Updates From My Creative Studio

Lately I’ve been super busy and creatively buzzing because of all the projects I have going on. It’s sort of exhausting, scary and amazingly wonderful at the same time. Talk about a rollercoaster of emotions.

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I’ve actually been tidying up my space as we’ve changed things up in my household and realizing I need to make use of the stuff I already have or it needs to go. I’ve been on the road to minimizing my possessions and it’s definitely difficult especially for us creatives who have so many supplies and interests!

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I decided to join a copic coloring challenge this month and posting on Instagram to evaluate if I’m going to keep them or not. They are expensive, but often just sit in the corner of my studio. I’ve sort of combined a doodle a day and coloring it with copics to keep up the creative practice.

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On the digital side of things, I’ve been experimenting with my style and trying to loosen up my sketches. I posted about my sketch to print process and really on a kick regarding this process. I’m making more designs and turning them into products on Society6. It’s sort of amazing how quickly we can take an idea and put it out there in the world these days.

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I know it’s not really that big of a deal, but I definitely felt really proud of myself in the end. Seeing my work on product mockup’s just made me happy and giddy. I’m easily pleased, huh?

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Finally, I have a mega secret project that has been in the works forever! It was a little seed of an idea, but once I started working on it, I just couldn’t stop fantasizing about how great it will be. Obviously, we can’t have expectations as we will never know how things will turn out, but I’m excited and it feels right… so I MUST GO FOR IT!

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You can sneek a peek of some of the designs I’m working on and if you are on my newsletter email list, you would have heard about this secret project already. I can’t wait to share more with you all, very soon!

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Signs of Spring are popping up here in Italy and it’s definitely helping me to get out as well as work more productively indoors. It’s funny how the weather can affect our mood and productivity so much!

What have you been up to in your creative studio? Remember you can always share in my monthly blog parade linkups.

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February 2015 Memory Book Pages

Finished up the second month of scrapbooking in my memory book and still loving the freedom to include whatever I want. I have full pages, half pages, pockets, calendar journaling and randomness all together.

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I subscribe to Studio Calico’s monthly PL kit, so all the supplies are from the February Cirque Project Life® Kit, plus some other bits from past kits and my stash in general. Although we all have our preferences, getting new and interesting supplies from the kits has really helped me to expand and try new things. Suddenly I find embellishments and styles that I would have never bought directly… which makes things interesting every month.

I think my only issue is editing photos down. There’s always the urge to include so much, but I don’t want to overflow this little book of mine. Still haven’t figured out the curation part of memory keeping, I suppose!

Tips For Boosting Your Creative Blog Traffic

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So you have a lovely little creative blog, but you aren’t getting that much traffic? What’s missing you wonder. Where are your readers hiding, right? Oftentimes, just a little bit of effort can result in a huge boost to your readership. Here are some tips on how to get more eyes on your creative blog. The following are basic principles of blogging and sharing online. I think you should have these foundational pillars covered, before you move into other methods of marketing and promotion.

Great Blog Content
The only way to keep readers happy is to give them something interesting to consume. If you don’t have great blog content, people aren’t going to come. So think about what you want to share and write about! For creatives the idea is to find the intersection between what you want to share and what others would be interested in seeing.

Blogging Schedule
The commitment to blog regularly means you will have a stream of content for your readers. You can get more traffic if you don’t have new content, right? It can be once every two weeks or more often… whatever fits with your schedule. It’s best to commit to some kind of frequency to keep yourself in check!

Make It Easy to Subscribe/Follow
Not everyone is super tech saavy, so make it super easy for people to follow your blog. Whether it’s offering the RSS feed, an email subscribe, a blog lovin follow button – maybe all of those – make sure people can get your blog content easily. You can’t assume that a reader will just visit your URL every week by typing it in their browser address bar!

Tell People
Whether it’s word of mouth, link in your email signature or social media posts – maybe all of them – you have to tell people that you are blogging and putting up new posts. You certainly shouldn’t be self promoting and spamming about it… but at the same time, don’t hide away! Especially for creatives, we seem to find it extremely difficult to share all the cool stuff we are doing. Don’t be shy. Be sure to put it out there!

Engage and Networking
This is sort of related to above, because if you start telling people about your blogging endeavors, ultimately you are networking and socializing. Part of being engaged in your community is to comment on your peers posts and making it super easy for readers to comment on your blog as well. It’s about starting a dialogue, being authentic and getting involved. You can’t just be up on a pedestal announcing things and never stepping down to discuss and let others take the podium, you know?

If you are consistent, your blog traffic will definitely grow over time. Make sure you install analytics, so you can track your growth as well. The online world is big and small at the same time. I always say that slow and steady, wins the race.

There are many more advanced strategies that you can try out like search engine optimization, advertising, guest posting and promotions. But have you got all your bases covered, first?

From Sketch to Print

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I’ve been working on many different projects this past month and feel a bit all over the place to be honest. When there’s too much going on, I often turn to my sketchbook and sort of go back to kindergarten. The idea is to draw and color loosely. It’s a way to let go and just decompress. I remember doing these kind of creative exercises back in university and they were called regression workshops.

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In this particular instance I was inspired by Alisa Burke to draw a simple leaf pattern with my left hand and color it in with markers. Since I’m right-handed, using my non-dominant left hand would ensure that my drawing would be loose. Totally messy and random, right? But this is a perfect example of how a simple creative exercise can spark some inspiration. I loved how the colors and pattern turned out, so I decided to take it onto my computer and vectorize it. There’s even some scribbles from my son over the top, but I like it anyway!

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The process of turning a sketchy drawing into vector using Illustrator’s trace tools, smooths out some of the roughness… but it’s still my hand in the end. It seems to be digitally painted and I really like the effect.

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And once everything is digital, I’m able to play with the coloring. It’s funny how something so simple, can end up looking pretty cool. I love the sort of impressionistic image that I can get out of a messy sketch. This could very well become an art print or surface pattern design, don’t you think?

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So that’s how I take a simple sketch into a print format. I could print it out to use as collage paper or format into a background for another project… lots to think about with all the options available. What would you do with this artwork?

Blog Parade Link-Up: March 2015

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It’s March 2015!

This is the monthly blog parade link-up so we can check-in every month to share the work we have been creating. Every step forward, no matter how small counts! Blog about your latest and greatest and share the DIRECT link to your blog post below.

On social media feel free to use hashtag #bplinkup

Can’t wait to see what you have been up to!