You Don’t Have To Get It right The First Time

I usually put a lot of pressure on myself to get something out of my head, on to paper and turned into a touchable product immediately. I will work for endless hours until it feels right and then work on it some more, because ultimately it could always be better. On rare occasions it becomes something close to perfection, but that is rare and I usually feel like I need to compromise on my name or trash it and start a new project.

So many things can be created. But will they be created perfectly?

Going along with my lesson on Patience I am trying to also get a handle on the need to be perfect the first time. I have to remind myself that there are lessons to be learned and sometimes there are perfect moments in the imperfection that I create. Some of the most cherished items are works of art that are not complete.

You know the painting of George Washington, United States First President?  That painting is in fact an unfinished piece. And we wouldn’t think of changing it.

While I work on patience with my business and building upon it, I will also start thinking of my projects, the material I use, as already perfect.  Anything I do, in addition to what it is in its raw state, is a bonus.

How do you control your need to be perfect?

The Color Red, Rockabilly and Great Photography

I would love to take credit for this treasury but ALL the credit goes to Michele from Liperla Handmade Glass Jewelry  Her treasury doesn’t need much explanation. It is vibrant and fun. What caught my eye, you might be shocked, the photography of the items and also the color.

The hand holding the travel case. Movement in the dress are great.

Check out the dice and those roller skates.. I show you these images not so you copy them, but for you to study the light, practice capturing movement and seeing different ways to make your items pop. Again it doesn’t take much, some practice and it absolutely does NOT mean you need a fancy camera. {spy on mine}

Check out the full treasury here

Were you featured here?

We would love to hear some tips on how you took these shots.

Forging A Cohesive Brand part II: My Homework

Earlier I spoke of having a cohesive look with all of your social media profiles and your blog. Making it easier for people, your audience and random yet completely awesome strangers to find you and recognize, without hesitation, that you are YOU. I left that post needing to do a little more homework myself.

Screen shot of old twitter profile & background

And here it is my brand new Twitter background! I kept it around 600x600px and mostly white edges so I wouldn’t need to tile it. Also wanted to allow room so if you had your view on your screen reset to its default setting or zoomed in you could still see and read most of the wording on the image. I suppose I could have left this wordless but, if you know me, words just happen. Any who, looks like a tutorial is getting written next on changing your twitter background.

Screen shot of NEW twitter profile & background

Show off your backgrounds.

Leave a link in the comments below.

Take a fragmented creative living & merge it into one kickass business

Do you have, at minimum, 5 different ideas for the next thing you could make, create, start or build? Do you start each one with zeal and crank something out only to feel it doesn’t fit in with your last creation? Prompting you to start a brand new home for it on another site, blog or handmade shop?

Are you creating but feel fragmented?

I absolutely do that. I have always done it. I love the start of anything, love it so much I start new things everyday. Sometimes it has to do with Laundry and let me tell you that is not the way I like to start my day.

But, for a few years I have probably started over 100 new and different projects, completed half and created a shop or blog for the 5 best ideas. I was fragmented all over the place. I loved creating the new sites, shops, items and sharing them all. I loved being able to switch up designs, styles and images depending on how I felt.

Start organizing your ideas and see how they fit together.

The problem with that? Not one project was getting the time and attention it deserved. They were each only getting a small piece of me and I wasn’t getting everything I could out of them individually. So why not sort things out and start fitting them together as one happy family.

  • I began looking at what I did everyday that made me happy, that if I didn’t do it daily I felt off.
  • Then I looked at each individual creation, blog, website and shop and found the common ties.
  • Once I worked all of that out I could narrow down my fragmented self to a few very similar but still unique qualities and creations. Giving myself and my craft clarity as well as the power to keep being me but a more Merged Cohesive  ME.

Somethings might need to be shelved until you can see how they fit, but others, the ones you think about and immediately start to make you smile, those are the ones that might fit together.

What talents can you Merge into One KICKASS Creative Business?

Find more Creative Business Advice, Tips and Pointers HERE

How To Edit Your Etsy Listings To Sell More

Have you been revamping your shop? Working on editing pictures and getting great item descriptions to pull it all together? Good! GREAT! One more thing… Making sure your shop looks amazing on Etsy, next to other shops in treasuries or during searches, can be as simple as the click of a button. Have you seen this new little addition to Etsy’s editing section in your shop?

edit your etsy shop listing thumbnail

adjust your thumbnail photo

As you are about to publish your listing, in the preview, this nice side note appears. Guess what happens if you click on the button perfectly titled “adjust photo”? Yep you guessed it, you can move your already awesome picture to make sure others see exactly how great it truly is even before they read your description. Cause truly, what do you notice first, the title or the picture? So, start clicking on that adjust photo button and get to cropping your shop into the Treasury Happening maybe even Front Page glory you deserve.

Crop and adjust your listing photos & thumbnails to ensure you get seen.

Freebies & Tips: How to Take Great Product Photography of Your Creations

Yesterday I spent time editing product photos and it went by pretty smooth. I have fine tuned my photo shoots by getting organized with everything I will need on a table beside me. I also limit myself to 5 pictures total. Any more than that seems to be a waste of time. Also if you are organized and know the shots you need then you shouldn’t need to take 100 pictures of something. Planning out your product shoots means less time spent taking pictures and even less time spent editing.

Details pendant with ruler

1 full view picture

1 close up detail

1 different angle/view

1 showing options or item being worn

1 bonus just in case picture.

I am not a photographer in the sense of ‘I went to photography school and now I am a photographer’. But I am a photographer in the sense that I take pictures, great pictures, with a cheap point and shoot camera. I like to tease my husband (who has a fancy camera) that it’s not the equipment but the operator that makes a great picture AWESOME! We joke, it’s fun.

Bright color mix 100% cotton Cowl

Pictures can sell your item without saying or in this case typing a word. For me I find the details very important. I use white backgrounds and take pictures of most my items from the side. Rather then from the front which can make your items, especially clothing, look flat if they aren’t on a living human or pet.

Show different Options in you product photos

Always use indirect natural lighting when ever possible, NEVER USE YOUR FLASH, unless you have a professional set up. For us in the Pacific Northwest, using natural light, can mean a day that was supposed to be spent writing blog posts, quickly turns into “Holy Crap the SUN is out” on the fly photo shoot.

Show the buyer the DETAILS

I also make sure to get CLOSE. Really close and focus on a detail. If in your description you explain that something has a finished edge, then you should have a picture of it or what ever detail you are trying to point out. Etsy and most handmade selling sites give you 4 or more spots for photos. Use them ALL. And Finally, edit you pictures. I don’t use a fancy editing program. I adjust the contrast and light, I always crop to a 1000x1000pix Square. I have found that etsy photos at this size and cropped square, fit the screen of any browser best. When I view shops with large or longer photos, I have to scroll down to see the entire item, slightly annoying, to myself and others if they are in a viewing/browsing hurry. Think of your customer and how fast we lose attention, if they have to scroll they might click away from your item. Give your customers all the info in one picture so they won’t have to move a finger.

In a Snap Shot:

Plan you photo shoot * Take ONLY 5 different pictures of each item * Edit your photos * Get the details * Use NATURAL light.

Fear and Dreaming Big?

an original print by Tehlia

I have a tendency to hold back once I have created something. Even when I know something will be great I hold back. Perhaps I do it out of fear. A fear of failing. Or perhaps I know it will take work. Hard work and continuous work before my efforts start to reward me in a way I can touch and see.

Stay excited. Pin all you want to a board.

So, last night I created an inspiration board or as my husband likes to call it “You are Awesome” board. I want to stay focused on what I am hoping to create, I want to push passed the fear of failing. Fear is a good thing, if you didn’t have fear or nervousness then perhaps you don’t want it bad enough. Fear can also keep you balanced and moving, striving to be better than yesterday. I am going to take this fear of failing, fear of having to work really hard and make sure that I stay one or twenty steps ahead of it. I will keep dreaming and adding to my board.

What motivates you to keep going?

When has fear worked in your favor, pushing you beyond what you thought was possible?