Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Creativity Booster: Embracing Imperfection

One of the major keys to being a more creative individual and allowing your inner creative voice to speak is to let go of self-criticism and embrace imperfection.

I know exactly how to feels to look at the creative work of other people and become dejected - even after the successes that I've had, I still (frequently) see others work that just wows me and after I get past the beauty of if I start comparing it to my own work and instantly feel smaller.  I think, "I could never be that good!" or, "I like their style better than mine!"  And on really bad days I'll think things like, "Why even bother trying?  If they're already doing it, then what's the point of me trying to do it, too?  The world doesn't need another photographer."  And then I look at my work and remember that's exactly the reason why I should.

If I had given up the first time that I had that thought, my work would never have evolved and improved and become what it is today. And it certainly would never have had the chance to become what it will be tomorrow.

There are tons of people out there that don't like my work!  And that's totally okay.  Because for every person that doesn't there's another that does.  That's the greatest gift of art: it is completely personal. Your work will not be loved by everyone.  But it will be loved by some, and that's what matters.  You have captured just a little more beauty and you've done it through your own eyes and you've helped make someone else's world to be more beautiful because of it.

Every great artist, writer, photographer, and creative person has to start at the beginning.  How quickly we advance all depends on how much time we spend doing what we love - and how much time we spend loving what we do.

Imagine if Ansel Adams had taken a few rolls of film on his very first camera, and when he developed them, he said "Well these aren't very good.  I must not be cut out to be a photographer," and then he quit!  Can you imagine the world without his stunning landscapes?  I can't either.  But you know what?  He had to start where we all started: trial and error.  Imagine if they made a book out of all his bad photographs.  Doesn't happen, does it?  But people don't realize that even he took bad photos all the time, too.  They just don't get any publicity. He continued to take pictures because he loved to.

Change the way you talk to yourself about your abilities.

This one takes a little effort if you're used to looking at your work and feeling your heart sink and frequently think thoughts like, "See?  You suck!  Everyone else out there is so much better than you.  You're just not improving fast enough."  Changing the way you think is the second most important thing you can do to improve, after practice.
  • Give yourself permission to create endless bad things.
  • Remind yourself that anything you don't like can go in the trash and you will never have to look at it again.
  • When you are feeling frustrated, remind yourself that even creative geniuses create things that they don't like; in fact, they are often their own worst critics.
  • You might not be seeing your work as it actually is, but through your own "not good enough" filters.  It might be better than you think.
  • Remember that you are only going to get better.
  • Try to create when you are in a really good mood.  This doesn't mean make excuses to not go out if you're in a bad mood, it just means that if you're feeling great and you have time, go create something.  When you are feeling good, you will automatically be more creative.  (Seriously!  I'm not kidding about this one!)

Making Ugly is Good.

One of the smartest people I know (aka Mom) is a professional artist and a teacher.  There have been countless times I have gone to her after drawing a particularly ugly picture or trying to take a photo that doesn't turn out, completely frustrated because it didn’t come out the way I wanted it to. She always reminds me, "When you're making a lot of ugly, it's a sure sign that you're about to have a breakthrough."

A lot of people quit when they're not doing as good as they think they should be doing, because they take it as a sign that they must be bad. But the truth is, that's just how the learning curve works. Every time I create something new and brilliant and wonderful, I always take a look at what I created right before (if I haven't thrown it away already) - and it's usually especially terrible!

But isn't that good to know?  Next time you don't like what you're creating, don't get mad at yourself for not being better. Instead, remember this and take it as a sign that good things are in the works.  "Making ugly" is like the creative brain's way of rearranging and reordering itself to make room for new pathways and new ways of doing things. Work through it, and watch what you create in the next day or so.  You might just be pleasantly surprised.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Fine Art Photography Giveaway

"The Heart of Zion" © Tien Frogget

OC Designer Source is excited to announce that we are teaming up with Homemade Design and Photogapher Tien Frogget to have a Fine Art Photography Giveaway! 10 lucky winners will receive a FREE 10 x 15 Print on Metallic Paper, signed by the photographer. The images on this blog posts are among the ten prints that are available.

"Horseshoe Bend" © Tien Frogget

Those who enter first will have more of a selection to choose from if they win, so if you're interested, don't hesitate to enter right away. It's easy -- all you need to enter is your e-mail address -- and OC Designer Source promises not to sell or share your information with anyone. Be sure to share this giveaway with your friends and followers!

“This fine art photography giveaway is a wonderful opportunity to showcase the beautiful art we have available to buyers of art and photography” says Michele Preston, CID and President of OC Designer Source, “it’s a great example of fresh art that OC Designer Source brings to product and apparel marketing initiatives.”

OC Designer Source's intent in having this giveaway is to gain more visibility as a company as well as to promote Tien Frogget's photography as well. Our goal is to gain over 2,000 likes on Facebook by the time the giveaway ends on May 1!

(Don't forget to Like us!)

(& Like too!)

"Droplets on a Leaf" © Tien Frogget

OC Designer Source works extensively to provide cutting edge art for home and commercial spaces as well as gift, apparel, accessories, sporting goods, toys, and textiles. Our in house creative department and graphics team keeps ahead of the trends ensuring art buyers and licensors for product marketing and apparel marketing are successful using personalized and fresh designs from today’s most inspiring artists.

OC Designer Source currently has a massive online private art library featuring over 2,500 images from 30 well known artists and photographers from around the world. Many of these artists are exclusively represented by OC Designer Source. Companies interested in licensing art from this library can contact us directly in order to request login information.

Click on the link below to enter one of 10 Fine Art Photography Prints signed by Photographer Tien Frogget!

"Scarlet Geranium" © Tien Frogget

A very special thanks to Homemade Design for helping us to put this giveaway together -- without them, this wouldn't have been possible! Give them some Facebook love, too!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Complete Kitchen Makeover

OC Designer Source recently finished a beautiful kitchen remodel for a wonderful couple who were really excited about completely redesigning several rooms in their home. They were so pleased with the end result that when we showed up at their house to take the final photos, they excitedly showed us all of the little tiny details of the completed kitchen.

Drawers were pulled open to reveal lights that lit up automatically when you needed to get something. Cupboards were opened to reveal storage that really maximized the use of their space, including a giant spice cupboard and a little pull out section for storing sponges and cleaning supplies under the sink.  There was even a pull out drawer for the doggie bowl!

This couple was SO enthusiastic about their new space – and it’s no surprise when you get a look at some of the before photos! This house was built in the 70’s and they hadn’t remodeled it since they’d moved in over 30 years ago! I think they were definitely ready for a change – and change they did! It’s almost unrecognizable as the same kitchen. They didn’t just upgrade what was already there – they tore out walls and moved everything around!! This wasn't just a remodel -- it was a complete kitchen makeover. They were so incredibly happy with their brand new dream kitchen.











OC Designer Source is so happy that we could custom design something for them that made them so pleased with the end result! It’s always such a pleasure making client’s design wishes a reality, using our creativity and expertise as well as really listening to what they want in order to bring about a final design that they just love. Because being happy in your home is what is most important to us!

If you’re interested in having OC Designer Source work with you to redesign one or more rooms in your home, let us know! There are so many options available for a variety of budgets and tastes. We can help you bring YOUR dream kitchen (or bedroom or bathroom or living room…) to life!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Key to Lasting Success In Any Business: Lifetime Relationships - Part 2

This blog post is Part 2 of how to create lasting success in your business by building lifetime relationships. If you missed Part 1, click here to read it now.

  Keep in contact with people. Even if it’s just sending a birthday card or a holiday card to the clients you haven’t seen in a long time or picking up the phone to talk to that person that you haven’t seen in a few months. We are all busy and we can’t always carve out a ton of time for each other, but just saying, “hey, I still care about you and think about you sometimes,” can make a big difference. If you only call people when you need something from them, they will start to feel like you’re the friend that only calls whenever you need to borrow money, and they will feel like you don’t really care about them, only their business.

  Be willing to share your difficulties. This doesn’t mean spend all of your time complaining, by any means. This just means that you don’t always have to put on a front that “everything is perfect, I am doing great, nothing is ever wrong!” All people have difficulties from time to time, and we all know this. Admit it: when you see someone who everything is ALWAYS going perfectly for, don’t you think to yourself, “they must be lying about something.” But when you’re willing to be open and say, “you know, we just aren’t doing as well this month as we have been and sales have dropped dramatically,” people will see you as an open, honest human being and they will relate to you, because everyone has been there at some point! In fact, they might be able to offer some of their own expertise or advice that will ultimately help you turn it around completely! But you have to be willing to be a little bit vulnerable and put yourself out there.

  Encourage honest feedback. A solid business relationship that is built on trust is also built on honesty. This means being willing to be (tactfully) honest with them, and asking for their honest feedback in return. If they do offer constructive criticism, don’t take it personally. See it as an opportunity to grow and be better in your business (and even just as a person.) Other people often see things differently than we do and can offer us insight that we didn’t have. It also shows them that you value their opinion and care what they think.

  Listen. People love to talk. Yes, I know that you like to talk, too – everyone does. But if you talk too much, people will feel like you don’t care what they have to offer, you just want someone to tell all about you. Whereas if you listen, genuinely wanting to learn more about each person, you will make them feel respected, heard, and they will feel that you care. In the process, you might learn lots of new things that you might not have otherwise learned. You also might discover that they have a service that is perfect for you or vice versa. Listening is the ultimate key to building relationships.

  Be honest and walk your talk. This is so very, very important. You know people who say one thing and do another. They think that they might be fooling you, but you see clear as day that they are all talk. It’s hard to have respect for people like this, and we all tend to shy away from them. On the same token, you also know people who do walk their talk, and are open and real and honest with you. Their actions are in alignment with the things that they say. These are the people that are likeable and earn our trust. These are the kind of people that you want to work with. So if you are this kind of person, people will flock to you as well. This isn’t something that you can fake, it has to come from a genuine place within you that wants and strives to be authentic.
Ultimately, caring about people and being real and open and honest with them will help them see you as a human being and they will connect with you. This is the key to creating lifetime relationships.