snapshots of my workspace
As most of you know, I have a weekly meeting of the minds with my dear friend Lo. The purpose of these meetings is to inspire each other, push each other, and keep each other centered, and focused. This week, I am going to have a meeting of the minds with all of you via this blog post. Today I am going to take you through my "Creative Flow" which is basically culminating an idea, and seeing it through from conception to fruition. I plan on keeping all of you updated on the progress, as well as the set-backs as I try to launch my line.
These past few weeks, I have had the amazing opportunity to work on some commissioned pieces for a few special people, [do to confidentiality issues, I can't disclose much info about it yet] and I couldn't have done it without some of the techniques outlined below. Execution has always been an issue for me, however learning my creative flow has helped put a stop to me being afraid to pull the trigger on a lot of projects.
Executing goals is something I am sure we have all had difficulty with at some time or another, and it is the failure to execute goals that has a tendency to leave our spirits with a certain void. As a result, we sometimes turn to acquiring material possessions, forging relationships whether platonic or sexual in nature, or turning to other vices such as smoking or drinking in hopes to fill this void. Those vices may fill your void, however those feelings of "happiness" are only momentary, and are dependent upon external events which leads to a state of constantly chasing your next hit of happiness. Stop seeking pleasure to avoid pain; in order to completely live up to your God-given name and fill your void with true happiness, you must return to your goals/purpose and begin to cultivate and nurture them/it.
I'm pretty cheesy, I save all of my fortunes from fortune cookies and have them near/on my workspace - Never doubt the power of positive affirmations.
Make room for positive energy, and provide a comfortable, inviting workspace: Prior to working, I light some incense, and create ambient lighting around my workstation. I make sure my workspace is clean and free of clutter. If I am feeling an extreme amount of tension from the days events, I may burn sage near my workspace, and meditate for about 20 minutes.
Make a road map: How are you going to get from "Point A" to "Point B"? I find it is best to work out the schematics of this equation prior to starting the creative process.
- Write down your list of goals
- Take big goals and chop them up into smaller pieces; if Public Relations is not in your budget right now, find other ways to get press/recognition for your brand. Many designers in this day and age resort to "gifting" celebrities with their creations in hopes of garnering press, and/or securing a relationship with their stylist. You can do this by interacting with the stylists on social networking sites [twitter is a good tool] and asking them for their mailing address, or you can contact the agency that represents the stylist and request that info from them. A lot of the popular designers you see now have befriended a stylist or two.
- Make sure you include your target market in your road map, this will determine the look and feel of your brand, as well as the type of press to seek.
I am inspired by the organic shapes in most of Lawrence Kupferman's pieces. [Image Credit]
I am also inspired by my studies of The Chakras [Image Credit]
Inspiration is also drawn from the Fela Kuti Queens [Image Credit]
Organization: Once you have completed the task of brainstorming, it is time to organize your thoughts in a cohesive manner so that they translate well. Here's an example:
Inspiration: Lawrence Kupferman, Chakra, Fela Kuti Queens, - Organic shapes, rough gemstones, use of gemstones that promotes positive energy and spiritual healing. Vibrant colors, colors of Africa
Sourcing: Once you have the basic idea/framework on paper, you must begin to source the materials for your project. When sourcing materials, it is best to acquire items that are readily available at all times, try not to purchase "close out" items because there is no guarantee they will be available in the future. In the event your product is in high demand you want to make sure you have access to supplies that will meet the demands of your consumers.
Cost Analysis: Once you have your supplies sourced, you can begin to set prices for your wares. The prices should include the following: Cost of goods, gas, ink and paper [for your promo materials], your personal pay rate, Public Relations, and any other relevant business related expenses. Your price should also be reflective of your target market.
Set dates, and stick to them: I set dates for everything, it is the only way that I can keep myself on track. For instance; you can give yourself two weeks to seek inspiration, two weeks to complete sourcing of your materials, etc. - Setting dates can keep the momentum going ensuring that you always remain excited and focused on crossing off goals before moving to the next. It also helps create organized work habits in that you are used to a methodical flow versus doing whatever you feel at the moment. While the latter is great, I would reserve that style of work for someone who is very disciplined.
Create a professional business front: Even though you might be conducting business from your living room, your brand does not have to reflect that. If graphic designing isn't your forte put an ad in Craigslist for a graphic designer; or you can even post ads in forums like Project 4 Hire in which freelancers bid for your work. Check out Logo Pond to snag design inspiration, not only is it free to look, but it will also help you determine what "industry standard" is for your particular business venture. You can also turn to sites like Big Cartel which offers merchants an easy platform to sell their wares. Also check out Wix for those DIY'rs out there; they offer flash web design templates for only several dollars a month.