Biz Miss

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If You Know Your Work Sucks, You’re Halfway There March 6, 2010

Filed under: creativity,Success Stories — bizmiss @ 1:35 pm
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Or so I gleaned from this video with Ira Glass, in which he reinforces the old Thomas Edison idea that “Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration.”  Glass’s thesis is that if you know your field, and you have the eye to recognize that your work is not as good as it could be, then what is holding you back from greatness is not your lack of taste, it is lack of practice.  I personally find this notion very reassuring, because lack of practice is something you can easily remedy with something like a Thing-A-Day project.  Acquiring taste, on the other hand (as the judges on Project Runway will tell you) is much more elusive.

p.s. I am still making a thing-a-day, but I have had to revert back to my original rules.

via Craftzine

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Thing-A-Day 16: An Effing JOB February 4, 2010

Like many creative types these days, I’ve had to get a day job.  It’s not that I’m getting fewer projects, it’s just that fewer of them pay much, if anything.  When faced with the choice, I always go for the well-paying projects first, then fill my remaining time with the projects that pay in web traffic, nebulous future sales/commissions or “cred.”  Unfortunately that’s been most of them lately.  I’m pretty good about not taking on jobs that realistically won’t give me much of either.

My new job isn’t bad.  It’s mostly tech-y admin stuff and it changes on a regular basis so it’s not too boring.  I also really like everyone I work with and I can make ends meet by working only 25 hours a week.  Even though it doesn’t sound like much, 25 hours a week will basically eat up four full work days when you add in lunch and commute time, which doesn’t leave much time for creative projects.  It makes me kind of tired and stressed.  Prepare to see this blog get a little crankier.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re all: “this girl is going to completely reneg on her thing-a-day responsibility!”  I did consider it but no, I will continue to make a thing-a-day. BUT, I might not post it every day and the rules may relax closer to their original incarnation. On days like today when I don’t get home until 10:30, I will probably not make something AND photograph it AND post it AND tweet it.  Sorry, but I need to not make myself crazy.  I have enough doing that for me already.

Today I took photos of my yoka in various poses.  Then I accidentally dropped him and the very tips of two of his toenails broke off.  You can’t really tell but it’s enough to bother me so I made replacement toenails tonight.  That’s my thing.  Whatever.  I’m going to bed.

 

Thing-A-Day 13: Schnitzels January 30, 2010

Filed under: creativity,sketchbook — bizmiss @ 1:35 pm
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Ever since I was a wee bairn, I have loved making schnitzels.  No, not that kind of schnitzel (though you all know about my affinity for meat). I’m talking about teeny tiny paper and fabric bits.

For example, one of my favorite projects ever was this Paper-Aid recreation of Van Gogh’s “White Roses.”  I started it in college for an art class, but I didn’t finish it until more than two years later.  This image is pretty much actual size (the finished piece is 4″ x 6″).

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you may also remember the credit card wreath I created in which every leaf was made up of 7-9 individually cut, punched and wired pieces.  Yesterday I made a pile of little felt schnitzels with a hole punch and scissors.  I’d been gluing them steadily onto an ongoing project (of which I will post progress photos when I’m finished) when A. walked in and exclaimed, “My God!  You’re building a bird literally one feather at a time!”  Bliss.

Your instruction for today is: make some colorful schnitzels.  You don’t have to make them into anything, just create a lovely little pile and revel in it.

 

Thing-A-Day #12: Show Some Gratitude January 29, 2010

Finally managed to print those tanks cards today.  The print areas were so large that they turned out with a little bit of distress but I really like what it adds to the image.  It makes it look more military-industrial complex with a hint of hand-printed propaganda.  Sweet.  (**Update: They’re up in the shop now.)

Today’s instruction: make something that shows gratitude.

Your inspiration for today comes from Jeff Rudell’s ingenious client-getting nutshell book.  Enjoy and be thankful.

 

Thing-A-Day #11: Wire Armature January 28, 2010

Filed under: creativity — bizmiss @ 12:27 pm
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Today I made a pair of wings from wire.  They are not attractive on their own but will make a light and flexible base from which to hang some felt feathers.

Your instruction for today, therefore, is to create a form out of wire–either a finished piece or a structure on which to build something else.

Your inspiration for today comes from the book and web site Bent Objects by Terry Border.  One-liners to be sure, but fantastically adorable editorial stuff.

 

Thing-A-Day 10: Fixer-Upper January 27, 2010

Filed under: creativity — bizmiss @ 12:04 am
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Today was a long day.  I attempted to print those Tanks! cards tonight, but the screen burned badly because I apparently didn’t leave enough buffer room around the edge of the image.  The entire top row of tanks didn’t register at all and a couple of the ones on the sides got partially cut off.

While adjusting the image some more, I noticed that the spacing between tanks was off in some places, so I fixed those, too.  I also discovered that my inks print much darker on this new brown bag stock, so tomorrow I’ll pick up a lighter blue ink and re-copy the image.

In the end it was good that the screen was messed up, because it allowed me to fix a number of tiny things that will take these cards from being 99% awesome to 100% awesome.

In light of today’s experience, thing-a-day instruction #10 is: make one or two tiny changes to a good finished project that will make it a great finished project.

 

Thing-A-Day 9: Love Notes January 26, 2010

Filed under: creativity,sketchbook — bizmiss @ 12:46 am
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Today I printed 112 “I love you…even more than bacon” cards for Valentine’s Day.  I’ve made these before, but this time I decided to try them at a smaller size which required burning a whole new screen.  I also tried a new rougher, recycled brown bag paper.  I wish they were a bit sturdier, but I like the more “rustic” feel they have now.  After all, bacon ultimately comes from the farm, right?

I’ve finally managed to get the process down so that I can afford to wholesale these now, so I may approach some local vendors this week about consigning.  If you’d like one for yourself, they’re available in the Sweet Meats Etsy Shop.

Today’s instruction is: make a personal, handcrafted valentine for someone you love.

Your inspiration for today is this embroidered love note on looseleaf “paper.”  There are many examples of these on the web, but I like how this one also shows gratitude. By Flickr use kristenaderrick.