99 luftdesigns.

5 04 2010

last weekend i was quiet because i was bummed out, this weekend i was quiet because i was lost in the depths of stunning weather (78!)  feaster weekend (choco-coma), and my brand new obsession 99designs.com. it all started with this little article i read on mashable (another current obsession) about finding digital design projects online. last month when i unsuccessfully attempted to make $1,000 (i ended up with $22, but we’ll talk about that later…), one of the first things i did was think about my marketable skills. i came up with the following:

sass mouth
general labor
babysitting (as long as they can use the toilet and eat solid foods)
resume writing
graphic design
and some other crap i’m probably forgetting.

but about that last one… ok, so i’m not a real graphic designer (as evidenced by how lame my behance portfolio is in comparison to all the other stunning real professionals on the site).  i have an art degree, and i’m good with computers. i’ve done some projects for some friends (usually for free or in trade), and i do some basic design for work (making warehouse space look sexy is rough). but i am far from trained- and there is a whole lot that i don’t know how to do/could be better at. one of the hardest things to do when you’re just starting out at anything is to GET EXPERIENCE, because who the hell wants to hire some schmo who doesn’t know how to do dick? 99designs, that’s who. basically, they give businesses a low cost alternative to hiring a real graphic designer.  for a flat fee, a business seeking a logo/web design/icons/letterhead… whatever can list their project, and anybody and their grandmother can submit their designs. if they choose your design, you win a prize (usually between $100-$500).  simple simple. and even if you don’t win, it’s still a great opportunity to hone the ole craft on some real life projects.

on the double upside, a good chunk of the designs on the website are really awful, and made me feel better about my skills after behance took my ego down 1,000 or so pegs.  yet another added benefit is that even if you have no desire or interest in being or hiring a graphic designer, there is a ton of hilarity to be found soaking up the bad design, poor direction following, and inappropriate use of clipart.

day 1- the big shill

3 03 2010

ok, technically it’s day two, but day one of me actually trying to do anything. i wasted most of the day at work, and then seeing a terrible movie (wolfman! no me gusta!), but since the PT showclub told me to call back later… i had to do SOMETHING today. i’ve decided that while i’m organizing the big ebay purge, i would try to sell some of my more marketable skills on craigslist.

first stop, personal organization. this is actually something i would do for a job if i thought i could actually make a decent living with health insurance. i totally get the jollies from sorting big piles of mismatched crap into neat little stacks, piles, and jars (labeled for extra jollies). but would anyone actually pay me to do it? according to the one website i looked at, real personal organizers charge $55-$85 bucks an hour. of course those people are probably certified and experienced. i have been known to organize my friend’s stuff when they’re not around… but really i’m more of a hobbyist  than a professional. whatever *throws caution to wind*! i figured i would make a charming little ad where i would charge $15 an hour (i’ve gotta make it sexy, right?), throw it out there, and hope for the best. i don’t have too much riding on this one, but it’s an experiment, so why not.

i was thinking that maybe i could put up another ad for graphic design. what else can i do?  what do you think people would you pay for?

get dressed.

12 01 2010

damn. so i had this business meeting today with a web developer who is at least 5 years younger than me- which isn’t really the problem, except that she looked AMAZING. she wasn’t wearing a suit, and she wasn’t perfectly coiffed, and she certainly wasn’t sporting crunk-ass dragon lady acrylic nails… but she had a good haircut, fabulous shoes- and looked interesting, and pretty, and creative- all while still being entirely appropriate and business-like (she also had the world’s most perfect short manicure). and i just wanted to crawl under the table and die. my hair is a mess, i’m wearing my fat pants (coincidentally the only pants i fit into right now), and a wrinkly sweater vest that makes me look like an extra from newsies. FUCK!!

clinton & stacy always say that you should dress for the career that you want, not necessarily the job that you have (i manage a small commercial real estate office). just because my officemates don’t mind if i look like a scrub- doesn’t mean that it’s ok for me to strut around the file room in  wrinkly sweaters and jeans. i’m 32 years old. maybe it’s time for me to start dressing like the person i want to be when i grow up.

i’m not talking rayon suits and pantyhose here (nobody needs that- NOBODY), but adding a light veneer of sophistication to my look is definitely along overdue. the punchline here is that i love fashion, i’m literally just too lazy to deal with the maintenance (dry cleaning- aaaaaaaah!). i’m also 30 lbs. heavier than i ever have been (thanks divorce!), and need to get myself out of the “no new clothes until you’re skinny” loop. dude, i might never be skinny again.

anyway, here is my 5-point plan to start to peel away the elastic waisted layers of my current self, and find the polished and professional adult underneath that i know (well, i hope) is in there:

1. get a decent haircut. what i have right now is more the absence of a haircut. mostly, it’s an ever present slightly messy ponytail. not good. i need something that doesn’t require a blowdryer (hate ’em), or any sort of product (no thank you). something simple that looks good out of the shower, or not out of the shower (i don’t like to get wet).  really, anything remotely resembling an intentional hairstyle would be a start.

2. get used to swapping shoes at the office. it’s winter in maine, and i walk everywhere. generally, this means i’m sneaker-clad or wearing my snow boots to work, and then wearing them all day… also not good. while i’m at it, i should probably buy some slightly more sophisticated shoes (the neon green chucks aren’t really cutting it).

3. learn how to give myself a manicure. a real manicure is like $35 bucks, but my jaggy gnarled little claws need to go! clean, short, and modern is the plan. but i’d be happy if people just stopped averting their eyes in torn cuticle terror.

4. buy infallible classic basics. a pair of well fitted denim trousers and the perfect white blouse might be a good place to start. i feel like i’m craving more navy in my wardrobe anyway. as much as it pains me to say it- i may need to shell out for this. fit is expensive– and fit is the absolute most important thing that makes you look put together.

5. buy beautiful bold accessories. i actually have a silk scarf with chainsaws all over it that i’ve never worn. why the hell not? the thing that makes those basics less… um… basic is dressing them up with pops of color and crazy vintage finds. since i will have spent all my money on that perfect white blouse, i should probably hit the goodwill on the hunt for bold jewelry, vintage cardigans, and silk scarves.

yeah, i know i’m hopeless… what else can i do?