Amina in Astoria

Update

This month passed the one year mark of me writing a blog. Do people still blog for personal uses anymore? Seems like all I see are companies making blogs to cross promote each other like some sort of linkedin circlejerk.

The last year of my life was very transitionary. I met some new friends, traveled to some interesting places, met my Schmoopy and launched YawningFish.com

The latter point of YF is an interesting one as it is my first dive into tangible product fulfillment as everything I’ve created up till now on my own has been either digital product such as the things seen on PolyPlane.com or I’ve had a manufacturer working with me directly for the fulfillment such as when I did some work earlier this year with the ever so talented team over at MC Laser Labs. They helped me fulfill some orders on projects I had designed and then I played the role of the shipper. This time around, I’m either creating the product myself, working with a drop shipper for certain parts of the collection or hiring out some additional support to fab, but I’ll still be responsible for assembly and shipping. Might have to figure out a pick-and-pack vendor.

On the other side of the fence, my main source of work Con Cor Design has been steadily growing. I’m reaching a point of growing pains at the cusp of needing to hire on an additional resource to handle the day to day so I can focus more on tuning the infrastructure. With that, I’m planning some additional points of strategy as it relates to PolyPlane…but that’s all I can say on that for now.  Otherwise some interesting work came through last year via Thurston Off, LLC. They had me design these cool lamps that are currently being fabricated now for Anthem Memory Care to serve as not only a beacon but a direct reflection of the logo.

Below are a few sketches from the design process:

Sketches

Otherwise, life is good. The house is coming along…oh right, I hadn’t filled that part of the picture in. The day after I had to surrender Ms. Daisy Mae Ruffhausen, my landlord called me and reluctantly told me that he had to sell the house that I was living in. After everything else that had happened in that part of the year, I had to put my foot down. I bought the house! It was pretty liberating and scary for someone who has never done that, but it taught me some valuable lessons.

  1. Put down as much as you can at first to reduce the principal that you are borrowing.
  2. If you can, pay triple the against the principal. And then a little more…every month. This will dramatically decrease your debt time.
  3. If you are lucky enough to have either a spare room or separate studio in the deal, rent it out ASAP to reduce your payments or offset some of the increased payments from point 2.
  4. Knock out a wall or put a window in. I can’t stress this enough. It makes the place feel like it is yours so much faster.
  5. Walk around by yourself or with your partner and just slowly let it dawn on you that you were able to make this your reality.

I’m sure there are more that I’m not thinking of, but this is a good start.

Also this year, I’m rounding out 16 years of living out of Michigan. That’s pretty crazy. I’m really thankful for the opportunities that  have either been put down in front of me or were created tangentially by my actions.

To top it off, I’ve gone through and reduced a lot of my online presence lately. On Twitter I reduced my tweet count from 18k to 14k with the intention of bulk deleting more, but I’m still looking for a good tool to do that. On Instagram, I reduced my photos from about 500 to currently 96. Finally, as a lot of people might celebrate, my FB posting addiction has buckled from a solid 8-10 posts a day to about 2/week. This is all thanks to Schmoopy. Her first tweet is a perfect reflection of her philosophy of quiet intelligence. She is very controlled about what she says, how she says it and when she says it. She is quite the inspiration to me in that and my other regards. I feel it is affecting my ability to create quality work in a much more positive way than I’ve been able to do in the past.