Monday, April 30, 2012

Email, Facebook, Blogs, and Twitter...Oh My!

As I mentioned before with a new shift in my company, which means taking on more responsibility. I have recently obtained a twitter account, so that I know more about this medium that I am supposed to help my clients navigate. Webinars, blogs, and seminars can only help me go so far. I have to delve into these murky waters myself to help my clients to the fullest potential.

With so many social medias that we log into everyday it is difficult to manage them all in a personal matter. It is a more difficult animal to deal with for companies. More important than maintaining so many medias and connecting with customers it is essential to first have a brand. A brand is a living thing, and that is why your brand needs to reach out to your current client base through email, facebook, twitter, and ect. This is why branding is essential because all of these medias are elective, meaning that your customers allow you to access them in this way. Even with this access, your information is seen by less than 20% of your elective customers. Social media allows you to approach your customer in his or her favorite medium, and allows them to interact back with you/brand.

This is why social media consultants is becoming a full time job at many companies. I am not an expert by any means, but I working hard to help my clients have a new type of conversation with their customers.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Burnt Out

bûrnt out: To cause to undergo combustion.
With all work, and no play I have burnt out. My passion for design was strong and kept me motivated everyday to be creative in every part of my life. Constant fast paced, repetitive work begins to drive a nail into ambition and creative talent. Clawing my way out of burn out will be difficult, especially with no break in site.

My coworkers have been telling me it is essential to take vacations. It is due as part of my salary, but it is difficult for me to take it. With downsizing at work it will become even more difficult to have the courage to request vacation, let alone be able to get time off. It is clear that I need a break, and it is essential not only personally but for my professional work as well. All I can do is hope for some inspiration to flutter before me.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Blogging Takes Passion

With the somewhat anonymity of the internet it becomes easier to post whatever you want to the internet, but continual blogging takes something more than an 100 character update on what you are eating. Blogging takes passion. Unfortunately it is difficult to be continually passionate and motivated to post on a constant basis, and it better to take a break than to force mediocre content on an overcrowded blogosphere. Most people start a blog to discuss a subject that is important to them and think others will be interested on what they have to say.

You can find blogs on every subject: food (probably the most common), design, art, literature, DIY, crafts, games, health, mommy blogs, and much more. Most of us will never become "professional"  bloggers, like dooce (mommy blog), designlovefest (design), designsponge (home design), and besides have to make sure they can pay their employees they are able to take breaks from posting and let others post for them so that their readers don't notice the downtime when creativity has dissipated. Some are able to earn an income off their site, but most never will. What makes us spend countless hours, without pay writing about design, health, literature, crafts...passion.

Passion: any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, as love or hate.

When passion wanes personal blogs suffer because there is no longer the compelling force driving us to spend or precious personal time writing about a subject that once burned with fire, but is now cooled ashes.

 If passion is so essential, how do we get it back?

Spend time on your other hobbies. Spending time on your other hobbies can reignite your blogging passion when you can come back to it. Most of us are not interested in just one thing, so get out and enjoy your other hobbies as you wait for time to bring back your passion for your blog.

Sleep. Everyone has his or her own sleep requirement usually 6 to 9 hours. Our bodies need time to recharge in order to keep our body functioning as well as creativity.

Brainstorm (remember those writing exercises in grade school) - writing your ideas down quickly can help you come up with many ideas and you can weed out the ones that don't interest you.

Set Goals. when we achieve our goals a small amount of endorphins are released. making you happy and helping your regain passion.

Friday, April 13, 2012


Working a big project at work that means I am not only spending 8 to 5 in the office, but I working hard when I get home as well. I have also been struggling with a serious bout of creative block. Working in the fast pace advertising business has forced me to put aside my school development process that we went through with EVERY SINGLE project. the other night as I as struggling to come up with a design worthwhile I vented to my husband, and in return asked to see my process book. 

"I haven't made a  process book since college."

"Well  maybe that's your problem"

Reaching back into my school mind frame helped me move along in my design process, so I thought I would share my design stages:
  1.   Research: It is the most important project (If you can get the time, because it is also the most time consuming part of any projects).
  2. Create a Design brief: Based on your research create a brief on what the project is and what the deliverables should be, as well as information about the company/person, their audience/clients, and their brand image or if they even have one. Having this design brief helps you during the design process to go back and make sure you are staying on track for the type of consumer/client you are designing for and if you are meeting their needs. But if you skew the Creative brief the wrong direction it can send the whole design off on a different tangent.
  3. Process: Sketch whether on a computer or with your hands start making marks, and a lot of them. It can take a lot of initial bad ideas to create something that truly meets everyone needs.
  4. Refine: Take your best ideas and refine them, and keep looking back to your creative brief. and do not neglect the type (it often comes as an afterthought, but the type is just as important as the imagery).
Process book with a  Instagram-like effects
The process book captures all of this data and during school would be compiled in a neat binder with page it is the few scraps of paper that I made some doodles on.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Staying Motivated

Staying Motivated, this a great article about staying motivated. I find myself motivated and creative at work, and since I have moved to my new home all I do when I get home is vegetate. Reading this article helped me understand why. 

"Build a creative den. Whether it’s your desk area, a dark cave, a hotel room, or a home office, you need a place specifically set aside to be creative in. Once you’ve decided on that place, use it like the dickens. Each creative success you have in that location will train your mind to be creative within its boundaries. When I set foot inside my office, something clicks on in my brain, and I’m ready to work. Sure, it took about six months to turn into a den—but trust me, it’s time and effort well spent."

While I have more space, in fact I have one room that is my office, but I have been unable to make it a creative den. Through habit, my brain goes into auto mode and cruises on Netflix and Youtube; because that is all I have ever been able to accomplish in that room. My creative ideas make it onto scraps of paper on my desk at work, but flutter away by the time I reach my desk at home. It will take work and effort to retrain my brain to be creative at home as well..and maybe less of a dumping ground.