Thursday, 27 December 2012

Dedication Post

I don't usually do this but today's post is dedicated to my muse.

For being my biggest fan, for laughing at my jokes even though you've heard them for the 123812987th time (and still don't think it's funny) and for pushing and inspiring me to pick up drawing again or the etsy store or this blog for that matter would never have existed.

Thank you.
Bad news is I'll probably fart more in old age than I do now :D

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Need better timing

If you are like me and get random ideas just before you are about to fall asleep, it's very annoying because you are so comfortable and sleepy that you are too lazy to get out of bed to scribble it down. I thought I was smart by putting a small pad and pen on my bedside table so I could easily reach out to write down ideas quickly when they struck me but I forgot that 1. I would be looking for the pen and pad in the dark, it's never as easy as you think 2. I'd be writing in the dark.

Last night a good idea for a card struck me just as I about to fall asleep so I felt around for the pen and pad, dropped the pen while doing so, finally found it and then scribbled it down in the dark. This morning I woke up and realized I ended up writing on parts of my bed sheet and I have no idea what I was trying to even write down last night.

So much for trying to save good ideas.

On a different note, Merry Christmas to all who celebrate!

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Par Avion

I forgot the fun of posting mail until I started the Etsy store. I sent a Christmas card out to a friend the other day and realized what a long time it's been since I mailed something to family or friends. With the convenience of smartphones, I can just draw something and send it to them without leaving the comfort of my bed/seat/home/insert-comfy-location.

When I was younger, I used to think there was a very squirrel-y little man who was stationed inside the box. Every time a letter would drop in, with very quick and efficient movements, he'd  sort out the mail and then throw them down a chute that would suck them to some central post office somewhere. When I found out that a mail man actually comes around at a fixed time everyday to pick up the mail and dump it off at the central post office, suddenly postboxes weren't so cool. But I also  always found it a little creepy, like what if there was someone in there, waiting to grab your hand and pull you in. I do realize I won't be able to fit and if anything, I'd probably be able to pull his hand out instead of getting pulled in. This reminds me of the toilet bowl monster I was terrified of when I was younger but that's another story.

The post office runs a special Christmas promotion (which I only found out about this year since I haven't been to the post office in ages) for a period in December, they make the postage for cards a lot cheaper than usual. I suppose it's for them to drum up some business and hopefully encourage more people to send cards.

Starting the Etsy store has gotten me back into the post office more frequently than I ever have in the past 5 years combined. It's also reminded me of how much I used to and still enjoy posting stuff out to people. Especially more so now that I'm sending packages to people from places I'm not familiar with.

It still never fails to amaze me how much the web has made it so easy to connect with others. When you email someone, you know that person is in a different country but other than knowing that fact, there is no indication of it otherwise. You are staring at the same composition page as you always have, typing an email on a blank template that is nothing new to you. But when you receive a package, then the fact that it's from a different country is visually obvious. Their stamps are different, the hand-writing might be different, the type of envelope they use might be new to you, it might smell different, etc.

Technology has really made our lives easier but it's also made me appreciate things like receiving and sending cards/letters more. I don't think there is anything quite like receiving something that is handwritten.



Monday, 10 December 2012

Ctrl + S

Note to self: Practise the good habit of saving your work every 5-10 minutes or so, otherwise, face consequences of losing work and cussing out in every language conceivable.

That is all. My head shall proceed to slam into the desk now.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

i(Phone)nspiration

When I was asked to design an iphone 5 cover, I initially thought 'crap, what the hell am I going to put on there'. Then when inspiration struck, it became very enjoyable, as are all things when you know exactly what you want to draw.

Since Apple made the iphone 5 longer, I figured I had to work with a design that led the eye upwards. What hit me next was that a pyramid/triangle type layout should work well, and then my imagination just took over.

It's composed of many cats and a hedgehog. I quite like how it turned out. I'm just done with the outline, going to tweak some of the cats a little more and then start colouring it in with GIMP. I might try with markers first to see what it turns out to be like but I think I want to bypass the hassle of not knowing whether the marker colours will translate to look the same on screen after scanning it in.

Can't wait to see what it looks like on the actual iphone cover, this will be another first for me.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

That would be the job of my 1283719273th clone, ask him

I guess with anything, what we see is never the full picture and things always look easier than they are. I don't know how Etsy sellers who are religious about updating their fb, blog, twitter and being active on the team boards etc. do it. I always wished there were 30 hours in the day but I was told be careful what I wished for. Instead of having more time to sleep, we'd probably all end up working longer hours.

I initially didn't want to open up an fb account because I figured I barely had a following at all that it would be quite pointless. My friends, who are all with the times, persuaded me otherwise. I opened it and well, I quite frankly don't know what to do with it. Posting every time I list a new item makes it feel like such a 'retail' oriented space but neither do I want to share my daily mundane stuff that's not really art-related though I know it's not just limited to that.

Feels like having a blog was the best medium for me since I didn't need to feel this need to update it daily and it felt less like I needed to get more likes and if the 'activity feed' stagnated, it wouldn't make me uncomfortable and want to do something about the likes still being in the single digits.

On the art making front, I am trying to continue with my 'Favorite Animals' series and came up with some new designs. I have one that I really like but am trying to figure out the composition for it. I would be pretty bummed out if I felt I had a good concept but lacked the skills to execute it.

Christmas is just around the corner, December is really flying by. A friend asked me for my wishlist and then I realized I didn't really have much of one since I pretty much bought whatever I already wanted. Oops. I guess art supplies are always a great gift. So are t-shirts and socks. My friends never take me seriously but I mean it when I say I'll be happy with t-shirts and/or socks. It's practical, I'll wear it to death and if I don't wear it now, I'll eventually need to wear it anyway.

Actually beef jerky would make me just as happy too. Jack Link's sweet and hot beef jerky is the bomb. I have not yet tasted any other brand that comes close to how great their jerky tastes.

I've digressed. Point of post is: Take hat off to dedicated Etsy sellers who update all their social media regularly. They meant it when they said you need to treat running an Etsy store like an actual business if you want to see the moolah come in.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

But I wouldn't buy it

Something hit me today as I was checking through shop stats on Etsy and trying to figure out how to convert views/favorites into sales. So while I was trying to customer profile (in the most raw, simplistic sense of the word, read: clicking through people who favourited my items and trying to find some pattern of commonality), I realized that it's harder than I thought it would be. Let me preface this by saying that I know that customer profiling requires more than just my trawling through profiles but hear me out.

The funny thing is, while I like drawing/illustrating cute stuff, I wouldn't buy my own stuff. I probably did a seller faux pas and maybe shot myself in the foot but it's the truth, I wouldn't. I mean, I appreciate and look at other cute illustrations but the stuff I would end up buying is quite different from stuff that I would create. I don't know if it's just me but I also like a diversity of things with a tendency to go from one extreme to another. If most customers on Etsy are like me then I might as well start targetting the most unlikely customers in hopes they will like and eventually buy my stuff.

I think my taste for liking many different styles is beginning to show the more I upload my stuff onto Etsy. I keep reading about giving your shop a unified theme, so people know to look for you when they think of a certain style but what do people who like a variety of different styles do. I know a unified theme is good because when I think I want to learn how to draw in a certain style, I already have some artists in mind and I'll go look for them. I wonder how my variation in style will bode for my store.

The novelty of getting more views and favourites hasn't waned off yet so for now, my inner shopkeeper manager beast will be kept at bay. I wonder if the novelty will ever wear off, I hope not because I look forward to checking my shop stats.

Wish it snowed in Singapore, the only time I feel like it's nearing Christmas is when I'm near or see a Christmas tree which is either in someone's house or the malls. Rain doesn't even come close to the awesomeness of snow. Which, ironically or not so ironically, we will get tons of at the end of the year.