Astropad Maker Spotlight, Maker Spotlight

A Conversation on Creativity and Crafting Brands

Black cup coffees with white text saying "Indie Coffee Roasters"

Maker Spotlight: Jenny Tod

Tell us a bit about yourself and your creative practice.

I’m Jenny Tod, Owner and Creative Director at Jenny Tod Creative. I combine critical thinking with expert artistry to help small businesses best present their purpose to the people. I offer three main services that encompass the full breadth of visual design needs: brand development, design, and illustration.

Jenny Tod, Owner and Creative Director at Jenny Tod Creative
Portrait of Jenny by Keyhole Marketing

Walk us through your daily routine.

My schedule each day is different — which is what I love so much about running my own businesses and setting my own schedule. I’ve quickly realized that the days are more successful when I am able to get up early and get a 30-min workout in. Beyond that, I schedule out my days with work time, administrative time, breaks, and meetings. I try to give focused time to each area of my professional and personal life. Sometimes, this means scheduling out my days with not just professional meetings but also personal time as well. Time with my son, husband or friends, time to work out, even personal time for doing whatever I choose — all make their way onto my daily calendar.

What’s your workspace like?

I work out of a few locations. The first is my home office, designed in a mid-century, modern style with tons of window light. We custom-designed the space to be inspiring and versatile. It’s a great place to work sitting, standing, or lounging in a comfy armchair. My second office is the other business my husband and I co-own, a local coffee roasting company called Indie Coffee Roasters in Carmel, IN.

Jenny working from her second office
Jenny working from her second office. Photo by Kathryn Walpole.

What made you decide to open your own coffee company and shop?

Alec (my husband) starting roasting coffee as a hobby in 2013. Friends and family starting asking for it, we started doing events, and it slowly grew into something bigger. In 2017, we realized that the part of the coffee industry we really loved was the community of people it enabled us to meet. We decided we wanted to open a retail space to provide a place for these conversations to be had between new friends, co-workers, community members, and so many others. I feel honored to get to serve people each and every day.

A few packs of Indie Coffee Roasters coffee beans
Photo by Jenny Tod

How does Astropad fit into your workflow?

Astropad has been an amazing resource for me in my business. I’ve used it for a variety of things including brand identity sketches, custom hand-drawn illustrations, hand lettering, and typography, among other things!

How do you merge traditional creativity with digital tools?

Astropad has been a crucial tool in doing just this. I start out every project with a pen and paper. Astropad allows me the same flexibility, movement, and fluidity I get out of hand-sketching on the iPad. It serves as a great jumping-off point to start creating things digitally, and go right ahead and finish them if I’m looking for a handmade look.

How do you brainstorm fresh ideas?

I get inspired by the purpose, goals, and mission of each individual company or client that I work with. Working alongside businesses that are driven and encouraged to make a difference in the lives of the people they serve is so rewarding. Ultimately, I want to help them convey a concise and targeted message, both visually and verbally, to their customers. I start each new project by turning on some music, finding an inspiring place to work, and sketching! There is something really inspiring about working pencil to paper (as a designer who spends most of her time in front of a screen).

Logo design by Jenny Tod
Logo design by Jenny Tod

What’s the hardest part about the work you do?

One of the hardest parts of my work is managing expectations and schedules with both myself and my clients. Running your own business means you’re doing it all. I’m terrible at saying no, and I am continuing to get better at understanding what I can handle and what is just too much.

What podcasts are you listening to?

The Deeply Graphic DesignCast, Obsessed with Design, She Podcast and Serial are a few of my favorites. I love to mix it up — a little design, some inspiring and uplifting content, and a great murder mystery! 

Playing cards designed by Jenny Tod
Design by Jenny Tod

At this moment in my life, I’m managing so many different things — I always have multiple balls in the air at once!

Lastly, what are some Instagram profiles you are obsessed with?

Follow Jenny Tod on Instagram @JennyMTod.

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