Don’t Be Dead Wood

Due to popular demand, I’m unveiling my first business card ever, right here on Wall Woes. Over 5% of my 18 followers have expressed their interest in my Zazzle.com design, as mentioned in Vistaprint’s “Impression.” So, I’m left with no choice but to grace you with the product of my, and some stranger’s, blood, sweat, and tears. I spent minutes upon minutes of intense browsing through prefabricated templates before filling in blanks with words, numbers, and a strategically placed “at” symbol.

Without further ado, I present to you my much-anticipated debut business card.

Business Card Front

Business Card Back

I know, I know. It really goes against the grain, but if you can’t see the wood for the trees here, you’re just a stick in the mud.

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Over the Weather

As I float on in my endeavors, the days seem to be getting shorter. I’m starting to figure out exactly what it takes to be an artist and run my own “business,” and it’s laying claim on more and more of my time. It’s exciting, but for someone who’s attention couldn’t span a crack in the sidewalk, it’s a lot to handle.

I’ve finally designed and produced enough work to give people a good idea of my style and what I’m capable of. Last week, I put the finishing touches on several of my pieces. No sooner than that, I felt ready to conquer the art world. I was overcome with the an uncontrollable urge to rush off and show everyone. So I did. I even managed to land a meeting with the owner of the most popular high-end restaurant in Salt Lake. If I could display my art on those walls, I’d have all the exposure I need right now. Go big or go home, right?

I began the meeting just glowing with excitement and confidence. It was casual and friendly, and short. I would say it went pretty well except for the fact that I couldn’t pry a reaction out of her. Not a good sign considering that art generally speaks for itself. I sensed no negativity, but nothing positive either. For ten minutes, our conversation strayed from one topic to another as any wayward conversation would, no discernible progress being made. And then, it was over. The only hint of interest I picked up from her was a sideways comment she threw out towards the end to the tune of,  “we’re redoing our bathrooms this year and might need some new mirrors.” Really though, even Gandhi would have recognized that as pity. I’ll take it though, for all that it’s worth.

The encounter was a success. I know this because after she left, I actually felt encouraged rather than discouraged. I’ve talked to enough people who are excited about what I do to not worry about the ones that aren’t. I just got over excited about of the status of being affiliated with that kind establishment. That’s not what I want to be driven by anyway. I’m just trying to help people create comfortable spaces. People have different tastes so I can’t expect to please everyone.

I also got a few takeaways on how to better promote myself as a “professional.” ::cough, cough:: First off, I need to have an image gallery or portfolio on hand, on my tablet, at all times. Aside from the obvious benefits of this, my creations have a different feel in the day than they do at night so I need to be able to convey this. Next, if ever I use my house as a gallery again, I need to be clear that the art on my walls is a display and everything is available for purchase. This seems trivial, but it’s a small step to take to avoid potentially great confusion. It occurred to me after the meeting that she probably thought at some point, cool, he decorated his house but what can he do for me? Along those same lines, everything has to have a price tag. Since I haven’t sold anything yet, I was at a loss when she asked how much a particular piece would cost. This made it seem like amateur hour, and although it actually is, I can’t let any potential customers know that. Next, I need business cards. She and several people since then have asked me for one and all I could say was, “uh, they’re currently in production.” Way to be prepared, hero! And last (for now), I need a website, with general information, a personal online gallery, a shop, contact info, and a place for custom order forms. Nothing fancy; just something to let people know that I mean business. My Google + Page isn’t going to cut it.

Moving forward, I realize just how much needs be done but I have to learn not to get ahead of myself. Promotion and sales are peaking my interest, but I’m constantly reminded that production must come first. I simply don’t have enough product yet to shift gears into marketing. I know where my focus needs to be, so I’m working on channeling my excitement into creativity. The only problem now is the weather. I’d be thrilled if it didn’t start raining within five minutes of every time I go outside to resume building!

I Project Projects

As liberally as I use the term “project,” I suppose I shouldn’t be so vague. Unfortunately, my ambiguity on certain topics is unintentional. I am making this up as I go so certain things won’t become clear until down the road when enough of my random thoughts merge to form a discernible concept. Everything feels like a project to me right now, but I might be able to set a few things straight.

One of my primary objectives with Wall Woes and its “projects” is to master the art of controlled mind-wandering. My greatest ideas come about when I’m not actively thinking. I’ve spent years struggling to learn and figure things out, only to discover that innovation is born of imagination and creativity. That said, the operative word is “controlled.” Somehow, I need to let my mind wander freely within the boundaries of what’s relevant to what I’m tying to accomplish.

This is where all my projects come in. Each one is essentially an extension of those boundaries, allowing my mind to drift progressively further. As long as all projects contribute to, or benefit from Wall Woes in some way, I’ll be content to lose myself in thoughts that pertain to them. But really, what are these projects?

Wall Woes is THE project. It’s the heart of my whole operation. All the juicy details hang out on the Wall Woes’ W’s page. The rest of my projects can be divvied up into two categories: Personal and Business. That’s fancy speak for short- and long-term goals, respectively. My list of personal projects is essentially a to-do list, made up of relatively simple, specific tasks. My business projects will remain quite vague for now as they are distant goals whose fate will ultimately be decided by the collective outcome of my personal projects. Given the constant evolution of all my projects and their importance to my success, I had to devise a strategy to keep them organized. Allow me to introduce my project for projects, the Projects page!

One brick at a time.

Brick by Brick

The Great Wall

One of my biggest challenges in this adventure is coming up with the capital to cover the start-up costs of my business ventures. Instead throwing my hands up like I did in the good ‘ol days, I’ve decided to have a little fun with it. I am starting small — think bite size — and working my way up. To make things interesting, and because I really don’t have a choice in the matter, I’m making a point to invest as little personal money as possible into Wall Woes and its projects. I wanna build this puppy up from scratch.

The Approach

There exist several sites online that provide quick and easy ways for anyone with a constructive hobby and some creativity to make a little money. It just so happens that I like to make things, so I will capitalize on that with a few creations that require little to no funding. To help move things along, I will increase my exposure and haphazardly support the local movement by exploiting my personal network of friends and family in the area. A few favors and some sweet talking and I’ll be blazin’ my trail to success.

As cash flow allows, I will reinvest into bigger and better projects. Chronicles of each project will be posted and will include relevant details, tips, pics and links. Meanwhile, a list of my current projects is always available on the Projects Page, which will be available soon, and updated weekly at least.

Mongolians

I got 99 wall woes and a Mongolian ain’t one.