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!
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?
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!)
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!