do what makes you happy besotted blog

Even though my brain feels like it has been on empty for the past 10 months, (sleep deprivation will do that to you), I have been thinking a lot lately, maybe too much, it feels like I can’t shut this darn thing off.  I have been re-evaluating everything and work has been on my mind, mostly what work looks like now (it’s quite chaotic). I have started to wonder if what I am doing is not what I should be doing and feel almost like I did in my 20’s when I agonized over what I was going to do with my life/career. For me those two have been inextricably linked, I have always defined myself by what I do and now I am a mommy.  Let me tell you Mommy is so, so much harder than I could have ever imagined and I feel the weight of responsibility to be the best mommy I can be; for me that’s being loving, present, focused and doing a ton of research, but that doesn’t leave me a lot of time for earning an income. It would be amazing if you earned a salary for raising an upstanding human, but alas payment although rich with reward currently does not pay the bills. That is where I am at, what can I do that will allow me to raise my daughter the way I have been able to currently and to be able to earn an income? The million dollar question…

With that lingering in the air, I have come to a few conclusions, I LOVE this site, I miss it and of course the community tremendously whenever I am away.  I didn’t realize how much, until I had been away from it, dare I admit out loud that I missed it even more than my shop? And I do love my shop so. Is there even a remote possibility that I could earn an income with it?  I have never tried, most of you know I don’t even like the word ‘blogger’, just writing that makes me shiver, I know people have that same reaction to the word ‘moist’. I also don’t want this place to become a commercial disaster and lose its authenticity, I have always been authentic + transparent with you and want to remain so. I would like to make this a much, much better place, with the help of  my partner in crime, Miss Michelle P. (a creative Jedi) I know we can.  I always share with you my current interests and it has seemed to resonate, now teamed with the ever creative Michelle (just as passionate as myself ) I do believe that we could knock this out of the blog park.

I made a little list below and maybe you can help us create better content for you that you’d love? We really want to make this a happy place to visit and for it to be a resource for you to learn something new or a better/easier way to do something you already know!

Photoshop– Tell me what you’d like to learn, not just everything but specifically so we can create tutorials based on that.

Adobe Illustrator-Anyone have an interest in learning more about this amazing program?

Photography-Do you want more tutorials for your camera phone? If so what? Or are you looking for more info on how to use your DSLR?

Downloads-What kind of downloads would you like? Some of the downloads have been downloaded over 50k times! So I know you like them, but what else would you like to see? Would you be willing to pay for a download (of course we would still do free ones1), if so what is the max? What would make you buy a download?

Lettering artist interviews-These are popular and I am so grateful for the artists sharing their ‘secrets’ with us, but are there questions that I haven’t addressed that you wished I had? I can start adding those to the questionnaire.

Beauty-I know these are popular, and although this is not a beauty blog (gah, that word!) what would you like to see more of? Drugstore brands? Unique items? A specific type of product? Would you like to hear from other beauty fanatics about their fave products?

Photographer interviews-Ahem, we happen to be friendly with some pretty amazing photographers, would you like us to ask them to reveal their secrets as well? Or are there specific things you want to know? Would you like to be the ones to pose the questions prior to the interview going live?

Inspiration posts-Would you like more posts like our Inspiration Rx series?

Is there something here I missed? Something you wished we covered but don’t currently? Burning questions that you would like answered?  We really hope you take the time to answer these questions, my life depends on it (okay, I am being a bit dramatic, but it does!)  Thank you in advance!


P.S. The script font I used can be found here!

21 thoughts on “A SPECIAL REQUEST…

  1. Hello Tristan,
    I don’t know where to start… My brain is maxed out after the evening shenanigans with my kids. My husband is away on a business trip and I just had the hardest time putting them all to bed. I feel like the worst mom…I know I’m not but boy, being a mom is the hardest job I’ve ever done and will do. Sorry for venting. I miss InspirationRX and loved, loved it! So glad to see InspirationRX on your list ;)

    1. Ursula, you are telling Noah about the flood! It is HARD, especially the putting to bed part, lol. Thank you so much for answering this, we really appreciate your input and your visit! I loved the Inspiration Rx series as well and I hope we can bring that back soon:)

  2. i don’t have a small child, but i totally feel where you are coming from.
    will have a think — i can quickly say that i would love to get your insight on illustrator, and keep the beauty posts coming!

  3. I get so excited when I see posts from you in my feed. Your lettering and resource posts are something I constantly come back to, to find inspiration as well as to learn. I would love to see some posts about illustrator (more specifically, vectorising calligraphy) and perhaps the process from vectorising your work to producing prints that are actually sellable? Anything and everything you choose to talk about is great, I love it all but I thought I might as well get specific! Also, keep doing what you’re doing. It’s refreshing hearing a bit of honesty on a blog (also hate that word), especially coming from a twenty-something going through that exact same ‘what am i doing with my life’ struggle. Many thanks for providing endless amounts of encouragement and inspiration.

    1. Ffion, that is a post that is LONG over due, thank you for the reminder! Oh, the 20’s angst, there’s a Chinese proverb that reads, ‘the journey is the reward.’ Try to keep that in mind whilst you struggle, also don’t feel you need to choose ONE thing to do for the rest of your life, that will surely freak you out. 30, 40, 50 may seem SO old but it won’t when you get there, if you choose a path now and find you dread it later, you can always change. My former assistant went back to school in her 30’s and is now a DOCTOR! Yes, a doctor! I hope that helps:) Thank you for the kind words!

  4. I love your lettering posts so much! I’d love more information on digitizing calligraphy for downloads, ie what steps and programs to use in order to create beautiful sellable prints.

    1. I guess I need to get on this! We were planning a week of printing resources as well, so it will pair well after I teach you all how to digitize your lettering!

  5. Hello!

    I looked all over the website for an email because I’m afraid that my comments might get kind of long and not blog comment-ey but couldn’t fine one so hopefully it’s OK if I write a more email-ey comment here instead!

    I’ve been a long-time reader of besotted as well as a long time blogger myself and I’ve seen and experienced how blogs evolve over time and change as we need them to change and switch focuses because the focuses in our lives change as we grow as people. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with allowing those natural progressions to happen. Sometimes readers keep up and sometimes they don’t and it’s just how life goes.

    As far as moving besotted into the direction you need it to go I think it’s perfectly right of you to move boldly into something that’s going to help you be the Mommy you want and need to be! We’re here for you and we’re looking at what you’re working on with interest and an encouraging spirit!

    Since you asked specifically what we’d like to see I’d personally (and selfishly) love these things:
    – Artist Interviews: I love lettering artist interviews but I also love artist interviews of any kind. There’s such an amazing, broad range of people with skills that simply never get talked about. People can make a living from their art and that’s an incredible thing to me in a world of “Don’t quit your day job.” I’d love to know how they do it! I quit my day job and am struggling through the ups and downs of the first phases of a small creative business and I’d love to know that there are people who have walked a similar path and have come out of it ok. How do people learn these things? Who taught them? Who mentors them? What have they learned in the process and how has the process refined them as a person?

    – Photo, Illustrator, Photoshop, and even Styling advice: These are practical skills that anyone would love to have in their back pocket, so keep on keepin’ on!

    – Downloads: Downloads are great. I’d pay between $5.00 to $10.00 for a good, useful download. Things like lettered printables to frame seasonally, organizational goods (so monthly planner pages, home organization things like meal planning pages, schedules and checklists, and so on), and even printable tutorials on things. Ohh…hand lettering practice pages for things would be fun, too.

    I hope that this goes smoothly for you, that you remain satisfied with the direction Besotted is going (and if you find out it’s no good it’s never too late to turn it around and do something else!) , and that you have fun with it!

    I’m excited for your next steps here and I’ll be watching with anticipation and cheering you on!

    1. Elizabeth, I love to read about artists that are making a living from their passions. It definitely inspires me and of course there’s always that little voice that makes me think, ‘if they could do it…’ Thank you for being so, so thorough, this helps us immensely! And thank you for the visit!

  6. Tirstan. I totally get where you’re at. It’s where I was at almost fifteen years ago when hardly anyone even knew what a blog was. I happened upon the only blog I knew from Paper Source. I can kick myself for not taking the leap and starting one then. Eventually I tried to maintain a blog but my attention was split among my husband and four children already. As someone who’s been there, as much as I am trerribly proud of the four amazing humans I have raised, I am now finally able to do my own thing and it’s more frightening than ever. Keep doing what feels right. To me it seems you have the perfect balance between blog and baby. I’m working on starting my own blog and design website, so selfishly I would love for you to share your expertise on starting and maintaining both of those, as well as how you source products. You always do an amazing job of giving sharing the lives of other artisits and keep ing your readers up on your newest interests. Of course I would love downloads but if you didn’t offer them I would still be loyal to your brand. It’s tough trying to do it all. Be patient with yourself. The work will always be there, time with a child is fleeting. You’re doing a great job girl!

    1. Pamela, first of all anyone that has raised more than one human BLOWS MY MIND! Kudos to you! This is some seriously hard work and I have an angel baby who is a complete pleasure and I am still exhausted beyond belief, lol! This is my 4th blog, I always said I wish someone described it to me as writing my own magazine, I think my blogs would have been better, I made some seriously bad mistakes and even got myself fired once, yikes! Live and learn. Congrats on both the blog and design site! Be sure to pass on links when you are ready! Those are both huge leaps, sourcing is a bear indeed. Thank you for the suggestions, this actually gives me a lot to think about as on line business definitely takes more effort for exposure than a brick + mortar that has foot traffic. Keep us posted, we’d like to visit!

  7. hello miss tristan,
    oh, how i can relate. my ‘little girl’ just went off to college after being home for a gap year. it was just she and me for 15 years until i got married 4 years ago. what i can say with certainty is that every parent makes mistakes in their child’s eyes no matter how hard we as parents try. but it is the solid foundation of love and always being available when something goes amiss that i have seen keeps a strong relationship bonded. i too feel as if i am revisiting so many things, i almost feel like a teenager again. alas i am not and time just keeps marching. with regard to you beautiful space here and desiring to earn an income, i again can totally relate. i did not work (interior design) as much as i could for the early years of my daughter so i could be with her as much as possible. i think the internet has changed things a lot in that regard. i think it is very understandable and commendable that you want to provide something of such value and ask we value it too. i am becoming more and more aware that ‘bloggers’ are needing to be compensated in some form for all the time, effort, creativity and beauty that is shared. i have the same hope for my blog, which has been on hold for a year while i try to regain focus again on what i want to ‘say’ with it. i am older and completely at a loss for many techy things. so many ‘bloggers’ are graphic designers or understand the tech part. i am not at all, but still like to do a lot myself. i love everything you post here, but i would say if you could do very clear simple tutorials for illustrator and photoshop for the ‘actions’ that are used over and over. and you can see by that very sentence i do not even know what i am really talking about. i can use photoshop to crop/alter color/resize, but when it comes to doing a collage, or a color palette or all those other pretty things i see on blogs i am pretty much hopeless. i think it is important to keep in mind that if something takes a lot of time, effort and a unique creativity then it is only reasonable that if readers want to continue partaking of all the beauty at some point is is totally understandable to seek compensation. look forward to seeing how this space evolves … take care :) dawn

    1. Dawn, congrats on sending your little girl off to college! Right there is a huge accomplishment! I am so happy that you can relate. It is an awkward yet exciting time, I think change is scary, especially when there is risk involved. Photoshop is my ‘wheel house’ I LOVE the program and even though there is great software out there for free, I still feel it’s worth the investment, especially now when Adobe is offering a monthly subscription to it versus having to buy a lump sum (very expensive) software! For web work and that includes blogging, I think it’s an invaluable tool. I love the feedback and will take all of that into consideration when we start working on the tutorials, thank you and good luck on your new adventure!

  8. i’m right there with you, my brain has been empty since my first one was born (and that’s 8 years!) and i don’t see any hope for more sleep in the horizon anytime soon, sigh. my mom always told me that once you become a mom, you’ll always sleep with one eye open and damn, ain’t that the truth. all worth it in the end of course, but hands down the hardest job ever. love your little place here on the web… i don’t get to catch up on blogs often anymore, but it’s like a breath of fresh air when i see you have a new post! i think it’s the perfect mix of inspirational, informational, entertaining, and personal!! keep on keepin’ on! (are you and michelle still scheming and planning that little “thing” you gals mentioned when i was up in your neck of the woods? you must do it. no doubt i’d be the first in line to sign up.)

    1. Debbie, oh I look at you and think now she’s figured it out! Michelle and I have been working as much as we can on our top secret project, that’s part of what the above questions are all about;) Thank you for you kind words, they mean a lot to this exhausted mama!

  9. Oh I feel you…I recently wrote a post about the same struggle. Maintaining your won identity (and career) as a mommy is SO hard. Just remember there is no such w=thing as balance…we’re all just trying to make it work, day by day. xoxo

  10. Love the transparency (and hilarity) of this post! Your blog is the one place a newbie illustrator and letterer like me can get all the advice and supply porn I love!

    I’d love to see more resources on brush scrip. It seems like everyone is in love with Copperplate, and that’s not my thing. I really love sexy brush lettering a la Julie Song & Jasmine Dowling, but don’t see any resources on how to learn/ improve mine.

    Also, something I never see is the design side of applying your lettering to prints, cards, other items. There are some compositional skills I’m lacking, but don’t know how to improve.

    Your community would be happy to support you in continuing to provide such niche specific resources with your spin!

  11. Hi Tristan!
    Life is a series of many things – and I’m pretty sure you are doing a great job being a mom… don’t be so hard on yourself. I know sometimes we wish we had total control of things, but that’s not reality. Hopefully you’ll be able to find a natural rhythm that works for you. I’m a fan of your lovely blog, even though I may not comment all the time. I agree with everything Elizabeth said. I’d love to read more about creatives and how they do it in order to thrive. I would also love a future inspiration post like the Inspiration Rx I participated on with you all last year. :) Lettering, calligraphy, film photography, floral design are among my favorite things. ;)

  12. Hi Tristan,

    I would LOVE the following:
    – some advice on starting to make/edit videos – good workshops, online classes etc. I am a photographer, but have no clue how to start using my visual skills for making short videos – I am especially stuck with the editing …can you help?
    For example, i love both the photography and the video that Linda from Callmecupcake is doing. Have no idea how…can you get her to tell us? :-)
    – Illustrator/designing would be an interesting read – I currently do all in photoshop, which is not ideal, especially for
    – I would love, and pay for, quality downloads – beautiful hand-lettered brushes, and templates especially (for example ones that already have the sizes of the printing house moo.com). Ideally fully layered, modular, and easy to adapt to my own brand.
    – more on blogging, marketing, building your won brand and community, how to connect best with other artists etc.

    I am NOT interested in beauty – it’s always a nice read, but i feel you don’t have to become a cup of jo or garance dore – you have this beautiful, subtle, understated and elegant blog, where I can find deeper thought, and more specialised knowledge on techniques of photography, lettering, stamping and packaging – I want you to keep that.

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