Finding Balance and Calm in the Midst of Change


Ever since my second daughter was born, I’ve been trying to figure out the right balance between being a father, husband, employee and church member. I’m also at a crossroads career-wise, trying to decide between furthering my education or finding other employment. I’ve struggled with maintaining a healthy weight for years and I’m passionate about writing, but don’t do it as much as I’d like. Isn’t it funny how the things that will really make you happy, gets the least amount of attention. Why am I slacking? Each have different reasons associated with them.

Weight loss = I feel guilty when I want to exercise, which I usually prefer over dieting. I don’t think I should spend time on lifting or running when my wife is busy with the kids.

Writing = I’m lazy after work, spending time with the kids and cleaning up after dinner. Once the last dish is cleaned, kids are asleep and my wife is free, I just want to watch a movie. I want to enjoy the few free time hours I have by losing myself in watching a flick or sports.

Now I’ve been asked to serve in a leadership calling at my church. No longer able to blend into the shadows, I’ll be front and center. I’m excited but scared. Fearful of the time I might lose with my family. Frightened by failure. Unaware of how I’ll balance everything, especially since I haven’t been doing a good job at that in the first place.

My negative voices have already started to creep in. “You’re going to fail. You not worthy. You can’t handle.” These voices really hit hardest in the beginning but it’s important to remember that it’s normal for anyone to be nervous with change. Doubt can set in, especially when you are struggling with depression. It’s hard to feel like you can learn new things when you have little confidence in yourself. Change can look like a treacherous mountain to climb, unless you can stay focused on each step, understand that doing what you can is good enough and remembering the successes you have along the way. If you can do these things, climbing the mountain will look more like an opportunity then a burden.

What sorts of changes have you gone through or are going through in your life, and how are you working through them?

Pattern Play No. 1

Pixel Patterns No1-01

For many weeks I’ve been feeling the overwhelm of having a TON of stuff to do (learn photoshop, learn html, learn css, design stuff for clients, figure out how to work with clients, cook, clean, change diapers, BLOG, etc.) and no clear direction on how to get this stuff done. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and I’m going to start calming my life down by really defining this blog (so at least I have it straight in my head). Here goes:

SoPupuka is a design/business blog where I share what I’m learning about graphic and web design, running an online business, freelancing, and balancing work with family. From this space you can buy my products, read tutorials, download freebies and hire me (coming soon!).

I’m kicking off this shift in focus with a freebie! This is a great way to practice techniques I’m learning, and right now, pattern-making strikes my fancy. I’ve created five pixel patterns in Photoshop. This .zip file includes 5 .pat files, and 1600 x 1600 jpg files of each pattern. Look for more stuff like this in the future!

Click here to download


p.s. Feel free to share this link and use the files in your own personal/commercial projects, but DO NOT re-distribute these through any other channel other than this link (even if you’re giving it away.)

Wrappily Update

Remember when I talked about entering a few designs to Wrappily’s wrapping paper contest?

Well…I won!

I’ve known for a while but I wanted to wait until I actually got my hands on the paper so I could photograph it, and it arrived yesterday.

Two of my designs tied for the top three (so cool!), so we decided to use both designs on on sheet.


The lūʻau leaf design was also not detailed enough, and when I tried to add more detail, it stopped looking like kalo, so we decided to tile the positive and negative sides. I LOVE the result.


I was also, so happy with the way the different shades of yellow turned out in the sun design.



I don’t see the new line available online yet, but I will share here when it is, or you can sign up for email updates at Wrappily  to find out.

Many thanks again to Sarah Smith of Wrappily for supporting local designers for her new collection!