we sang this at church on sunday. doesn't matter if you wouldn't be caught dead in a church, these words are straight poetry, and something i think we all want, deep down. love. peace.

i still feel like that when i make something real. and i really wish i still had that outfit. i don't really know what i was creating, but it looks a little like a creature with a crown, so clearly, i'm still proud of myself. 😻👑 #tbt

this season's curated selection to make the slapdash collection residing above my desk.

surprise flower delivery from some of the best men i know on a day they know totally sucks for me. the card reads

if you think my floor looks like chaos, you should see my mind. 🙆💨

hello there! 🙋 if you're new around here, i wanted to say hi. it's never all branding + business over in this camp, but sometimes i jump into stories as if you've been around awhile. i'd love the chance to meet each of you, and until that happens, i just try to show up and be real and connect where we can. // this picture feels like me. ink stained hands, the color

hello there! 🙋 if you're new around here, i wanted to say hi. it's never all branding + business over in this camp, but sometimes i jump into stories as if you've been around awhile. i'd love the chance to meet each of you, and until that happens, i just try to show up and be real and connect where we can. // this picture feels like me. ink stained hands, the color "fearless" on my nails💅, a slept-in braid, and the stacks of souvenirs i wear, reminding me of the journey, each one holding a story, symbols of people and places and promises, never far from sight. obsessed with lime lacroix and mexican food. will fly ✈️ across america for a good celebration🎉. i'm probably your fomo-est friend: why choose when we can do it all?! (then i usually get sick) i'm as infp as it gets. 48/50 states. from a rice farming family. chicago is still my favorite city. fall will always be my favorite. not into starbucks, but my old order was "mocha coconut frappaccinos" 😹 ... before i was saved. now we stick to black coffee.👍 not a pumpkin person, not a board game person, not a dessert person, not a disney person. oops. do you dislike me yet? 😬 i've been subletting furnished places a couple months at a time since 2012. i want a puppy 🐶 so this may end soon. ran a half marathon for my 29th earlier this year. super into sequins✨, crime shows🔫 /reality tv (so much so I won't let myself have a 📺!) + conferences. // 📷 taken last year in SB, after spilling an entire bottle of the blackest ink on my subletted kitchen floor. oops. (ps i 💕emojis) who are YOU??? 👥

we are stronger, braver, smarter than we know.

erwin mcmanus mused in a talk recently that some people live ten lives while others  won't even live the one they're in. most of my very favorite humans are the ones that have gone through the ringer and have lived to tell about it. their souls are all kinds of golden fierce, deeper than the seas, and now marked by freedom. they're also often misunderstood for those same reasons. don't hide who you are to be more palatable to the apathetic life. deep calls to deep and we need your real, we need your brave. we are hungry for a likeminded love of waves, and you, you are a fierce sea. ⚡️🌊⚡️ 📷: @kaitiebryant

fresh notebook, a package full of new pens and the gift of mary oliver's poetry. 📖📚📖

thank you all for your life-giving words and encouragement. it feels insane (and freeing) that i told the internet something that's seemed like my best-kept secret for so long. it's by GRACE my heart has been set FREE, and now i'm learning what it looks like to really truly trust ALL that means. // and so a new season began, one where i traded my own words for color. the things i could not say, and yet could not contain unfolded themselves upon blank pages. work + bravery that i have not been able to access in any other season spilled out. work that told my story when i was still unable to. my art and my instagram became my diary, my sacred space to chart the light, capture the small moments of wonder and slowly, the happiness, the healing. i found my way back to the land of the living. // and, though not the same as yours, the traumatic loss in my own life opened me in a way i didn't know was possible. there is a most unsettling freedom that occurs when all you held dear is stripped from you. fear loses its power. words + work + bravery you didn't know you possessed bleed out… simply because you don't know any other way to cope. in some ways, that time is the truest i've ever felt. while i would never wish trial+ tragedy, heartbreak or unhappiness upon anyone… the result has been unexpected blessings of incredible redemption for a horrific, traumatic time. i could never have envisioned the incredible life and love and adventures i have found in the last five years. // if you are in this season, keep going. keep writing. write so much. paint. use colors that feel like your soul in this season. scream. run. yoga. hike. move to a new city. find ways to get it out + to get up every day. you are loved, believed in, cheered on. keep going. // read the post before for backstory, and #thingsihadnowordsfor for even more.

thank you all for your life-giving words and encouragement. it feels insane (and freeing) that i told the internet something that's seemed like my best-kept secret for so long. it's by GRACE my heart has been set FREE, and now i'm learning what it looks like to really truly trust ALL that means. // and so a new season began, one where i traded my own words for color. the things i could not say, and yet could not contain unfolded themselves upon blank pages. work + bravery that i have not been able to access in any other season spilled out. work that told my story when i was still unable to. my art and my instagram became my diary, my sacred space to chart the light, capture the small moments of wonder and slowly, the happiness, the healing. i found my way back to the land of the living. // and, though not the same as yours, the traumatic loss in my own life opened me in a way i didn't know was possible. there is a most unsettling freedom that occurs when all you held dear is stripped from you. fear loses its power. words + work + bravery you didn't know you possessed bleed out… simply because you don't know any other way to cope. in some ways, that time is the truest i've ever felt. while i would never wish trial+ tragedy, heartbreak or unhappiness upon anyone… the result has been unexpected blessings of incredible redemption for a horrific, traumatic time. i could never have envisioned the incredible life and love and adventures i have found in the last five years. // if you are in this season, keep going. keep writing. write so much. paint. use colors that feel like your soul in this season. scream. run. yoga. hike. move to a new city. find ways to get it out + to get up every day. you are loved, believed in, cheered on. keep going. // read the post before for backstory, and #thingsihadnowordsfor for even more.

i haven't sat still for the 1st of september in nearly a decade. every year since, i've been

i haven't sat still for the 1st of september in nearly a decade. every year since, i've been "busy," beginning a new adventure. this is no exception. it's a part of my story that im only recently comfortable with, yet it's essential to who i am today. it started about 10 years ago+ended over 5. that sounds so far from here, i know, but broken promises for the fiercely loyal+a desolate ground zero are not easy to overcome. i was created to feel+to feel spectacularly. but for those years, i didnt. at all. i barely remember them. it's been the slowest repair, a great rebuilding. i now know what soul-crushing heartache, shame, abandonment, guilt, darkness+brink of death feel like. ive had to sit with the shattered pieces of my adolescent identity, not knowing if id ever feel hope or find healing. when you are barely 23+divorced, it changes you; you now know things no one ever should. i had never considered divorce to be an option. so, when i found myself in that camp, i was absolutely+utterly devastated. it challenged not only the beliefs i had held true, but i discovered i had built my entire identity upon my ability to do the "right thing." with the loss of my marriage, i felt exposed as a complete+absolute failure; i had no idea who i was any more… i gained 40 lbs on my 100lbs frame, was suicidal+a car collision with a drunk driver had left me w/a traumatic brain injury, making it difficult to process or communicate. its nothing short of a miracle+the radical love of a few saints-for-friends that i am still here. in my darkest nights i was reminded that there was hope+a future for me… life, greater than i could ask or imagine. those words were like light leading me one step at a time out of the devastation. over the past few years, it has been radical grace that has allowed me to live in this truth. to be given a life of unimaginable blessings and adventure, to get to know color+feeling again is unfathomable grace. i dont typically get into my faith that deeply on here, but its by god+grace alone that im still here. and its by that sufficient grace that i'm finding healing+learning to live in it, to embrace it, to begin talking about it. #thingsihadnowordsfor

i may not write a symphony but / i will always save the last slice just 4 u // still one of my favorite collab pieces // @vinylmeplease 💕💀💕

this year, im saying

trying to trap all weekend feels and make them roll over into the work week... 🎨📆📦

LET YOURSELF REST.

stumbled upon a secret garden pathway to the beach today... but my sister wouldn't stop long enough to let me get a good snap.

my favorite way to start the day. 🎨 // finding new and important words and just paintpaintpainting them out.

lettering routinely has me in situations i could never have imagined... and today was no exception! haha. crab crackers customized with clever quotes about aging to be given as favors at a very fun-sounding 50th birthday party! why isn't there a cute crab emoji?! 🎈😡🎈#notflatirons #butillletterthosetoo ✒️➰💇

💕 MY PEOPLE 💕 i think the last couple years have been some of the best our family's ever had. we've gone through the fire and have come out stronger. and freer. and way more fun. i love these people an infinite amount. please note: my sweet, poor father. 😂😂😂 he's got his hands full.

how much are we missing as we haven't the eyes to see? let us no longer be blinded.

i know i said i had some surprises for this month's #alimakesmail and here is another! this LETTERPRESSED print by @7tonco caught my eye on pinterest as i was concepting this month's theme. when i serendipitously discovered that one of the makers from @7tonco has received a mail subscription in the past... i knew it was MEANT TO BE! as it turns out, the pressed scene is of the blue ridge mountains, one of my very, very favorite places i've ever witnessed. the women behind @7tonco operate out of asheville, nc and packaged these up and sent them to me in the most fun mail i've gotten in a long while. their work is straight killer and 💯 x infinity embodies this month's theme of a life well adventured. (link in profile to get on the list!) 🌲

our journeys change us.

as children, we watch wide-eyed at the world around us like tiny sponges learning about the universe and and discovering its possibilities. fortunately for me, my earliest memories involve DANA ROSS, a soulful, incredibly gifted artist/incredible human who intoxicates others with contagious wonder and gives them permission to lean into the whispering artist inside. // she and my mom were best friends in high school. her son benjamin was my first friend; we were born a month apart. // she is undoubtedly the reason i was aware of letters and watercolors at a young age, much from thoughtful gifts she handmade us throughout the years. i remember being absolutely mesmerized by her handwriting and was encouraged to note the complexity and the beauty around me and create from that. we were never discriminated upon for our young ages, but were affirmed in our child-like scope of vision and encouraged. dana lives more aware of the wonder in our world than anyone i know; the intricacies of nature are not missed by her watchful eyes. the last few years of her life have been marked by astounding bravery, authenticity and truth. she knows intimately the risks of vulnerability and stands strongly in (what @brenebrown, roosevelt call) the arena. she is doing the work and is dutifully, beautifully recording it, and inspiring others to do it along the way. if you need to note more wonder in your life, to be more aware of the tiny, dazzling bits, follow this woman and just wait. whether it is a freshly foraged meal, the scales on a halibut, the turnips at a farmers market, or her rendering of lake tahoe, you will see these things with renewed wonder and feel the gratitude while reading her captions and her blog (her most recent entry is on COURAGE and it's incredible.) // when i saw these beetles, her rendering of a collection at the natural history museum in london, i immediately knew i wanted them to be a part of a mail subscription. i couldn't be more honored to share with you the work of one of my greatest influencers, DANA ROSS of @congruity.

as children, we watch wide-eyed at the world around us like tiny sponges learning about the universe and and discovering its possibilities. fortunately for me, my earliest memories involve DANA ROSS, a soulful, incredibly gifted artist/incredible human who intoxicates others with contagious wonder and gives them permission to lean into the whispering artist inside. // she and my mom were best friends in high school. her son benjamin was my first friend; we were born a month apart. // she is undoubtedly the reason i was aware of letters and watercolors at a young age, much from thoughtful gifts she handmade us throughout the years. i remember being absolutely mesmerized by her handwriting and was encouraged to note the complexity and the beauty around me and create from that. we were never discriminated upon for our young ages, but were affirmed in our child-like scope of vision and encouraged. dana lives more aware of the wonder in our world than anyone i know; the intricacies of nature are not missed by her watchful eyes. the last few years of her life have been marked by astounding bravery, authenticity and truth. she knows intimately the risks of vulnerability and stands strongly in (what @brenebrown, roosevelt call) the arena. she is doing the work and is dutifully, beautifully recording it, and inspiring others to do it along the way. if you need to note more wonder in your life, to be more aware of the tiny, dazzling bits, follow this woman and just wait. whether it is a freshly foraged meal, the scales on a halibut, the turnips at a farmers market, or her rendering of lake tahoe, you will see these things with renewed wonder and feel the gratitude while reading her captions and her blog (her most recent entry is on COURAGE and it's incredible.) // when i saw these beetles, her rendering of a collection at the natural history museum in london, i immediately knew i wanted them to be a part of a mail subscription. i couldn't be more honored to share with you the work of one of my greatest influencers, DANA ROSS of @congruity.

this was quite a way to start a day. // #tbt #tuesday from the weekend. // if you know, you KNOW what i mean. ☕️

sneak peek of this month's #alimakesmail!! i wanted this month to be extra-super special as i launched my new website... so i brought in a ton of collabs with artists and brands that i absolutely swoon over. here's a breakdown of this month's details! theme: a life well adventured. its about the growth that happens when ones life is lived wildly, vividly, explored widely. i curated and designed this month with @taysabo of @liveoutsidethecamp. OTC's mission grips me every time:

in any great story, there are recurring elements the characters face, the same familiar giants. we can chart growth by the ways we watch the character learn to finally hold their own when grappling with the same old opponents over time. // maybe it's the memories, or our own character flaws we're fighting against, sometimes it's something else entirely. but either way, we battle it out, get beat down and get back up time and time again. we all find our strength and strategy from different sources; one of mine is words. i need letters assembled in ways that bring me clarity, mission and purpose… and i need to see them, constantly. endlessly. i need instruction manuals on my arms. i don't know why i always pictured tattooing my left forearm arm first. i'm right handed. and as i create, as i make, as i spin and share my story, i want to be mindful of my foundation, my truth. i want to make permanent the boldness of unwavering love i've found in my faith, and the GRACE that frees me to be (in the words of my friend @knstakis) lovestruck with life, with humanity, with my mistakes and with myself. life is in the long game, so i may as well write the life hacks i learn on my arms. (sorry mom) // ps my lines of my letters were super skinny and @charleschatov at @onlyyoutattoo in atl did a really phenomenal job. THANK YOU! (i'll show ya when it's all healed up!)

✨WE LAUNCHED!✨ this has been in the works for a WHILE and i couldn't be more thrilled to show you! 1) AUGUST MAIL IS FOR SALE! link in profile. it's such a good one. it's about existence and exploration, travel and growth and wilderness and being really truly ALIVE. 2) i'm SO EXCITED to announce we are (FINALLY!!) offering recurring payments, so you won't have to go through the checkout process every month! 3) we made it WAY EASIER to give these as gifts! 🎁 everyone loves fun mail, and we want #alimakesmail to be the best and easiest fun gift you can give. and 4) as part of the ✨FUN✨ i'm doing 10% off all orders today only!! 🔥CODE: LAUNCH🔥 FYI: multi-month packages are discounted too; so if you've ever wanted to sign up.... now is the TIME! i'm beyond grateful you guys have supported this dream of mine and made this place a true community. //note: AUGUST MAIL will be sent out by tuesday, so if you haven't signed up already, do so really soon!// and let me know what you think of our new system! we think you'll love it!! (link in profile)

belted it out, broke it down, shook it off with the best of the best. thanks for one heck of a show, @taylorswift. (ps that woman is a genius.) // we left it up to my youngest sister to find the tickets, and pretty sure we looked like this 😳🙀😳 when we saw our seats. so. much. fun. #taylorswift // also almost got in a fist fight with a front desk guy this morning who tried telling me she wasn't talented. tay has a way of making you all feel like besties by the end of the night; don't you dare insult my friends. 👯x15k amazing photo by my sister 📷: @aubreynelson

some people can vividly see life in the ruins. they generously overlook our character flaws and our shortcomings to speak vision into our ordinary existence. they see a seed of potential in us and know with a little encouragement, something truly remarkable can come of it. they cultivate those tiny gleams of light they wholeheartedly believe will change the world. AND BECAUSE THEY BELIEVE US TO BE BETTER THAN WE ARE, WE RISE TO THE OCCASION. we all have people in our lives who have given us this incredible gift... we all have people in our lives that we can extend this gift to. lets use this weekend to rise to action; let us take the time to affirm the potential we see around us and sincerely thank those who have believed in us and our potential as well. 💬: @victorsaad

the walburgs got their wedding photos back and @jessfairchild and @jameswitty completely crushed it. this was one of the best days of my summer. so much love and fun and pretty things that day. i'll have to show you guys an image of the venue soon.... literally, unreal. a testament to foraging and friends pooling their gifts... one of the most beautiful (and fun) weddings i've ever seen. this is me and the best jennas i know. #weddedwalburgs

wherever you are, if you have a spirit that can be moved, go somewhere and whisper this aloud. let it sit there in the silence, weighty and uncomfortable and beautiful in a way you can't articulate. leonard cohen has a quote,

@blakehoward of @matchstichouse just referenced this #iraglass quote about closing the gap between our creative work and our good taste. it's some of the most influential wisdom i've ever ever ever heard about creating. if you're struggling with the output of your work, take heart, it. gets. better. (after you do truckloads and truckloads and truckloads of it.) #plypresents

yesterday, jeni from @jenisicecreams shared the qualities they seek when hiring. • TALENT • HUSTLE • GUTS • #plypresents

letters don't have to be perfect to be beautiful and intriguing. i began lettering when i realized how much emotion i could control and evoke within a piece if only i expressed it within the forms. the temptation is there to try to assimilate your letters into the standards you see

growing up, i had a tough time staying still in school, sermons, you name it. but for some reason, if my hands were moving, i could better focus on the words i was hearing. so it began, the drawing, the letters. i never could've imagined all the places letters would one day take me. like atlanta. i'm here for #plypresents, a conference by @shinabarger and @plywoodpeople, a nonprofit championing the social innovator community of atlanta and beyond. (if you've followed me a while, you'll recognize those names… i worked out of the plywood place offices for four months earlier this year! they have been hugely influential in my own story.) i am such a conference person. i live for the insight shared, gleaned from a person's hustle and hardship. i hang on the words of these innovators and entrepreneurs, bold enough to forge new paths, crazy enough to ignore all the ways it might not have worked, transparent in sharing their stories. today was day one, and we've already heard 1) how the incredible @jeremycowart has used photography and art as platforms for victims of natural disasters and genocide to share their perspectives. 2) learned about  @jenisicecreams' company culture and how they overcame huge trials and retained their high standards in the midst of it. and 3) had our hearts shattered by the incredible work of spoken word artist @clintsmithiii. can't wait to see what tomorrow will bring!

Dear Seeking Wisdom,
...There are some things you can’t understand yet. Your life will be a great and continuous unfolding. It’s good you’ve worked hard to resolve childhood issues while in your twenties, but understand that what you resolve will need to be resolved again. And again. You will come to know things that can only be known with the wisdom of age and the grace of years. Most of those things will have to do with forgiveness.... Do the work. Keep the faith. Be true blue. - @cherylstrayed // for @jendoze//
...
it's rare if i can be persuaded to design a tattoo these days, but when (the super sweet, incredibly talented: check out her music @thejanedoze) jen shared the inspiration behind her

i have a new logo! while i forgot to

and i think it's fly when girls stop by for the summer, for the summer. 🌴🌊☀️👙🍷

whatever it is that today holds for YOU: you've got this... you were MADE for this! you've got a ton of people cheering you on, people who wholeheartedly believe in you. take heart knowing you're exactly where you need to be... just keep showing up + keep at it, a little, tiny bit at a time. sometimes we just need to jumpstart the day with that little reminder. ✨☝️☺️✨ share with a friend who is doing some brave, awesome things and might need a little extra ⚡️spark⚡️ today!

i got off the grid yesterday with my family + a few friends... it only took an hour by ferry to find an entire island just waiting to be explored. hiking, hammocks, waves + wide open spaces.

growing up, the idea of an onomatopoeia fascinated me...

growing up, the idea of an onomatopoeia fascinated me... "a word that when uttered phonetically imitates, resembles or is reminiscent of the sound to which the word refers." examples would be "roar," "cha-ching" or "chirp." // sadly, sounds never made as much sense to me as anything did visually... but this idea is the closest i can come to explaining why hand lettering gives me all the feels. creating the handlettering equivalent to the experience one has while hearing BANG motivates me. the best and most inspiring letterers i watch closely have mastered this. it's almost imperceptible, as something about it appears effortless, but when you view their work, you get such a resounding sense of the heart and grit and fluidity of it. lettering doesn't have to be brushy, bold and messy to achieve that... some letterers have a style that is delicate and whispery. others have something wholesome, or playful, or formal. but the best handlettering makes. you. FEEL. you know a human is behind it. and THAT is what i strive for in my work. i'll always be an experimental artist foremost... so my personal lettering style will likely always be varying, growing, changing to fit the content... but more importantly, i want to create forms that make the viewer have an emotive experience… possibly even before they have made sense of the content. it seems like a lot of unnecessary depth to strive for at times, but i believe that intention above aesthetic is apparent to the discerning enthusiast's eye. and that's the person i want to connect with. #alimakesthings #handlettering

what kind of magic are you making today? // no really, tell me! it could be your kids' lunches or a new masterpiece, but i want to hear! community, affirmation and accountability are goooood. 🙌✨// 📷: @greatromancephoto

i found this in an old sketchbook. my progression of thoughts? 1: yikes. 2. whoa, walter cronkite. 3. scary truth. 4. so what's holding me back? / what do i need to do or let go of to get to that totally free thing? 5. yeah, this is a good one.

sometimes the daily grind of inboxes and insecurities, sinks of dirty dishes, the hustle and hardship of our lives takes its toll; the weight of the world finds itself squarely on our shoulders and it's all we can do to not totally curse this existence and make it through the day. and then, sometimes, the majesty of our moments and the incredible magnitude of our universe show up in just the right order and light, and we are humbled and in awe that, for some crazy unknown reason, we get to play a teensy little part in this truly unfathomable thing we call existence. it doesn't change that i still have to do my dishes, but at least i know what the spray of the ocean feels like and i've stood solemn underneath some of the tallest trees in the world. decent trade, i suppose. // 📷: @toddjames

so much to do, so much to see. // it's incredible how fast life passes us by... how fleeting each moment... and how failing our memories. quick! can you remember a really nice moment from last wednesday? what about the wednesday before that? isn't that crazy? 24 hours in that day, and i can't immediately summon a single memory. it sometimes freaks me out to think about life this way... we chase experiences and moments, but for what? they are so soon a part of our past. isn't time the wildest...? // obviously, our experiences are essential: they shape and mold us, they grow us, they become a part of us... our story. and at the end of my days i want to look back and actually remember all the incredible

a glimpse into the way my always spinning mind works. i scribble things out because i want them on my heart... i first read this shane koyczan piece a while ago; when i saw it recently, it wouldn't easily leave me. good words are like that. this season has been like that. farmers market flowers and marching thirteen miles to find the mountaintops. these words bind feelings to memories for me. his articulate words are scrawled in my notebook exactly like this, no edits, not even to fix his misspelled name. sorry, shane. //

i miss having my own studio space + my local coffee shop probably does too. 🙈🌿💁🎨

we said it would be a shorter hike, as it was getting later in the day, but it felt good to be in the mountains and we had nowhere else to be. thirteen miles later, with darkness setting in, we climbed back into the car. hiking, talking life, and sneaking snaps of the magical mountains with this sweet, intentional friend is one of my very favorite santa barbara things.

in thought, in word and in deed. there's a still, small voice inside all of us, and the best thing we can do is pay attention to it.

end of the day special at the farmer's market: $5 and you're mine. 💁🌿 also got an extra avocado for free from my favorite avocado farmer. mega-win. 🏆

i shy away from sharing much of

when i start feeling lethargic or in a rut, i pull out my paints and put brushstrokes on whatever paper is around me. it's never a masterpiece in these moments, but something about seeing one color bleed into the next and laying down vibrancy i might not feel invigorates me. it awakens me in a way i can't totally explain. anyone else?

as it turns out, this is true. 📷: @jennaraephoto_

woke up first thing this morning with this idea and wanted to make it immediately. instead of pancakes and hashbrowns, eggs or bacon, this is what happens in my kitchen before breakfast. and a big shoutout to my neighbor for turning a blind eye to me and my gold scissors knee deep in the landscaping this morning. #weirdo //

some days are better than others.

hey! I NEED YOU! i'm revamping the way we do the mail subscription around here (it's going to be so so so much better🙌) but in the meantime, i'm looking for soundbites of why Y O U  love your #alimakesmail. short, succinct, but descriptive would be ideal... and all you have to do is leave a comment telling me what's fun about this fun mail! i'll be picking three to use on my new website, and those three will receive a free month! I'll be picking tonight so work fast :)

it's unfathomable grace that in the midst of our deepest dark, one glimpse of light can transform+transfix us. it captivates me. i'm such a feeler+sometimes seeing the dichotomy is overwhelming; i feel the collective push/pull of our consciences+the cry of our hearts for more. headlines strike me in the soul+stories of our safe places—our schools, our theaters, our homes—ridden w/bullets+of children taken before their time keep me up at night. i worry w/all the betrayal+heartbreak, the pursuit of selfish ambition, money+fame w/little regard for others, how we will be able to discern who to trust. i hear the lament of older generations at our lack of morality, our acceptance of apathy, how this world isn't what it used to be…but even then, i refuse to accept that darkness has overcome light. that has never been our story. // a few years back, i had the chance to spend 8wks traveling the US, armed w/questions+cameras. we went into areas that the majority of us avoid, into living conditions we don't even acknowledge exist within our borders. we didn't go to glorify crime rates or exploit the stories there… we just wanted to know that good was winning. and we saw that-beyond whatever we could've imagined. it didn't matter which city or what circumstances surrounded us, we found incredible strength, hope, love+hard work in amazing people wherever we went. we found individuals+families devoted to changing their world by changing their communities, people that knew that it started w/themselves. it was an experience that forever changed me+showed me: no matter the darkness, the struggle or situation, GOOD IS WINNING.// the Pope is coming to the US to share more of these kinds of stories. the coolest part? they asked me to reach out to YOU to share your own #GoodIsWinning stories! if you're interested+i hope you are, start sharing some of your own content w/@PopeIsHope using #GoodIsWinning. they want you to use your art, social media, photography, writing (etc) talents to share your stories of how #GoodIsWinning. we'd love to hear them! on Aug7, they’re going to be selecting as many of you as they can to be a part of the street team for the Pope's historical arrival!

it's unfathomable grace that in the midst of our deepest dark, one glimpse of light can transform+transfix us. it captivates me. i'm such a feeler+sometimes seeing the dichotomy is overwhelming; i feel the collective push/pull of our consciences+the cry of our hearts for more. headlines strike me in the soul+stories of our safe places—our schools, our theaters, our homes—ridden w/bullets+of children taken before their time keep me up at night. i worry w/all the betrayal+heartbreak, the pursuit of selfish ambition, money+fame w/little regard for others, how we will be able to discern who to trust. i hear the lament of older generations at our lack of morality, our acceptance of apathy, how this world isn't what it used to be…but even then, i refuse to accept that darkness has overcome light. that has never been our story. // a few years back, i had the chance to spend 8wks traveling the US, armed w/questions+cameras. we went into areas that the majority of us avoid, into living conditions we don't even acknowledge exist within our borders. we didn't go to glorify crime rates or exploit the stories there… we just wanted to know that good was winning. and we saw that-beyond whatever we could've imagined. it didn't matter which city or what circumstances surrounded us, we found incredible strength, hope, love+hard work in amazing people wherever we went. we found individuals+families devoted to changing their world by changing their communities, people that knew that it started w/themselves. it was an experience that forever changed me+showed me: no matter the darkness, the struggle or situation, GOOD IS WINNING.// the Pope is coming to the US to share more of these kinds of stories. the coolest part? they asked me to reach out to YOU to share your own #GoodIsWinning stories! if you're interested+i hope you are, start sharing some of your own content w/@PopeIsHope using #GoodIsWinning. they want you to use your art, social media, photography, writing (etc) talents to share your stories of how #GoodIsWinning. we'd love to hear them! on Aug7, they’re going to be selecting as many of you as they can to be a part of the street team for the Pope's historical arrival!

...but not good at all at not making messes while i'm working.

they sure don't make it easy to hate this place. #santabarbara

yesterday was all kinds of magical celebrating and standing with this beautiful woman on her wedding day. to know you is to adore you, @stephdjohnson and we all do, we do so, so SO much. reflecting on your growth, healing, vulnerability and strength over the last couple of years reduced me to a weepy mess more than once yesterday (probably closer to, like, 12 times.) to celebrate the good man and the sweet, strong love you share along with youth-soccer-team-sized arsenals of amazing friends by your side was watching grace and god's faithfulness to you both in action. 📷: @jameswitty @jessfairchild #jessfairchildweddings #WeddedWalburgs #woooohoooo

it's crazy how many pretty things can exist in one small space. #weddedwalburgs

i'm in two weddings this summer and i can solidly say one of the best things about watching your friends fall unabashedly head over feet in love-in love is watching the way their lovers stare at and swoon all over them. the way they find their most honest and most ridiculous traits not only endearing but even... attractive... hanging on their every move like maybe they're magic. it makes me so happy to see my precious friends so incredibly adored... these are the unions i'm most proud to stand alongside.

i love when i get

we are stronger, braver, smarter than we know... sometimes we just need a little reminder. // i absolutely love @pamgarrison's work and i literally jumped at the chance to collaborate with her. before @instagram, and before @pinterest... there were blogs to get lost in, save the images from, and google image search later: the stalker— er, resourceful— way to find out the origin of/ who created the pieces we were drawn to. this is how i found out that so many of the pieces i loved were made by pam. her color! the way she uses paint! the pencil sketches! her work makes me FEEL. social media has made the world wonderfully small... and im so ecstatic to collaborate with an artist that inspired me long ago— something i would never have imagined happening back then! there are still a few more in the shop, go grab the JULY mail before it's too late! (link in profile)

before they were ever together-together, the three of us spent our saturdays meandering through the farmers market and the french press, calling our little collective

i just spent twenty minutes writing about how being my own boss is hard, and about how for all my striving and hustle, some days it just doesn't feel like

my favorite part of each month is seeing your mail show up. thanks for sharing so many great pictures of your #alimakesmail! this month's collab with @pamgarrison was easily a favorite! THERES STILL A FEW LEFT! stop by the shop (link in profile) for the JULY mail (pictured here!) :) 📷: @instaebeth

how are we lucky enough to live in a world that looks like this? we could explore and explore and keep exploring and never come close to discovering it all.

i'm excited (and slightly terrified 😝) to share with you that i'll be speaking at @storynashville this year! i love this creative conference and people behind it. not just saying that either. @benarment, the founder of STORY is one of the most legit men... (and personally) someone who has believed in me and championed my ideas (however they've shifted) from the get-go. since i discovered it, i've managed to find my way back into one of those seats for the last three years. it didn't matter if i was living on an island in the atlantic, i showed up because i found my people in that room. i've hung on every word, feeling like both my soul and my ambition was seen, known and invested into. its basically a creative conference with depth, a place that engages the raw imagination with incredible, incredible, talented, humble people who share their stories and their work and talent. its not always an immediately-recognizable lineup of names, but i know and trust that whoever ben has sought out are the real-deal kind of people, with a crazy strong work ethic, totally obsessed and devoted to their craft, and open to sharing. its what attracted me to it in the first place, and it's beyond crazy and super exciting and a whole huge honor to be asked to share a little more of my own story and some of my process there. if you're going, if you're thinking about it, let me know. they're still running a special price this week, so get to it. i'd love to see some familiar faces. 😁😁😁 📷: @amowens23

i'm excited (and slightly terrified 😝) to share with you that i'll be speaking at @storynashville this year! i love this creative conference and people behind it. not just saying that either. @benarment, the founder of STORY is one of the most legit men... (and personally) someone who has believed in me and championed my ideas (however they've shifted) from the get-go. since i discovered it, i've managed to find my way back into one of those seats for the last three years. it didn't matter if i was living on an island in the atlantic, i showed up because i found my people in that room. i've hung on every word, feeling like both my soul and my ambition was seen, known and invested into. its basically a creative conference with depth, a place that engages the raw imagination with incredible, incredible, talented, humble people who share their stories and their work and talent. its not always an immediately-recognizable lineup of names, but i know and trust that whoever ben has sought out are the real-deal kind of people, with a crazy strong work ethic, totally obsessed and devoted to their craft, and open to sharing. its what attracted me to it in the first place, and it's beyond crazy and super exciting and a whole huge honor to be asked to share a little more of my own story and some of my process there. if you're going, if you're thinking about it, let me know. they're still running a special price this week, so get to it. i'd love to see some familiar faces. 😁😁😁 📷: @amowens23

for every five days of hustle, we're supposed to take two. two to go slow, two to take it all in, two to catch up on the lives of those we love. two to laugh, two to truly be, two to sleep, two to (re)engage with this pretty rad life we get to live. weekends are a gracious, whispery reminder that life is worth really seeing and celebrating, worth dropping workloads and to-do lists to do things like see dolphins and wind your way to find the tallest trees with your friends when they show up in your town. // had the greatest day with @sarahnbuchanan, squealing like a six year old every time we saw a spout or splash that looked like maybe a sea creature was hiding underneath. it's been a solid week for ATL friends out here in CA. tempting my heart south again..... :)

the july #alimakesmail is really, really fun thanks to inspiration from iris apfel, amy poehler, a slew of bright happy colors and a collaboration with @pamgarrison! there are still a handful left, but you have to sign up ✨ N O W ✨ if you want one! (link in profile!) BONUS PRIZE: if you sign up right now and let me know in the comments, i'll be picking three people to receive a couple extra prints! (don't worry if you've already signed up, i'll be doing the same for you, too!)

i'm partnering with @followthelala to do a 3 month giveaway of #alimakesmail to celebrate #theLalabday! go check out their post (it's this same picture) and figure out how to win! :)