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Monday, 15 October 2018

Gave in to Social Media for my Business

Reading everywhere, that it is important to get your name and items out there, shout about your "Brand" through social media, kept falling on stubborn on deaf ears here. I just felt that it was sad to see every social platform overrun by advertising and marketing, "hocking" if you will, of one's wares. I had vowed to Not become that person.

this is artbyjocelyn.naturaldesign :-)
Well, after seeing so many great little businesses using it and successfully and interestingly, I decided that if I want to increase my traffic, particularly to my Etsy shop, I really should consider it. I do like the fact that you may open a Business Profile on Instagram, so that people realize it Is a business, not a personal page. For this reason, I chose to begin a New IG account, and not just Switch my personal one over to a business one, and possibly peeve off some of my friends and followers lol!

In order to open an IG business profile, you must have a Facebook Business Page. This is because, if you have products listed, it is all managed and pulled from Facebook, where you manage your FB and IG business accounts from. Facebook owns IG.

One thing to note is that you Must have your Faccebook business page set up first, then create your Instagram business page, and go into your FB business page and take the few steps to associate that with your new business IG account.

There are quite a few sources online for researching and learning about setting both. I found Outside sources were better than the site's themselves own info. Here below are a few sources I read through and found helpful. Get ready to brainstorm both IG and FB business/page/user name early on, too, there are tips on this as well :-)


For Why & How to create an IG Business Page I found this article by Hootsuite quite informative and easy reading. You can then go on and read about more specific topics like marketing strategies, etc. 

Hootsuite also has a great article on how to set up a Facebook business page.
There is also another good one here by Fits Small Business.

I read both these in advance of even beginning.

In order to have your posts Shoppable, you need to be approved by Instagram. This article goes over that as well as a repeat of the above info. If you don't want to do that, you can just use the clunky old school method of mentioning that your Shop Link is in your Bio.


These are things I've learned from seeing successful business profiles, but some just are natural common sense. You will be able to add to this easily yourself, especially once you've done some legwork reading :-)

- keep your overall feed look and feel consistent
- make sure your images are professional looking and visually stand out, as best you can
- don't load your feed with heavy Text only type ad images, people like photos
- don't post controversial stuff or unprofessional stuff unless that is the whole Point of your Brand
- make people visually Love and Want what you present
- make your page feel Personal too, use personal posts to lead into subtle promoting,  be Real
- Don't buy fake follower! It looks Ridiculous! 5 images and 7000 Followers?! = Not Legit Account!
- interact, comment, like and follow Naturally, other people's feeds you truly are interested
- follow similar people, like Makers if you are a maker, Local related accounts like local businesses
- look into hashtag use, research how to hashtag successfully, know the Banned ones too!
- learn how to use not just Obvious Broad hashtags, but more Unique or Unusual ones
- in other words, Learn About #Hashtagging on Instagram!
- keep words short and sweet, people hate reading tons of text
- make people feel welcome and happy to view your feed :-)

Get Building!

To find me on Facebook, click the banner :-)

To find me on Instagram


Saturday, 4 August 2018

Working on a Squirrel and Chipmunk Calendar

It's getting to that time of year where calendars become a popular purchase, as gifts. Last year, my Seagull calendar did very well, and I really Loved doing it! I was soooo happy with how it turned out. I'm not a writer really, but I love the little anecdotal written piece on the back of the calendar the best!

It is tons of work to make a calendar. I took about 2-3 weeks to do the seagull one. I also then did an urban street scene sort of calendar afterwards, as well as a Monarch butterfly one, but those went a bit faster having already done one. I ordered the butterfly one, a small version, and I was Super impressed with the printing and quality! It makes a really nice gift! There are a small selection of calendars in my Zazzle shop presently. Some you may customize.

Squirrels and chipmunks are so cute! I have literally hundreds of funny and cute images I've shot of them since 2012. So, the hunt was done over the year through my literally 10s of thousands of photos, to choose the best ones. Then, all the editing of them. Then, they need to be placed into the specific months I feel they best suit. Voila, a new calendar.

Right now, it is in progress, but should be done by end of August latest and ready for purchase!

My Seagull Calendar

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Nice Review on One of my Faves!

I was so thrilled to see a buyer put a lovely review for one of my products on Zazzle! It is one of my favourite designs of my own, and I have it on a glass trinket tray, and it looks just gorgeous!

I did this design, beginning with one of my photographs, taken into Photoshop, and created a 45 degrees mirrored, symmetrical Mandala pattern with it. With blending layers, some manual manipulation of the colours, and artistic filters and such, this lovely Boho Mandala was my result. I then combined a large tile of it over a repeat tiled pattern of it smaller, to end up with the pattern for this pillow cover. I love the rust and peacock green blue colour sin it, this aside from burnt orange and turquoise, is my favourite colour combo!

So, to my unknown buyer, thank you so much for choosing My design for your throw pillow, and for you lovely remark!

The glass trinket tray I bought has the most amazing depth to the look of the design in the glass, it's stunning, and would make an awesome gift.

Friday, 9 March 2018

Exciting to Find Out - Editor's Picks Products!

I have not posted here in a while. Mainly, fairly busy, life and all.

Today, I learned from another long time Zazzle designer that we are able to see if any of our designs on products have ever been selected to be Editor's Picks on Zazzle. Well, doing the search, I found that I have had 3 products featuring my designs, chosen as Editor's Picks, in the past.

They are not the products I would have though, certainly not my best sellers. But I am stoked to see I have 3!

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Long Time No Post

It's been a while since I last posted, but life is a bit busy, and will be becoming a bit busier as well in the near future.

Not sure how much time I have left in this world, so I am really being choosy and paring back a lot of the things I do on my evenings and weekends, after work.

Print on demand designing and my shops will most likely have to be one of those things that I back off a bit. I enjoy it a lot but I will be leaving things basically as they are, thinning out, and only really keeping up my most popular selling designs on items.

I hope to devote much more time again to my painting, as it is very self satisfying and my strongest and most true driving force creatively. I was very good, but I could have and should have been better. That chance is kinda gone, really, but I still am good and to relax and just paint a few hours one day a week, on the weekends, is great and I will pick up my developing again, and hopefully pass the level I left it at.

A lot of my body of work, the small pieces I sold over a 2 to 3 year period, many were lost, many were ones I really loved. The rat in my keyboard tray was my biggest sad loss :-( Something happened to or was done to the CD I had them all on, back in 2009 or 2010, and there were images on it of many of my paintings, images that I did not have saved anywhere else.

In any case, my artwork can be found by visiting my gallery site, a site I worked up on a rough piece of paper and that my husband built for me, just as a viewing gallery of some of the artwork I completed over the last 15 years or so, most were commissions or sold pieces.

Designing is a joy but I never have felt really that personally proud of my designs nor my photography, as much as I did as a painter, and though it sounds shitty to say, I don't feel it is as important nor is it as admirable or personally developing for me as an artist, as is painting. There are some real super talented designers and photographers out there, and I just don;t have the potential to be among those very great ones. Painting, I always had that chance, even if I did blow it often, with life choices and just my old A type personality that is bent on "doing way too much!" lol!

I will continue to do a couple calendars a year, as I really do love working with my photography. Also, I will continue to maintain my Etsy shops, the photo and design based one; artbyjocelyn and my polymer clay shop; asimpleknead

Monday, 20 November 2017

Sold my First Ever Calendar!

Yesterday I had a bit of a thrilling day! I discovered that I had Finally sold one of my few calendars that I had created. It is my most recent one, which I have to admit, is the best one I've created so far.

my original photo, used for the front
Photography is my biggest love, after painting, so I really want the products I offer that are created from my own original nature and local sights and textures themed photography to be well received and sell!

The idea I had was to create a calendar with some of my seagull shots. Though I like to keep my images as natural as possible, it really does not hurt to work with some filters and manual digital manipulation to make a good photo great and interesting!

With this calendar, I chose images that I really felt worked for specific months and that suited a horizontal composition and also that evoked some sort of feeling or emotional reaction upon viewing. I went with images that not necessarily were super high scientific detail of the birds, but were more atmospheric, gestural and described visually days in the life of seagulls.

When my husband and I go for hikes or nature walks, we always tend to pick places that end down at the shore of Lake Ontario. Upon seeing the seagulls, I often think, they really are beautiful birds in their own way, although many people do not care for them. They are fun and a challenge to photograph, especially in flight, or while hunting for fish. Not living as close to a marina as I used to, I do not get to see that as often anymore. Many of these photographs in my calendar were from a few years back, when I did live only 10 minutes from a harbour and the shores of the lake. They are mainly of the common ring billed gull, as those are the best photos I've managed to get of seagulls. Though, I have seen many different kinds, including migratory ones such as the Great Black Backed gull, the Herring gull, the Bonaparte gull, etc. I have yet to be in good enough conditions or distance to get a decent shot of them, however.

Though I am not a writer, I did write a short poem like verse for the back of the calendar, sort of summarizing the impressions that gulls have left on me over the many instances of having observed them. However, I did not include the very funny one about when my kids were little.

At the Toronto Zoo one year, probably about 2002 or so, when my son and daughter were maybe 7 and 5, I had taken them to the zoo. We didn't always buy lunch there as it is super expensive. But, I had just enough that one visit, to get them each a burger at McDonald's. My son had his burger in his hand, and was holding it up near his face when a gull swooped by and actually grabbed it from his hand. I ended up giving him the rest of my lunch lol! But, they are not always lazy and opportunist, I have seen how magnificently they hunt for fish, when they have to :-)

Friday, 20 October 2017

Gold Foil Cards From Zazzle - Review

What can I say! They are beautiful!

I ordered the note card size, on white matte card stock. The gold foil printing is superb!

I definitely feel confident about offering promoting and purchasing these cards!

The card also arrived well packed and safely.

These cards are difficult to photograph, this is my best efforts, but it is difficult to convey the beautiful chameleon like reflective finish on the printed gold foil areas. Let's just say that it exceeded my expectation.