Friday, December 25, 2015

Jewel – Husky Digital Cutting File


A couple of years ago,  Ana asked to make a custom family Christmas card for her.  She’s one of the most vibrant ladies I’ve ever met.  She had a sweet husky named Jewel.

I generally prefer designing my own cutting files, however, she didn’t give me a lot of time to design her and her son. So I purchased some ready made files from SVG Cutting Files and made some adjustments to suit so they represented her family well.  This site is a great for any owner of a desktop digital cutter.    Their files fully editable so you can customize your creations. 

Jewel, however, I wanted to make my own cutting file as I couldn’t find cutting file that matched the SVG ones purchased.  I took heavy reference to a cute husky drawing done by a talented artist with the handle Gingalengendamterasu on Deviantart.  It was a frustrating but wonderful challenge to recreate the husky as a paper cut project.  The project ended up wonderfully.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Buying Handmade Cards – It’s Only Paper!

imageI’m writing my own take on what you are really paying for when buying handmade.  If you happen to follow my Instagram account, lately I’ve been posting handmade greeting cards.  Contrary to popular belief, I don’t sell handmade greeting cards.   I enjoy making them and pride goes into each one, but not to include in my Cindy Ho Designs product line.  I don’t enjoy making them for other people.  The time and the money spent on materials, I’d want a minimum of $10 to $15 for custom card work, which 80% of those who ask are caught off guard with sticker shock and try to negotiate! 

“It’s only paper!”

“I can buy that from Walmart for $3.00”

“I can make that myself!”

“What?  I should get a discount, I’m your friend!”

I’m the type of person who can stand firm and move on if the project doesn’t happen.  Offended, yes, but try not to show it.  For many sellers, these comments hits them in the heart like an insult and they can fester.  

“How could these people trivialize the heart and soul put into this piece of art?”  

These customers are not in your target market anyway.  I do admit when these people react in a way that my art has no value and calling it ugly that stings like someone throwing sand in my eyes.

Side note:  There’s many artists out there who make really nice handmade cards that are much nicer then mine.  Okay, on that note, I’m plugging  Lucky Charms Card Collection.  Her cards are nicer because that’s her passion.  Tell her ‘hi’ for me!

Back to the topic.  When buying handmade, take into consideration the quality of materials, expertise, time and love imagespent for the artisan to create an original and unique work of art.   For a one off custom design by me, it takes at least an hour, hence the $10 to $15 price tag.  That’s barely minimum wage.

If you wondering why I even take on cards orders at all?  Honestly, it’s good seed revenue for the shop and helps build up a indirect portfolio to showcase my style.   I also love the designing step, transferring it into a cutting or illustration design.    If I choose to take on a project that pays me way below living wage, it is to design for future products.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Busy is a Sickness by Scott Dannmiller

I recently read this article written by Scott Dannemiller about how being busy is a sickness and it really resonated with me.  I’ve fell in this trap myself a few times in my lifetime, but I know so many who insist of trying to cram in too much in a day that life just passes you by:

A really good read!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Random Thoughts on Social Media

Social media gives us the power to share parts of our lives out onto the Internet.  The good, the bad and the ugly.  For most out there, it’s in the range of the Good and the Bad.  I like that range, it shows the human.  However, I just got the taste of witnessing the Ugly.  I recently unfollowed someone I really liked on Twitter because of a juvenile twitter war between two estranged sisters.  What it comes down to they both think they are defending themselves because the other is wrong, but there’s a lot of curse words in it.   This got me thinking, what’s with people who decide to feud over their social media accounts. 

It will Hurt your Career or Prospective Jobs

Twitter is a public social media forum.  What you say is out there forever even if you delete your twitter account.  One of the first things some companies do is research their candidates to see if they are on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.   A couple of hires my company was considering lost their candidacy just because of what they posted on Instagram publically and it was a bad reflection of who they are.    I hear you, what you do in your off hours is your time.  I feel the same way.  However, it’s one thing to shot gun that beer while doing a handstand, it’s another bragging about it in photos for everyone to see.

No One Really Cares

When the feud is between regular individuals, no one really cares outside your circle of your actual friends and family.  On Facebook, I witnessed a niece doing the passive aggressive statements to one of my friends.   It got bad enough that I unfriended my actual friend until that period was over before re-friending him.  There was no chance, I was going to allow being sucked into that conversation.  (this was before I figured out how to mute).    I have my own personal issues to worry about.  Unless someone is going to confessing the intention to breaking a law, I do not care if both of you feel that she is more successful or better then the other.  If you start to stress out, you’re already too emotionally invested in the feud.

Tweets are Buried Anyways

Tweeting works.   When I was promoting my referral link when I purchased my Glowforge, I know many of the referrals was from posting on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter because I didn’t know any of the users personally.   When you tweet on something that doesn’t really add value, just like in a feud, no one outside your follower list reads them with the billions of tweets sent out the moment you send yours.