Transparency is bloggers gold. At least that’s how I see it. Let’s face it, if you are more afraid to let the competition peak in your playbook than you are of some public accountability, then you’re not likely going to go far with this blogging thing. That’s why I’ve decided to expose my back-side and be accountable to myself and to you as I embark on re-launching this blog.
I’ll be full on sharing what’s working and what’s not working as 2018 progresses.
I started the prep in mid March, dusted off the digital display of the front page and blog pages, re-visited social media (twitter, IG and Pinterest) to assess which one would be my initial focus.
I decided for IG and have shared some of the details along the way inside the Market A Creative group (more on this group later).
Meanwhile my SEO continues to be the strongest pull towards my blog and I’m keenly looking forward to Pinterest launch in the summer. Why? Because colleagues in the creative realm are getting off-the-hook record results from their Pinterest efforts. The only reason I’m not going with Pinterest out the gate is that I need time to get all previous posts pin-ready. Rest assured, going forward, each blog post will come ready to go, though.
All things going well, on May 1st I start my content plan and May 15th I re-launch the blog.
As you can see, journals are going to be a strong emphasis – and this is why I’m creating my own hybrid bullet/journal (there are no bullets in my journal, lol) for keeping it all together.
It will give me visuals, my OWN visuals to use in my blogging, social media shares etc.
And I’ve specifically designed it to suit my exact needs throughout the year.
I’m a mom of six kids, I’m a co-ordinator of one of the fastest growing refugee integration projects in Germany and international speaker. I say that to emphasise how PLANNING and ACCOUNTABILITY are really big for me.
And yes, I’ll be “reporting” back to my blog monthly throughout the next 12 months because this is where I will document my successes, defeats and lessons learned.
All so that I can come out with a stronger brand in the end.
I am a firm believer in tracking and knowing what benefits are coming from all my effort. Numbers allow me to measure speed, results, return on invested time and money. They also allow me to adjust, learn strengths to exploit and struggles to either avoid or find solid support to improve.
I’ve decided, as a visually-laden producer and creative business owner, to create my own business journal which leans on bullet journal principles. Only the booklet I am using doesn’t have bullets 😉 .
You’ll notice the trackers, which are key measurement factors – true. But the momentum I can visualise as I colour in the elements will inspire and motivate me to push forward. It’s a powerful image that gives testimony to my steadfast dedication to growing inkovator.
I desire and will work to meeting this goal: $2000/month with the blog minimum by year’s end.
I’ll reach that through royalties, affiliate and my own product sales (from the website).
Each month I focus on THREE big goals. Each of those three big goals will be broken down into A, B, and C activities designed to push me toward reaching those three goals (so nine activities in total). I give myself an incentive monthly if I reach those goals. And I assess the effectiveness of my choice of activity to REACH those goals at the end of the month (not just getting the prize, but also the insights to improve upon in the next month).
That’s about it in a nutshell.
What you don’t see is my weekly and daily break-down sheets.
Those will take the monthly and yearly goals and break them down into weekly and daily tasks.
So: to have royalties to the tune of $500/month coming in, I need books on the market.
I’ve set myself the goal to get 250 more books out by Dec 31st.
Broken down to monthly that’s almost 32 books a month. And that’s just more than one book on the market a day.
But having published books is only half the battle.
You have to market them somehow.
So I’ll have daily social media and or blog tasks to push out to the target audience.
As you hyperventilate, I’ve got systems which keep me on track.
The Market a Creative Business Journal is a system.
All in all, on TOP OF ALL I DO on any given day as a mom to 6, heavily involved refugee integration program co-ordinator and international speaker, I will spend up to 2 hours 5 days a week on building my site and assets so that I can reach the $2000/month income level by Dec 31, 2018.
The systems help.
And the journal will help me keep my focus on task.
I hope you might be inspired by one or more aspects of this plan to push your own creative business forward with purpose and intent.
It’s the culmination of the daily small, yet continuous effort that will have us all looking back after a year and saying: DANG, look at that!
Because it’s a creative business and I like things pretty 🙂
How can you measure success if you don’t know your numbers? This is my visual tracker to show to myself that my effort is paying off in equity. Ultimately I will see results on my bank statement, yet at the same time, clues are dropped by how the market reacts to the message I send.
I focus on THREE big goals each month. Each is broken down in three big tasks or priorities per goal, making my monthly focus NINE things. I make those things measurable and tangible action items to push through no matter what. These take priority over everything else in my business for the month.
My monthly goals serve ONE purpose: To get me closer to my year end goals. The whole journal is set up to push activity to reach these targets. Monthly, weekly and even daily spreads all point to growing specific areas of my business.
Here‘s my May schedule filled in.
For the month I set three top activities which are designed to push me fastest to my year end goal.
YEAR END GOALS: $2000/month income on autopilot, 10K IG fans, 5 K Pinterest fans and 5 K FB fanpage fans. And 250 new books published.
Month one: 32 books, IG efforts emphasis, pillar posts, lead magnets and guest posts.
From here I break my big three up into weekly tasks and then daily tasks to reach it all.
Once month is done, I rate myself. That’s the review part.
Imp is for implementation – did I do the thing?
Res is for the results – did I do it well, did it arrive well?
10 is full points, 1 is lousy.
If I get 126 or more?
I get the prize (still must decide what that will be).
Then make a resume of the results:. What worked? What needs improvement?
This analysis flows over to the next month.
Then consider joining our small insider circle where we share in greater detail what’s working and what we’re testing in our marketing.
Great news for colorers and I’m gonna share it all!
While combing the internet for the latest and greatest adult coloring news for you, I came across some fantastic give-aways and contests.
I found 3 before I realized I should be collecting these because I know you love fun and games and a chance to win is cool, eh?
But in case I miss something, leave a comment so I can add, ok?
So here is the unsorted list.
Some are open until the end of the month, but some run out quicker, so go through them and have a look-see. Wishing you the best!
Crayola/DealsAmongUs is giving 1 person an trio of coloring must haves!
(1) lucky winner will be selected at random to win (1) Crayola Classic Color Pack of 96 Crayons and (1) 50ct Washable Super Tips Set and (1) Crayola 50ct Long Colored Pencils.
This is a $25.00 value!! DealsAmongUs will be randomly choosing 1 person on October 14th (10/14/2016) to receive this must have trio pack!
Open to residents in the US and Canada.
To enter click here!
Winner’s will be notified by DealsAmongUs by email and prize will be fulfilled by Crayola/DealsAmongUs.
Holy smokes! Daily a new winner – how awesome is this? I LOVE gel pens!
ColorIt is adding gel pens to their product line! To celebrate they are giving away one set of 48 gel pens that comes with a case and ink refills each day in September.
They are also running a special to purchase the ColorIt Animal Variety Pack for $34.99 — that’s $9 off of the normal price of $43.97! Don’t forget, by placing an order on ColorIt.com you earn an additional 75 entries. For alternate ways to earn entries and the entry page, go here.
Would you like the chance to win a copy of the Garden Of Eden? Create With Joy is excited to offer one of our US readers a chance to win this wonderful coloring book!
To enter this giveaway, please follow Create With Joy, leave a comment on this post, and submit your entries through the Rafflecopter form. This giveaway is open to Create With Joy readers, 18 years and older, who reside in the United States, and is open now through Friday, September 30, 2016 at 11:59 PM PST.
Coloring Queen has done it again – a fantastic review as well as a give-away.
She has one copy of this book to giveaway. All you need to do to enter is:
There is one entry per person. The giveaway is open to all worldwide. The giveaway will end at 5.00 pm 4 October 2016 (Sydney, Australia timezone) and a random winner will be selected.
For more details, click here.
Who wouldn’t want to win this?
Super easy to sign up and four chances to improve your fortune!
Entry details can be found here.
12 year old wunderkind and America’s Got Talent Season 11 winner, Grace VanderWaal rose to the top to inspire many to have hope: #miraclescanhappen – and they did.
Inspired by her genuine talent, good humor and heart-warming humility, Inkovator dedicated their next publishing project to the #everyoneneedsgrace coloring book.
And now each month they give-away 5 copies to random winners.
Terms and Conditions will apply to all give-aways and each vendor is responsible for their activities.
Here’s a cool pasttime catching the hearts of 8 year olds and 80 year olds. Zentangle drawings. I have to admit, it’s drawn me in, too. It’s meditation with a pencil and any scrap of paper will do (although I’m taken with the beer coaster ideas, but more on that later).
Search on Google using terms like ‘Zentangle patterns’, ‘official Zentangle designs’, ‘how to Zentangle’ and ‘coloring Zentangle’ and you’ll know what I mean. There are so many blogs, blog posts, articles and video tutorials on how to Zentangle and how to take your skill to the next level. There are several beautiful books on Zentangle as well.
While drawing Zentangle is so much fun itself, adding color to these patterns is a lot more fun. There are plenty of techniques that you can use to incorporate colors and turn your Zentangle into beautiful work of art.
Do you know how to draw a Zentangle pattern? It’s easier than you can imagine. With some basic understanding and practice, you can get started with your pleasurable journey of Zentangling. And once you start, you’ll have so much fun and relaxation that you may never want to quit.
Follow these steps to create a Zentangle –
> Outline the shape (square, rectangle, circle etc)
> Divide it into multiple smaller sections
> Use a black pen or pencil to draw strings, one section after another
> Fill each section with repetitive patterns
> Add color or shade areas as you want
Drawing Zentangle is as simple as that. One thing that you would love is that there are no mistakes with this art form. You don’t need to plan in advance because there is no right and wrong with Zentangle. Once you become familiar with the basic concept of Zentangle, you can improve your skill with more practice and experimentation as most people do out there.
The next step is to learn how to be more intricate and detailed in your drawings. You’ll love playing with shading styles and color combinations and using a variety of coloring techniques.
By adding watercolor, you can enhance the graphic quality of your Zentangle within minutes. In fact, watercolor and Zentangle go together so fantastically. If you haven’t experimented with watercolor till now, you will truly find this coloring technique worth learning and applying to your Zentangle.
Suzanne McNeill, a famous craft artist, has mastered the art of adding watercolor to Zentangle designs.
Here’s a video tutorial in which Suzanne demonstrates how to incorporate watercolor with Zentangle drawings, step by step. The tutorial is simply packed with tips for anyone who is interested in learning something new.
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That way you can start watercoloring your zentangles as fast as prime can ship :).
I’ve published many posts on the blog about what the art of Zentangle is and how to do it – at least the basics. And I’m sure you have read at least a couple of them, if not all of them. So, I can easily assume that many of you might already be drawing Zentangle and improving your skills as well.
You may have read my posts on official Zentangle patterns, how to draw a Christmas tree the Zentangle style, creating water color backgrounds for your Zentangle, speed-doodling, coloring Zentangle etc.
Today, I want to talk about yet another coloring technique – Using markers and a blending pen to add color to your Zentangle.
Usually, a Zentangle pattern is drawn with a black pen on a white sheet of paper. But you can always create colorful patterns. There are multiple ways of adding colors to your Zentangle. Different artists use different tools and techniques to turn a plain Zentangle pattern into an incredibly colorful work of art.
Suzanne McNeill, of Design Originals, is a well-known Zentangle expert. She has a strong passion for working with her hands, and she wants to continue with this passion of hers for the rest of her life.
She likes to experiment a lot as well.
Suzanne uses markers and a blending pen to add colors to Zentangles, among other coloring techniques that she has come up with.
The way she uses markers and a blending pen to color Zentangle is truly something to learn. Her special technique of coloring in unique ways has gained her popularity from all over the world. She organizes regular workshops in different locations to help others learn the beautiful art of Zentangle and how to color. She knows how to create wonderful looks with markers by using a blending pen.
If you are already drawing Zentangle, this special coloring technique will definitely take your creative spirit to the next level. First, you have to use markers to put the color on any kind of transparent plastic surface. Then, you should use the blending pen, which has no color in it, to pick the colors from the surface and start applying them to your Zentangle patterns or designs that you copy from a Zentangle book (don’t forget to get the book shown in video below, it’s a good one).
In the video tutorial given below, Suzanne shares her unique technique of adding color to Zentangle. Follow her as she colors the rays of a cartoon sun and completes the sun face with attractive highlighting.
You’ll love watching the video – for sure.
This colorless blender works great on many mediums. The dual tips make it really fun and easy to use on larger areas as well as smaller areas. Great blender, great product.
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Anybody who has been to school knows what doodling is all about. Do you remember drawing doodles when you lost interest during class as a student? Dude, I remember doing this and passing notes. And lying under the desk in tears. Wonder if kids still do this today…
Though doodles are made up of abstract lines, they are an excellent way to pass time when your attention is otherwise occupied. I actually learned this the first time I went to Germany – the kids in school were actually knitting while the teacher was teaching them.
That got me curious, so I gathered up some info which has helped me help my kids. They’re pretty smart, ya know?
There are several studies that show doodling as a memory booster. According to a popular study published in Applied Cognitive Psychology, doodling can save one’s energy and brain processing power by keeping one from daydreaming. It’s an activity which helps a person focus on the current situation.
It’s been noted that doodlers are better at recalling information than those who don’t doodle. Famous poets like John Keats and Rabindranath Tagore are also known to doodle in their manuscripts and notes.
So, you shouldn’t look at doodling only as a pastime. Regular doodling can help you discover your passion and take your artistic skills to the next level.
The best thing about doodling is that you can do it anywhere. All you need to do is carry a notebook and a pencil or ink pen with you. You never know when boredom can strike or when you get inspired by something.
Doodling is also interesting in the sense that you don’t necessarily need to get inspired to start doing it. Sometimes, you are inspired after you have doodled for a few minutes. So, there isn’t a right time to create doodles. Just think of any shape or stuff and begin to doodle around it. You should actually let yourself completely free – no one will check it for quality – and draw anything you want.
Flowers are a good start. There are so many different types of flowers that you’ll love doodling flowers. You can draw a vase and then start filling it out with a wide variety of flowers. Or, you can draw an entire garden of flowers.
While you can doodle anything you see or can think of, you will get better at doodling with more and more practice. Many artists are so adept in doodling that they can doodle really fast – without stopping for a minute.
Speed-doodling allows you to fill an entire page quickly. With a couple of tips and instructions, you can not just become a good doodler but also master speed doodling which is truly a lot of fun and a great skill. After you have learnt how to draw with speed, you can create beautiful motifs and use those designs to decorate an array of stuff at your own home or your friend’s. On the web, you’ll find a lot of tips and guidelines on how to doodle or draw or paint with speed. There are video tutorials that you can watch to learn different types of doodling.
Given below is a short video tutorial in which Sophia shows you how to speed-doodle or draw with speed.
The number of Zentangle fans all across the world is increasing in multiples by the day. Are you a fan of Zentangling as well? If you are not, it’s most probably because you are still unfamiliar with the beautiful concept of this unique art form. Zentangles or Zendoodles are design patterns that are attractive to look at, relaxing to draw and a lot of fun playing with.
In fact, the Zentangle-inspired art is benefiting so many people in so many ways that you will hear interesting stories about it.
One story goes like this:
“I draw Zentangle for a number of reasons. First of all, it’s plenty of fun. Second, it relaxes my mind. But what I must tell you is that my high blood pressure has gone down since I started creating Zentangles. Even during stressful times, I find my blood pressure well under control.” – Sandy Murray, Texas.
There are many more stories like this. Maybe, your own story is about to begin soon too. It’s just when you get started with Zentangle.
Zentangle is an art form which doesn’t require you to buy expensive materials, unlike most other forms of art. You can start to create Zentangles or tangles using a black pen and a piece of white paper. Sometimes, you may need to use a pencil for shading and drawing outlines.
Once you get familiar with the fundamental concept of Zentangle, you can start to experiment more and more. You can then start to add colors to your tangles to make them look even more beautiful.
You really can’t imagine where Zentangle can take you. The art form is so much fun and relaxing that it can soon become an addiction.
There are many ways in which you can color tangles. Adding color to Zentangle is something you’ll immediately fall in love with.
You can color and spruce up tangle patterns with:
> Pens and pencils
> Water colors
> Metallic colors
> Sparkly inks
If you want to get started with the fun of coloring, you should first create some Zentangles or Zendoodles of your own. Or, you can also order a couple of Zentangle books which come along with a wide range of official tangles or templates for you to fill out with beautiful colors. You can also take inspiration from the Zentangle book templates and create your own unique tangles.
Playing with Zentangles doesn’t stop there. You can also start beautifying the tangles with glitter and jewel. You can use colored tangles to jazz up cards, scrapbook pages, note books, handbags, art journals etc.
Here is a video which shows you how to have fun adding colors to different Zentangles or Zendoodles, and use them up to create wonderful pieces of art. You won’t believe how amazing the results can be – unless you see it yourself.
Watch it without wasting another minute!
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If you like playing with pen and paper, you would surely fall in love with Zentangle. The art form of Zentangling is fast catching up with people of all ages. If you are hearing this term for the first time, you should quickly find out why it’s an art form different from all other types of drawing and unique in its own sense. Zentangle is gaining popularity because it’s a lot more than just beautiful patterns.
Using the Zentangle Method, created by Maria and Rick from Massachusetts (USA), you can create a wide range of beautiful, repetitive patterns on a white sheet of paper. But the entire process of Zentangling is so beneficial that you will only want to draw these patterns more and more.
Here’s why Zentangle is a unique art form:
> It doesn’t require any particular physical skill or talent.
> It doesn’t cost you money.
> You can practice it alone or in a group.
> You can use it to improve your life in many ways.
Though Zentangling is a relatively new concept, it’s benefits and uses are quite widespread. You can practice it to boost your confidence and self-esteem. You can draw it to get rid of stress and feel relaxed. You can use this art form to improve your handwriting.
In short, it’s a non-expensive, meditative form of drawing which anyone, anywhere can derive benefits from.
Though you have complete freedom to create your own unique patterns using the Zentangle Method, it is a form of art which requires deep focus. You can go on with the repetitive patterns as long as you like.
Many Zentangle patterns revolve around a particular theme. For example, botanical doodles are repetitive floral patterns. Based on nature, you can also create an array of beautiful patterns. Artists have given different names to different styles or patterns of Zentangle, according to where the inspiration comes from. Some popular Zentangle patterns include Crease, Narwal, Arukas etc. By practicing these amazing patterns, you’ll be able to explore the endless possibilities of Zentangle.
If you are ready to play with pen and paper and enjoy the process too, given below is a video which teaches you how to create the Narwal pattern of Zentangle. The pattern begins with drawing a curvy tentacle shape and then wrapping a ribbon around it. Watch the video now to know more.
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You’ve probably noticed the way you grab your pen or coloring pencils when you are nervous, stressed or frustrated with something. Did you know that your way hold your coloring tools has everything to do with the person you are?
Take this test and see what the way you close your hand says about your personality. Grab a pen or pencil right now, compare with the 3 images below and find yours!
How others see you:
-they see your strong creative side
-they love that you are fast and expressive
-othere appreciate your special talent for art
-they worry that you are cautious and, due to sensitive nature, tends to worry too much
-they sense you are intelligent
-they envy your adventurous spirit
-they are attracted to your representation of harmony and justice
-they wish they were as good at people skills as they see you
How you really are:
-you prefer to keep calm
-you don’t like hurting people
-you are very sociable
-you need freedom and space to live the dream
-you’re not big on drama
-you’d rather prefer a relaxed and comfortable environment
-you bubble over with compassionate
-you’re ready to forgive
How others see you:
-they see you as creative and talented
-they envy that you make friends easily
-they appreciate that you are generous
-they love that you are clever and confident
-they think you are a born leader
How you really are:
-you are sensitive at heart
-you hold great expectations for life
-you harbor fear of being hurt
-you need people around you who understand you and love you as you are
-you tends to think too much
-you want someone on your side, but you are afraid to really let anyone in
-you act cool, not wanting to look like begging for attention
As others see you:
-you are sensitive
-you have a big imagination
-you are intuitive
-you are generous
-you are enthusiastic
-you can be impatient
-you are forever curios
-you make people laugh with your good sense of humor
How you really are:
-you pride yourself on honesty
-you like to feel accepted
-you are gentle
-you know what’s good and bad for yourself
When in love:
-you tend to suppress feelings, can be shy
-you like to be treated well
-you are not selfish
Do you like drawing beautiful, repetitive patterns? If you don’t know, this type of drawing is derived from Zentangle Art. But Zentangling is huge in scope and limitless in possibilities. There are tons of artistic, eye-catching patterns that you can create using the Zentangle Method.
But do you know who coined the term ‘Zentangle’ and created the Zentangle Method which is gaining more popularity each day?
The term ‘Zentangle’ was created by Rick and Maria, drawing artists from Massachusetts, USA. One day, Maria created some design patterns and she had a unique feeling while doing it. She shared her experiences with Rick – timelessness, freedom and welfare. After hearing the entire story, Rick explained to Maria that she was actually describing meditation.
Later, Rick and Maria together worked on the art form and created a new drawing method called the Zentangle Method. Using this very method, countless people from all over the world are creating amazing works of art while also benefiting themselves in a number of ways. Anybody who starts Zentangling feels such joy that they turn it into one of their favorite hobbies.
If you are struggling to have more focus in life, get your mind into a relaxed state, increase your confidence and manage your day-to-day stress in an easy manner – without spending money – Zentangle is the perfect way to go. It’s a kind of meditation which you can practice anywhere, alone or in public, with your friends or family and along with your kids. Even if you are not a good artist or don’t know how to draw beautiful, Zentangle is for you.
There are several Zentangle patterns that you can learn and draw. Examples include Betweed, Crease, Drupe, Fescu, Huggins etc.
Given below is a video in which Sam Taylor, a Zentangle enthusiast, walks you through the steps required to create the ‘Crease’ Zentangle pattern. Just grab a black pen and a piece of heavy white paper and get started with Zentangling.
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