garrisondesignarts

Decoding contemporary art and hand-crafting matters.

Archive for the tag “blogging”

Sucess! (In Small Measures…)

So, only because it’s still fresh in my mind, I’d like to note how happy I am that an online crafting article can pick up steam (while being surrounded by “sexier” content like references to currently-hot pop culture TV shows, Fashion Week and viral cat memes).

My BuzzFeed article, “21 Things You’ll Find At An Enormous Craft Fair” – not my headline but there you go – (http://www.buzzfeed.com/stephaniegda/22-photos-of-the-crafting-lifestyle-to-distract-yo-90gk) hasn’t done too badly at all for a writer that is currently unknown to the BuzzFeed core readership, about a topic that only about 50% of Americans are stated to pursue. (And shouldn’t crafting have a much higher percentage than that?)

I did reach out via e-mail and Twitter to the companies covered in this article. I also did reach out to the local indie craft stores that I’m a customer at, industry professionals that I personally know (and some that I personally don’t!), as well as other creative and business luminaries in the field.

The result? Encouragement, positive vibes, page hits reactions, re-tweets, re-pins, and a bit of a moment on Facebook. So yay – crafting got some mainstream love. I also got a couple of nice thank-yous from some of the firms I featured. As a freelance journalist (I am also a designer myself, educator and a few other hyphenates – but I had no personal stake in this piece and no professional relationship to anyone in it), it’s great when the feedback is 99.9% positive. One person did put a BuzzFeed “fail” button on my post, but there’s always gonna be haters!

So, lessons learned? When you have a legitimate reason to contact others in a way that can help them too (without spending money, I’m talking more about the exchange of information here), be bold and do it. They might stop and take note.

Next step: putting a personality to my activated yet dormant Facebook company profile; also, join Pinterest and LinkedIn (don’t judge; I need to be writing more than I need to be doing stuff online, ideally!). Woot!

Article In BuzzFeed Today!

Article In BuzzFeed Today!

Hey! My photo essay (with captions) covering the 2013 Craft & Hobby Association Winter Conference & Trade Show dropped in today’s BuzzFeed Shift section. Woot! It was fun to do – time-consuming, but fun.

http://www.buzzfeed.com/stephaniegda/22-photos-of-the-crafting-lifestyle-to-distract-yo-90gk

Photo by Stephanie Garrison. Image taken at the Pebbles Inc. booth during CHA2013 in Anaheim, CA.

“I have lots of ideas to goose things up!”

I have an ongoing quest in 2013 to get more design presence in my online dealings. See, I share something in common with Olive Neal, the Oscar-nominated character (for Best Supporting Actress) that Jennifer Tilly memorably brought to life in Bullets Over Broadway (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bullets_Over_Broadway). Olive had “lots of ideas to goose things up.”

Today I uploaded over 1,000 photographs that I recently took at CHA 2013 in Anaheim (https://www.craftandhobby.org/eweb/StartPage.aspx?site=cha). My camera’s images are high-resolution, so they take up a lot of space. I quickly picked a couple for my blog’s background and header, which up until now was just a maroon colour.  The pics may change soon – or not – depending upon my satisfaction. But at least things are infinitely more visual.

If you are like me, and still using a dedicated camera for the majority of your online images (for reasons of aesthetic quality), then it’s inevitable that:

-the most efficient way to store photographs will need to be determined

-the art of compressing images will be essential for storage and sending files

-a file system must be established to tame the image inventory

I’ll have to get on that.

Are ‘Friends’ Electric?

We can thank electronic music pioneer Gary Numan (http://www.garynuman.co.uk/) for that question, which in the face of the Internets can be answered with a big yes.

I’ve been meaning to upgrade my on-line presence, stumbling due to two reasons. First, I am not into the Orwellian (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Orwell) watchfulness of ‘net programming (facial recognition software, anyone?), and second, it’s hard to keep original content rolling when you’re a one-person operation.

So, I’m planning to blog about my plans for “digital domination, on a polite scale.”

Today’s action was to put a little fire under the burner of my Twitter account. I’ve been keeping it on the down low, just posting to create a history for myself, and still managed to have three followers (bless them!). So this afternoon I decided to start following some of my favourite (yep, born Canadian spelling) musicians. Then I added a bunch of social media/tech sites.

To paraphrase Lao-tzu, “a journey of a thousand miles starts with one step.” So I better start steppin’ something fierce!

Time for World Design Domination in 2013 (Or, Getting a Few Projects Done Between Snack Breaks)

Happy New Year!

Where it all starts - with a blank canvas.

Where it all starts – with a blank canvas.

A year ago, I started this blog, in stealth mode, for several reasons. When you’re blogging, the benefits include:

-legitimizing your artistic voice
-harnessing disparate creative energies
-organizing a variety of projects
-exposing your art to others
-meeting kindred spirits

…and that’s only a few of the many upsides. Of course, not everyone’s going to love what you do. Haters gonna hate and all that.

In terms of my goals, I avoided hard and fast deadlines in 2012 – I shouldn’t have on some, and should have on others. Sometimes having a finite end to things is important to move your artistic achievements forward. At other times, it feels like you’re stuck back in school. For the record, I generally did well academically, but disliked intensely the sense that the deadlines didn’t ever truly end until I graduated from university with my bachelor’s degree in journalism. Some people flove being a perpetual student – I don’t, at least in an academic setting. I still take courses all the time to learn, but while I strive for high marks, they don’t count now – the learning does. And my personality type needs that kind of breathing room, apparently. It would be accurate to describe me as a lifelong student of learning – the day I stop discovering something new scares me, since that means I’ll probably have “shuffled off this mortal coil” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mortal_coil).

But since what I want to accomplish is what I also wish to do (ie. I don’t work in a corporate office setting), it never hurts to pick up the pace. Frankly, what I do is inextricably linked with who I am – and want to be. Without my accomplishments I am nothing.

This was my initial list of goals for 2012:

-introduce my creative self and creative brand to new businesses, clients, followers and friends

-organize my on-line presence so it doesn’t overwhelm the greater needs of my creative workload

-finish some of the book proposals I have in various stages of progress

-secure a book contract for at least one proposal

-explore the possibility of self-publishing on-line

-create an inspiring new office space and solve my tool/material storage needs

-firmly establish the product line that’s been in my head but not in the marketplace

-attend more conferences and perhaps a retreat

-file more stories than last year

-challenge myself to creating an APP, to push my mind’s cognitive abilities

-create a fibre-based pop art exhibit

-expand my personal and professional circles: find other like-minded individuals and businesses to connect with

-have fun, dream big, and move forward on several of my creative business endeavors

Some balls have definitely started rolling – others still need an initial nudge (hopefully down, and not up-hill like Sissyphus (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sissyphus)).

I’ll need to revisit this list throughout the year as the need arises.

What are your goals for 2013? Do you have a clear sense of how to accomplish them or are there stumbling blocks that you’re facing? Let’s face them together.

When Buying Your Fave Mag @ the Store…

…don’t forget to check out their web-site! So many specialty magazines have an online presence with different, related content that couldn’t fit in the publication’s page allotment. Often, this information is more newsy or timely in nature, features free projects/demos/tutorials, and usually posts comments from readers. I always love to read these posts, because they are opinionated (“I tried this out and it didn’t work!”), analytical (“It won’t work if you don’t do this first!”) and time-saving (“Don’t bother with this – here’s a link to a better option for you!”).

It’s 2012: Happy Creative Leap Year!

Where it all starts - with a blank canvas.

Where it all starts – with a blank canvas.

Happy New Year!

Greetings and salutations!

My name is Stephanie, founder and principal of garrisondesignarts, a creative design concern. I am a born artist and designer, although my university education resulted in a journalism degree. From this background has sprung a career steeped in visual and written communication. Every day I am struck by how creativity has captured my spirit and allowed me to get in touch with the essence of who I am as a person.

The start of any year is often marked by drafting a list of resolutions – or in my case, goals – for the upcoming 365 days. It’s a great way to focus on what you want to do – because often, when you accomplish what you want to do, it intrinsically links with who you want to be.

2012 is special because it is a leap year, so it gives a slacker like me an extra day to get things done. Woot! So here is my initial list of goals for 2012:

-introduce my creative self and creative brand to new businesses, clients, followers and friends

-organize my on-line presence so it doesn’t overwhelm the greater needs of my creative workload

-finish some of the book proposals I have in various stages of progress

-secure a book contract for at least one proposal

-explore the possibility of self-publishing on-line

-create an inspiring new office space and solve my tool/material storage needs

-firmly establish the product line that’s been in my head but not in the marketplace

-attend more conferences and perhaps a retreat

-file more stories than last year

-challenge myself to creating an APP, to push my mind’s cognitive abilities

-create a fibre-based pop art exhibit

-expand my personal and professional circles: find other like-minded individuals and businesses to connect with

-have fun, dream big, and move forward on several of my creative business endeavors

I’ll add things to the list throughout the year as the need arises.

What are your goals for this year? Do you have a clear sense of how to accomplish them or are there stumbling blocks that you’re facing? Let’s face them together. Courage!

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