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Colorado Has My Heart

Colorado Has My Heart

Colorado has my heart and it always will. It is the place that I think of when I say “home.” Lately my art has really been inspired by my love for Colorado. I have lived all over the world and it still is the place that I want to be. I especially miss Colorado in the winter because snowboarding is a passion of mine. The mountains are my home and living in Maryland has renewed my love for my home. My recent pieces definitely reflect how much I miss having an awesome view as I shred the gnar. I drew this last night and wanted to share it with you, my awesome readers.

 

My Colorado Inspired Art

Colorado gogglesThe piece above is a self-portrait. I have never finished a self-portrait because I find it is difficult to make an accurate portrayal of myself due to my self-critical nature. Vector art is a bit more forgiving when it comes to details. It was a lot easier to not get caught up on all the small details that I tend to agonize over. The title is “Hannah the Colorado Girl” because I feel like I accurately embody what a true Colorado native is. A fun girl that is obsessed with spending her time in the mountains and enjoying God’s creation. The snowboard has the logos of my favorite resorts and I wear that color combination when I ride (it used to be teal and pink).

I have created a few other pieces this week too, which are based on the same Colorado theme. These pieces can be found below and I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed making them.

 

Rider Getting AirInspiration

I find it fascinating that when you look at an artist’s pieces, you can see a glimpse into their heart and mind. Their inspiration tells a story about what their heart is feeling and lately my inspiration has been fixated on what I miss most, Colorado… HOME. All of these graphics were done this week and when I look at them I reflect on what I miss most in my life. Colorado, mountains, close friends, snowboarding, familiarity, and being outside.

This week has shown me how much snowboarding has impacted my life. There is nothing like getting lost in the trees in the backcountry, stopping to take a break, and watching the snow fall around you. The peacefulness of just taking it all in and being thankful for being alive to experience it. It’s moments like these that make me the most thankful about life.

Do you have a happy place? Is there somewhere you go to either physically or mentally when times are rough? What does that place look like? What are you doing? Share in the comments below.

Let’s connect and be a part of each other’s life. Please subscribe and check out my other posts on my blog. If you like any of my graphics, please support me and purchase a t-shirt, mug, or some other awesome swag here.

XOXO,

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wisdom listens

Knowledge Speaks, but Wisdom Listens

wisdom listens

 

Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens. This quote by Jim Hendrix really speaks to me because I feel like everyone has so much to say these days, but very few people are good listeners. Everyone wants to speak about their knowledge and just how much of it they have. I find it so self-serving to always talk, but to never listen to others around you. People are just waiting for their next opportunity to say something without taking in what the other person is telling them. Public service announcement… not everything is about you.

Pause & Absorb Your Surroundings

Take a beat and absorb the world around you. Listen to a new and different perspective. Absorb more knowledge by listening to the great minds that surround you. Realize that there are other ideas that are just as effective as your own. Reach the understanding that the ability to utilize group knowledge will empower you to do amazing things.

Diversity of Ideas & Perspectives

I think it’s important to encourage a diversity of ideas, but first that requires acknowledging the value of people with varying experiences. These varying experiences allows people to view things through different contextual lenses. Listening to other perspectives is like stepping into someone else’s shoes and seeing the world through their eyes. It enables you to empathize with their feelings and opinions.

Empathy

Empathy is probably the most important ingredient to a good listener, which is why it’s important to have empathy as a designer (especially a UX designer). As a designer you need to be able to empathize with your users. Designers need to understand their pain points, struggles, and goals.  It’s how we gain insight into how to create the best solution for our users. All of the insight is gained through LISTENING.

Practice

If you listen, it’s amazing what people will tell you. Next time you get into an Uber and your driver decides to be a chatty Cathy, instead of rolling your eyes and making it awkward, I encourage you to practice your listening skills. I have some of the most interesting and unique conversations with my Uber drivers. Also, I now have the ability to turn a grumpy driver into someone that cheerfully shares his story with me and smiles while he/she does it. Talk about skills! After hearing a unique and different perspective, I leave feeling enriched and wiser. I walk away from that conversation feeling more connected to the world and the people in it.

Connecting

Listening is how we connect with the world and creating these connections is how we unite as a community and start utilizing “group-thinking” in very advantageous ways that can change the world.

XOXO,

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Grow With Google Developer Challenge Scholarship

Google Scholarship Changed My Life

Over the last couple years Google has sponsored the Grow with Google Scholarship with Udacity. It’s a scholarship that offers two different tracks of learning. The first track is Front-End Web Development and the second is Android Development. I was one of the lucky recipients of the Front-End Web Development scholarships.

The First Grow with Google Challenge Scholarship

Grow With Google Developer Challenge ScholarshipThe application for the scholarship opened in November 2017 and they announced the recipients on January 10, 2018. The first portion of the scholarship was awarded to 15,000 people and I was lucky to be one of those people. They had over 100,000 people apply to the beginner front-end web developer track and they selected 15,000 people. That’s 15%. Honestly, as long as you were motivated to learn and demonstrated that eagerness in your application, they gave you this opportunity. I really don’t believe it was super selective, but this is where the challenge only begins.

The challenge scholarship was sponsored by Google, but the coursework was conducted through an online school called Udacity. They allotted the recipients 3 months to finish the course at their own pace. The Udacity scholarship team and Google then evaluated all the recipients on their progress, their graded assignments, quizes and projects, and the individual contribution to their Slack channel. They wanted students that were willing to facilitate a cooperative learning environment where people learned to work together and help one another.

Based on your progress, aptitude, and how well you did on the projects, they then selected 1,500 people to receive the full Nanodegree scholarship from Udacity. This extension of the first part of the curriculum teaches you ES6 JavaScipt technologies, React, Angular, and different techniques to produce production quality code. I was chosen to be 1 of the 1,500 people chosen across the globe to get this scholarship and I am super thrilled! Thank you GOOGLE AND UDACITY!!!

Beginner Front-End Web Development Curriculum

In the course of 3 months, Udacity taught me HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and jQuery. Their methods of teaching these technical computer languages were done through fun videos that use silly analogies, written materials, and quizzes to test your understanding.

The final project was to create a Pixel Art Maker. This project challenged me in so many different ways and taught me a lot about myself. I went the extra mile by creating my own graphics, sidebar navigation, and gave it a totally different experience than the original project outlines called for. I believe that it was my project that helped me stand out enough to be chosen for the full nanodegree scholarship through Udacity.

GWG Nanodegree

Front-End Web Developer Nanodegree

I just finished my Front-End Nanodegree! Thank you Udacity and Google for this wonderful opportunity and for believing in my ability. I truly enjoyed the courses and I definitely learned a ton!

The nanodegree curriculum expanded on previous curriculum of the challenge scholarship and included Angular, Ember, React, JSX, Design Principles, and how to create production-level programming projects.

It truly was an awesome experience and I’m forever grateful.

Udacity does a wonderful job in preparing their students. They even offer career services that help with your resumé, cover letter, and they host “Career Month” where they offer advice and provide resources. The courses were very informational and engaging. I would recommend their curriculum to anyone interested in learning about programming.

 

<3 you Google and Udacity!

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Designer

My Dream Career As A Designer

Chase your dream career no matter how crazy they may seem! Don’t just think about your dream career from time to time, toy with the idea, or inch towards it without any conviction. You have to chase your dreams like there isn’t another option. Chase your dreams and dream career with conviction and determination, otherwise the seemingly impossible will remain impossible.

Crazy Dreams Are The BEST Dreams

Some dreams seem unattainable because they seem so abnormal, farfetched, and sometimes just outright crazy. BUT let me tell you one thing, crazy dreams are the ones that you should reach for! Most people only aim for dreams and goals that seem attainable, the ones that are not that far from reach, dreams that are safe. Why do they do this? Because most people are afraid of failure, looking like a crazy person compared to the norm, or they are just paralyzed by fear.

Think about all the super successful people you can think of. Think about Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and a ton of other innovative inventors throughout history. Everyone thought they were crazy at one point in time. Their dreams were so large and ahead of their time that people couldn’t grasp that they were on the cusp of ideas that would soon change the way people would interact with and view the world forever. Their dreams impacted the world and touched people from all walks of life.

I feel that most people can become short-sighted because they hate feeling abnormal. However, I want to remind you that in order to stand out amongst the crowds, you need to be extraordinary, which means that you need to be more than ordinary and that is the definition of abnormal. Do not aim to be normal. Aim to be the most unique and successful.

Blind Faith Is The Only Type of Faith

I believe that nothing is impossible because God can do anything! I have faith that God can make the impossible happen. Faith means trusting even if you don’t have definitive proof. Essentially true faith is blind faith. So if your heart desires the wildest of dreams and you truly believe it’s your calling in life to achieve those dreams, then have faith that God will do the impossible to help you achieve it!

Notice how I don’t claim that the impossible is attainable by your efforts alone. I truly believe that God is in control and He is the one that is the keeper of your dreams.

How This Relates To My Life

Childhood Dreams That Seemed Out Of Reach

Growing up, I dreamed about being an artist and designer. I fantasized about my dream career as an artist or designer, but I never thought that in my wildest dreams that it was possible. I never thought that people would see my artistic vision and appreciate it the same way I do.

I never thought that artistic careers could provide success and money. We have all heard the phrase “starving artist.” Very few artists become successful and many struggle to make a living as an artist. This scared me into thinking that becoming an artist wouldn’t provide me with the lifestyle I wanted. I had no desire to become a starving artist.

Despite my fears of a career in art, there hasn’t been anything that has captivated me like my own creative imagination. When I retreat into my own creative realm, I am able to find inner peace and happiness. Throughout my life, this is where I retreat to when life becomes difficult. My creative mind became my coping mechanism when my life became turbulent.

I also love technology and inventing. I am full of new and innovative ideas. In 7th grade we had to create a non-working prototype of an invention in our science class. What did I create? My invention was what we would call a smart phone today! This was during a time when cellphones were the size of bricks! I wish I was old enough to know about patents! Hahaha! I’m still obsessed with technology today! I love finding new and innovative gadgets!

How My Complicated Brain Operates

Art, creation, innovative technology, and science are the topics that I am obsessed with. Most people would think that creative and analytical ways of thinking are fundamentally opposite ways of thinking. They ignore the possibility of a person being capable of BOTH logic and creativity. This comes from psychology-based hypotheses that people are right or left brain dominant. Right-brain dominant people are thought to be the creative-types that are more emotional, while left-brain dominant people are logical and analytical. I don’t know why that they don’t account for the possibility of someone being both. It is foolish to think that EVERYONE would be just one or the other.

I know that I am one of the weirdos that do not have a dominant side. I am very logical, not very emotional, but I am also artistic and creative. I know that this isn’t typical of the majority, but this is how my brain operates. Being able to switch between these two different ways of thinking can be difficult at times because you crave stimulation from both sides of your brain. I have had a difficult time trying to find a compromise between both of these worlds. It’s even more difficult to get someone to accept that an individual can be BOTH scientific and artistic. More often than not, people that have both capabilities are forced to choose to focus on just one, which leaves a portion of themselves unfulfilled.

My Scientific Career

I have tried the more pragmatic and less-risky choice of pursuing a career in science. Scientific innovations do require some creativity, but not enough to make me feel fulfilled. There was a part of me that enjoyed my career as a chemist, because it challenged me intellectually and stimulated my logical and analytical brain. The other part of me, my artistic side, left me feeling like a large part of myself wasn’t being acknowledged. I loved the journey that my scientific career provided me, but I am excited to try something new after 10 years.

dream career designerMy Dream Career Transition

Transitioning into a new career field isn’t an easy thing to accomplish after you have devoted so must time and education to become specialized in a specific career choice. I have spent numerous years in school and and even more years working as a Scientist and Materials Engineer. It’s particularly hard to convince other people to see you as something other than a Scientist/Engineer when that’s how you have defined yourself for most of your adult life. I imagine this applies to anyone that has spent a significant amount of time in any career field.

Learning to Crawl Before You Can Walk & Walk Before You Run

The first step I took was to teach myself the necessary skills to make the jump. You have to start somewhere and that begins by filling your gap of knowledge. You have to crawl before you walk and walk before you run, which means there is a progression in learning. You truly can teach yourself anything if you are determined to make a change in your life.

I then started to transition the way I viewed and defined myself. You have to convince yourself that you are ready for this change and you need to envision yourself in this new role before you can convince others that you are qualified for the positions you desire. If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will.

My next steps involved networking and having faith that God would provide and do the rest. I truly believe that you do everything in your power to prepare yourself and then leave the rest to God.

Becoming A Designer

Recently, my career has taken an unexpected turn. This is a change that incorporates all of my interests. I have been offered a job as a UX/UI Designer! I will design the user experience and interface of new innovative software! God put all the right people and connections together to make this possible! I know that God made this possible because making such a drastic change in careers is EXTREMELY difficult. What makes this even more amazing is that I was offered a salary that is larger than I ever dreamed. It is a salary that is larger than what I would have received even if I had decided to finish my PhD!

Parting Thoughts

I am in awe of God and how he has provided for me for my entire life. Despite all the difficult times I have experienced, God has made my journey exciting. I am extremely grateful that He has provided me with AMAZING opportunities that I never dreamed possible.

I am a person of faith and I live my life by walking by faith. I leave my entire life up to God. It’s not the easiest path and it’s very difficult to have faith when life becomes difficult. Having determination to cling to my faith even when things appeared bleak has helped me triumph over any obstacle that I have faced. I will tell you that it has made my life an adventure and God not only provides, but He delivers more than you can ever imagine… if you allow him to take control. Giving up control is essential.

I do my best and prepare myself the best I can, but I do not take credit for any amazing opportunity or accomplishment that I have experienced in life. I give God all the credit. I am blessed!

It wasn’t my intention to make this post about my beliefs, but it’s impossible to tell this story without mentioning the biggest influencer of these decisions and how I was enabled to achieve the seemingly impossible.

Thank you for being a part of my story! Thank you for supporting my blog! Please take a look at my other posts on my blog. I want to hear from you! What amazing journeys have you experienced? Do you ever feel like you made the wrong choice in career? Comment below!

XOXO,

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hannah coley

Introduction

hannah and chris

Introducing Hannah Coley

Hello! My name is Hannah Coley and I am excited to debut my blog! I wanted to introduce myself and provide a little information about who I am, a few facts about myself, and why I decided to start this project.

I am a fun-loving girl originally from Colorado. I’m married to a wonderful man named Christopher Coley and we have a fur baby named Aspen (our dog). We currently live in Mountain View, California, which is located in the San Francisco Bay area. My husband is an engineer in the military, therefore we move quite often. Moving from place to place isn’t always easy, but it does make us more adaptable and adventurous people. We love finding new and exciting places and enjoying the outdoors.

My Blog’s Debut

I have worked really hard to get this whole website up-and-running and I am super excited that I finally get to create my first post. Hopefully, someday I’ll look back a this very post and become nostalgic of this sweet beginning. Maybe I’ll even laugh and make fun of my inexperience.

I started this blog to share my interests in beauty, travel, design, blogging, photography, and art. I wanted to be able to curate a place where I can express my love for topics that I am passionate about. It will provide a way for me to connect with people from all over the world that have similar interests and for me to be able to share a piece of myself.

Honestly, the idea of starting this blog seemed exciting and fun. However there was a small part of me that was and still is a little scared. It’s intimidating to make yourself so public and vulnerable to harsh criticisms from people that you don’t even know. People can be so mean on the internet. They can hide behind their anonymity and throw their manners out the window. They forget that there is a person with real feelings behind the words they criticize. I decided to try to overlook/overcome these fears and start this blog anyway. Please be kind.

Looking to the Future with Hope

I hope that my blog represents me well and helps my readers gain an intimate understanding of who I am, what my interests are, what my lifestyle is about, and what my priorities are.  I look forward to growing along-side my readers and that this blog takes us down a path of adventure and satisfaction together.

Thank you for taking a glimpse into my world and for supporting me as I learn to be better at all of this. Thank you for any kind words or suggestions that you may have. Please grab a warm cup of coffee or tea, curl up under a comfy blanket, and stay a while to check out my .

What topics are you most interested in? Do you have any questions for me? Comment below!

 

XOXO,

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