I’m often intimidated by big goals and I see my son struggle with this as well. Monumental tasks grow even larger in our imaginations explore all the steps and possible obstacles involved. The only way to start something that seems insurmountable is to break it down into manageable chunks.
It’s important to remember that these bite-size pieces of a project can look vastly different for everyone. We all have different skill sets and attention spans. Consistency is the key with this process, know that great things do not happen overnight. I also embrace the idea of stepping back when you are stuck and tackling the issue from another angle or working on a different segment. I find this works well for me with independent projects, when I feel my interest or focus waning.
Another trick is to give your brain a rest and do something that connects you with your body: stretching, go for a walk, do a thoughtless task, etc.
One of my go-to expressions when someone is feeling overwhelmed is to ask, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” Do you have a mantra to remind you to break lofty projects down to easy to manage tasks?
My mother used to play the song Julia by the Beatles endlessly, as a child it thoroughly irritated me and I actively disliked the Beatles for decades. Fortunately, I can now listen to it (occasionally) and appreciate the beauty of the tune. It helps that the song was written for John Lennon’s son, Julian Lennon, which makes me appreciate the emotion behind the lyrics.
When I heard Julia by the Fast Romantics on the radio I loved the upbeat tempo and would always crank the volume and rock out (much to my son’s embarrassment). The video only increased my infatuation with the song, as I love movie musicals and Fred Astaire was one of my early creative crushes.
When I went to iTunes to purchase the Fast Romantics song, I found a bunch of other songs with Julia in the title and picked up this one by Ray Lamontagne as well. I feel an extra boost when these songs show up in my playlist and revel in the status of being a Julia!
In the 90’s, I had a boyfriend, who was in a punk rock band, write a song about me. It did not feature my name in the lyrics or the title, which was “Barely See You”. Do you enjoy songs with your name in them or, if you have an unusual name, do you wish there were songs featuring your name?
Photography has been a passion of mine for a long time. I’ve played around in a dark room, manipulated Polaroid emulsion transfers and I bought a digital camera when 4 mega pixels was a big deal. One thing I was not quick to embrace was cell phones with cameras. I saw it as a useful tool to capture data, but I was not open to the artistic merit angle. I usually carried a camera with me, so I never relied on capturing essential images with a phone. Well, that all changed when I switched from a Blackberry to the iPhone4S last year. It finally dawned on me that it was not the technical specs that was the key feature of using the camera on smartphones (though finally it was on par with point-and-shoots) it was the share-ability of the images captured. Rather than waiting to download scores of images to my laptop (usually late at night) and then finally getting around to putting them up on Facebook, I could instantly share what I was seeing with friends, family and all my social networks. Over the last year I’ve gotten more creative with the images I share and here are the top four iPhone apps that I have used the most:
I started using Instagram mostly as a way to share images with Facebook, Flickr and Twitter and I played around with the filters, frames and blurs. Lately, I’ve been more interested in Instagram as a social network as there are some amazingly talented and creative people who share their creations through Instagram. I’ve started using more hashtags on my photos under @juliaaustine and I’ve seen the number of likes and comments go up as well (also the amount of spam, but I figured out how to delete those comments).
After using Instagram for a while, I noticed that people’s images were going beyond the manipulations offered there and so I started looking for ways to add more effects to create more dramatic images. I downloaded Picfx (paying a whopping $1.99) and haven’t looked back. With over 100 effects and the ability to layer effects and control the intensity, there are a mind-boggling amount of combinations that can be created.
One of my favourite effects from Picfx was the different bokeh light layers. The only problem was that it was static, you could adjust the intensity but not the placement. Enter Bokehful. For 99 cents, I could not only control the intensity and placement, there were colour palettes and shapes literally at my fingertips! I keep reminding myself that less is more so that I don’t go overboard.
A photo may say a thousand words, but sometimes that’s not enough! From the same designers as Bokehful, ActiveDevelopment, I turned to PicFrame to solve this dilemma. By dropping another 99 cents, I’m able to put multiple images together with a variety of frames and labels that I haven’t tired of yet.
Though I mostly use Instagram to share the final images, I’m finding that to create the effect that I want I sometimes use ALL of the above apps to tweak the original shot before sharing it. So get creative and take a boring pic that anyone could capture and make it your own!
Please let me know what your favourite photo app is as I’m always looking to add to my image arsenal.
An unofficial part of my position as Event Coordinator for Fat Dragon Bar-B-Q, Campagnolo and Campagnolo ROMA is being an on call photographer. Truly, there is little I like more than packing up my gear and heading off to snap images, especially if the subject is delicious food that will probably need to be eaten afterward! With nine new lunch specials being debuted at Fat Dragon it was the perfect opportunity to snap some images of the dishes and maybe pull together a video to show off some of the options.
With Youtube becoming the 2nd largest search engine on the web, if you want to be found you need to be in motion pictures. Now, you don’t need wind machines, sound stages or a Steadi-Cam to get the job done. You don’t even need to shoot video! That’s right, you can create a share a slide show of your still photos to give them the reach and dynamism of video.
While I was snapping away with my digital SLR, I supplemented the high quality images with short HD video clips shot with my iPad. This video was made on my iPad with iMovie using still images as well as the video.While it’s not going to be showing up on the silver screen anytime soon, it’s a great engaging way to share what’s going on at Fat Dragon Bar-B-Q in the lunch department!
Do you prefer watching quick videos to clicking through image after image?
Facebook is the virtual place to be for businesses looking to engage with customers and keep them up to date on the latest and greatest. Since it is free and easy to set up there is no reason you shouldn’t have a Facebook Page, unless of course you intend to do a poor job of setting it up and then never check it. But you wouldn’t do that, right?
I’ve used HootSuite to manage my social media profiles for a while and I recently upgraded to the Pro Plan, going from free to $5.99 USD per month. The limit of 5 social profiles was feeling constricting and I was becoming more interested in the custom analytics available. I love that HootSuite is a local tech company in downtown Vancouver and that they seem to be committed to staying here. Not to mention that the owl mascot is adorable! Go ahead and “like” the Meat of the Message Facebook page and you’ll be in the loop with my latest scoop (I promise they won’t all rhyme).
Do you use HootSuite? If so, what do you like about it? If not, what’s holding you back?
Our Apple family has expanded with the addition of our (read: my) new iMac. It’s the basic model, but way fancier than my 5 year old MacBook Pro. The laptop is still alive, but it had reached the point where it could no longer upgrade to the newest operating system. It was stuck in Snow Leopard and I wanted to join the pride. Once I realized that I don’t take my laptop anywhere since I’ve had my iPad, it made sense to go with a desktop. Bigger, faster, better, more and all for less. So, I’ve been pretty Apple immersed and obsessed with the researching, shopping and setting up. The Apple mania reached its pinnacle today with the much-anticipated (in my house, at least) Apple announcement at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco.
The rumour mills have been churning overtime since Apple sent out invites for the unveiling of the new iPad last Tuesday. Would it lose the home button (nope)? Would it have Siri (kinda)? Would it have a retina display (yup)? This morning at 10am Pacific, the questions began to be answered in San Francisco. I followed along on wired.com‘s live updates, refreshing between sips of green tea latté at my local Starbucks relaying the hi-lights to my Apple loving son.
Watch the video for what stood out for me. Some pretty cool upgrades, but no “one more thing” to blow us away. Maybe next time…
Until then, check out the new Facebook Page for Meat of the Message. You can ‘like’ it right from this page!