Minimalist Drawing Pack #1

I personally love making minimalist drawings.  They're so therapeutic to make!  I'll definitely be making more packs available, as I create them.

But there's something I love more than drawing like this... my cursive handwriting.  So I included the thoughts that came to mind after looking at these drawings.  5 drawings, 5 cardstock prompts.

Available here:  https://www.etsy.com/listing/596881236/5-pack-minimalist-illustrations-and?ref=listings_manager_grid 

Low-key on Bayshore

Bayshore was hella cloudy this day.  We talked about some stuff we hadn't really talked about before & I'm really glad we did.  I did tell some of my friends that we were going to run but we dressed for a girls day in, not for being the healthiest people in the world.  

At work, I have a purpose - to make sure our business partners know that we're doing good work.  

With my close close close friends... I always just want them to see people clearly.  Anyway, that's the vibe right now.  

The Boathouse - Orlando

A while ago we went to The Boathouse in Orlando... It was aight.  I love restaurants and places on the water so that was great.  But the food wasn't anything special? 

We had some seafood - clams and fried clam strips.  The Tampa in me was like "But we can go to the gas station on Kennedy and Boulevard to get fried food for a quarter of the price...."  But like I said, I'm down for some places on the water.  Moscow mule was good but it's hard to mess up a mule (yet somehow The Hall does... ouch real talk... they just make it so sweet!)  Anyways.  That's my review.  Just go to the bar on the water, bring a pizza from Blaze, skip the food.   - J

Part-Time Funk & New Ideas | Life Update

I'm in a part-time funk but it's leading to new ideas. I'm making some different stuff now.  Excited to introduce it.

I think I'm just figuring out what my purpose is again.  I'm redefining what my free-time is for for the most part.  I want to create things that make positive change.  I also want to put my time in for my friends and family.

I'm not in a bad funk.  I love my job and I'm having fun.  Every day there's a new challenge that needs my help to be overcome.  Also every day, I get less pressured to "climb the ranks" at a speedy pace.  After reading The Millionaire Next Door, I've learned a bit about saving and what matters in your money.  I'm not money savvy, all I know is that I should save. I do save a good amount so, that pressure to climb the ranks purely for money doesn't make sense.  It's an interesting book, I do recommend.

I've also been meeting a lot of people and making new friends.  It's been really cool. I love laughing, like if you know me in real life, I'm almost always making a joke or laughing.  

That being said... I think I realized that with some people, I would stick around but I never truly would laugh with them?  It was me making them laugh, I was always sort of the entertainment.  So I lessened that.  It's not like they're cut out, it's all love, but I just focused on other stuff.  Shrug emoji.  I'm getting better at it though.  Sometimes I let people waste my time, but I see it more clearly now such that I'm wasting less time than before.

Anyway, making new friends has been so awesome.  It also makes me truly appreciate (and miss) my friends with time in and seniority.  Missing people definitely hasn't been a feeling that I've shared the past couple years so, the feeling is welcome.  It's fresh and I like new experiences.  I love telling those people that I miss them, I don't do it often because that would get tiresome but it's such a great statement.  You have to suck up your pride (accepting humility is a great exercise) and just go for it right?

Art wise, I'm finishing up a few projects for shipment.  Shrug emoji x2.   I'm excited to use blogging more to get my points across.  That'll be fun.  I have a lot of ideas.

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Painting Inspired Photography, Part 1 | Hello Tampa Art

I see a lot of photography accounts on Instagram and they always mention that they want to collaborate.  To be honest, I never know what this means, I'm not a part of photography culture.  But when Elizabeth Stafford commented on one of my pictures that she wanted to collaborate, I had to try it with a painting twist.  I sent her a moodboard of my paintings & pictures (below) and she was down to create.  

(her instagram | website)

I'm so amazed by what she came out with.  She's doing a blue shoot soon!  So excited to see her next set.

The colors are so strong and the textures are so muted, really like my paintings!

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What Got Me To 2018 | 2017 Moments

When I think back on 2017, deep down I wish it wouldn't leave.  So much happened and I feel like I'm letting go of so many memories.  So many memories and eras are slipping away from me, I need to recollect the year to let things slip away, to turn that page and hold onto my memories one last time. 

Seeing as so many things happened this year, I'm excited to see what will happen in 2018.  Looking at what I have planned and what the universe brought me in 2017, I think it will be so different from anything that I've ever known.  I feel this sort of trust in visual arts & I'm excited to express it heavy in 2018.  So here I am at the end of 2017 with a job, family, great friends, a new business, and all this newfound creativity.  Here's my favorite moments from this year.

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  1. Watching the eclipse with my best friend (seen above) - This is my favorite memory from 2018.  There are probably 2 people reading this who know about me and Maddie's friendship.  Friends since high school but as any long-term friendship goes, it's hard to find time to catch up and see each other - especially when living in different states.  But this year, the planets aligned - so much so that we saw an eclipse - and we saw each other a lot in 2018.  This year, our friendship was like water to me, I don't think I could have lived without it.
  2. Graduating from The University of Tampa - Okay, sometimes I tear up when I drive by UT now because I can't believe I got to do that.  Me.  Graduating from private school with scholarships.  Private school!  That stuff is expensive to a middle-class Floridian y'all, let's get real.  Also, with some honors, but ignoring that because I didn't really deserve it, I skated through most of college.
  3. Winning the competition - Every semester UT has a competition amongst graduating business majors & we make a project based on a company's issue.  We won first place.  We weren't recognized or anything but being okay with not being recognized is a good lesson to just... accept you know?  And that you have to get that feeling in other ways.  I think right now I find that feeling of "recognition" by finding new ways to continue the momentum when I accomplish something.
  4. Getting over my post-college gloom - I wrote a post on how I got over my initial post-college sadness.  Thing is, I had work set up.  But it was just sort of like I was running for 3 years and then stopped.  Then everything caught up with me.  Not having everything on my plate definitely made me feel useless.  But I'm good now!!
  5. D a t i n g - L O L, let's get real on this blog.  Ok, I dated around in 2017.  I'm single now, let that be known.  But one of my favorite pieces of advice came from all these events and it carried through any dating that happened - "Use your time wisely."  That doesn't have to do with productivity at all, in this case, instead it means that I can choose what to spend my time on. I can choose not to mull over what a guy thinks of me and I can choose to not mull over a breakup.  I thought that was the coolest.  One experience shows that there are more experiences out there - some better and some more hurtful.  In the end - successful or not - it's all memories!
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6. I turned 21. - Finally sort of an adult.  Woo.

7. Launching my business - Nov 18th y'all, it all started.  I started planning all of this after graduation to help myself deal not having college anymore to fill my days.  After 6 months of planning, I launched!  It's not like me to plan this type of stuff out.  But I'm really glad I did.

8. Cutting my bangs.. twice. - I think I look better with bangs.  Cut them at the start of the year, then at the end of the year.  I don't know what I was thinking in the middle of the year.  That's all.

9. Traveling and finding out that I don't want to travel right now - I went to LA for a wedding.  I don't want to travel right now.  I want to explore what I can do right now.  Maybe next next year!  (Hawaii, 2k19)

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10. Painting a big painting - I loved painting big paintings for people.  I love finding that people are using them for decor!  I think art should go to some use so... they're really fulfilling.  Love.  Hoping to do more in 2018, maybe even a mural!

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After Christmas In Tampa, Florida | Blogger Photoshoot Ideas 2018

After-Christmas is definitely still a holiday.  The holidays end after Valentine's Day, right?  Right.

Real quick, before I start the post - ready-to-ship paintings are 50% off & free shipping in my store, click here to open in a new tab for after you finish reading!  Good for until December 30! :) 

After-christmas vibe... arguably better than christmas

The period between Christmas and New Years is going to be the best because it feels like a holiday and everyone is on vacation.  But the world is still functioning. ALSO, it's the time to reflect on the year ... or ignore it with shopping.  I recommend the latter and saving the former for when you're making New Year's resolutions!  

same places, different views

Tampa has a lot of great spots for taking blogger or social media pictures but in the "Tampa blogger / social media crowd", we all tend to use them in the same way!  Murals and labels are great for texture but we always approach them in a flat manner (totally guilty).  For example, letting the mural do the work and not taking into account movement, color, and composition!  All great & good but I wanted it to look a tiny bit different!   I wanted to make things a little different when taking these pictures.  My goal was familiar spots in Hyde Park but a new view. 

How'd I do?  I'm not 100% on them but I guess that's the challenge of taking pictures.  I can't go back and change how things are placed like in a painting!

Hope these can provide some inspiration and show how I approach taking pictures!  

Also, a strong disclaimer - I am so new to taking pictures, I hope I'm doing alright!  My favorites from this shoot & more of what I do are on my Tampa artist Instagram!  I have art terms and art analysis stuck in my mind from classes, so I thought I'd share how I apply them!

Tampa after-christmas vibe

Big shoutout to Nat (the model) for picking out this dress, when I started looking at pictures I knew I wanted it to be that vibe.  The way the outfit looks in pictures totally reminds me of how people in Tampa dress for holidays.  Not to festive, not too fancy, and totally not too warm.

Remember to visit my store to see what's on sale!  Free shipping for the rest of the week!  Woo!  

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Starting A New Business with Style Me Britt | How's Business?

How's Business is where I poke around a local business and share with you the lessons that I learn!  I'm a nosy person when it comes to business case studies and that totally stayed true when learning about Boxed Up by @stylemebritt_.

I first found out about Britt on Instagram because she's always being reposted by other small businesses!  In her bio she mentions Boxed Up and I was of course, extremely curious.  Come to find out, Boxed Up is Britt's new business that sells all the supplies you need for a full party in a box.  I find sales of a physical product so interesting & this idea so unique, I'm so fortunate that Britt agreed to be interviewed!

How's business?  What's the status?

Well, I was originally going to launch January 1st but some things happened so I decided to start advertising on Instagram early.  My website is being finished up along with my logo!  But within the first day I had 4 parties already booked!  To this date, I have a date night box and an anniversary as well.

I have gotten a lot of people reaching out asking for boxes.  I have started with children's birthday party boxes.  But I have a huge outreach for girls nights, holiday boxes, and date night boxes.

How do you think you tap into the right market for your product?

Well, I have made a name for myself on this account (stylemebritt_) so people have been following me and seeing my work for a while now.  So, the ones that follow me are moms with multiple or little children who want a creative party but don't have the time etc.  So, I am starting with the mom market and people reach out wanting more and more genre of boxes!

Lesson Learned:  Business ideas are so fun.  Hearing Britt tell me about her business reminds me that this whole project of mine is truly a hobby.  I love having art, business, and marketing at a hobby.  I'm truly loving everything that I'm doing right now, really enjoying the process.

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fun

Business and ideas are seriously the most fun thing to me.

How'd you get the idea for Boxed Up & also the motivation to start your own business?

Before my son was born, I had all of my ideas of how I would stage each month photo.  And then about 6 months in I wanted to create a baby box that had everything needed for each month for the baby pictures along with all of the props, onesies, month, stickers and cards to show how to stage them all!  Because being a mom is hard and a lot of work and you let the days slip by.  So I wanted to create something that would be easy for moms.  And then I wanted to have the first birthday Included at the end of the 12 month box subscription.  I'd have the client pic the theme and then I do everything.  And then I was finishing up nursing school and didn't really have the time.

So now fast forward, my son is 2 years old and I have all these party theme ideas and everyone was like why aren't you an event planner so then I was planning his 2nd birthday and running around to a million stores and was so stressed and thought I wish there was an online thing with one big box with everything I need in it.  And then I thought I could stage the parties and take photos of them and put the cards in each box on how to set up the party.  All the client has to do is pick their color palette or theme and then I do all the work. Everything is in each box from plates, napkins, centerpieces, games, containers for the dessert table, gift bags and how to assemble them.  The cards show how to set up everything in the box and makes it very easy for busy moms & dads who want a creative party for their kids, working parents, etc.

Lesson Learned:  I shouldn't let my ideas die over a long time.  Sometimes life gets in the way and I should let it, but then snap back into shape with my idea... but refined!

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life gets in the way

Something I really tend to just ignore.

Since we're based in Tampa, how do you think your business interacts with the Tampa area & how do you plan to tap in to the community?

I am doing a pregnancy expo in January. I have a booth and will have my boxes on display along with my portfolio of work.  Also my boxes work in any location because I can do any theme and/ or color palette!  Also, South Tampa moms love my concept so far!  Less work they have to do and they love the creativity for their child!

I'm huge into social media and I have done two boxes within the first week that were out of state.

What has been your biggest challenge so far?

Biggest challenge I would say would be not having enough time to do a lot of boxes!  I only take on 5 max a month since it is only myself doing it!  Also my website still having final touches done along with the logo!

Lesson Learned:  Maybe this isn't a lesson but more so something I should start considering.  Niche vs. general - in this case regarding location.  Is it worth me to start thinking about how a business scales to different areas?  Because my business is pretty focused.  Maybe I'm worrying myself over nothing.  But I love seeing a business apply to so many areas, that's amazing and so promising! (Congrats Britt!)

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consider location

How scalable is a focused location business?

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5 Local Tampa Businesses I Want To Try

Starting to be more and more small business oriented

I am not going to front like I've always been super #shoplocal #eatlocal (besides my favorite Cuban places).  I mean I'm young and I was never one to ask my parents for money.  So now that I've been working for a while now, I have some space to spend on shopping/going out to eat.  (And boy do I spend when I go out to eat.)  When I do, I mostly choose to buy local!  It makes me happy and I think it's just... better.  Will go in-depth on another post.

Small Business Saturday In Tampa

In honor of Small Business Saturday, I wanted to share the next 5 local spots that I want to visit!  Instead of my favorite local spots ever (La Teresita [I prefer the cafeteria, not the restaurant.  Both are in the same building.]  and Florida Bakery, ughgh so good [Ham croqueta sandwish Yes]).

By the way, only for today, you can get $5 off any item using the discount code HTASATURDAY in my Etsy shop!  So printables are $0.99, customs are $25, and more complex original paintings are $40!

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1. Rico's Acai
My only regret in college is not going to Rico's Acai while I went to the University of Tampa.  Because I would be able to park at UT then walk there & not deal with downtown parking.

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2. Roux
 I first heard about this restaurant from my friend & then I saw a lot of buzz about it on Instagram.  So I guess this listing is a product of effective marketing.  Good job Roux.  Also I looooove Southern food. 

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3. Cena
Ok maybe I'm just a product of marketing really.  Because I'm thinking about why I first wanted to go to Cena and that was branding.  I liked their logo.  LUCKILY I visited their Yelp and their site, and I'm really feeling it.  It's Italian food and I have been looking for a new Italian place in Tampa!

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4. On Swann
I say this because I'm going here very soon.  Yes, it's a big name but it's still very local!  I've heard it's really good so we shall see.  I'm very interested in restaurants where there's a more complex theme that they're trying to hit.  Unlike just oh it's an Italian restaurant.  I looked it up and it's theme is apparently "thoughtfully sourced" food.  So.  Yeah.  I'm excited to see if it's special!

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5. The Paper Seahorse
(Literally let just me interview you I find paper businesses so interesting.  Like how do you market?  What do you sell?  How did you start?  How much did you spend on stock?  What's your profit margin?  How did you break into classes?  How did you market those initially?  How is business???  )

Learning Customer Experience with Eclectic Revival | How's Business?

I'm a nosy person when it comes to other people's businesses. Like how you sell that. Why you do good. The overall vision is easy to see but the work behind a business is fascinating. 

That's why I'm starting How's Business? - Lessons I learn from local business owners.  

First up, I have Eclectic Revival - a local clothing shop in the St. Pete/Tamp area. Y'all, I learned so much from Briauna - @brivick. Her vision was in her selling strategy and her passion for what she sold is awesome.  Seriously, I took down notes. 

Where did you get your love for vintage and motivation to start a shop?

I've always had a strong love for vintage and retro clothing.  I realized I need to start a small business when I kept receiving compliments on my outfits and accessories that I wore.  I thought if people liked my clothes so much why not share the cool vintage clothes I find with others that appreciate it.

Lesson I learned:  Sometimes there's market demand around you, you just need to listen.  *eyes emoji*

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finding demand

your business idea can come from your current life

When did you start?  How's business?

I started Eclectic Revival about 4 years ago.  I started out by doing markets such as Indie Market in St. Pete.  Recently I have been attending more markets and branching out to selling more items online as well.

How do you think Eclectic Revival convinces or provides value to its customers?

For markets I sell clothing for $5 a piece.  I believe that keeping my prices low helps show my customers that you can shop locally and get good quality items and not break the bank.  For online, I ship my clothes out as soon as I get the order and add a handwritten note thanking them for choosing me to buy clothing from.  I think the expedited shipping really helps with customer sales and being personal with the customers provides comfort that they are making a sale they won't regret.

Lesson I learned: I think I never truly understood customer experience until Briauna sent me this.  Like I knew the little things, send a note & make sure everything goes correctly.  But to hear her go into such detail, like investing in expedited shipping?  And understanding that people regret purchases when they make them?  That's so stellar.

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customer comfort

customer experience isn't just making everything go smoothly
it's also helping your customer not regret it

What has been your biggest challenge in your business?

Since I have started this business by myself at such a young age, I ventured into this not knowing how to run a business and all that it entails.  Marketing, promoting and dealing with clientele was all new scenarios I had to learn how to deal with.  Some Ideas worked while others may need time or re-advising.  I just have to take it day by day, be patient and be dedicated.  Starting anything new at first can be a challenge but the end result is worth the struggles you encounter!

Lesson I learned: The nervousness I feel right now for starting something new is normal.  I also learned that I need to try as many ideas as I want or can try out.  Day by day, patient, dedicated.  I'll try!

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challenges

starting anything new at first can be a challenge

Where do you see your shop going in the future?  Do you have any big plans or dreams for it?

My hopes for my business is that I can keeo up with online and branching out to new markets.  At some point, if possible, opening up a shop would be a dream come true but for now markets are what I love t odo and I hope to do more in the future.

Do you get a lot of support from the Tampa area?  If there was one thing you could see more of in the Tampa community, what would it be?

I have been a part of Indie Flea in Tampa and there's always a great turn out!  I think it is awesome that people are wanting to support small local companies.  We have a very creative and supportive community in the Tampa Area and for that I am thankful.  There is not anything I would change or want to see more of in our community, it is an overall great community.

Check out Briauna's shop: https://www.depop.com/eclecticrevival3

& store Instagram account -> @eclecticrevival3

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