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?”…
I’m not going to tell you what I learned last week, instead I’m going to let you know what is happening this week!
If you’re in Brisbane, I would love it if you would join me at the opening of Hightide: Queensland Design Now at gallery Artisan on Thursday 31 October 2013.
“The exhibition surveys Queensland design over the past decade through the work of 22 designers and design firms and provides a glimpse into the bright future of design in our state as a global force to be reckoned with. Profiling well-known names and introducing new ones, Hightide gives recognition to the designers who are paving the way forward in Australian design.”
The exhibition is curated by Simone Jones, based on the publication by Jason Bird and includes my 2009 wallpaper and textiles collection, Falling Leaves. Paul Fairweather, Queensland architect, artist, designer and creative catalyst will open the show.
I hope to see you there!
Opening: 31 October 2013, 6-8pm
Venue: Gallery Artisan
Address: 381 Brunswick Street, Fortitude Valley
Exhibition Runs: 29 October 2013—14 February 2014
I mentioned in the last post, In a snap, about the fun photo shoot I had for JEANBAG™ with my photographer, Troy Hansen. The goal was to take shots for the yet to be launched website—images that clearly depict JEANBAG, from all angles and in detail. While the website is a little way off yet, above is a wee montage I whipped up with the raw images to give you a sneak peak!
Many thanks Troy for the great images!