Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Finders Keepers Designers' Market Brisbane Autumn & Winter 2011 will be on This Weekend

This weekend 2-3 July will be the opening of the Finders Keepers Brisbane markets for  this Autumn & Winter.  The markets will be held at the beautiful Old Museum next to the RNA showground in Brisbane. This market will be bigger  than the last one with 3 studios showcasing over 65 designers stalls!

The markets brings together new contemporary independent artists and designers. Every market event is unique and  the organiser of the event always rotate their designers and introduce new ones, as well as featuring live music and with a garden bar + cafe!

Where, When, How?

This Weekend:

Saturday 2nd July 10am - 5pm
Sunday 3rd July 10am - 5pm

The markets will be held at:
The Old Museum
Cnr Bowen Bridge Road & Gregory Terrace,
Public transport:

Bowen Hills and Brunswick Street railway stations are less than a 10 minute walk from The Old Museum, and buses access the surrounding streets regularly. For further information on public transport, phone the Transinfo line on 13 12 30, or visit


There is no Parking available onsite however the RNA showgrounds is offering Finders Keepers patrons all day parking in their carpark for a flat rate of $10. The parking lot will be open from 9:30am - 6:30pm daily.


The nearest ATM is a 10 minute walk at Fortitude Valley Station on Brunswick Street.

:: MUSIC ::

Saturday, July 2nd
10.45 – Winter Solstice
11.30 – Mardi Lumsden and the Rising Sea
12.20 – Our Ithaca Creek
1.20 – Tim Nelson and The Cub Scouts
2.30 – Swaying Buildings
3.30 – Jeremy Neale

Sunday, July 2nd
10.45 – We The Ghosts
11.30 – Bity Booker
12.20 – Inland Sea
1.20 – Pear and the Awkward Orchestra
2.30 – Ed Guglielmino
3.30 – Dom Miller

:: STALLHOLDERS :: See the final announced designers all here
:: STALLHOLDERS SITEMAP :: download here

For application details please head here
To learn more about The Finders Keepers please click on the below links:
Source & Images are courtesy of The Finders Keeper

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

What is Dream & what is goal?

I really like this quote. We can all relate to this and particularly for you as an artist or designers.
We all have dreams whether they are big or small. Dreams give us hope for our future. To achieve our dreams that is where goals will play a major role in helping us achieve our dreams.
Remember, a goal without an action plan is just a wish. And in the real world, wishes don't often come true.

But what if you had a way to eliminate all the distractions that hold you back from getting what you want?

Imagine cutting through the clutter to get to the heart of your true desires. How confident would you feel knowing you had definite goals and a plan to ensure your success in finally achieving your dreams?

Once you know what you really want, you gain clarity. With clarity, you gain focus. With focus, you get results!
Sounds like an easy thing to do, but without a concrete plan and incremental steps, it will be difficult to achieve anything worthwhile. 

Dream and Goals are two separate things and a lot of people get confused and thinking that goals are dreams and dreams are the same as goals.

So what is the difference between a Dream and a Goal?

A dream is your long-term desire and you shouldn’t be able to achieve it in a flash. If you can achieve your desire in a week, a month, three months or even six months, your dream is too small and you need to crave for bigger things. Dreams are the desires that will drive you to achieve your goals and provide you with the motivation to complete all the tasks that you’ll need to complete.

Your dreams should be things that get you excited yet perhaps infuse some fear and get you to find answers to your own questions like, "How am I going to get there?" Remember this, if your dream is truly worthy, you would do anything to achieve it, no matter what!

A goal on the other hand is a stepping stone that leads you towards your dreams. A goal is something you can achieve in a short period of in an hour, days or even weeks. So set purpose goals that will help you get closer to your dreams.

Your goals should not take years to achieve. If you have one perhaps you need to portion your goal down to smaller tasks so you can achieve your goals sooner. A long term goal will more than likely discourage you from achieving your result as it keeps dragging on to the point where you start to self sabotage with your head chatter telling yourself “I am not getting anywhere, this goal is too hard, too much work”. So what do you do? You give up and start working on other things beside your goals!!!

In short, a dream is a HUGE thing that takes time to achieve whereas a goal is easier to manage and is something you can get it done in a short period of time. Goals are like a way patting yourself on the back for doing things to move your life forward in the right direction.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

How do I know if my business is making money?

Create  a budget for your Art & Design Business

When we discuss with clients about their new business, the most frequent questions asked are:

"How do I know if my business is making money?"

Answer: By creating a budget for your business.

“But this is my very first time and how do I create one if I don't have any figures to work on?”

Before we answer the above questions, let's talk about what IS a budget?

A budget simply predicts your income and expense for your business in a given period. It is just a guide so you know how your business will be tracking ...actual versus estimate.

As with any estimation, your actual reality may vary too. So a budget is not something set in concrete either. However, it is a set of figures you do need to review throughout the year, making adjustments as you get the actual figures.

The best way to start filling out a budget is to begin with figures you do know such as fixed expenses or recurring costs like your monthly phone bill or rent. You should also take equipment purchases into consideration and divide their cost over their lifetime. For example if you plan to buy a computer for your business, divide its cost by 3.5 years. Your accountant will be the right person to assist you with this situation.

It is also important to make revenue projections so you can plan for income peaks and low seasons. But it can be quite difficult to project revenue when you don't have previous sales figures to base on.

If you are a new starter, for your first year of trading you will have to set your sales figures per week or month based on your expectations of your marketing, promotion, advertising, trade shows and markets activities you have scheduled for the year.

Always select numbers that are realistic, achievable and desirable so you have a real purpose to reach it. Your income does not have to be in tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars for your business to make money.  Remember success comes in many different ways and sizes. So it's important to set your sales & incomes goals. Have a figure in mind what will make you happy, feeling good and successful. It's up to you to determine what success really means to you.

So have you created a Budget for your business yet? If you haven’t done one, it's not too late and what a perfect time for you to create one for the new financial year 2011-2012.

Just remember this…

Prepare Well + Plan Well + Execute Well à Business Success

Want to learn more about how to create your own buget for your art & Design?

It’s as simple as 1... 2... 3...
2: Send an e--mail Quantum Compass:

3: Contact Vinh for a no cost, no obligation coaching session:

Monday, June 27, 2011

WEEK FIVE: "The benefit of exercise"

       Fitness Coach- Kmaru
WEEK Five: "The benefit of exercise"

Today we're going to share some tips about exercise.

Exercise may feel hard at the beginning, but with some practice and consistency your body gets stronger and stronger.

Most importantly, there comes a point where you'll start to enjoy it too...

Choose an exercise routine that fits your personality and lifestyle.

Everyone has a different level of fitness, and exercising at a pace that is right for you is important. Remember, it's about having fun. It doesn't have to be organised or even cost you money. And of course no exercise should cause you pain.

Why exercise?

Exercising and being active helps you to stay fit and healthy.

Activity also helps you avoid depression, stress and boredom. Exercise fights against anxiety and depression.  It improves sleep, burns calories, raises “good” HDL cholesterol, decreases the effects of aging and chronic diseases such as atherosclerosis and diabetes.

You'll be more alert mentally too.

Exercise provides you with a set of concrete attainable goals mirroring the striving, pain, and gain of everyday life.

Don't forget the endorphin factor either.

It’s hard to over-estimate the positive aspects of a good exercise program.

       • Getting fit
       • Cardiovascular
       • Strength training
       • Flexibility
       • Losing weight
       • Recovering from Injury

We know being active promotes a healthier life. By performing a regular exercise routine with a moderate amount of activity performed three to five days per week you can improve your heart health, reduce your heart disease risk factors, improve your strength and feeling of well-being.

There are four main types of exercise.
       • Resistance exercise - Resistance exercises uses weights, springs or bands. They increase muscle power and ability to help large muscles burn fat and larger muscles are enablers for aerobic exercise.
       • Aerobic exercise - Aerobic exercises require the consumption more oxygen than at rest. It involves repeated movements of the large muscles of your body. Examples include brisk walking, jogging, swimming, cycling.
       • Stretching exercises - The risk of injury seems to be about equal for those who stretch and those who do not stretch before exercise. Stretching seems to offer more long term benefit such as maintaining functional flexibility and correcting particular muscular imbalance.
       • Agility and speed exercises - This kind of exercise used at competitive level but performing it in a training regime can be very beneficial for daily lifestyle.
Aerobic exercise
Getting Started

To be safe and to give you the most benefit, your program should be:
       • Aerobic: this type of activity increases the rate and depth of your breathing, raises your heart rate and uses the large muscle groups. Examples include walking, cycling or swimming.
       • Regular: moderate intensity activity performed on most days of the week (starting with small amounts of activity and building up to 30 to 40 minutes of continuous activity, or if you prefer, 10 minutes increments throughout the day to equal 30 to 40 minutes
       • Safe: adults with health problems (such as heart disease, diabetes or obesity) or those at high risk, men over age 40 and women over age 50 should talk with their doctor before starting an exercise program.

An exercise session should start with a gradual warm-up period. It should take about 5 to 10 minutes before your exercise program. You should slowly stretch your muscles and then gradually increase the level of activity. If walking/ jogging is your activity begin with slow tempo and then pick up the pace. After you have finished exercising take about 5 to 10minutes to cool down. Again, stretch and cool down your muscles and let your heart rate slow down gradually. You can use the same stretches as in the warm-up period.

Benefits of Warm-up

       • Elevation of body temperature
       • Reduce muscular injuries
       • Supply blood flow to the heart

Benefits of Cooling down
       • Aid in the dissipation of waste products - including lactic acid
       • Reduce the potential for Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness (DOMS)
       • Reduce the chances of dizziness or fainting caused by the pooling of venous blood at the extremities
       • Reduce the level of adrenaline in the blood, allows the heart rate to return to it's resting rate

Exercise Program
 Exercise Program record
Your  next action Plan:

  • Choose your favorite activity
  • Record your activity in the exercise program
  • Start your activity today
To read more about Healthy Lifestyle:

Sources & Images are courtesy of :

Inspirational Quote of the week

   "Your life is in your hands, to make of it what you choose"  - John Kehoe

Friday, June 24, 2011

Select a name for your business

So, you've made the decision to go into business for yourself. The first hurdle you will come across is choosing a good business name! There are choices to be made and there is no single, correct solution. A business name is an individual decision and one that you should spend some time thinking about.
Selecting a business name is an important step in the establishment of your new business.
The name you choose will become the identity of your business by:
  • Creating an image for the business
  • Informing customers of the nature of your business
  • Helping customers recall your business
  • Giving your business respectability
  • Differentiating your business from all others
Your business name is also a powerful marketing tool. Further, the use of a ‘neutral’ name may avoid possible conflict between owners regarding who should get top billing. For example, should it be “Smith and Jones” or “Jones and Smith”
Think carefully about what your business name says about your business. Consider the differing impacts of the following:

AVL Designs or AVL fashion
Grace Creation or Handbag & Things
John Smith graphic designs or Funky Graphic
Eden gardening designs or Garden of Eden
Anastasia Jewelery Designs or Ladies must have 

Here are 5 ways of how you can select a business name for your new business:

1. Using personal names
Naming your business after yourself is relatively simple and easy to do. By using your personal name will add credibility to your business. It could be your full name, first name or surname. Using all or some of your initials is also fairly common. The business may be a partnership of two or more people, which provides more possibilities.
Examples of companies named after people:
  • David Jones
  • McDonalds
  • Harvey Norman
As with brandable business names, a problem with using a person's name is that it is not immediately apparent what products and services your company offers.

2. Descriptive business names
Generic, descriptive names make it easy for your potential customers to work out what product or service your business offers.
Examples of descriptive business names:
  • International Business Machines (IBM)
  • Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ)
  • Kentucky Fried Chicken (now KFC)
Descriptive names run a slight risk of not being able to 'stand out from the crowd', although the examples above didn't seem to have any trouble in making their mark!

3. Combination business names

A combination of descriptive terms and personal names is also quite common. It allows you to add a personal touch but also to include your products or services in your business name.
Examples of combined business names:
  • Ford Motor Company (Henry Ford)
  • Dell Computers (Michael Dell)
  • Dunlop Tires (John Dunlop)

4. The "Brand" business names

Any company name can become a brand; simple, 'no nonsense' words are probably the easiest to brand though, especially if they are catchy and easy to remember.
Examples of brandable business names:
  • Amazon
  • Google
  • Microsoft
Brandable names have popular appeal—would Google have enjoyed the same rise to popularity if it was called 'The Search Engine Company'? The biggest problem with 'no nonsense' names like these is educating your potential customer as to what services you actually provide. Remember that building a brand takes time and usually requires significant resources (i.e. money).

To search for a business name you can go direct to ASIC (Australia) website and perform a search to see whether the name is already been registered

5.Domain names
It is wise to check the available domain names before choosing a business name. Good domain names are harder and harder to find, so it pays to make sure the domain name you want is available before choosing your business name. Choosing a domain name is an important part of setting up your business, so take some time to research it and select wisely.

Be careful using a specific location in your business name. If you move across town or across the country your name may become a issue. The same applies to the products or services you provide—there is a chance these may change in the future, so try not to be too specific what you include in your business name.

As part of the naming process, try searching Google for your potential business name (put it inside double quote marks when searching). See if there are any other businesses with the same name, particularly in the same country or local area.

There are many options for your business name. Brainstorm potential names by writing out a list of all the possible choices. Eventually, the right name for your business will become obvious. Register the name with your local or national business authorities and you are on your way!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Design: Made:Trade From 21-24 July 2011



Design:Made:Trade will be held from 21-24 July at the Royal Exhibition Building in the Carlton Gardens of Melbourne.  This Designer trade show is part of the State of Design Festival in Melbourne. The festival will commence from 20 July and end on the 31 July 2011.

The festival was first established in 2004 and the purpose of the show is to showcase Australian and International design culture. The event is open only to Trade visitors on the Thursday and Friday so that leading and emerging designers can network with manufacturers, retailers and export buyers. 

Over the weekend the event will be open to the public to view the exhibitions and participate in interactive making events and activities designed for children and their families of all ages. 

If you happened to be in Melbourne during the 21-24 July, this event will definitely worth a visit.

Please leave us a comment if you've been to the show... we'd love to know what you think. 


Trade & Industry Thursday 21 – Friday 22, July 
Public Saturday 23 – Sunday 24, July Time: 10am – 5pm 


Trade & Industry: Free upon pre-registration 
Public: $10 


Royal Exhibition Building
9 Nicholson St, Carlton 

To register for a pass or read more view the State of Design webpage

 Source & images from State of Design

What is RAS?

Your Brain's Unique Compass Device

Everyday we are literally flooded with noise, visual images and information. Could you imagine what our lives would be like if we were totally alert with every single thing around us.  We would go CRAZY! Lucky we have this great device in our brain called ‘Reticular Activating System’ known as ‘RAS’.

Have you come across the mozzies humming around your ears at night and it made such a distraction that you couldn’t fall sleep and the more you paid attention the worse it got?

What about the ticking sound of your clock?

 How about the humming sound of your aircon too?

This is why the RAS is so important to us.

The RAS acts as our gate keeper for our conscious mind. It’s our little helper, it helps to select and filter the type of information that we allow to get through to our brain and everything else that is not interesting or important to us will be filtered out.

Remember the last time you were in a restaurant, you simply didn't pay attention to the background noises when you were engaged in deep conversation—well, your RAS filtered them out too

Here are the two things that RAS do to us:

1.   Valuable & Important
Example: Say you have a retail shop and would now like to expand into online sales. You firstly need to learn and research all about online businesses before you embark into the internet world. Before that, you never paid attention to online businesses. Now it’s different. You have a special need to know because it affects you and your business. So, after learning all about the online process, will you continue to learn more about the internet world? Of course you will. This is because online sales are now a part of your business and it’s important.

2.   Urgent & Alert
      Example: You don't pay much attention to ads for washing machines until your old one athome stops working and you start to run out of fresh clothes. So buying a new one is an option. That's when you see the full-page spread of washing machine ads. They are everywhere. Realistically, those ads have been there all along. You just didn't pay attention. Now your RAS alerts you to key you in on what is available because you need to know.

Another example is: If your children is riding a skateboard on your  street and you hear a sharp horn blast you charge to the window to check on them, fearing danger,and if they were still inside the house you might not even hear the sound.

In view of this, it is easy to see why it is that people so often say, ‘I'm not interested’ or ‘I know’. They have no need to know information at that specific time. Their RAS are on! 

Now you know what RAS is and how it works.  Let’s leverage it into your business. That is why you need to set  purpose goals and have an action plan in place. The reason that it’s important to list what you want to achieve in your business is to set your reticular activity system (RAS). It’s the compass device for your brain and it will, in turn help you focus on your business and identify the areas that are important to you so you can address them.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Close Up With Artist Judy Jacobs From Coming Abstractions

Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.  
I’m an abstract painter and glass artist living in Sacramento, California.  I work in commercial real estate development and recently opened an art gallery with two other artists where we create, show and sell our art.

Who (or what) inspires you to do what you love in your own creative business? 
When I see a blank wall I feel the need to mentally decorate it in my mind.  I’m inspired by colours, which register and reflect various emotions within me when I paint.  Every painting I do is a visual diary of feelings, thoughts and inspirations for that particular time.

Where do you get your inspiration from when you design/ paint? 
 I find inspiration in the strangest places!  The other day I was inspired by a tiny dress a very young baby was wearing which prompted me to pull out my pink and pea green paints.  A couple of weeks ago I found a rusted piece of metal with beautiful rust and ochre tones which I used ended up using for an abstract cityscape.

Stepping Into the Twilight Zone

What are the five words that people who know you would use to describe you? 
Creative, dependable, intuitive, trustworthy and smart.

Tell us about your very first job and what path have you taken since then?
The summer I graduated from high school, I got a temporary job at a real estate office helping them with an audit they were going through.  After the term was over they offered me full time employment and I accepted.  My parents were crushed because they wanted me to go to college but they were not supportive of desire to go to art school.  I ended up getting my real estate sales license and then my broker’s license and am still in the real estate industry today.  I did go to college at night to study business and art, but still consider myself mostly self-taught.

Describe a typical day in your studio space? 
 I like to start with a clean workspace and lay out my paints, canvas, brushes and water.  Sometimes I’ll turn on some loud music to get me in the spirit; other times I paint in silence.  I like to practice on a few pre-cut squares of 140-lb or 300-lb watercolour paper with some quick designs, then move on to a clean canvas where I lay down some lines of paint with no specific pattern in mind.  From there I begin adding more colours and continue to “create and destroy.”  I usually know how much time I have to spend painting and plan accordingly.  If I only have an hour or so to play, then I work fast and furiously. 

JJ in studio

As an artist what is your biggest frustration?  
Overcommitting myself and saying “yes” to unreasonable deadlines.

Tell us about how you prioritise your studio work. 
Each morning I make up a To-Do list of everything I want to achieve for that particular day.  If I’m going to be working in my studio I’ll have the tasks that I want to complete on the To-Do list and cross them off as they’re finished.  The most important tasks are always listed first and if I don’t finish my list that day I’ll carry over the unfinished jobs to the next day.

Can you please tell us about how do you connect with other artists, and your customers (i.e. how do you network)? 
I am fortunate that I share a studio with two other wonderfully talented artists.  We are able to share marketing ideas and get each other’s point of view when needed.  I also have a fan page on Facebook; and accounts on Twitter, LinkedIn, ETSY and Fine Arts America.  We have monthly art walks in our city that I participate in and when I’m able to, I enjoy meeting other artists and visiting art galleries.

Teaching Lampworking

What advice can you offer other creative people who are just starting out and following their passions? 
Trust your gut and keep creating – no matter what other people think!

What dreams do you still want to achieve or fulfil in your life? 
I want to get my more of my art into corporate settings and be able to earn a decent living doing my art full-time.

What is your proudest moment so far? 
Decorating and installing my art work into the lobby of one of the buildings I was project manager for.

The Journey Home

Who do you most want to meet and why? 
If Georgia O’Keefe were still alive I would want to meet her and watch her paint.  Her colour and subject choices continue to fascinate me, and her fierce determination to be an artist inspires me every day.

What is the most important lesson in life that you have learned? 
Life is short – live each day as if it were your last. 

What book are you reading right now, and do you have a book you would like to recommend?
 At the moment I’m reading “I’d Rather Be in the Studio” by Alyson B. Stanfield, which is a fabulous book on self promotion and how to market your art.  A book I recommend to artists and writers alike is called “On Writing” -- it is an empowering memoir written by Stephen King about his journey to become a writer combined with basic information on how to write and be published.


Where do we find you and your products?

Pure Leverage

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