Sunday, March 15, 2009

Week 10 HITS

Week 10

Sore and Cranky

My personal goal of stepping it up at the gym made me grouchy this week. Rebuilding muscle unfortunately makes me lethargic. Almost everyday I had to spend extra time cooking, stretching, taking hot showers, and using the chi machine.

I am so thankful for keeping a daily time log of what was accomplished and how long it took. I put in 40 hours of work, but still lots of things didnt get done. Thanks to this time log, I can asses that despite me feeling sore, having a sinus infection and dealing with eye strain, a lot was done. This list helps me to stop harassing myself for not getting everything done that I wanted.

On the sunny side, today I am going to San Francisco! My old hometown for my 5 years while in college. I'm going out there to see friends who are visiting from Colorado. Conveniently I'm staying for St. Paddy's, so that means I get to see my fencing buddies at the BBQ. I am so excited to see my friends!!!

A good way to get burned out is to do what I am doing; have an in balance of right and left brain activities, like all computer work and no studio time to create. The reason I've been doing it this way, is so I can get it out of the way. I am so eager to make more cactus lights and to play around with vinyl record light switch covers. This week I have to get in the studio. Going nuts from sitting still and typing.

I had an epiphany. I don't like mass media or believe that their ads are 100% honest. Of course they have a code of conduct and for legal reasons they need to be accurate, but I still dont trust them. After all, ads are about making money. Since I am an artist working from home, it is essential for me to market my art. I need to rinse the icky taste that marketing and advertising leaves in my mouth and continue to create honest, 100% money back guarantee for my art. I look forward to one day hiring someone to take care of marketing, but until then, I need to learn it.

Social marketing is the free route and can be highly effective. It does take an investment of your time to learn how to effectively work the social sites. That's why I am reading Social Media Marketing: An Hour a Day by Dave Evans. I love the idea of spending just one hour a day on marketing. That means more time in the studio! Reading this book hasn't been a rush of excitement, but I am enjoying learning about the psychology of marketing. There are also lots of applicable tips for me and my business. On April 15th, over on, I'm going to write a review on this book, in my column, "the missing link" between art and business.

Goals for Week 10

1. Continue to rest eyes, because they are recovering from eye strain.

It was super hard to limit my time on the computer, but I want my eyes to stop stinging. Now the beautiful tree out front is blossoming, which is killing my sinuses and eye balls. Ahh. Spring!

2. Figure out ebay and post at least one item.

This has been on the to-do list for, hmm, a year. I was sick of thinking about it, so I did it. One less irritant on my plate. Now to post more things on ebay. Anyone have any advise using ebay?

3. Daily Tweet on Twitter.

I picked this marketing tip up from an article I read about ways artists can use twitter. It takes less than one minute to upload and about 5 minutes of browsing around the site. I'm hoping it makes readers feel included in the art making process.

4. Continue to Develop Blog.

Added a home button (again, something I've been trying to figure out for a year). Click here for the tutorial on how to make your own home button.

I now have Google Analytics tracking this blog, my portfolio site and my etsy store. This will be encouraging to see that the regular updates do bring in traffic. It will also help me to focus my efforts (my mantra, focus).

Added content to blog.

Tweaked the layout. Included new widgets. Never ending process of refining and streamlining.

Researched on social media marketing and how to make the blog more aesthetic to serving you. Links I plan on revisiting and implementing tips from:

All week I've been thinking about what I learned in a teaching class that I took and how it applies to sharing my life as an artist via the web. In a classroom each lesson needs to be student based. It's important to think about what the students are doing. Are they sitting and listening to the lecture while the teacher shows a video, gives a lecture with images on a screen? To encourage learning, interest and a desire to come back to class, have the students (in my case, readers) do something other than sit and listen.

To encourage you to change it up, I've created a post on what you can do on this site.

I've also devised a contest involving miniature blue sheep.

Of course there will be a prize.

More details coming this week.

5. Add More Art to my Etsy Store.

Check it out! More Braille art. Still more to upload, but it's getting closer.

6. Stay Current on Freelance Work:

  • Continued working as a business consultant for color consultant and trend forecaster Barbara Parker
  • In the works- designing a weekly art class for kids
  • Started to design a logo for a chiropractor/acupuncturist, Dr. Mark Southwell, in Denver, Colorado

Where's the Photos?
Since my eyes are feeling better and not burning as much from the eye strain, I decided it best to not spend extra screen time using the digital camera and then the computer for editing and uploading. With that said, you'll have to use your imagination to picture the things I did all week.

I created a Picasa album that contains one photo. This way it won't look like I forgot to share anything.

I'm going to SF, so there will be pics taken by others with healthy eyes. Hang in there for next week. There's going to be more visuals.

Biggest Weekly Challenge

Danger Will Robinson. I'm becoming too serious.

Over the weekend I got to see Coraline, the new stop motion animation by Laika. Ian treated me to the 3D showing. It was a perfect date. I giggled all the way through the movie! Stunning visuals. Great camera moves. Expressive facial movements. Dark and creepy story. Lovable characters. I didn’t want it to end, so now I am reading the book.

To watch the trailer, click here.

To make Laika even more amazing, the animation production company is in Portland! Ever since going to the city of roses it has become my other love besides art. I am going to live there. I already know where I’ll juggle every week. I’ve decided to join a yoga studio instead of finding another gym. The fencing scene is big there, so I plan on poking people again! It’s just a matter of time before I move there.

All of these exciting plans is reverting me to my old ways: overwhelming myself by planning out too far in advance. That’s why I created Happenings in the Studio as a weekly update. It makes me focus on the here and now. Yoga helps me to be in the present too.

To keep myself moving forward on deciding when to apply to Laika I’ve been doing some investigating. What color is your parachute? recommends to research the company first to see if it’s a good match, instead of trying out the job and quitting after the first month. To start it off, I looked around Laika’s website for insight and inspiration. I checked out the job openings, the requirements and the application process. The freelance sculpting position looks ideal for me!

Then I hoped over to LinkedIn to see if I have any connections in my network. I don’t, but I am working on changing that.

The next step to stop worrying about the future, I asked on Craigslist in the arts discussion forum, if anyone knew of other special effects companies in Portland. Other than Laika, no one has given me any leads. I want to be a part of visual effects company that is in a beautiful area, like Marin County in California. Anyone have some ideas?

Thank you voyeurs of the art making process! (And fellow creatives. I love you too.) I appreciate you for making the time to read this weekly update. I could use your help. Does anyone have any connections to Laika or to a special effects company? I want to make miniatures and other creative tasks that require working with my hands. Being a lover of the process and detail work, this kind of job would be ideal for me.

See you next week!

P.S. If you want to hear my tweet, follow me on Twitter.

Related Articles:

Why Bother Getting Organized...Again

Week 11A HITS
Week 9 HITS

Table of Contents for HITS (Happenings in the Studio)

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