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Business Selfies - podcasts and how-to videos


I cannot believe I have not thought of this before - a breakfast tray, a wireless keyboard and my iPad2. I can simultaneously write, whilst keeping warm next to the fire, and watch 'Suits,' glancing up every now and again to admire the glorious Harvey.

Audrey, full of Bronchitis, is in bed early. My husband, is working in our garage slash storage slash office on something philatelic. Yes he is a philatelist. But that is a story for another day.

In this, our third blog, I'm thinking about this new world full of possibilities for partnerships like ours, the 'non conventional' or 'non traditional' business model. We really are on a journey of self-teaching, particularly when I look back at where we started. I think our learning curve is so steep because we are right in the thick of a self-made, self-taught, self-everything business precipice.

I've been stuffing my brain with as much information as I can about self publishing, entrepreneurial start ups, working parents, digital social media marketing, epublishing, researching other failures and success stories and the learning curve is tremendous.

With this acquisition of information I have discovered the world of podcasts. I am always doing something else while I listen and that's the beauty of podcasts. The dishes, driving, walking, shopping, gardening. I'm not using extra time, I'm using the times I'm doing other mundane boring stuff.

Some of the podcasts I'd recommend any entrepreneur, creative, digital duo to take a listen to are listed with links below. Joanna Penn is a self published writer and very inspirational to anyone who wants a kick to back themselves. Brian Clark is an excellent interviewer and gets some great guests on. Startup shows insights into various small and large scale companies that have sought big funding and how well/or not they are doing as a result. Future Sandwich for fun and to get a handle on things that are likely to occur in either ours or our children's lifetimes. For example it's thought that it will likely be illegal to drive our own cars!

Yes, I do like to be beside the seaside but I could be beside any seaside, anywhere in the world, and still have a close working relationship with Abigail. Isn't that fab! We have yet to put together any formal contracts with each other, some might say that's mad. It probably is. But that is one of the things to get to next on our list of ever expanding to dos. The best part is they are our own to dos. We set them, we work towards them, all the while making more. At the end of the day it's us and our customers. We are not cow towing to funders or executive producers. Our critics are our audience. The proof is in the pudding.



I am currently in the process of finishing the illustrations for our first ebook before the school holidays. On paper this seems reasonable and doable. But let me stress… illustrations. I am a music composer. I have no artistic training other than an O-level in pottery and a love of doodling.

But if you want something done, and you have no money to pay someone who knows how, follow the Dream Wonderland route and DO IT YOURSELF. I’ve always been a DIY’er – there certainly is something uniquely satisfying about giving things a try. And I truly believe that “you never know till you give it a go,” as my son would say.

Once upon a time we Creatives were easily pigeon holed, be it the style of music, book, or art we made. Publishers, record companies, producers, directors held the strings and it would be hard to try convincing someone to whom you were contractually obliged that you could, in fact, write an orchestral piece even though you were perceived by the world as an indie song writer. Nowadays self-publishing, self promotion, self marketing is everywhere and the freedom to give things a go is available to all.

Ok, I don’t know anything about illustrating, setting up a business, building a brand, writing and publishing a book, or writing a blog, but Tracey and I have a vision and we’ve said, “we can do this!”

Being amateur fiddlers is one thing, but I want to create something successful that we’re proud to put our names to. One of the most amazing tools for business selfies like ourselves is the Internet. Every conceivable thing the self-taught need to know can be found at the tips of our fingers. There’s a “How To…” article, video, podcast, blog for just about everything you could possibly want – I’ve watched possibly most of the ones on how to use Photoshop!

I have spent endless hours literally just LEARNING. The University of YouTube has tutorials for every problem I’ve come across on my self-taught illustrating journey. I’ve learnt about Photoshop brush tools, colours and perspectives, light and shading, layering and effects… the list goes on and on. And that’s just for the one element of the Dream Wonderland business. Tracey has been doing all the book/publishing podcasts and business malarkey.

This really does bring home how amazingly well it works teaming up together. There is just physically not enough time for either one of us to do it all.

Tracey, as you deal with little Audrey’s Bronchitis, I’ve had Callum home from school today with a virus and a chesty cough. Typing away here my initial words were going to be ‘so I’ve not achieved much today’ but actually, on reflection I outlined Babbitt chasing butterflies and wrote this blog post – BOOM! Sometimes I feel we’re so focused on how much we have yet to do that we don’t sit back and really appreciate what we’ve achieved to date. And we’ve done it all on our own – with a little smidge of help from Dr. WWW!

Tracey's links to the podcasts mentioned below. Happy Listening!

Brian Clark:


Joanna Penn:

Future Sandwich:

Abigail’s list of illustration go-to videos:

I discovered Ahmed Aldoori on YouTube and subscribed to his channel. His tutorials are fantastic and I found his teaching style friendly, intelligent and intuitive. These were particularly good for digital painting and understanding colours –

Another great YouTube channel is The Art of Aaron Blaise. Aaron, an animation feature film director and wildlife artist, worked with Disney for 21 years and shares his techniques in a series of tutorials. His YouTube channel is a recent discovery –

Through one of Ahmed Aldoori’s tutorials I discovered an app developed by an Australian artist, Murry Lancashire, called the Colour Constructor. This tool helps you design the colours for an image you’re creating according to a light source. It has been invaluable –

In order to create the illustrations digitally I invested in a Wacom digital tablet. All the Wacom tutorials on YouTube were hugely important for me to get to grips with these amazing tools –

#Technology #eBooks #Workingcreatives #Jugglingworkingmothers #Newbusinesspartnerships #Tablets #Backgroundstorybusinessstartup #podcasts #YouTubetutorials #Selfteaching #Selflearning #BrianClarkPodcastUnemployable #StartupPodcast #JoannaPennTheCreativePennPodcast #FutureSandwichPodcast #AhmedAldooriYoutube #AaronBlaiseArtVideos #ColourConstructorApp #WacomDigitalTablet #Podcasts #SelfPublishingPodcasts #SelfTaughtPodcasts

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