Friday, June 17, 2011

Slo-o-o-wly venturing out of my Social Media Shell

Hahahaha! Now that I see it (the picture) on the web, it looks pretty funny! It's just a sketch I did to illustrate how I feel about venturing into the World of Social Media. Please don't judge it (or me) too harshly. It's smudgy and not well-thought-out; a little like myself today! Let me point out THIS IS NOT FOR SALE! A timeless treasure like this is something my family will want when I'm gone. I'm sure it's destined for the scrap book (or scrap heap - sometimes I get those mixed up).

Ok, now that I got that out of my system, maybe I can get some work done. I finally figured out how to find and follow directions on creating a blog, and did a little tweaking to this page. By "a little tweaking" I mean I fooled around with it for a couple of hours, instead of working on my art.

I hope the tweaks are an improvement. I played with the colors of the "page" behind the text to (hopefully) make reading this a little easier on the eyes. I stayed with the exploding, psychedelic cosmos background scheme, though. It's the only one in colors I like, so unless I figure out how to make my own (not likely to happen any time soon) we're stuck with this one. Please let me know what you think - and pass on any tips to make it better.

So, yes, this week has been pretty much spent on confronting my Social Media fears. My kids (who know their way around this strange, new landscape) are very busy with lives (and jobs) of their own and it's hard to schedule a little "hold Mom's hand and walk her through the scary Facebook set-up" time. (Kids, if you're reading this, it's ok to feel guilty! Too bad it's not still Mother's Day, cuz I would totally milk it!)

Oh! I did have time to do a piece of artwork with one of the teams on Etsy. The team's name is "Doodlers Doing Doodles" and (since I consider myself a "Professional Doodler" :) it seemed like the perfect fit for me. Right after I joined one of the members suggested a Doodling Contest. We all voted on the "prompt" (a word or phrase to define the theme) and then we had a few days to turn in our doodles. What fun! The prompt was "Flight of the Bumblebee". Right away I had a funny sketch in mind (something about a thief in a black ski-mask, wearing a black and yellow striped turtleneck shirt and black pants running away from police with a stolen honey-pot - huh?). For a couple of days I thought about it off and on, and then finally sat down to do it.

Well, Doodles don't always behave. They do have a mind of their own (which is just barely connected to your control center). My Doodle directed me to put down the pencil and turn to the computer drawing program. What? I didn't intend to do that! Next it made me choose the curved line drawing tool and create loop-de-loops all over the page. What was going on? Not part of the plan! Then I went; "Hmmm, I see where this is going!" And my Doodle did the rest! Here it is in black and white and then fully colored;

I liked it so much I made it into an art print and put it in my shop! And that's what comes of a little interaction with your fellow artists! It's funny, I've actually had a shop on Etsy since late 09, but never got involved in the community. I think there are probably thousands of artists using Etsy to create online shops. I'm just now starting to interact with a few, and I must say I've found them to be generous in spirit. I knew there were groups called Teams, but didn't know their purpose, or how to join one (did you have to be invited?) or even why one would want to. While having a full-time job, I had a limited time to work on my art and writing, so I just ignored anything else that might require a bit of my attention. But now that I have a little time to pull my head out of the sand and look around, I can see there many wonderful and like-minded folks with whom to interact.

And I guess that's why I am slo-o-o-wly coming out of my Social Media Shell and inching toward being a fan. There are literally millions of folks out there with valuable advice and encouragement, as just as many who need both. The Social Media lets us reach out with both hands - to help on one and receive help on the other.

It's Cosmic! (Now the background colors I chose are beginning to make sense... :)


Cindy D said...

Wow, congratulations on taking the plunge! I have also mostly avoided the social media explosion. (Though about a year ago I quit Facebook, which I had for a short time - privacy concerns, mainly.) By the way, DO NOT start playing Farmville. Just sayin. ;)

I'm not a super fan of the bright white glare spot in your background(you asked!). But the writing, which is the main thing, is pretty great. I'd say you're off to a smashing start.

zenobiasouthcombe said...

Hello again, Sheri!

I recently did a guest blog swap with a fashion designer, Lorena, where we each wrote a post for the other person's blog. Once you've worked your way into the blogging world a bit more, it would be great to do a guest blog swap with you! It's a good way to share readers with another blogger.

Let me know if you're keen, and when you'd like to do this.


smacart said...

Hi Zenobia - Guest Blogging sounds like fun! I'm be interested in doing it. How does it work?

smacart said...

Hi Cindy - yeah those bright white spots are distracting. Down the road I want to customize the background. Thanks again for the encouragement. How do I follow your blog? I'm now a fan of the Slumbering Herd and don't want to miss an episode of their adventures!

zenobiasouthcombe said...

Basically, the two bloggers discuss a topic that they are an 'expert' in, and will fit with the other person's blog. They then each write up a post, email it to the other blogger, and have it published on their blog.

Here is my blog post:

And here is my guest post:

You could have a look at both of them to get an idea of the guest blogging system, then you can email me or twitter (username: ZSouthcombe) with your idea. If you'd like to, you could do a post on your story - the ups and downs of quitting your day job?

Looking forward to hearing from you!


smacart said...

Hi Zenobia,
Very nice (referring to your guest blog). I have a similar situation set up on my coloring pages website where Guest Artists draw their own coloring pages and I make a page just for them on my site. I also link it to their own sites. It helps me add content (originally it took a long time to get the site up to where it is now, with 100s of coloring pages with just me doing the drawing!)and it helps them gain more recognition for their work and drives more traffic to their sites.
Take a look;
Let me think about the subject and I will email you. What would you like to blog about here?
By the way, I think this is a great example of using Social Media for mutual benefit! It is good to be (at least part of the way) out of my shell!

zenobiasouthcombe said...

Thanks! I will have a read through all your posts, think about the subject and get back to you over the next couple of days. At the moment I am thinking of a drawing tutorial. It would work well with your colouring pages.

I have briefly visited your colouring pages site - that's an awesome idea, and I am all for mutual benefit! I will get some done, probably over the next week, and email them to you. By the way, you can email me through my 'contact me' page on my blog.

Have a good one :)