Taking a Break, Photography, Family.

 

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Getting some fresh air…

I have a tendency to get really into some projects and set aside others.  This tends to do with the “oh look, fancy” side of my friend A.D.H.D.

With this leap into self-employment, I have been grinding pretty hard to learn more skills in business and keeping up my standard design toolkit.  It was time to step back and enjoy some of my favorite place to be; nature.

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Estes Park, Bear Lake – Custer Creative (Cody & Colby Custer)

I learned photography as a way to deal with having poor source images in college and as a way to capture my projects. Over time it has become a part of me that I love to use but frankly need to improve upon. I love to capture the angles and textures that are always present if I can open my mind enough to see them.

 

 

– Pictures in and around Estes Park, CO. –

This past week I had the great chance to celebrate my Uncle’s 50th birthday in the wonderful Estes Park, Colorado. My girlfriend and I intended to camp out as I love to do, but the area we were was too inclined so we opted for the floor in the cabin my uncle had rented.

This is the story of family and how it has always been a home and a force of power for me. I’m thankful for the chance to step back from the branding guides, presentations, meetings, logo sketches, file management to sort my head in the fresh air, trails, and peace that is the outdoors.

I forgot my hiking shoes…

I somehow managed to forget my hiking shoes… Sounds like a simple enough thing to remember if it’s something you love, but I did it. My girlfriend was not so happy with me as she is just as outdoorsy as I am and wanted to hike more.  I kind of kicked myself a bit but then realized there was a moment here I need to be thankful for…

A MOMENT TO PAUSE…

We ended up hiking less and relaxing much more in a different way.  Time to reflect on my direction as a designer, the impact I want to leave, and how can I help those that are coming behind me.

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I want to be one of the designers who does not only create work that moves, but I want to make sure that the life I lead from now on is one of being dedicated to leaving things better than I found them.

Design updates.

This last week was less productive for me, I often struggle to get back into the grind after a break.  I can say though that for the first time in a long time I am eager to be designing and pushing to create, I guess we can call it work???

I did have a great break though for a concept to give back to the community I support and any others that are affected by Sensory Processing Disorders (SPD’s). My friend A.D.H.D. has helped me lose many hours that I could be more productive and my parents and those who have helped me be successful know this.  I want to help those like my parents and support system.

My idol hands often are the cause of my lack of progress and productivity. They also are the reason I find some of the solutions to design problems I encounter every day. My goal now is to push for a percentage of my income to donate back to organizations who aid those with SPD’s.

Also… Here’s the final logo of Cathy’s Breads in all its glory on her standby page.

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Thank You.


My Goals Remain.

  • I will keep delivering my best work with hopefully a little more balance in the weeks to come.
  • I will do a weekly update of how things are going and what I am working to keep myself accountable and to share my journey.
  • To create experiences that communicate a simple and powerful message with the aim to move.

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Photo credit: Custer Creative

Portfolio: www.codycustercreative.com
contact: codyrcuster@gmail.com


Scouting, Thru-hiking, Bread, and Design.

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Seeing past inspirations in your work?

I come from a family with a father who has been a Scoutmaster longer than I have been alive.   Young age meant scouting, as well as a love for the outdoors and nature in general.  We went to every campout we could and learned reverence for wildlife and to “Do Your Best” and “Be Prepared”.

I never thought it would be a hobby or a part of design either.  However, my father has lovingly asked myself to do the t-shirt design for over the last 8 years and this last weekend I was granted a glimpse at the past.

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Seen here on these awesome kiddos dirt and adventure covered bodies are 2014, 2016, 2018, and 2019 Coronado Area Council Day Camp Shirts.

 

 

 

 – 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 t-shirt designs –

I loved the chance to see them all still being used after such time. In that moment I took a second to smile at my father’s influence on both my childhood development and my professional opportunities and the love I still have for the outdoors.

I am a thru-hiker…

This scouting retrospective gave me a chance to stop and think how those times were the start of international hiking.  I am a thru-hiker, and that simply means I hike long distances, usually over 400 miles, in one stretch.

I usually will try to keep all that I need on my back, and while more detail belongs to a longer post, the moment made me realize my love for massive, often difficult and long journey’s started here.

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2018 load-out for my 450 mile Thru-hike of Norway.  Total loaded weight for 3 days: 27 lbs.

While this may seem unrelated to design and my career on the surface, thru-hiking requires a dedication to a goal that may take years to plan, months to train for, and weeks of grueling weather and physical and mental struggle to cross the country and complete the trail.

Design updates.

My step away from social media has been great if not a bit of a struggle.  I made it a couple days without checking at all and my workflow went through the roof.  I believe more of this is a result of having more deadlines and that it pushes me. 

Focus is always a struggle. I’m finding it fun now to try and keep making it my friend as opposed to an adversary.  A great designer and author James Victore shouts to the end of the earth the following…

“The things that made you weird as a kid make you great today.”  James Victore

Go read his book “Feck Perfuction”… no, really… Go read it now.

This last week brought about progress on Cathy’s Breads design work and strategy.  I love nothing more than sitting down with a client in person and being able to not only discuss if the design work meets our objective and the target goal, but that it will also move those they seek to effect.  Please check out her Instagram here: Cathy’s Breads

Here’s a sample sketch.

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Thank you for reading and following.  Much love to you all.


Thank You.


My Goals Remain.

  • I will keep delivering my best work with hopefully a little more balance in the weeks to come.
  • I will do a weekly update of how things are going and what I am working to keep myself accountable and to share my journey.
  • To create experiences that communicate a simple and powerful message with the aim to move.

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Photo credit: Custer Creative


Making the Move: Going Solo.

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What makes you ready?

I have officially made the shift to full-time freelance and it was not easy but after learning and being motivated I felt the time was right.

I have been honored to work with some amazing clients like who have given me great chances to grow with them and to create together.

A big shout out to Double D family Mats of Prat Ks.  This small family run company takes your used tires that end up in a landfill and creates repurposed woven mats that make it easier for cattle to get around on farms.  We were called in to shoot all of their products on-site and to  redesign their site in a very quick turn-around and you can see it here: https://www.doubledmats.net/home

The Hays Symphony has a huge place in my heart as I am a former classical musician and working on their season posters and programs is always an honor and a great chance to push into some different styles.  Here is a sneak-peek at this seasons work:

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Their previous work and branding can be seen here: https://codycustercreative.com/hays-symphony-orchestra-logo-and-promo-design

Cathy’s Bread’s and Pastries is a Small Start-up that is in the works.  She is a locally owned Bakery and Pastry maker with a huge heart and a never-ending dedication to crafting amazing and delicious Bread and Sweets.  Her website will be up in the next two weeks so stay tuned!


In Short: Thank You.


The reality is that I struggle a great deal with balancing my lack of focus and hyper-focus. It is a common trait of those of us with A.D.H.D. and it is never an excuse as I always make my deadlines, but it does complicate the grind when the machine won’t start. I feel an amazing push and a universe of opportunity in my mind one second and the next time I set down to utilize this fount of ideas it decides it’s time to play on Instagram for 3 hours.

I have implemented a daily schedule that I will do my best to follow it including mental breaks and time for yoga as well as an attempt at a healthy diet (this will be hard).

So, in short:

  • I will keep delivering my best work with hopefully a little more balance in the weeks to come.
  • I will do a weekly update of how things are going and what I am working to keep myself accountable and to share my journey.
  • Thank you.

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Photo credit: Custer Creative


Inspiration: Move or Be Moved.

“Struggles and criticisms are the prerequisites for greatness.”

There are many long nights, and even more stressful moments that go into pursuing a passion. The problems always have a solution, sometimes it is easy, but more often than not, it is nothing but sheer hard work that brings you to completion.

If i have learned anything from this grind it is not that finding the best solution is the goal, but finding joy in the getting there that is rewarding. The road makes each step no matter how hard or painful, lonely or dark, long or short, have meaning and ultimately value.

Here’s to the next road, may it teach me even more than the last.

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Video credit: Prince Ea, Prince EA’s Youtube

Photo credit: Custer Creative