One Little Word 2018: Focus

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This year, I have chosen the word “focus” to be my “one little word” for the new year!

And here’s 3 reasons why:

O N E .Improve the process. Over the past few months, I have constantly had to remind myself of this to the point it has become my mantra! I’m always whispering it to myself as the many distractions in this world split my focus. While I am really good at focusing on working and not getting distracted by social media, it’s the many projects that I am working on that I keep getting distracted by. So rather than plowing through a project to completion, I work a little here and a little there and then inspiration strikes on a completely other project and I start to dabble there. By the end of the day, I look back and see that not one thing can be checked off the list but the list has actually grown. Ugh.

To fix this, I will be reworking my day to day processes. Implement a schedule with daily routines, like taking care of the business side on Tuesdays, painting on Wednesdays, photographing those paintings on Thursdays, new listings on Fridays, etc. This will help to streamline the day to day and not have me jumping back and forth between all the various duties of a small business owner and the many hats we must wear.

T W O .Cut the clutter. Not only am I trying to clear my mind to allow myself to focus, I am also physically reworking my office to allow for maximum productivity. My office is always in a constant state of “creative clutter…” paintings are drying on every surface, old lettering projects for scanning are scattered everywhere waiting to by filed, scraps from the paper cutter left in a pile. All this is getting cleaned up or getting thrown out! And it’s feeling amazing!

T H R E E .Niching down. I tend to say YES to any and all projects. But it’s far past the time to start saying NO! Another perspective on focusing is narrowing in on what projects I want to work on. I tend to take on too many pro-bono projects, styled shoots, and other photo shoots that may not fit my aesthetic anymore so my new plan is to say YES only to the projects that will move my business and skills forward. This will all make me a better artist rather than keeping stagnant doing the same old thing. Giving me more time to focus in and hone my design skills and run my business (as the business side of life is always what gets pushed down the list).

Now I must remind myself yet again, “FOCUS, Sam and wrap this up!”

I hope this message may be helpful to some who feel just as all over the place as I do. I’m here to help and hope to share a few other tips along the way as I focus in on becoming a better artist by focusing my craft and on what really matters: getting the work done in a timely matter SO I can spend time with my little family!

“One Little Word” is a concept created by Allie Edwards, learn more about it here.

One Little Word

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I’m late to the game but I wanted to participate in the One Little Word yearly challenge where you pick your word to live by for the year.

After spending time thinking on it, my thoughts ranging from “faith” to “endure” to “_______”, I finally settled on a word…


What does this word mean to me?

Well first off, in everything I do, I try to put 100% of myself into it. Of course, this is just a good work ethic to have but it came from growing up watching my mom juggle 1,000 things and never missing a beat, to working at Bath and Body Works and learning how to put the customer first, and now being the sole person behind my shop, Your New Friend Sam.

All that to say, why and how do I continue to give everything I have toward anything I do?

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father Who is in heaven. – Matthew 5:16

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No matter what I find myself doing this year. Whether I am working on a project for a client or whether I am posting to Instagram a photo of my lazy Sunday afternoon, I want that inner light to shine forth in my attitude and in the quality of my work.

This past year has been such a work-centered year that I kept feeling burnt out over and over. I want to be able to rise above that struggle and just be content because after all, having work, even too little or too much, is a wonderful thing. I want to feel God’s light shining on me and knowing His hand is in all things. I want to take that light and shine it forward.

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A little behind the scenes shot, a still wet painting of the word shine on a cloudy January day.

The Shine watercolor lettering was created by me using the Pentel Aquash and gold watercolor paint.

Love watercolor lettering? See my listing for watercolor logos here.