Some words.





It is 12:10AM on February 26, 2017.

The man-friend is killin digital dudes on a computer game while I'm suddenly in the mood to redesign my website. Not only in the mood but trying to DO something about it. I've been in the mood for about 8 years.

I work full-time for a small design agency but have always kept up with limited freelance work and like to continue to make art and crafts outside of my work time. I find that having creative outlets outside of the structure of my day job helps me think and work better on those projects.

My old, non-responsive website (responsive sites look good in any window size, like tablets or cell phones) has needed an update for a long time, since before I really worked on WordPress sites, but as most artists and designers know, we never work on our own stuff. We're always consumed with working on things for other people.

I've just installed a WordPress theme that I'll begin customizing and hopefully do so in stages. I tend to get overwhelmed with everything associated with working on my own things. So I'll attempt to take things one step at a time.

The step I'm on now is importing demo content so that I can see what I'd like to keep and work with as I build out my site.

I'm having an identity crisis. I like being a graphic designer. I love working on logos, picking colors, strategizing with clients to create a brand that they love and that reaches their customers, creating their printed materials and their website. Or simply creating a small piece of sentimental design for a loved one. But I also love making jewelry and crafts, plus drawing, painting and sculpting figurative work for glass casting.

I'm not sure what this new site will be but it's just gotta start being. That's all I know for sure.
Well, I also know that I like doing all of the things. I can't seem to give up all the different avenues for creativity that I like to pursue.

For instance, today I helped my photographer friend, Kim Brundage, with her Headshot Party. I was the accessories person. I am a Stylist super duper part-time for Stella & Dot, mostly because I'm obsessed with the jewelry. I helped the ladies (once they'd been through hair and makeup) pick out a piece or two that really added some flair to their outfits and with Kim's approval would show up great in photos. After the party wrapped up, I went home to start cleaning and organizing for when the man-friend moves in…I have way too much stuff…and then got craft-stracted and made this DIY pencil case using instructions I found on this website.

Basically I want to do the most. All the time. I'm not sure if that's possible so I'm attempting to think through who some of my favorite client types are and what are my favorite art and craft project types.
This is the list for clients:
• artists
• musicians
• educators

This is the list for art / craft projects:
• figurative glass casting
• great colors
• fabrics/sewing
• beading

February 26 - 11:15a - continuing to try to build the site. Loading demo content did not work. I tried to transfer some content from another similar site manually and that resulted in an internal server error. I am now attempting to reinstall WordPress onto my beta server. I've got to create a new one through my hosting provider because nothing I'm trying manually is working. Ah, the joys of web design.

In the interim, I have figured out how to create this little accordion-style blog...hopefully by the time this gets annoying to update, I'll have my new site up and somewhat presentable to be able to shift content over to that new design.

Day 3 of operation upgrade.

Like everyone else last night, I got distracted by the Oscars debacle so no more work got completed on my site.

Earlier in the afternoon on Sunday, the demo content import finally worked. Now it's a matter of stripping down the content of what's there to the essentials of what I would like.

There are logos to add, and colors to edit.

But first I must create a sitemap and figure out the main information I want to include. I think I'll start with a brain dump to narrow down all the thoughts swirling in my brain about directions I want to go. Art, jewelry, freelance graphic design, mentorship, teaching, community causes...always doing the most.


Tonight I had the pleasure of meeting with a glass mentor and teacher who first introduced me to casting back in 2000. She was teaching at VCU when I was exploring other arts outside of my Illustration program.

I recently finished a class with her where I made things like this and this.

In one of the last classes, she mentioned needing to edit her website and not being able to access her site and not being able to get in touch with the person who set it up originally.

I have a kiln that needs to be fired more and I'd feel more comfortable doing that with more guidance on kiln programming.

We can help each other in both areas so my first artist website consultation got started tonight. So excited to begin helping a working, talented artist create her new web presence.

The clarity has come in the last few days in what services I'd like to offer to clients for my personal, individual work. It's going to be focused on illustration and glass commissions with design and brand work for clients in the categories of art, music or education.

This first artist that I'm working with is not in a rush, is appreciative of my services and is open and willing to get my consultation on how we will set up and create her new site. I don't feel rushed or pressured and prefer to work in this way at all times. It's a situation that every full-time job I've ever had does not create.

I'm hopeful that in working with this client, I can create a repeatable process for working with artists in need of a website and work through that process for myself and my own new site.

Being Boss

Today begins a 2-day intensive webinar about business goal-setting, habits, boundaries and processes that creative entrepreneurs can use to grow successful businesses.

The webinar and year-long masterclass / resource area is designed for creatives who want to launch their business, side hustle, art or creative endeavor in a Boss way. Turning a hobby or creative pursuit into a legit business model.

It's the biggest financial investment I've made in my own learning since college. As a Creative Director over the last year in a division of a creative agency, I have learned so much but the more I've learned the more I realize I don't know about business. I found the Being Boss Podcast in response to trying to sort out the chaos I was operating in daily...not having much structure and methodology around what I was doing when I first began. Each episode that I listened to seemed to be created just for me. A question I was having, problems I was noticing or little project or client frustrations were addressed almost on a weekly basis by these awesome ladies - Emily & Kathleen. They were generous with their knowledge, openly sharing techniques, tips, tricks, failures and successes that made the business side of creativity real for me.

After a year or more of listening, I have decided to jump in with them and see where it leads. I feel like they've been my personal mentors from afar. The podcast topics, minisodes and visioning worksheets have been a light and a source of strength for me as I've tried to navigate this new role.

Last night was like going to sleep on Christmas Eve. That sounds a bit woo woo, but I'm looking forward to a magical 2 days with them. And I absolutely LOVE the fact that this process does not promise results of any kind. It only promises to hold each of us accountable for the work we are expected to do as bad ass boss ladies. I know this is not a quick fix or a one-time solution for my questions or problems. But it is a process that I can work through to get results if I put in the time and effort it takes.

I'm in a place where I want to work smarter not harder. The Being Boss Clubhouse is a step in that direction.

There are so many things I want to do as a result of this process. Be a better Creative Director. Be able to sell more high-budget jobs. Be able to explain my value and my skillset to a potential client so they're excited to work with me. Be able to manage my freelance design clients and workflow better. Be able to monetize and focus some on glass cassting work. Perhaps part of this process will be to get realistic about what I can actually do and what I WANT to do with my time.

Being on the other side of 35 has made me feel like this is the time I need to do this so I can take my creative talents to a new level sooner than later.

Super excited to begin this journey in just a little over an hour. Eeeeee!

Thanks RiRi for the warmup music!


My brain is swimming with lots of ideas, goals, tools and habits to level up and be more boss.

I met some awesome fellow bosses in various stages of their careers or goals.

Once my brain stops smoking from all the amazing info, I'm gonna get to work! I'm hopeful and excited for what this next year may bring.


©Twenty17 Jolinda Smithson. Don't bite my junks. K, thanks.