why i am not on vero

Listen. I get it early sneezers, I get it. I see the signs, I wonder if I should switch, then I read about it, then I ultimately put my phone down and walk away. A new way of connecting, a new chronological timeline, no ads, meaningful interactions. 

Barf. Put your fucking phone down and make a meaningful face to face connection. Hold your friend's hand as she is telling you she is dreaming big, hug your loved ones to tell them they did a good job, drop off soup at your friend's house who is sick. Those are meaningful interactions. Those are ad free, those are chronological, those are in real time. 

A while ago I quit twitter, because 140 characters are not enough for me and my rants. Did save my usernames though. Deleted my LinkedIn account—even though as a new full time freelancer everyone is telling me I am doing the wrong thing by not being there. I have but don't use a FB business page, because I am just parking my name in case you are googling me, to verify that my funky name does have a real face behind it. I use snapchat with a few friends, but mostly for dumb things, probably going to stop using it soon, because instagram is where I like to be and its stories are working just fine for me. Too many fucking channels take up too much fucking time to be too curated for too many strangers who don't know how to pronounce your last name (may be a specific issue with me only). 

I don't always love the instagram algorithm, the changes, the slight and gradual desensitization to what is acceptable, but I like and comment enough on things that I don't miss that much and my top friends are pushed to my feed pretty frequently. If I realize I missed a thing from a friend, I will say, "just now seeing this, good job on that thing that you did!" I don't feel bad for missing things. I don't claim to know everything first, and I hope that if you have big news to share with me you will direct message me, email me, or text me, or plan to meet up with me. And if you don't that's ok, too. I realize that this network as a larger social net is fine for what it is and works well for me as a business tool. 

I also want to point out that the things we are digging collectively about vero are the very things instagram started out with (e.g. timeline, no ads). So please don't be disappointed when a company that started two years ago changes totally in another two because they ran out of funds or cannot make up the costs of their biz just by posting your stories in chronological order sprinkled with butterfly wings and propped up by rainbows. 

Please do not insult any developer, designer, and business owner that your timeline and need for meaningful social interactions has to be ad free, built for free, used without subscription, created with all the ux/ui one can imagine (yes i read vero reviews in the app store *rolls eyes*) because you are such a unique person. Aka your online presence trumps others' needs to make a comfortable life. The services, products, clothes, food and everything else you consume in your life comes with a price tag. Why not a business that let's you rant online about how long your coffee line was this morning. Again, take soup to a sick friend. That's chronological and real. 

So I am not on vero because—maybe I will be proved wrong and butterfly wings can carry you further than I think, maybe transparency online is the thing of the future—but I'm not on vero because I don't need to find a new way to connect (I love the following I built and want to continue), because I don't have more special or exclusive content to share (if I get excited—I share), and because I am already personal and biz and everything else in between on my feed.

You do you though: hop off instagram, start your new thing, I am just not joining you. Nothing against vero, just against this idea that a new social platform will solve the world's problems. Humans interacting with or caring for each other in person, picking up trash in front of them, putting their shopping cart into its designated location, being kind and compassionate above all is what will get us started. In my opinion. So until vero loads faster, or that instagram dies, I will be here in my skeptical social corner sipping on tea, minimizing my social channels to a few that make sense to me that I don't mind getting lost in, or keeping up with. I'm going to keep trying to give my energy and time face to face to those whom I love the most, pay for the services I use and enjoy. (I realize I don't pay for instagram, but I'm equating seeing ads as a payment.) 

Not here to encourage or discourage your social platform decisions, just telling you how I feel. I hope you find the channels that suit you most, but above of all, I hope you have the courage to reach out to me if you want to say something other than hit the like button. xoxo

day 5/365

I love instagram. I love posting my process, work, products, semi selling them or just asking for follower feedback. I know a million other services also allows for designer/product feedback but I love the intimacy of my instagram account as a platform. I just broke over a 1K followers at the end of last year, so it's still not an insanely impossible task to comment back or to follow along with my audience, but I have been wanting to step my game up and post more strategically. 

I love instagram because it's my account, and i can post whatever the fuck i want to. Whether work or personal or travel (have considered wanting additional accounts but always felt like it's impossible to separate myself)—it's all me in one package. One day you may be looking at the breakfast I just posted, or I have a long rant about being emotional, it's all me, influencing me as a person and designer. But I also feel like I need to be able to connect the dots from a process shot and my work to an actual products. Because I have them, but without a storefront nobody even really knows... Can't just design a product willy nilly and not follow up, right? I already have too many unfinished projects and ideas. It's time to rid the closet of unfinished work. I want this year to be the year of cleaning up and focus.

So I decided to start a Monday share on Instagram, where I post a product of the week. And that is a product that will by then be in my online shop for sale. I don't have to post everything all at once online, I don't have to be always ready with everything and be perfect. This is my reminder to just keep swimming, to post one thing at a time, to work slowly and with intention and not stress over the to do list, but look back and enjoy the completed piles as well. 

It sounds very product and money oriented, and it is. Putting my work out into the universe and not asking for a fair price is also a concept that I am outgrowing. I no longer do barter work, I want to pay you for the services you provide for me, and I also want you to pay me for the things I designed, printed, and labored over. What is so wrong with being a sales person? What is so weird about promoting my work this way? I still have unanswered questions, and I still feels sticky at times, and I think that I will continue to hide in the shadows of instagram, but I also have hopes that I can peel away the layers and ask for what I am worth, what my time is worth, what my products are worth. 

Thanks for reading. 

Showing up

Almost a month ago I counted 16 projects small, large, new and very old that I want to complete before I head to NY. What is it about a regular work week where I think I am working hard yet I find myself not accomplish a ton? Lately I have been working on freelance every night. No all-nighters just yet, but maybe I won't even need to resort to those. If you know me, you know that I was blessed with the do-not-need-to-sleep-that-much genes, though my body does say differently now and then. In any case, in a few short weeks I have cut down my projects to 11.

I found myself questioning how I was able to do so much in so little time. It seems like that having a final deadline, something with no outs is a massive motivator. If someone tells me "take your time" I will now know to ask for a written schedule regardless. It also occurred to me that in all the small ways I was present amounted to more than I could have imagined:

1. Prepping for the week on Sunday (changed my life). 
I am highly aware which day I can run errands, meet a client, squeeze in a yoga class to keep my body healthy. If things shift during the week I still have a good sense of what is when and I don't panic or overbook myself.

2. Scheduling.
Running multiple client jobs at the same time is insanely hard. I have come to the conclusion that making a list of all the jobs I need to do does not dissect the steps small enough for me to get to them and actually work on them. I have created a design as well as a print calendar on google, where every project is broken down to items like file due, client feedback due, job on press. This way I know if I just focus on the the task in front of me I don't need to panic when to order inks for the job, because I can do that the day I predetermined already.

3. After-hour hours. 
Just about every evening I set a task list based on how hard I worked on how early I got up with small bite size freelance steps that get me closer to finishing a job. Instead of tiring myself out with a logo design in a few sittings I look at my files twice as much for twice as few hours. It has allowed me to walk away from issues, getting cranky, going down a rabbit hole. I write down the things or issues I want to solve and I firmly believe that as that task runs in my brain in the background the next time I see the problem I am just so much more excited to delve in.

4. Setting client expectations.
I noticed how much more reliable both clients and I are when there is a simple little pdf listing the steps who owes whom what and when. It takes extra time to create, but as I enter the due dates into google, I also enter the dates into the doc I share with clients now. I used to only do this step when I had enough time, or worked with brides, because their timelines were the most strict and they were the most panicky clients in general. Creating honest time frames helps me show the client that a job is not just "thrown together" in Illustrator and shows them that the more they give me feedback in a timely manner the better I can advance with their work. It sets the stage for interactions where we both know what to expect. 

5. Actually showing up. 
So yea, these things are all dandy, but you gotta fucking do it, too. You gotta wake up early, you gotta deliver on your promise, you gotta sit down every evening and chip away at the pile.


So to you my friend I say, find your drishti, find the weird idiosyncrasies that make your task list possible chip away at and get to it. Talk soon? 

gem city to the big apple

It's been over 4 months since I have made the decision to put myself first: my education, me learning something new, me showing up to a new place, me doing a new thing. It took me 4 months to get here. To publicly write about it, to explain what the fuck is going on. 

For years I have admired design speakers at all kinds of conferences talking highly of Type at Cooper. I've always wondered, "the hell is Type at Cooper?" I looked it up, I fell in love, 4 years later I had the guts to submit my work and I got accepted. 


Alongside some pretty talented, and in some cases already type designing beasts, me—little-reka-juhasz—got accepted at Cooper. I had to be strategic, I had to have a few really heavy conversations about how to move forward. As a result I am walking away from a lot of things I adore. I'm taking a sabbatical from my place of work—where the past 6 years I have been given amazing opportunities, where I have been pushed, loved, and supported and I am going to walk into a total stranger of a city, a foreign building and classroom to work from 9am to 9pm or until my fingers fall off to put myself first. How bizarre is it that what fuels me is also intrinsically the same exact thing that scares the shit out of me. Sometimes I find myself more courageous in the moments of haste and chaos than silence and space. Is that normal?

I am also taking a sabbatical from teaching at my home studio—Thursday night power flow jams may just get a little less profane you guys. Hang in there though, I may pick up some new slang in the big apple. 

I am sadly saying forever goodbye to my other studio that has offered me a job without me ever asking. A place that believed in me, let me loose to find and refine my voice, part-take in its beautiful branding process, and allowed me to meet so many wonderful yogis. TR, thank you for your grace and allowing me to go with the flow. 

And if you know me... we cannot dismiss the millions of side projects. I will be wrapping up my magical 16 projects all due by early June. The paperreka shop will shut down from June to the end of July, new client projects will be taken up in first-come first-served basis upon my return in August. 

It is imperative for me that this journey is not tainted by any other factors. That for once I take a vacation to work only 12 hours a day. I cannot be more excited to only invest time in myself and learning, and soaking up everything the big city will have to offer. 

Lastly, fear not. I will be back stronger, better, and more confident. I cannot wait to start this chapter and if you have people, places, friends, yoga studios I need to learn about, see, or meet in new york—please let me know. Namaste bitches. 



Sweet 16. It is going to be the magic number. The number of projects that I have on deck that are old logos I need to complete, coasters I need to finish designing, labels I need to print, wedding invites to layout, business cards to press—a plethora of jobs. 16 magical jobs. I am going to finish all of them by the middle of June. I have to. 

Spring cleaning helped. My life is more spacious. I sat down at my desk the other day and took 6 hours to micro manage the shit out of my calendar. Every project start time, review time, changes back to client time, job on press time... it's all noted in google.

I recently read that Eat that frog! book and though pretty self-explanatory and a little silly, I think about the advice every day. Tackle the most overwhelming ugly looking thing on your to do list. Half the time it won't even be that ugly, and it frees up soooo much mental space you will enjoy the rest of your tasks on your list. So I'm doing that. I'm eating 16 frogs in 2 months. I am putting my head down, I am going to take care of every last unanswered email, tie up every single project with a pretty bow and I am going kick ass. Some really big things are on the horizon and I need clarity from all the side hustle. 

Does anyone else have uneaten frogs the want to fess up to? 


spring cleaning

I think of spring cleaning as this big once a year chore that has to happen so I don't feel like my house or belongings or body is stuck in a rut. Yet any kind of cleaning I have done happened organically (spilling something this morning and finding old stains on the kitchen cabinet doors and consequently spending 30 minutes wiping down all kitchen cabinetry and drawers because once I start I can't stop). But while I was scrubbing away grease and who knows what other kitchen mystery dinner leftovers it hit me: I do really well with this kinda stuff in small doses. 

I read the Marie Kondo book on  tidying up last year sometime in the fall. I cleaned out my closets, severely reduced the number of garments I own and the number of shoes I wear. Since then I have gotten rid of several other pieces of clothing that I realized I have not worn in the 6 months since I lied to myself that they brought me joy. Whatever... not going to get hung up on it. In any case, linen closets, small spaces, kitchen utensils, lots and lots of things came under my "does it bring me joy?" scrutiny and I have to say, in small doses I have been able to see and confront how little I need to be happy. Rarely anything I purchase now are to decorate or to be a "thing" in my house. Rather everything has a place, a purpose, and if something new comes in, it invariably replaces and old broken thing, not adding to a collection. 

It feels liberating. I get emotionally attached to all kinds of crap. Often a thing someone says in passing. What did they mean, what was I supposed to think, the feelings I felt when it was said, and then inevitably the myriad of responses I did not think of in the moment. I get attached to the shirt I wore at this one concert, or a thing my sister made me 15 years ago. 

Last week I went running for the first time in over a year. Short few miles, turtle pace, but I did it. Went right after work with a friend, nothing serious, not training for a fucking marathon. For the joy of being outside, getting active, breathing. Later I pondered the success of not stopping and actually enjoy the quick run with my friend, and I realized it was because I attached no outcome to the activity. I almost never do that.

You would think I have this shit down or have better answers because of teaching yoga... but you would be wrong. I fight every day to not overthink things which in turn makes me overthink things. I have slowly realized that spring cleaning for me has to happen in small doses. Little changes, few mile runs, one kitchen cabinet at a time. Not trying to solve everything at once, not having all the answers. It's fucking hard. I want change, but I know I hate it when it happens all at once. So I'm just going to let the runs be what they are, stick to this CCF ayurveda tea that I have been super loving (though stopping the rest of the cleanse) or who knows, maybe I won't do any of it at all and find something else that brings me joy. 



For me, February was about trust. Every conversation I had about yoga, teaching, design or life peeled another layer off of this trust/not good enough/stop seeking answers outside yourself onion. I'm really good at signing up for things. I add it to my calendar, I set reminders—you can call me more or less organized. I'm really good at calling myself out on stuff. It's a form of brutal honesty where I extensively highlight all my inadequacies and can explain in detail I how I am a shitty designer, a terrible yoga teacher, and overall a pretty dull person. To some degree self awareness is great, but I am slowly realizing I am not getting anywhere with this lack of trust in my skills as a human and as a designer.

I'm also really good at hiding. I want to trust myself but it's an all or nothing formula for me: I have to leap. Always. It's not small teaspoons of courage for me. I have to call myself out ahead of time and commit to a deadline for whatever and never look back. Leap and trust. 

So I made a poster. In a matter of a couple of days, showed it to my designer friends when complete... waited for them to rip it apart. None of that happened. They loved it. Posted it on Instagram, it got the most likes in paperreka history. "The road to hell is paved with likes" said someone at a design conference once, and while I agree, you get my point. I taught a fucking scary ass class on drishti (focus) at Speakeasy last week that was so magical, you could hear every drop of sweat hit the floor because everyone was so "in it."

So as the month draws to an end I ask myself (Carrie Bradshaw style), what the hell am I so scared of doing, achieving, and trusting? In what universe am I not good enough as an adult who moved across the world at the age of 18, got a degree, holds a job (pays taxes—had to), drives a stick for the love of god. I work full time, run a biz full time, teach 4 yoga classes per week, do side projects in the middle of the night. I made a kick ass poster, I teach amazing classes. 

I already have everything in me that I ever need. I have to start trusting that what I have learned, seen, done are enough. Nice enough, good enough, soft enough, pretty enough, challenging enough, smart enough. Just plain old ENOUGH. 

March, what you got for me?

twice a month

As I updated a few wonky looking images in my portfolio pages, I wondered... can I really attend to this website just a few hours a month? Is it possible to find balance with everything I have going on? 

I am currently reading The Yamas and the Niyamas by Deborah Adele, who is coming to Dayton for a weekend workshop to talk about things beyond your physical yoga practice. Her line in the first section Ahimsa (non-harming or non-violence) hit me today: "It is anti-cultural to claim any space that is simply space [...]" Shit. This is what I don't know how to do. So beyond the obvious interpretations of non-violence to others, how about non-violence to self? How about courage to create balance, how about unconditional self love, how about allowing space for something? 

What does it take to simply claim space? To simply be, to not rush, to trust, to just sit with silence? To be ok with who I am, to love myself as is? These are so foreign to my understanding of what will make me successful: the passion, the drive, the no sleep—yet I crave the pause and I want the balance. I'm hurting myself and those around me but not taking the time for myself, not resting, not loving. So as this month wraps up... I'm going to sit with this yama for a few days. I'm going to allow space, I'm going to love myself, so I can love others. 

trust the magic of beginnings

A year ago I started tweaking a site that was going to be easy and simple, using a template so I can share my work more easily. It back fired. It was so easy I never finished it. I overthought every aspect of it. Design, type sizes, writing, images. So in 2017 I'm posting this site as is, going to update products god knows when, will finish tweaking my writing when I feel like it, and it will just need to be good enough.

I can't do it all.

Despite popular belief I'm not a robot, spent the end of 2016 severely ill, so I too, need sleep, time off, and self love. I wrote down some things—intentions if you will—and it's just going to have to be enough. Raw, imperfect, sometimes bitchy, always brutally honest.

But I have to start somewhere. Have to accept something as a beginning, have to jump in, blindly, trusting—the magic of beginnings.