business

MIA... update

Ok, so I'm ashamed to say that I just looked at my last blog post... and it was almost a month ago. Ooopsie. I was hoping I'd get better about the frequency of my posting, but I'm just having trouble MAKING myself sit down and write. Writing is something I've never really been too fond of and I don't honestly think I'm that good at it. Right now I'm doing an online "business for creatives" class that teaches you how to take your art/business to the next level. It's called Level Up, and it's by Caylee Grey, and I really love it. ANYWAY, lesson one (#1... the VERY FIRST LESSON right out of the gate) is about writing.

Wouldn't you know it?

Write your story. The story of me. My story as an artist and business owner. 

Whatever... I guess writing IS pretty important...

 

SIDE-TRACK OVER. Sorry.

I wanted to give y'all a bit of an update on all things "me"... What's been happening in the world of Laura Murray Creative! Well for starters, I'm working on a 100 day project of little 4" line drawings. Some are things out of my head and some are everyday things like my dog sitting in her bed looking out the window. I'm sharing those images on my Instagram @alabama.pen.paper and I've created a specific hashtag if you want to look those up: #100daysof4x4drawings . I'm on day #29 right now and they're really making me happy (for the most part...  a few of those days I just wasn't feeling creative and I struggled... I see you, Day 22 and Day 24). Here are a few of those images to whet your appetite: 

Last week I had the honor of being the guest artist at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art in Auburn at their Family Art Day, and it was a BLAST! We made our own "Amazing Alabama" travel journals. The little books included a fun colored front and back cover, a county map of Alabama, some plain pages, some graph paper pages (because who DOESN'T love to draw on graph paper?), and we stitched it all together using a VERY simple version of the Japanese stab-binding technique. This is a very detailed version of our binding.

Here are a few photos from the event: 

The 4th photo from the left I'm with my friend, the fabulous artist Lauren, who owns The Local Market in Auburn. LOVE her!

Another thing I've been working on is my garden... finally. I'm super excited about the things I've got growing this year. I planted 3 different types of tomatoes (1 large slicing tomato, one heirloom grape tomato, and one yellow cherry tomato - my FAVORITE), bush peas, vine peas, sweet potatoes, romaine (because why not - I MISS eating salad), mesclun, chives, basil, rosemary (my plant didn't fare too well over the winter), heirloom carrots, radishes, and spinach.  I don't have a HUGE garden, but I only planted small amounts of everything. My biggest issue with our garden is that we don't have FULL SUN ALL DAY. It's full sun for a few hours, then dappled sun the rest of the day. Surprisingly tomatoes and peas work pretty well back there - I'm just waiting to see about the other stuff... 

All-in-all, I'm keeping busy. Between drawing and the yard and the garden and cleaning house and working on a few new projects (more on that later) and end of school tests and recitals and stuff, I'm ready for summer.

Are you?

This is just a fun little spread I've been working on in my art journal...

This is just a fun little spread I've been working on in my art journal...

The business of design

So, this title is totally misleading. I'm no businesswoman. I didn't take any business classes in college. I failed (my only failing grade - but I STILL failed) economics (micro and macro... so maybe that's TWO failing grades - whatever) and only took enough math to suffice for my fine arts degree.

For 15+ years I worked in the corporate design world and my schedule was all laid out for me. Fast forward to the summer of 2016 - I decided to branch out on my own... become my own boss... be a business owner. And not just any business - I wanted to be a work-from-home artist! 

It's incredibly rewarding, but I had no idea how hard it would be to WORK at home.

At least if you go into a place of business, it's understood that you're there to work. When I go into my office at home, there are 50,000,000 (that's a lot of zeros... but totally accurate) distractions throughout the day. The dog needs to go out. The dryer just buzzed. Dinner needs making. The neighbor's dog got out of the backyard fence AGAIN and I've got to go take her home. Oh look - there's the mailman. Dad calls to chat. One of the kids wants a popsicle. I've gotta make lunch. Someone ran through the sprinkler (again) and I need to cover the wood floor in towels so they can change clothes. 

Needless to say, my productivity hasn't been quite what it should've been. 

2 years later - here we are. I'm now in a place where I understand where I'm going wrong and I'm taking baby-steps toward a more productive business model. I'm still no business-virtuoso, but I'm working on it... slowly but surely. One thing I did today was open up my first business checking account. YAY ME! Next, my plan is to get all my business expenses (capital, licenses, software, office supplies, etc.) captured into a financial program like quickbooks or something. I think I'm going to set aside some time this afternoon to research those (as well as the one that I can sign up for through my bank). Any suggestions would be helpful.

I've also been thinking a lot about how to increase productivity. Here are a few things I've written down in my bullet journal (sorry I can't remember where these came from, so I can't credit the OP): 

What other productivity tips-and-tricks do you have? Maybe MY #1 should be to schedule out my ideal day. That way I can account for design time, drawing time, business time (instead of putting THAT part off 'til I've got a mountain of stuff to sift through), and housework time.