Monday, August 20, 2018

lucy's room makeover

As many of you know, it's become a tradition to redecorate and paint a fresh mural in Lucy's room every couple of years. Her room is tiny and as she's gotten older, her style and interests are always changing and evolving. And this year, together we decided on a Matisse inspired wall. Lucy's middle name is Matisse and it seemed appropriate to at some point in her life create a Henri Matisse inspired wall. The best part of was planning it out and spending time painting together. Here is a little peek. 

BEFORE

I painted this butterfly mural back in 2016. 















Looking for a little more inspiration when it comes to using paint and creativity to transform a space?





Monday, August 13, 2018

tips for marketing a creative business


In my opinion marketing and promotion is one of the most important ways to grow your creative business. And if I am keeping it really honest, I didn't actually figure this out until I got a job in marketing. You see, I spent years thinking that I would make art, upload it to my online shop or get a wholesale opportunity or show my art in a gallery and things would just sell. I spent years, putting most of my energy into making art and whatever time I had left was spent on (minimal) marketing. It wasn't until I got a job in marketing at a university that I saw how important time, effort and a marketing plan was. I remember sitting in a staff meeting where we were all brainstorming ideas for a marketing campaign and a light bulb went off! I remember thinking, why in the world am I not thinking about this stuff with my art and my creative business?!?! Why don't I have a plan or a marketing approach when it comes to my art? For some reason (probably because I am an artist), I thought that a business minded approach to my art would ruin things or would take away from the creativity. But what I didn't realize was that any type of business (even a creative one) requires time and attention to marketing and getting the word out. I am here to tell you that the minute I realized how important marketing was, was the minute my business evolved and great into what it is today- a full time gig that supports our family! 

Today I thought I would share some really simple and easy things to think about when it comes to marketing your creativity business.


THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND AS YOU DIVE INTO MARKETING:

1. It really helps to begin by identifying your brand- in other words- identify the things that make you unique! Take time to ask yourself questions like:
What makes me unique?
Who is my audience or customers?
What makes me different from everyone else out there?
What do I want my life and business to look like?
What do I want customers to feel when they see my art or visit my website?
Getting honest with yourself and your brand will help you to begin making decisions about how and where you want to market your work.

2. Take some time to really figure out your goals. Do you want more customers coming to your online shop? Do you want to fill up your classes? Do you need to spread the word about your freelance services. Answering these big questions  before you launch into a marketing plan will help you take on an approach that works for your longterm goals.

3. Take time to do your research. What might work for one business may not be right for you. Spend time searching for marketing inspiration. I like to look for business and marketing resources online and the best part is that it's free. A quick search can offer up some resource and information that you can use in your own marketing approach. Doing your research and really understanding all the different ways to market and promote will help you decide what works best for you.

4. Decide if you want or need to spend money on marketing. It's ok if you don't have a budget for professional help (I never did). Try reaching out to fellow artists, crafters and small business owners. Ask for marketing opinions and advice to see what has worked for other people. I knew early on that I wanted to do it myself but not everyone wants to operate this way. If you need help or if you want to invest a little money into marketing, make yourself a budget that matches your goals.


5. Give yourself a time frame to experiment and try a handful of things. As I have mentioned, nothing it going to work over night- a marketing plan is like a long term investment of time and energy. Often you need months and months of trying, testing and putting information out there to really see results.

EXAMPLE: These days I actually give myself a 6 months to 1 year to test things out and then at the end of the year, when we sit down to crunch number and plan I can really see if my marketing has been working.

6. Creating a marketing plan can take time and a lot of trial and error. Give yourself permission and time to experiment and figure out what works best for you. Also keep in mind that it's totally normal to fail or not get things right. This stuff takes time to figure out and it can look different for everyone. Things not working or even failing can actually be a great way to make decisions moving forward.



18 FREE WAYS TO CREATE BUZZ FOR YOUR CREATIVE BUSINESS

1. Trade advertising with fellow artists
2. Post your work on Instagram or Facebook
3. Use Instagram to share photos from your life and business
4. Offer contests
5. Start a blog
6. Sponsor an event- either live or virtual
7. Create a video series YouTube
8. Build an email list or newsletter list
9. Offer coupons and discounts for products and services
10. Share a free tutorial
11. Plan giveaways for customers
12. Offer a deal or discount to specific social media followers (instragram, twitter, etc)
13. Team up with fellow artists and bloggers to offer giveaways, organize blog hops, etc
14. Create a hashtag for your products and services that can be shared on social media
15. Send inspiring information to your email list
16. Challenge yourself to share on social media 3 times a day
17. Interact with other artists and crafters through social media
18. Guest post for fellow artists



Looking for more art business tips and advice?

how to start selling your artwork- HERE

jump start a creative career- HERE


taking a leap into full time artist- HERE

coping with creative burnout- HERE

coping with failure- HERE

how to keep your work authentic- HERE

the art of chasing a dream- HERE

managing life and a creative business- HERE

the art of setting goals- HERE 

the art of blogging- HERE and HERE

the things I haven't shared- HERE

stronger than I ever knew- HERE



Friday, August 10, 2018

happy weekend!

Hey Friends! I apologize for my sporadic posting lately! I've been working really hard on some fun projects this summer that I am excited to share with you very soon. I promise I will be back to regular scheduled DIY projects and creative posts very soon!

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

creating with jules- resin necklace pendants


Every now and then I make a batch of resin pendants using various methods, and I’m sharing with you today how I’ve made these hand painted resin pendants.

You will need:

-Resin
There are so many brands of resin to use. I’ve been using one called “Glass Coat”. They are sold as a two part epoxy kit that you mix together. The individual brands will state on the bottles whether they are suitable for coating. 
-Wide wooden stirrer
-Wooden craft disks (I used 1 1/2”)
-Bails
-Gesso
-Acrylic Paint
-Sealer (I used a water based gloss varnish)
-Necklace or cord and closure of your choice
-Small propane torch
-E6000 glue

First, seal your wooden disks using gesso.

First, seal your wooden disks using gesso.

Once dry, paint them however you like. Glean some inspiration from Alisa Burke’s flowery painting projects here, or just doodle-paint like I did. I had no plan; I just started painting. If you don’t like anything you’ve done, just paint over it! There’s no pressure here, and that’s the beauty of acrylics :) 

Paint the backs of the pendants in solid colour.







Once my designs were dry, I sealed them using the gloss sealer front, back and sides. 

Leave to dry.

Now you can mix your resin. Pour the two parts of your resin into a disposable cup, and mix following the directions on the bottle of your particular brand using the wooden stirrer. 

Place your pendants on some paper (baking paper provides extra protection if you need it) to protect your working surface. Pour the resin on, or ‘spoon’ on like I have in the photo, and gently coax the resin up to the sides of the disk using the stirrer. The surface tension keeps the resin from dripping over the sides, although that sometimes happens.


Using the propane torch, quickly run over the resin close to the surface, but not touching the resin with the flame. This will pop any little air bubbles.

Leave in a dust free area to cure. I place a large lid over my work to keep dust off. You just have to make sure the lip is deep enough so it doesn’t touch the pendants.

Glue bails on the pendants using E6000 glue.

Once the glue is dry, thread your pendants onto cord or necklace, and enjoy!




Jules :)

You can find more of Jules here:




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