Sunday, April 5, 2009

Week 13 Happenings in the Art Studio

Quarterly Report minus the Numbers

From reading the Essential Buffett, I’ve picked up that managers should be honest to the stockholders by disclosing the year’s successes and failures. It’s the failures that speak the most about the character of the owner and managers. Following suit this is my informal quarterly report for HITS.

Over this time a major goal was to increase the content on this blog. I feel that has been attained, since I’ve posted 102 times during 2009 compared to 140 for the entire year of 2008. The layout and features have been improved, by adding a home button and revising my profile and mission statement (that’s in the header). To make the site more interactive a slide show has been added, along with a weekly photo album, several polls, shot a documentary, added digg it button and a contest that is currently going on involving blue sheep.

A better metrics system is being used now; Google Analytics. It is also tracking the traffic on the etsy site, which is my online store as of this year. My portfolio site has also been streamlined, along with updated content on the homepage. My Twitter and Facebook profiles have also been improved upon, with the goal of getting my art out there. I’m now a paid columnist for, which helps with the bills and name recognition. Technically speaking, I figured out via the infinitely resourceful Internet, setting up Mr. Linky, my personal signature, and customized blog template using HTML.

I’ve participated twice a week in carnivals since January. Traffic did spike on those days, but none of my art was sold because of them. Future carnivals need to be art centered, since that is the blog’s main focus.

Despite avid dedication to bringing awareness to the blog, only one piece of art has sold. I am confident things will pick up as I continue to learn more about social media marketing. I’m currently reading a book on this topic along with participating in a month long blog makeover taught by Darren on ProBlogger (that starts on 4/6/9). Over the next four weeks, things will get even more exciting! Don’t be surprised if there’s a new overall design!!!

My ultimate goal for blogging is to pick up advertisers, so I can spend more time creating art and less time marketing. When I have enough advertisers, I will be mobile to be anywhere in the world, as long as there is Internet. I get all giddy thinking about that. It is going to be a blast being free to travel.

Weekly Goals

1. Make an original piece of art

April Fool’s Eve my cousins and I played a prank that I'd been saving just for this reason.

2. Make substantial progress in reading The Essential Buffet because there are several I want to start reading when this one is done.

I went from chapter two to the half way mark. Learning strategies from the big name investors on focus investing

3. Spend 2 hours a day continuing my education on investing.

Mom and I spent Monday and Tuesday at an all day investing workshop, which stressed with education and a plan, risk can be managed.

I’ve also been reviewing notes, taking online tutorials, reading the Essential Buffett, testing myself with flashcards and installed Papermoney (which is a software program that gives me $200K in monopoly money for the stock market, to practice the rules that I’m learning).

4. Finish one project that has been going on for a while

Completed the dark blue elastic Cactus light plus 2 others.
And I cut out templates for all of the styles of record cover plates.

5. Use Zenbe

I registered for a free account with this list making program, but hadn’t used it till this week. So far, I like it because I use up less paper and I can easily move the tasks around. It is also freeing up space on the whiteboard, since I can type on Zenbe and not forget about it.

Biggest Challenge of the Week

Left brain burn out

Do you recall me talking a few weeks back about the importance of balancing right and left brain activities, otherwise you get an overload? That’s where I am at right now. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been putting off making art in exchange for “more productive” tasks like researching how to attract advertisers, writing a SWOT analysis for this blog, posting more art in online store… Ahh! No more screen time!

Hot weather is my biggest deterrent for being productive on the computer. All I’ve wanted to do all week was to tan. Several times I made excuses to bathe in the dry heat, by taking a book outside, flashcards or knitting. I can’t seem to get enough of it! As we speak I keep looking out the sliding glass door and telling myself to hurry up so I can get back out there.

Looking down at my feet, for the first time since last July, the tan lines on my feet are fading. This is so sad. That’s the “souvenir” from my train trip around Oregon and Washington. Today I keep taking breaks to sit in the sun, wearing the sandals that match the almost faded tan lines. I want them back. :-)

When I get in these burnout moods, I have to force myself to not obsessively mark on the calendar what was accomplished and long it took. I get stuck in a rut and default to computer tasks and then I have to kick myself off the laptop and do something else. Two productive things that I took care of was organizing the paperwork for my student loans and getting the details for my commencement in May. These have been dragging me down for too long. Now I feel more in control.

For me, the ideal career would be outside in the dry heat. Until then, I’m rotating from the laptop in the office to the rocker out back to knit Cactus Lights.

Thanks for reading. Have a good week.

Related Links:
Photos of April Fool's Prank and newest Cactus Lights

Miniature Sheep Contest
(deadline is April 15th, 2009)

Week 14 HITS
Week 12 HITS
Table of Contents for HITS (Happenings in the Studio)

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