Friday, May 29, 2015

5 Fictional Characters You Most Identify With

1. Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter

Quirky, a bit unconventional, honest, and doesn't give a damn what anyone else thinks. We are pretty much the same person...we also have amazing style!

2. Jess from New Girl

I watch this show and laugh so much! Quirky and totally awkward...twins separated at birth.

3. Chantry from What If

Someone told me I needed to watch this movie because Chantry reminded her of me. I watched it and could kinda see what she was I wouldn't mind kissing Harry Potter (I mean Daniel Radcliffe).

4. Suzy from Moonrise Kingdom

Prematurely jaded and world weary. Decides to runaway and be happy...pretty much sums up my life.

5. Bubbles from the Powerpuff Girls

Sometimes it's okay to like cute stuff and want to make cute stuff. :)

What fictional character do you identify with the most?

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Art Throb: Tuesday Bassen

I am a huge advocate for supporting handmade and the arts. I love supporting rad people and the things they create. Sometimes I love an artist so much that I just want to buy all the things! Today I'm sharing my current crush and art throb (get it like heartthrob) Tuesday Bassen.

I found out about Tuesday through the Instagram explore page and loved her bad ass illustrations. I enjoy watching the videos of her outlining her illustrations with a super steady hand, checking out her collaboration with Hello Holiday, and I want to join her Ugly Girl Gang.

This lady is busy and you can find her working on so many rad projects from cards, zines, tees, and so much more. I love my phone case from her Society 6 shop and the tee I snagged from Cotton Bureau.

So take some time to check out her website, shop, and Instagram account and give this illustrator some love + support. Who is your current Art Throb?

Friday, May 22, 2015

5 Nerdiest Things I've Ever Done

I've always been kinda eccentric and nerdy, but I haven't really done anything too crazy like tattoos or LARP-ing, although I was around for a LARP-ing session once and I was super confused. Sadly I don't have pictures of all my nerdiness, but I'll try to recount a few.

1. Dyed my hair purple so I could look more like Sailor Saturn
In high school, I was really into Sailor Moon, and so were some of my friends. They did fun stuff like make Sailor Moon playlists (on tape), and assigned everyone a Senshi and I got Sailor Saturn (Not sure how they picked them, maybe birthday's or characteristics). On my best friend's last day of high school we were going to a big lunch date with everyone and I had a friend dye my hair purple to play my part. I'm kinda shy about dressing in costumes, but I'll dye my hair any day!

2. Ran around a salon cheering, "I look like Jerrica!"
When I was little I loved Jem and the Holograms. I doubt it was my first haircut, but it's the 1st I remembered. I got a sweet lob like Jerrica (my hair was weirdly yellow from being outside too much). I was ecstatic that I looked just like like her and promptly let the world know...a lot!

3. Joined a beginners ballet class in college.
I've always loved ballet, but growing up they didn't offer any classes where I lived. I guess I was going through a post break up crisis in college and decided I was going to do everything I've ever wanted to do. So I sign up for classes, pay for a month's worth and buy a ton of cute ballet stuff...and the beginner class is for 5 year olds. My sister went with me and was the only witness to my embarrassment of being assigned the part of Glinda the Good Witch.

4. Waited in the freezing cold to see She & Him
As much as I love Zooey Deschanel, I have to say this was not worth it. A friend and I waited for hours to have a good spot at this outdoor concert during SXSW 2010. Of course it was running late, and then Zooey couldn't figure out how to turn on her keyboard, and it was a big let many live shows are. Needless to say I'm still a fangirl and will buy the albums, but I won't freeze to death to see them live again.

5. I was in a punk rock band.
I played a bass guitar that I was more worried about putting stickers on than actually mastering and I wore that Spongebob wrist thing everywhere. I was such a nerd, but being in a band was cool. We had a lot of fun and that's what counts.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Happiness: A Business Theme Song

I've been reading business articles and books lately, trying to figure out if I'm making the right moves and what is the next move. I definitely don't have all the answers and I'm still as confused as ever, but I think trying to learn more is always a step in the right direction.

Recently I was reading an article (not sure which at this point) that asked about inspiration. What is my work inspired by? Of course all sorts of answers came to my complex little, cute stuff, adventure?? What inspired me as an art student in college? That one was easy, music. Almost every piece I made in college was inspired by music, Nirvana, Silverchair, Smashing Pumpkins...I can recall all the pieces I made inspired by these bands and more. I sort of had a running theme through college, but what was my theme now? What was Scrawny Girl's theme song?

I've been thinking about this for a few days. I wanted a song that inspired me and represented me and my work. How could one song encompass all that? Then I decided I was thinking too hard and needed to relax and just let the song come to me...and it did. This song was the embodiment of all sorts of themes in my art and life: happiness, cute, crazy, colorful, quirky, and just plain fun and catchy.

Happiness by Red Velvet

I figure my little business will go though many seasons of theme songs as it grows and I'm inspired by different things. I plan to collect them and make a playlist that I can always come back to for inspiration and motivation. That it will remind me why I'm doing what I'm doing and to keep going through the tough times.

What is your business' theme song? or your own personal theme song? Let me know in the comments, I'd love to check it out!

Follow Friday: Kwanalee

Follow Friday is my ode to rad people on the internet. I love finding new people, blogs, and artist to follow. I hope you will check them out and show them some love for sharing their passion and lives with us!
Kendra Miller the artist behind Kwanalee is from Springfield, MO. I stumbled upon her art on the Instagram explore page. She paints and illustrates in all the geeky subject matter that I love!
All of her illustrations are bright, fun, and full of a quirky whimsy that makes me want to buy them all! Everything from Doctor Who, Star Wars, Harry Potter, and even my love Jon Snow to make all your geeky decor dreams come true!
I love the collaboration she did with Culture Flock Clothing! This tote and t-shirt with the print that says Girls Like Comics Too has been a big hit! I get asked every time I wear mine out where I got it. I hope they continue to print this design and make it in kids sizes, because I know there are lots of little girls out there reading comics and kicking butt.
So head over to IG, Etsy, and Twitter and follow this kawaii artist! Shop small and support handmade! xo

My Adventure to Star Comics Ladies Night

I'm a huge fan of Nerd Burger, and that's pretty much where I get all my comic book knowledge even though I don't really read a ton of comics. Not that I don't want to read comics, it's just one of those things that can be a bit intimidating...sorta like actually going to a comic book store.

While at the Lubbock Arts Festival a couple weeks ago, I stumbled upon a booth about Lubbock Con + Star Comics and saw a rad flyer about Ladies Night and picked it up right away.

Banner made by Sam Gaitan
Everyone was encouraged to dress up. I'm not big on costumes, but I am big on the everyday cosplay. I decided to wear my Bee and Puppycat shirt from We Love Fine and a cute jumper to keep it casual.

There were a few comics that I know I wanted to pick up. Obviously I needed all the Bee and Puppycat and Lumberjanes. Here are few of the others I grabbed:

I've already finished Jem and the Holograms and can't wait for issue 2 (which came out today)! I'm working my way through Lumberjanes now. I would definitely recommend Star Comics to anyone looking to delve into the world of comics. The staff was super nice and it's super organized, making it easy to find the genre you're interested in.

Another reason why I really wanted to go was to meet other geeky ladies! I was really nervous because I'm pretty much a hermit these days and my people skills range in the super awkward realm, and I don't know a lot about comics...but I did talk to several ladies and everyone was super nice. I'm excited for the prospects of a local Geek Girl Brunch chapter and the upcoming local comic cons.
What comics do you recommend? I'll be heading up to Star Comics this weekend for Free Comic Book Day!

Find SG at The Strawberry Swing Indie Craft Fair

This weekend (May 2nd + 3rd), just in time for Mother's Day gift shopping, you can find a limited selection of my Harry Potter character earrings + pins at The Strawberry Swing Indie Craft Fair in Kansas City, MO.

Photos by Melanie Gipson
You can find my products along with Violet's Buds beautiful house colored hair clips for your everyday cosplay and Gipson Wands enchanting wands to step up your Harry Potter cosplay.

Here is a peek at some of the wands that will for sale at the event.

Violet's Buds also made these super fun truffuala trees to sell! These would make a great prop for photo shoot or even for brides maids to carry!

There will be music, food trucks and other rad vendors. It sounds like it's going to be a super fun event! So stop by, say hi, and support handmade if you live in the area! xo

Follow Friday: Nerdburger

You've probably seen #FF on Twitter and maybe even Instagram. I thought it would be cool to do it in a blog post, that way I can gush about how amazing this person(blog/IG account/shop) is and you can check them out for yourself.
My first Follow Friday goes to the most kawaii girl on the planet, Cazz from Nerdburger!

Her awesome blog is about comics, fashion, cosplay, and all things cute! My daughter (who is 2) is in love with her and watches her YouTube channel all the time. The video on repeat in our house right now is Cazz's trip to Hong Kong Disney. Cazz just seems likes the nicest person and I would love to have a coffee with her someday, if I'm ever in Australia. So show some love by checking out her blog, and watching all her amazing YouTube videos!

Brand Moodboard

At the end of last year and very beginning of this year, I was struggling with whether or not I wanted to rebrand Scrawny Girl. Not just the logo, but a complete over haul with a new name. I've had the same mascot for a while and the name was old (even though I have only been technically using it for a year, my husband came up with it over 6 years ago).
I sat down and made lists of names, trying to figure out what I wanted to communicate to the world about me and my work. I actually came up with some good ones, and even thought of using my own name (which was taken for .coms and etsy). Sadly nothing clicked and I was getting no where. I decided to make a Pinterest mood board for random things that caught my eye, logos I liked, colors + textures. This helped, but I wanted something I could physically see everyday....
So I dusted off my stacks of magazines and did things the old fashion way. I cut things out that inspired me, that I love, and thought of a color palette that screamed Scrawny Girl. I grabbed a notebook and made notes and filled it with dreams for the future of Scrawny Girl.

I finally had a sense of direction and decided against changing my name, but just updating my current logo and changing my tag line. Quirky Cuteness + Happy Hearts was a result of staring at this moodboard and eating too much Pocky.

Most of my clippings came from Mollie Makes magazines because that's pretty much all I've kept over the years of decluttering.

I knew I wanted a shade of pink in my color palette and I was actaully using this polka dot washi tape as inspiration. In the end I went with a pastel palette of pink, mint, and gold.

I got this little Sonny Angel for Christmas and decided he was my little muse for the year. It's kinda silly but he cheers me up. I named him Tomoe, mostly because I've been watching too much Kamisama Kiss.

If you are thinking about a rebrand or just trying to come up with a brand here's a few things that helped me:
1. Go with your gut. If you like it, that's all that matters. This brand represents you and what you make.
2. Keep it simple + consistent. You want to keep your logo/brand recognizable across all social media platforms.
3. Do some research. What are others in your field doing? How are you different?
4. Figure out your values. What's most important to you? What do you + your business stand for? What will your customers experience when they interact with your company?
5. Paint a business landscape (literally or figuratively). Who is your dream client? What are your strengths/weaknesses? How do you stand out?
6. Ask for help when you need it. Don't know how to design a logo, look for an illustrator or graphic designer. Ask around to see who other people have used.

This is my current logo. Tessa from Krmbal helped me tweak it last year (if you need graphic design help she rocks!) This year I changed the fonts, colors, layout, and added my tag line. I'm super happy with it, but that doesn't mean it won't change a bit in 6 months or so. >_<
Have you made a mood board for your business? Post a link in the comments, I would love to check it out! Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Lessons Learned From My 1st Year as a Small Business Owner

I've been thinking a lot about my first year as a small business owner and as an artist. I don't know how many times I thought about giving up or even not re opening. I tried to take some time to reflect on the things that I learned or had way too many thoughts about. Everyone's journey is different and maybe you can learn a bit from my random thoughts if you're struggling or just starting out. I know I still have so much to learn and my business will continue to evolve as I grow.

1. Forget Perfect

I am far from a perfectionist, practically the exact opposite. I like that real, messy, gritty, this was made because I was so passionate at the time feel to things. Even so, sometimes (and especially recently) I get the 'this isn't good enough' blues. This practically halts all motivation to work and I wind up emo in the corner growing mushrooms (anime reference). I'm not sure about you, but I like to picture myself kicking my own ass and that helps me fight all the doubts. Nothing will ever be perfect, and if you keep waiting you'll never get anywhere. So share that rough sketch, crazy thought, or funny face. The feedback you get will fuel your desire to keep creating and get your mojo back.

2. Choose Your Own Adventure

Recently I had this crazy epiphany....I choose how to spend my day. It's that simple. I felt like I had to have a mile long to do list, stay up all night working, and practically breathe social media in order to be "successful". My life was revolving around this business that was supposed to make me happy and fulfilled, but instead it was doing the exact opposite. When my husband finally said something, that's when I knew it was serious, because even though he supports me he could tell how unhappy I was. So make a work schedule and stick to it, schedule in time for yourself, and get some sleep! Choose how you spend your days, not how you think this crazy industry dictates you should.

3. You Can't Sit With Us

Not all online communities are created equal, and I'm sure if you've been around the crafty communities you've realized this. I'm not saying all online communities are bad, I've actually found some great ones, but this is something you will have to discover for yourself. I sunk a huge chunk of my time into several different communities this year. Some were very uplifting, others made me feel like I was transported back to high school with all the cattiness and whining. Many are clique-y, others were extremely time consuming, and several were too expensive. My take away is this, you shouldn't have to pay for friends and it should be a positive environment where everyone can be heard and treated as an equal.

4. Measuring Success

The more I fell down the rabbit hole of handmade business life, the more I saw behind the scenes. I learned that many of the artists/crafters I thought were successful were just like me, lots of work, not a lot of profits, but big on drive and passion. I had a few people tell me I was successful for various reasons, but how do you measure success? One reason I started doing what I do was to help pay the bills since I became a stay at home mom. Do I think I accomplished that in my first year? No, but I think I learned a lot more about the business side of things that I will be better prepared this coming year.

I've been reading lots of different books to prepare myself for 2015. I eventually plan to review a few of them here and hopefully they will help you too. I'm also working on my own 2015 Business Planner, mostly because I'm awful at doing one for a whole year, and I'm the only one who knows my business inside and out, so someone else's business planner may not have everything I need.

Here's to a SUPER DUPER 2015!

What have you learned this past year?

One Little Word

Reflecting on 2014, and looking back on the goals I made this time last year has been wild. I can't believe how far I've grown as a business person + artist. Even though I made those goals, I never looked at them again, but I managed to knock it out of the park anyway.

I always have the best of intentions, but I think the process of just making some goals helps me start the year off right (even if I never look at them again).

Last year I chose FOCUS as my One Little Word. I think I focused on my business a lot, but not my personal health (which will be a big focus this year!)

This year I chose:

There were so many different definitions of the word CURATE as it has evolved over time, and I felt that so many bits and pieces of each definition fit with the direction I'm headed as a person + small business owner.

1. I want to curate Scrawny Girl in 2015.

I want Scrawny Girl to have a particular aesthetic with the shop having purposefully selected (amazing!) items. This means quality over quantity. I won't be carrying as many items + there will be limited runs to make way for new designs as I make them.

This also means an increase in prices. I've had the mentality that I needed to price things a certain way to sell, but in doing so I was barely scraping by and paying a lot out of pocket. I hope this doesn't scare any of you away, but I need to do this in order to keep Scrawny Girl going and to help support my family.

2. I want to curate me.

I plan to invest more time in personal care. This past year I let that slide and I'm definitely disappointed in myself. Taking more time for me is crucial this year. Of course that means the usual eating healthy + exercise (gotta loose the 30 lbs I've gained since having Amelia! Yikes!), but also making a work schedule, taking days off, being in charge of my days.

3. I want to curate my home.

This mostly consists of a continuation of decluttering and minimalizing. Taking more time to care for our home + filling it with memories. There are so many projects we want to do around here and I'd like this year to be the year we actually get a few done. :)

It's weird how I think about this One Little Word each year as I'm reminded of the project to the point where it makes my brain hurt. Then suddenly it's like the word just finds me. It's popping up everywhere and then everything just comes together.

What is your One Little Word this year?