Sunday, January 29, 2012

Two Questions for 2012

Woo Hooo!!! Can you hear my cheers of joy around the world?  I have just finished my project (that I thought would take one month but took four) of retagging, recategorizing and rewriting descriptions for all my products on Zazzle!

Why, you ask, would I do such a thing?  Mostly because I didn't know what I was doing as far as the best ways to tag, describe and categorize products last April when I opened Art in Photography with Zazzle. And too, Zazzle has changed some of their set up and requirements.

What is Zazzle, you ask?  Faithful blog followers, you know. But for those of you new to my (just now resurrected) blog, Zazzle is a print on demand company where you can buy tons of different products with whatever art on it you want, customize it, or sell your own art on products there, which is what many artists do.

But back to the point. I found out over the last four long months, during which time all else like promoting, friendship and showers fell by the wayside, that the words art, photography, photograph, gift, gifts, clothing, and all product names (necklace, etc.) are stripped out of the tags, so no point using them. I retagged so that my tags were in order of priority, with the first ten being the vital ones for Zazzle. I rewrote and revamped my product descriptions so that the all important search engines would have more words to choose from and people could find my art.  I recategorized as best I could in hopes that that would help people find my art.  And I remade products that I wasn't satisfied with. I did this for all 1,349 products. Which isn't many. I think most people on Zazzle have more products.  But the point is - I'm done!

I can now focus on creating again. On promoting again.  I can read the newspapers and magazines that are stacked up on my coffee table from October.  I might actually get dressed on the weekends and step away from the laptop. I can read the books that talented author friends have written. Or I could even pick up that black thing with a big round lens-looking cylinder on it and point it at something.  What is this "kahm-rah" of which you speak?  I know nothing of this "kahm-rah".

I can now focus on creating again. Except for one thing. I am tapped out.  Spent. I have an innate desire to create, which I think is simply human. We all create. Whether our creativity is writing, photography, soap-making, jewelry-making, music, cooking, sewing, gardening, quilting, architecture, pottery, beading or painting - we all have an innate creativity.

When that desire is thwarted (I'm talking chronically here), usually by time constraints, how do we respond so that we continue to bring out the best in ourselves creatively?  When my ability to be creative in my teaching (my full time job) is taken over by paperwork and red tape for weeks at a time, I know I get out of sorts, irritable and cross. I can't do what I want to do, what I need to do (and most importantly bring the best of what the students need from me) because of the restraints being placed on my time and my teaching.

Now that my retagging, recategorizing, and rewriting Zazzle project is finished for the time being, how do I look out to this new year, knowing the chronic time restraints that will be placed on my writing and photography, and integrate those restraints with the ability to fulfill my creative needs?  I say needs, because I do believe creativity is a need in humans.  How do I bring out the best in myself creatively?  And then how do I integrate that sanely into the necessities of my life, which rightfully include a (more than) full time paying job, getting the groceries, vacuuming every month or so, walking the dog, doing the taxes and hopefully showering. Talking and spending time with my children and friends would be an added plus there.

These are the questions I'll be pondering in upcoming blog posts:  How do I bring out the best in myself creatively?  What is the thought process that would best allow me to integrate that sanely into the necessities of my life?

And I did reward myself last night for finishing my retagging project by making some awesomely fun products (hey, maybe that's a clue to those questions . .. )