Baby got class

So, I’ve been taking these classes; geared towards pottery/ceramic artists, they’re two series of lectures – one on marketing, and one on branding. Each week there’s a new lecture in each, a video about 45 minutes long which is an interview with someone in the field about a particular topic (“Dos and Don’ts with Galleries” or “Selling in the Digital Age”) and then a second video about the same length that is the two potters running the series (Molly Hatch and Ben Carter) talking about, recapping, and bringing up (or answering) questions about the interview.

First, the frustrating – we don’t do a lot of videos/streaming/online TV watching, because our Internet provider comes with a data cap (I know I’ve mentioned this before). We have 100 gigs a month, between the 9th and the 8th of the month. 50 gigs is “anytime” data, and those count from 8 AM to 2 AM. Then there are 50 “bonus” data, from 2 AM to 8 AM. Who’s up then, am I right?! Since we moved out here, I’ve been getting up about 6:30 and turning on both my computers then, so they can download any updates before 8… and updating apps on my phone and tablet then, and if I have a picture-heavy blog post or photos I want to upload to Facebook, I try to do it before 8.

On average, we use about 95% of our “anytime” data and about 20% tops of our “bonus” data. Until these classes! Hahahahah! Normally things like Netflix or YouTube use about a gig per hour. There’s something about the platform these videos are on, they’re about a gig and a half every 45 minutes. So to preserve our “anytime” data I’ve been getting up at 5:30 four days a week to watch videos. Even though my alarm goes off at 5:30, I usually lay there and hate the day for about 15-20 minutes…. then between getting coffee ready, going over the studio and turning my desktop computer on, feeding the boys, blah blah blah… I only have time for one video. I can usually start the second one by about 7:15, but I don’t trust that I’ll be able to watch a 45 minute video in 45 minutes (if I have to pause it to go refill my coffee, bathroom breaks, pausing the video to write notes, whatever). So sometimes I’ll start one and it’ll take me right up to 8, or I’ll start one, and have to stop it at 8.

Then after about two classes, I realized… watching them and knitting is not the smartest. Sure, I downloaded the audio of the video, so I could listen to it again after the class is over, if I wanted…. but sometimes questions were asked about what the video brought up for us about a particular topic, and I was like… uh, what was that video about, again? So about ten days ago I decided I should start the series over again, this time taking notes about each lecture and recap. This is awesome, because I’m getting a lot more out of the series, I think – I’m taking a *lot* of notes and my head is certainly full. But it’s been a busy morning, for a couple of weeks now. New videos drop on Thursday, and right now I’m all caught up – starting tomorrow it’ll take me 3-4 days to get through Thursday’s four videos.

But, the awesome —! My brain is full. I’m thinking about branding, and how I’m presenting myself (and how I’m interpreted by people when I think I’m presenting myself a certain way). I’m thinking about marketing; where I market my product, how I do it, what I could do better or differently. Collaborations. Online cooperatives. Online-only galleries. Workshops. New products, revised products, products that fit my line… do I have a line? Seasons? Am I a bunch of random products or do I have something that ties everything – all of what I do – together? I mean, other than I make all the things. So many things I’m thinking about!

So many things I hardly even know where to start… which is where blogging would really help me right now, because I’ve always worked things out by writing about them. But by the time I’m done watching the video in the morning and writing down all my notes, it’s more time for me to get to work rather than write blog posts. And I don’t know if it’s my full head or my full schedule, but the last few weeks work has felt like swimming through quicksand. Everything is taking longer, going slower, working out less. I’m behind in blogging. Behind in email. Behind in cleaning the cat boxes. A kiln explosion set me back, and then not being happy with the replaced/finished objects set me back, and blah blah blah. On one hand I feel like I set out this year with a plan and I’ve met two of my six weekly goals. On the other hand I feel like I’ve been thinking and evaluating so much this year that by the end of this class I might have a little bit of a different… better? … plan for the rest of this year.

So. So many things! So many thoughts! Also, so many stray/shop cats driving me crazy. Anyone need a sweet neutered male cat in their lives….?

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