Judgment

This is going to be a very tough post for me and I’m not quite sure the tone it will take on as I type. I was just reading through some topics posted on the etsy forums about graphic design. More specifically these posts:

First of all, everyone is entitled to their own opinion and I have no problem with that, as long as I will be entitled to mine.   I know that I am most likely inviting a ton of criticism to my own designs and that is fine with me.  I’m a big girl, have been for a long time, and I can take it.

When reading the first thread it seems that most people’s opinion of what makes a professional graphic designer is their education.   Most said a  formal education in the field is key.  I disagree.  Then again, I do not refer to myself as a “professional” so maybe I took offense too early.  I do, however, call myself a graphic designer.   I design graphics every day.  I’ve never had an unhappy client.  I successfully sell my designs.  I pay my bills with the money I make doing what I love.  So, I’m happy with what I do.

Would I love to go to school and broaden my abilities?  Absolutely! Can I? Not at this time.  I’ve never had the opportunity to further my education.  Mostly because of choices (good or bad) that I have made in my life.  I became a mother at age 16.  Circumstances then did not allow for me to seek higher education.   I had to prioritize and still stick with my decision – my child first.  Since then I’ve gone through a very bad marriage and had two more children.  Again – education was put on the back burner and my children came first.  I’m not asking for pity, and I don’t want sympathy.  These were all my decisions and I still stand by them.  No regrets.

I decided that I would do what was best for myself and my children during those times.  They needed their mom, and they needed her working and bringing home money.  That meant no time for school.  So, I did what I could and started to slowly teach myself how to do things.  All of my computer skills, all of my business know how, all of my graphic design abilities – all self taught over a period of 6 years.

I know my limitations and never pretend to know more than I do.  If I am asked to do something I am uncomfortable with I make sure that I recommend someone else who can help with the client’s needs in a better way than  I could.  That is my responsibility as a business owner.

(Get to your point Ang – I know, I know) I think my point is this.  Don’t pass judgment so quickly.  Some people have natural talent oozing from their pores.  Others have to find that talent and tweak it.  While still others will spend endless hours in a classroom trying to find that talent or skill and never will.  I chose to stay positive and do MY best with what I had.  I will continue to do just that.

I am proud of my work.  I am proud of the family I am raising.  I am proud of the services I offer.  I am proud of my small business. I am proud to say that as a graphic designer I am able to help provide for my family while also being able to be available to them night and day.  I am proud of myself!

Read my “Who is Angela?” page – you may understand just a bit more.

    Wooohoooo!

    It’s a GREAT day so far (even though I am soooo sleepy I can’t keep from yawning every two minutes!)

    I woke up this morning feeling great and decided that maybe I’d sleep a while longer, it was after all only 5:30 am so I drifted back off until my phone rang.  It was my dear mother in law and I lied when she asked if she had woke me.  I love talking to her.  I think it’s a great bonding experience for us and she is just so sweet and sentimental that it always lifts me up.  We talked for two and half hours!  Of course, about the baby, about Russell, the kids, and just about everything under the sun.  I love her!

    My air conditioning is working!  I am thrilled about that! Hooray for air and breathing and comfort!  It was a quick fix and I’m afraid it may only be temporary so I still want them to investigate it further.  My phone battery is completely dead though so I have to wait a little while to call the repair company back.

    I bought the kids a fun water sprinkler to play with and I’m looking forward to setting it up for them.  I’ll most likely do that after lunch.  But here is the most exciting news of all!  I’m featured on someone’s blog for the first time EVER!  It may sound like small potatoes to you but I am THRILLED!  3LilMonkeys just sent me a convo via etsy to let me know she featured me today.  She had some oh so sweet things to say too!  Check it out! http://my3lilmonkeys.blogspot.com/2008/06/armorgan-spotlights-on-you.html

    Thank you!

    Something to Brag About

    Yes, I have something to brag about.  It’s mine, I’ve earned it, so why not brag about it?  I’m talking about my 100% positive feedback rating on etsy.  

    • Fantastic! I am thrilled with my new banner and business card designs. Thank you so much for working with me on this. – mimsylafree
    • A wonderfully smooth transaction. I would highly recommend this Etsian! – DDurda
    • Wonderful experience, I got exactly what I wanted. This service is soooooo worth the money. I would order this again for sure. I love love love my new banner. Thanks so much! – jillystamps
    • Once again, great experience! I love the design of my new business cards. She was quick and knew exactly what I was looking for. Thanks so much! –erintokuuke
    • Easy to work with and fast turn around! I love my banner and avatar and would definitely come backto her for more! –bugznbutterflies
    • The designs rock! Seller has a great eye for color and detail. I gave her only sketchy information of what kind of design I wanted, and she exceeded my expectation! HiGhLy recommended!! –EMTSgirlfriend
    • Incredibly fast delivery and a joy to work with. She got the design I was looking for on the first try! Thanks so much! –erintokuuke
    • I wish there was a higher rating than positive…more like estatic! Orgasmic..not sure about that one…but this is one of those AHHH moments when you tell an artist what is in your head and she puts it in the form your mind created! Love this woman! – Ali18974

    Let me help

    All etsy sellers are definitely into the DIY thing.  We like to do everything ourselves because that’s who we are, it’s what we do.  We try to make everything ourselves and often times end up feeling frustrated and overwhelmed.  There comes a time when you just need to step back, observe what’s going on, and realize that you in fact, can not do everything yourself.  Many sellers find themselves feeling all tangled up when it comes to designing a graphic for their shop, that’s where I come in.  Why get your panties in a bunch? Let me help!  It’s what I do, let me design your perfect graphic so you can get back to doing what you do best! Come visit my shop today, take a look around, get a sense for my style. 

    Gone Fishin’

    I can hardly believe how much I accomplished today! By 8 am this morning the boys were off to school and I was on my 2nd or 3rd cup of coffee.  I started my rounds on the internet at usual.  Check my email, look at my site stats, check my blog, the weather, etc.  I then began my design work.  I had an order from kbotello on etsy. She sent a custom request needing a few graphics for her amateur photography.  I started with  a few color suggestions and a photo that she wanted to be incorporated into her designs.  I came up with this banner which she absolutely loves!

    I actually emailed her several proofs but this was the design she liked the best.  Oddly enough it was my first design.  I’ve been doing that a lot lately – getting exactly what my client wants on the first go round.  It’s a great feeling!

    After that I did some chores around the house and washed, dried, and folded some laundry.  I knew that we had plans to go fishing and the boys had an early release today from school so I wanted to get as much done as possible.  Russell didn’t work today so we went to go buy me a new fishing pole because mine broke last year.  We did our shopping and then Russell dropped Zoe and myself off at home and ran to the bank.  We wanted to get the grass cut before we left for the lake so I decided I would do that too.  

    It took a little while, and Russell was quite surprised, but I got the front lawn nearly half cut before he got back from the bank.  The boys came home, we finished up the yard and off we went!

    As always, Zoe caught the first fish.  And I do mean always.  She is only three years old and always catches something before the rest of us! Turned out the rest of us had no luck at all.  Guess they just aren’t biting yet.  The high point of the evening is when Jarod, my youngest son, spotted a black snake.  A HUGE black snake.  Russell ran over and grabbed the thing by the tail (do snakes have tails?), anyway, he grabbed it and dragged it backwards up onto the grass.  The thing coiled and spun around.  I ran across the clearing yelling at the kids to get back and threatening Russell within an inch of his life if he got it near me.  I’m cool with snakes, so long as they aren’t upset – in their natural habitat, slithering by – yeah, that’s okay, but not one that is being bothered and having a hissy fit because of it.  I was so terrified that Russell would tease me with it that I didn’t even think to grab my camera, which was hanging around my neck, and I missed a great photo opportunity.  Go me! That snake was a good five feet long. *Shiver*

    We fished a bit longer with no luck, but that’s just fine because it was gorgeous outside.  We all started getting tired and hungry so we came home to grill some chicken. Russell cooked chicken skewers on the grill and I fixed carrots, sauteed squash & zucchini, and rice for sides. Everything was great.  We had several “happy plates”.

    Now everyone is settled in and the kids are watching TV like they do on most Friday nights.  They’re especially tired from everything today so vegging out is completely okay with me tonight.  Russell is in the bedroom snoring.  He looks as if he just plopped on the bed to rest and fell asleep.  I tried to wake him a little while ago but he is out like a light.  I’ve taken advantage of the quiet time to start on another banner design.  After sending this proof to my client I will need to make a few changes to the dots but other than that it is pretty complete.  mimsylafree of etsy wanted a shop banner for her new shop “muffintops”.  She asked for a muffin to be incorporated into the design.  I sat down, drew out  a muffin and then this is what came of it…

    Don’t forget to leave a comment for your chance to win a free business card design! Have a great weekend!

     

     

    The Ultimate Etsy Shop Graphic Starter Package

    Many of us know how frustrating and time consuming it can be to try and brand your shop.   We all know how important it is to create an image that is associated with our name, and if you don’t, you should.  I wanted to make this process just a  little easier for people getting started.  I wanted to put everything together, with choices of design and an array of graphics to use to brand a shop.  So, I came up with  an incredible starter package that includes the following:

    • 760 x 100 Shop Banner
    • 75 x 75 Avatar
    • 300 x 300 Reserved Listing Graphic – for those custom and reserved listings.
    • 300 x 300 MySpace Graphic – show your appreciation and promote your shop!
    • 125 x 125 Web Ad – advertise on blogs and websites
    • 468 x 60 Web Banner – use for advertising or as an email signature for email and message boards!
    • 200 x 200 Thank You Feedback Graphic – there is a place to upload an image when leaving feedback – this adds that special touch!

    The pre designed packages are just $25, while the fully customizable package is $50.  You can find them HERE.  

     

     I am currently working on a turtle design and many more will follow.  Be sure to check back!

    STOP! Banner Time!

    I have a new toy! Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo X2! Fancy stuff there! I have been working with Jasc Paint Shop Pro 8 for the longest time.  I love the upgrade.  My computer is still giving me tons of trouble but I have managed to come up with some new etsy banner designs and I have somehow found the time to list them in  my shop.

    Here are my latest creations: