Content Creation Life

How The Lessons of 2020 Will Help My Creativity In 2021

The year of our Lord 2020 was a year of…events. Events that have left us forever changed and our worldview challenged. I never thought I would live through a time as challenging as those in the history books from school but there we were and here we are. Despite (or probably because of) the challenges of 2020, I found myself learning a lot and even having successes worthy of celebration.

It Is Okay To Not Be Okay (And Not Create Sometimes)

At times during the months of lockdown/quarantine, I found myself lacking the motivation to create and then feeling guilty about my lack of production. The world has been shaken in a way I had never experienced and I was working from home for the foreseeable future. Sure, as an introvert, not being around people isn’t a nightmare. However, the circumstances of the situation weighed on me. We all need human interaction. We just need it in different doses, depending on the individual. It’s one thing to isolate yourself on your own. It’s another thing completely to have to isolate due to a deadly pandemic and have every potential human interaction be fraught with anxiety.

The pandemic combined with the tragedies surrounding Breonna Taylor and George Floyd and the protests that followed affected me in ways I wasn’t giving proper attention to. Managing your mental health is a full-time job, filled with consistent check-ins with yourself. In 2020, I started a mindfulness meditation practice which taught me that it is important to acknowledge the thoughts you have while not allowing them to control you. Me expecting myself to just power through it all last year as if nothing was happening around me was unrealistic. I had to sit myself down and let myself be still. It’s okay to not create sometimes. You have to take care of yourself now so you can create later.

The Theme of 2021

I learned this from CGP Grey on YouTube.

I watched a lot of YouTube in 2020.

He suggested, instead of having New Years Resolutions, having a theme. It could be a yearly theme or a seasonal theme even. I chose Wellness as my theme for 2021. Every decision I make will hopefully be influenced by that theme. 2020 ended up being the Year of Reading. One of the books I read was Atomic Habits by James Clear, which gave great insights on how to intentionally create habits and leave some behind. I want to take everything I learned in 2020 and be very intentional with how I improve myself spiritually, mentally, physically, financially, and emotionally. The theme is purposefully broad so that I can adjust and adapt as need be to progress toward that positive direction.

Plans for 2021

One of the successes of 2020 was that I finally started that podcast I’ve had in my head for a while but was too insecure to start. RUN THE LAYERS with Creative Bobbie will have its Season 2 in 2021. I want to get more consistent in releasing weekly content on my YouTube channel and more frequently write here on my blog. I want to be intentional with the content I produce and not just produce out of obligation. The goal is to delve deeper into creative topics and projects instead of feeling the need to post something on social media every single day.

In Conclusion

“Teach as you learn and inspire as you do.” It’s not just my outro for my videos. It’s what I want to do and what I want to encourage others to do. Document your journey, share your lessons, but, above all else, acknowledge how things around you affect you. Rest and allow yourself to be poured into so that you may pour into others through your gifts.


Branding Design

7 Types of Logos & Why I Design Them

As a designer, I’ve created a variety of logos over the years. Different projects call for different design solutions. Depending on the brand, the type of logo I end up designing varies. The logo is the brand’s visual cue. That cue will be different than others in design but may also be different in the category of logo utilized. A logo can typically fit in a particular classification of logos. Let’s look at some examples from my own portfolio.

An Iconic Mark

Example(s): Shypsi (pronounced SHY-PSI)

Like the Jordan Jumpman and the Nike swoosh, I like logos that are minimalist but impactful. This type of logo typically works for brands that want something their audience can easily recognize and draw themselves. If your audience can draw your mark from memory, that is a very good sign for your brand. This type of logo is also useful for brands that might need their mark to work in a variety of colors on a variety of products. Shypsi Creative was the first name I came up with for my freelance design side. I wanted something simple but mine, easily attached to various things.

A Wordmark

Example(s): Pawnee (word) 

A wordmark is when you want the name of your brand to take center stage. It can be simply your name written in a particular font or a custom design unique to your brand name. The Pawnee wordmark is a part of a larger brand identity project I came up with in tribute to the TV show Parks & Recreation. I custom made each letter in Adobe Illustrator. 


Example(s): Stroll City Strivers, Young Professionals of Stillwater

The monogram is the bringing of letters together in a stylish way to represent your brand. Acronyms, abbreviations, and the initials of an individual or a company flourish in this type of logo. The Stroll City Strives monogram was my attempt to give my fantasy football team a classic mark to complement the more modern main logo. The Young Professionals of Stillwater is often referred to as simply YPS so it made sense to have a mark that represented that. “Young Professionals of Stillwater” has a lot of letters and isn’t as versatile at various sizes as the YPS mark.


Example(s): Dudley H.S. Band of Thunder, Bratcher Sports & Education

Working our way down from full words and abbreviations, we have arrived at the letterform. This is where you distill your brand mark to a single letter. Make sure you make your letter stand out. The letterform is the most scalable of the trilogy. The D for the Dudley High School Band of Thunder actually has a hidden bass clef with the very visible lightning bolt in the middle to represent thunder. The B for Bratcher Sports & Education uses the lines to reference a basketball. My own personal Creative Bobbie logo is a hand drawn lowercase B that I wanted to use as my signature.


Example(s): Dudley H.S. Band of Thunder

The mascot logo is much more involved and not minimalist at all but is appropriate at times. Commonly seen in the sports marketing industry, it can also be used for more personal brands where the individual is the brand. That is the case with my design for Knockoutness. The Dudley H.S. mascot is the panther so I drew a custom one in Illustrator, complete with musical references throughout. This type is for when there is a character/person you want your audience to attach to your brand.

An Emblem

Example(s): National Headquarters of Kappa Kappa Psi & Tau Beta Sigma, Beyonce University, Pawnee (seal)

The emblem logo is typically a seal or crest that represents the brand in a more regal, professional, and traditional manner. Many soccer/football clubs use emblems, which you can see in my Fiction City Football League project. I obviously have a lot of experience with crests, working for Kappa Kappa Psi & Tau Beta Sigma. These examples use many elements similar to those found at universities and government organizations.


Example(s): Lamik’s Videos

The combo mark is for when you want the best of both worlds. You want an image that represents you but you also want the name of the brand featured. This allows you to walk your audience through the connect between your brand name and the image. Eventually, they may be able to recognize your brand through the image itself. This gives you multiple elements to work with. Lamik’s Videos is an example of that where the VHS band tape is accompanied by the brand name.

When approaching a branding project, analyze your market, your goals, and your brand itself to see which one of these would work best for you. How will your logo best stand the test of time and be recognizable to your target audience? Do you need multiple types underneath a larger visual brand identity system / strategy?

Choose wisely.


Run The Layers

Eternal Sunshine of the Knockoutness a.k.a. Janessa Smith

Multi-hyphenate (photographer, videographer, gamer, streamer) Janessa Smith a.k.a. Knockoutness joins the pod! We talk about the trials and tribulations of being a creative.

Lovecraft Country (HBO)
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Be Kind, Rewind
Purpose Behind The Seams (full feature)
The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl

Music by Kid Azul:

Run The Layers

Choose Your Perspective with Larry Bratcher Jr.

Live from Grandma’s house, sports performance and corporate wellness expert (+ my brother) Larry Bratcher Jr. joins the podcast to talk about how he uses creativity and how it ties into the pursuit of success. We talk athletes, business, sports, music, and more in what doubles as an episode of my podcast and a pilot of his future podcast!

Larry Bratcher is a Strength and Conditioning Practitioner specializing in sports performance, injury rehab and prevention. He holds a Z-Health Movement as well NASM’s CPT, PES, CES certifications with CSCS pending. He founded Hegemony Training after graduating from Fayetteville State University and playing basketball professionally for 10 years in the CBA, IBA, and USBL in the United States. Larry played in Professional Leagues in Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, China, Colombia, Germany, Iceland, Jordan, Kuwait, Mexico, New Zealand, Romania, Saudi Arabia and Syria.

Larry works with athletes throughout the year to develop and improve each player’s game. Larry has mastered the art of marrying sports science, skill development and nutrition to build a complete athlete.


Start With Why by Simon Sinek
Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
Kobe Bryant ‘Muse’ Motivational Workout Mix + His “666 Workout” Routine
Choose Your Perspective by John Martin

Music by Kid Azul:

Run The Layers

Creativity Is Instrumental with William Blue

On this episode I talk with my friend, music producer Kid Azul b.k.a. William Blue. We talk about the universal language that is music and it’s impact on our lives.

Follow Blue (producer of the sounds you hear in the background of my content):

Mr. Hyunh
The Obstacle Is The Way by Ryan Holiday
“Pity” – Voli Contra feat. J. Cole
“Happy” – Pharrell Williams

Run The Layers

Inside The Mind of An In-House Designer

A solo ep where I talk about my experience being an in-house graphic designer here in Stillwater, Oklahoma for Kappa Kappa Psi & Tau Beta Sigma National Headquarters. Being in-house, for me, means being able to apply my knowledge and translate my love for the organizations into visually appealing and communicative art. As an in-house designer, I personally know and care about everything I do. It’s not just a job for me.

Kappa Kappa Psi | Tau Beta Sigma | National HQ

National Convention (Instagram)


Follow Creative Bobbie:

Follow Run The Layers:

Run The Layers

Acts of Service with Torrence Brown

In this episode, I chat with my friend, gamer/streamer Torrence Brown aka “Brown Koolaid”. We talk about a variety of topics including how creativity is an act of service.


Follow Brown Koolaid:

Teen Titans
Michael Baisden
Samurai Pizza Cats
My Hero Academia
7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain
The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman

Music by Kid Azul:

Run The Layers

Truly 4 The Love of Storytelling with TJ Tooley

In this episode, I chat with my friend, author & podcaster TJ Tooley of 4 The Love of Story (also hosted here on Anchor) and Everyone & Their Brother fame. We talk about believing in yourself and dreams of the impact our creativity can have on the world.


4 The Love of Story Podcast: Original stories written and read by T.J. Tooley
(Available on various podcast platforms)

Quidditch (for reals!)
Fiction City Logos
Everyone & Their Brother Podcast

Music by Kid Azul:

Run The Layers

The Unapologetic Creativity of Justin Shepard

On this episode, I welcome my friend, artist/animator Justin Shepard (Moonbeams), to discuss how he sees creativity, the things he wants to create, the process, inspirations, and all things animation and art.

Mentions in the podcast:
We both marched trumpet at the illustrious North Carolina A&T State University in the Blue & Gold Marching Machine.
Donate: Blue & Gold Loyalty Foundation

Gurren Lagaan
Kill la Kill

Music by Kid Azul Productions