New Month...New Possibilities!

Playground Springies (detail) by Debbie Styer 2013

I'm ready to start August anew! July flew by but I was able to get a lot done.
  1. I finished my first of my writers series, Edgar Allan Poe.
  2. I created new blog post and illustrations for "The Declaration of You! blog lovin' tour.
  3. I entered the Lilla Rogers Global Talent Search, (see illustration above) I didn't get to the next level but, man, did I learn a lot. I'm definitely going to enter more illustration contests. Do any of you know of any good ones?
August is always an intense month for me. It's my birthday (hello 42!) and it is the crazy catch up/planning for the upcoming holiday season. I also need to figure out my next big career steps and change my direction a bit.

It has been difficult lately, as any freelancer know, jobs tend to ebb and flow, and I need to figure out how to get it all a bit more balanced if possible. Here's my business plans for August.

  1. Design postcards to send to publishers.
  2. Create dream lists of art directors and publications.
  3. Learn best way to approach blogs about my work.
  4. Finish book!
  5. Design cover for book.
  6. Create at least 2 new illustrations a week.
  7. Blog 2x a week.
  8. Help out with SFEtsy Bootcamp!
  9. Increase hours at New Bohemia Signs.
  10. Create a illustration logo!
  11. Relax a bit and enjoy a mini vacation with my husband! 
I think that gives me enough to do this month... Yeesh! Here's to a fabulous August! I hope you all get tons of work done!

What's The Meetup? Do you have any business goals to share? You are welcome to join us at The Meetup, where creative people join together online and encourage each other to share their goals and dreams each month. Sound interesting to you? You can find out more here.

Here's to 2012! (January Meetup Goals)

Finding my balance...Tightrope Walker from Life Magazine
2011...What a year! This last few weeks have giving me time to really think about my goals, where I am and where I want to go with bluehour studio in the future. It has been an huge eye opening experience. Here is a bit of what I've learned...

To start off, it was a good year and I am pretty proud myself. I accomplished a lot. I started my Etsy shop. I think I found my creative voice and I made more art work in a year than I ever have since art school.  Most importantly, I have found my passion for illustration again (it was blocked by fear for a long time). All in all, I'm pretty happy about where I am heading as an artist but I still have a lot to learn.

So what is ahead for 2012? This is not a list of resolutions but more of a list of what I will be focusing on in the next year.
  1. Etsy...oh... Etsy you amaze me. There are so many possibilities within your pages. Honestly, I thought that it would be easier to make a living with it. I thought that once I opened my shop it would be like magic and the sales would just happen. This is not reality... Now my shop is open but I don't always understand how to get views. I need to figure out how to make sales. I have heard that the magic number of shop items is about 100. I have 30, there needs to be a lot more...and I need to create a bit of diversity in artwork. I need to create different sizes, subjects, stationary, and some illustrated jewelry...It is going to be a very busy year.
  2. And yes, although Etsy is great, I really want to focus on doing editorial work for non-profits, books and magazines. That will be the ideal. That is the dream...I hope I can make it happen this year. There will be a whole new learning curve about how to send my artwork to companies and publishers. But I am ready for it...
  3. Kick the last bit of fear to the curb. I need to start talking about my artwork more. I can't afford to be shy anymore. I want to get out there. That means bringing my artwork to local shows and galleries. I joined the SFEtsy team and they are opening my eyes to so many new opportunities. I'll probably start small but I would love to do about 3 or 4 shows this year. Anyone know of goods ones to start off with?
  4. Deal with money (and learn the ins and outs of running a successful business)...I know this is a boring subject but it is something I need to face as an artist. How do you truly support yourself? I need get myself out there in the world. I need to learn to advertise, facebook, twitter and blog more. Listen to all the marketing guru's. I need to get over the starving artist thing once and for all. Work a solid part time job too. 
  5. And the key to most of this...better time management. I need to get a good plan. Write daily to-do lists and finish them. So simple, yet so hard to do...Learn to see the big picture with my business.
  6. On a personal level, I need to journal more. Write out my thoughts and fears. I need to get out of the house more. Read some really good fiction and keep my imagination going always. Go for walks, make plans with friends and plan more mini vacations. Plan for a big vacation with my hubby in the next couple of years. Keep my exercise programs going (Damon & I are currently doing P90X, yikes what a workout). Oh...yeah meditate a bit daily.
So that's will be my 2012. It is going to be a really interesting year. I'm sure it will be an intense year. All the crazy politics around the world might get really serious. I'm trying to remain positive about the world around me. And keep looking at all the amazing things people are creating and get inspired by them.

How about you? What is the biggest thing you hope to accomplishing in 2012? What are you most afraid of? What are you most excited about? I'd love to hear about it.

Well, here's to a amazing 2012. It's going to be a hell of a year...

Here's to you and success in the new year!

What is the Meetup thing, you ask? It is a group of creatives that encourage each other each month to make and complete their goals. Join is an amazing to watch the progress of others and yourself...
Contact Liz for more info here.

It's Time for the November Meetup!

12 year old strong girl via howtobearetronaut

I don't believe that October is over. must be time to crack the whip again. I decided that this month is going to be all about art. I know that sounds silly because all of my time should be about art, but it seems like days go by without me actually doing anything art like. I need to work on that.

Last month I was very happy to get my Etsy shop up. I added 4 new pieces am a slowly figuring out how the Etsy world works. You can check out my shop here.

I also sold my first piece on Etsy...Thank you, Paul!

Here is my November Plan:
  1. Get 10 more pieces done for Ladies & Gents series.
  2. Add these prints to Etsy
  3. Rework website...add banner and a link page.
  4. Rework blog...add handwritten bits & buttons, add more illustration.
  5. Start Nursery series... A Victorian inspired children's series. I would love at least 10 pieces done this month...if possible.
  6. Work on large illustrations for website/portfolio.
  7. Buy extra supplies for Holidays.
  8. Get business cards done. I would love to include one with each purchase.
  9. Research charities to get involved with. Does anyone know of any websites or organizations that connect artists to doing good things?
  10. Create a holiday card for family & friends.
  11. Research and experiment making necklaces/lockets with my artwork. Find suppliers.
  12. Start getting my Christmas shopping done(I don't want to panic this year)
  13. Remember to exercise!
  14. Get a better work schedule at the shop.
  15. Find time to help Ashley at Glob Paints.
  16. Research holiday fairs. Am I ready? or should I wait?
  17. Get involved with the SFEtsy.
  18. Remember to draw daily!

So that's my month. WooHoo! Hopefully I will get a lot done. I am looking forward to the holiday season. This is the first year I have anything to sell. I better get drawing. I hope you all have a successful and inspiring November!

I almost forgot. Since I am now on Etsy, do any of you have a shop you would like to share? I would love to see them. Just leave a link to your shop in the comments. Thank you!

What is the Meetup thing, you ask? It is a group of creatives that encourage each other each month to make and complete their goals. Join is an amazing to watch the progress of others and yourself...
Contact Liz for more info here.

It's time for the October Meetup!

Trying to keep some balance...via How To Be A Retronaut
I don't believe that it is October already...Where the hell did the time go? Yikes...Well, it has been a crazy couple of months...but I did manage to complete a few things...

  1. I'm on Etsy! It has only been a couple of weeks but I'm am so happy to get this going. I still have a few weeks  to make but I am excited with the possibilities. Here is my shop!
  2. I'm got on Illustration Mundo! Ok I'm a nerd...but I am happy to be official part of this amazing illustration site. Here's me.
  3. I started my own Tumblr site. It has been so fun just to play around with the things that inspire me. It is called, Little Penny Dreadful and I hope you like it.
So what's up for October?
  1. Get more of my art on my Etsy site. I would like to get 2 new pieces a week done. I've never done a holiday season before so I am a bit nervous, but I am part of the "Holiday Bootcamp" and am learning a lot.
  2. Blog 3 or more times a week. I need to keep a good schedule going and I would love to add more artwork to my blog.
  3.  Keep adding more work to the portfolio page on my website.
  4. I need to start thinking about the Big Picture and start introducing myself to magazines and websites.
  5. Make a Halloween costume for Virginia City...I'm thinking of being a silent film star...
  6. Illustration Friday...2x a month.
  7. Keep working on my Ladies & Gents series. Create a few more portraits...write their stories.
  8. Keep fighting off my procrastinating by making better daily schedules and sticking to them.
  9. Keep a solid schedule at New Bohemia Signs (10 to 15 hours a week)and practice my lettering every week.
  10. Keep up with my homework, meditation and exercise for my Integral class.
  11. Find balance...Is this is possible?
  12. Research possible new income streams...
So busy, busy, busy...I think it will be a good month. I'm looking forward to the big challenge is ahead. But I think I am ready for it.

I hope you all have a great month ahead, full of accomplishments and goals made. October seems like the make it or break it month for the holiday let's all kick a bit of ass this month.

What is the Meetup thing, you ask? It is a group of creatives that encourage each other each month to make and complete their goals. Join is an amazing to watch the progress of others and yourself...
Contact Liz for more info here.

It's March Meetup Time!

What an inspiration...Camille Claudel via Turn of the Century

 Happy March, Everyone! I don't believe it is already the 3rd month of the year...yeesh...Sorry that I've been a bit absent the last month or so but I have been working hard trying to do what I do. So what have I been up to?

In the last few months I have succeed in getting more artwork done. Which is wonderful and I have put that artwork everwhere:

 I finally have a bluehour studio facebook page. I still have some work to do on it but it is up! Check it out! I'm still need a bunch more followers for it to be working, what do you need 25? I'm not sure how that works...

Still getting stuff together for website but am having a friend put it together for me. This must get done ASAP.

All in all, I'm doing Ok but I need to still keep pushing forward full force:

Here is my March to-do list:

  1. Get an Etsy page set up. (I laugh at myself that through all of this work, I've neglected to sell anything...what a fool I've been)
  2. Do prints for Etsy page: I'm starting out with about 10 to launch site: my brain is all a spin in ideas...
  3. Get the website up!
  4. Banners done for Etsy
  5. Banner redone for blog(needs more illustration)
  6. Banner for website!
  7. Illustration Friday 2x a month
  8. Keep adding more artwork to Society6/Design:Related and other sites...
  9. Be more awake and contribute more to social networking sites...find my community!
  10. Contribute more to The Creative is a wonderful community I'm not using enough.
  11. Deep thinking...I'm taking The Declaration of You! It has only been a week but it is wonderful so far.
  12. Figuring out my issues with the money thing, I need to create a sense of abundance.
  13. Continue to expand my artistic world...take another letterpress class at the San Francisco Center for the Book.
  14.  Keep pushing forward with my blog, and find ways to create more of a community there. Don't be afraid to take risks and include more illustration inspiration...
  15. Get published! I'm working on a few things in the next couple of months...
This will prove to be a very interesting month. My husband is moving his sign shop to a much bigger space so I will be helping out a lot with that. I am so happy to work at at the shop and will be learning some sign painting skills too. How exciting!

Hopefully I will get most of this work done. I like March, it is the beginning of spring and there is a lot of growth and excitement in the air. My word for the month: ACCOMPLISHMENT!

Hope you are all doing well and I look forward to checking out all your sites and blogs. Good Luck with the upcoming month.

What is the Meetup thing, you ask? It is a group of creatives that encourage each other each month to make and complete their goals. Join is an amazing to watch the progress of others and yourself...
Contact Liz for more info here.