right and left brain while keeping me focus on setting goals based on my feelings and inner guidance.

This planner costs $25.95.



5. inkWELL Press planner by Tonya 

Beautifully designed. Their branding it’s cohesive and impressive. Even though I haven’t held one of these planners in my hands I can tell from their website videos that the quality of these books is gorgeous. They really went the extra mile finding beautiful patterns for their cover and creating a masterpiece in the inside layout.

This planner is for the overall chic women in life and in business. Besides the goal setting areas and the day to day planning, it has prompts that no other planner has such as a list helper for gift shopping, an area to write down the books and movies you are looking into reading/watching next and a monthly bill tracker. There is an option to just get the planning book every quarter (also beautifully made) and they even have more planning books on meal prepping and fitness. Clearly getting this planner will not be a waste of money.  Now all you need is to find out if the style matches your needs.  This last step is very easy because their website is packed with videos and tools to help you know their products well before you buy.

This planner costs $54.00.


So after writing this post I’m curious about the way you plan for a New year.  What type of planners do you use? Did you buy one recently? I would love to hear about what you liked in this list and if you are planning to purchase a planner soon what are the things you look for in a planner?

Happy New Year everyone!!! We can’t wait for 2016 to start. We know it will be a year filled with much more creative abundance and financial prosperity!!


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Top 5 Favorite Business Lessons Learned in 2015


As I write our almost last post for the year and seat in this coffee shop reflecting about how far we have come in 2015, it’s inevitable to start thinking about everything we’ve accomplished and also about everything we are curious to experiment next year.

Out of all the years we’ve been in business we have taken many different paths and detours. For some reason 2015 has been the year where we finally feel grounded in our vision and the foundation we have been building it’s starting to take shape and strength.

Have you ever sat down to write a list of everything you learned in one year?… This is what I came here to do. It sounds like a pretty cool idea but in reality it could be a little uncomfortable to steer back into all the memories. Most likely memories of mistakes you made and time wasters will bubble up to the surface as well.

Beyond the discomfort these “time waster” memories are giving us direction and showing us our path. The truth is there aren’t time wasters in life, just lessons that always come with a hidden value if we care to find it. I will share those in another post.

Today I want to share with you what seemed to work and is an energy enhancer for our business in 2015.

But before we get there. We want to wish you a very Merry Christmas filled with all the motivation to make your dreams come true. There is nothing like waking up everyday to a life you are carving with love and shaping it to be a master peace of your full potential. We wish that to you and we thank you for being here and forming part of our community. Discovering who you are was a HUGE part of our success this year. And knowing you is what makes our creative business meaningful. There is no fulfillment without sharing. And that is the most important lesson of this year.

Now, here are our 5 business lessons learned this year. We hope you can relate!

1. Investing in our business and ourselves at the same time.

Earlier this year we made the scary decision to hire Leslie to help us out with our business. This decision came from trying a different approach to investing most of our money on trade shows (Surtex) which is what we have been doing in the past. The hardest fact about this self investment was not so much about getting help, it was about paying for help before we could even pay ourselves. As small business owners (you might be familiar with this) it’s already a challenge to bring the steady large income flow regularly, so when the money is there it is tempting to pay ourselves first.

And since we are in that subject, we do believe on paying ourselves first. This is how we do it. We allocate a percentage of our income to our “pay ourselves” account. This way we are able to do both invest in our business by adding value to it (in our case that meant hiring Leslie) and by paying ourselves (investing in our business by investing in ourselves as well)

2. Outsourcing and playing business roles that make us happy.

As business owners and partners we have tried all sorts of different roles and as many as you can imagine different business systems and models. Only to discover that we failed on most of them. Mainly because our areas of expertise overlap. We are both designers and creators. It was challenging to discover neither one of us was too excited about taking on other roles within the business, besides the creative ones.

This year we made a huge discovery!! Turns out that we do have different areas of expertise within our seemingly same right side brains. To give an example, after never being able to master a good blogging method we broke down our blogging goal and looked at the small tasks involved and pointed at the ones we didn’t like to do (the ones that stopped us from making it a priority). The Aha!! moment came from noticing that what stopped us were completely different things. I loved coming up with the content and always had fun post ideas popping up in my brain. Visualizing the ideas made me excited but when I started thinking about the SEO involved, editing, all the photo cropping and watermarking and laying out I would start getting discouraged. So guess who likes to do all that? My sister!!

Why it took us so long to discover that? I don’t know but this was just one small example of many. Also, if you run a solo business consider outsourcing little small tasks that make you slow and less productive. We really can’t do it all. Before your brain goes to “I can’t afford it mode” let it sit and be open for new ways to collaborate, barter or just knock at other’s doors, start the conversation about it with someone. Just changing ways will bring new results.

3. Committing to growing slowly and saving for business purchases.

This has always being our motto. Yet this year I felt our commitment more than ever. We run a debt free business, no credit cards. Our principle is to never go into debt for the sake of growing faster. However, I got to tell you, weirdly enough the more money we make the more tempting it is to think of new things, tools, help, support, products, classes and equipment we want. Right in the high of growth is easy to just want more growth. As we are budgeting for the month our minds still visit the idea of acquiring something before the money for it has arrived. It’s a good thing we have each other to stop us from acting on that.

Instead we budget every month for those things we need. We have designated saving accounts for each category. One of my favorite business life days is when we reach our saving goal for a service or product we planned for and we get to buy it or hire the services. It’s a very fulfilling moment!!

4. Marketing starts before the product is created.

This lesson has been wanting to visit us for a while (I imagine lessons as flying entities trying to catch us). The thing is, we weren’t paying attention. I secretly wish we had learned this lesson 10 years ago, because it takes a while to master. We have yet to put in practice this magical theory. Which is why I think 2016 will be our marketing year. This year will be the one where we practice the most launches and marketing techniques. It will be the one where we start our real product offers and establish a marketing strategy for our business.

This is kind of weird (and naïve) to say. We’ve never done a marketing strategy before.

5. The importance of pitching as a business tool.

Out of all the business classes we took this year, there was one that brought us much reward. It was definitely time and money well spent! It’s called “Say Yes!” from Tiffany Han at Creative Life. Through this class we got motivated and packed with tools to start a project I’ve been thinking about for a while. The project involved requesting content from well known experts in the surface pattern design industry and in the illustration industry as well. Not only artists that have paved the way successfully but also buyers/agents that prefer to remain hidden from the public eye. The content is going to be used to make a well rounded guide for all artists (still in progress).

After pitching a huge list of experts not only did we got an amazing response but also a couple of relationships grew from our communications and we were invited to collaborate in some of their projects as well. This was so rewarding because, business relations and collaborations was something we really needed to enrich our community, to learn and as a platform to practice our core message and business model.

Phew! That was a good review. I still have other lessons learned to go over with but these are definitely our favorites ones.

Now is your turn. What are some lessons you have learned this year?






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A Gift Guide for the Creative and Artsy Entrepreneur

Gift guide for creatives and arty entrepreneurs. Find it all in one place!

There is only one week left to get all your gift shopping together!! In case you are procrastinating on a gift for the creative and artsy entrepreneurs in your life or maybe you are wondering what can you get for us (hint hint!!), here is a list of unique gifts for creatives.

We made a gift guide for $50 and under and one for over $50. Items that are marked with a ‘*’ means we have used them and recommend them. All others are just products we love and we’d love to have!


Gift guide for creativepreneurs and artsy souls. What to get under nder $50

1. Chalkboard Circles: Such a cute way to have a chalkboard and don’t forget a set of chalk markers to go with this one! 

2. Pretty Flag: When we are working home alone we need the encouragement! 

3. Acrylic Desk Rack: Clear organizers are such a great option for an artsy desk. 

4. *Drawing is Magic: If you want to get into sketching this is the sketch book to use.  Or if you are an artist that finds it challenging to draw everyday for fun this is also a book for you. 

5. Aqua Notes:  Because we think the shower is the best place to hatch ideas into our brains .

6. *Big Magic: How have I managed to create my whole life without reading this book first? That’s too hard of a question to answer!

7. Ipad pouch: Pretty much any product from MochiThings will hit the creative and artsy entrepreneur sweet spot.

8. Tile: It’s no secret that most creatives have scattered brains.

9. Leather desk organizer: A casual version to get our desks neat and organized.



Gift guide for creativepreneurs and artsy souls. What to get under nder $50


10. Art supplies subscription: This is a super clever gift. Artists love new supplies!

11. Stak ceramics phone dock: Because nowadays having succulents close by is as indispensable as having our smart phones.

12. Smart USB multiboard: A more formal version of #9 above, to do the same thing.

13. 2 in 1 gooseneck cellphone holder: Perfect for recording periscope videos, snapchats and pretty much anything that requires hand free smart phone using.

14. Wood charging station: Lovely little changing station. Love the woodsy look!

15. Show your work: Next book on the horizon for creatives.  Austin Kleon makes self-promotion fun in this handy guide.

16. Mini cable drop set: Oh! little ideas like this one make life so much comfortable! Yay! for the ones to solve problems with new products!

17. Cup holder clip: Because we don’t like when liquids spill all over our painting projects and gadgets.

18. *String lights: One of the best ways to stay motivated!



Gift guide for creativepreneurs and artsy souls. What to get over $50

1. Podium and power bank: Because what could be better than a mobile device stand combined with a power bank? And when you’re not using it, it folds up into this nice little compact package!

2. *Uppercase Magazine: Beautifully crafted magazine full of inspiration for artists of all types. 

3. Smartphone Lens Camera: This nifty gadget is great for the smartphone photographer in your life.

4. Fuji Film Smartphone printer: Another nifty device for your favorite smartphone photographer. Imagine being able to print pics right from your smartphone or tablet – how cool is that?


We hope you enjoy our gift guide for the creative and artsy entrepreneurs in your life. And with so little time to finish your shopping, we hope it helps give you ideas to wrap it up (hehehe, sorry, couldn’t resist that!).  Take a look and if you do get something from this list we would love to know what you got? Share with us on Instagram or Facebook using hashtag #giftsforcreatives!

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Black Friday Deal Giveaway: Holiday Photo Cards



I wasn’t born into the Black Friday tradition. However… even though we’ve been living in this country for more than 10 years, it was only 3 years ago that I got into the Black Friday commotion.

In my case I have to blame my husband. I would see him get so excited about Black Friday that it was contagious. It’s important to say that I don’t really believe in out of control consumerism nor do I think one should buy more than what they need.

I like this day because of my own reasons. For one I like dedicating this day for buying all the gifts to friends and family. It’s more of a planning geek satisfaction than a obsession to get better prices (don’t really think we get better prices this day either).

I get my gift list out and transfer the money I’ve been saving all year round for Holiday expenses. It feels good to all the shopping in one day. Since I like traditions I enjoy keeping this one alive.

I confess there is a little bit of me that believes I can get better deals on Black Friday and also on Cyber Monday. At least I believe there are deals worth waiting for.

One year we got a crazy deal for a trip to Vegas and stayed in a HUGE suite for $20 a night. I’ve also gotten really good deals from my favorite hair products website. They only give 40% off on Black Friday.


How we plan Black Fridays?

For me and for Dari Design I keep my eyes open for “Experiences” and “Courses” more than tangible objects. I research hotels, trips, activities and all the classes I’m obsessed with before hand. I put the ones I’m interested in a Trello list (I have a Black Friday Board with a personal list, a business list and friends and family list) next to the approx. price.

Throughout the year when I feel tempted to buy something I add it first to this board. It’s a good practice to wait out at least 30 days to purchase something to make sure I really need it. If I realize this purchase is a must I buy it. Most often than not the item stays on my list waiting for the Black Friday Magic to make the last decision.


Now that I’m writing this, it kind of sounds a little too crazy.

–DARIELA interrupts this post –

Yes sis, to me that’s not a little crazy, that’s organization madness!! I just wanted to say I am not as organized as my sister and  haven’t really done much Black Friday deals but this year we are going shopping to see what we find. Mostly for kid’s clothes and toys! You may now continue with the organization craziness sis!

Dariana continues:

Does anyone else do stuff like this? Do any of you care for Black Friday deals? and if so how do you go about it?


We wanted to give you a sweet Black Friday deal this year. Believe me, if we had a shop (which we’ll have eventually next year) we’ll give 50% discount all day. But since we don’t have a shop we came up with the idea to raffle a $30 credit for you to purchase any of our products. Pssst! Today Mpix has 50% on throughout the whole site, please take advantage of that as well.

In short. Here is how you can save today

• Participate in our raffle (at the bottom of the post) for the opportunity to get $30 credit towards any of our products (Holiday photo cards and more)

• Go today to and get 50% off on any of our products (Holiday photo cards and more) as well





Yes!! All the beautiful cards you see in this post are available to purchase on our Mpix shop.  If you still need photos for your cards you still have time, check out our tips to take photos for your cards here.

One (1) lucky winner can choose one design and order their set on us! and/or any of our products, our prize will cover $30 of your order.

To participate you just need to subscribe to our newsletter so you get our latest designs and goodies. Get more entries sharing with your friends on twitter and stopping by our Facebook page!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Giving Thanks: Inspirations for a Creative Life

In preparation for Thanksgiving Day I made a mixed list (instead of a mixed tape) to inspire you to create, to be thankful and to act upon your calling despite your fears, so you can live a creative life.

Thanksgiving photo cards. Beautiful design to place your picture

This inspiration list is a blend of:

  • Favorite quotes related to creativity and gratefulness
  • Our photo Thanksgiving cards and invites (which are available at Mpix)
  • Things we are thankful for (because we want to create that space)
  • Images of fun Thanksgiving decoration ideas (to inspire you! And us!)


Deepak Chopra Quote

We make an active effort to infuse creativity in our lives. Being more of a creator and less of a consumer is crucial if one wants to live a more meaningful life.

The problem is, we don’t always feel motivated to create. Plus, creativity comes hand in hand with so many uncomfortable feelings. In the end, all of those uncomfortable feelings come from fear. Which means we have to get used to creating with fear sitting next to us each and every time.

Thanksgiving photo cards. Beautiful design to place your picture

Before I read Elizabeth Gilbert’s personification of fear in her Big Magic book (which was grandiose and such an aha! moment), I always compared fear with the imaginary people that used to talk to John Nash (Russell Crow) in the movie A Beautiful Mind. Throughout his whole life, these people never disappeared,  just like fear won’t disappear in our life. Yet he found a way to take his attention away from them, recognized that they are not real, and keep bringing forth his gifts despite their permanent distracting presence. And furthermore, the more he did that the less power they seemed to have over his life.

We can all do the same thing with fear, recognize that fear won’t leave you, shift your attention and keep bringing forth your creations.

Today I’m using my creativity, to inspire you to create something special to celebrate Thanksgiving Day. Because I believe being grateful for what we already are or what we already have creates the perfect environment for creativity to bloom in our lives.


When I say create/creativity I don’t mean paint, draw or get crafty (although, those are great ideas if you feel like it). I mean do anything that doesn’t mean consuming someone else’s content but creating your own content. It could be typing a thank you email, sending a letter, cooking, creating a new business, making handmade gifts, videotaping, taking photos, and so on. Taking a class to learn something new or improve your skills can also inspire ideas for creating your own content.

Thanksgiving photo cards. Beautiful design to place your picture


It could be very intimidating to find the first step or the thing you would want to create. In reality, what it is and how it looks is not important. The essence that will bring meaning to your activity is the process.


Thankful quote and motivation quote


If you are having a hard time getting started, shift your mind and instead start thinking of 5 to 10 things you are grateful for. Write them down.

Maybe look for ways to create something from those things using the ideas I gave you before. You can also think about something you don’t like or resist and create the opposite.

Creative ways to give thanks

Creative ways to give thanks

For example, if you don’t like it when people are late, you can create a guide about the benefits of being on time. When you shift your mind and create from gratefulness, the possibilities are endless.

And we’d love to see what you make! Please share your stories about your Thanksgiving Day inspired creations with us here! If you’d like to hear more about our work and what inspires us, sign up for our newsletter.

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Day of the Dead Art and Inspiration

Day of the Dead Art and Inspiration. Curated list of 10 of our favorite illustrations! -DariDesignStudio

We curated a list of favorite Day of the Dead art that we found on the web to inspire you and get you into the Day of the Dead spirit.

We are always on the lookout for art that shows a unique blend between the traditional  and cultural origins of the subject with new twists. We like seeing the authentic style of the artist spark through the piece. Plus, we love curating art and trends that inspire us and hope that these works inspire you too!

As always, we created a Pinterest board for it. It’s eye candy for sure. Check out the link at the end of this post and  follow us if you want to see future “Day of the Dead” pins throughout the year.

Our view into Day of the Dead art changed completely once we learned the story behind this beautiful tradition. That’s why we recommend you watch The Book of Life movie.  The illustrations are out of this world!! And the tradition is explained in such a fun and emotional way.

Of course we understand that you might not be able to get up from your computer now and go watch the movie. So you can visit this quick link with a short summary of what Day of the Dead means.

But seriously go watch the movie!

Great Day of the Dead Art Inspiration

Here is our favorite and most creative Day of the Dead art showcase:

Elizabeth Badeley colorful wedding Invite designs

Beautiful wedding invitation set by Illustrator Elizabeth Baddeley.

It reassembles the figures and colors of the Mexican papel picado tradition. I love how the final product gives such a clear visual message of tradition, culture, style and authenticity. Amazing job Elizabeth!! Even though it’s not a Day of the Dead design or art, it has a special spot in our list because it an inspiration for Day of the Dead art.



Day of the Dead Art and Inspiration. Curated list of 10 of our favorite illustrations! -DariDesignStudio

Our Day of the Dead invitation card

I hand-painted and designed this piece. It goes into this list because it was one of my favorite things to make and because I was inspired by all the other pieces on this list. Especially by Elizabeth’s invite above.



Jonny Hannah Illustration / Day of the Dead  Art inspiration

Illustration by Johnny Hannah

We love how playful all the hand drawn fonts are. Every single detail gives this man so much character. He is dressed for a special occasion and it makes you feel welcomed to the festivities. The imperfection of the piece is what we love about it. The artist’s own voice shows through every pigment.



Sugar Skull Art Print | Day of The Dead | dia de los muertos | Watercolor Wall Art | | Katie Daisy

Sugar Skull Art Print by Katie Daisy

Katie Daisy is a must in this list. She has such a strong, flowy and fresh approach in every thing she paints. Her style sits so well with the skulls. Her flowers give it the Day of the Dead touch, making it feel very authentic and hispanic. For sure she wasn’t thinking of that when she painted it.




Mexican Kitchen Restaurant in Dublin. Amazing Day of the Dead Art Inspiration

Mexican Kitchen Illustrations

Well made branding is always in our priority list of inspiration. Now, good branding shaped from cultural traditions and rendered with a modern twist? Oh my! That’s our weakness! A must go to restaurant in Dublin, Ireland.



Pinata de Los Muertos Alexander Henry day of the dead fabric Dia de Los Muertos

Alexander Henry Fabric

Because we are pattern lovers and pattern makers. We know it’s not easy to make such a cute and cool piece like this one. Favorite facts: The skulls look like they have braces and we agree 100% with Alexander Henry on our love for markers.



Amazing Day of the Dead Art and Inspiration!

Jorge R. Gutierrez Illustration

Jorge R. Gutierrez has the same love for culture and illustration that we have. The only difference is that we love to admire it and he loves to make it. This is one of his pieces that I think to my self –Darn it!! I wish I would have created that! And the pop of fuchsia? Can you believe how cool is his command of color?


As promised here is our Pinterest board, go check it out if you are craving more!

Follow Dari Design Studio’s board Dia de los Muertos on Pinterest.

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Check Out Our New Minted Store

Dari Design Studio framed photos for Minted Stiore

Exciting Announcement!

This year we started participating in some Minted challenges/contests and we now have a Minted store.  Minted is a print on demand (POD) platform that sells gorgeous stationery, art pieces, home goods, fabrics and more all in collaboration with artists like us. With the setup of this store, we’ve taken one more step on our journey to move into the Home Decor industry.

The idea is that artists participate in an art contest to win money, prizes and the possibility of having a store front. Also artists make a commission of sales from their design items.

This is how our brand new store front looks:

Artist Minted store

Do you like it? We hope so! We like it a lot!

What we like about this type of shop is that the artist can focus on doing art and the shop will take care of all the production hassle; printing, assembling, packing, shipping and so on. While we enjoy showing how our art looks on certain products, it’s hard to beat the convenience of having someone else focusing on production.

Here are the 5 photo pieces that won the contest we participated in:

Black and white nature photo

ESPORAS: I love how photography can make you look at simple things so differently, this was a weed in our back yard!


red leaves and red flowers photo

RED VIEW: At the spaces in the L.A. Zoo, I was taking photos of my son Adrian along with these amazing plants.


Black and white cactus photo -Daridesignstudio

I DEFEND MYSELF: This was taken in an outdoor museum somewhere in San Diego county, and is one of my favorites.


Photo of blooming flowers

BLOOMING: This closeup was from a day at LACMA  in L.A., they have pretty gardens and in Spring all these purple flowers start to blossom, it’s very pretty.


Big grass photo

ESPIGAS: I took this photo in Washington in front of a hotel where a blogger conference was held. It’s a dream to me to take nature photos like this one and look at those light and airy clouds!!

Minted Art Photography Cactus

We ordered one of our favorites of the batch and Dari hung it in her living room. We love how it looks in real life!

Which one is your favorite? Let us know, we’d love to hear from you!

We are getting ready to upload more art to our shop pretty soon. If you would like to get notified when there is a new art piece in our store and if you like to get exclusives that we only share to our mailing list members, please come over and sign up here.

filed under licensing, art, experiences, novelties, surtex, trends

Lovely Ink: Free Inspirational Art


This year we have been honored to be contributing to an amazing project about free inspirational art called “Lovely Ink” which mission is to: Uplift, to awaken wonder, and to sprinkle inspiration  around the world. We can’t be happier!!

To tell you all the details about it I’ve prepared a great VIDEO INTERVIEW with Nicole Piar the soul behind “Lovely Ink”. But first let me tell you what “Lovely Ink” is:

“Lovely Ink” is a gift to you.

Each month you will receive a lovely illustration including
a poetic quote or snippet of wisdom to inspire you.


This “Lovely Ink” will come as both:
a desktop wallpaper and as 8″x10″ High Res Printable Art.
There will be a new artist featured each month for a year.

“Lovely Ink” runs April 1, 2014 – May 1, 2015
If you sign up mid- year, you will still receive links
to all the previous months’ Lovely Ink as well as the current month.

The following are a couple of examples of the free inspirational art you will get every month!!

Nicole hasn’t revealed yet our art contribution, so sign up and stay tuned!





ok now that you know what is it about, there also is more information about how you can use lovely ink in creative ways and also what else is in the making from this fabulous designer Nicole Piar.

But most importantly: How to sign up to receive all these goodies! is very very easy, I promise!


Video Interview with Nicole Piar Creator of Ghost Kitten and Lovely Ink


Check out all the artists that are also participating in the project and are creating free inspirational art for YOU!






Hope you really like this initiative and that you participate by signing up. You can just hop over Ghost Kitten and sign up here

If you do, don’t forget to share with us and with the world this great idea using the hashtag #lovelyinkproject.


filed under licensing, art, experiences, novelties, surtex, trends

Free Valentine’s Days Facebook Covers


Happy Love Day everyone!!

We didn’t want to let this opportunity pass without creating  these two cute (Free) Valentine’s Day Facebook Covers as a  gift for you!

Facebook-Cover-Valentines-Day-Love-Dari-Design-Gold-BlackClick on the Cover to download it for personal use

We used to put these beauties together. We truly hope you enjoy them and use them not only for Valentine’s Day but for any LOVE express occasion.

Facebook-Cover-Valentines-Day-Dots-Black-Mint-ArrowClick on the Cover to download it for personal use

If you are interested in learning new techniques on how to design and use easy platforms to enhance your graphics please let us know here

Did you like them?  -Yes!!  -Love mission accomplished!

filed under licensing, art, experiences, novelties, surtex, trends

Font Friday: Trend by Latinotype

I love to blog graphic -

Did you know I love fonts? Well now you know. I do and it’s been too long since I don’t post about them. I love the Font Friday movement so let’s get back into it.

Today I’m presenting you with the font Trend by Latinotype.

This amazing font was one of the most popular fonts in 2013 and I think it will still be in 2014. It has just so many variations and options, I love when a font has that! Not only the regular bold and italic but shadows, a sans serif version and a serif version (they call it Tren Slab)!

TREND on Font Friday

I like all the versions and I already used the Trend Slab in a logo design. Trend also comes with ornaments, the arrows and diamond on my design up here are part of them. And BTW, you can use the top graphic for your personal use if you wish!

I have a feeling I will be highlighting more fonts from Latinotype because I took a peek and just love them all!!


Follow #FontFriday on twitter!

1st graphic: Dari Design Studio using Trend Font, 2nd and 3rd graphic credit: MyFonts.

filed under licensing, art, experiences, novelties, surtex, trends