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Monday, December 8, 2008
On October 19th I finally was able to do my Gothic Girl Photo shot (after many set backs), it went so well I have tones of pictures and the models Jacky, Rose, Olive, and Jackie were so awesome, thank you all so much (and that goes to their parents, as well, for letting them take part) I hope to have all the work done for it new Gothic Girl Catalog by mid December. Here’s one of pictures, what do you guys think? Click, to see more photos and to get some Gothic Girl gear, I’m having a special giveaway right now, buy any t-shirt for $16.99 and get a free GG Card and Bookmark or buy a zipper hoodie for $34.99 and get a free GG Stationary Kit. (Cool Deal, huh?)
The North Kitsap Holiday Festival went so well, sales were up almost 200% from last year. It was so great to do the show and to see people respond to my work and say, my work is awesome, I was in state of shock the whole weekend. Thank you, to everyone who stopped by my booth, for all the complements and words of good wishes; it means so much to me, you will never know (it really does keep me going). It was so great to see customers and people who have been watching me since I started this; 3 years ago, say how proud they are of me, to hear strangers be so impress with my work (I’m so, getting a big head from this). I hope to see you all next year.
The Brownsville Elementary Craft Bazaar was next and it went really good as well, I’m just amazed at how well I’m doing. I know, doing well is the goal and I’m always the first to say that I’m going be huge, but saying it and actually see it happening is 2 different things.
I’m just so excite this days, the possibilities as endless and I have so much to work on and to look forward to, so please everyone wish me luck. That’s it for now, be sure to check out the website for updates and to get some great stuff for the Holidays.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Sometimes not being able to get work done, has nothing to do with managing your time poorly, or having too much to do. Sometimes, you’re just plain out of ideas and feeling lazy; making everything you attempt to do, look…like...crap.
Oh, I’ve been there, I seem to go there, like, every winter & spring, which is odd seeing that spring is a time for new begins and the start of something fresh. But, it never seems to fell, after the holidays and my birthday (which is Feb 10th for the record, just in case any of you would like to send me something shiny or tell me how wonderful I am); I just seem to shutdown, it’s hard to get work done, I don’t feel like designing, and just seem to make mistake after mistake. In the end I just watch TV and play video games. I try to force myself to work on stuff and I just don’t, I can’t. I have all the time in world and I still manage to get nothing.
But, then alas, April/May comes along and I have to sign-up for festival season and I have to start the setup for my calendar. And, slowly I start to come out of my funk and the ideas start coming, and I get overwhelmed (in a good way) with all the stuff I have to do. (Note, my use of the words “have to”)
So, how do you over come a creative block when letting nature take it course, is taking way too long? Well, I’m no expert but I do have some tips or whatever you want to call them that usually get me on the back on track if I really need to get some work done. If the first one doesn’t work for you, just move to the next one, hopefully one of these will stick.
- Set a date, deadline, or make it a goal. When you “Have To” do something, you’re more likely to get it done.
- Trick your mind and body into getting excited about whatever you have to get done. Pumping yourself up is great because it sets a better more happier work mood. I use music, sugar, and dancing. I put on my favorite tunes, you know the ones with fast up beat tempos that are so catchy you can’t help but sing along or shake your booty to. (Dancing helps get the blood moving, and your brain needs blood. Booty Shaking + Blood Flow = Brain Power to be Creative) Sugar is good, because, I think coffee is heinous and I can’t stand cola. A little sugar and I get the burst of energy I need to push forward (try to make it a healthy sugar, chocolate is great; but too much of it is bad for the hips, think fruit smoothies or gummy snacks).
- Turn off or get away from all other distractions, I’m so easily distracted that sometimes I have to turn the music off just to really concentrate on things. I never work with the TV on and if I have to close the blinds and kick everyone out; best believe I do. So, if that means you have to lock yourself in a sound proof room with no windows or internet (another big distraction for me), then that what you have to do.
- Clear you mind and breath, taking mini meditation breaks and going blank, just might be the best thing to fill your blank pages (could, I get anymore cornier? But, it’s true, sometimes we can’t be creative, because, we are thinking too much).
- Ask for help or look for inspiration, building on a idea or getting a fresh prospective is a great way to open up the flood gates to your creative mind. You may see something or someone might say something and bamm! You have this great idea or concept you didn’t have before.
- Do something, anything! Sometimes, randomly shouting out ideas, no matter how lame they might be; just might be what you need to get those creative juices flowing. Doodling, writing random thoughts, or speaking out random ideas, try it, it couldn’t hurt.
- There might be some underlying reason you can’t work, you might want to take this time to figure out how your life is going. Sometimes being unsure or needing a change in your life can keep someone for expressing themselves creatively. (You could be like me and don’t deal with the things that bother you, in a normal healthy way like, talking to someone or by having a good cry.) Ignoring an issues can manifest it’s way into other expects of your life including keeping you from doing things you love to do, like being creative.
- Lastly, if all else fell, let nature take it course, getting blocked just might be your minds way of telling you to “stop and smell the roses” (before you work yourself into an early grave).
Well, that is all the wisedom, I have for you all today…I hope this help some of you. Laters…
Friday, October 10, 2008
Off, the top of my head, I could already think of a few, other than Photoshop that I use on regular bases. But I figured, if I was going to make a presentation on something like this, I might as well do the full research, I mean, I could always learn something new. And then, I thought since I’m writing this stuff out anyways, I might as well share it with you guys. I don’t know about you but, I’m always having clients and friends asking me how or what they can do and use to make changes to photos, covert files, or edit PDF’s. And, although Photoshop is easy for me and I had to get Acrobat the full version, most people can’t afford or can even grasp how to use them. So here’s the list I came up with… (I even found stuff for MACs)
Programs Most People Already have (Comes with Windows):
Paint - You can open and resize (under, Image-Stretch and Skew) then save as a jpeg, bmp, tiff, gif or png.
Microsoft Office Picture Manager - Most XPs have this, easy to use editor, basic enhancements, resize, crop, and compress any image. It can be found in the start menu under Microsoft Office Tools or by right clicking and choosing, open as. You can export your image if you need it any other format. (jpeg, gif, tiff, bmp, tiff, or png)
Vista Windows Photo Gallery - You can do everything in Microsoft Office Picture Manager right from this updated picture viewer in Vista.
Microsoft Photo Editor – Can be found on older versions of Windows, easy to use editor, basic enhancements, resize, crop, and compress any image. It can be found in the start menu under Microsoft Office Tools or by right clicking and choosing, open as. You can export your image if you need it any other format. (jpeg, gif, tiff, bmp, tiff, or png)
Free Downloadable Programs:
Adobe Photoshop Album Starter Edition 3.2 http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshopalbum/starter.html
Make basic edits and enhancement with it, it’s great for organizing photos. Downside, doesn't have “save as” or “export” feature you must click "Share" and email or send to... To get your edited photo and it only resizes using a list of standard Pixel dimensions. Big plus, Starter Ed, lets you extract images from PDF files, it will scan your PDF's and take out all images so you can edit them.
Picasa 3 - http://picasa.google.com/#utm_source=en-all-more&utm_campaign=en-pic&utm_medium=et
Easy to make basic edits and enhancement with, great for organizing photos. Downside, only "save as" or "exports" as Jpeg files and you can only resize in Pixel dimensions.
Irfanview - http://www.irfanview.net/ Looks easy to use, it’s free; but I haven’t used it.
Gimp - http://gimp.org/
Seashore - http://seashore.sourceforge.net/screenshot.php
Free Online Photo Editing Sites (Edit a photo from any computer with a browser):
LunaPic - http://www.lunapic.com/editor/
Upload and edit any picture, then download it back to your computer. Downside, it's a little more advance than the other software and it has ads on it's site.
Adobe Express - https://www.photoshop.com/express/landing.html
2GB limited and must create an account and a little more advance than the other software.
Picnik - http://www.picnik.com/
5 photos at a time limit and you must create an account
Cheap Software to Buy:
Adobe Photoshop Elements - Cheaper and more user friendly than regular Photoshop (Photoshop for Dummies or the Poor).
Paint Shop Pro - Cost less than Photoshop but is about as easy to use as regular Photoshop.
Photo Paint (Corel) - Cost less than Photoshop but is about as easy to use as regular Photoshop.
iPhoto - Inexpensive and works with Mac's (comes with iWork).
*Note: Most printers come with some type of photo editor software (HP, Epson, and Lexmark do)
Converting, Exporting, Saving As, and Cutting and Pasting:
You can convert most files into different file types with most programs by going to ”File” and looking under the "Save As" or "Export" options.
Word - Coverts to HTML and different types of word processing program files. Word also has built-in image editing tools you can crop, resize, and adjust the contrast, then cut and paste the updated image to where you need it or into paint and "Save As".
Publisher - "Saves As" HTML, different types of word processing files, as well as jpeg, png, tiff, gif, ps, word clipart files, and bmp. Publisher also has a built in image editing tools you can crop, resize, and adjust the contrast, then cut and paste the updated image and "Save As". Downside, when saving Pub files as images you get a thin black line down the left side of the image, also, you won’t get high resolution.
Making and Editing PDF:
Adobe Acrobat - Easy to use, integrates into every program on your computer, so you can export or print a PDF file from any program. Downside, it cost a lot and doesn't always work well with Microsoft programs.
CutePDF Writer - http://www.cutepdf.com/Products/CutePDF/writer.asp Easy to use integrates into every program on your computer, it's free, and has no problems with Microsoft programs. (To use you must send your file to print and choose this program as your printer)
PDFill - http://www.pdfill.com/download.html Easy to use integrates into every program on your computer, it's free, BONUS, you can also use it to covert any file into image files jpeg, tiff, bmp, gif, or png. (To use you must send your file to print and choose this program as your printer)
PrintToPDF - (For Mac and free) http://www.jwwalker.com/pages/pdf.html (To use you must send your file to print and choose this program as your printer)
Edit PDFs Online at http://www.pdfhammer.com/ (Free) upload your PDF and use the online site to make changes to your file then download the updated file back to your computer
*Note: PDF, PS, AI (Adobe Illustrator), and EPS files are vector based files and are interchangeable, meaning if a program can open one or edit one, it can usually open or edit the others. You might have to go "File-Open” and select "view all files" or you can even just change the file ending (ext.) to the one you need it to be, from file manager.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Now that the Blackberry Festival is over, I have the North Kitsap Holiday Festival to look forward to, that happens November 2nd-3rd, so I hope to see you all there, too. I also have the BGG website to update with all the new products and catalog, and to work on new entries for the blog.
Well, that all for now, later everyone and thanks again for all the support.
Monday, August 25, 2008
Not that I’m complaining or anything, I love it, but it does leave little time to write or think about what I’m going to write next. I only have 3 posting topics on my list, one on the “Breaking Dawn” the last book in the Twilight Series (You all knew it was coming, so don’t be surprised), I have one about over coming a creative block, and one on Dyslexia, something very near and dear to my heart. I might do one on 2008 movies I’ve seen as well, so that’s like 4 postings.
Anyways, thanks for staying posted and I hope I can meet or see some of you this Labor Day weekend (August 30th to September 1st) on the Bremerton Boardwalk; for the 19th Annual Blackberry Festival. I’ll be the cute chick in the white booth that has the big Buddy-Girl Greetings banner and all the artwork.
Hope to see you there, until next time.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
BGG upcoming events and projects include the 3rd Annual Kitsap Calendar for 2008-2009, the Summer/Fall Card Collection, Gothic Girl Apparel (due out this August 30th), the Bremerton Blackberry Festival and maybe a few other shows that I’m working. Bottom-line it’s the busy season and I’m back on my game.
That’s all for now, be sure to check out the BuddyGirlGreetings.com because I’ve made some updates and be sure to read some of the older postings here on the blog, there some great stuff and some funny stuff as well, at least in my opinion.
I know what you’re thinking, were did all this writing stuff come from? Well, I’ve always enjoyed writing (who do you think writes all the cute greetings in my cards), but over the years I have been doing more drawing than writing. Plus my bad grammar skills have always been a little off putting. Still, I use to write all the time, I never finished anything, and I have tons of unfinished stories on my files. I think the biggest influence, though was this blog and getting so excite about “Twilight” they reminded me how much fun writing can be.
Will I ever get something publish, who knows. I’m not even sure if I’ll ever finish anything I’m currently working on. But, I have to say it’s been really fun and I currently I can’t stop thinking about stuff to right next. More than likely, the comic book will happen someday, cause the concept for it is more than just a writing project, it has design elements, I’m really excited about trying out. The story itself isn’t holding me back, I’ve already have the whole thing map out from begin to end, I’ve gotten the first act done, I’ve even started to map out the sequel. It’s funding for the overall project that’s keeping me from moving forward with it. As for the rest of my stories, who knows, I may never finish them; the point is that I’m having a lot of fun working on them and that’s the main reason, I haven’t been doing much else, well that and I love Mario Kart Wii.
Friday, June 6, 2008
If you look on the internet you’ll find all these Jacob Black haters, and as you know, I’m a Jacob lover since the 1st book before I even knew he had a bigger part in the 2nd book. There was something about how Meyer wrote him. He never annoyed Bella, like so many others did. I loved Bella and Edward together in the first book they were so cute and sweet and romantic how could you not. But after reading the 2nd book, I just fell in love with Jake, and the fact it was so easy for Bella to be around him. She is always so self-conscious with Edward; Jacob was just so likeable and it was cute how Meyer describes him and you can tell that she really likes the character of Jake. He’s just a big loveable, loyal, dog (I know I should say wolf). I've always been a sucker for the underdog (underwolf).
Don’t get me wrong, I understand why people don’t like Jake and get annoyed with him. In New Moon Jacob starts to take the place of Edward whom if you read the first book, you would be crazy, not to adore. And if you’ve read Eclipse than it’s easy to see why people get really annoyed with Jake. But, it wasn’t like he was mean or evil about how he did things, there was always this, ‘I don’t want to, but I have to’ and heartfelt passion to everything he did. Jake loves Bella and vampires are his ‘moral enemies’ and here the love of his life (for all he knows, remember he hasn't imprinted yet) wants to become one. What else could he do? Listen to me, I act of if these are real people, but as a writer myself (albeit, not a very good one), I understand that when you are writing, seeing the whole picture is important, so you can drive your character to the finish line and still show everyone got there.
There is way more to Jacob Black, than just some hyped-up, jealous, kid, who doesn’t know how let go. He knows that if he does let go, Bella can never come back even if she wanted to. Yes, it’s a little selfish, but to be honest so are Bella and Edward and that’s why we love them so much. Beside, I think the real reason people are so annoyed with Jake, is because they like him so much that it hurts to think that he might have chance to break up their favorite couple; that if he does somehow break them up “true love” doesn’t exist. Please! All the passion that Bella and Edward feel is awesome, but sometimes love isn’t just about ‘can’t go a minute with out someone’. Jake is that other type of love that ‘I didn’t realize it’ love that’s soft, but very strong and just as true.
I’ve never been this obsessive about a book before in my lift, although, I’m not as bad as some people, you will never find me dressing up or acting out scene from any of the books and I’m not about to create a website devoted to Twilight, just 2 or 3 postings on my blog (not that anything is wrong with that, super fans are great). Still, I haven’t been able to think or talk anything else, and that’s mainly because, I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen to Jacob Black.
Now, I’m not down on Edward, I like Edward, I loved him in the beginning and I know he only left Bella in New Moon because he was trying to protect her. The only thing, I don’t like about him is how overprotective he is of Bella to the point that he is more like a parent than a boyfriend. But, still Edward is endearing, it’s just that I’m a sucker for the boy next door type guy that comes into your life and just slowly works his way into your life until you can’t help but realize that you are madly in love with him. Jake is that guy that always makes you laugh, even when you want to kill him. If you read Stepheine Meyer’s web site she says, Jacob in New Moon is her gift to the readers, but you have to read the book twice to see that.
In New Moon, Jacob was so sweet and happy, it was fun, some people say he was too happy or he took advantage of Bella, but really. Bella was already miserable and when you’re trying to cheer someone up you kinda have to be happier than normal, it wasn’t like he just this crazy happy person, he was just happy because he was able to help Bella and be with her. And, as for taking advantage of her, months passed before he even came back into the picture and on top of that she sought him out. My heart, went out to him at the end, when she runs off to save Edward, I know she had to go, but still, Jacob was crushed.
In Eclipse, Bella wasn’t really giving Jacob many options. To him breaking up her and Edward, was the same as saving her life. But, at the same time he knew how much Bella loves Edward; he wasn’t trying to discount her love for Edward, just, trying to make her see that she was in love with him too. And, I know how some of you feel that she fell in love with him at the last minute, but really she just realized that she loved him at the last minute, she fell in love him in New Moon.
I love Jacob Black more in Eclipse because he was so real, he wears his heart on his selves, out for everyone to see, his anger, his joy, his pain. I like that about him, he also never gives up; the woman he loves is in love we a someone else, who will someday turn her in to something that he was born to fight and destroy. What kind of person just sits back and lets that happen. Sure some of his tactics were underhanded, but the odds were against him and time was running out. I know that force kiss wasn’t one of his best moves, but it was like in the movies when the guy kisses the girl and she slaps him, because see hasn’t realize she’s in love with him, yet. Besides, right after it’s over he is so funny, even Charlie wasn’t upset with him. I laughed so hard, Jacob, was so much fun to read, I couldn’t wait to see what he would do next. I felt so bad for him by at the end of the story.
Personal, I think Meyer gives Bella and Jacob too much closure at the end of Eclipse, I know the drama between Bella, Edward, and Jacob isn’t over, but I just feel like my Jacob only has a slim chance, now. Still, I will be routing for team Jacob until the end. I just hope she doesn’t use the whole imprinting thing as a quick fix and match Jacob with some random chick, if he doesn’t get Bella he at least needs to get his own love story, not some rushed hookup.
Sunday, June 1, 2008
Then a few weeks ago, yahoo had a teaser trailer for the Twilight and I clicked on it, it was good, but nothing great. What really got me was the fact that the movies doesn’t come out until Dec. 12th, I thought to myself why are they promoting this movie so much, what’s the big freaking deal, it doesn’t have any major star, not that Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson aren’t great, but if you don’t tell someone that she was Jodie Foster’s daughter in “Panic Room” or that he was that guy who stole Harry’s girl and died at the end of the 4th Harry Porter movie, they wouldn’t have any idea who you were talking about and you still might have to do a imdatabase search. Anyways, the book series is something of a phenomenon, not as big as Harry Potter but if you are a teenage girl it might be just as awesome, to you. So, I made another mental note of the title and author and went to the store, this time I check it out right away because I wanted to know what the big deal was. Boy, do I understand it now, it a pretty easy ready, it’s for young adult (hey, don’t look at me that way, I watch cartoons and read comic books, I think a book from the young adult section isn’t a big stretch for an almost 30 year old).
"Twilight" isn't your typical vampire story, in the sense that people are killed left and right and someone has to do something about it. Actually, only person dies in the 1st book and we don’t even get to read how it happens. What grabs a person about this series and why I think it’s such a hit with girl is that the author is so descriptive she describe everything from the point of view of the teenage main character Bella (Isabella) Swan we get to feel and see everything, she does, it’s almost as if you are her. And you can easily relate to how she feels about moving to a small town, her parents, being the new kid; how see feels when her future love interest for no reason that she can tell, just is hateful towards her. You can also relate to her awkwardness and clumsiness and it’s just, so, cute how the love story progresses. Although, it's not a saga in which you learn some great moral lesson, most of the characters as pretty selfish to be honest with you, but I think that's part of the series charm, to be so catch up into ones self, would be nice every now and again. I read the first book in a week and I would have been done sooner, but I was trying my hardest to prolong it, and soon as I finished it, I had to get the next book "New Moon" which I did on a Saturday and by Tuesday I was done, again I tried my hardest to prolong it long as I could, I just couldn’t put it down. I’ve even been looking on the internet to found all the info I could on the series, if you go stephienemeyer.com there is a lot of bonus materials including parts of saga from the point of views of different characters. I brought the 3rd book "Eclipse" that Thursday after I finished the 2nd book and by that Saturday I was done (it’s killing me to have to wait for the 4th book).
I know, people are going to totally hate me for this, but I have to say that I loved “New Moon”, I’m mad crazy about Jacob Black. I hope more than anything that the first movie makes enough of an impact so that they can make the rest of the books into movies, so I can see Jacob Black in action, (please oh please, don’t let it suck and be like that Blood and Chocolate movie) I can already see from the Twilight trailer that there are some difference but it’s not a nearly as off as Blood and Chocolate was from the book.
*Side Note, "Blood and Chocolate"book good, the movie very bad, I guess if you haven’t read the book first than movie might not be so bad. I didn’t even want to see the movie because, it was so off from the book, just with the fact they aged her and moved her out of small town setting. I usually, prefer reading a book after I've seen the movie, that way I feel like I’m gaining info and not losing info.
My only concern with the "Twilight" movie (and hopefully future movies) is when it comes to Jacob Black, the actor they got to play him, Taylor Lautner (I have nothing against the kid). I think he’s looks perfect for the part of Jacob in “Twilight”. But if they make the rest of the books into movies, I don’t think he can physically handle the part of Jake, as the books go on Jake keeps getting bigger and bigger, by the end of the 3rd book, he’s 6’7”. I don’t care how much Taylor bulks up for the role, he is not going to reach 6’7”. I guess, with camera tricks they will be able to do something, but still. I could see it, if his size wasn’t a big deal in the books, if it was only mentioned in passing, but it’s constantly brought up throughout the book, that everyone compared to Jake looks like a doll.
Anyways, as you can tell I totally recommend reading the series. It’s funny, cute, and addictive, it’s a totally soap opera like “Dark Shadows” or “Passions”. It reminds me of that Hana Kimi series I told you about before; but, it’s probably closer to “Peach Girl” a anime and manga series about a girl who’s in love with 2 guys and the evil chick that tries to make her life miserable. “Peach Girl” has the same OMG they are so cute factor, but the main characters aren't nearly as selfish as they are in "Twilight", well most of them aren't. I almost didn’t finish the "Peach Girl" because by the end of disc 1, I get so tired of the evil chick Sae (she really is a *itch!) that I can’t stand to watch her, but it ended on a cliffhanger and I just had to watch the next one and I’m gal I did, it was a good series and another total soap opera.
I’m so obsessed, I loved it, bring on books 4 Breaking Dawn (The Twilight Saga, Book 4) due out Aug 2, 2008!
Friday, May 9, 2008
Anyways, I just wanted to say, “Thank You” to everyone who has ever read my blog, I know I don’t have a lot of traffic, yet; but I do know I have some and some of you keep coming back (you got to love Google Analytics) So, for that, I’m grateful. I will try to continue to add new and interesting content (oh, and funny too) if you guys keep reading it. By-the-way, if you guys could please leave me some comments and feedback, that would great, I would love to know who you are, what you like about my blog, and any ideas you might have. I would love to add you to the BGG mailing list if you, as well. Even if your comment is just pointing out an error, I would love to hear from you.
Thanks again, for a great first year. Always, Helena of Buddy-Girl Greetings 2008, Thanks again…
(The following tips are mainly for freelance artist/designers, people with product to sell or people that are looking for side income, these tips may or may not be helpful to someone looking for a full-time design job.)
Networking skills and cold calling skills are important tools to gain new clients. I’ve already mention how important it is to network, word of month is the cheapest and most effective form of advertising. But, consistently expanding your network can be troublesome. Joining a local networking groups like BNI or your local Chamber of Commerce can be very helpful. These are organizations that are always getting new members and who really want to scratch your back in hopes that someday you can scratch theirs. Some of these organizations also cost money to join, so be aware.
You can, also find non-profit groups that specialize in helping small business, or people that are self-employed. I’m a proud member of WA Cash (it says so on my blog), it’s a great organization that specialize in micro lending; they also hold bi/monthly meetings so people can learn, network, and stay on track. (I love it, I go to almost every meeting and I have gotten at lot of jobs and sold lots of BGG products).
There are, also online networking, share and peer groups like MySpace, Yahoo Groups, FaceBook, and Bebo although mostly known for their popular with teenagers these sites have been a proven marketing tool for people, products, and business looking for exposure. You can, also look at joining online business groups with Google or MSNLive, and there are also small groups that are gear towards your area, your services, income, race, sex, and age you can join, you just have to look for them. So, check out your local message boards or Google networking groups in your area and see what you can find.
Cold calling, in which you pick up the phone or walk into someone’s place of business and try to sell them on your services; is another way to drum-up business. But to do so, you have to have your “game down tight”, in other words you have to be good at talking to people and ready to answer questions about all the services and/or products you provide. (I’m not good at talking to strangers about my accomplishments, hard to believe, I know but blogging is 10 times easier than walking up to a stranger and trying to convince them to buy my cards. But, in my defense blogging is just another form networking.)
Some, basic tips to remember before making a cold call are (1) only do it between 9am-5pm on weekdays (2) Always be prepared, have your 30 sec “about you” speech down (3) always be friendly (4) set small goals for yourself, (you want a sale, yes) but make that should be your last goal; and your first goal to just get a hold of the person in charge. (5) always leave them with a reliable way to contact you back. (6) Although, cold calling can be successfully, it can also annoy people, so be careful. I’m not a big fan of cold calls, but I know it can be a effective tool and some people actually have a natural talent for it.
Before I do, you need to come up with some quick (and good) “GoTo Text", text that is about you, your experience, your training, pricing, design procedure (basically a resume and cover letter/business proposal that you can easily cut and paste from a word or notepad doc is fine) web friendly images of your work, is a must. Setting this up can be a job all-in-itself, but once you have them, store them somewhere on your hard drive that you can easily access to cut and paste, upload to websites and/or email. I also, recommend having an online portfolio and/or a website that list your services, products, and rates. If you don’t have one then get one, and if you don’t know how to get one, then learn. Unless you are a fashion designer, sculptor, painter or anyone else who works mostly with materials and not computers, basic html and how to use a website editors is a must. It’s a great skill to have (and get paid for) and in this day in age if you’re an artist/designers that doesn’t know web design or have a websie, it’s a big let down to employers and potential customers.
Once you have your “GoTo Text", samples, and links to your websites ready. You need only, start applying and responding to any and all jobs you find online, but keep it within reason, if you can’t do the job then don’t apply for it and don’t take on more than you can handle. A great place to look for work is Craigslist.org they have tons of listings under “Jobs”: art/media/design, marketing/advertising/PR, web/HTML/info design, writing/editing, tv/film/video/radio. There is also a “Gigs’ section and a section to post your services. Be sure to check out your local newspapers’ websites, too. Keep in mind that if you live in a small town you might have to look in the section for the largest city next to yours. Keywords to search for are: design, logo, graphic designer, graphic artist, Photoshop, Flash, web design, etc. (just use keywords that best or frequently describe design jobs you want to do). There are a ton of artist directory sites and online agency that let you post samples and resumes for free, it take time to do it but if you get one job from it, wouldn’t it be wroth it?
List of free sites to find work or post your services and products:
Local Online Newspapers
Now, let’s talk pay sites. I’ll be the first to tell you, that half the time (most of the time) I don’t have the funds to pay someone for the “hope” of getting a design job. But, for some of these sites (especially the popular sites) if you don’t pay, you won’t stand a chance of getting a project. I have personal, used only 1 pay site to find design work, Guru.com (formerly emoonlighters.com). I started off with a basic account and get nothing, because people with basic accounts who submit a proposal for a project are always submitted to the clients 48-72 hrs after you click the submit button. As you might guess, most people choose someone to work within the first 24 hrs. So, once I got a few dollars saved I decided to upgrade my account and if it didn’t work out I wouldn’t do it again. Well, with in a month, I was able to make my $75 back and then some. So, of course I totally recommend using Guru.com. It was easy to setup an account, just cut and paste your “GoTo Text", upload some samples, and come up with a great cover letter (proposal/bid) that explains who I was and what I could do for them. I recommend something generic that you can easily switch out words and phrases so that you can tailor it to each project you apply for without having to always rewrite one.
There are of a ton of sites and online classifies to post or look for work on, you just have to take the time and energy to market yourself to or for them (however you want to look at it).
P.S. Statistically speaking, for every 15 jobs you apply for most people will only get 1-2 responds, so don’t be easily discouraged.
List of pay sites to find work or post your services and products:
Guru.com (I used and had great success with it)
Yahoo.com - Shopping (Used to post Products)
Google.com - Shopping (Used to post Products)
ihirecommercialart.com (never used)
iFreelance.com (never used)
Sologig.com (never used)
eLance.com (never used)
Cafepress.com (never used)
1. Get a paypay.com account; PayPal is great because it allows you to expect credit cards and electronic checks and it ensures payment, they also take 2-5% of each payment transaction, but that’s a small price to pay for all the great services they provide. (I know there are other companies like PayPal out there but PayPal is more commonly used and expected.)
2. Only do business on trusted sites with a good reputation who have a policy on making sure there account holders get paid for there work.
3. Setup and state up front your procedures and rules for doing business. Ex 1. If you aren’t sure how long a job might take, but the client wants a ball park figure. Tell them up front that this price isn’t set in stone. Ex 2. If you prefer to get paid up front or that you only send low res samples and proofs until you get paid in full, say so up front.
4. Try to only do business with people and companies you trust or has a reputation for be trustworthy
5. Avoid taking personal checks (sometimes you can’t, so be sure to only take them from trusted clients, always ask when is a good time to cash it, and tell them you policy on cashing checks and on returned checks).
6. Cross your fingers, say a prayer, and hope that you get your money like you are suppose to because you just never know.
First off if you are photographer, videographer, writer, or good at making clipart type graphics and illustrations; then you might want to consider selling your own stock imagery, video footage, or generic copy text, people and businesses are always in need of such things.
Photographers and videographers, you have to live somewhere and there are always local businesses and companies that need and want fresh original shots and video footage of the local neighborhoods to use in marketing campaigns. Real estate firms and local government agencies always need local imagery to promote how much they love the area. Real estate agents, especial as they not only need promotional shots for themselves but for their sellers as well.
Original clipart and illustrations are always welcome; a new twist on an old idea is great. After all, how many times must we see the same Microsoft style graphics. Also, if you can manage to figure out how to make a clipart style map of your area with all the local attractions highlighted and it being easily updated; again, something real estate firms and local government agencies would love and gladly paid you for you work.
You can, sell your imagery online by building your own website or uploading your work to stock imagery sites. If you choose to use an imagery site, you won’t make the full profit on your work, but you won’t have to manage anything either, you can just collect your 2-5% royalty fee and wait for them to send you a check and your tax information.
Royalties can be great, you can earn them by doing very little to no work, they are easy to setup, and you earn them on just about anything you do as an artist. You can earn royalties on you artwork, designs, and anything else you are willing to let people copy and resale. There are only 2 draw backs to royalties are (1) you have very little control on how many copies of your work are made (on the upside the more copies that are made and sold the more money you make, downside it might cheapen the value of the original work) and (2) royalties can take forever to kick in, only making a few dollars in the begin; but as you and your work gets more popular the likelihood of selling more royalties goes up and money comes faster.
List of Sites to earn royalties on images and artwork
boundlessgallery.com (membership fee)
Amazon.com (membership fee)
Lastly, you can earn dollars by selling ad space on your websites and blog to Google, Yahoo, EBay, or lesser know companies that are willing to pay to be on your site. This is especially good if you’re sites gets a lot of traffic. You can also join affiliation programs where you can sell ad space or merely mention some product or book on your site and provide a link on where you got it or where they can get it. Again, you’re not going to earn big bucks right away, but in time and with an increase in your popularity you can make a pretty penny.
Sites to sell ad space with:
Bottom line, making money as an artist is very possible even if you never make it big, you just have to buckle down and come up with ways and places to make money, you also have to put in some killer hours, but what’s a little hard work when you love what you do.
Friday, April 18, 2008
Well it’s like April and I’m still playing Zelda, it’s like the longest game, I’ve every played. It’s not even that hard to be honest, well fishing is hard and some of puzzles gave me a headache; but beating the bosses and the lesser monsters aren’t that hard. It’s just that it’s a long freaking game I’m only ¾’s of way done and I’ve been playing for about a month. I don’t play, all day everyday; but still I’ve clocked a lot of hours. And, the Mario Brawl deal has been over; but lucky for me Game Stop is having another deal for Mario Kart Wii, my new goal is to beat Zelda by then and get it for 9.99.
I’ve also made a few internet discoveries that have keep my mind off working, one is Netflix’s Instant Watch, I love it, in the beginning I wasn’t too sure about it, I mean it limited your time and it selection was mostly old movies and B and C movies. But, now there are no time limits and they have new movies and TV Shows and a okay selection of anime. I’ve watched the first 2 seasons of Weeds (this show is off the chain), almost everything from the BBC (North and South, The Way We Live, Now, Manchild) I caught up on my Heroes and found very cute direct to video titles. Instant watching rocks. So, now I don’t freak out if I miss a show on TV, I just watch on Netflix or online somewhere.
I’ve also discovered Craigslist.org not that I really discovered it, I’ve known about it for sometime, but I did just discover this section called, “Missed Connections” it’s the cutest, funniest, thing ever! It’s were random people can post or give a shout out to other random people that they have met or seen (a way of putting your feeling out in the universe, if you well). Some of them are so cute, like, “I saw you sitting in the park on Tuesday, you were so cute, but I didn’t have the guts to talk to you.” Really, how cute is that! I have to check it out at least once a week. How fantastic would be, if or when someone actually makes a connection, I mean the odds are stacked against a person, when you consider all the factors; but still, I hope that somehow, someway people make that connection they are hoping for. (I’m a hopeless romantic, I know, sue me.)
Lastly, I’ve been catching up on my reading; I just finished the last installment in my Noble Dead series by the Hendees awesome. I can’t wait for the next one; I keep trying to guess who they will bring back for the next adventure. I hope that Wynn will be back and they will develop her powers, I think if they bring Chane back they will have a chance to make him a good guy (plus, at the end of the last book he picks up something, that makes me thinks he will be back) and I would love to see Osha back as well for 3 reasons, (1) I think he will be a positive connection between the elf world and the human world, (2) I would love to see him develop into a harder stranger character a person scared from the past events and starting to question the people around him and (3) a love triangle between Him, Wynn, and Chane would be awesome. But, it’s all probably just wishful thinking on my part. Fans get a sneak peck on the next book sometime this summer so, I’m going to keep my fingers cross.
I just got the last volume of Hana-Kimi (For You in Full Blossom) series. I started reading it over a year ago, I didn’t know how long a manga series it was until it was too, late. I love the series; I even watched the 12 episode Japanese series they made (online of course). It’s not bad; I think this series, should be made into an American style TV show, something you would see on the CW channel. But, they would have to keep the core story the same, like the turmoil some of the characters face with there sexuality and the fact that the main love interest (Sano) knows Ashiya’s secret for pretty much the whole series, he just never, let her know, he knows (it makes it fun).
Anyways, that pretty much all I’ve been doing for the last few months, once I bet Zelda, I plan to get back to work and not get sucked into another video game for a least a month. (Keep your fingers cross) until, next time.
In American shows and movies, you can pretty much figure out how things are going to end; you know whose going to die, whose going end up together, and the fact that it will have a clear cut ending and won't leave you hanging (useless they are planning a sequel, but even then you can see that coming from a mile away). Japanese stuff, you never know, sometimes people you want to die don’t and people you love do. Sometimes couples don’t really become couples, or it’s just not a real ending (and this rarely has anything to do with a possible sequel), you just get this feeling that there is something missing or that there was more they could have done, or you think to yourself that they could have at least had text that said, “And, they lived happier ever after.” Or, they could of fast forward it to show where the characters are down the road. In my life time, I’ve only came across a few Japanese stuff that ended American style "Please, Teacher!", The Sailor Moon Movies, "Slayers: Season 1", the mange series "Fake". Still, this is also the reason I like anime so much, I’m always surprised by the end, it’s rarely predictable.
Examples of Japanese style endings are "Neon Genesis", "Strawberry Egg", "The Samurai X Movies", "s-Cry-ed" just to name a few. Most of the time I can deal with it, Strawberry Egg was really cute and funny, I just wished it didn't end so bitter sweetly. The Samurai X movies where just so sad, so sad that you just wanted something good to happen to the guy, which never really does. "S-Cry-ed" I'm still waiting for the second season so, I can find out who won. And, I Hated "Neon Genesis" so much that I sold my completed collection, if you haven't watched it yet, then I recommend that you stop at episode 22/23 and don't get the movie that was suppose to replace the last 2 episodes, because it doesn't really, it still leaves you all kinda messed up. They are suppose to be working on some new movies for it, so, maybe there is still hope for the series, because it started off great, really funny and then it got serious, but it was still really good, but then you get to episode 24 and it was just goes downhill fast.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
How, you ask? The first thing you need to do is figure out or develop your other skills. Me, I’m good at trouble shooting computers, if your computer needs fixing, more than likely I can fix it. I’m also great with children. My first job was working as a camp counselor for the Girl Scouts, so, for a whole summer I got to work with children and use my creative skills to teach them and entertain them. I know, a far cry from making a living as an artist, but it’s a start. After the summer was over, I went to college and worked part-time as a lab tech in the Multimedia department helping students troubleshoot the computer and with their design project (see, I’m getting closer). That next summer I work at another camp, this time I worked in the arts and crafts department. I then went back to school and did more lab tech work. And, the summer after that I worked at another cam, this time teaching Photoshop and Flash (you see where, I’m heading with this). You don’t have to take a job at BK, just keep an eye out for jobs that are around or can connect you to your dream job. I might not have been getting paid the big bucks, but I was still was able to work doing things I loved and was able to use my creativity. Now, keep in mind that I was still living at home and I wasn’t responsible for anyone other than myself, so taking low paying jobs was an option I could afford. So, if you can afford it, I would, because when you lack the educational background employers' are looking for; experience is key and experience that can relates to your dream job is also good, it shows that your can do more, I can teach and train others and fix equipment if necessary.
This leads me to my next topic, getting and gaining that design/creative experience. I’ve found that taking every design/creative job that come my way, no matter how small or the pay was the best way for me to build my portfolio and network. While going to school, I would hear about all kinds of design opportunities, most of them didn’t pay a cent, but it was a design opportunity that I could get credit for and add to my portfolio. So, I did them, a flyer here, a logo there, brochures and hand outs. Most of them were contest, that in the end, I would be the only one who entered (which is a shame). I got more out of doing them then just credit and something to put in my portfolio. I got a walking ad on the front page of the “I Need a Design Done” Weekly. In other words, it was great networking, doing one job for one person, can lead to doing another job for someone else. And you can’t build up your network, unless your take jobs and met people. And, the other plus of taking on any job is that sometimes you get at tip for all your hard work. I’ve had projects start off for no pay, but by the end of it, I got paid. So, remember sometimes taking that small job can lead to something bigger and if it doesn’t at least you can add it to your portfolio.
The last thing you need to remember and this might be the most important of all to ensure your success in an artistic field, is that you can never give up, as corny as it sounds, it’s true. Art is subjective and not like other creative fields where you can make a living by become or doing what someone else wants and still kept your core style (not sell out). Actors get paid to because someone else, musicians get paid for playing someone else’s music or for staying true to their sound. Writers can write what they want, they’re even protected under the Constitution. But, painter, sculptors, graphic Designs, illustrators, most likely won’t make a living selling art the way they envision. Most artist don’t make it big until after they’re dead, how fair is that? So, we’re stuck with conforming our vision to fit what someone else needs or wants or we don’t even get to conform, we get a job and have to take someone else’s vision or dream and bring it to life. Which we then run into the very common problem of not getting hired or getting fired because our style or vision doesn’t mesh well with that of the clients (your boss, the one who is paying you) or in the end sometimes the finish project is nothing you want to put your name on or something you feel your name shouldn’t be on because it doesn’t reflect you and your style. Being able to keep going is important, it’s the only way. Art like beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, some people are going to like your work and some people aren’t. You can’t let the haters keep you from doing what you love. Besides, designing things for other people can be fun and rewarding, to bring someone else’s vision alive, can make a artist feel good and that check for all your hard work can make an artist feel really good.
These are the ways in which I have survived, I always remember I have other skills that can relate or relate me to my dream and being creative. I also, take just about any job that comes my way if I have the time to do it. And, I believe in myself and my talent, I don’t need everyone in the world to like my style of design and I know that just cause someone doesn’t choose me to work with that it’s doesn’t mean they think I suck; sometimes it just means, I’m not the right fit. As an artist you have to keep going and growing, it’s the only way to be a success.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Okay, so I’ve finally gotten the site updated with the Spring Collection and like I previously said, I’m way too late with the Valentine’s cards (sorry). But, that’s okay because I have tons of other new stuff, like 5 new Birthday cards, 2 new note cards, a postcard, and a bookmarker. Plus, I’ve officially launched my first collection, which I have dubbed “The Gothic Girl Collection”, you remember how I told you “she” was coming, well she’s here and I love her. And the response from people has been great. I just hope that it keeps up and that people actually buy the stuff.
Gothic Girl came from an idea I had last year, when I wanted to make a series of Gothic Black and white Valentines cards, I started with her and of course never really did anything with it. But, I wrote it down in my idea book, so I wouldn’t forget about it, and I put the sketch I made of her away. And when I was starting to make my Valentine’s cards for 2008, I finally, redid her in Illustrator. It took me forever to get the eyes and hair right, but once she was done I just fell in love with her. I started to see her face on everything, cards, cloths, stationary, everything. I kinda went a little crazy, which is one of the reasons, I’m so late with my spring collection, I wanted to launch Gothic Girl with my spring 2008, but I had so many little details to figure out when it comes to her, that it seemed that I would never get her done and where she needed to be. I had to test print, come up with another look for her, create a logo just for her, figure out what all I can put her face on and how to price it, figuring out how to work her into the site was pain as well. I also wanted to get her copyrighted and make her a registered Trademark of Buddy-Girl Greetings (I just sent in the paper work in). It just, seemed that for everything I wanted to do for her, there were 2 other things I had to do, to make that one thing work. But, of course it’s all worth it. Because, she looks so, cool and I think that I can really tap into the teen girl market with her. Gothic Girl is dark, but she’s also cute and trendy, which gives her a lot of appeal.
The Gothic Girl Collection Includes (so far anyways):
1. Stationary Set
4. Birthday Girl
5. Note Card
6. Note Card with an all black inside and matching black envelopes
7. Personaliziable Return Address Labels
8. Black Cotton Hoodie – Coming Soon!
9. Black Cotton Sweat Pants – Coming Soon!
10. Black Cotton Logo Tee - Coming Soon!
11. White Cotton Gothic Girl Face Tee – Coming Soon!
This is just to start, but I can see her on a lot more stuff if you she takes off, the way I hope. The apparel stuff is coming this summer, you can PreOrder them now, the more preorders I get the sooner they will be available. I’m trying to test them out with have to spend too much money upfront.
Anyways, that’s it for know, remember to check out the updated site and to order all the Gothic Girl Stuff you can, remember Gothic Girl, Dark and Trendy, She is Every Girl.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Be sure to leave ideas, if you have any below. Thanks
I try to keep a writing book and/or notepad with me at all times; but I must admit that I sometimes forget to bring one with me depending on where I’m going and what I’m doing. But, I at least keep a pen on me, because, I know me, and I get ideas at the strangest moments. A pen at least enables me to jolt down my idea on whatever is handy, even if my hand is the only thing handy.
An idea book is great for 2 reasons, 1 you have a common place to put all your ideas, thoughts, notes, and/or facts down. So, you’ll always know where to look to review all your random ideals and notes. Which comes in handy (I’m liking this word), for me; when it’s crunch time and for the life of me, I can’t think of any new designs, I just open my book and go, “oh, yeah, here’s an idea.”
Reason 2, if you think of your idea book as a storage unit or a work station for things and projects you want to work on but for whatever reason, you can’t at this time. Example, I have this great idea for a comic book (at least, I think so); but I don’t have the time or the funds to make it a reality, right now, but I didn’t want to forget the details, so I wrote the bulk of my plan out in my book and 10 months or 2 years from now when I’m ready to do it, I can, just look over my notes and get started.
So, my advice, keep a pen, get a note pad or buy a writing book, so that when that little light blub in your head goes off you’re ready.
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Now, I’m not going to stop typing in entries, I’m just adding a new feature that allows me to rant and rave more physically. Hopefully, it will help me get out some stress.
I strongly believe that talking things out helps people feel better and be better people. And, though I talk a lot, I never really talk about the core things that bother me. I’m just not good at talking to people about my feelings other than happiness and anger.
I figure videoing myself talking about things out loud and then posting, them would help. Because, I’ll be putting my thoughts and confusions out into the universe and not just pushing them down deep. Videoing also, helpful in the fact that I don’t have to spell check, I just go on and on with out worrying about grammar stuff.
My first entry is below, it’s about focusing or my lack of, plus I explain more on why I started video blogging.
Monday, February 18, 2008
I will have new cards up by early March to include Easter and whatever else I have time to do. Also, look to the fall as I will be redesigning the BGG website to be more user friendly and update the look, it’s been 3 years, it time for a change.
And for, all of you would haven’t made it out there, yet, you have until Feb. 29, 2008 to go see it, it’s hang on the far left wall with 3 other photos with black frames, at the Collective Visions Gallery 331 Pacific Avenue -Bremerton, WA 98337
Someday, I hope to be able to put on my own gallery show with all my best and favorite works, hope is always good.
Monday, February 11, 2008
I’ve always liked fashion and when I was little I wanted to be a fashion designer, which of course was right before I wanted to be a computer repairman and right after I wanted to be a world famous dancer. Anyways, I already have some ideals that I hope to unveil at this year’s Blackberry Festival. One of my ideals will be launching soon, in the form of stationary and other stuff. I’m hoping to tap into the teen girl market with this new addition. I won’t say much more on it other then “she” looks really cool and “she" is really fun to play with, “she” is also what go me thinking about apparel stuff, in the first place. Look for “her” in the next month or so. (updated 3/18/2008) "she" is here now, "Gothic Girl" is here visit www.buddygirlgreetings.com to check her. out
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Thanks to everyone who sent out positive vibes for me!
I hope that you all will be able to visit the Collective Visions Gallery during the month of February and see my piece. Collective Visions Gallery 331 Pacific Avenue -Bremerton, WA 98337
Also, I taught my first Continuing Education Class for Olympic College – Poulsbo. It was so much fun; I just hope that everyone that attended got something out of it. Be sure to sign-up for the March 15th I advertising class I will be teaching, quick tips to help you make killer ads. Plus, I will be teaching at least 3 more classes coming up in the Spring Quarter this time at the OC Bremerton campus. I’ll keep you posted with dates and times for those classes.
Until next time…
Please let me know, when you find spelling or other grammar errors on my blog, so I may fix them right away. Thanks. Helena
We are located in Bremerton, WA - Kitsap County, 98312