Wednesday, September 4, 2013

About Internet Relations... or, remember, that's a person you're typing to!

The internet, Skype, texting... there are so many ways to connect with people these days. For those of us over 20, there were "the old days," when you talked on the phone, went over to their house, and wrote letters, and then there was technology, starting with email and landing us where we are today.

For the under-20 set, they have NEVER known life without cellphones!!!! I remember, my first cellphone was a brick I got in 1995 when I graduated from college and was living in someone's spare room. I was a substitute teacher and needed a way for people to contact me at 5 am. But I digress...

I urge you to keep two things in mind.

#1: There is a person, with thoughts and feelings, on the other end of whatever you are about to type.

#2: If what you are about to type would be better said in person, with facial expressions and tone of voice, find a way to "be with" the person rather than writing it. Google Hangouts, Facetime, Skype, Oovoo... these free options offer you a way to see and hear the person you need to communicate with.

So much gets lost in translation on the web or via text. You can make or break any relationship by not communicating properly, by typing when you should be taking the time to talk.

This is true in social networks too. You can make or break someone's day in a forum or on Facebook, all with the power of your fingers. So use your powers wisely.

And for god's sake, don't break up with someone or give them bad news via words that you type. At least give them your face and your voice.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

On being to close to a project...

So tonight, a business associate who wants to work with my on freelance graphic design projects (hire me!) visited my blog to check it out. Then he advised me that in my header, where it says "Photoshop expert," it actually stated that I am a "Photshop expert."

I suspect (know from my stats) that hundreds of people have visited my blog since I changed to that header, and no one said a thing. Hell, I designed it and thought it looked AWESOME and so did my two business partners, one of whom is ALSO a graphic designer.

Can I just say two things? Deep regret... and roflmao.

I quickly thanked my associate who pointed it out, and immediately opened Photoshop and fixed the banner image and uploaded the new one.

Believe me when I say this right now- You can be too close to your project. It can look incredible, be totally awesome, EPIC even, and have a glaring typo you just don't see. Maybe because Photoshop is a word I see all the time, all day, all night, and my mind just put in the missing O.

Let other people see your work. Ask them for advice, get a trusted friend you can bribe with food to be your "editor." Don't go it alone, especially when it has to do with YOUR web presence!

Lesson Learned, Mischief Managed. Goodnight.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

So, Who are you?

YOU are not your blog, facebook wall, your pinterest page, or your instagram.

These are just some of the silly ways we have become total narcissists due to the fact that we have all this technology at our fingertips. Everyone has a still camera and camcorder with them at all times, most people have the internet at the touch of a finger. That means we feel "connected," and sometimes we forget that no one actually cares.

Oh yes, let me remember the last time I made an awesome recipe, photographed every step, got the film developed, and sent photos of last night's dessert to 100 of my closest friends. ???

Yet we don't think twice about doing it on Facebook or Instagram. Why is that? Have you ever really thought about it?

And as someone who wants to live with integrity and perhaps make some money from your online creative pursuits, what the heck are you "supposed to" post?

I am guilty of the Instagram food fail. Although I will say I've become more discriminating and I only post food when I want to show some new healthy and good tasting thing I've discovered. That's because I'm on a mission to be a little more healthy, eat more natural food, and evangelize my friends and acquaintances if possible. So think about it that way- are you being helpful, or trying to be? Or are you being stupid, cute, or just foolish?

I want to take some of the younger set and tell them that yes, indeed, they are being extremely foolish. What they don't seem to understand is that what you digitize, you can't delete. It is on someone's feed, somewhere. That naked photo of your left nipple could come back and poke your eye out later, depending on what kind of job or life you have planned to pursue.

So as you think about who you really are, remember that everything you upload, someone else can download. Make sure you won't mind in 20 years, and make sure it's helpful so people actually want to listen to what you have to say :)

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Are you a "Wantepreneur?"

That's what THIS blog is about, and why I helped to found DreamYourSuccess.

Let's revisit the concept of Rumination= the compulsively focused attention on the symptoms of one's distress, and on its possible causes and consequences, as opposed to its solutions.If you are finding yourself constantly wanting to start a creative business, wishing you were selling more product,  hoping to find the time, money, drive, determination, ideas, or anything else you "think" is standing in your way, but you are not ACTUALLY engaged in the process of starting or improving the business you always dream about, then you are a Wantepreneur. 
For some reason, people love to make excuses about why they haven’t created their dream business or even gotten started. This is the “wantrepreneur” epidemic, where people prevent themselves from ever actually doing the side-project they always talk about over beers. The truth of the matter is that you don’t have to spend a lot of time building the foundation for a successful business. In most cases, it shouldn’t take you more than a couple days.
If you don't do something soon, you will likely remain in that state for the rest of your life- working at a J-O-B that you H-A-T-E just to make ends meet. Then you will go home every night and eat, drink, or TV yourself to sleep, illness, or death. All because you WANT to do something with your talents and dreams, but instead of getting up and doing it, you continue to want...want...want...wish, hope, dream, and not DO.

I encourage you to DO! Go do it! And if you need a tribe to help you (it does take a village! Sometimes just for moral support!) or if you need knowledge, I'm talking REAL knowledge on how to do SEO, how to use blogging and graphics software, really HOW to do everything that needs doing, come on over and check out Dream Your Success. It's the only program created by 3 artist/entrepreneurs who all specialize in different aspects of what it takes to make your ideas a reality.

Sunday, June 23, 2013


Are you afraid of change? Do you hate uncertainty? Well let me tell you, in business, it's CERTAIN that there will be change, and that you will sometimes be UNCERTAIN of the outcome. Sometimes change is awesome, because you've planned for it carefully and you want it to happen. Sometimes, someone else influences you and there is nothing you can do about it. Sometimes, change comes like the wind... you didn't know it was coming, or from what direction. You had no plan because you didn't think in advance, or you don't know your own values in life. But walking around uncertain all the time is rather anxiety-provoking. You can get more certain by planning, by getting clear on what you want, and by getting educated. That is what Dream Your Success is all about- getting real knowledge so you will KNOW what to do and HOW to do it, and you will have a tribe of peers who can help you, cheer you on, give you advice.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Decision Making

I will refer to my post on the Dream Your Success blog from earlier this week. Read Here.

Strong Values, coupled with an understanding of how goals fit into your values, are what get you where you want to go in life- rather than waking up one day to see you've been dragged downstream.

Our blogging was all about uncertainty in life, how it can be a curse and a blessing, and how every single choice you make leads you in a direction- whether you see the direction, or not. People who get good grades in high school and then go on to excellent grades in college and then apply to med school are planning for a future in medicine, a (they hope) high-paying and stable job, and a certain kind of lifestyle. People who don't do those things are certainly not planning for that, and will not get there unless they change course. You only have yourself to look to when you glance around and see where you are in life.

I'm not saying that if you don't drive a Lexus and live in a nice suburb in a big house that you are not on the right path- that is not the path for many. In fact, I spend a lot of time in a neighborhood like that and I wonder what on earth I would do with myself if I had to maintain the car payments, mortgages, and country club dues the people living there are (in my opinion) burdened by. I prefer a different lifestyle, and my choices reflect that.

Making choices can seem difficult- but if you know where you want to go, you can be a little more confident. Do you want to be a thriving artist, or a starving one? Do you enjoy Rumination, or are you looking to be Illuminated? Do you need help with that?

That is why I'm part of the coaching and teaching team at Dream Your Success. We are offering real, true information about HOW to conduct business online. We teach valuable steps, including how to use software, how to make graphics, how to talk to people, how to relate. We are not blowing sunshine up your ass- if that's what you want, you can choose a different coaching program. Every day is filled with choices- make a positive one today!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Using quotes in art

I got an app for my iPad called instaquote. It's funny, there are no actual quotes in the app. But it is an easy way to make digital art that includes images very quickly. Here are a few I've made for my inspirational series at


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

LOL... Wordpress Ninja, why are you blogging on blogger?

So yes- I love for MANY reasons, too many to list. However, I believe in the power of Google- and Blogger is a Google product. So my blogger blog is a heavy nod to the SEO powers of the internet god: Google. I blog here because it is quick and easy, and I don't require plugins or a shopping cart for my personal rants. I have other ways, such as an embedded Etsy widget, and a page of my Artfire listings...I am skilled at html, so I can add stuff to the sidebars on the fly...

When I design a professional website for a client or service, I always use Wordpress. It gives me a level of control and functionality that blogger can't match (at least, not for me, since I have invested almost 0% of my time learning the blogger ins and outs.) I'm just here to write, post photos, and have a place to put my blogger is enough.

But if you are looking for an awesome platform where you can control absolutely every aspect of your online presence experience, a self-hosted Wordpress website (doesn't even really have to be a blog...) is where it's at.

Some of my clients and projects, all running on self-hosted Wordpress: (not a blog!) (a work in progress)

And of course, our business websites:

and, my very first blog, long since abandoned....but shhhhhhh- it was on! A great place to start out, but if you begin your love affair with wordpress there, you will eventually graduate to self-hosted.

Friday, April 5, 2013

I'm an Author!

When our book hit Amazon's "shelves" this week, it became official! It's so awesome to see your name in print. But what has been even more incredible is to see the comps of what the design team at F&W Media has done with our art and jewelry. The inside of this book is GORGEOUS! I'm upset I can't share it with you. You will just have to buy one for yourself and see.

Right now, it's a good time to get it- because it is on a deep discount for pre-ordering, since it won't be available until September. The list price is $24.95, but I think I saw it for $15 yesterday.

Here's a Link!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Creative Every Day

Creative every moment is more like it! Sometimes I go into a trance. Some people call it "flow," when you become absorbed into thought and creative problem solving in such a way that you space out for a minute or three and when you come up for air, you've got a new idea. I've been following this site for years now, called Creative Every Day, and you can go check out other's like me on this post- where we are all linked up together, feeding off the creative energy of like-minds.

What will YOU do this year to support your creative efforts? To me, it's not "making art" that is a creative activity. It's coming up with interesting solutions to life's every-day issues. For example, right now my art is taking over my living room. We can't have anyone over, and I can't do what I really want- which is to have several projects going on at once, filming stuff out and ready, etc. So I'm about to rent a small climate-controlled storage room over at Public Storage- you know, the big orange-doored building. I'll be busy inside, listening to Spotify with my daylight lamps on... and we will be able to enjoy our living room and have a couple people over for drinks.