Posted in Attitude, Design, Personal Life, Psychology, Uncategorized

The Inside vs The Outside

I recently took some ‘glamour shots’ for my professional profiles thinking it was no big deal – but the feedback was really interesting and spurred on this analysis:

It wasn’t until I was around 25ish I started to come in to my own look and just go with it. I realized it was much less dramatic than I thought it would be – actually, downright boring. I was addicted to the struggle, the fear, the anxiety of trying too hard. In a morose way, I liked the drama of obsessing. When I decided to say, “Okay, I’m just going to do this and trust the process.” No beating myself, no self loathing, no constant comparison to other people, no standing in the mirror over analyzing every bit of extra flesh. Just cause and effect. I toned up, extra weight fell off, and there was nothing left to do.

The most anti-climactic win Ever. 

Then what? I’ve always gotten compliments because I smile all the time, so compliments were nothing new. I felt better in my own skin, but after about a week I was over it. It was Extremely disappointing to not have habitual goal to think about all the time. I knew I didn’t want to lose more weight or build muscle because I had done that before and didn’t like it. Chest bones are not pretty. And then you go from compliments to people openly saying rude things like, “Eat a sandwich.” So I had found my happy medium. But now what? I missed the drama, the obsession about a process.

Success is less dramatic than the journey there – and sometimes, even the journey there is boring. I believe this is part of why so many people don’t achieve their goals – especially physical goals. It can be highly disappointing when you get to the top and find there’s no where else to go, but down the other side.

About the age of 30, I decided beauty wasn’t all it’s cracked up to be. All you really get with being beautiful is compliments from the outside world and being confident in yourself (okay, so, that last one does help quite a bit!). I realized that unless I was going to be a model or something where I’m in the spotlight, good looks is really inconsequential. And I want to be more than just a pretty face. 

The process is the real treasure. Developing attributes like Patience, Will-Power, Focus, Resilience, and Determination. These ideals are easy to transfer in to any area of life once you have an area to relate.

Coincidentally, around the time I was having this epiphany- I took a challenge to do 2 weeks of live videos on Facebook saying one thing I’m thankful for. And I realized, I do Quite enjoy being in the spotlight! I don’t believe looks are completely under our control, a lot of it is the genetic lottery – so I can’t take credit for most of it. But I also don’t believe in squandering gifts, so I’m working on ways to incorporate where I already have my confidence to other places I’m working on building up. 

Turns out, looks do matter in this world despite how unimportant it can seem, so it’s good to be wise about it. And just like how you dress and look can attract/repel certain people in your personal life, the same is true when making a portfolio. I realized the “Look” of my portfolio doesn’t appeal to those projects I really want to work on. So, I’ve decided to re-design my portfolio. And no, the irony isn’t lost on me that my mind is still focused on the look of things. I’ve just re-routed the means and the end goal to be a marketable skill.
In creative fields (and other fields that use the mind as the main tool), there’s no ‘top’ to reach because imagination is endless and always growing.

A few years ago, I would have thought that would be disheartening, but now, it’s encouraging to know there’s no disappointment at the top and the journey will never end. 

A man’s reach should exceed his grasp. – Robert Browning

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Posted in Attitude, Design, Uncategorized

NOTEvember 26: It’s not a Fail if you’re still Trying

Notevember is MUCH more challenging for me than Inktober was – Obviously.
But as usual, even though I’ve fallen far, far, FAR from my goals – just aiming my intention towards a specific direction has brought me a lot of clarity.
I’m experimenting with quite a few different shops to see which one has the best user interface + best prices for customers.  Society6, Design By Humans, Teepublic, RedBubble, Customized Girl, and Threadless
(Some of these don’t have anything on them yet…Patience. Use it.)
And, I’ve decided to split my spider loving self away from my Hello Holly business self – which means a lot more work for me, but a lot less confusion for everyone in the long run! Now if I can figure out how to split myself into more people to manage it all…hmm… 
I’m fortunate to have a lot of people in my life supporting me. I looked at the people I feel I know best develop some ‘Market Personas’ to determine which style of design goes on which T-shirt site.
Here’s the breakdown: 
Persona: Christy (Sister)
Style: Quotes, Typography, Illustration
Site: Threadless
Store: Spiderluf
Persona: Rachel (Stepdaughter)
Style: Glamorous, Elegant
Site : Society6, CustomizedGirl
Store: Spiderluf
Persona: Dad (Male)
Style: Masculine, Quotes, Typography
Site: RedBubble, Teepublic
Store: Hello Holly
Persona: Mom (Female)
Style: Hippie, Whimsical, Colorful, Gypsy
Site: Society6, CustomizedGirl
Store: Spiderluf
Persona: Brian (Husband)
Style: Superheros, Comic book, Fantasy
Site: TeePublic, RedBubble
Store: Hello Holly
Persona: Jamy (Music Enthusiast Sister)
Style: Whimsical, Abstract, Geometric, Ethereal
Site: Design by Humans
Store: Spiderluf

Breaking things down this way helped me narrow down what to put where so that everything in a store looks the same. I’ve had problems in the past setting up a store because everything looked so dang different from each other and that irritated me! In keeping with my consistent avoidance of consistency, I want to try different styles – but putting them all in one place is super confusing for the general public.
It’s probably like someone trying to find something in my kitchen.
Posted in Attitude, Design, Personal Life, Psychology

NOTEvember 14: Aiming for Anything

Thanks to Inktober, I have a good bit of artwork to use for my tshirt shop! Two uploaded today and they look pretty dang good if I do say so myself. I already have plans for the second round which will feature watercolor elements to these designs.

I’ve noticed that when I’m trying to get one thing done, a whole lot of other things get done in the wake of anticipating that one thing.

Today, I opened my UpWork profile up for proposals again and within 5 hours, received 7 invites for projects. Business wise, it was a pretty good day all around. … despite me not making my 5 Design Goal of the day. 

This is what happens when I set my sights on something – I feel like I should be busy doing Something at any given moment – even if it’s not what I originally intended, I still get interesting things done.

This is probably how serendipity finds me.

And tomorrow I’ll try again to reach my goal.

Posted in Attitude, Design, Personal Life, Uncategorized

NOTEvember 13 : 01 Spiderlove

There are a Lot of online shop platforms out there.

And I have at least 6 accounts that I can remember : Zazzle, Society6, Design By Humans, Threadless, RedBubble, StoreEnvy, and Etsy.

There’s a lot of questions to ask when publishing to any of these: “What kind of quality is it?” “What’s the community like?” “What’s most popular in these stores?”  “What percentage do I receive?” “What seems to be most requested?” 

I chose to go with Design by Humans for my upload today because the marketplace is more ‘my style’…or the style I’m going for, at least.

Society6 is a close second favorite of mine – neither of these give very good pay outs… but, the ones that give better percentages either a.) are crappy quality or b.) terrible buyer/customer interface or c.) all of the above (Here’s looking at you Zazzle and Threadless!).

So…aiming for 5 designs uploaded was a bit ambitious when I hadn’t made my mind up about which store to go with… But I did get one up! The idea is to do a series of ‘Spiderlove’ featuring some of the artwork I made during Inktober. Check it out!

Let’s see if I can get 5 designs up tomorrow. …I’m not very good at setting ‘easily attainable’ goals apparently. But I’ll keep trying!

Which one of the online stores I mentioned have you heard of? Ever bought anything from an online independent artist shop? I’d love to have your input! Comment below!

Posted in Attitude, Design, Personal Life, Uncategorized

Welcome to #Notevemeber

Inktober was so much fun and breathed life into the idea of having rituals and routines to make something happen, I decided to follow it up with Notevember.  This is a popular event among writers with a whole bunch of rules and guidelines.

As with Inktober, I won’t be following any of them 😃 Instead, my goal is simply write a note every day about things I’d personally like to improve in and how to go about it.

So, here we go!
And yes… I know it’s November 2nd. Time management is on my list of topics to come. 😃 
Posted in Attitude, Design

What I’ve Learned During #Inktober

inktoberspiny

 

This was the first year I decided to participate in Inktober – a month where artists from around the world draw/ink/create/share one piece of art every day using either their own ideas, subjects, or the official Inktober Prompts. There’s a TON of talented artists out there and part of the fun of Inktober is having an easy way to connect with and be inspired by them.

I chose to do my own Inktober featuring my beloved spiders! Not actually my idea, my sister and fellow artist suggested it to me and it sounded like a pretty great idea. I had concerns at the beginning with my attention span and possibly being tired of spiders by the end of the month.

But, NOPE! I think I love spiders even more now. And I can’t deny everyday when I’d browse around for my new subject, just looking through the vast variety of species made me extremely happy.

A few things I learned in the process that I want to remember that carry over into other parts of life : 

  1. “Feeling like it” is completely over-rated.
  2. Even a half-hearted attempt at something completely new and different can be amazing. 
  3. Routines make it much easier to get in ‘the zone’. 
  4. I fight routines tooth and nail.
  5. Suspending judgement is the only way to get anything done.
  6. It’s easier to let go of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ ways of doing things than I thought.
  7. It’s okay to be late, just don’t give up entirely. Get back on track in the middle of the night if necessary. 
  8. The middle of creating something is my favorite part.

Today is the last day of Inktober, and I am 5 days behind. Sometimes I have a problem with ending things – I don’t want it to end so I’ll drag it out. I think that’s what happened here. Oh well, I’ll catch up as soon as I can. These last 5 posts will be more artistic than accurate representations (you have no idea how I agonized about how many leg segments to show), especially since my #spidertattoo ideas seemed to be more liked than any of them. Check it out: instagram.com/helloholly_d

I have a similar daily challenge I thought of for November, but haven’t fleshed it out yet. #Staytuned .

Posted in Design, Uncategorized

Votes are in!

A heartfelt THANK YOU to all of you who helped me by voting for which design you liked best!

Voting Stats: 
A = 22
B = 9
C = 6
D = 11
E = 5
Using of everyone’s input, I made a few revisions and believe I have a MUCH stronger design than any of the previous ones. Here’s the breakdown:
A + D : These two were most liked by those who voted, and many people couldn’t decide between the two. I’m not exactly sure why since they don’t look similar at all, but that’s what happened.
Equally appealing to men and women
B : Many people liked how bold and clean this design is – but the white space seemed to confuse people.
Only men preferred this one
C : People liked this one for the same reason as B, because it was bold and clean.
More men Preferred this one
E : The least liked of all, which I expected. One person asked to see what it looked like without the border, and it looked like a squashed spider! D: Which I do NOT promote!! I’m glad she asked for that though, otherwise I might not have realized it until too late.
Only women preferred this one

Other Insights: 

I got a TON of feedback from some people I didn’t know paid that much attention to my feed. Some people I haven’t talked to in quite some time and it was a good way to reconnect. ❤
My goal is to make a design that’s attractive to either gender. Mainly because I love making T-shirt designs and I want either gender to be able to wear a shirt with this logo on it and feel cool about it. With the geometric framed ideas, I was thinking they would make cool necklaces, but … but I’m not really committed to making that happen so, not a big factor, that was just the thought behind it.
I had no idea how many people really loved my hh design of my current logo! I was really surprised when people started suggesting I put it on the designs that didn’t have it. This was a Huge encouragement so thank you for that. 🙂

More About the logo: 

Everything about all of these designs means something.
I had two perspectives to view the spider from : in a Web and Facing Forward
I chose a hexagon because this ties into my photography business Honeycomb Images which I’m trying to mesh into this somehow without it being too abrupt. It also made a nice ‘web’ shape and gave the spider placement. Also, it’s a cool way to show radial symmetry and reflection. Since a lot of my art is geometric, it tied into that too.
A spider facing forward at eye level was important to me because this is how I try to face problems (‘try’ is the keyword there!). Spiders are usually viewed from above because we’re so much bigger than they are, but still they can make grown men scream like little girls.
It’s highly beneficial for our own sake’s and those around us to take a direct look at exactly what scares us and try to figure out why…and then see if we can turn it around for our benefit.
In one way, spiders represent the small fears and habits that either make or break our lives. They can be a nuisance, a terror, or ideally – the thing that keeps all the other pests away. Details and small things matter in the grand scheme of things. The devil’s in the details. Big, amazing things that happen are great, but it’s the little, daily habits that can really improve quality of life.

I’ve revised and narrowed it down to 4 designs. The voting last time proved that all those designs were good since they all got at least one vote 😉 I’m pretty confident that any of these would nail it …. but which one?

Which one do you think is best and why?

hh_Trials_revise

Posted in Attitude, Design

Help Me Choose!

I’m modifying my logo a bit for my new website launching in September, and I’m all tangled up with internal conflict – maybe you can help.
I know what I’d like to be incorporated with it – Spiders, Geometry, Symmetry or Asymmetry, Negative Space and possibly my current logo.
I sound like so many of my clients right now. …but not the good clients that say, “You’re the designer, I trust your judgement!” The picky clients that ask for endless revisions and keep saying, “It’s good, but…something isn’t right.”
I wonder if I attract these clients because I have this problem internally. I’ve always said, the hardest client to please is myself. Second guessing and self-doubt are my main obstacles.
I’m wanting the same thing that a lot of my clients ask of me. I want it to represent so many things in a glance. …and it’s a bit unreasonable.
Figuratively: 
The work I’m going to showcase will be about angles, contrast, asymmetry, symmetry, geometry, nature, and oddities – mixed in with symbolism and personal insight into how these things relate to life.
Elegant, but not girly.
Edgy, but not scary. 
Fun, but not cartoony. 
Bold, but not boring. 
Technically:
I want it to look good on screen and in print.
I want it to be a good watermark.
I want it to be scalable. 
I want it to be the most amazing thing ever made.
This is why I feel like I have a lot of patience for the client – I feel exactly like them. All the time. On every design project I do.
I’ll know it when I see it!” …but actually, I won’t.
I’ll know it when it’s put in to action.
Negative space logos are my favorite – but I’m not minimalist. Which is very popular right now… but not at all who I am. And not really a job I enjoy doing.
Anyone that knows me probably wouldn’t use the word “minimal” to describe me in ANY way.  I like vintage, geometric, eclectic, and weird things.
Logos ‘should’ be inherently simple, easy to understand at a glance, easy to remember, and unmistakable. Can this be done without being boring minimalist?
“A genius hits a target no one else sees.”
Most of my projects are minimalist and simple designs. None of which I’m particularly proud of and have yet to point to one and say, “Yeah, I did that!” A lot of them tend to be corporate boring jobs. And frankly, I‘d rather Not attract more of that type of work. …But money is money. So here we are. A logo is the equivalent of ‘dressing for the job you want’.
I’m sick to death of minimalism and perfect lines. I hate perfection. It’s So Boring.
Recently, I had a different type of client (@TangerineCoastalMarket)  who didn’t want simple or minimalist (which is in high demand right now), but instead wanted vintage, abstract, and almost realistic logo. That project was a lot more fun and fulfilling than most of my previous projects.
With this logo, I’d like to see if I can attract people looking for a more risky style.

This is my internal debate – should I ‘follow the rules’ or just go with my gut?

Here’s a few below I feel like are ‘close’. I’d LOVE to get feedback from you guys to see which one is liked more.

VOTE! A. B. C. D. or E.

Which one sticks out to you the most?

hh_Trials2
Posted in Attitude, Design, Personal Life, Psychology, Uncategorized

#Workmode Hello Holly Vlog: Rule of Threes

Last night, I was having a conversation with a client of mine and he introduced me to the “Rule of Threes”.

The Rule of Threes can be a lot of things, as I found out when I looked it up after we talked. In context, he was referring to a method to narrow down a focus in business – specifically how to market myself and narrow down what I want to do with my business.

I wonder how many other designers have great conversations like this with their clients. Truth be told, I often pick my clients brains about business strategies and try to absorb as much of their lessons from experience as I possibly can without being too obvious. I feel like this is another reason why I prefer working with start-ups, new businesses, and small businesses that need an update.
Maybe I’m an entrepreneur at heart – maybe I’m taking notes for later. 

I’ve worked with a few Engineers lately in particular (engineers seem to be some of the most interesting brains to pick), who have really let me in to their thought processes and I love it – I don’t always understand it, but, I file it away for later so hopefully one day I will.

This is probably my favorite part of what I do – being able to openly talk with super interesting people. The line between “Client” and “Friend” is very blurry for me – I would call almost all of my clients ‘friends’. They’re people I’ve gotten to know really well over the phone, internet, whatever – and once you work on a project with someone, it’s pretty impossible to Not form a connection. For me, anyway. I wouldn’t know if this is the case for other designers because THEY NEVER TALK ABOUT THIS! 

Anyways, back to topic. 

The rule of three in this context is making a concept catalyst.

Ideas that react with problems to synthesize solutions.

Dividing the concept into two categories – Overall Concept and Description – I narrowed down what it is I really do … and I feel like I’ve found a lot more. 
Probably the best thing I got out of doing this exercise was the ability to clear the clutter in my head. 

“Graphic Design” is a very vague term and can mean a lot of things.
It’s easier to say what I don’t do than what I do. And usually, if someone requests something I haven’t done before, I’ll take a calculated stab at it. 90% of the time it works out. 10% of the time I finish it – but, don’t exactly nail it.
Trying out new things lets me know immediately what I’d like to do more of or stay away from in the future.
Posted in Attitude, Design, Psychology, Uncategorized

Parellels: Freelancing vs Prostitution

Last October, I joined UpWork, which has been Amazingly helpful for keeping me motivated and helping me find work. I really do love the platform, the community, and the financial protection it provides.
I’m always seeing patterns and dots connect, keeping an eye out for trends. A few months and a few clients in, I had this observation.
It feels a lot like prostitution.

Prostitution – 

Stands on street corner with a bunch of other hookers looking for work
Competes with other prostitutes
Cheaper the rate – Cheaper the hoe – Dirtier the John
Classes of Prostitution – 
Hookers – Immediate service, safety concerns, Roll of the Dice on Who’s-Working-When, Inconsistent
Call Girls – Pay Per Minute, Quick Fix, Convenience, May or May Not get what you Want
Girl Friend Experience – All the Perks, None of the Commitment, Fake, Depending on how you “click” with them – could be good or bad
Escort – Personal Attention, Most Expensive, Better Reputation

Freelancing – 

Congregates on work platforms scouting clients
Competitive and sometimes secretive about rates / strategies
Cheaper the rate – Crappier the work – Jerkier the Client
Classes of Freelancers – 
One Stop Shop – Kindof Good at a bunch of things, Mediocre Work, Unreliable Results, Inconsistent
Nichers – Limited Skillset, Tunnel Vision, One Sided Conversation, Safer Results
Pioneers – Depending on how you “click” with them – could be good or bad, Open to New Ideas and Collaboration, Risky
Experienced – Personal Services, Knows how to play the game with clients in all factors, Highest Rates, Better Service, Lowest Risk
 
 
I’ve never been a prostitute, so the data is inconclusive, but this is the way I’d imagine it would be. I feel a bit more like a Call Girl than the Escort I was before I joined. I’m hoping a good paying Joh….err.. Client comes along soon!
**Note: I mean no disrespect to Prostitutes or Freelancers in any way. 🙂