Everyone an Artist

February 23, 2011

All the world’s a stage and everyone in it is an artist.

In this article I’m going to go as far as to say, you, along with everyone else that will read this is an artist in their own way. When I first presented this to someone, they responded with, “Yeah, everyone’s an artist, but some can actually make a living at it,” which is true, but they didn’t really understand what I was getting at.

So what am I getting at?

You are an artist. I am an artist. Everyone else, yeah they’re artists too. So why am I an artist? It’s not because I write poetry, design websites, create dust bunnies or play around with Photoshop in my spare time. Those play into my artistry, but it doesn’t define the why. The why is because I create. I am bringing something to the table, whether it has been said before or done before is not what matters, what matters is that I took the time to initiate a spark of an idea and brought it out from my mind into existence. That is what makes people artists.

From the stockbrokers on Wall Street to George my mechanic down the street, everyone is an artist. The medium is different, but that doesn’t discount or devalue their artistry. I look under the hood of my car and I see a bunch of tubes, wiring, and a few spots to check my oil, transmission and coolant levels. Other than those few things, the engine of my car is a mystery to me, but to George, my car is simple. There is an order, a routine to go through when problems arise for me and to him, my car makes perfect sense (most of the time). He is an artist, his medium happens to be Volvo repair.

In the same manner, you are an artist. I don’t know what your craft is or what contribution you’ll hope to make with the world. But I do know that you are creating things everyday that drive you on. Whether it’s relationships, analyzing theories, playing with numbers, or the thousands of other things that people do on a day to day basis, these things are your craft. They are your medium. You are an artist.

Seth Godin (author of the Purple Cow) once said, “Art is not in the eye of the beholder. It’s in the soul of the artist.” I agree with this completely and I believe that whatever your passion lies, there is where your artistry begins.

You are an artist, go out and create.


Letter to My 2009 Self

December 30, 2010

I’ve seen a lot of bloggers doing this now, so I’m jumping on the bandwagon this time and following in suit. Here’s a letter to myself of 2009.

Dear 2009 Self,

You have no clue what God has in store for you. You will be tested and tried so much this year, but in the end you’ll realize how much that it’s needed. There will be great ups and some downs, but try not to focus on the disappointments that happen, they only last a season. They say that hindsight is 20/20, and while you won’t be able to fully realize the truth of this statement until after you’ve succeeded overcoming the present circumstances, it’s best to take it at face value and not look too deep into it.

Focus on the challenges of today, with a little foresight and then face those head on. Don’t worry about the worries of tomorrow, for they will come in due time. You have an amazing support system between friends and family; and despite present thoughts, your true friends will always be saying similar things when giving you advice, if their advice doesn’t align with your thoughts or what many others are saying then ignore it, don’t go with it.

Short and sweet, here’s the point: You’re stronger than you think. God is there, He hasn’t left you (and won’t, EVER). Look to family and friends, reach out to them. They really care about you. Keep doing what you’re doing and following your desires. God will bless that if it’s in accordance to His will.

The new you,
Me.


You Have a Website… So, Now What?

October 14, 2010

Congratulations, you have spent the last few weeks/months prepping, and getting your site ready to debut and the time has finally come to unveil your site to the world…. so now what?

For the most part, if you have a website the purpose of it is generating income, whether it be from direct sales of products and services online or simply pushing people to physical places to buy your products. But, generally speaking a websites purpose is usually to either get information out, bring people in or convince people to buy something. With that in mind, please note: just because you have a website, doesn’t mean you will profit from it. Thanks to sites like Angelfire and Lycos in the past and WordPress and Blogspot today anyone can set up a blog/website with little to no costs and attempt to convert internet surfers to customers.  There are billions (under-estimate I’m sure) of websites out there trying to get you to buy their product, so why would people choose yours?

Well if you’re in the business of providing a service, there are three primary reasons that you will get business: 1) Because you’re the best. 2) You are cheap. 3) They know you or have been recommended by someone reputable.  Let’s break that down some more. The best way to get good business is to be the best. To be the best you need to be knowledgeable, respected in your industry, (usually) not a new-comer, provide great customer service and quality work. With that combination, odds are you’ll get the most traffic. The next way to achieve a good conversion rate with your website is being cheap. People are cheap and often want the best quality for the lowest price and also people will often sacrifice quality for a lower price if they can get away with it. Being cheap brings in business, but it also usually reflects in your quality of work produced. The last main reason people will come to you is because they know you or have been referred to you. Personal recommendations have a far greater impact on decision making (especially when it’s quality work) than almost anything you can do on your own… unless you’re a celebrity. And people seem to just buy their stuff simply because they are famous. With that in mind, if you really want to generate leads and sales, first try to be the best. Second, have a good reputation which will generate good recommendations. And if you must, simply be cheap and you should get traffic. But there are no guarantees here.

Having a website doesn’t = sales. You are competing not only with local competition and other businesses that your potential clients have talked to, but now since you are online you are also competing with people all across the globe. A website is a great start to promote your business, but just because you have one doesn’t mean people will come, you need to promote yourself to have that happen. And you also need to be able to produce quality content in a manner that will make people want to hire you. That’s why you need to be the best and stand out from the competition. What makes you better that Joe Somebody down the street? Do you have better prices? Have you been in the industry longer? Are you more knowledgeable  when it comes to (fill in the blank here)?

People want to hire the best candidates. The better the quality content produced the more likely to be hired. Oh, and people like to have specialists. Be great at one thing. It’s not a business plan to be a jack of all trades and master of none. For me, I specialize in web design. Which encompasses graphic design (and branding) and how it all connects between the logo, the website, banners, fliers, newsletters, etc. I’m not great at programming, but I’m learning and the more I work with it the better I’m getting at it.  So on my website, I will say that I can code programming sections of the site, but I am much better at the visual aspect of websites, which is why I’m more of a front-end developer rather than a back-end coder. Therefore I will branch out and focus on the design and aesthetic components of a website more so than the functionality, not that I don’t do it, I just am better at the design.

In conclusion, be the best at what you do. People want to hire a master of a trade rather than jacks of all trades. A website does not make you receive traffic. It also doesn’t automatically generate income. You have to promote your business and work hard to sustain it. Personal recommendations go much farther than you think and being the best at what you do helps a ton.


Meet the Family of the Dust Bunny Mafia

October 11, 2010

Frankie, Vinnie, Jimmy, Leo, Vic, and Benny

 

Meet the Family of the D.B.M. Here.


When Creatives Fail

October 4, 2010

Sometimes people fail, actually in the larger sense, people in general tend to fail most of the time. Whether it be on a large scale or in the small things that happen daily, things tend to not always go as plan and thus we fail in these simple routines. Now this post isn’t about getting down on anyone, but more just bringing up the fact again that we are all humans and we tend to fail a lot, myself included.

For the most part, creative jobs are based on a little bit of actual information and a lot on heavy speculation and first impressions. Creative jobs take on the task of gathering up a little knowledge and attempting to transform that knowledge into something visually appealing that both lines up with the company or product itself and also connects with the user/consumer. And when that doesn’t happen it can be devastating. Not just to the client or the customer, but also to the designer. Creatives tend to pour out more of themselves into their work (in a different sense) than the rest of the workforce. And by this other sense I mean that when creatives create they tend to put part of themselves into everything they do; yes they are trying to match up and perfect a graphical representation for their clients, but more than just making a great depiction for the outside consumer, the designers end up putting themselves into the design and sometimes they just get it wrong.

With work done primarily on gut instinct and a bit of information, don’t be surprised if it’s hit and miss. Even the best designers or the highest priced website developers will get it wrong sometimes. No one is exempt from it. So the next time that you’re working with a creative and the designs don’t come out as well as you’d like, just remember that you’re working with another human being that makes mistakes. It is not the end of the world. It can be fixed and the design can be redone, modified or you can go and use another designer down the road. Sometimes projects just fail. At least with design work, nobody’s going to end up dead if the design fails.

Firestone Tire FordYes, I just went there

Dust Bunny Mafia

September 24, 2010

So recently I’ve been working on a new project called Dust Bunny Mafia (Shameless self promotion to follow).

It won’t be officially launching until December 10, 2010 but I figured I’d try and direct you to it before then anyways. The best way to keep up to date on what’s going on with The Dust Bunny Mafia is by Liking it on facebook, click here for that. The other great way to stay in touch is Following on Twitter, @DustBunnyMafia. I will be adding new images, offers, and overall previews of the site weekly on the Facebook fan page; that’s your best bet to find out more about the Dust Bunny Mafia. I’d recommend checking there first for the latest updates.

So here’s a preview of something I’ve been working on. This is part of the earliest sketch of the character “Frankie”

Dust Bunny Mafia: Frankie Early Sketch


That’s all for now, for more information check out Dust Bunny Mafia.com and the links on Facebook and Twitter.


International Freelancers Day (Sept. 24-25, 2010)

September 23, 2010

Tomorrow and Saturday comprise the first annual International Freelancers Day, two days packed with 25 great speakers in 1 spectacular event. And the two best parts of the event are: 1) It’s completely free; and 2) It’s all online (no travel required). I’m attending this event and I can’t wait to watch some of the presentations and learn what I can be doing better for my business and if you’re even slightly interested in this I recommend you sign up for it too! All you need is an email address to sign up, and you can do it here. For more information on the event, watch the video below or take a look around their website, http://www.internationalfreelancersday.com.


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