pitch, promote + pester

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Believe Be Love - 8x10 giclee print  available of my handcrafted collage (vintage paper, ink & gouache) Susan Black

be brave
be love, 
be bold ... 
be bright 

I know, I know ... be extremely bright, be neon bright :-)

pitch, promote, pester (& occasionally plead) 

A huge part of my job is spending time pitching & promoting me, my stuff & my skills.  In this new, wild, amazing land of online-ness where the depth & breadth of incredible creative talent is deeper than the deepest ocean & wider than the sky ... you have to be brave, bold, very persistent and get yourself out there, you need to do whatever you can think of to get yourself noticed because the competition for illustration and licensing gigs has never been more fierce. And then, even once you've been noticed and you snag a great customer it continues to be a part of the job to keep pestering them. Sending them new work ... a quick hello. A wee plead  Hey ! Hello. Hope you're well. I'd love a new project ... just saying. Lately the pitchin' promoting & pestering of me has been top of mind. As of Dec 01 (this Saturday) check out my new sidebar ads on both myowlbarn.com  (a natural fit dontcha think?) & on daily favourite paper stuff & all round creative blog Elise Blaha

I'm sending off a fancy pants, snail mail, illustration package of goodness today to a dreamy, big fish, (secret for now) would-love-to-work-for client, - fingers, toes & paws all crossed. And earlier this month I sent an email promo of my 2013 Botanica Wall Calendar to my top 6 favourite design blogs & Holy Cow ! I was featured yesterday Hooray ! at Print & Pattern (most excellent UK based all things illustrated & pattern blog) and look for me (& my Botanica calendar) showing up any day now on Design Crush & favourite fav design blog, long time supporter of 29 Black Street and fellow Canadian PoppyTalk - thank you Jan! It's ever sooo satisfying (not to mention lovely & validating) when some of my me-marketing pays off.

in case you missed it in the body of the above copy Hey we're on Print & Pattern - Hooray !


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

oh my life, my wonderful beautiful life

Live in the sunshine,
swim in the sea,
drink the wild air.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

friend me

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Let's Go Any Where !8x10 or 5x7 giclee handcrafted type collage (vintage paper, ink & gouache) Susan Black

I'm currently spending my evenings, anytime past 8pm, a silent & unseen observer on the fictional island of Waskeke off the coast of New England at the Cape Cod-ish, cedar shaked summer home of a family getting ready to host wedding. The book I'm reading is Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead - my one word review - Delicious ! Last week I not only traveled to North Dakota but time travelled as well back to 1984 and experienced what life would be like at that time on an Ojibwe Native American Indian Reservation - the book The Round House by Louise Erdrich. 

Thursday is book delivery day at the library here in our little village. I work the online library system like there's no tomorrow. Any book I hear about (on CBC radio or read about, or hear someone mention - I put a hold on it). Lately vegetarian cookbooks - put a hold on it. Nurse Jackie Seasons 2 & 3 - put a hold on it, tales of shipwrecked sailors - put a hold on it. You get my drift. I'm allowed 50 holds and once I did reach that number and had to stop with my holds for a few days. I can order a book from anywhere in Nova Scotia, I can order movies, documentaries, audio books, magazines and books from any library in Cumberland County... and I do. Oh my I sure do. So Thursday's are big days for me as I'm so keen in the "putting holds" on books dept ... that rare is the Thursday that there isn't a giant pile of library goodness waiting for me. I can check my account, and my holds online, I'm able to see what number I am on any particular item's hold's list - it's all very exciting. I'm nearly finished Seating Arrangements and I'm not at all sure where I'll be travelling to later this week but I can't wait to find out, somewhere interesting & exciting I'm sure.

So I bullied Sara into joining GoodReads (my version of facebook) in the comments section here yesterday. I browbeat John ages ago, Andee's there & Amanda too. Any other takers*. Wanna Friend me on Good Reads ? It's such a fantastic site- haven't you always wanted a place where you could keep track not only of all the books you've read but also keep a running list of books you want to read. Sometimes it happens that a book I'm interested in is not in the Nova Scotia library system, now I don't worry about losing track that title because I remember it in my "to read" section of GoodReads.

My enthusiasm, I admit, may be a tad geekish ... but won't you join goodreads.com & if you do don't forget to friend me.

* I'm especially talking to avid readers Pamela Terry & Edward ! 


Monday, November 26, 2012

three from the sea, I love it when the surface of the ocean appears as still as glass - the sky & the ocean become one
tr.v. (rj-mnt) reg·i·ment·edreg·i·ment·ingreg·i·ments

2. To put into systematic order; systematize.

systematize ? how great a word is that ? 

I was thinking about the word regimented this morning as I sat propped up with many a pillow, tucked into the nest of down & flannel, coffee and cat  Oliver nearby - planning my day, planning the next day, the week, the rest of the year, plan, plan, plan - my to-do lists, my goals, etc... thinking a lot about regime, ritual & habits because the busier I become the more thrilled I seem to feel with a life of regiment. 

The secret, I'm discovering, is to schedule every thing - the good, the bad, the dreaded and the I can't waits ! being sure to include a healthy assortment them all. Mixing it up a little - a few nasty's followed by an I can't wait. Another couple of must do's followed by a thrilling I can't wait. I schedule my walks with Miss D, my 3pm tea lc time, exercise, cooking, marketing myself, emails ... the more I practice this regimented sytematizing of my life - the calmer I feel and the better I have become at estimating the time required to do any given item on that daily list. 

Have you heard about the Pomedero technique ? A system of timed little chunks of work followed by timed chunks of breaktime. I don't use this exact method but I do occasionally implement a timer, a chic stainless steel number gifted to me by best friend MLou, used only in very extreme dread to do situations. You know one of those nasty items that's been living on your secretly dying to get done list forever but so nasty an item you've been dreading actually doing it for just as long. Set the timer for 20 mins - 15 mins. even & GO ! You can do almost any thing for 15 mins - a sure way to get you started, once you've started ... well you're on your way.

organize your life around your dreams
and watch them all come true

a wintry sky

Sunday, November 25, 2012

this morning at the end of Water Street where the sea begins - a wintry sky out in the strait & heading our way.

After a balmy, mild, wet day yesterday followed by an evening so foggy it felt eery, today winter it seems has finally arrived. The temperatures have dipped below zero, on our walk this early morning I bundled up in fleece and down, mitts and headband & a scarf pulled around my face. Currently there's a fire crackling in the living room, there's leftover pea/lentil soup for lunch, I've got plans for the big lasagna making affair this afternoon (such a lot of work lasagna is - but the rewards at the end worthwhile & pretty darn tasty). Assembling Lil' Art Cards by the zillion the only other thing on this Sunday's list.

more favourites

Saturday, November 24, 2012

early morning walks with my best gal Miss Winnie Dixon always a favourite part of my everyday

more recent everyday favourites

listening to - David Sedaris read his book When You Are Engulfed in Flames while I work (a borrowed audio book from our village library). Davis Sedaris is very funny in that dry, often gross but hilarious kinda way. Never again will I read a David Sedaris book it's so much better to have him read it to me.

bedtime reading - alternating between 2 books 1 fiction Seating Arrangements very good thus far and 1 non-fiction The Worry Solution, uh huh ! yet another self help book, yet another worry/anxiety relief book, this one's very good, very helpful self help & hey ! look there's a Worry Solution web site. Just finished another fiction - The Round House (excellent) and non-fiction Christopher Hitchin's tiny last book of essays Mortality (also excellent I want to read more written by him). omg reading ... sigh, it's like valium to me.

taking a break - every afternoon at 3pm and drinking tea brewed in my little brown betty -  a new 29 Black Street blend - 1 bag of orange pekoe currently Morse's brand + 1 tea bag of chocolate mint (uh Huh !) President's Choice brand. This new ritual has been so carved in stone over the last few weeks that the mere taste of tea makes me feel relaxed, like I'm unwinding. Break time - it's a good thing.

madly - ticking off all my etsy shop, calendar madness, freelance jobs, retail shop holiday orders & getting prepared for my table at the village Christmas Farmer's Market event Dec 08th (9am at the High School in case you're nearby).

scheming & planning - all the things I'd like to get accomplished the remaining 6 weeks of this year. It's been such a banner year here at Creative Empire HeadQuarters - so much good stuff has happened, launching me full tilt into 2013 - but I want to be ready - super ready !

& cooking - I'm making vegetarian pea/lentil soup later today & a noodle free (zucchini/eggplant noodles instead) big ol' cheesy vegetarian lasagna tomorrow. Recipes & photos to follow ;-) It's raining but lovely & mild here this Saturday. Hooray !

happy weekend to all.

shipping & receiving

Friday, November 23, 2012

the tres serious & very hard working ;-) head of shipping & receiving - Oliver (also tres handsome, athletic, agile, etc....)

true story !

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Awesome11x14 giclee print & 8x10 giclee print of handcrafted typographic collage - Susan Black

Totally inspired by Barney Stinson's profound statement - In the past pretty much all and any negative emotions I might begin to feel (disappointment, rejection, insecurity, shyness ....) almost instantly turned into sadness - or that's what it felt like anyway. I remember saying once (4 years ago maybe) to best friend MLou that if you could take away all the sadness I held tightly inside me, if it were all to one day just disappear well ... there'd be nothing left but a thin, crispy shell of me. Those words came out in a telephone conversation, tumbled out of me in a moment of pure, bare honesty. Once the sentence left me and lived out loud outside of me even I was surprised and saddened (natch) at the heaviness & bleakness of that statement. It is how I felt, it's who I believed I was.

I do still feel sad often, it's a bad habit of mine. The difference now is I really believe that it is just a habit, a feeling of sadness is my go-to (instantly) emotion when I feel stress of any kind. So ...

now when I do get sad ... I stop being sad and be AWESOME instead.  True Story !
Merci ! merci ! Barney Stinson.

be astonished

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

the last 2 early mornings have been unseasonably warm, no wind, not at breath + low tide - heavenly ! walking with my girl Winn

Instructions for living a life.
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.
(with photos ;-)

Mary Oliver