From the Black Rhinoceros, African Lion, and Chimpanzee to the Asian Elephant, there are many endangered species at risk of extinction. At Zebra Pen, we believe in the wonder and beauty of all Zen’s friends. We’re committed to supporting these animals and helping them flourish for future generations. This year, we are proud to once again partner with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Saving Animals From Extinction (SAFE). The AZA SAFE program strives to keep endangered species safe by increasing conservation action, spreading awareness, and educating the public on ways they can help. Check out these environmentally-friendly tips to learn how you can make a difference for Zen’s friends and for animals in your local ecosystem.
Purchase Metal Straws
Plastic straws can end up in oceans, rivers, and other bodies of water and ecosystems which can directly impact wildlife. Straws can often be mistaken for food by animals, causing them to suffocate or become seriously injured. Plastic straws can also become lodged in nostrils, or cause other serious harm. Reduce your use of plastic straws by purchasing metal straws to use and reuse instead.
Bring Your Own Coffee Cup
Single-use coffee cups can accumulate quickly—but can take decades or longer to decompose. Instead of buying a cup from your favorite coffee shop, bring your own reusable thermos. Many stainless steel cups/thermoses keep drinks colder or warmer for extended periods of time, and they are more environmentally-friendly.
Speaking of reusable containers, using a reusable water bottle and other containers can drastically decrease your footprint and reduce waste. Each year, pounds and pounds of trash, mainly comprised of plastic items, are deposited into oceans and other bodies of water. Aside from being environmentally friendly, using a reusable water bottle is also more cost-effective than purchasing water bottles, and can help you save up to $200 a year.
Donate to an Organization
There are countless organizations that help support endangered species and their habitats. The AZA SAFE program is dedicated to helping save animals from extinction by aiding in conservation efforts, public awareness, funding and more. Help support these organizations by making a small donation and sharing your passion for saving the environment and endangered species with your friends.
Volunteering is another amazing way to contribute and help save wildlife in your community. Organize a neighborhood cleanup, or volunteer at your local wildlife conservatory or zoo to do your part in protecting animals and their habitats. Research opportunities in your area and beyond to help make a difference in the lives of animals.
Making a difference in your local ecosystem and beyond is easier than you think. Incorporating just a few small eco-friendly practices into your daily lifestyle can go a long way. Learn more about how we’re supporting the AZA SAFE programand helping out Zen’s friends.
First draw a circle outline centered on the card using the Zebra Drafix Pencil.
Next, draw some florals and leaves to make a wreath. Use the Zebra Drafix Pencil first, then finalize your wreath design using the Zensations Technical Drawing Pen. Color your wreath as you like using the Zensations Colored Pencils.
In the middle of the wreath, hand-letter “Happy Easter” using the Zebra Extra Fine Brush Pen.
Graduating from college is an exciting milestone that signifies the end of one journey, and the start of another. With graduation steadily approaching, it’s natural to feel a little lost, and even scared, of what’s yet to come. The best part is, you don’t have to have everything figured out. Your story is just beginning, and it’s time for you to learn as much as possible in the next few years.
Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable
Life is all about experiencing new opportunities and embarking on adventures. It’s also about stepping out of your comfort zone and trying new things. Use this time and energy to explore new hobbies and interests. If your job takes you to a new place or unfamiliar city, do as much exploring as possible. The most successful people aren’t always those with the best grades or best internships, but sometimes the people who are able to adapt to new circumstances and environments.
Keep Your LinkedIn Updated
LinkedIn is an awesome tool to leverage when staying connected to classmates, former supervisors, professors and more. You can also use it to browse job openings, stay up to date on current events and trends in your industry, and share your professional accomplishments. Be sure to support your classmates and friends on LinkedIn as well and take a genuine interest in articles and updates they post as they are likely to return the favor. Make sure you update your LinkedIn frequently with new skills, certifications and awards to reflect your professional experiences. Ask a mentor or former supervisor to write a recommendation on your profile. This shows you have made a good impression on former employers and would be an asset to a new company.
Ask Lots of Questions
You don’t have all the answers, and you’re not expected to either. Asking questions is essential to growth. It’s also acceptable to make a few mistakes along the way. According to Inc.com, many college graduates set unrealistic expectations for themselves early on in their careers that are nearly impossible to live up to in terms of job satisfaction and lifestyle. It takes time to build your career, and it’s important to remember that your first job (and even your second, third or fourth) is rarely your dream job. Use this period of growth to ask as many questions as you can and learn new things. Your future self will thank you.
Cherish The Little Things
Life isn’t always perfect, but there is something good in every day. Don’t let a bad day or even a bad week stop you from enjoying this time in your life. Go out for dinner with a friend, or attend a fitness class to get your mind off work and unwind from the week. Make sure to spend at least an hour each day that honors you, and be sure to practice self care. Try writing in a journal each night before bed to reflect on your day and keep track of your progress. For a smooth, weighted writing performance, use a Sarasa Grand gel pen. The Sarasa Grand is the perfect pen to bring to a big meeting, and makes a striking first impression. For other professional, durable and stylish pens, turn to the STEEL line.
Honor Your Own Journey
Theodore Roosevelt said, “comparison is the thief of joy.” In the age of social media, it’s easy to compare your journey to that of your friends and classmates. Remember, what you see on social media is a highlight reel. Everyone follows their own path in life, and everyone is fighting an internal battle you know nothing about. The path to success is rarely linear, and you have your entire life ahead of you. Be kind to those around you and know that you are doing just fine.
Make New Connections
While it’s important to stay in touch with classmates, professors and past mentors, it’s also important to use this time to expand your network. Get to know your new coworkers and supervisors and take the time to grab lunch with them when possible. Ask others about their experience and use their advice to better your own career.
Do What Makes You Happy
At the end of the day, life is too short to be anything but happy. Friends, family and the relationship you have with yourself are the most important things in life. Pursue the things that make you excited to come to work in the morning, and never stop exploring your passions. You can’t find true happiness from a paycheck.
Hello there! I’m Courtney from @tulippoplarco! I love creating watercolor paintings, but today I want to share a secret with you! You can get that beautiful watercolor look with your Zebra Mildliners! I’m going to walk you through the process step-by-step on how to create a faux watercolor floral painting!
*Zensations Technical Drawing pen
*Zebra pencil and eraser
*Watercolor brush (I used a Princeton round size 8)
*Water and paper towel
**Optional: Sarasa pens for added detail
Sketch out your floral using your Zebra pencil. I chose to go with Zinnias since they are fun and easy! I love doing a grouping in odd numbers (three for this one) and including lots of leaves or foliage!
Trace over your pencil with your Technical Drawing pen. These pens are bleed-proof, so they won’t bleed into your Mildliners when water is added! This is crucial! Also, don’t forget to erase your pencil lines when you are finished.
Lay down blocks of various colors using the Mildliner markers. I recommend using a couple (or few) colors to add dimension and depth to your “painting.” Do not worry about filling in all of the white space. Also, I worked with only one flower (or a few leaves) at a time so all of the colors would not bleed together once I added water.
Add water to the area where you added marker. Use your brush to move the marker around to fill in all of the white space and allow the colors to blend.
Continue adding marker and water to the rest of the painting. If one area is still wet, I generally try to move to a dry area so that my colors do not bleed too much. Use this method to work your way around the painting. As long as you do not add a ton of water, your painting will dry pretty quickly!
Once the painting is completely dry, you can go back and add details (like veins in your leaves or flowers, darken areas of interest, add extra shading, or highlight the center of your flower) with your Mildliners or Sarasa pens!
Admire your work! You can hang it up or gift it to a friend! These would make great cards and this method could also be used for journaling!
When applying for a new role, the interview process is the most pivotal component. It also gives you a chance to bring your qualifications and skills to life and allows the company to get to know you on a deeper level. While the job hunting process can be exciting, nerves are common and normal. Use these tips to manage your nerves and nail your next big interview.
Do Your Research Before the Interview
During the interview, you will be asked about what drew you to that specific company or organization. Research the company’s history, capabilities, or even press so you are prepared to answer questions. According to Glassdoor, candidates should take time to research key players, company values, culture, services and more to be truly prepared. This shows your potential employer that you are interested, and truly care about having the opportunity to succeed.
You can’t prepare for every question, but you can at least prepare for the predictable ones. Chances are, you will be asked to tell the interviewer a little bit about yourself. According to Forbes, it’s best to have prepared answers about your strengths and weaknesses. You should also speak about your ability to handle conflict and your biggest career achievements. Think about how you would handle a difficult situation in the workplace, or your ability to work under pressure. Consider how you may answer these before the interview, so you can remain calm, cool and collected.
Meeting a potential employer face to face can be a very nerve-wracking experience. Before leaving for an interview, practice mindful breathing or meditation to find a sense of calm. Listen to relaxing music or a podcast before an interview to prevent nerves from taking over and controlling the conversation. Remaining relaxed will allow you to deliver your responses in a clear, concise manner.
Nothing derails a meeting more than being late. Avoid obstacles like car troubles, public transportation delays or traffic by leaving for your interview even earlier than necessary. Being on time shows you are committed to the success of the interview, and also shows the company that you value being prompt as an employee.
Bring a Reliable Pen
First impressions are important, so it’s crucial to dress the part and look your best when heading into an interview. That includes bringing a professional, high quality writing instrument. For an elegant, gel writing experience, turn to the sleek and stylish Sarasa Grand. For durable pens that both impress and perform, use a STEEL G-402 gel pen or a STEEL F-701. Taking notes during an interview shows you are a good listener and using a sophisticated pen while doing it shows you mean business.
Cold weather and lack of sunlight can make winter seem never-ending , and can make workdays seem even longer. Between seasonal illnesses, inclement weather, and spending less time outdoors, it’s easy to feel dejected and a little down in the colder months.
According to American Family Physician, 4 to 6 percent of people may suffer from winter depression, and 10 to 20 percent of people may have season affective disorder (SAD).
Make Time for Fun
It’s important to remember to work live, and not to live to work. Work life balance is extremely important and making time for yourself to unwind and socialize can help combat slumps. Schedule weekend trips or staycations to give yourself a fun activity to look forward to. During the week, make sure you give yourself an hour each day dedicated to something you enjoy, whether it’s writing in a journal, cooking, attending a class or watching a movie. Doing things you enjoy will help diffuse some stress, and can help you keep your spirits high.
Attend a Conference
Attending conferences is a great way to grow your professional network, expand your horizons and learn new things. Search for conferences relevant to your career to attend during the winter months to reinvigorate your passions and inspire you to continue learning as a professional. This can also give you a nice change of scenery. You can bring back this newfound energy to your office and use it to your advantage.
Listen to a Podcast
There is no shortage of podcasts being developed each and every day, in almost every subject imaginable. Listen to a professional podcast pertaining to your industry to supplement what you are learning at work while hearing from other professionals. Also, start listening to a podcast in a different subject that interests you on your way to and from work. This will keep your mind stimulated while helping you develop new interests.
Upgrade your Office Supplies
Change your office space by adding a new decoration to make your desk or cubicle instantly happier. If your office is typically cold, bring a blanket or space heater to make your space more comfortable and pleasant based on your preferences. Then, start using pens and other writing instruments that make you look forward to taking notes in meetings. Use the Sarasa Grand or the STEEL line for big meetings and use double-ended Mildliners or Zebrites for highlighting.
Exercise is a great outlet for stress relief throughout the year, but it can be especially important to stay active and release endorphins during the winter months. If the cold is deterring you from taking a walk outside or going to the gym, try a workout at home. Practicing yoga is also a great way to reconnect with yourself while moving and stretching. Work out with a friend or try a new work out class to stay social and keep moving.
While it’s important to show appreciation for our loved ones year-round, Valentine’s Day offers us a special opportunity to treat them to something special. Flowers, jewelry and chocolates are great, but the best gifts come straight from the heart and not from the store. It is incredibly impactful to spend time and effort on something rather than simply buying it. Show your friends, family and loved ones how much you care by creating your own Valentine’s Day gifts. Use these tips for inspiration to make this Valentine’s Day one to remember with memorable, cost efficient gifts.
Creating handmade cards is a personal, fun and inexpensive way to show someone you care without breaking the bank. Be as creative and personal as you like by designing your own cards from start to finish. Pick high quality stationary, stickers and other finishing touches and use Zebra Zensations brush pens to hand letter your own messages. Use an inside joke, a meaningful quote or a heartfelt message to complete a card they will hold onto forever.
Sugar scrubs are a great way to exfoliate your skin while relaxing and practicing selfcare. While there are many sugar scrubs to choose from, they’re super easy to personalize and make at home. Combine 1 cup of granulated sugar, ½ cup of coconut oil, and essential oils of your choice into a decorative jar. Lavendar, peppermint, chamomile and tea tree all have calming effects and are ideal for unwinding. Decorate the jar with ribbon, twine, or a colorful handmade label using Zensations fineliners. Enjoy for smoother, healthier skin.
There’s nothing quite like the gift of knowledge and enlightenment. Give your significant other a book about a subject or person that interests them, and pair it with a handmade, heartfelt bookmark. Hand letter a phrase, encouraging message, or illustrate a unique design. Laminate the bookmark when you’re done so your partner can use it for years to come.
Candles can help create a sense of calm, peace and serenity that is invaluable during a busy week. Grab a friend and attend a local candle making workshop for a fun activity that results in the perfect gift for a friend or significant other. They are also easy to make at home, using scents, containers and sizes of your choice.
Soap is a pleasant, practical and cost-efficient gift that keeps on giving. The color, scent and shape combinations are practically endless, giving you plenty of creative freedom to make soap for significant others, friends, family and coworkers.
Our lives are made up of tons of tiny defining moments, and the same can be said for our friendships and romantic relationships. Celebrate the little things in a big way by creating a shadow box craft. Purchase a shadow box from a local craft store, and fill it with small, meaningful objects including ticket stubs, photos, and other sentimental things that signify your relationship.
Store bought candies, cookies or other sweets are great when you’re pressed for time, but homemade treats mean even more. Baking gives you an opportunity to create many gifts at once, making it perfect for a large group of friends or an office setting. Package your baked goods in festive bags or boxes and enjoy.
In our busy lives, taking the time to relax and reconnect with yourself is invaluable. Bath bombs are a staple of selfcare, which makes them a perfect gift for anyone on your list. Bath bombs can be easily made at home, and can include all natural ingredients and essential oils. Use heart shaped molds to create perfect gifts for a group of friends.
Preparing for the upcoming New Year is definitely a must. What better way to start off 2019 than to set up a new bullet journal?
Bullet journaling is a conceptual planning system created by Ryder Carroll, where you can plan ahead for an organized lifestyle, and unleash your creativity onto the pages of your notebook. Here are some ways in which you could effectively bullet journal in the new year. Grab a pen and a notebook and let’s get organized!
Incorporating a customized yearly overview into your bullet journal is a great way to look at your year in a bigger perspective. Not only can you keep track of all the days and weeks of certain months, but you can highlight any days of personal importance. This reference prevents you from forgetting important days, and allows you to see the days ahead to see deadlines, projects, and more.
Tip: Include an “Events” portion so you could become more interactive with your calendars. Highlight or write down holidays, deadlines, or other events from your calendar.
Year in Pixels
Setting up a “Year in pixels” will make your journal a little more personal. It also encourages you to write into your journal more often! Every day, color in a box with a color in according to how you feel every day of the year. This master mood tracker will also give you a chance to reflect on your feelings for the year.
Tip: Use Zebra Mildliners for a unique variation of color, as it will help distinguish the different moods you want to include in your tracker!
Creating a list of goals for yourself in your journal for an assigned month will help you achieve your objectives. Creating realistic goals each month will help you remain focused.
Tip: When creating goals, organize them under categories (such as fitness, academics, or habits) to help you take things one step at a time and to prevent any confusion in setting up different goals. This will allow you to achieve your goals faster.
Creating idea page(s) for your journal is a great way to quickly jot down formulated ideas, or even plan for projects you may be working on. For instance, this page can include artistic or organization ideas you could implement in your journal or daily life. It can also include academic ideas for when you come up with studious plans.
Tip: Make the page blank! Create enough space to branch out your thoughts and jot down ideas that may leave your mind the next second.
Creativity pages are a great way to unleash your artistic or creative abilities. Save some pages in your journal solely for creative purposes for you to brainstorm new artistic styles, inspire and motivate yourself, or even relieve some stress.
Hope these Journaling idea layouts and components will help you in your bullet journaling adventures for 2019. Wish you the best of luck, and happy planning!
Fatimah Coppin is a New York-based creator, and runs the popular Instagram account @studychaii.
The new year is here, making it an ideal time to start implementing new resolutions. As a professional, it’s also a great time to start fresh with new habits that optimize productivity at work and at home. Consider using one of these resolutions to kick start your year in a positive way.
Focus on Financial Health
Minimize your financial stress this year and commit to your financial health. According to Forbes, a Stress in America survey published in November 2017 by the American Psychological Association states that 62% of Americans report being stressed about money. Everyone’s financial situation is different but creating a plan that combines your financial goals and objectives for the year can help you plan ahead and budget your money wisely. For more guidance, make an appointment with a financial advisor.
Utilize Career Resources
In a digital society, there is one social media platform that all professionals should be using—LinkedIn. According to Forbes, the majority of employers look for an online presence before hiring, even after an interview. Additionally, 98% of recruiters and 85% of hiring managers use LinkedIn to find candidates.
Prior to LinkedIn, employers were investigating personal social media before hiring. LinkedIn is a professional platform that when used correctly, can give employers and recruiters the chance to pre-screen candidates before requesting an interview. This is not to say that employers don’t look at other social media platforms, because they do. However, LinkedIn is the perfect way to establish your professional persona.
Keeping a journal is more helpful than you may realize. According to Entrepreneur, keeping a journal can not only help you disconnect from scrolling through apps and emails, but it can also help you reflect each day. Listing helpful advice from mentors in your journal can be a great way to stay motivated in a time of stress. Use your journal to vent in a productive way, collect compliments or words of encouragement, and share your dreams and goals for the future. Don’t worry about perfection, simply write what you feel and be authentic with your thoughts. This is a place for you to be unfiltered and real. Choose a high-quality journal and pen to make your journaling experience even better.
Love Your Writing Instruments
Whether you consider yourself a writer or not, most professionals use a pen or pencil on a daily basis. If you’re looking for professional success in 2019, set yourself up for success. Think about the habits you create, the positive attitude you demonstrate, and even the writing instruments you use. For a gel pen experience in a more weighted, sophisticated body, use Zebra’s Sarasa Grand. If you need a pen or pencil that is durable and stylish, Zebra’s STEEL collection of pens and pencils provides a diverse line of professional instruments.
Make Time for Yourself
One New Year’s resolution that should be on every professional’s list is to make time for yourself. It’s a common concept to try and achieve a healthy work/life balance, however, very few professionals maintain it. Take time this year to focus on you, however you see fit. If you feel that you need more time with your family, commit to spending more time with your loved ones regularly. Don’t forget to make time for yourself, and try to spend at least half an hour each day devoted to something you love, whether it’s exercising, reading, watching your favorite show or listening to a music or podcast.
Draw a large oval in the middle of the card with your pencil. Make little leaves with your green colored pencil around the oval.
Take your brush pen and outline some of the sides of the leaves you created.
Erase the pencil lines in the middle of the leaves. Write whatever phrase you decide in the middle of the leaf. This time I am going to use the word, “Joy.” Enjoy!
Card 3: Rudolph Holiday Card
– Red and Brown Zensations Sarasa Gel pens
– Black medium point Zensations Brush Pen
– A pencil with an eraser
With your pencil draw a medium size circle in the middle of the paper. This will be Rudolph’s nose. About a finger length about the circle create 2 little eyes.
About a finger length slightly above/to the side of the eyes you are going to want to create your antlers. Kind of like a “t,” but with two lines crossing it rather than one.
Now use your red Sarasa pen and draw horizontal lines in the circle of the nose.
Do the same with the eyes but with black. Now, draw over the antler lines with Brown 2 parallel lines for the antler ears.
And it’s just that easy!
Card 4: A Fun Christmas Tree
– Green and Brown Sarasa Pens
– Colored Pencils
Take your ruler and with your pencil make a triangle to be the shape of the tree. Draw a little stump under the triangle. A square or rectangle works great. Take the ruler and draw 3 lines horizontally through the triangle. Use your Technical Drawing Pens to outline the triangle and the horizontal lines inside of it. Don’t forget to trace the stump.
Use the green pen for a horizontal lines in the tree. Then pencil in some patterns.
Outline the patterns in green.
Use your colored pencils to color in those patterns.
Write “Merry” above the tree and “Christmas below” and you have yourself another card!
Card 5: Dreidel Dreidel Dreidel
– Black Brush Pen
– Blue Colored Pencil
– 2 Brown Colored Pencils (different shades)
– Washi Tape
Sketch a dreidel to the side of your card.
Add the symbols to the dreidel. I googled the symbols but you could use the ones I used too! Letter “Love & Light” around the dreidel. Outline everything with the black Brush Pens.
Color in the dreidel with the lighter brown and then the darker brown to add some texture. Add some washi tape to the edges of the card to create a frame. Then color the background light blue.
Tear off the washi tape and you are finished!
Card 5: Ornament
– Technical Drawing Pen
Create a circle in the middle/lower portion of the paper with your pencil. Top it off with a little box and a line coming from the top of the card to the little box. (See photo below)
Use your pen and “scribble” sideways up and down in the circle. Do not outline with the pen because it will look cool without an outline. Scribble in the little box. And draw the vertical line coming from the top down to the ornament.
Erase the pencil marks. Add a quote or a saying below the ornament. “I like hanging with you” is a good one!
Card 6: Joy
– Technical Drawing Pens
– Red Colored Pencil
– A Pencil
Sketch a hollowed version of the word “Joy.”
Outline it with the Technical Drawing Pens.
Make little bendy lines to make the candy cane shape. Color in every other block with red.
It’s that easy!
Card 7: Santa Suit
– Red Colored Pencil
– Black Colored Pencil
– Yellow Colored Pencil
– Washi Tape
Make a square in the lower third of the paper with your pencil. Make a horizontal belt going through that square. Draw 2 circles vertically above the squares.
Add some washi tape to the edges to make a frame.
Color the buttons and belt black, the belt clip yellow, and his suit red.
Then remove the washi tape and you are all finished!
You have a Santa suit card!
Card 8: Holly-Days Watercolor
– A ziplock bag or any sort of flat plastic
– A green and red Fude Brush Pen
– Technical drawing pens
– Black medium tip brush pen
Since this card is a bit more difficult I have attached a video for you to watch. Check out the step by step below the video.
You will first color your red and green Fude Brush Pen on the ziplock bag or whatever flat piece of plastic you choose. Take some water and dampen the colors. Rub the plastic onto the paper to create a watercolor effect. Then use your technical pen to doodle whatever Christmas theme item you like. In my case I am choosing some holly!
Write a fun saying under the holly. Let’s go with “Happy Holly-Days!” Write your note in the middle and you are good to go!
Card 9: Hanukkah Card
– Blue, Orange, and Yellow Mildliners
– Blue Brush Pen
– A Pencil
– Technical Drawing Pen
Draw 9 vertical lines with the blue Mildliner chisel tip. I used a ruler to get the spacing just right. You can totally do that too or free hand it.
Color in little flames above the candle sticks.
Use the blue brush pen to letter Happy Hannukah around the card.
Now outline everything with the Technical Drawing Pen.
I added some dots to add some texture to the candles. I added them to the right of every candle to add a little extra flare. No pun intended. And there you go! A super easy Hanukkah card.
Card 10: Candy Cane
– Technical Drawing Pen
– Red Colored Pencil
This one is so simple that you could probably figure it out using the image below. But I have included a video too!
Here’s a description just in case you are like me and would rather read the instructions than watch a video. Make an upside down J a sideways J and a right side up J. Draw little swooping lines inside. Color every other block red.
Write out or letter “oh Christmas treat.” Easy peasy!
Thank you for joining me today! With these tips and pictures each of these cards shouldn’t take you more than 10-20 minutes depending on your experience!