July 2012

Taxi Cab Confessions of a Very Professional Blogger

by Leonie Dawson on July 27, 2012

 

Hey panda bears,

I adore writing you the way I do.

I love writing you those long, tear-soaked vulnerable posts about life + spirit.

I adore writing you advice posts about what it takes to step up into your biggest, brightest self in life and in business.

This bloggityblog of mine has been my creative dream + obsession + best friend generator + sacred business platform for almost eight years now.

I heart business. I heart soul. I heart life. I heart writing.

And I also very very very much heart SILLY.

Random shit is my very favourite poo in all the world.

It makes me gigglesnort like nothing else.

It’s the inspiration behind this:

Behold, the Greatest Random Taxi Cab Confessions Known To Womankind:

The place where I tell you previously ridunkulous unheard stories from my teenage years, tiny bits of practical wisdom + oddball chunks of factoids. All in all: hilarimo + odd. Just the way I love it.

Let the shenanigans begin:

Most of the time, I don’t have a cover over my doona/duvet. And my bed NEVER gets made. Never. The moment I left boarding school was the moment I stopped.

I will eat the same dinner for weeks on end, then never eat it again.

There is no such thing in my world as too many prayer flags.

I think going to India is like having a baby. Do it only if you really, really want to. It’s not easy.

When I was in my final year of school, I was all stressed out about exams and I fantasised about taking up smoking. I got worried that I would start smoking, so I wore a fairy dress and bought myself a small packet of menthol cigarettes and chain smoked them until I felt sick.  Once I was well and truly over smoking them, I threw the rest of the packet in the bin, and never smoked again. I felt sad that my fairy dress smelt like menthol cigarettes… but I CURED MYSELF.

I crack myself up. Best quit smoking even when you don’t smoke initiative ever. Menthol cigarettes and a fairy dress.

People assume I’ve smoked pot because I’m a total woo-woo tie-dye loving crystal-clutching hippy. But the 100% bonafide truth is that I haven’t even seen any kind of drug in my life. I’ve always felt like my brain was wacky and wonderful enough with being psychic, intuitive and creative. I didn’t want to mess with its chemistry lest I bugger it up.

And the most I’ve ever drunk was rum in a creek bed at a friend’s cattle property when I was 17. At some point before dawn, I woke up and became completely terrified that I’d broken too many brain cells from rum, so I got up and decided to do some history study. There’s nothing like Hitler’s totalitarianism and Gorbachev’s perestroika to resuscitate flagging brain cells.  And that’s where my friend’s dad saw me sometime just as dawn broke: studying on the verandah, head in textbooks. “Wow, Leonie. You are SUCH a dedicated student,” he said. I didn’t reply, because I was afraid I’d slur my words. If only he knew I was just trying to reclaim last night’s brain cells, I thought. I never drunk that much again. I am very protective over my brain cells.

I triply amuse myself: Leonie’s Quit Smoking Before You Become A Smoker By Using A Fairy Dress Program & the Don’t Take Drugs Incase It Makes You Too Nutty To Make Art Campaign & the Too Much Rum Makes You Dumb public service announcement.

I should write books for teen kids on this stuff.

Which brings me to Leonie’s Don’t Shag Anyone Unless You Want To Bring A Soul Into The World With Them Thereom.

And why I was very, very grateful that I found my love at the tender age of 18. I looked at his sparkling blue eyes and thought:

Yup. I could have his baby. LET THE SHENANIGANS BEGIN.

Gosh I must have been an interesting teenager.

I totaalllly don’t ascribe to the belief that my way is the right way for everybody. Find what works for you.

I rarely return phone messages. I am not a phone call person.

I really, really like making tacky photoshop pictures. See above. That made me giggle hysterically for ages.

I have an addictive personality – most Scorpios do – they have the highest propensity to drug addiction + alcohol of all star signs. And since I’m not huge keen on the drug addiction front… I get addicted to superfoods. Which really is NOT a bad addiction to have. Currently it is bee pollen. I can go through a jar a day easily if I let myself. I’ve also had amusing encounters with chocolate dipped goji berries and peanut protein bounce balls. My health shop owner calls herself my “drug dealer.”

I’m a swear bear, through and through. I don’t always blog in swear-bear-ese though because I think it sounds funnier than it looks.

This was the best meal of my life.

It’s a dessert burger. You read that correctly.

Let me describe for you, to fuel your impending mouthgasm:

Fried custard “chips” with raspberry “tomato sauce”.

Donut “burger buns”. Lime jelly masquerading as cheese.

Strawberries pretending to be tomatoes.

And the beef patty? Made from a thick chocolate fudgey truffle.

O.M.G.

I still dream about it. (You can find it at Mr Bones in Airlie Beach if you ever find yourself there!)

While we are at it, I have a confession about my dog Charlie, too:

And that about wraps it up.

Was that not the BEST FUN EVER???

I know, me too.

Thanks for playing, kittens.

And thanks for getting me – random kooks + all.

Let’s do this again soon, yeah??

High fives forever + love like a giant blue balloon,

Hola gorgeous souls!

A great business question asked today from a Creative Goddess!

I want to sell my artwork as prints. How do I do that?

I’ve got a buttload of experience in this one.

Once upon a time, in ye olden days of yore, I began my first foray into business by selling my art.

I had my first solo art exhibition at 23, got featured in the Canberra Times + sold prints, original art + commissions online. It became mega busy, and I ended up deciding to quit studying at university part time and reduce my hours at my government job in order to keep up with demand… I still remember one memorable December where I had over 120 packages to send out, and was heading home early from Christmas parties to paint paint paint and paint some more!

It was very fun, and such a gorgeous time in my life.

I’m now so busy with e-courses + coaching that I don’t sell artwork anymore. I still create every day though!

There’s four steps to selling your artwork as prints:

1. Digitise your artwork.

Small artworks:

If it is smaller than A4, you can scan it in using a scanner. Scanners come in most multifunction print units now – getting so cheap!

I use an Epson – this is the latest version of the one I use.

I’ve had it for 4 years now or so and it’s still rocking it out.

 

Large artworks:

If you can’t fit it onto your scanner, you can either photograph it, or scan it in different parts and then stitch it back together using Photoshop. I can’t tell you if your camera is good enough to take prints – just trial it and see how it goes! An SLR camera is the best camera to use for this to make sure you’ve got the clearest image possible with enough DPI to be printed nicely. I’m particularly fond of Canon SLRs.

Tips when photographing art: Don’t use flash. Don’t put in direct sunlight. Photograph in the shade, or in a well lit room. Try and get the sides of your frame to line up parallel with your artwork to make cropping easier later. Stand parallel to your artwork.

You will need to crop it using a digital photo editor like Photoshop or Elements. You will also want to play around with contrast and colour to get it looking as lovely digitally as it looks in real life. Colours usually get dimmer when you scan/photograph an image, so digital photo editing is all about restoring that & making things pop again.

 

If you don’t have a camera, or access to a digital photo editor, you could try:

  • asking a friend to do it
  • hiring a professional studio to take photos & edit for you.

 

2. Decide how to price your prints

  • Average pricing is about $25 for A4 sized prints, but can range from $10-$100 (with a high end priced print, you’ll need to have them professionally printed)
  • Hint: If you print A4 sized, you can send them in a flat envelope and it is much cheaper. As soon as you start making bigger that you have to roll, it costs WAY more to send in a tube.

3. Decide on whether to print them yourself or outsource them?

 

The Print Them Yourself Method:

 

  • You need to buy a colour printer if you don’t already have one. I have an Epson CX5900 printer/scanner, but I think any is fine.
  • Print on some good card stock. I would just buy watercolour paper at 180gsm and print on that. It gave a lovely texture to it!
  • Just start out with one size for right now.

Pros:

  • More profits
  • You can do sales on them when you like
  • Mailing them out yourself can be a fantastic opportunity to brand it with your own branding + include flyers + vouchers to upsell to them).

 

Cons:

  • You need to buy printer, ink and paper
  • You need to print & mail them out
  • It can get frustrating when your printer makes mistakes & screws up ink/paper.

 

The Print On Demand Method:

 

Pros:

  • You don’t have to print & send them out
  • You don’t suffer ze cost of print mistakes/messups
  • You don’t have to outlay anything for printers, ink & paper.

Cons:

  • You don’t get as much profit.
  • I don’t think you get as many sales through companies like this.
  • Some companies won’t pay out your royalties until you reach a certain level like $25.

 

The Outsource Method

This consists of you getting a printer (usually local) to print your prints for you. They have a better quality finish than your home printer, but it also means you will need to outlay for the order, and then hopefully sell all the stock you have.

Pros:

  • Like in the Print on Demand method, you don’t have to print.
  • You don’t suffer ze cost of print mistakes/messups
  • You don’t have to outlay anything for printers, ink & paper.
  • Once your business is up + running + is doing well, you’ll need to buy back your own time to focus on marketing so outsourcing is a good solution to that
  • As with the Print Them Yourself method, mailing them out yourself can be a fantastic opportunity to brand it with your own branding + include flyers + vouchers to upsell to them)

Cons:

  • You’ll still need to send them out on your own.
  • You don’t get as much profit, but more than if you went the Print on Demand model.
  • You’ll need to outlay for the printing yourself, and then sell what stock you have.

 

My recommendation on which printing model to use:

 

Do what is doable for you right now.

You can always change later.

If you can do the printing yourself great.

Or if outsourcing prints or print on demand works for you right now, go for that.

DO WHAT IS DOABLE.

 

4. Set up (online) shop

You can sell your prints on sites like Etsy or Made It, or create your own e-commerce website to sell your prints.

Now here’s the point where most people think:

YIPPEEEE!

DONE!

And they sit. And they wait for the sales to come in.

And they get discouraged when they don’t come in, or they don’t come in fast enough.

And they think “I’ll never make a living as an artist. This will never work out. It wasn’t meant to be. I gave it a go. Now I’ll give up.”

And they’ll stop updating their store. They might even take it down.

And they’ll always look back on that time where they tried to make a living as an artist, but found it impossible.

But here’s the thing.

There’s one step you didn’t do:

5. Your job doesn’t stop here. You need to become a Business Goddess!

A Business Goddess you cry?

But I hate marketing!

I don’t want to SELL to people.

I just want fairies and pixies to find my work and rabidly buy it, and I’ll just sit here in my tiny little studio, and create, and be totally oblivious to the world.

I’m here to give you a bit of tough (but real loving) advice:

It ain’t gonna happen that way, baby.

And as much as you want a knight in shining armor to come along and PING you on the head with the Shining Wand of Success and removing all the work you’d need to do to get there… you’re kidding yourself.

What you’re here to do instead is stand up for your gifts.

Be your own knight in shining armor!

And be courageous. And learn new things. And yes, that means becoming a business and a marketing goddess.

You need to learn HOW to share your work with the world in a big and powerful way.

You NEED to invest in your education – in learning the secrets of shining success, of marketing + presenting your work in a way that is compelling + delicious + attractive to your tribe.

And then I can hear you say:

But THEY don’t have to do that. THEY are successful without all that stuff!

And you point out every successful creative person you know of out there.

Here’s the truth though:

You can bet your ass that they have business + marketing know-how that you don’t.

And they are using it.

They look like little duckies gliding along the pond effortlessly.

And what you don’t see is their little feetsies doing the work that feetsies were born to do.


(Leonie ala 2008!)

The same is true for you.

Here’s the very best news I can give you:

You’re not BORN with business or marketing know how.

EVERYONE learns it.

We ALL start from somewhere.

And if this little numbers-phobic broke creative hippy of 2005 can go on to build a half million dollar a year creative + soulful business, sure as shit you can too.

But ya gotta be willing to learn.

Ya gotta be ready to become a Business + Marketing Goddess so that your gifts can go out into the world in a BIG way… touching thousands and thousands of lives and transforming your own.

Share your gifts. Start now, beautiful Goddess!

love,

Want to get your Creative + Business Goddess ON?

Sign up for the Creative Goddess program which begins in just a few days – August 1st! It will help you get unblocked + creating prolifically!

While you’re at it, grab the Business Goddess program (or just sign up to The Circle to get both!) to elevate your creative business to the next level.

And if you’re ready for some super intensive growth, check out my private coaching to create Incredible Businesses.

*Want to come to my private coaching retreat, but couldn’t because of a scheduling conflict or not enough time to get here?*

Have no fear, serendipity is here! Change of date for September retreat to be late September.

Head here for details + book in your spot now.

love,

P.S. There’s just 3 spots left to be mentored by me live this year. 3 women who’ll go on to have their businesses + lives radically uplifted from the huge strategy, marketing + soul work we’ll do there. Will you be one of them?