July 6th will mark the official 7 year anniversary of when I started this blog. This week marks the 7 year anniversary of when Hubby and I formally filed and formed our corporation, Rosehaven Cottage Inc. with me as the CEO and him as the VP-of-everything-else. We had the foresight to know that we needed to incorporate and created a corporate "umbrella" for my creative pursuits that would follow... but that's about all we could foresee.
Seven whole years is the longest I've ever "worked" at one job. I started this creative journey fueled by the creative spark digital photography had re-lit within me after I'd been on a creative hiatus for a while. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do along the way or what I wanted to grow into becoming. I simply knew that I wanted to create beautiful things to be appreciated and consumed visually by others.
I am a classic introvert by nature (as many bloggers are) so I spent years trying to hide behind the moniker "Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage". It was easy to write blog posts about my garden so a large portion of my posts were focused on the outdoor life. Writing about our house, Rosehaven Cottage, was easy too, so I shared some of our DIY adventures here too. The title "Rosehaven Cottage" became synonymous with gardening and home improvement and "Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage" was seen as a "garden blogger". The audience that this blog attracted ended up being more interested in my green thumb and sledgehammer-wielding skills and less about the creative career I was building and very passionate about.
Like many things in the digital realm, blogging has gone through evolutions and I've seen it go through a few in the seven years I've had this blog. The current trend in blogging is leaning toward catching and retaining readers with slick Pinterest-ready posts full of helpful tips or with attention-getting titles that lure a reader to read the blogger's personal insights, philosophies and musings. Several big-time blogs have had to revamp their way of doing business in order to remain financially viable now that content is often generated on mobile devices that don't accommodate sidebar advertising. They've had to resort to embedded advertising within blog posts to keep generating revenue. And none of that is what I'm really focused on in my "real life".
What is my "real life"? Some of you may already know the answer to that question but some of you may not. Here's the answer...
I am a professional photographer, artist and graphic designer. I am a business owner (technically a "CEO"). My business is about creating visual images that:
- have been licensed to appear on stationery you might have seen when you were shopping for just the right card for a special occasion.
- are sold as canvases, fine art prints, cards and cell phone cases
- are sold as digital files to other creative professionals that incorporate my work into their own work like websites/blogs, advertising, publications, crafts and derivative art
For the past several months, I've been at a professional crossroads regarding this blog. I am at an exciting point in my creative career where I am seeing my dreams becoming realities. This is wonderful but it has created a conundrum I've had to face. As a creative professional whose work is of a visual medium, my online presence (some call it "brand") needs to remain professional. My online posts can't just be an open garden journal. They can't be filled with personal musings that I then wish I hadn't published a week after I have. And I also cannot hide behind the moniker "Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage" and be taken seriously by my creative peers and mentors.
This is why I've spent the past couple of months creating and fine-tuning a new online presence at www.CindyGarberIverson.com. It is a cohesive and responsive format so anyone can enjoy it on a smartphone, a tablet or a desktop computer. And I have integrated a blog into the design that I will be posting to regularly as I release new work. Coupled with social media like Instagram (where I'll still share some photographic snippets of what's happening in the garden), I am embarking on a new blogging journey that will be all about my creative pursuits and passions. If you follow me on Pinterest, you can be a fly on the wall as I gather inspiration for new projects and you can watch the early stages of my creative process "real-time" (so if you start to see me pinning lots of photos of vintage sinks you can bet that it has something to do with what I'm working on at the moment).
I'm finally doing it. I'm finally being what I always wanted to be when I grew up. As one of my favorite songs by The All-American Rejects (on the Meet The Robinsons soundtrack) says... the future has arrived!
The future's arrived
Nobody can doubt
The future is what everything's about
It's better for you
It's better for me
It's better than what everybody thought it would be
It's time to create
Time to grow
If you're feeling right
Yeah she's changing
And life's rearranging
Don't it make you feel alive?
The future has arrived
See you over at CindyGarberIverson.com