Posted in Attitude, Design, freelance life, Personal Life, Uncategorized

Why #Inktober?

My stepdaughter (who is one of my biggest supporters) asked me, “What is your purpose for doing Inktober?”

That’s a good question that probably a lot of people are asking. So, I thought I’d make a post about it.

3 Cool Things About #Inktober (and other design challenges):

1. Encourages Daily Creative Habits
I draw at (roughly) the same time every day (before or after dinner). I didn’t decide this, it just happened. If I know the evening is going to be busy, I draw around noon. I have no problem ‘just doing it’ because I’ve already mentally set aside that time.
Drawing is an important skill to have in graphic design and it’s also a good party trick.
**Side note: I was bored of doing Inktober by day 9, oh well, keep going!

2. Develops Drawing and Abstract Thinking Skills
For a fair amount of my projects, I have to think abstractly.
One of my primary clients asks for appreciate week logos for medical professionals that have Nothing to do with medical icons or literal representation of the words. That’s a challenge! Sometimes I sketch a few things out (usually to no avail), more often than I’d like, I rely on premade graphics and tweak them to my purposes. It’s a lot like cooking from a recipe that’s already half way started. My hope is if I become better at drawing abstract concepts – projects like these will be easier.

3. Inspires Connection with Other Artists
Inktober started in 2009 by Jake Parker to encourage positive drawing habits. By now, it’s well known so a lot of people participate. Inktober makes it especially easy to draw something every day because it’s an official thing and has prompts for everyone to follow. That means you get to see a Lot of different interpretations from the same word. (Even though, you don’t have to follow the prompts, it’s just more fun that way.)

So, that’s why I do Inktober.
But, that’s not what I told my stepdaughter.
I just said, “Because it’s fun.”

Follow my Inktober progress on Instagram or Facebook @HelloHollyDesign

Posted in Attitude, Blogging, freelance life

Blogging (or Lack Thereof)

Back in November ’18, I took an awesome blogging course through a good friend of mine : A Content Strategist and Writing Coach (Isn’t that an beautiful title?)

At the time, I had also been investigating building my website and online presence to develop an ‘audience’.

Because that’s what I was supposed to do.
And that’s all I knew.

It seemed to me like the blog posts weren’t meant to foster an on going relationship between the writer and the reader (because, who has time for that?), but instead snag the random unsuspecting googler into your site to click on an affiliate link.
So, I’ve had a bit of internal conflict about this.

But I get it, it’s business.

Before facebook and instagram, back in the days of ICQ – I had an online blog for journalling and it was a lot of fun.

Blogging for business isn’t like that AT ALL.
I had no idea where to start. Monica’s course gave me the basic information to grow my blog into whatever I wanted it to be, whether that be just a run of catchy headlines for money making affiliate links or a well thought out way to just write therapeutically.

THANK GOD the course has lifetime access, because it’s now a year later, when things have settled down from the move and a rush of client work, that I can revisit what I learned through the course and put it into practice.

The first thing she talks about in the course is to determine your blogs purpose. I don’t want my blog to be salesy, I want my blog to help people (especially other freelancers), and *most importantly* I want to have fun with it without pressure.

Through the course, I learned:
Your blog can be whatever you want it to be.
Structure is your friend!
Blogging takes a significant amount of time – but you can do it in small chunks to make it manageable.

The amount of clarity I gained through her course is startling, and I had some unexpected revelations:
I don’t care if I have subscribers.
I’d rather put my time and energy into my ‘bread and butter’ of designing than blogging.
I have no patience for formatting text.

I think it’s more important to be honest with yourself than to force yourself into certain “supposed to’s”.
Once I set that aside and started looking at the information as steps rather than DO ALL OF THIS RIGHT NOW, I actually had motivation to write again.

Timing is also important. I’ve been neck deep in projects for months now and staving off burnout. It could be I get really into this in the future when things are slow and I have all the information I need to do that.

Even though my blog isn’t as pretty and pure as Monica’s – and might not ever be – it’s a start. And, at least now I know the purpose of it : To help people and to have as an outlet for myself.

Notice making money isn’t in there? I might try the affiliate linking thing out here and there, but I don’t want that to be the focus.

The focus is to share what I’m learning and have learned.