What’s in my bag: My Top 10 creative essentials


I read Us Weekly every week. It’s one of my guilty pleasures. Every week, there’s a column called “What’s in my Bag.” So imagine my delight when I came upon this fun project: a collection of photographs showcasing other designers’, bloggers’, and creatives’ bag contents. It inspired my own little photoshoot.

Here’s a peak into my ‘bag.’ Well, not exactly…. This is What’s at my Desk. The 10 creative essentials I always have around when I’m designing. 


1. Moleskine Notebooks
I always have one small Moleskine notebook (with lines) for notes, and one large Moleskine notebook (unlined) for sketching. Any time I’m in a meeting or on the phone, the little notebook is where I’m taking notes. And when I’m brainstorming—be it a logo, a website, an info graphic—the larger notebook is my go-to vessel. I love the feel of a pencil on this paper (note: I NEVER use pens in my Moleskines).

2. Pantone Swatch Book
Note sure what a Pantone color is? If you’ve ever worked with a designer on a logo or other printed piece, you may have heard the term Pantone (orPMS) color come up. Pantone colors are specially formulated inks that ensure your color prints the same every time. Certain factors affect the accuracy, though, such as the type and color of paper you are printing on. Printing with Pantone colors is the gold-standard of printing. For color perfection, you can’t beat a PMS. And that’s why I always use a Pantone swatch book when choosing colors for a logo.

veer-mug3. Mug, filled with water (or coffee!)
No morning can begin without coffee. But by noon, my buzz is pretty much at it’s peak, and I switch over to water. This particular mug has become a particular favorite of mine. It’s a little swag I picked up from a favorite stock house, Veer.

4. Eraser
We aren’t all perfect!

5. Paper Mate Mechanical Pencils
See my note in #1. These are the ONLY pencils I use. I generally have at least 2 or 3 floating around my desk or in my bag. I just love the feel of these pencils.

6. Dove Dark Chocolate
I always always always have my dark chocolate nearby. These little bites are perfect for a pick-me-up, or to snap me out of a funk during a tough day. Besides, isn’t dark chocolate good for you? I pretty much can’t have one without having three!

7. Bleedproof Paper
This is a must for any illustrations I might be cooking up. They start with a pencil, and progress to a sharpie. The bleedproof paper keeps lines nice and crisp for when I am ready to scan the latest drawing.

8. Earphones/Music
Some people need silence when they work. If it’s silent in my office or workspace, it just means it’s an off day, and I’m not sure what music will bring me out of my funk. My taste is all over the board: Top 40, Rock, Alternative, Country, Jazz, R&B, Showtunes… you name the genre—I’ve probably got it in my library.

9. Sharpies
See #7. I’ve got Sharpies of all shapes and sizes, but the fine-point version tends to be my go-to variety.

10. A Mac
Not really pictured (although my Moleskine notebooks do bear an Apple sticker). If I’m at my actual desk, I’m on my iMac. If I’m on the go, I’ve got my MacBook Pro. And in both situations, my iPhone is at hand. No matter what, my computer of choice has been (and always will be) a Mac. The Mac just handles the graphics programs I use much better. I was forced to work on a PC years and years ago, and the ridiculous number of times a day my computer crashed convinced me I will always and forever be a Mac-geek.