Information Station

Every business or organization needs

  • forms
  • templates
  • job descriptions
  • contracts
  • booklets

You get the idea.

The bonus for me? I get to learn about an incredible variety of information! Tonite it’s for a Quantum Magnetic Resonance practitioner, and the form is a listing of vitamins and minerals, their associated properties and the corresponding recommended foods. This is information that will benefit myself and my family.

Lucky me 😉

Focus on the Joy

What a great few months I have had! I’ve gotten into a good rhythm with two soon-to-be-authors whose self publishing I am assisting.

The creative process… It’s wild and wonderful, isn’t it?! A great article http://www.productiveflourishing.com/demystifying-the-creative-process/ describes the four steps included:

  1. Preparation
  2. Incubation
  3. Illumination
  4. Implementation

One STBA began at the Implementation stage, already having a library of writings in her arsenal. The second STBA has been in the Incubation stage for a number of years, is gathering together the puzzle pieces, and is on the cusp of Illumination.

I understand busy weeks, and schedules that can get dominated by children’s priorities. Getting into the flow of the creation can absolutely be the hardest part of the whole process – the Zone we all long for.

I made a point not to put a timeline on these projects when they began, BUT I insisted that we make weekly contact to ensure the projects are moving forward. Sometimes, even a chit chat during a hectic week can provide the necessary forward motion or lightbulb to keep a flow going. I wish to honor each of my client’s individual creative processes, and know that the best work comes in its own time.

‘Focus on the joy’ floated through my head this month, as a light to lift a friend through the pressure she’s feeling before her first art show. I believe such thinking can truly help us see above what feels heavy at the moment, and can be a catalyst to get us into the Zone – the light at the end of the tunnel is joy.

May your creative pursuits end in joy, my friends. Even with the works that are seen by no one but ourselves, there is expression there; a communication that has a need to surface, if perhaps only for our own personal growth.

 

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Assisted Self Publishing

Today I’m reading The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell. I enjoy his writing. I feel like I fit his description of a Connector, “But in the case of Connectors, their ability to span many different worlds is a function of something intrinsic to their personality, some combination of curiosity, self confidence, sociability and energy.” Such descriptors help me relate to a great variety of people. My curiosity leads me to want to know about their stories.

In the moments of working through publishing projects, I lose all sense of time and space. Such it is for all artists with their chosen crafts; this is mine – desktop publishing. It is how I know this is the path to follow, my flow.

The $5000 Publishing Sponsorship came to fruition with the help of Melinda Edwards, mentor-extraordinaire, over the summer of 2016. By the beginning of October, not one, two recipients’ submissions struck me as having a flow to follow.

Rhonda Frizzell is a lifetime writer. Her words magnetized me upon reading them.

Tim Conrad is a public relations and communications specialist. I want to know what his expertise has to tell.

As the publisher, I am responsible for:

• project progress and time management

• editing for grammar and style

• layout of book pages and style

• graphic design for cover artwork

• marketing templates and guidelines

• delivery of final computer files for print book and ebook formats

The owner reserves their rights, and assumes all responsibility, to self publish and control their written work.

This is the new hybrid in the publishing industry, “an emerging area that occupies the middle ground between traditional and self publishing and therefore includes many different publishing models – basically anything that is not self publishing or traditional publishing.” – http://www.writersdigest.com

I love to create books. I love entrepreneurship, empowering individuals and learning from others. This career, and this opportunity, allows me to help spread their messages, create income-generating sources for the individuals, and keep creating work I find energizing and fulfilling.

I’m ever grateful to have developed this career flow, where both my strategic, conforming, perfectionist tendencies as well as my creative, non-conforming, freestyle mentality are celebrated and developed strengths.

Discover the potential.

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Style Eye

In my round-about way of doing things, it pleases me to see how the variety of skills I’ve accumulated over the years, compliment each other.

A current project for a catalogue design will include location scouting, styling of hair and makeup for three models, graphic design of layouts and the photo shoot for a 12-16 page catalogue. With my workflow, there’s open communication and collaboration between team members, temporary layouts to approve, and photos are entered into the layouts during the shoot. The vision is solid and consistent throughout the whole process.

Stay tuned for behind the scenes images coming soon!

Of course, you’re going to stumble

The-Creative-Process

Writing a book is no easy feat. Writing is no easy feat. I had to go anonymous before I found my voice.

Twitter, that is where I found my voice. Micro writing. I didn’t follow any local people for a long time. When I started up I had no idea what I would write about. NO IDEA. Being someone who has very random thoughts at very random times of day, I didn’t always have people to share conversations with. I was in my time of raising young children, so I started writing. These quick thoughts that expressed my joys, my inspiration, what made me laugh, what caught my eye, what had cool style, ooh! that’s innovative – *share*, all started to help me express myself. I was unsure I had ever expressed myself before.

Yes, I took photos. For many people, it is a form of expression. I don’t believe I used it that way though. I took my photography course so I could do it as a career. Obtaining the professional knowledge of the trade followed by moving across the country, without my tribe, left me feeling lost and lacking confidence. Not using the medium for expression meant that it was an object of obligation, something I kept forcing – I was supposed to make money off it. That’s not joy. What did bring about expression through photos for me was Instagram, of all things! I was back to capturing people I knew and pleasing scenes that caught my eye in the moment. Of all the money I invested in equipment, a portable studio, computers.. my iPhone became my most expressive creative tool.

Through the combination of Twitter and Instagram, my worlds merged. The words ‘kitchen culture’ kept flowing through my mind. I was making my own baby foods at the time, using fresh produce from my garden. The colors were mesmerizing and I wished to capture them. My Twitter friend Redawna was a food blogger. I occurred to me I wished to create a cookbook with her. Creating the layouts, and then instantly placing the photos in, during the shoot, caused a flashback of sorts. This type of work is where my expression began at age 16 – creating layouts and taking accompanying photos for books. Sharing information. The high school yearbook was where desktop publishing and photography were born into my reality.

So you see, my stumble has lasted for years. Well over 15 years. I don’t know why I chose this, I guess it’s true that some things choose you. What chose me was a life of creative expression, and it has presented itself with many blocks for me to work through and learn through. Because I am aware of the length of time some projects can take to come to fruition, I know not to pressure things; to force it, the creative process. People express themselves when they are ready and the best things happen in their own time.

Writing, and the creative process, are the ultimate journey of self discovery. Expect to go through an array of emotions – excitement, elation, doubt, fear, expectation, exhaustion, reasoning, guilt, acceptance, surprise, gratitude, pride. Start with baby steps – micro writing, journaling, keep a notebook handy for ideas or blurbs that come to mind. Heck, voice record yourself, your thoughts. Then move up to larger goals once your confidence and ability to express grow. Write in a safe space, where you feel at ease, it will allow entry into the zone, welcoming the muse.

Write daily. Write daily. Write daily.

Mentorship is moulding

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For five years, EXPOSURE photo design publishing (pdp) has been a solo journey. I initiate many of the projects that come to fruition. As much as I believe in advertising, I have only put my first dollars into a paid campaign recently. I make decisions based on intuition, internet research, college business course material, and great advice I have sought from trusted colleagues.

First, I set up a meeting over coffee with Bill Given, in 2006. He was the only creative entrepreneur I knew of at that time. I shared my intentions of owning a photography and graphic design business and asked if he had any advice for me. Bill is a leader, then owner of Greater Than Graphic & Web and City Counselor, and now Mayor of Grande Prairie. Next, I sought out a chat with Doug Hare, Associate Publisher of the Daily Herald Tribune, in 2008. I wanted to know what skills I needed to acquire to become a publisher. In 2009 I spoke with, recently deceased and greatly missed, Editor-in-Chief, Fred Rinne, of the DHT newspaper. Again I was looking to focus my efforts. Fred suggested I look into page building. I loved his advice and love layout design. I never would have developed the idea that I could create books without Fred’s advice. Lastly, I took a chance by emailing Margot Austin in 2012, a Twitter connection and then Senior Design Editor of House & Home magazine. I was planning the PEI food book and knew she would have marvelous advice on a few different aspects of the build.

Fast forward to this spring. I had an amazing experience listening to a webinar, hosted by Melinda Edwards, of http://www.melindaedwards.co . Hers was an ad on Facebook that I signed up for. She spoke of entrepreneurship, self confidence, psychological dynamics, resiliency, being down with the odds against you and still finding your way to success. To say I felt aligned was an understatement. Something about Melinda made me want to reach out and thank her. There have been a few times in my life when I’ve felt truly compelled to do something, and writing to her was one of those times.  I felt I would greatly benefit from learning from this lady. She straight-talks, she curses, this girl keeps it real! I sent my appreciation for sharing her story, what she said really resonated with me, and that I wished to keep her course in mind for the future.  Talk about surprised when I heard back from her. I felt touched that she felt touched by my words. But not only that, she wished to work with me.

Over five sessions, Melinda has Skyped with me for an hour at a time. After each session, she has assigned me three action steps to perform over the following week. They’ve been perfect for me! The actions never feel overwhelming or daunting, so I never put them off. I was excited to do each one because I recognized their relevancy and knew how they would bridge to my goals; these were steps that made so much sense, but I never would have thought of doing, myself.

Care to know what some of her action steps were? Connect with me to start the conversation. Better yet, connect with Melinda and seek her out for your own mentoring – http://www.melindaedwards.co (site in progress) and sign up for her newsletter.

Entrepreneurs all have goals and dreams and know how to do their jobs, but can sometimes lack the support and guidance provided by having a team. Always know that you can ask for help.