Staying Positive And Staying Motivated

Staying Happy, Staying MotivatedA Reasons To Be Cheerful Post

As artists, creatives and writers, we often do not see an immediate or obvious result from our efforts. We put ourselves out there, our art, in whichever form it presents itself, hoping that someone will connect with it as much as we have connected with it.

At times, this can be a long wait, through which staying positive and staying motivated can get really difficult.

In times like those, I tend to grab everything positive I can find. May it be a nice comment I receive, an additional follower on a social network, or simply the beauty of the designs my fellow artist put forth. Other times these efforts are a lot more deliberate, which is one of the reasons I participate in the weekly gratitude list on Fridays, and from now on will also participate in this positive blog hop: “Reasons To Be Cheerful”. Maybe the appeal is writing it down and sharing, maybe what I like about those hops is that it includes lists – and I am a list person – but the result is the same – it brings back some of the state of mind that keeps me going, keeps me motivated, and positive, an expect and state from which it is so easy to create from.

Here are my reasons I can be cheerful this week:

1. I finished another floral design!
Despite the fact that this week has been hectic, I managed to create another floral design last night. Considering how dark and dreary it had been outside over the last few days, I craved something bright, and it manifested itself into this very bright yellow flower. It is a digital manipulation of a picture of a flower I took quite a while ago. Adding the dark green background really made the brightness of the yellow come forth. Here it is:

Stay Positive, Stay Motivated

2. I am getting used to my part-time job
I started a part-time job this week, helping in building a friend’s business. My husband and I are working on that as a team, and while it has been challenging, I am beginning to get to hang of it. New programs do not look as foreign anymore, and I do not feel like I do not know what I am talking about when I make necessary phone calls, which are a part of my job.

3. I was able to make a fellow artist happy!
I posted an interview with a Zazzle designer and author yesterday, and her reaction to the post was really cool! It was fun to talk to her about her work in the first place, but knowing that I made her happy was just wonderful.

What reasons do you have to be cheerful today? Why not join this blog hop and share your list with everyone!

Blessings!

Claudia

Gratitude, Coffee And Staying Motivated

Welcome to our weekly coffee share session. I am always looking forward to seeing you. Come on in, the  coffee is hot and fresh, but I also got tea, and some vegan cranberry chocolate chip oatmeal cookies, if you want some. Help yourself.

If you were here with me I would greet you with a smile, and tell you how grateful I am to have a quiet home at the moment. Half of the family is doing their own thing, so the noise level is way down. My head is grateful too, as I need space to think, quiet company and one on one conversations, rather than music or television in the background. Makes it easier to focus on what is important. You would probably notice my gratitude journal on my table. Do you write in a gratitude journal on a regular basis? Today I mentioned my family, the cool breezes of the last few days, the great lunch I had yesterday with my hubby, and of course, coffee.

If you were here with me, I would ask you if you are working on your dreams and goals, and how you stay motivated. Is it easy for you to stay on track with your goals, or do you have to drag yourself to take the necessary steps? If you are dragging, I would ask you what your reasons behind your goals are. A great why helps to pull you along, even when the day is tough.

What is your biggest, most outrages dream? I would share it with you – owning a home in  Hollywood Hills is mine – and hope you would share your dream with me. No dreams are too big, too outrageous if you are willing to work for them. I am. Are you? What are you doing right now to make them happen?

Weekend Coffee Share

As you can tell, I love helping others reach their goals and dreams. A part of me is always going to be a motivational life coach, even if I have given up my practice a few years ago (it has been that long already? Wow, time flies when you’re having fun). Maybe that is the reason why I love helping other designers, creatives and writers succeed. It’s my thing, I guess.

What are you currently reading? Are you reading something that can help you along in your career, or business? Gary Vaynerchuck’s Crush It is currently on my Kindle. I am a fan of Gary’s videos, if you have not heard about him, I suggest you check him out. Very motivational.

I am glad you stopped by and we had a chance to talk. If you get a moment, check out all of the other participants of the Weekend Coffee Share and those who post as a part of the Celebrate The Small Things Blog hop. They would appreciate your visit.

See you next week – oh, but please feel free to drop by anytime. I always have something to share!

Blessings

Claudia

 

Best of Zazzle – Floral Edition # 2

Did you know that specific flowers have a specific meaning? And that the meaning can change with their color?

Take roses for example:

A red rose, of course, has the meaning of “I love you” while a pink rose shows appreciation. The innocence of a white rose is often tied to weddings, yet a pale peach flower speaks of modesty.

The amount of roses given are also not without meanings.

 

 

A single rose of any color depicts utmost devotion
Two roses entwined together communicate “Marry me”
Six Roses signify a need to be loved or cherished
Eleven roses assure the recipient they are truly and deeply loved
Thirteen roses indicate a secret admirer

The following designs showcase flowers as their main theme. Simply click on the image or the link below to get more information about the individual pieces.

 

 

 

As always, thank you for choosing to support independent artists.

Blessings

Claudia

 

Best of Zazzle – Vintage Edition # 1

I find that placing vintage images upon modern applications adds an extra flair to our daily lives, as traditional beauty meets 21st-century tech and comfort. It is the unexpected, the connection of something seemingly unrelatable, but making it connect that is intriguing and thought-provoking. Here are some examples of vintage imagery placed on today’s items.

Vintage Birds And Flowers Cell Phone

Vintage Birds And Flowers Cell Phone

Aren’t these unique? Many designs you can find on Zazzle are customizable, so you can make them extra by adding your name or a few words to each phone. I hope you enjoyed this selection, and as always, thank you for supporting independent artists with your purchase.

Blessings!

Claudia

Best of Zazzle – Pillow Edition # 2

I love how easy it is to add accent colors to our home, by simply adding some pillows. It is an inexpensive way to freshen up your living room or bedroom and add an extra creative touch. Here are my current favorites available at Zazzle.

As always, thank you for supporting independent artists.

Have a wonderful day!

Claudia

Best Of Zazzle – Floral Edition # 1

I love designs that feature nature in its full beauty. Floral designs are a great way to add some color into our sometimes quite gray lives. They can instantly brighten up a space and lighten the mood. Here are some examples of my favorite floral designs currently available on Zazzle.

(For more information on the individual product, click on the individual image)

Best of Zazzle - Floral Edition # 1Best of Zazzle - Floral EditionBest of Zazzle - Floral Edition # 1Best of Zazzle - Floral Edition # 1

Best of Zazzle - Floral Edition # 1Best of Zazzle - Floral Edition # 1

As always, thank you for supporting independent artists, with your purchase. Not only are you receiving one of a kind art pieces, but with your support you are allowing independent artists to grow and flourish.

Thank you

Claudia

Featured Artist Of The Week: Lisa Marie from DawdlingDoodles

Do you like quirky, yet pretty art? Then Dawdling Doodles has exactly what you need. Artist Lisa Marie has created a charming series of adorable and sometimes funny pieces of art, that are softly colored and simply beautiful. I had a chance to ask her a few questions a few days ago and wanted to share this interview here with you.

Me:  How long have you been drawing and creating art?
Lisa: Pretty sure I was born with a crayon in my hand. But I’ve been making art professionally for about 5 years now (opened my studio after I completed my MA in Art History). The doodles started about 1 year ago. Mostly in my studio I create fine art portraits and I needed a way to decompress artistically, so I began doodling on scrap pieces of paper. After a while, I had a pile of cartoon images and I figured I would put them to work – that’s how my doodle blog was born.

Me:  Your Dawdling Doodles are charming, and showcase a quirky sense of humor. How did you come about putting them on Zazzle?
Lisa: Thank you! I already had a Zazzle store showcasing my fine art drawings (http://www.zazzle.com/nosesnposesfromalm), hence opening a second store showing silly doodles (http://www.zazzle.com/dawdlingdoodles) was a fun side project at first. But then they became very popular and it just started to grow and grow! Now it’s just part of my regular studio routine.

Me: What is your favorite aspect of creating art for Zazzle?
Lisa: I love seeing where all my customers come from! The idea that someone in Ireland or Switzerland is wearing one of my doodles on a t-shirt makes me smile! And around the holidays, when the store gets really busy, it’s really fantastic to think that people all over the world are giving my doodles as presents! Sometimes I think there’s no greater gift than the gift of humor.

Me: Take us through your process of creating a piece. Do you sit down with a specific idea in mind, or do you let your creativity flow without boundaries when you sit down to create a piece?
Lisa: Heh, ummm……it’s pretty sporadic. Doodles happen when I need a break from some realistic portrait that I’m drawing for a customer. Usually, I just grab a piece of paper and start to play. Eventually, one particular doodle catches my eye and that’s the one I commit to finishing. If I really want to make something pop, I’ll even put it in Photoshop and enhance some details. But I have a strict rule to never take my doodles too seriously. If I overwork a cartoon, it loses that impulsive playful feel.

Me: How can the audience connect with you outside of Zazzle? Do you have any social media accounts or blogs you want to mention?
Lisa: Oh, I’m all over the place! They can find me on Instagram (ArtistryByLisaMarie), they may see my fine art portraits at ArtistrybyLisamarie.wordpress.com, and they can see a new doodle every Monday on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/DawdlingDoodles

Me: What would you like to tell an independent artist out there, who is trying to get the nerve up to put themselves out there?
Lisa: There will never be a “perfect time” to start, so just go for it! Really, sharing your art can be one of the greatest hurdles for a new artist. You just have to look the computer square in the keyboard and put your stuff out there!

Thanks for taking the time to answers these questions.

As always, please support independent artists with your purchase. And stop by again next week, when I will feature another exciting independent artist.

Have a blessed day!

Claudia

Wanelo For Print-On-Demand (POD) Creators

Four quick tips on how to make the most out of Wanelo-.jpg

This post may contain affiliate links – see disclosure page for details

POD Tips - Marketing on Wanelo

If you are a print-on-demand creator on Zazzle, RedBubble, Society 6 and the like, you should utilize Wanelo to market your products.
Wanelo stands for “want – need – love” and is simplistically stated a version of Pinterest that specializes purely in sales. so for any e-commerce business that focuses on clothing, shoes, jewelry, handmade items or home decor, this is the place to be.

You can create boards, similar to Pinterest, but your products are not competing with infographics and other non-product related pins,  follow other people, share your own products and those of others (but not as an affiliate, more about that later), and create “stories” around your products.

Stories are not as fancy as they sound, there are more a commentary or thought you have about a group of your products, which you attach to your written words, and you created somewhat of a collection (see an example in the image above).

As you can see, this platform makes it easy for you to get directly in front of consumers, even though the main customer base is still a younger crowd – which is most likely to expand over time, as it has with many social media platforms. The downfall to the younger age of the people on Wanelo is that they tend to not have as much money they can spend freely  while at the same time this demographic does make more impulse purchases, than an older crowd would.

What Wanelo is not, is a way to make money as an affiliate. They do not allow the affiliate links because that is how they make their money. Every time you post something they get a commission, which is only fair for creating the site, but a downfall for anyone who seeks to make an affiliate income. We have to look for revenue elsewhere.

Four quick tips on how to make the most out of Wanelo:

1. Post often – Top Contributors get featured, and that means you have to post a large volume of content to take advantage of that aspect. Do not just share your own things, create boards for other items as well that might be related but do not compete with your product line. That way you are not limited to posting only the amount of items you have created.

2. Be active – interact with other contributors, just like you would, to gain followers on other social media platforms. Comment on other people’s posts, share their stuff, and follow others.

3. Connect with people that buy in your niche – the best way to do that is to check out your competitors and follow their followers. Those are people who have already saved items that are similar to yours, so you know they are interested in your types of products. Many will follow you back, and you will relatively quickly grow a following of niche-related people.

4. Use hashtags – you can add up to five hashtags to each of your products. Use all of them, and use them wisely. Hashtags make it easier for your products to be found, just like it makes it easier for your content to be found on twitter. Because you are limited to five, you should be very careful about which ones you use.

That’s it for now. I will be posting more tips on how to get noticed as a POD artist.

Find out more about marketing for artists here

Blessings and happy creating!

Claudia