Personalized Journal

Personalized Journal

When it comes to my brain having to remember things, I’m an old-fashioned pen-and-paper, hand-to-brain, make-it-stick kind of girl. I’m busy… I tend to take on a lot in my life with my “regular” job, my freelance work, my art, planning projects and keeping track of all those ideas and dreams, my three kids, my husband, my tribe… I have to stay organized and I have to write it down! There are tons of planners and journals out there, some pretty inexpensive, some pretty expansive, but I have my own little system of lists down to my own habits and I really enjoy keeping all of my brain-dumps in one place with my own flair. Continue reading

2016 – Done!

Hey y’all! I’m back! Happy belated New Year! How was your 2016?? I guess I blipped off the interwebs for that past year… My bad…

Can I be transparent for a minute? I didn’t do a lot of “artwork to heartwork” in 2016 as I had hoped. You may have noticed? Lots of heartwork, that’s for sure. 2016 was sort of a wash… We experienced a lot of good, but in hard ways. In short, when your mission organization refers you to professional counseling instead of a placement abroad as we had planned, you might get stuck in a hard place.

Colossians 1:9-10

If I were to sum it up in one word, 2016 would be defined as the year of Transition. And transitions can be hard when they hit out of now where. If I’m downright honest with you – 2016 hurt. A lot. Growing pangs, I guess. My friend has a shirt that says “I can’t adult today” and it cracks me up every time I see it. Adulting is hard, y’all! We had to let go of some dreams. Broken relationships that affect a whole lot of hearts. Stress that causes unexplained health issues. Unanswered prayers and unanswered questions. And all the moves… We moved (again). Twice in one year (again). That’s right, four moves in the past two years for this family of 5. I’m not even kidding. Don’t ask… I can’t explain it all… That in itself is enough to make you a little looney!

Rise Up

But it feels like the dust is settled and while we’re still climbing out of all the transitions, maybe (just maybe) we’re not stuck there any more. I’m incredibly thankful for the good that came with the bad – as cliche as it may sound, “To God be the glory!” He grew our prayer life, continues to nurture my soul, and shown me Grace. I’m thankful for the richness of the friendships that saw us through it (I’m looking at you, my Pow-wow Tribe) and escapes that wash the soul (Hellooo Tybee!).

I’ve decided to re-open my Etsy shop (still operating as DoodleSwirl over there… logisitics…). I’ve added a few new prints from this past year that I did get accomplished. I have high hopes of adding some products this year, I’ve just got to do some realigning and prioritizing. Meanwhile, you can follow the heartwork journey over on my public Instagram account and check back here for more ramblings as I get my work on a better system than once-a-year.


Until next time, doodle on friends!
~ Stacey

We’re back again

We’re back again

Whewwww! I’m calling it good-to-go. I’m excited to share about what I’ve been working on for the past few months! There – I said it!


I could keep tweaking and adjusting and adding and taking away but at some point you have draw the line and trust the process. I’m incredibly thankful for all of the encouragement from personal friends (near and far on the interwebs too!) to dive in and do what I love – inspirational artwork, doodles, and digital designs… And share it more broadly with all of you.

While my “freelance design business” has been my go-to for the past – oh 14 years (really!? wow!!) – my passions and soul work often got pushed aside to meet the next deadline. So I’ve decided to change direction just a smidge. I’m looking forward to partnering with other creative entrepreneurs for inspiring and encouraging work that matters on a different level. I’m excited to use the talents I’ve been gifted for a greater purpose. More on that later…

Stacey Chacon, Artwork to Heartwork
Today though, I want to share a peek into the process I go through with many of my clients’ branding projects. I’ve experienced the frustration that comes with having little to no road map for where we’re heading with a brand design. I’ve found a lot people assume branding is just – a logo – just clipart and trendy font collaged together. But your brand, my brand, tells a personal story. And just like any good novel or movie starts with a storyboard, so does a brand.

I start with an inspiration moodboard. I chose images that reflect my personality, lifestyle, work, inspiration (I spy some Katie Daisy and Illustrated Faith). From that collection, I chose a color palette to start with.


From there, I work up several sketches of logo options – yes, good old fashion pencil and paper – and then bring those ideas into Illustrator for digitizing and pulling it all together.


I tried a few on for size, and landed one that fits me just right. I have an element of handmade to reflect my love of color, lettering and paint and mixed that with a classic font for emphasis and modern font for a light and tender tagline. Put it all together and what have we got? BAM! A reflection of who I am and what I do and what I share with you! 🙂

As a very important final step I like to create a “branding guide” with all of the final elements of the design together in one docket.


I love seeing all the pieces together like this! I am by far the toughest critic and hard to please when it’s my own brand image at stake. If you haven’t popped over to read about the Heart of my work, jump on over there for a little insight into where this crazy train might be heading. 🙂

So that’s what I’ve been working on the past – oh…months… What have you been up to?

Home Studio Tour

Home Studio Tour

2014 is coming to a close and maybe like you, I’m mapping out goals and plans for 2015. A new year… a fresh start… a blank canvas… and lots of supplies to organize and use up! Over Christmas break, after all the family visits, wrapping papers were recycled and decorations back in storage, my husband suggested something absurb…

He suggested we turn this:

Studio Before...

…into this:

Studio after...

We do use our dining room. I grab arm-fulls of supplies from my cluttered office and haul it over to the big dining room table for room to spread out and make a mess, and then haul it all back to the cluttered office. And we do use it once a year for actual food consumption… Again, hauling chairs from our kitchen to the bigger table, then hauling it all back to the kitchen. The kids will use it for their art projects, or lego creations or hide and seek… But generally, it was the most under-used room in the house on a daily basis.

So as overwhelming as the job felt to clear out my office and move furniture, it made sense to follow Señor’s lead and make it happen. We didn’t want to spend too much money, and besides, we have plenty of shelves between the bookshelf from my office and my grandmother’s corner china cabinet. So we searched Pinterest for some pinspiration and found this studio tour to get us started. And so, we got to work decluttering old papers and boxes and bins…

2014_schacon_studio04 2014_schacon_studio182014_schacon_studio202014_schacon_studio09  2014_schacon_studio19  2014_schacon_studio13 2014_schacon_studio14 2014_schacon_studio162014_schacon_studio15  2014_schacon_studio17 2014_schacon_studio112014_schacon_studio12

My grandmother’s corner china cabinet never gets touched and we’ve probably used the few pieces of china once or twice. Now, they hold a stash of supplies and a few special keepsakes I’ve collected and created.

2014_schacon_studio10 2014_schacon_studio072014_schacon_studio042014_schacon_studio052014_schacon_studio03   2014_schacon_studio06 2014_schacon_studio02

So there’s my new studio. Front and center in our home, full of great light and purpose.

For those wondering how we did it… The shelves are just 3 pieces of crown molding Señor picked up from the hardware store. They have grooves great for holding my papers and prints on display, and sturdy enough that I can sit canvases there too. We spent about $35 for three shelves and a few packs of L-brackets. I’d still like a few essential pieces like a comfy chair and a rug to protect our floor. But really, I’m ready to get busy in here and make something!

I’m always inspired by glimpses of where other people create. Leave me a note or a link below and share your creative space!


A Simple Wishlist for Doodlers

A Simple Wishlist for Doodlers

It’s that time of year, friends! We are one week – ONE WEEK – away from Christmas and for me that means I’m scrambling to turn these last minute to-do’s into TA-DA’s and wrap up my Christmas shopping.

Yesterday, I was chatting with a friend about some creative little gifts for aspiring artists in her family and that sparked this quick blog post to share ideas with you! Maybe you too have a doodler in your circle, but have no idea what to give them? Here is a simple wishlist for someone just starting out and keeping it light, and won’t break the bank for the gift-giver. I’ve linked to Blick’s online store, but you can find these supplies at just about any craft store.

Oh my goodness, can you imagine how excited your doodle-lover would be to receive a gift basket full of their some favorite supplies?!

A Simple Wishlist for Doodlers

They’re most definitely a few of my favorite things

1. Sakura Pigma Micron Pens – I keep Microns with me wherever I go. I love the range of fine tips that can cover teeny-tiny hairline details, to the heavier brush pen for filling in larger background areas. The ink is acid-free and archival, and permanent, so I can color around them without worrying about ink bleeding if I color around with marker or watercolor.

2. Spiral-Bound Mixed-Media Pads – If you were to visit my office studio, you’d find a bunch of spiral bound sketch books. I’m not picky about the brand, as long as the paper is thick enough to handle my messes. I like that I can get Canson pads in a good range of size and weight. When you’re picking one for your doodler, I’d suggest getting a size that they can easily hold in their lap, since most of us like to doodle on the couch or in the car…

3. Moleskine Notebooks – For even more portability, pick up a Moleskine Notebook, or two, or three, or… They’re great for tossing in my bag and getting my doodle on when I’m on-the-go. Their “Classic” paper is smooth and great for writing or ink-only illustrations. Step it on up to their “Watercolor” notebooks for wetter media like watercoloring and bold markers. I took a Classic with me on a recent trip to Spain. It was great to jot down notes and doodles in the airport and long train rides.

4. Sharpie Ultra-Fine Point Markers – The bold color of Sharpies can really add some pizzazz to my doodles without too much added expense. Currently, my favorite set is the 80’s Glam, but maybe that’s because I’m truly a child of the ’80s!

5. Travel Watercolor Paint Set – Travel sets are great for keeping things light and simple. I have two favorite sets that I’m using now: The Sakura Sketchbox set of 24, and Artists’ Loft Fundamentals Watercolor Pan Set. I love both sets! The Sakura set includes a waterbrush which has a little built-in reservoir for holding water (no need to bring along an extra cup for your water!). The Sketchbox is small enough to fit in my bag when I’m out for a hike too. Not to mention the colors are so rich and vibrant! My other go-to set is my Artists’ Loft Pan Set. These are great for my Bible-Journaling and don’t bleed to badly through the thin pages in my Bible. And they’re very economical, so that’s always a plus for a starving artist!

6. A Mechanical Pencil – I personally like the weight of a good metal mechanical pencil better than a typical #2 school pencil. I know I can keep a fine point on my mechanical without have to resharpen. And plus, when I’m on the go, I don’t have to worry about bringing a sharpener/blade (which are generally frowned upon by security…).

7. Kneaded Rubber Eraser – Last but definitely not least, a kneaded rubber eraser. All erasers are not created equally, my friends. I’ve been using the same rubber eraser since college (and I’m not going to tell you that means I’m going on 10 years with the same eraser!!). It doesn’t leave behind eraser dust like a typical eraser would, and I can knead it (thus the name) into whatever shape I want to get as much coverage as a I need.

I could add about 100 more items to this list, but since you’re running out of time for shopping, I’ll leave you with just these few. And if all else fails, a gift card to their favorite art store could be a one-size-fits-all solution!

Happy doodling!

*Disclaimer: None of the manufacturers, companies, distributors or their representatives paid me to make this list or give my opinions. They don’t even know who I am. I’m just sharing my own opinions and favorite doodle tools.