Procreate Rainbow Background Tutorial

+ Get the background free!

Hello friends! I wanted to share with you how I created this simple rainbow background using the iPad Pro and the Procreate App and give you a few tips on how you can use these in your lettering projects. You can also download the background FOR FREE below!

Rainbow Palette in Procreate

The first thing you want to do is choose your color palette. In this case, I wanted to have a rainbow effect so I went with good old ROY G. BIV.

Next, select the brush you would like to use to paint the background with. There are so many choices that come with the Procreate app itself and you can also download an almost infinite number from the internet. I chose a brush called Jagged Brush that was included in the app. Continue reading

2019 New Year, New Goals!

Lettering in iPad Pro

So I have a confession to make. I love the idea of setting goals and making resolutions. But I stink at it. It’s hard for me to set goals. I sometimes don’t really know what I want and even more of a problem, I don’t know how to accomplish the goals I do make. I also have fear. If I make a goal and it’s hard because I don’t know how to go about completing it, I go the safe route and don’t. So I tend to make some generic ones that I don’t really follow through with. I am strong in many other ways, but in this, I fail miserably. Here’s an example.

2018 Book Roundup

Do you have a yearly book reading goal? I have always stayed away from giving myself an arbitrary number to try to reach for the year. Many readers read over 100 books in a year! I don’t aim for that for two reasons: 1. I am not a speed reader. I like to savor my books. 2. I have soooo many other responsibilities that there is no way I could do that! Plus,  I tend to think I will feel too much like a failure if I don’t meet the goal and then it would become a burden or chore. But I do roughly think one book a month is a good target for me to reach. If I can read more – great! If not, no big deal.

Being a member of the Book of the Month club means I get to read a lot of interesting and wonderful books in a year. Again,  this is on top of school, and work, and family time, and life etc. Therefore, my “would like to read” list is way more than my “actually have time to read” list. If you are an avid reader, you know how that TBR pile can stand quite tall! In fact, I have 19 current TBR books and 5 NTF (need to finish) books. Do you have a NTF list? These are books that have been started, put down for whatever reason, but fully intend to go back and finish.  But I digress.

My “books read” list is modest at best. I managed to read 16 books – should be 17 because I am in one now that I plan to finish before the year is up. See current read below:

1did Continue reading

Christmas Card Freebie


Free Printable Christmas Card

Hello Sunshine! I have created a FREE printable Christmas card that you can print quickly and easily from your home computer. Scroll down to download and read more.

FREE

Holiday Printable Christmas Card

HOW TO PRINT THE FREE CHRISTMAS CARD:

  • Click and download the PDF file below
  • The card should be printed on paper/cardstock sized 8.5 by 11 inches (A4). I recommend a high quality, heavy weight white cardstock. 
  • Many printers have an optional back feed for thicker cardstock paper
  • Trim off the excess around the printed card using a paper trimmer to 5.5 inches by 8.5 inches. Once folded, the trimmed card should measure 4.25 by 5.5 inches in size (A2)
  • Crease and fold the card in half. You can add a personal handwritten note inside the card.
  • Place the card in a matching envelope to give to your friends and family.

Download Here

This card is absolutely free for you to use for your own personal use. Please do not print and resell or claim these designs as your own.

I appreciate you supporting and reading my blog and I will try to have as many of these Free printables for you to enjoy. If you like these, please share on social media and tag me on Instagram @sunshine.designs.byjen #sunshinedesignsbyjen

After you click the download link below, a pdf file will open in a new browser window and you can print it immediately or download it to print later.

Printable Christmas Card

 

Finishing Strong

This class is coming to an end. I am in the final week and I thought I would take some time to reflect on my learning. Social media is here to stay and marketers, and those who must market themselves, will do well to learn how to use it properly. It is a tool that can and should be utilized if you want to build your business. Here are a few tips I have taken away from this class:

  1. Research and get to know your audience. Who are they? What do they need? What are their likes and wants? What social media platforms do they consistently use? The answers to these questions are important and should be one of the first steps when creating a digital media plan.
  2. Create a social media plan. Evaluate what your audience needs and wants and create a plan that will provide those things.
  3. Create content that gives your audience value and create it regularly. As you are researching what your audience needs and wants, this can inform the content you are creating for your social media plan.
  4. Research tools, free and paid, that can help you become efficient in creating regular content such as Canva, Adobe Creative Cloud, Hootsuite, or Procreate to name a few. There are a myriad of choices – all it takes is a little time to research and find the ones that best fit your needs and budget.
  5. Use analytics to monitor your platforms. Most platforms have some analytics built right in. Facebook, Instagram and WordPress all have built in analytics tools to help you learn what is working for your audience.
  6. Be sure to understand all your platform policies and media rules.
  7. Always remember to build relationships with your audience by building trust and providing quality content for them and listening to their needs and wants.
  8. Engage with your audience. Don’t leave a comment, positive or negative, unanswered. Even the biggest companies such as Royal Caribbean and Lego engage with their audience.
  9. Be prepared for any disasters. Know how to deal with anything from bad reviews to post faux pas and everything in between.
  10. Finally, here is a link to a some free alternatives to paid social media marketing tools: https://buffer.com/library/free-marketing-tools

There is so much more to social media and marketing and I have enjoyed the journey. Most importantly, have fun and be social!!

Jen

Social Media Influencers and Marketing

As you may know, at this time, this blog is being used specifically for my Marketing-265 class and it has been a blast so far. I have learned so much in the past four weeks! But one thing I have been reminded of this week is that I am old. I already knew this. However, this week’s blog assignment is to learn about social media marketing influencers and discuss whether I follow any (among other things that I will get to in a moment). So I read my textbook and resources, including a transcript from a 60 Minutes interview with high profile influencers, and then started some research online to find out who the current social media influencers are (which that tells you right there I am old). I had never heard of any of the biggest influencers right now except for the Kardashians and Miranda Sings. And I certainly don’t follow them on social media!!

As of the time of this article by Mediakix, the top social media influencer has a combined follower total across his platforms of 97.4 million followers. That’s staggering! He goes by the name PewDiePie. The article states, “…the social media superstar maintains extreme popularity online and allegedly earns around $12 million each year.” Marketers pay him well to promote their brand and he’s clearly a success.

This type of marketing has a huge reach – especially to the younger generation. I decided to go watch one of his YouTube videos. Yeah, I didn’t get it. I don’t see the appeal. But maybe there are better ones. Anyway, I digress. Brands have an opportunity to be seen by potentially millions of people, just by paying these influencers to promote them in some way. One influencer, Logan Paul, did an off the cuff Dunkin’ Donuts ad in Central Park. It was completely ad-libbed with his own style. The 60 Minutes article states, “When he posted the ad, it was viewed more than seven million times. And Dunkin’ Donuts told us this spot had the same reach as a primetime TV ad. For one day’s work, Logan Paul was paid almost $200,000.” What??? That’s insane!

These influencers have some sort of “it” factor that resonates with millennials and it works. They gain followers, sometimes very quickly, for their silly, zany short video clips and it grows to a point where major companies like Dunkin’ Donuts are paying them hundreds of thousands of dollars to try to persuade their audience to make a purchase. Brands know that they can leverage these influencers, pay them for their influence, and then reach potentially millions of people – all through social media.

It makes sense that Dunkin’ Donuts would use social media influencers to help sell their products. One of their main target markets is teens aged 18-25 and these are the same people following and watching PewDiePie, Logan Paul and the other major social media influencers. The influencers help to build the relationship between the company and the consumer. After all, if Logan Paul likes Dunkin’ Donuts, then why not me?

References

The Top Influencers Dominating Social Media In 2018. (2018, March 07). Retrieved from http://mediakix.com/2018/03/top-influencers-social-media-instagram-youtube/#gs.tipw5u8

Whitaker, B. (2016, October 23). The Influencers. Retrieved from https://www.cbsnews.com/news/60-minutes-kim-kardashian-logan-paul-social-media-influencers/

Whirlpool’s Digital Media Success Story

Screen Shot 2018-11-24 at 10.17.00 AMSocial media has the ability to change the whole conversation about a product – for better or worse and Whirlpool knows this first hand:

“In the past, the only reason people had to engage with Whirlpool was when they had a product complaint. Whirlpool wanted to change the conversation and give consumers a reason and interest to engage with the brand beyond the product.”

Whirlpool successfully changed the conversation about their products using a social media campaign that evoked emotion and instilled a sense of importance and acknowledgement to the every day, mundane chores that must be done to help ensure a happy, healthy family. We all must store our food, cook the food, and then clean our dishes. We all must clean our clothes and in this day and time, most of us use household appliances to help us accomplish these tasks. Whirlpool’s target audience is primarily women and men who do the household chores of cooking, cleaning and laundering. In their research, they discovered that the consumers had lost sight of the value in accomplishing these tasks day after day, year after year. With this in mind, Whirlpool created a campaign to bring to light the importance of cooking healthy, home cooked meals, keeping your kitchen and dishes clean as well as keeping your laundry clean and fresh for the family. It brought out and showcased the inherent value in caring for the family through these everyday, seemingly mundane tasks. This reached the target audience and struck a chord with them – many of whom felt under-appreciated and unacknowledged in their daily chores.

Whirlpool’s campaign successfully changed the conversation from simply product complaints, to showing the value of caring for your home and family. They accomplished this by creating a dedicated microsite with the campaign “Every Day, Care.” They encouraged consumers to tell their stories of the care they give and receive every day. The campaign was very successful and won a Shorty Award in the Social Media Tool category saying, “Real stories from real people flooded the brand’s earned, owned and paid channels – from promoted social posts on Facebook and Twitter to television spots and everything in between – and inspired a broader wave of consumers to get in on the conversation.”

Screen Shot 2018-11-24 at 10.17.19 AM

The campaign saw a 6.6% growth in sales. While the campaign has been successful, however, Whirlpool still has many complaints on their Facebook page, but virtually every one of them is addressed by Whirlpool. The customers are asked to call, or message them with their phone numbers or they put links up to something that is relevant to the complaint.

Whirlpool has continued the campaign by creating smart appliances that can be used through an app and calling it Care Smarter. People can use the app connected to the appliance with Bluetooth to control the appliance. This meets consumer needs of doing household chores more efficiently.

Screen Shot 2018-11-24 at 10.22.26 AM

Whirlpool created and executed a successful digital media campaign and hopefully they can resolve the issues that consumers have with the products themselves so that there are not so many negative complaints. This will hinder the brand in the long run.

Whirlpool Shorty Award Page

Whirlpool Every Day Care

Whirlpool Facebook Page

Whirlpool Website

A Day in My Digital Life

I am on a journey. Don’t Stop Believin’ that I can Faithfully complete my journey. Usually it’s a journey that Only the Young take, but here I am starting it in my 40s, After All These Years. Ok. Enough of the Journey titles, although they are one of my favorite bands, but I digress. I am on a journey. A journey to complete my degree in graphic design. I made the brave decision to finish my degree when my youngest son was a senior in high school and I thought, “It’s now or never, Jen!” So I did. And here I am. Currently I am in a class called Social Media & Marketing Communications. I am starting this journey within a journey this week. One of the requirements of this class is starting and maintaining a blog. We have been given topics we must blog about so today I am posting my first one. I am to discuss a day in my life using digital media. Let me tell you, it’s a full day.

There are a myriad of sites and applications I use often. I tend to look at technology as a help to me, not a hindrance. I don’t let it control me. I control it. I use it when I want or need to and put it away when I can’t, or feel like I shouldn’t – and that is different for everyone. So with that said, here we go. I have a few  “business” accounts that don’t really do any business yet. One is an Instagram account, one is a Facebook account and an Etsy shop. I check them daily. I create hand lettered art and watercolor paintings that I post to those accounts. I post to them as often as I create something. Sometimes that is daily, often it is less than that. However, I do check Instagram every single day for inspiration. There are so many great lettering and watercolor artists and I love looking at them and trying to glean from them. I also check the Royal Caribbean website, Disney app and/or website, Twitter, YouTube, my banking app, SNHU, Amazon, Apple, news sites, listen to music via Apple Music… I could go on. I also play one game on a daily basis: Candy Crush. I am obsessed and I typically play at least once per day. It’s a game where you match candies and reach goals for that particular round. Addictive.

I typically have positive reactions when using digital media. A negative reaction might be checking my bank account and it doesn’t have as much as I’d like it to have, am I right? But seriously, for me, I think negative reactions might pop up mostly in Facebook. I think it can appropriately be called Bragbook and sometimes people post things that make their life seem perfect, when you know it isn’t, can be irritating. Facebook has tempted me to not like someone because of their Facebook “brand” so to speak. Terrible, I know, but I’m being honest here.

I feel that my two main social media sites and using the web for different purposes satisfies my digital media needs. I have no need to be a gamer, or listen to audio books. I will read books in a digital format however. I just won’t listen to them. My mind wanders too much.

Another prompt question: Do you receive emails from companies…? Um, like a thousand a day! Ok, I’m exaggerating a bit, but you get the idea. I receive emails by companies I have purchased from on a daily basis. If it has a discount listed, I might open it and look at it. If it has a discount AND free shipping, oh my. Watch out. A purchase is likely to happen. I have put things in my cart, knowing I had to pay shipping, but when it listed that shipping price I emptied my cart and walked away. I hate paying shipping! It’s ridiculous, I know. I do have a funny little story about emails. Recently I started getting marketing emails from Maserati of Central Florida. I have never been to their website or even looked at their cars. I took a screen shot and posted it to Facebook with the caption, “I don’t know why Maserati thinks I’m rich enough to buy one. If I open that email and it says, ‘$100,000 dollars off your next Maserati!’ then we can talk!” lol Needless to say there was no such discount in that email and I did check, just to be sure!

I think it has become absolutely necessary to use digital media in marketing. Companies that want to connect with their target audience and build relationships with them will use digital marketing and social media to do that. I think of Royal Caribbean. If you go to their Facebook page and comment or post, they will most likely respond. They get hundreds of comments, but they still take the time to respond to many of them. That makes the customer feel appreciated and noticed. It goes a long way.