verbal croquis


state of limbo

Posted in general,side projects,the day job by verbalcroquis on April 7, 2006

My brain is in a state of limbo over a lot of different things right now and I’m finding it hard to focus on one thing.  So, in no particular order:

Reason for state of limbo #1: Ever since the gaping void post, I’ve been doing some mental puttering as to why I blog and if I’ll continue to do so.  I’m still going back and forth on it.  I’ll most likely keep blogging, but I may shift the focus some.  I really appreciate everyone’s comments and you’ve definitely given me plenty of food for thought.  Thank you.

Reason for state of limbo #2:  I’ve been working on Spring 07 at work.  I have a lot of sketches and tons of swatches.  I’ve been having meetings with
sales and production (my production manager used to be in
sales, too) about what we did right and we’ve been doing wrong.  I started at this company in June of last year as a product development/production liaison and started getting design projects in December.  I got promoted to the head designer’s position in January, and several private label projects later, here I am, working for the first time, on the company’s own label collection.  And quite frankly, I’m freaking out.  Just a little.  Okay, more than just a little.
Basically, 10 years ago, this company used to do 5 times the business it does now.  Through a series of not the best decisions, here we are, trying to get that business back.  Nothing would please me more than to see this company really take off again.  Beyond my own personal goals as a designer and wanting my clothes to sell and be appreciated, I really want to see
San Francisco fashion get more attention nationally and globally.  I think this city holds so much potential.
So, I’ve done a lot of initial work for Spring 07—I’m waiting for my boss to return from a business trip so we can discuss my ideas.  She hasn’t been feeling well, so I don’t exactly know when she’ll be at work and what kind of mood she’ll be in, so I’m feeling antsy about that too.  I’m trying to stop myself from retweaking and ultimately overworking what I have so far.  There’s no point in going further right now, without some direct feedback from her.

Reason for state of limbo #3:  the competition.  One part of my brain says I don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell.  The other part of my brain says, in Dante’s Inferno, the very center of hell where Satan himself dwells is actually an ice chamber so maybe I do have a good shot.  And back and forth and back and forth.  Is it April 18th yet?

Reason for state of limbo #4:  I’m waiting to hear back on a possible major freelance project.  If I get this gig, I’ll be working with bamboo!  Aren’t you proud of me, lol and henri?  Heh.

So once again I’m in a position where I’ve put in as much effort as I can, I have a lot of things set up and I’m waiting for people to get back to me.  (Except for #1, that’s something I have to figure out on my own.)  Once I hear back from various people, I can plan out my year—what project to work on next, what I should focus on at work next, when I can plan for my siblings to come visit me, what direction to take my blog, when to plan on having a proper vacation (I don’t think I’ve ever had one) what to do with a certain business proposition that’s crossed my path.  I’m sure you’ve noticed by now I’m a planner. I have a full plate and I’m not complaining about any of it, I’m currently just floating and waiting, which I don’t enjoy too much.  Stay tuned for future developments.  Same VC time, same VC channel.

P.S.  I’ll probably be posting more work from my portfolio so keep watching the top right hand corner for more page links!

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4 Responses to 'state of limbo'

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  1. Danielle said,

    Oh, what I’ve missed in the past couple of days!
    What is a “blogging success story” anyways? To me, it has been connecting with so many amazing, inspiring people like you and Kathleen and everyone, and enjoying myself reading and writing and learning. I think that if you want to make your blog your business it’s a carefully planned thing, it’s obvious to me that the English Cut is carefully planned and targeted. The benefits of “success” are indirect, but still demonstrable. Mostly I think it should be enjoyable, whether you’re in it for business reasons or other reasons.

    You and Kathleen are right as well that most of the industry is not yet online, but this is beginning to change with people like us. A lot can happen in a generation, and I think we are at the vanguard and that’s why we’re not sure where it’s all leading and what it’s really about. Time will tell.

    I hope you keep blogging, you are one of my heroes

  2. henri-v said,

    I’ve had upsy-downsy feelings about being a blogger and being a producer of something to sell. Now this is somewhat premature for me, but with potentially creating your own label one day soon, Zoe, continuing to blog may distract from what you want to distribute.

    This sounds awful and calculated and counter to the usual, pro-relationship, pro-discourse model I seem to want from the fashion design community. With Coutorture going up, with your post about Gaping Void, with Lol’s musings outloud about what she wants to do with her eco-directed motivations and whether they will be viable … yeah, I’ve wondered how advantageous blogging really is for the DE. I just spent a couple hours going through some of Kathleen’s posts and comments, and they rattle my brain some, too.

    I really like how Kim at I Am Pretty NYC tries to balance her personal commentaries with her business exposes`, sort of in line with what you have to do here. No release of names that could do harm but enough genuine, unvarnished content for the reader to have an idea of what goes on at your jobs — your struggles, your successes, creative and technical content. I think a designer can have a weblog portal for his/her label and craft, but I’m thinking the scope would be very focused and client-oriented. It seems more like a marketing tool the way I describe it and not the communication device we have now. Maybe there wouldn’t be an option for comments, and the designer would have to be assured of the tone of each post and the content, for it would be scrutinized by any potential customers.

    Doesn’t that sound very clinical and safe????

    I’m so fickle, sometimes I want the “warts and all” approach of transparency, and sometimes I appreciate when designers hold back a bit and do not make their personality a part of the selling of their wares.

    Maybe like Lol I just don’t want to be vulnerable and unsure of things in front of a public. And I am projecting my own future and my own worries here, so I guess I am not always the brave pup I want to be.

    Okay, so maybe my rambles won’t help you much, but please know that I have thought about the ramifications of blogging as a known producer.

    ):^o

    But I agree with Danielle — I have made so many wonderful connections and am continually amazed by the style blogging community — I wouldn’t want to give that up!

  3. Danielle said,

    It’s like balancing the idea of having your artwork online. On one hand my teachers tell me “don’t do that, people will copy you/steal your ideas” but on the other hand, if I don’t put it out there, no one will know who I am and what I do. My plagiarists can’t really hurt me as we can tell just by looking who the real McCoy is. What we’re doing is building a little community that is part personal, part professional, and resonant for that reason. To me a company blog without a comments feature means they don’t care for my opinion, even if there is an email option.

    That said, I have always treated my blog as a side project that coincides with my grad year at school. When I set up my illustration/design portfolio site I want to have a new blog, but more focused, a la the English Cut. I think the blog can be a powerful tool to show how much I care, how hard I work, the techniques I am exploring, and so on… demonstrating in a candid, human way why I would be a great illustrator for hire. Almost like getting the benefit of a personal interview before the personal interview – potential clients can tell right away if my drawing style/professional personality suits them. Because it seems to me it is the personal connections and the visibility of my work that brings me opportunities, in life and online.

    In my analog life I never hype the blog. There, I already have the personal/visual connections, and people like you say don’t always get it. If people ask or have heard about it it’s because they already get it and that helps too.

    Personality as part of the package is already huge. Look at Isaac Mizrahi. After the 80s and 90s and the “cult of the designer” with the foofy articles and the spreads of their mansions in W, people tired of the designer as celebrity, I think because it was so one-note. But Mizrahi did Unzipped, displayed vulnerability, and made being a designer a human thing. He reached a wider audience, and now has the power to give the mass-market a designer boost. People know that designers are just people now. The English Cut model is a slightly different spin than fashion but it can still be applied to fashion. The blog is like personalized PR – inexpensive and effective indirectly. The people who found it are giving you permission to market to them because they discovered you with their own interests, their own keywords. Mostly it is viral. It can’t be pushed, it can only be presented. Look carefully at gapingvoid and Hugh’s other sites and observe what he is really doing. It’s not “just blogging”, it’s a PR technique that uses the candidness of blogging to engage people.

    This generation that is currently “in power” is not going to get it, so don’t worry about them. The internet is still young. The next generation is going to expect it.

  4. ordwyna said,

    perfect site good information, very nice news and etc… tnx


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