November 21, 2012

Brushing Up

I took some time off from all my holiday show production to do a little bit of sketching. I played around with a Pentel brush pen and tried to become more comfortable using it. I love that it's way more convenient than using a brush & ink and that the brush pen has a refillable cartridge. Here's are a few of my favorites from my sketchbook this week.

November 18, 2012

The Much-Needed Time Off

It's been almost two months since I left my day job and this is the best thing I've done for myself in a long time. I've mostly been spending my time focusing on my Etsy shop and also doing a lot of thinking about what I want to do as a career. I love everything about working for myself. I love the flexibility, the personal space, spending more time with Sebastian, and spending less money on gas. In this time, I've been able to rediscover the things that I love and the things I like doing. I'm drawing a lot more, being quirky & weird…overall, just being me. I realized that although I love graphic design and that's what my degree is in, I don't really want a graphic design job. I use graphic design complement the other things I do like illustration, handmade goods, running an online store…but I don't want to work in an in-house department or a large firm as a graphic designer.

The only thing left to be desired is: stability. I'm doing ok for now, but I know once the holiday season is over I'll have to get a job. I've been considering taking up a part-time job (that doesn't necessarily have to be in design) just so I have some sort of income since I'm planning on moving out early next year. I just want a job where the work stays at work and where I'm not going home angry & frustrated every day. I want to invest more time in growing my business and growing as an artist. I check job boards weekly and they just leave me feeling depressed because there's rarely any available jobs out there that sounds remotely interesting to me. Sometimes I think it's just difficult finding a job that's a good fit for my personality type.

And that's why I love working for myself. What I love most about running an online store (aside from being my own boss) is the happiness that my products bring to my customers. I love it when customers come back to me saying that they've received lots of compliments on the items I've made for them. Or simply that my products make them smile. I love when they comment on how "well-made" something is…Yeah, that was made with my own two hands! It's the most rewarding feeling in the world and I wouldn't give that up for anything.

November 17, 2012

M.I.A, but Hello Unique LA

So sorry I've been m.i.a. lately. Things have been super hectic around here and I've been finding it hard to find time to update the blogs. I've been getting tons of orders for the Real Jobs buttons ever since someone posted them on Tumblr. The post is somewhere around 12,000 notes now. I've also been working really hard getting ready for Renegade SF, but then on this last Monday I got a message from Sonja of Unique LA. We were placed on the waitlist after the end of the application period, but now we are officially in!

I'm really excited about this show because it's been two years since the last time I vended. We applied to last year's holiday show but didn't make the cut. It's going to be a very exhausting holiday show season for me, but it feels good to be back in the game.

So if you're in the area, stop by our booth! I don't know what our booth number is yet, but I'll be with Beverly Ealdama and Meu!

November 12, 2012

A Tiny Bit of Tumblr Fame

Never in my life did I think the best-selling item I've ever made would be an 1 inch button. Since adding them to the shop two weeks ago, they've been selling like hot cakes. I was extremely overwhelmed by how popular "Pillow Fort Architect" became and it is currently the top seller. 

Yesterday, I got two orders — each ordering multiple quantities of just "Pillow Fort Architect" — and I thought "What is going on?!" I looked at my shop stats and it showed Tumblr as one of the top sources but I didn't know exactly from where. Hours later one of my school friends posts a screenshot on my Facebook wall telling me that my stuff was blowing up on her Tumblr feed. I went to investigate and found that the post with my pins has gotten over 7,000 notes (that's reblogs & likes combined). Nothing I have ever posted has EVER gotten anywhere close to that number!

I'm super grateful that people are loving these pins. They've become so popular that I currently have tote bag versions in the works. You can get the pins here.

November 11, 2012

What Now?

It's been a little over a month since I left my day job and I've been spending most of my time building Quiet Tiger. I've been making pretty steady sales on Etsy which I'm very happy about. But now that I've gotten that ball rolling, I'm starting to concentrate on becausemaybe again. I think the division between Quiet Tiger and becausemaybe are starting to become clear again. And the general direction of my career is starting to become clear also. I've been drawing a lot more and have considered pursuing a career as more of a freelance illustrator than graphic designer. Or at least that's the plan for now. I'm burnt out on the idea of being a designer. I just want to have fun and tell stories. I currently have a few zines in the works, but until then I'm leaving you with this. Feel free to download this and use it as your phone wallpaper.

November 1, 2012

Weekly Want: Capella Bracelet in Grey

I've been a fan of Son of a Sailor's jewelry for quite some time. For Fall, they released their Polaris collection named after navigational stars. The collection consists of beautiful Czech glass beads, bright colors, and sleek nylon cords. I love how colorful yet simple the pieces are. All the necklaces and bracelets are slender and petite, but don't feel delicate at all. My particular favorite is the Capella bracelet in grey. I love the bright red and turquoise together with the accents of gold.

Available from Son of a Sailor for $22