I don’t want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don’t want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed. You know, as a career, I don’t want to do that. –LLOYD DOBLER, Say Anything
I recently watched the movie Say Anything, in which John Cusak is impossibly young and whatever happened to Ione Skye? It’s okay, I googled and she seems to be doing just fine. Hoo.Ray.
Over the weekend I rebooted my Whole30, which was derailed by that flu/bronchitis thing I had for a month. It’s day 2 and I am nauseous, tired and headachey. Which means I’m right on schedule!
There’s not been much (web development) learnin’ going on the last week or so, I’ve been working on some freelance jobs and spending quality time with my dog who turned four years old on Friday. He seemed a bit disgruntled this morning when I got up for work, refusing to leave his crate, then refusing to eat breakfast. I felt guilty leaving him. Yes, I’m very attached to my animals. We talk constantly. I tell them jokes, ask them questions, use them for pillows to hide my eyes during scary movies. Mac hates dancing so don’t even try dancing with him. Misha loves it though (gawd, I’m lonely). My elderly cat has taken over the office (parked it on the storage ottoman under the heat vent) and even made a play for the sunny corner of the bed on Sunday (little rebel). He’s been acting strangely for a while now and I’m guessing he is in the early stages of feline dementia. Poor old thing.
In other news…Pinterest killed my Etsy shop. Not really. But, kinda. If you want printables…FREE printables, Pinterest is probably the best tool to search for decent quality free printables. I SELL printables and some of the stuff I see for FREE (by way of Pinterest) is comparable, if not BETTER than what I offer. So, for now, the shop is just on vacation. I love Pinterest, so I can’t feel too bitter about this. And, I can’t blame the slow business entirely on Pinterest. Etsy has changed. I’m not sure how any shop gets noticed anymore – unless it’s just through relentless self-promotion, which I don’t take part in. I also admit I have not dedicated enough time to creating new work for the shop since my day job took a left turn in August. My current workload leaves me feeling drained and uncreative.
Oh, and there’s something I’ve been wanting to post about for a while now and I figure I should just come out and say it: There is a lot of TERRIBLE design mucking up the internet. And, not JUST the internet. It’s something I see in my day-to-day as well, in printed materials. I believe DIY design can be fantastic, but poor design contributes to the propagation of poor design: People see crap print collateral and poorly executed web design on a consistent basis, it’s everywhere. Then they get a computer and they need a sign, or a business card, brochure or a website and they try to make it look “right”. Of course they have no idea what “right” is. **Familiar** is not the same as **right**. I’m tired just typing about it.
Is poor design running rampant throughout print and web too large a problem for me to solve? Yes, probably. I have a friend who acts like every critique I offer (example: a decal on the back of a truck with no less than 6 different typefaces used) is the equivalent of calling someone’s baby ugly.
Really? But what do I know, I’m not a landscaper.
Maybe I should start offering critique/constructive criticism as a service? Writers need editors, so why wouldn’t designers need honest and objective feedback? Would that even be feasible given the overgrown egos insecure designers tend to develop? What I’m describing sounds like art direction, huh? How about DESIGN COACH? I’ll have to think on this one a bit. Apparently, I’ve got to reposition myself and “leverage the internet”…you’ll be hearing that phrase a lot this year…I’ve heard it three times in the last week and while I agree with the concept…it’s got a hint of boilerplate term-ism to it, yeah?
I’ve been observing trends in blogs and websites for a while and it seems the “best” way to be “successful” is to offer services to people (the masses) who want the secret to being successful. Let that twirl around in your head for a while. Content, knowledge, checklists, step-by-steps, worksheets, inspirational lingo, do what you love…it all appeals so much to the DIY-er turned entrepreneur. Nobody wants to work for a company and remain faceless anymore. They want their own show, damn it.
I love hearing success stories from indie business; *regular people* that make their own way and create a thriving business. I love it as much as the next person, but as an observer I can’t help but notice that, that lovely Stylist/Blogger/DIY-er/Jewelry designer that made a ton of money last year by teaching “how to be a successful Stylist/Creative Professional/Crafter/Inventor…” she’s not making her living being a Stylist, she’s selling you back your own dreams…and smiling all the way to the bank.
Learning how to be savvy, market yourself (your business), connect to your audience, your people, and create a business platform that’s scalable (i.e. that Pinterest cannot MURDER). ALL GOOD THINGS TO LEARN. I just think there’s a wee bit of an issue of transparency with all the “coaches” flooding the internet and our inboxes.
And, yet, I remain optimistic…and so should we all.
image credits: © Aimee McEwen, if shared please link back to this post.