2013 has been a transformative year and in looking back I’ve learned a lot…
I learned that the most important element of my practice involves making everything I do meaningful.
I learned that asking for help isn’t as hard as we make it out to be and you always get the chance to pay it forward.
I learned that going back to school was just what my practice needed.
I learned that I love recycling and helping others and now I can do more of both of these things through JEANBAG™: The coolest beanbag made from denim jeans.
I learned that small wins are often major achievements.
I learned that people love to reflect and celebrate.
I learned how much hard work, time, research and testing goes into developing a new product.
I learned that we can ask ourselves, Will it Work? as much as we like, but getting on with it is what really matters!
I learned that Going Pro isn’t an option… it’s the only way to go.
I learned that it’s best to use protection and am relieved to have been using it for years…
I learned that talking about your work in front of a crowd might be scary, but it’s not impossible and can be done well.
I learned that exercising your business muscle is just as important as physical exercise.
Most of all, I’ve learned everything this year thanks to the talented people I know, the generous people who post on the blogs I follow, the experts I work with to bring my artwork and products to life, the risks I take with my work and, through my friends and family who listen to my questions, musings and doubts. I’d would like to thank you all.
I already know that 2014 will give me new things to learn, offer exciting opportunities and bring with it a fresh set of challenges.
This blog will go quite for a little while now, but I’ll be back from time to time with thoughts and project news, just not every week. 2014 will see me focus almost exclusively on JEANBAG™ so you’ll find me over at the JEANBAG™ website when it launches this summer and on the JEANBAG™ Facebook Page, which is up and running and celebrating all things denim.
Many thanks to my followers and readers. It’s nice to know that from time to time I’ve had something to say worth reading and haven’t been simply talking to myself!
Wishing you love, laughter, adventures and big-ass goals to kick in 2014!
My sleeves are rolled up and the hard work is really kicking in!
I’m on a roll making JEANBAGS prior to Xmas and these handmade beauties are giving my upper body a good, solid workout. Weighing in at just over 2.5kg, each of these unique beanbags require serious skill manoeuvring them around the cutting table and my vintage Singer sewing machine!
While the physical process of making JEANBAGS is building my biceps, my business muscle is getting a pretty good workout too. Even though JEANBAG has been in development for months, I need to continually revisit all the areas of the business in order to support its success and growth into the future. Checking and refining costings, communicating JEANBAG’s message so that its clear and connected, building the website, keeping current with safety standards, designing and creating the stationary to use in the administrative servicing of the business, and other little and big picture things all work together to shape and build this business muscle.
With both of these muscles flexed and pumping, JEANBAG is looking forward to welcoming in 2014 toned, taught and terrific!
Last Wednesday, I was invited to talk about my work currently showing in the Hightide: Queensland Design Now exhibition at Artisan to a gathering of lovely gallery patrons and their guests. And, an interesting thing happened… When I was preparing my talk, I realised how nervous I was!
I guess that’s not unexpected as I am not a natural when it comes to speaking to a crowd. It seems for most people it’s much harder talking to a group of people you don’t know, than it is having a conversation with a couple of friends or colleagues who have followed your work and understand the joys, challenges, disappointments and revelations that go hand in hand with bringing ideas to life.
To help reframe the way I feel about speaking publicly and tame those nerves, I try to turn the situation around in my mind and instead of talking to people, feel like I am sharing with them instead. People—whether they know you or not—love stories and by telling them my story I can connect with them in a way that delivering a dry description of facts never can. I think about what I like when I listen to other artists talk about their work. I engage with not only the story they share, but the passion with which they share it. You can always tell when someone loves what they do. Their joy is palpable. Oh, and one last thing… I’d like to think that sharing your work with others is something you genuinely want to do. It’s not something you do merely in return for a speaker’s fee or notoriety, but because you believe in what you do and want to give it wings by sharing it with others.
That’s what makes it possible for me to get out of my comfort zone and talk about my work… How about you? What do you do that helps you get over those butterflies?
Image: Falling Leaves Textiles by KT Doyle, showing in Hightide: Queensland Design Now at Artisan gallery until February 8, 2014.
This is a quick and super-enthusiastic post to let you know the JEANBAG™ website now has a lovely landing page to welcome you!
JEANBAG: The coolest beanbag made from denim jeans will be retailing solely online… soon! For now, you can stay up to date with what’s coming in our launch, including cool offers, by registering for updates!
Also, the JEANBAG™ Facebook page is finally live and being liked from all directions. This is where you’ll get to see what happens behind the scenes, find out what’s coming up and generally get hooked up with the good stuff!
I’m so excited!
You remember this image (above) which stared in an episode of the Sex and the City TV series… You know, when Carrie Bradshaw turns on her Mac laptop and gets the ‘Sad Mac’ face and then the ‘bomb’ icon, indicating her hard drive had died and gone to ‘Mac heaven’. Disaster. Well, it was for her as she had never backed up her work. For those of you, who watched that episode when it aired (way back when), I hope you learned through her mistake. I sure did!
Backing up weekly has been my mantra ever since. I have a calendar event scheduled weekly to manually back up and have been doing it for years. It didn’t however, stop my heart almost caving in when my MacBook Pro (circa 2008 model) decided to give up the ghost last week. Hence, no weekly post. So, the past week has been a blur setting up a new laptop (thanks to a spare I had – I know, who has a spare laptop lying around you might ask…) and my Time Machine back up of my entire computer was simply loaded onto it, including my settings. Now, it wasn’t as simple as that, but with the help from the guys at the Apple Store’s Genius Bar, a bit of internet research and a few prayers I only had a couple of days down time. What a relief!
When your computer is a large part or the central part of your livelihood, you need to have contingencies in place and backing up regularly is a minimum. I’m looking into getting a Time Capsule now to back up wirelessly over my network every hour, automatically.
When it comes to technology you need to respect it, treat it well and you can’t be complacent, lazy or procrastinate. If you haven’t been backing up, you need to start doing it today!
Last week I made a couple of decisions and the over-arching principle governing them is that everything regarding JEANBAG™, right from the outset, will be done professionally. I believe this is called ‘going pro’ and I’m right in the zone.
I watched this video interview by business coach and entrepreneur Marie Forleo with author Steven Pressfield a little while back and one of the anecdotes Steven refered to really stayed with me. He told the story of a woman who wanted to take up golfing recreationally. However, instead of just turning up and having a crack, she really put her mind to it from the get-go. She bought herself a modest set of golf clubs and golfing gear so that she would feel the part and get in the zone. She wanted to give herself the best chance at learning and advancing to a level where she could really enjoy playing. The thing is that right from the outset, she made a conscious decision to get into the mindset of a golfer and really commit to being the best she could. I believe the story goes that she ended up competing in tournaments and winning. That’s the power of really committing 100% to something… you give yourself the best chance of success!
So, with that story firmly seeded in my mind, I am happy to say that JEANBAG™ is ‘going pro’ all the way, right from the start. It’s a great feeling and something I’m really proud to say. Stay tuned for more JEANBAG™ news coming soon…
Last week, I attended Brisbane’s inaugural Kickstarter information night at the iconic Brisbane Powerhouse. This free session was filled to capacity with excited creatives from every imaginable discipline, hungry for extra tips and insider knowledge to help them create a winning crowdfunding campaign.
For those of you who haven’t heard of Kickstarter, head over to their website for a great overview of what they do. In a nutshell, Kickstarter provides an online platform to profile a creative project that you wish to undertake, but don’t have the funds to do so, and ask if people might like to contribute towards funding it and in return receive a ‘reward’ (which could be in practical terms—a physical item, or in feel good terms—some involvement in the project).
Based in New York City, Kickstarter’s original mandate prescribed that you had to be an United States resident in order to list a campaign, even though you could back a campaign no matter where you lived in the world. We have had our version, Pozible, in Australia for a few years, which has provided a similar platform. But from November 13, Kickstarter is going to be available to creatives in Australia too! So now we will also have access to this truly global crowdfunding platform.
There’s just one question we need to ask ourselves now: ”Is crowdfunding right for my project, or should I pursue other avenues to make it happen?”…