A Few Words about Pie

A Few Words about Pie

How many pieces in your pie?

How thin can you cut a slice and still savor the flavors?

Is Pie better shared or are you one of those that wants to keep it all for yourself?

Do you have conditions on which you are willing to share your pie? Who qualifies?

What if you run out of pie? Can you make more or is it a secret recipe that no one knows?

I want to consider myself unselfish and willing to share until I realize that I am not that willing. Is giving it away with no restrictions the same as that “doormat syndrome”?

I do want to share, however I do also want the last piece, just incase the recipe gets lost.

Silly me, there is a war going on between my brain and my heart or maybe it’s my inner child and the inner chef. I should know there is always more pie, if you are open to variety. Who wants to eat the same pie day in and day out. Not I!

So feed the child and keep making more pie and invite the others in for a bite. Pie is meant to be shared and that is all there is.

Have a Happy Day!

Cheryl

Cheryl McDonald is a full-time artist living in the high desert at the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, to see more of her work click here!

Light at the end of at least one tunnel

Light at the end of at least one tunnel

So yesterday I was ranting about software companies. My rant was brought on by built-up experiences over time with a few different companies but came to a head when the software I had and wanted to use for my art organizing plan needed multiple upgrades because of Apple’s incessant need to update and change things.

Well, yesterday there was positive news and a person to person exchange working out a plan to not only get my software where it needs to be, but also a plan for me to learn a little more of how to use it. This company is not a faceless corporation, it is dedicated to helping artist succeed. The company is called GYST which actually stands for Getting Your Sh*t Together. It is a project started by an artist named Karen Atkinson and this is the About statement straight from the website

“GYST-Ink is an artist-run company/art project by Karen Atkinson, providing resources, technology, and solutions created by artists for artists. Our mission is to support arts professionals, educational institutions, and arts organizations with an integrated program of software, services, and information in order to keep artists working. GYST–Ink is dedicated to empowering and educating artists so that they can develop sustainable and successful careers on their own terms.”

It is unfortunate I let my past dealings with software companies color my view and make me think that there was no hope and I would just have to do it all myself in some half-*ssed manner to get my sh*t done. I still have a lot to learn and I am hoping that not only will I learn to use the database, but I just might learn how to be a more professional and successful artist. You see the whole point for most of us artsy-fartsy people is to create something that matters to you the un-artsy-fartsy. We know the value of creativity in the world and the change that can come when we are all open to see and experience something unique. The more we succeed, the more humanity does also. (Yes art is important.)

So based on my experiences here I want to say that if you are an artist and you need to get your SH*T together, here is a good place to start, gyst-ink.com

Thank you for reading,

Have a happy day!

Cheryl

 

Cheryl McDonald is a full-time artist living in the high desert at the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, to see more of her work click here!

More Spring Artwork to share

More Spring Artwork to share

Good Morning All,

My goodness, I have been having fun, painting fresh Spring flowers, iconic Easter images like bunnies, baby ducks and chicks. Creating mini art pieces that others can share is becoming a habit. I love the fact that they are mailable and hangable. My new tag line is “I make usable art”. As I’ve said before art is everywhere we turn so why not surround ourselves with art we love and art that makes us happy, and spreads a good feeling. We need more of that in our lives. The crazier the world seems, the more we need to spread the love.

Yesterday and today I put several of these new items on my CherylMcDonald-art and I even started a business page called Cheryl McDonald Creative! on Pinterest. This is the next step in becoming savvier about selling online.

I am learning that taking this task of online sales on in steps, sometimes even micro steps, makes it seem less daunting and much more manageable. Taking breaks to work in the garden or make art helps as well. It is exciting to see progress, in the form of sales and happy customers that I might never have met without this shop. Spreading the love as far as I can! One of the next steps will be figuring out global sales, not just United States sales.

Hope you are having a productive week, and I hope you are giving yourself time to recharge as well. Easy to forget to do when the world keeps throwing more and more at us.

Have a happy day!

Cheryl

How Does One Connect with Customers in the Online World?

How Does One Connect with Customers in the Online World?

I spent most of the day painting yesterday. I was working on more Spring cards and I started a larger painting as well. The nice thing about watercolor, at least for me, is that you have lots of time between layers to get other things done. It’s not like acrylic where you can just pile color after color on top of each other. Watercolor has to dry or the colors mix and you get that color called mud. So I did feel like I had a very productive day.

I will have a booth at our local farmers market on Saturday and I will take these new cards to sell. Right now it is my only outlet to connect with my customers. This is one of the things I miss most about not having a gallery or being part of a cooperative gallery. We don’t have these things here. I would love to start one but I am not a director type person, I have figured that much out about myself. So I go to the farmers market fairly often and I get to greet and chat with the people who stop by my booth. To me, this is the best way to build long lasting relationships with my customers. We become friends, and they look forward to seeing all the new things I am up to.

Facebook is sort of like that. If I post regularly I build relationships with those who comment on my work and sometimes people who are on Facebook come to my booth and I get to meet them in person.

I am wondering how one builds those relationships on a website or like my Etsy shop, is it being pushy to reach out and thank the people who have come and liked my shop or items? I don’t know.

How do you build relationships when your main outlet is online? Would love to hear your techniques.

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Here are some of the new cards I made this week, they are $12 each and they are not on my website. If you’re interested let me know before Saturday and we will make a plan to get it to you. I may put them on Etsy, and if these sell I can do one that is similar. Because they are hand painted, each one will be different.

Thanks for reading and have a happy day!

Creating a Personal Style is an Important Tool in Getting Noticed.

Creating a Personal Style is an Important Tool in Getting Noticed.

One of the tenets of marketing 101 is the importance of creating your own personal style to build a connection with your clients. You want them to remember you above all the others they might come across in your field.

For instance, are you a real estate agent in a sea of many? Being part of a big firm can give you credibility, however, it can also get you lost among all the other agents in the same firm. Your client may easily remember the name of the firm and forget yours. Not on purpose, but because big agencies do lot’s of advertising to drum their name into everyone’s consciousness so that when people are looking for an agent they might remember a particular firm.

So how can you get noticed and remembered? Personal touches, personal style, and graphics that reflect your warmth and professionalism. One of the ideas I came up with years ago and am now revisiting is creating custom thank you notes for agents. One way I am doing this is by creating multiple architectural illustrations of various style homes and then adding a sold sign with your name on it on front and your information on the back. It is a unique and personal way to thank your prospects and clients for choosing you to work with them in this very important life decision. Over the years I have painted 6 different style homes and I also offer the service of painting one just for you from a personal photograph so that it is unique to only you. 

I have done this for other professions as well like Mary Kay Sales Reps and even a refrigerator repairman once. It’s fun and personal and it becomes something recognizable as unique to you and your personal style of doing business. 

I have just re-designed these cards and made them available on Etsy so that you can order from anywhere in the country and get a beautiful personal product that you can be proud to send. You can order in quantities of 25, 50, or 100 for very reasonable costs for less than $2 a card including shipping (tax depends on where you live). 

I am also open to creating other kinds of illustrations or graphics that are built just for you as well. You can email me your idea and we can make something just for you. 

If you are interested in seeing more information about this product, here is the link to the listing.

Thank you for reading and have a happy day!

Cheryl

 

A Valentine Memory

A Valentine Memory

It’s Valentines Day 2019

I remember in elementary school, many, many years ago, we would have a class party for Valentines Day. The week before the teacher would set up a post office and each student created their own mailbox and decorated it. Our teacher chose a new person every day that week to be the Post Master and each day as children brought in their valentines (we had to have one for each person in the class), the Post Master would distribute them in the mailboxes.  On Valentine’s day, we had the party and after all the handmade cupcakes and party favors were handed out, we would retrieve our mailboxes to take home with us.

It was so much fun going through the cards. They were mostly the store-bought kind. Little cut-out characters with a happy greeting. Once in awhile, there were handmade ones but they were rare. Some of them were signed and some weren’t. Did you get any ‘Be Mine’ cards? Was it from that cute boy you had a crush on? It was kind of amazing that even though we lived in a small town it was rare that you got lots of the same ones. It was fun to get Mail.

It is a fond memory, I still love getting cards and letters, and honestly, I need to be better at personally sending them as well. Lot’s of people are better at this than I because I have been making cards out of my art and selling them for many years! First, it was prints of watercolors I had done, then photographs I had taken and now I am also making hand-painted cards. People love them and share them or gift them so that others can share them.

Sending a card from one of your favorite artists is so much more than just a greeting. It is sharing a gift created by one and passed on to another. It adds a real human connection to the process of communication. In a world of immediate digital, I think a personal hand-written note may be more important than it has ever been. It makes us stop and pay attention, and it reminds us that we are not alone, that someone cares for us. I often save them and every time I see it, it reminds me of the person who sent it.  Again it makes me stop and think. It often sparks me to connect with that person again in some way, even if just sending positive thoughts their way.

And so on this valentines day 2019, I just want to say, cards are one way to connect with those you care about, either near or far. It doesn’t have to be on a special day and actually, I think it might be more important on those days when time gets lost. And yes there are lots of ways to connect, this is just one. If you are looking for artists who make cards for all your special needs, I invite you to look at Etsy.com. Here there are many unique artists that create custom and customized cards. This is where I have set up shop as CherylMcdonaldArt and you can find my cards there as well.

Happy Valentine’s Day, may you feel loved and may you give love to those you care about. And be sure to give the post person some love as well. Even though the costs keep going up and the expectations get higher, the post office still delivers 6 days a week everywhere in the country. And is in and of itself a miracle!

All the best, ❤️

Cheryl

The Captivating Magic of Making Art

The Captivating Magic of Making Art

I am wound up in the tendrils of a vine called Art.

I do not actually believe I am making art at this time with all my dot making, I am mastering a new technique and getting comfortable with the process. The art-making is coming, the imagination and the visualizations are once more starting to flow.

I like to make tedious art, I always have. I enjoy abstracts and flowing paint, however value, and light, and detail are the art that I am constantly drawn to, whether it is drawing, painting, or photography, or even digital for that matter. To me the story comes through in the minute details, layers of dots, lines, color, it all comes together to create the story.

Getting my mind to move in the direction of marketing, selling, accounting and all the rest of the details of running a business is like trying to extract myself from a Venus Flytrap. The struggle is futile. (Insert a laugh comment here). And yet, because I love the other aspects of the work that I do, I must. I must think about that marketing campaign for the new client, I must think about how best to show my work and market myself, I must think about the community activism I am involved in to create art awareness and community. I must because I love all these aspects of the skills and talents I have been given. I have read dozens of books on how to organize your day, I have tried dozens of calendars to try to reign myself into a schedule and yet I am constantly fighting the battle. I envy artists who have a partner that handles the sales, the galleries, the websites, and the workshop details. I would love to do nothing but make art, think about art, teach art. Maybe someday that will be my life, but for now, I just keep moving, I just keep learning and sharing and building connections and living the life I have been given. Giving gratitude for all the good that comes to me every day. I am a lucky woman and I know it.

Art, for me, is magic, it flows through my fingers like music flows from the hands of a musician, like motion flows from the body of a dancer. There are no good explanations of Why or How it only happens and that is what magic is all about.

🙂