NEW BEGINNINGS

Ok all of you blog readers….I am need of some help.  A bit of advice from one blogger to another! I realized my post yesterday made it seam like I had ground breaking news….but no all of you who asked….I am not pregnant again! haha.  I’ve just been thinking A LOT about this blog over the past few weeks.  What am I doing and why I post what I do.  Is it relevant to you guys or is there something more I should be focusing on?  What do you enjoy most and why?  I began this blog as just a small stem of my website.  A website that is currently getting a major overhaul.  Yes, it has been a long time coming.  Hence all the lost content on my gallery and design pages.  I promise, the new and improved (and modernized) kellimurray.com will be much more….well, ME.  Anyway, I’ve never been the best writer, so I will do my best to articulate my thoughts, and if you have an opinion or some advice, please….I am all ears. Like I was saying, this blog came as a result of me wanting to share my art projects and freelance work.  I only posted ever so often and it always involved the art I was working on at the moment.  Over time, this blog became far more personal.  I posted on things going on in my life, personal struggles and accomplishments, and incorporated much more of my own personal style into my blog.  I didn’t intend for it to turn into a “fashion” blog, but as I became more and more busy designing at work, it left me with little to no time to work on my own personal art….which was the sole reason I started this blog to begin with.  As a way to keep this going, I decided to share my own style and fashion finds on the “in between”.  But soon, that aspect seemed to dominate over the art.  I was frustrated that I was not able to “do it all”.  I wanted to excel at work, but I also wanted to do all the things I personally was inspired to do : paint, draw, design invitations and paper goods.  Because those things in fact are my PASSION, but just do not pay the bills.  Time just wasn’t on my side.  I was stressed and unhappy in a lot of ways because I just did not feel fully invested in anything.  I had a million creative ideas that I wanted to work on on my “off time”, but there just was no off time.  Have you ever felt that way?  I wished so often that my body only needed to sleep every OTHER day, because then, maybe THEN, I could do everything I wanted to.  Well, I had to face the facts and realize that no, I can’t do it all.  I entered a season where I tried to learn how to better manage my time, prioritize my workload, and do as much as I could while still maintaining my happiness (and sanity).  I know this is something we ALL strive for.  Balance is the key to life right?  I believe it is something I will continue to work on for the rest of my life.  The important thing I guess is that I consider it a priority, and remember every day that my HAPPINESS should take the front seat to any extra money in my pocket or portfolio addition.  And in the midst of this soul searching season….I was smacked in the face with a surprise pregnancy!

Last year was a major life change for me.  I knew that having a baby would change my life forever, I just wasn’t sure how it would really factor in to my work life.  Needless to say, it factored in A LOT.  Working moms….you rule.  Seriously though, it’s the biggest challenge I have yet to face in life.  I was a borderline full blown work-a-holic for ohhhh… 7 straight years or so.   What does a work-a-holic do with a baby!!?? Well, they change is what they do.  With Rylee’s arrival came a whole shift in my outlook on life.  I honestly think she is the best thing that could have happened to me.  While experimenting with working part time for a few months after her birth, I realized that the best thing for me would be to shift into becoming a full time freelancer.  It would allow me to be at home with Rylee and complete my projects on my own time.  It was a hard decision for me because I am the type of person that loves to get out of the house and be in an office with other creatives and feel productive.  I loved my job and the people I worked with. Changing to be a freelancer took some, but not all of that away.  A big portion of my freelance work still comes from Jedidiah….and I still am lucky enough to have an office space there that I can go to when I really need to focus…and when Grandma can babysit!  But in the spirit of this whole new shift into freelance, I realized the importance of THIS…..blogging, branding and representing myself.  It seems that if you are going to “make it” these days as an artist, having an online presence is imperative.  But don’t get me started on twitter….I think I need to get one of those “for dummies” books on the topic! ugh.  I guess i’ve never really considered branding myself a priority because I had such limited time to invest in other projects anyway.  In fact, I couldn’t even take on half of the commission requests I received as it was.  I am hoping this year things will be different.  I want to rebrand ME!  I want to work on projects that inspire and excite me.  I want to get my spark back!  And I want to pursue the things I have been dreaming about for years (there are a few!)  So here is where I need your help!  I’ve picked the brains of a few close friends….but really I am still processing all of it myself.  (I am kicking myself for not attending Altitude Summit this year….because I am sure I would have walked away with a swift kick in the butt to get my act together!  SO many inspiring speakers!)  Anyway, here are the big “undertermines” right now as I am thinking this all over.  I know it’s quite transparent, but I would love to hear if you have some ideas or opinions on the matter.  And if you happen to have a lot to say….email me!  I’d love to hear from you!

 

 A NAME

Does my blog need a name??  EVERYONE has a name.  But mine is…well, just my ACTUAL name.  Ha…I guess not even my actual name.  My name as of two years ago is Kelli Larson, but my “art” name, as people know it, has always been Kelli Murray.  So I kept it.  Poor Sam.  But really, a name.  Almost every blog I read is NOT the person’s name….it’s some cute title or phrase that represents them and what they do or who they are.  There are a few illustrators out there that I know of that just use their own name for their blog, but those are far and few between.  If I were to start fresh today, I would probably choose a name (there have been hundreds running through my brain lately).  But I think I may be too late in the game to turn around now?  Most people just call my blog “Kelli Murray Blog”.  And others have mistaken it’s title for “All Things Inspiring”…which is an easy mistake to be made since that is the header I have had since it’s beginning.  Regardless, I’m stumped on what to do.  No matter what, my URL will stay kellimurray.com….it’s just what to do about my blog (in the sense of it’s title).  What do you think?? Is it time I finally solidified a name for my blog since I am in the midst of a total re-brand?  Or is it safe to keep what has been working so far?

 SPONSORS

What has been your experience with adding sponsors to your blog?  I have had a few people ask why I do not have sponsors, and honestly, I just have not thought about it until recently.  I didn’t feel like a “good enough” or big enough blog to warrant sponsors….but perhaps i’m wrong.  I’ve never been a big fan of a whole grocery list of sponsors running along a sidebar….but I do see the worth in having a select few each month.  Maybe other small businesses or blogs could benefit from being featured here!? If you are a blog with sponsors….how did you begin?  And how does it benefit you? (I guess I know the obvious answers here, I just feel a bit naive to the whole thing and am looking for more insight from those of you more experienced in this world!)

CONTENT

This is mostly out of curiosity.  What is it that you most enjoy about this blog?  Do you like my personal posts on my family /adventures / ideas, hopes & dreams?  Do you prefer my lookbook posts?  New art projects, designs or illustrations?  Or do you like my features on products or art I love or my inspiration boards?  I love doing all of these….but I’m interested to know why you like to come back!  Are you picture people or are you readers!? (I guess if you are not readers you have not gotten this far!! ha!) And what in your opinion would make this blog BETTER!?

 

And lastly, if there is anything you’ve learned along the way….things you’ve done wrong or things you’ve done RIGHT that have made the biggest different in your blog or business…I would love to learn from you.  I feel like I have so much to learn in regards to social media.  And there is no better place to go than straight to the source.  YOU!  So I just want to say thanks in advance! Thanks for your advice and encouragement. And thanks for following me and supporting me along this journey. I am more excited then ever dreaming about this year and the possible collaborations and projects I hope to dive into.  Your opinions are so valued and I am so thankful to be able to do what I love as a job.  I am excited for this new adventure into freelance….and I have a REALLY good feeling about 2012!

 

 

  COMMENTS (44) | SHARE:

  1. Crystal

    Dear Kelli,

    I have been an avid follower for almost 2 years now. I was first drawn to your blog after seeing cute wedding illustrations. But what kept me wanting more was the fact that you infused the blog with so many honest parts of you. People like to feel they are connecting to the people they are reading about. Your inspiration pages inspire us. Your style is mesmerizing. Personal pictures of you, Sam and Rylee are amazing. Audiences are looking for the realness in life and are attracted to your documentation of that. Your life serves as inspiration and is part of your brand.

    Obviously you are seeking a new direction and we all love your illustrations, but we also love those elements of you that make your blog unique. They are part of your brand, I feel. Your name is so well-known.

    I think that most of us just really want to see you happy and doing things you love. I read every post, so the words don’t bug me.

    But I’m just a mom with a little blog and life trying to find the same balance working out how to maintain myself as well.

    Hopefully I was of some help…or maybe I just confused you further.

    Crystal xoxox

    Reply
  2. Lisa

    Don’t change a thing as far as content. I look forward to every new post and relate to your life and style in so many ways. I have been following your blog since first seeing your wedding on one if those wedding planning sites. As far as the name and design of your blog, you know what to do. You have great instincts.

    Reply
  3. Nikki

    I am no blogger expert, that is certain! I think Crystal said it very well. You have so much to offer, which keeps us coming back. Your work is amazing, your personal touch and real-life stories are inspiring, I loved seeing your baby room and all the inspiration boards. You have a killer sense of style. I think every aspect of your blog is awesome and I feel your name is kind of set and works, but I’m curious to hear what you’ve been considering changing it to.

    I work as a freelance graphic designer, mainly in wedding invitations, while I stay at home with my baby girl. Let me tell you, a dream come true! However, for me, working from home makes the balance issue a real challenge. I used to work for design agencies and really liked my work. Now, I have passion for what I do because I am doing what I want to do. I was never a work-aholic until I did all freelance. I can’t say I would change it though. I think, no matter what, the balance is going to be a challenge.

    I’m really looking forward to seeing your make over! Best wishes!

    Reply
  4. Stacey

    Hi kelli

    I’m not an expert on blogging which is evident from my little blog. I can only tell you why I love to read yours. I found your blog after seeing your beautiful wedding on a blog whilst planning my own this took me to see your amazing art. Through your art I loved reading about your life, fashion and interests on your blog.
    I started my blog as an outlet I never thought anyone would read it, it was a hobbie to express myself. The problem I find is keeping up with putting up posts working full time and that means some weekends too I struggle but I know that if I check my favourite blogs for posts and there’s nothing new for ages I get disappointed.
    I wouldn’t change your blog too much it’s uniquely you which is why we love it

    Reply
  5. Jennifer S.

    I really don’t have any blogging experience so I’ll just try to answer content portion. I most look forward to your personal and fashions posts. I have loved getting to look at all of the cute pictures of your new family and seeing your life in such a way has made me want to buy your art even more. It’s almost as if I feel like I kind of know you, or at least I know that you are someone I really respect and want to see succeed. I want to support you. I have a pretty good collection of art in my apartment but none of it is as special to me as the print of yours that I have. This is because most of the stuff I have is just nameless and faceless. When I ordered your print I was so excited about it I told my roommate all about your blog, and how you had just had a baby, and how you took all these amazing pictures of your family and your clothes, etc. And that seems kind of powerful to me and really, a great marketing asset. (And I’m not meaning to say that I wouldn’t want to buy your art if I didn’t read your blog, your art is amazing all on its own. I hope I’m being clear.)

    And I love your outfit posts because, well, you have a great style. I wish I could dress as well as you do. It’s honestly pretty inspiring. It’s very distinct and pretty specific. It’s because of you, and maybe a few other bloggers, that I have refined how I determine my style. I used to buy anything and everything, as long as I liked it (preppy, boho, emo, etc etc). Now I’m way more selective and it has allowed me to be more “in love” with my closet. Anyways, out of all of the blogs I follow, I love how you dress the most. It is so much fun to see all your outfit posts. I guess that’s what I’m trying to say.

    Whatever you do, it’ll be great! I definitely believe personal happiness should be a priority.

    Reply
  6. cathryn

    What an honest post!! As you might know, (as you see my name pop up every now and then) I have been following you since I stumbled across your art many moons ago!! I absolutely fell in love with your style. I loved seeing how your blog progressed as you did. I absolutely love your honest posts as I feel I can relate to them. I also absolutely love your style, and can sometimes get a bit green eye, seeing how you can make choosing your outfit in the morning look so easy…(I am typing this in a pair of leggings and a jumper….shame on me I know!)

    I am a fulltime freelance fashion designer, and like you I found the transition quite hard, and not knowing what to do. I think there comes a point in your life that you have to think of your own happiness, and not your bosses or your families! That point comes when you realise that you are the one living that life! Mine came when I was working in a job that I hated. I dreaded going in every day, and would count the minutes until I left, and I did this for over a year and a half. Thats when I KNEW I had to make a change. My fiance kept telling me to quit, but I had to realise it in myself. It took a few months to jump into full time freelance, but you know what… I have not looked back! I am not saying its been easy! It has probably been the hardest thing I have done, as at the end of the day, if you want to put food on the table, you have to make it happen! However, it has been the most rewarding!

    Like you, I loved working in an office with creatives around me, and thought I would struggle, but since working alone from home, I have found that Twitter has become my saviour. Just those little words make such a difference when your having a bad day!

    Just keep up the good work, and keep posting about your life! I have not kept coming back all these years for no reason! If you ever need a voice of encouragement from the outside world (in the UK!) you know where to email me! :) Us freelancers have to stick together!

    I say keep your blog name, you don’t need something fancy schmancy to fit in with the blog world!! I am getting married in less than 4 months so my ‘Cathryn Nicholson Designs’ isn’t going to relate…. but that’s how clients know me. Yes my blog is called Pencil Stitches, but like you I started this way before I realised I would be working for myself, but my readers know me as that! It can get confusing, especially when I become Cathryn May! Get on Twitter though, its not as confusing as you might think…. however be warned you could potentially get addicted…. ;)

    However if you want another freelancers advice, you know my email!

    One of my clients once said to me ‘If you don’t believe you can do it, then your client won’t either! Take everything by the horns and act confident, even if you are not!”

    Keep up the amazing work!!

    Reply
  7. Tori

    Hi Kelli,

    I am in no way qualified to give you, THE Kelli Murray advice! I just wanted to say that we your readers love all your work and personal posts. And based on all the work I have seen of yours over the last 5 years or so… I know that however you deside to rebrand, we will love it! We follow so avidly because we love your style and you for well, just being you.

    All the best for your upcoming adventures :)

    Tori xx

    Reply
  8. stela

    Hi,

    My name is Stela and I’m from Brazil! I’ve been reading your blog for about two years now and I have pretty much the same feeling of this girl, Crystal who was the first to comment. I started reading your blog for your art, but couldn’t avoid getting envolved with all the personal aspects of your blog. If there any change you can do, is that I think I would like to know more about your work, creating prossess and so.
    I also think that the name ( your name) is good enough. Keep believing in what you are doing and being so authentic and we will keep reading. =D

    Cheers from Brazil!

    Ps: Riley’s bedroom is a piece of art, I’m dying to have a baby and get inspired by you!

    Reply
  9. Emily

    I think sponsors can be a really bad idea for a lot of people. A lot of the time I see bloggers talking about the pressure to post frequently so their sponsors get their moneys worth and how stressful it is to get it all organized and keep everyone happy.
    If it’s something you really want to do go for it but it’s just another thing to think about.

    Reply
  10. Esther

    I come “all the way from germany” to read your blog :D
    and i got to say I LOVE it. you really do not have to change a thing! Keep it going! Love your litte beautiful daughter, your dresses, your art, you photos. aso

    Reply
  11. jen

    Kelli,

    I am brand new to your blog and your art, and I love it all. (I just featured your art on my own blog, actually)

    It’s my opinion that if you want to brand yourself as both a freelancer and as an artist, you should keep your blog name the same. Let your name guide your brand. This will keep your blog towards the top when someone Googles your name, and also keep your name in the forefront when someone comes across your blog, whether that be for fashion or whatever.

    I also think you should let your blog topics evolve and be organic according to what your current focuses are. If you’re finding yourself drawn to sharing your outfits, your art, pictures you’ve taken along the way, and talking about your kid, then that’s what your blog should be. By making it honest and not stretching and forcing it into something, it will be a labor of love and not a chore, plus more people will read it and identify with it when it seems “honest” and easy.

    Just my 2 cents.

    xoxo

    Reply
  12. Carly

    First off, I think it’s amazing that you have decided to go full-time freelance. That is such a big decision but one that I know you (and Ry!) will be tremendously thankful for in the long run. I think of that saying, “No one ever said they wish they had worked more on their death bed.” It’s true!

    One thing I have really come to understand intimately as I have gotten married and begun “adult life” is how finite our time really is. Milestones that seemed like a distant dream just a few years ago are / have happened! There’s really no time to waste in creating a life that is most fulfilling to you and your family.

    As far as branding YOU is concerned, as a marketing gal, I would suggest that you continue to leverage your name as much as possible – you don’t give yourself credit for the tremendous following you already have! I don’t think there is any need to change the name of your blog–unless you want to–because, like it or not, “Kelli Murray” has all of the trappings of a brand by itself. Just go with it! : )

    Reply
  13. kelli

    Thank you so much to all of you that have replied….I guess it has confirmed in my mind to just keep doing what I am doing with this blog! I look forward to sharing more of my life and work with all of you…inspire some and GET inspired along the way. I am exited for the re-design of my website….but most excited to start working on more projects true to me! Thanks again for all the encouraging words…means a ton!

    Reply
  14. Amie @ Itsystitch

    I think your content is amazing, I really do. Let’s be honest, many of us are blogging to reinforce branding, as well as share things we love. I have only recently had a blog pertaining to my waldorf doll business, but I had a very successful photography blog for several years before quitting the business due to health struggles and mothering my children. Everything you posted about your decision to freelance while being a creative, working mom, could have come straight from my pen. I miss the creative collaboration I had with other artists, so I think conferences, trade shows, etc, are very important, they help keep that spark and motivation. And honestly, sometimes it’s just plain nice to hear a colleague tell you your work is amazing.

    So, back to content, your content is so unique, and obviously keeps many of us coming back, so if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. You do however, have to take your target demographic into consideration (your clients) and if that’s more in the realm of graphic design/illustration, I might consider upping that ratio a bit. However, clients like to really “click” with someone, and I found on my photography blog, that when I shared things that were photography irrelevant, but conveyed “me”, those were just as successful as other posts. In this age, we have the ability to use the ONE AND ONLY UNIQUE THING WE HAVE (who we are) to set us apart from the rest. Why should my past clients have picked my to photograph their amazing wedding, when they could pick from 100′s of other local photographers?? Because none of those other photographers are ME. There is nothing egomaniacal about telling people what makes you YOU and how those qualities will set you apart. It’s just smart business.

    Sponsors… others will have to answer that one, as I never had sponsors. I just didn’t feel it fit into my blog style and was more workload to manage, which I did not need. I could sit here and say I would never have sponsors, but I’ll be honest, I have 5 kids, and, well, money is a consideration. I LOVE that some bloggers are willing to host sponsors, it’s an AMAZING form of advertising for many of us small business owners. It’s an effective way to reach an untapped market that fits perfectly into our niche.

    There is a designer who is local to me, Promise Tangeman, and she has done an AMAZING job of branding herself through her blog/facebook/twitter accounts. She has a monstrous following, and her online presence has led to lots of high end clients and collaboration. Literally, all you need to do to find her blog is just google her name.

    In regard to a name, in creative design and photography fields, I think your name is your best tool. Especially when you have a nice, clean, modern, rolls off the tongue sort of name like Kelli Murray. My vote is to keep it. It’s versatile, and it doesn’t date or label you. Best wishes kelli, and I look forward to seeing your changes!

    Reply
  15. Bree

    Hi Kelli! I moved from San Diego to Boston with my husband (just married!) a year ago and it has been challenging. Its just the two of us out here and we make it work. I was somewhat plucked out of my busy stressful life and I needed to figure out what to do with myself. I am someone who doesn’t care for social media or blogging because I think we should all step away from the electronics and go outside once in a while but while we’ve been here a lot has changed. I now love to use my Facebook and Twitter to keep in contact with my friends and family. I post all kinds of things so they feel more included in my life even if I am so far away. I discovered your art on a wedding blog and instantly fell in love. Everything was so beautiful. Then i found your blog and it turned out you were from SD and I though “awesome!” I think it is just so great what you have/are accomplishing and you don’t mind sharing your life with others. Its going to be amazing when you fully branch out on your own because what you’ve done so far is so impressive. Sorry to go off on a tangent but I mean to say how inspiring you are. And I look forward to getting new ideas from your current blog. I’ve even started drawing and I paint here and there. So keep up the good work!

    Bree

    Reply
  16. Jen Cairel

    Hi Kelli! It looks like I’m a little late to the party as everyone has already expressed what I was thinking. Your style is outta this world (seriously) & I love your outfit posts. I also love your personal posts & seeing updates on Riley. (I, like everyone else, DROOLED over her room.) Plus, I grew up in San Diego so I just love catching a glimpse of my hometown in some of your pictures. I’m like the opposite of an artist so I really enjoy seeing your art-related posts as well. It’s interesting to me to see how you take your inspiration & make it into beautiful pieces of art.

    I’ve seen a lot of bloggers contemplating their blogs since the New Year so you’re definitely not the only person out there feeling this way. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. When I started blogging I wasn’t sure how personal I wanted to get (BTW – my blog is my last name & even tho I don’t use our first names, sometimes my hubby is weirded out that anyone on the internet can read about our life) but I found that it became an outlet for me when I felt stuck in some way. I always appreciate when other bloggers do the same.

    Anyway, good luck with everything. I know you’ll figure it all out. And I just have to say, I’m soooooooo envious of anyone who is able to freelance or work for themselves in some way. I wish I could make that happen in my own life so congrats to you on that! :o)

    Reply
  17. Bailey Mobley

    Kelli:

    I really love that you are taking this step with your blog! Ever since we met for the feature for Proxart, I have been following and can say that I am constantly inspired by your posts. In person, you are one of the most genuine, intelligent and beautiful women I have met, who continues to use your talent for the greater good. Seeing you at THREAD, working with Jedidiah and promoting your Etsy shop is what really compelled me to write about you. What I love about your blog is that it’s authentically you. Your content is so personalized and now that your are a mom, your blog has taken on a new chapter.

    As far as making changes, I definitely think taking on a new-age mommy-blogger will totally be cool! You have such a creative eye for color and style–not to mention Rylee is THE CUTEST BABY Girl! When it comes to branding, think about what you feel represents you, not necessarily the content or style of the blog because that may always change.

    I am looking forward to what will be new!!

    xo Bailey

    Reply
  18. Holly Canon

    NAME: You must keep your name! It’s famous now. I know I will never stop calling you Kelli Murray when I brag about your art on my walls! Too many people have cute phrases as their titles. Be confident that you are worth having a blog that is Your Name!

    SPONSERS: I agree, please don’t put a grocery list of sponsers on the sidebar, but a few would be nice. Just to see what else YOU are intersted in & recommend :]

    CONTENT: I keep coming back to see what’s going on in your fabulous life! I love seeing the cute outfits you put together too. Sometimes I scroll right past the inspiration boards, though. [Take what you like and incorporate it into your life. You are our inspiration, you go on our boards.] :)

    Keep posting your art, it’s what first drew any of us here!
    I learned about your blog from Green Wedding Shoes when I fell in love with the wedding illustrations that you, shockingly, made yourself!!

    Reply
  19. anonomous

    I’ll go with Holly’s method…

    NAME: I like your blog name as your name. It sounds more professional and not so cutesy as a lot of blogs do.

    SPONSORS: One of the reasons I like your blog is because it doesn’t have sponsors. Blogs with sponsors (with the exception of a few) feel so fake to me. If you do sponsor could you stay away from the same old sponsors everyone uses (ie Bonlook, Modcloth, other popular blogs) and stick to indy designers? I would LOVE to find new exciting indy designers to support. Instead of sponsors maybe you could have a favorite designer section with an icon link to their website? It could be a rotating one too and even more reasong to come back to your blog. Or if you want/need the extra income you could charge them for a spot. It’s up to you but I say try posting a “sponsor like” column for a few months before making your final decision.

    CONTENT: I really like your content. My favorite are the family or “what your thinking about life” posts. I guess the more lifestyle posts. I LOVE it when you do behind the scenes posts about artwork you are working on or any artshows you attend. I wish you did more of those. Like tones more, maybe one post a week even? I am not into the fashion posts myself, but I don’t mind them. I really like when you draw a picture to go along with them.

    I am excited to see how everything turns out. Stay true to yourself and what you want to do above all else :)

    Reply
  20. Courtney

    Keep it as is! You have a great mix of life/art and style.

    Posting photos of you and your family makes this more personal, so keep that up – I think a lot of people are drawn to it.

    Maybe more videos? :)

    As for the name, I changed my blog from my name to Tresor De Jour, which is fine because i’m not an artist. If your goal is to get more readers – then keep the blog name as it is, because that’s how people will find you :) (it’s like your brand!)

    Keep up the great work – you’re very inspiring!

    Love all the way from New Zealand

    Reply
  21. leyla

    so much has already been said and so i will keep it short and sweet… i admire you for your talent and your creativity. even though i love your style and i do enjoy your outfit posts, i did not start reading your blog because of that. what caught my attention was your illustrations and the photography, as well. it’s very inspirational and beautiful. i will continue visiting as long as you’re willing to share your life’s snapshots with all of us, that is for sure :)

    warm wishes!
    leyla.

    Reply
  22. Andrea

    I found your site from one of your lookbook looks. I was intrigued by your illustrations you always create that match with your outfits. I jumped over here from there. So my thoughts, I don’t think you need a name for your blog. What you have works. I say no to the sponsors. They just clog up a website and your blog is really tasteful. As far as the content, I love your blog and love reading about your life. Good luck with whatever you decide to do!

    Reply
  23. Katie Leigh

    Kelli dear!

    What I’m beginning to learn most as an artist and I as I begin to brand myself as well, is that the blogs, websites etc that I like the most are the original ones and the honest one. Being true to yourself is the key point of all of this. I think if you’ve gone this long without sponsors that you should keep it that way. Or find a way to mention the people, stores etc that mean something to you and that you want to support. (remember we aren’t all in San Diego thought ;) ) I love your style and the way that you choose to brand yourself already. Your blog is so honest and real and thats what gets people to follow you and we love your style and beautiful heart.

    None of us follow you or love you because of a blog title or specific content or because you have sponsors. We follow you because we see YOU. We love your heart, your thoughts, the fun life that you live, the advice you give for other artists, your love for God, and your willingness to talk to a 16 yr old girl you never met and give her advice on all things (even though that was so many years ago) Be true to you, that’s the point of the brand. If you have a title that is just eating at you then name your blog otherwise don’t. Be who you’ve always been, that sassy trend setter with great shoes from California!

    Love you girl!
    XOXO

    Reply
  24. Rachel Freeman

    Hi Kell! First, I definitely that the blog portion of your site was titled “All Things Inspiring.” That’s how I have it listed on my blogroll. Oops! Would it be horrible if that WAS your blog name? Do you not like it? I think it’s quite nice. Second, I am new to the whole blogging thing too…can’t seem to pick up momentum…so I appreciate this post and its honesty. Ha. I like your posts with inspiration boards and products/brands the most. I learn about new things/companies etc. I, personally, am more stimulating by pictures, but I do read people’s blogs that are raw and honest…I find them comforting. I rarely read generic posts about whatever and more so look at the photos. Good luck lady! Some reassurance…since you’ve been blogging, I’ve definitely seen you come up more in the blogosphere. For real. People are inspired by you! Keep it up.

    Reply
  25. Rachel Freeman

    Ok, after reading the other comments…Kelli Murray is a good idea for the blog name. Ha. Even though you’re a Larson now, I always refer to you as “Kelli Murray” when people ask about your work in my house or when I feature you in a post. :) Sorry, Sam! ;)

    Reply
  26. Sabrina

    Hi Kelli,

    your blog even made it to Austria :)
    I found your site from one of your lookbook entries and following you for over a year now. I think it´s the mixture that keeps me. I love your thoughts about life, adore the pictures – especially the ones from Rylee ;) – and your style of art is just amazing and inspiring.

    As a lot of people said before, stay with your blog the way you are :)

    Greetings from Austria,
    Sabrina

    Reply
  27. Maci

    Hi Kelli,

    I found you and your art six years ago on myspace.

    Since then you have been an inspiration.

    Your faith, creativity and you as a person are encouraging.

    So thank you and continue your work/blog etc.

    I am sure, you will find some articles online on how to find sponsors.

    I’ll keep talking about you to my friends :-)

    Blessings, Maci

    Reply
  28. Alissa B

    Your blogs is one of the earliest blogs I found, what really drew me to your blog was the fact that you had so many elements going on: art and your illustrations, fashion photos, and personal things. I think it may not be like other blogs that are so severely structured, but I do think that what you do have is great and interesting and I’m always excited to see when you have updates.

    Revamp and rehaul your blog–but please keep your main elements because its what has been keeping me reading your blog over the years! (Especially your fashion, because girl you have such a unique and great style ;) )

    Luck with everything!

    alissa b
    http://www.alissab.us

    Reply
  29. Jacqueline

    Your blog is wonderful just the way it is. Please don’t change! As for sponsors, it might be a good way to make another source of income since you are freelancing now. If you do, I’ll be the first to sign up!

    Reply
  30. Sandy Schaefer

    Listen to your heart. <3
    Your blog is beautiful. Your words, photo's, illustrations….just lovely. Be encouraged!
    You inspire many.
    You inspire me.
    ~s.s.

    Reply
  31. Christen, Two Happy Hearts

    Keep on doing what you’re doing, Kelli!
    Your blog is SUCH an inspiration.
    I love your artwork, your style, your personal writing, you sharing things that inspire you, and (of course) your beautiful family!

    Reply
  32. Amy

    Hi kelli. Congrats on your new carreer path. Here’s my two cents. I love your blog, I love how you do a great mix of personal and professional posts, and also fashion posts. I think the amount of writing in you posts is perfect. I’m a visual person and sometimes only check bloggers pics an skip the write up. But I always read your short and sweet ones. Im always excites when you do a new post, perhaps increasing your posts to 2-3/wk? Regarding branding yourself, I think there’s nothing greater than using your actual name as your brand. Though if you want something new…. What about your ‘married name’! Kelli Larson rolls off the tongue nicely and the ‘i’ in your first name makes it more rememberable and more unique than ‘Kelly Larson’ . Good luck and all the best!

    Reply
  33. laura

    hey kelli i love your blog it really inspiring with all of it and seeing your daughter rylee is soo cute and with husband i remember found on green wedding shoes and got inspired by it so much i want to my wedding as well. just keep way it is its i different from others which sooo good

    Reply
  34. Sioned

    I have only just been introduced to your blog and already I have fallen in love with it. You photo’s, editing, words. Incredible. Don’t change it. It’s perfect.
    Your work is wonderful, and damn you’re making me want another little lady! And to have blonde hair again.
    You have a beautiful blog, I hope it continues to give you success, it is what I aspire mine to be when I have the time/capabilities :) xx

    Reply
  35. seo

    I’m curious to find out what blog platform you have been using? I’m experiencing some small security problems with my latest site and I would like to find something more secure. Do you have any solutions?

    Reply
  36. Jena

    I think the way your blog is right now is great. We as readers love your art, your personal style, and getting to know you through your blog.

    As far as sponsors my blog is not that big but I only have other bloggers as sponsors and pretty much to keep spreading the word about my blog. I only swap with other bloggers that share similar interests or that I love their blogs.

    I used to love twitter, but don’t really use it only to promote my latest posts and do random photos throughout my day. So I share your pain with twitter.

    I think the only thing us readers want is more of you, whether that be more posts or connecting to you in other social sites, you will be the judge of that. But I can relate to an earlier comment when I go to a blog I love and see they haven’t posted for awhile it makes me cringe.

    As far as your name, I think your name is enough to stand at the name on the blog as it is..

    Those are the only things I would say, I am no expert at all! Good luck with everything and finding your way to complete satisfaction and happiness in the balance and work and life!

    Reply
  37. Tiffany

    Kelli,

    Your post really hit home for me. After working in the fashion industry for 7 years & newly engaged, I’ve also decided to switch to freelance so that I have more time to work on my own collection & plan a wedding. I feel as though I am at a point in my life where my priorities have also shifted and I just couldn’t find the time to work on my own art when I was working for someone else. I struggled, and still do with the whole money scenario and the fear of still not being able to balance it all. All I can say is God guided me in this direction and I have faith that this is exactly where I am meant to be, as the same for you. Take each day at a time and know that good things are coming your way. You are super talented and I absolutely adore your blog.

    Which brings me to my next subject. Branding. I think you’re on the right path with what you have already started & you do indeed have a following. It’s so organic and like all the other readers stated, we can relate. We come back because of it’s genuine content. As a blogger myself, I always think I “need” to have a set outline of posts…but real content comes from the heart and whats going on in your life at the moment. What inspires you. I love that your blog has a perfect balance of life, art, & fashion. I often read your posts with the thought of “wow, how does she do it all”…From your illustrations, to style posts, to your inspirations boards…it all makes me come back time after time again.. so I already love what your brand encompasses. In regards to your name, I say don’t change it. When I tell people about your Blog & Art, I refer to it has your name and since it’s already established…there’s no need to start over.

    In regards to sponsors..that is foreign territory for myself… however, as long as the sponsors are aligned with what your brand embodies, then it should be a win win- at least that’s what I feel ;)

    Wishing you nothing but continued success on your new beginnings! xoxo

    Reply
  38. Bryce

    I love the content so I don’t personally want a huge change there. Sponsors wouldn’t bother me as long as they don’t take away too much focus from your blog itself. As for the title, I like cute sayings that represent who you are. For example a year ago I made a blog that was titled Ineedhelptofly and it was decorated with flying birds. Your name is how people know you though so either way I don’t think you can go wrong :)
    Good luck!

    Reply
  39. Ilana

    Oh Kelli I just love your honesty! This is the post every blogger will come to write one day, as everyone tries to figure out the motive behind why we do what we do.

    I had (…actually still have!) the same dilemma near the end of last year where I was trying to figure out why exactly I have a blog and why am I drawn to post certain things? Which is why I have actually slowed down from feeling pressured to run 5-days a week blog posts, to posting when I feel inspired and posting what I actually want to post about. Still trying to figure things out, and like you, hoping to be able to use the blog as a “portfolio” in a sense to showcase the work that is done by myself.

    Which is why I think you should definitely go into the direction that is YOU – YOUR art, YOUR style posts etc. because in the long run, you will quickly grow tired and uninspired by posting content that you don’t feel passionate about. I think your content at the moment reflects you beautifully, even if you have not felt it perhaps. But I think you are doing a wonderful job!! Would loooove to see more of your personal and commercial work :) As a graphic designer as well, I love seeing work other blogger-designers do for actual clients (as long as the client is happy with it being published) as it is very inspiring!

    And yes, like everyone else, I agree with keeping “Kelli Murray”! I don’t think you realize what a following Kelli Murray has, your work is incredible and it’s travelled throughout the blogosphere already.

    With sponsors, again, agreeing with everyone else – they are great as long as they don’t take over the whole sidebar. I think of sponsors as “recommendations”, so when I look at other bloggers that I love’s sponsors, I will go check them out as I know they have been approved by the blogger themselves, so must be good!

    I know most of what I’ve written is very much in line with everyone else, but see it as an extra boost to KEEP DOING WHAT YOU ARE DOING :)

    Ilana x

    Reply
  40. Joanna Waterfall

    Kelli-
    You are such an inspiration and I have always thought that :) I know everyone has said this in the past comments, but what makes your blog so unique and has all these people coming back is YOU! There’s no other Kelli Murray Larson in the world and that is what keeps us loving you and all you do! Good luck- even though you don’t need it :) You’re the best!!!

    Reply
  41. Vivian

    Hi Kelli! I love reading your blog for the cumulative effect of it’s gorgeous design, your darling sweet style, and your sharing of your personal life as well. YOUR image as portrayed on your blog is CONSISTENT in every aspect of your life as you show here.
    1) Please don’t change your blog name. It is just you and I think it’s confusing when blogs change. Not everyone gets to read every single post. I once “lost” a blog for over half a year because it changed names and I just didn’t recognize it anymore.
    2) Sponsors. Eh. I think they are okay when it’s just a select few that the buttons flow with the rest of the design. But honestly I hate when I see bloggers wearing full outfits that are all “c/o sponsor A, c/o sponsor B, c/o sponsor c, etc.”
    3) Content – I guess I already answered that one off the bat. But again, I think your style in life, in fashion, in design – they are all what I love and find endearing about your blog.
    Best of luck, though I think you are mastering it all beautifully already!

    Reply
  42. presiden indonesia

    Just wanted to drop a comment and say I am new to your blog and really like what I am reading. Thanks for the great content. Look forward to coming back for more……

    Reply

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