Sunday, January 16, 2011

Grow and Renew

It's common to begin the new year with a list of resolutions.  There's something about flipping that new page in the calendar that makes you want to set some goals to build upon the previous year's experiences.   I have three goals this year:
  • Reduce consumption by recycling and utilizing materials on hand.  This one I believe will actually spark creativity.  The only breaking of this rule will be for custom orders.  No doubt it will be hard to maintain as I'm tempted daily.  In order to achieve the next goal, this one must be enforced.
  • Earnings will be applied to improving my web presence and investing in artwork.  By keeping to the first goal, the second will be much easier to achieve and much more satisfying.   My main goals are to do at least one juried art show, take control of my .com website, and create a unique brand.
  • Really explore all the different creative avenues at my fingertips (and use those supplies I've collected over the years).  I have the ideas, but I have not yet learned the techniques (and the patience) to implement them.
These goals are primarily business centric but they correspond to my more personal goals of simplifying and living well (healthy, positive and giving).  I've begun a new adventure with Liana Spiegel, Marmalade Hills, and she is a wealth of inspiration; both personal and business.  I'll write more about that at a later date, when we come back for our great adventure in Chicago.

Business Investment
A lovely lady discovered my shop and purchased three of my cuffs.  Her words of encouragement brought light to my day and her purchase allowed me to begin the steps toward becoming more professional.  I commissioned a logo as my first business investment.  Like many of my journeys, this began in a round about way on the internet.


I met Christina Neit, GoodQuillHunting, through Etsy and through Facebook not long after I began using both sites.  I continue to be bewildered at the connections that occur by happenstance.  If my memory were better, I could almost do the "6 degrees of Kevin Bacon" game on how one post led to Chris creating my logo (and hopefully more fun stuff in the future).   

You'll find me complaining (okay, whinning) about how much time I spend on the internet and how that time is wasted.  Much of it is because I lack the discipline to get in and get out in a timely fashion.  But there's enough that leads to wonderful people and great opportunities that I'm learning to relax and let it flow (I really need to try meditation).

In December 2009, I saw the banner above advertising the Haute Couture beading contest that Chris sponsors.  My comment at the time, "Stunning. That's a skill I'm sorely lacking. This banner will get attention".  To which Chris replied, "if you ever need one let me know".  A little seed was planted in the brain.  I entered the contest and this is the shot she used to show my entry, she created one for each of the 76 entries.
You can see all the entries here and the winning entries here.  It's worth taking the time to look.  All were amazing, but the winning entry is unique and spectacular even in a world of amazing bead artists.  But I digress; I was left with a very positive impression and started thinking about how to improve my picture presentation. 
Traveler's Blues by GoodQuillHunting
It was this shot and necklace that won me over completely.  I knew that Chris' was an incredible beadwork artist.  However, this arrangement also showed me that she had an gift for composition and marketing as well.  This piece has gone to a new home but she assured me she has more of these cabs, so maybe a new creation will be available soon.

Bird in the Hand by GoodQuillHunting
This collage soon followed Traveler's Blues and I was smitten and continued to hope that she would begin offering her services for sale (okay, that sounds funny, but you know what I mean).  In December 2010 (almost one year after I saw that first banner), Chris opened up her shop for graphic design.  
Izze Cuff with Color Logo

I know there are many good designers out there; what Chris has given me is personalized service and an artist eye for details.  When she created my logo, I provided very little in terms of direction.  She knows me and my shop through Facebook and Etsy; but even with that knowledge she had a feel for what I needed and guided me towards something better than I envisioned.  Her customer service is outstanding.  When I wasn't placing the logo correctly on my shots (the limitations of the freeware I'm using), she offered to do it for me while I was waiting for my software to arrive. 

I'm looking forward to doing more work with her as I wrestle the huge task of taking over control of my .com (bet you didn't know I had my own website).  You can see more of Chris' work on the following sites:



shiborigirl said...

Happy New Year Christine! You certainly are off to a great start with your new-and-improved web presence. That's a FAB logo design.

Isn't the internet a magical and wondrous place? I've made so many useful and fulfilling contacts here (You included of course :)



Unknown said...

The internet is that and more. I can't wait to play with this logo more, I'm waiting for proper software. I can do it with what I have but it's painful. I just say your latest post and I'm going back now to comment. So awesome to have a live photo shoot.

gourdphile said...

Have mercy. What gorgeous bead work. I love the contest winners. I've always loved guineas and their feathers and l love the dress that inspired the winning bead work. ASTOUNDING. Too many LOVEs in this paragraph, but no other word comes close, unless it's adore....

I ADORE your new logo!!!!