Posted on Leave a comment

Manual Focus

Note: The images below link to a book on amazon.com. This is not a paid promotion or review. Any opinions expressed are entirely my own and do not reflect upon the author of the book.

So freelancing fell by the wayside in the last year and a half. OOPS! It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the work. I got caught up in landing a day-job that I turned out to absolutely love. That turn of events actually reinvigorated my desire to sell what I make. If it means I need multiple platforms then that’s what I’ll do. Jumping further in, unsatisfied with free resources online, I found a book – while working said day-job – and it’s going to be another tool in my arsenal to keep trying and making this thing work.

No lie: I’ve been a failure a great deal on this journey. Go back to the beginning and count them. I’ve had two day-jobs in that time and discovered that I am actually really good at customer service! That’s a very good thing since it’s been a weakness of mine since I was born. Treating my depression was the beginning of my new life. I wouldn’t give it up even if I go broke trying.

I don’t want to actually go broke. Please, Powers-That-Be, save me from THAT. 😛

The book I bought, was gifted by my mom, is called Mind Your Business: A Workbook to Grow Your Creative Passion into a Full-time Gig by Ilana Griffo. What I like about it most is the focus on creatives. It’s not a “business book” (it totally is though). It’s a guide that says, “Here’s something to think about, and then do it!” I’ve only read the first few pages. It’s written in plain English with very little jargon to get in the way.

Not only that, but it’s written by a typography lover, so there’s always something interesting to look at. That’s really how I found it in the first place: the beautiful cover!

Just paying through it, I can tell there’s a lot of exercises and thoughtful nudges in the form of list-making, brainstorming, and graphics that illustrate business ideas visually. YES! A CREATIVE AUTHOR THAT GETS IT! I mean, check out this glimpse of a cake diagram to fill in about branding:

Anyway, I’m going to read some more and hopefully learn something new!


Take it easy and remember to smile!

Posted on Leave a comment

An Informal Poll

…of my family members shows me that most of them would prefer buying ready-made products. This is one of the reasons I made a move to have a second, independent shop on my website. While Etsy has the advantage of a large audience, it isn’t in the spirit of Etsy to sell commercially produced products as the mainstay of an Etsy Shop.

I did, however, post one of my Pitbull Life shirts to see what would happen. I’m just leaving it there for anyone to find, but not advertising it like I would my other listings. It’s an experiment.

I’m not sure yet what will do well in my shop. I do have some data on website traffic, but until I get some actual buyers, it’s pretty hard to know where to focus. So I keep doing what I like and hopefully that means someone else will like it too.

I ordered myself a shirt so I can see the quality for myself. Printful offers a few options in terms of technique. If I don’t like the quality, I can restrict what I offer to the products they make with only certain techniques. To shorten the story, I’ve heard of, and seen, some pretty shoddy examples of Direct-to-Garment printing, and I don’t want to offer it if the price isn’t right for the quality. I do know that many of the apparel choices are from Bella Canvas which is much higher quality than the Gildan brand and thus worth the extra money to buy.

As always, still learning, still journeying.

Take it easy and remember to smile!

Posted on Leave a comment

My goals

Coupons make sales. Even if it means you make less profit, sometimes it’s worth it. Be good to your customers and they will be good to you.

I’m trying to step up my game and be more active in promoting my shop and what I can do. I want to grow and learn. My next goal is to get to 1 Sale per month in my Etsy Shop. To do it, I’m paying for promoted posts, listings, and an ad campaign to get people to notice my accounts. I also am going to more actively make sure potential customers get coupon codes for favoriting my listings or shop. I think being more active is the biggest thing.

Save 10.0% on select products from NETGEAR with promo code 10OFFPRO3PK, through 2/18 while supplies last.

I’m starting to work with Upwork again. I made a fair bit of money last year, but I let it slide when I found a day job I really like. That’s not a good excuse, so I’m back at it. I have a talent for logos and design. I should be leveraging every asset. I could make more if I “went it alone” to find clients, but that would require a lot of accounting and have zero protection. I’m willing to get paid a little less if it means I’m protected from non-paying clients and having to track down the money on my own. I don’t need that additional stress in my life right now.

Finally, I vow, once again, to post more often, more regularly here. It’s good for me, and I hope interesting to other entrepreneurs.

I hope all of you, my dear readers, are having a great early 2019!

Take it easy and remember to smile!

Posted on Leave a comment

A Strange Turn of Events

Remember I sdetailed my plans to use Redbubble.com as an outlet for some of my designs? It turns out the one piece that sells there is a watercolor piece of the Tybee Lighthouse outside of Savannah, GA. It’s beautiful, but not what I’d thought would be my best seller. I guess I need to refocus what I use for Redbubble!

The piece has sold twice as a sticker, which is also not what I expected. I should stop having any expectations like this! I obviously do not know anything about what might sell. That’s why you always put out everything you have until you find your niche! I will have to remember this…

Take it easy and remember to smile!

Posted on 1 Comment

Journeys Have Many Paths

It’s ok to be on a path different from the one you start out taking. My experience in the last 2 years has underscored just how unpredictable life is. While I still love design work, The exact type of work I do has shifted.

I recently started a 50 Day Logo Challenge. By subscribing to an email list, I received 50 prompts to design logos. The challenge has made he think differently about what’s good or not because I had to work with so many ideas but only for a single day at a time. I’ve been enjoying it and considering taking the idea a step further. I want to take those prompts and make a series of logos for each. I want each concept to have about 5 different choices, just like I’d show to a client.

I have largely stopped using Upwork, but not because it isn’t a useful resource. I just had to decide how to spend my time. I want to freelance more with logo design. I still think I have talent to offer the field. With this challenge I’ve noticed my execution improving!

My Etsy Shop is helping me out too. I’ve made sales of SVG files, and I’m going to continue to put out listings there. I think it could take off and if it does then I’ll focus on that and leave other freelancing aside. I just have to get there first, so until then, just keep trying all paths until one becomes disentangled from the others.

Take it easy and remember to smile!

Posted on Leave a comment

50 Days of Logos – #dailylogochallenge

This post will be updated as I make more days.

Day 1: Rocketship

Day 2: Hot Air Balloon

Day 3: Panda

Day 4: Single Letter Logo

Day 5: Driverless Car Day 6: Coffee Shop

Day 7: Fashion Brand Wordmark

Day 8: Ski Mountain Logo

Day 9: Streaming Music Startup

Day 10: Flame Logo

Day 12: Airline

Day 13: Barber Shop

Day 14: Cloud Computing

Day 15: Hand Lettering

Day 16: Fox

Day 17: Geometric Logo

Day 18: Cupcake

Day 19: Kangaroo

Day 20: National Park

Day 21: Granola Company

Day 22: City Logo

Day 23: Boat

Day 24: Bicycle Shop

Day 25: Photographer Logo

Day 26: Paper Airplane

Day 27: Ice Cream Shop

Day 28: Hip Clothing Brand

Day 29: Rideshare Company

Day 30: Sneaker Company

Day 31: Lighthouse

Day 32: Sports Team

Day 33: Burger Joint

Day 34: Social Media Website

Day 35: Dinosaur Amusement Park

Day 36: Record Label

Day 37: Television News Network

Day 38: College or University

Day 39: Messaging App

Day 40: Camera App

Posted on

Back to the Proposal Grind

I know I should be treating freelancing as a second job, working 10-20hrs per week to make ends meet. But I admit I forget about that a lot. It’s time once again to make that better.

My husband recently fell near his work and has been unable to work regular hours for the past month. Luckily, his workplace is covering him for much of the work time lost and subsequent surgery. However, January has been slow enough that my position is a drain on the store where I work. I have to drop to part time at best. I’m not complaining. It’s not my employer’s fault that January is slow. It simply renews the need to find bigger and better things for myself.

So I’ve been applying to jobs and spitting out proposals to the freelance winds. Mostly it comes back and splatters in my face. C’est la vie! I am proud of myself for taking it in stride and learning from past mistakes that it’s not personal. It takes a while to get established. I came late to the game somewhat and that’s my own cross to bear.

I love designing and I keep being a creative person no matter where I go from here.

Take it easy and remember to smile.

Posted on

Client Clarity

I’m trying to get back into design contests as practice for my skills. Sometimes, several in the last few weeks, I think clients simply don’t know what they want enough to really ask for a design they will like. One contest holder asked for a refund. Two others never picked a winner. It’s not like these contests are cheap at $300+. Or is that an amount most businesses can throw away? I know I can’t!

By the time this publishes, I’ll have been in Savannah, GA for my first anniversary celebration trip. I’m looking forward to it, but the work to get there has been brutal. It’s my own choice. I think it will be worth it in the end. A 4-day weekend after cramming 80 hours into only 9 days. My hard work is paying off. We all know how this goes. Hard work + learning new things = big payoff! My next post will probably be talking about my trip.

Until then, take it easy and remember to smile!

Posted on

Medical AI in Communication

Here it is. This is my most recent creation in iterations. I was ranked only 2/5 stars for each design. I tried, and that’s good practice anyway. Why do you think none of them did well in the contest? How could I improve my design thinking? (shown in order of submission, and based on some feedback from the contest holder) The contest holder ultimately asked for a refund.

Background information

Name to incorporate in the logo

Scrybe

Slogan to incorporate in the logo

Unspecified

Description of the organization and its target audience

We need a logo design for a new New York based company called Scrybe. Scrybe develops a HIPAA compliant chat application for clinics, doctors offices, and hospitals to use. There are also plans to develop Artificial Intelligence based applications for doctors to use in the near future.

The messaging app allows an entire office, clinic, or hospital communicate with each other in a HIPAA compliant way. There is an iPhone App, Android App, Mac App, Windows App, and can be accessed on the browser. So the overall hope is that this takes over email and become the central communication platform for the office (almost like a Notification Center for the office).

The usefulness of the app comes from the fact that it’s all accessible (mobile, desktop, web) as well as super extensible. So after a couple of months we integrate it with the rest of the software that the office uses so that all the information they need can be accessed via the app (they should never have to leave).

Industry

Medical & Pharmaceutical

Visual style

Colors to explore

Other color requirements

Unspecified

Style Attributes

 Screen Shot 2017-10-30 at 1.43.51 PM

Design inspiration

Unspecified

References

Attachments

Other notes

The final design should have some elements of medical, communication, and technology.

I’ve also attached a couple of logos that I like for reference.

SCRYBE

vrk7bp commented on #3

8 days ago

Thanks Megan for the design! As I’ve been reviewing the designs, I’ve come to appreciate the ones that are slightly varied from the Slack symbol (bold S surround or in another design). I’m definitely leaning more towards logos that don’t have that same bold S “foundation”.

SCRYBE2

vrk7bp commented on #52

7 days ago

Thanks Megan, definitely like the current iteration better than the original.

Out of curiosity, if I were to eliminate the need for a chat bubble, or the chat aspect of the logo as a whole, would that inspire any other designs. More along the lines of Artificial Intelligence in chat, or technology in chat.

SCRYBE3SCRYBE4

 

Posted on

Accomplished

What a great day! Work went great! And now I’m prepping for my 1 yr wedding anniversary with a trip to Savannah, GA. I’m feeling more comfortable as a someone in charge of production. I get to use all of my skills.

I have a new chance at being me. I can work digitally and physically. It’s not 3D printing or anything, but stores need window decals right? Company cars need logos on them. Truck drivers need to comply with DOT regulations and have their business license information on their trucks. Little girls need copies of their favorite shirt that accidentally got stained and ruined. Schools need branded uniforms. There’s a lot I get to see and do. Most graphic designers never work physically with printers and produce what they are designing. It’s an asset to my skills that I know how logos are used in the real world.

Trust me. If you need a logo get it in vector format as well as .jpg or .png. It will save you money down the road to have a vectors file that can be made as big or as small as you want! You could hire me – shameless plug- to make your logo because my pricing comes with any and all formats you could ever need. If you’ve read my blog you know what my qualifications are. 😉

Take it easy and remember to smile!