On the second Sunday of every month, I guest-host a segment of Rebecca Parsons Blog-Talk Radio show, Artistically Speaking. Today, Rebecca has Cristin Frank–a DIY genius–on. Cristin runs a blog called Eve of Reduction, about reducing waste, clutter, and too much maintenance.
In today’s interview Cristin talked about various of her projects, as well as using social media, but the thing that caught my attention was her take on marketing yourself. Cristin suggested focusing on an image you want to create and doing only those projects and activities that support that. She also talked about using a logo and color to identify yourself and then stick to that image and color for all your marketing pieces. It made a lot of sense. (You can listen to Cristin here, use the iTunes directions below).
Cristin’s discussion on marketing made me think about how that idea could also easily be applied to our projects and studio supplies. It’s so easy to take a trip to an art store to pick up something and come home with $60 of materials and 10 ideas, many of which never get done.
Last week, I stopped at the grocery store on the way home from a training session. It was late, and I was really hungry. I over-spent because everything looked good and it was a long time since lunch. We do the same thing in art stores, especially if we go in without a list of supplies.
New supplies, new projects are sparks of light and warmth and we want to fan into a comforting fire, so we buy materials, figuring we’ll get those projects done. But we don’t. Sometimes the bags stay in the car because we are embarrassed to admit we purchased more supplies. Sometimes we convince ourselves we’ll need to do this new project.
Most often, we aren’t exactly clear what the project is. We have a vague idea of something interesting, and buy much more than we need. It’s like a sugar rush–we see the supplies, we have ideas, we feel creatively hungry, we buy the materials, and then we crash–we have so many projects in the works, we don’t have enough time, we don’t really know how to get this done, and the bags get stowed in the back of the closet.
When I went to the fabric store today to buy supplies for a project, I had a list. I also allowed myself one impulse purchase of no more than $5.00. It worked! Before I left home, I thought out the project, made a list of what I needed, bought only that, was charmed by a fabric printed with butterflies, and bought a sample for $2.50. (You can see one of the butterflies in the piece above). I made it back home under budget. And no extra projects that I’ll feel guilty about. Not a bad way to save money, save face, and save time.
This article was sponsored by my word of the year: Let go.
To listen to the show: go to iTunes, click on podcasts, then type “Artistically Speaking Rebecca Parsons” into the search box. You will see a list of two types of podscasts–FAMM and Artistically Speaking. Click on the first Artistically Speaking box in the list and all the recent podcasts will come up, by date. January 13, 2013 is today’s show. It’s free to listen to or download.
—Quinn McDonald is a writer and art journaler who is learning a lot about food, art supplies and impulse.