Sunday, January 21, 2018

Another Happy Customer



In past posts I have mentioned both Etsy and Society6 as outlets where I sell my creations. And although I sell my creations on these platforms, it is rare that I get to see them with their new owners.

Well last week was a bit different. A co-worker and friend purchased one of my items from Society6 and brought it to the office. As you can see by the photos, it is a laptop cover. I have several items that are available on that platform and this was the first time I was able to see one in person. It was exactly like I expected it to be, and the quality was great.  She was pleased and so was I.

Here is to many (dare I say millions) more elated customers!

Corner of Gratitude:
Support from others

Pearls of Wisdom:
"Surround yourself with people who support you. Find champions."


~Sarah Gavron


Your Thoughts:
Who do you consider to be your support system?

Until next time...


Sunday, January 7, 2018

Hello 2018


2018 has made it's grand entrance and has met me with lots of ideas and visions of things to come. They are plentiful and beautiful. They come with an expectation of greatness. They come with instructions on how and when and where to be followed. They are easy to see and easy to hear. Yet I'd be lying if I said there wasn't a level of fear attached.

It seems as if I'm not the only one. Some of my friends are feeling this burden too. The fear of jumping and falling. I've heard many people use the analogy of at least when jumping and falling you are already at the bottom. There is only room to go up. But I wonder about jumping and falling and becoming broken from the fall. Is there even such a thing? Is it possible to take an honest leap of faith and become broken beyond repair in the process?

I'm not sure. I don't have the answers. And I have a funny feeling that the answer only resides within the seat of the soul that is seeking it.

My prayer for 2018 is that following the instructions on how, when and where becomes easier and not so scary. And even when fear comes, that you and I would be able to move beyond it with courage and tenacity trusting the vision that was given to us.

Corner of Gratitude:
A mind to do great things

Pearls of Wisdom:
"Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit home and think about it. Go out and get busy."


~Dale Carnegie

Your Thoughts:
How do you handle or plan on handling fear when it arrives?


Until next time...

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Still On Christmas Eve


It's Christmas Eve and I am blogging and I believe I would be doing so even if it were Christmas. That is the hope anyway since this is all part of my concerted effort to continue in being consistent with parts of my journey that will help me to grow.

So in the spirit of Christmas, I thought that I would pen down a few things that I am going to instill in order to prepare for the new year. Lots of this list is already in play, but you guessed it...not consistently.

A failure to plan is a plan to fail
I have become a planner, but a planner in ways that don't necessarily build and sustain motivation and business alike. A planner in my mind of sorts. It's more like putting down items on my calendar just to say I put them on there and then not looking at the planner for the whole week. Then I become frustrated when certain plans don't go...well, planned!

So setting time aside to get this done on a weekly basis is a must! It will be on Sunday as I find Sunday's to be the best time to start afresh, and it's the beginning of the week!

Daily quiet time and affirmations

I am consistent with this already, but this just serves as a reminder that it is a list item that needs to remain constant. It really helps to center me and set the tone for my day. It reminds me of who I am and whose I am. All good stuff to know and remember!

Daily homage to my crafts
Oh dear Lord. please help me with this one! It's crazy to think that the thing that you love the most is the very same thing that you have to pray you are able to do on a daily basis. All those that have full-time jobs that are outside of the scope of your craft, raise your hands and holler! Drawing, writing, and singing exercises are a must!

All of this seems like a lot...a whole lot actually. I am a firm believer in biting off a little at a time in order to consume the whole. Some of the things mentioned can be done at the same time, which will make them easier to get done. Most importantly, I will monitor my time for the next few days to see where it is wasted the most.

Corner of Gratitude:
A new day

Pearls of Wisdom:
"The more time you contemplating what you should have done...you lose valuable time valuable time planning what you can and will do."


~Lil Wayne

Your Thoughts:
What habits will you instill before the New Year that you will carry throughout 2018?


Until next time...


Sunday, December 17, 2017

Online Marketplaces



I sent the above print of this beauty off last week to her new home in Florida to a kind gentleman that has purchased my illustrations in the past. It happens to be one of the six items that I have sold on the Etsy platform since 2015. Yes, that is right folks, a whopping six items!

One may ask, "How are you on Etsy for 2 years and only sell 6 items?" My answer would be super simple. While Etsy and other platforms like it make it super easy for you to sell your creations (they really do), you must do the work. Here is what I have found:


Quality Pictures Are A Must:

Simple enough, but this may be one of the most important steps in having an online marketplace. Consumers love to see your creations in an amazing light (literally and figuratively). Dark and blurry photographs are not only hard to see, but make it hard for the consumer to imagine how your creation will fit within their space, lifestyle, etc. Believe it or not, although consumers may have an idea of how your creations will fit within their space/lifestyle, there is always a possibility that your images could give them new ideas that make your creations stand out to them in a whole new way. 

Use Popular Buzz Words That Fit Your Creations:

Online marketplaces help consumers narrow down what they are looking for by tags, labels or keywords.  They are not only relevant to your creation, but lots of time are popular as well (ex. Black Gir Magic). Hashtags are all the rage these days and you should get to know those that fit your creations. It's small and simple but will give you a greater opportunity to be found by those that want to purchase your creations. 

Market, Market, Market:

This may seem like a "no-brainer", but online marketplaces do not do the work for you. I semi thought that I could get away with just posting beautiful pictures of my products and the site would do the rest. Of course, I was wrong, and marketing is a must!

There are many ways of marketing, with social media probably being one of the most popular. This is an avenue where a multitude of people can see your products quickly and be funneled back to your online marketplace of choice. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and the like are your best friends here. There are also some of the more sophisticated social media sites like LinkedIn that are great to market on as well. 


Consumers love to get to know who they are purchasing items from. It's like meeting a new friend and getting to know their new friend is made easier when they can get an idea of who their new friend is. Some consumers prefer to read about how their new comes up with ideas for their creations (blog). Some consumers prefer to hear about what their new friend has in the works (podcasts). And some consumers want it all! They want the full experience of their new friend. Here Youtube and vlogging (video blogging) goes a long way. Share as much or as little as you would like on these platforms about you, your creations or a combination of both, but the key is to share!


And let's not forget word of mouth. Talk about your creations as often as possible and have a business card on hand to give out to the interested and maybe not so interested. Once the not so interested see your creations they may become your greatest fans!


Use Available Tools In Your Online Marketplace:

From what I have seen, each online marketplace gives you tools on what you can do so your creations can be sold. Etsy provides a whole host of "how-to" tutorials for the novice to the advanced, and why wouldn't they. They understand that once your creations get sold, they will also be getting a piece of your profit. The model is pretty ingenious and works in favor of both parties!

Last but not least...


HAVE FUN:

Make the whole process a fun one! Have fun making your creations and have fun selling them, whether in an online marketplace or in person. Consumers love to see friendly faces, hear friendly voices and have friendly interactions with those that they purchase from. It makes for a smoother transaction and the likelihood of them wanting to buy from you again is great. I guarantee you will draw the type of energy you put out!

Corner of Gratitude:
Being open to learning new things and refreshing upon old things

Pearls of Wisdom:
"An artist's duty is rather to stay open-minded and in a state where he can receive information and inspiration. You always have to be ready for that little artistic Ephiphany."


~Nick Cave

Your Thoughts:
Which online marketplaces are you thinking of selling your creations on? If you are already using an online marketplace, what do you find to be their advantages and disadvantages?

Until next time...



Sunday, December 3, 2017

Moving Cheese



I read "Who Moved My Cheese?", a short book essentially about change and learning how to adapt to change. It spoke to areas of life that included; career, relationship, money and spiritual health by using four characters by the name of Sniff, Scurry, Hem, and Haw.

Sniff and Scurry were mice, and Hem and Haw were miniature sized people, all of whom act like their names. They worked in teams to work through a maze to find cheese, their sustenance. Sniff was the scout, and Scurry was the one who followed up on Sniffs leads. And although Hem and Haw also worked together to get through the maze, they did it a little differently. They made it through to their cheese...their sustenance, but Hem complained and although Haw continued on, he found it hard to do so with Hem's complaining.

All the characters were metaphors for the acceptance or resistance to change and the cheese stood for what one would like to change. The seven principles being as follows:

Change happens - They keep moving the cheese
Anticipate change - Get ready for the cheese to move
Monitor change - smell the cheese often so you know when it is getting old
Adapt to change quickly - The quicker you let go of old cheese, the sooner you can enjoy new cheese
Change - Move with the cheese
Enjoy change - Savor the adventure and enjoy the taste of new cheese
Be ready to change quickly and enjoy it again and again - They keep moving the cheese

After reading, I thought about the character that I was most like. I really exhibited traits of them all, but I related to Haw the most. Haw had to talk to himself so much. He needed to constantly remind himself that change was not only necessary but good. He wrote messages on the walls of the maze as markers and motivators in the event that he got lost and needed the extra encouragement to continue on the journey. He was "initially hesitant", but "open-minded enough to learn something new, act differently and adapt in time to succeed."

Change hasn't always been my favorite or easy for me. As a matter of fact, the older I get the more set in my ways I become. It is sometimes a fight and complaints are it's companion. But I am realizing that change only comes to coax me out of my comfort zone and challenge me to grander pastures along this journey.

As uncomfortable as change may be, I am glad it is here. I am glad that I am flexible enough to think differently and move when a move is called for. To me a mark of an individual that is ever evolving into who they were created to be.

Corner of Gratitude:
Being okay with change

Pearls of Wisdom:
Recommended read:


Who Moved My Cheese? An Amazing Way to Deal With Change In Your Work and In Your Life. 

~Dr. Spencer Johnson

Your Thoughts:
Which character do you relate to most?

Until next time...




Sunday, November 26, 2017

Finally Finding Consistency







It's Sunday morning and I feel like this is as good of a time as any to start fresh on what has been somewhat of a stagnant journey for the past few months.

I haven't posted since February and in that post, I spoke about finding my niche, and being ready to find consistency, and following the beautiful process of this journey. And while all that is true, I also included a blanket statement that simply said, "I would love to say that this would be the last time that I start anew...the last time that I start fresh...the last time that I will have to proclaim to myself and others that the artistic slump that I have endured for several months will never return. However, the truth is I can't say that with certainty."

Here it is, approximately 10 months later and up until now, I haven't found the consistency that I have been searching for. Perhaps the better way to put it is that I haven't put in the effort to create the necessary time and space to make sure that consistency is begun, cultured and sustained. There have been new things that I have been settling into. A new home, a new job, new business ventures, etc. And while I have been settling, the truth is, I've allowed life to take hold of me instead of me taking hold of it.

Spending quiet time and reciting my personal mantras daily, soaking up information from books, and watching several TED talks and YouTube videos pertaining to motivation has given me new insight. It has changed the way that I conduct myself on a daily basis. It has given me the flexibility to be more of me. More of who I am. More of who I was created to be without being so critical of myself or that which I create.

Now to be clear, this does not mean that this particular part of the journey has been all rosy. To be quite frank, it has been both the happiest and saddest time. A time of change and challenge with gentle reminders from several sources that there are beautiful things birthed out of pain.

So a raised glass to another new leg of this...my journey! May it be full of excitement and carve many avenues to newness of self!

Corner of Gratitude:
New Perspectives

Pearls of Wisdom:
Perhaps we should think of our problems as puzzles in a book with the solutions a few pages away.


Your Thoughts:
What's new with you? Please do share!

Until next time...


Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The Pause In The Middle of Go



My recognition that I need an artistic community that is thriving has become more real to me today than before. I've been on the search for my niche...a place where I can explore, create, watch, share, critique and be critiqued. This past week it came to me. If there is something that seems it can't be found...create it!

My moments of being uncomfortable have forced me here. They have forced me to do something different. And instead of being bitter and sad about it, I embrace the unknown feelings of "what if". I am a believer that there is a solution for every circumstance and/or situation. It just needs to be found!

I'm ready to find consistency!

I would love to say that this would be the last time that I start anew...the last time that I start fresh...the last time that I will have to proclaim to myself and others that the artistic slump that I have endured for several months will never return. However, the truth is I can't say that with certainty. What I can do is simply move on in this journey and chalk each moment up to part of this beautiful process!

Corner of Gratitude:
Solutions

Pearls of Wisdom:
"If at first you don't succeed, join the club." 
~Karen Salmansohn


A small reminder that the greats including Theodore Roosevelt, Walt Disney, Henry Ford, Dr. Seuss, Fred Smith, and George Lucas' (to name a few) had major setbacks!


Your Thoughts:
What's been the toughest part of your journey thus far?

Until next time...