February 27, 2013

Goal for 2013 and turning a whole year older

    Life has thrown a lot of great things my way since the end of January. Promotion, the chance to show my work at a huge event (Toronto Tea Festival) and now, what I'm going to call, a "Working-Vacation".
     Life is all thrown up in the air currently.  I will be going for some management training (yup, I'm a manager, great learning experience right?).
  This is fantastic opportunity for me and my store as a whole (with my fab team of course), although I need to implement some organizational strategies to make things...organized.
     Up till about 2 weeks ago I was using a "At-A-Glance" day planner, then after too many hours on Pintrest I discovered "Home Binders". These great little organizers to make things... work.
    I took the first step and made my "Personal Planner" which I adore. Come on just look at that great detail of washi tape around it!
    This includes things like Blog organization (ideas, when to post, what point am I in the plan, research needed etc), home binder section (more on that in a moment), Art section (submissions to track, projects, story info, ANYTHING related to the creative process), regular weekly day planner pages with a large month page and addresses.
     Now my home binder is still new, I got this started Friday night. I looked all over the net for free printables and even created my own. After watching athomewithnikki over on YouTube, I was hooked with the idea of having somewhere to plan out my projects (no matter the size). I hate wasting money and I love my projects (home binder being one of them sadly...oops).
    Anyhow. This little guy is tough. Its packed with financial info (cheque tracking, budgeting, expenses etc), cleaning chores, organization & other projects, meal plans and shopping lists. THEN there is the smaller section with everything else, this includes passwords, gift planning, online order tracking, electronics info (I can never remember what ink to buy for my printer), goals, want lists, make-up refill master list (where I got it and how much), coupons and gift cards (I loose these easily so why not keep them all together!)
     My task now is to take on a routine challenge. I have signed up for Flylady.net and I hope to get my "sink shined". Or at least that's all I have understood from her so far. She was recommended to my by my mother last year and I passed off the website as BS. I found it again and she encourages a "Control Binder" or "Home Binder", thus this is why I signed up. She will send tasks for each day of little reminders. This is to reinforce routines, make new ones and just keep things as they should be. If I can get this all together sooner than latter the better.

     Okay, back to something art related......
Before I created both of these binders I made this bad boy. It's my art journal. I was getting frustrated that I could never find the note I needed or a past artist statement I wanted to refer to. Now everything has a home. I even have space to house suppliers info, galleries, inspiration etc. Its really handy. I used the same Martha Stuart inserts I have used for my other binders (I have one for Tea Guild of Canada as well...I'm OCD it seems...). They are very easy to change to something else, I have pockets for everything that I need as well. Check it out. Staples sells her line, right now a few of her things are on sale. Quite a steal right now.
     I'm hoping to get more work done before, during and after going for my "Working-Vacation", but please give me time.  I am also working to move my website to a possible WordPress platform. I just need to figure out how to use it prior to switching.

February 04, 2013

20% Operations and 80% sales in Retail AND how it applies to art


 "Writing is easy: all you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead " Gene Fowler (1890-1960)
 I have been working in retail for almost 3 years now. With the new company and my new position as Manager, we are urged to have a 20% operations and 80% sales mind set. This deeply applies to any art practice. Especially if you don't have any work to show, HOW can you work on showing it?
   It really has taken these 3 years for me to realize how important this is. The show I was just part of , Toronto Tea Festival, I did not have that much work to show. Even still I made sure the quality was up to par for the event.  I could have maximized the space if I had ordered 3-4 grid panels more in advance and finished the other two works that are on the back burner currently (and still are...).
      I have been reading a booklet I got from a workshop last year, "Self-Mentoring and Creativity in the Arts" by Adam Lodzinski, PhD.  By going over the section on motivation there are many different areas I can apply his points. I can apply it to my pile of receipts that need to be sorted for incom tax, cleanning my room after the "huricane" of getting things done for the festival, getting new works done etc. I can even apply this to work, I may not be in the "mood" to sell something but its part of my job and I need to go do it. The same for my art, I am the only one who can do what I am doing in my style and progression. No one else can replace me.
     As humans we tend to leave time to be lazy for ourselves very often. We may be fatigued but the work is worth it in the end.
     "Writing is easy: all you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead " Gene Fowler (1890-1960)

Toronto Tea Festival!

Tea Guild Board members conversing
by our Fabulous banners I threw together
With images we got permission to use.
Art section!
   Everything went well this past weekend at the FIRST Toronto Tea Festival. As I am on the Board of Directors and friends with Tao of Tao Tea Leaf, I was running around most of the day helping out where I could. I stayed up late the night before to finish my "Tea Grid" finally. It was very rewarding to see it displayed after the long hours doing each section till finish. The only thing I wish I did was have the ability to bring more work. I had a gut feeling at Deserres while getting frames that I should have grabbed one for "Dream Gate" (A large work I finished late last year) and perhaps had room for "Monkey King" which currently is in my brothers room back home (it was a birthday present for when I had no money to spare... I had a bit for paper then attacked it instead).I am planning to feature larger and/or more diverse works. I did not hear if anyone liked my pot watercolour tea work , Guwan yin or the charcoal drawing. I got great feed back for "Tea Grid", the two  fashion girls and a bit for "Song Tea Tools".  Currently from this feedback I have decided to start working on more "Tea Grids". I am deciding if I should do a small edition of prints from this "Tea Grid". I would love to have 15-20 on hand.Anyhow, from the experience of finishing "Tea Grid" I am wondering if I should combine the India ink with Sumi-e ink... Perhaps "Mini- Tea Grid 2.0" will be the test.

Anyhow, from the experience of finishing "Tea Grid" I am wondering if I should combine the india ink with Sumi-e ink... Perhaps "Mini- Tea Grid 2.0" will be the test.