Monday, February 27, 2012

Pinterest Facts

Here at Wall Appeals we LOVE Pinterest. So when designtaxi.com came out with this Pinterest Infographic we just had to share it with you!

Using stats from comScore, agency Modea has created an infographic of facts about Pinterest users.

‘very Pinteresting’ states that the site has an average of 1.36 million visitors daily.

Pinterest visitors have increased by 2,702.2% since May 2011.

According to the infographic, most Pinterest users are 25 to 34-year-old women—and half of which have children.

It also states that Pinterest users spend at least 15.8 minutes on the site, most of the repinning stuff—that’s more time spent than on Facebook and Twitter.

And that the site is also said to have more referral traffic percentages than YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn combine.

28.1% of Pinterest users are also said to be well off, with an annual household income of more than $100,000.

 Visit www.wallappeals.com or our Pinterest Page to get many wonderful wall decal ideas!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

7 Lessons From Artists


Maybe we just do wall decals here at Wall Appeals but deep down we are just artists. So it's always nice to take a break and remember the basics about what we do everyday. This article from designtaxi.com by Suzanne Falter-Barns is a great reminder about why we love our work:

“You cannot truly create something great unless you are willing to share your most tender, most vulnerable thoughts and feelings.”

“The fact is, when you're given total permission to get in there, be messy, use your intuition and make mistakes, the results can be incredible.”

Ten years ago, I was a frustrated, fed-up writer, sitting in a Starbucks in Times Square in tears. I'd gotten 27 rejections on my book—ironically enough, it was about how to live your dreams—and I was sure my own dream of being a successful author was dead.

At that moment, a little voice whispered in my ear that I would only become a writer when, and if, I chose it. Like really chose it—deep in that secret place we all have in our gut.

So I chose it, simply because there didn't seem to be anything else I could do at the time. I decided to walk out of Starbucks a writer, absurd as it seemed.

Two days later, I got fired from my temp job, giving me more time to write. Ten days later, I spontaneously got two assignments from a major magazine I'd never even considered writing for.

Three weeks later, I finally got a publishing deal on the self-help book. Another month later, Hollywood called seeking film rights on a novel I'd published eight years earlier that had died in the marketplace.

75,000 copies later, my self-help book, ‘How Much Joy Can You Stand?’ (Ballantine Wellspring) is a creativity classic, a major star is making a movie of my novel, and I am a successful writer.

But more than a writer, I am a coach. Through this process, I have found myself on a one-woman mission to move people to express themselves. I've discovered that the reason more people don't express themselves is not because they can't—but because they don't realize how universal their fears are, and how necessary their work is in the world.

In short, they suffer from a lack of information. It's the very same information all of us writers, artists, entrepreneurs, and other dreamers uncover as we return to our dreams, day after day, month after month, year after year.

So, in order to expedite that learning curve, I thought I'd share some of these hard won lessons with you, in hopes that you can pass them on to your own clients.

1. GO WITH THE FLOW (OR WITHOUT IT).

If you're going to create anything in life, pray for flow but don't count on it. "Flow" is a much bandied-about buzzword that describes creating at max.

You concentrate intensely on what you're doing, the words/images/ideas/thoughts tumble straight from your mind into your hands, the telephone rings unnoticed, and you look up three hours later, convinced only minutes have passed.

Creating in a state of flow can convince you that you are, indeed, on the right track. Yet, the converse can be true, too. If flow is missing for too long, an artist will start to feel blocked and miserable, like a constipated fish out of water. And yet… no artist experiences flow all the time or even very often.

I had to break this news once to a client I'll call Amy, who was angrily insisting that her speaking career should just fall in her lap, in a great sweep of synchronicity.

‘Sorry, Amy’, I had to say—there are good days and there are bad days, just like with anything else. The illusion is that if we're really doing our dream, the whole darned thing should flow. Yet, some days are downright tedious, just as some days are miraculous.

Professional artists know that flow cannot be counted on, so they learn to create without it—putting their work together every single day, whether or not they're "in the mood".

2. YOU HAVE TO GET IT WRONG BEFORE YOU CAN GET IT RIGHT.

Out there in the rational, logical world, many people strive to get things right the first time.

In an artist's studio, however, it's the mistakes that really count.

In the book, ‘Mastery: Interviews with 30 Remarkable People’, juggler and performance artist Michael Moschen says, "My process works very well when I have time to try it and fail, try it and fail, try it and fail.”

"Sometimes I'll try a piece for three months and get rid of it. Then I'll go back to it again and leave it several more times, because I have to fail a lot to find out all about what the piece wants and really needs. Once it clicks and I start succeeding, you can't stop me."

Or, as Miles Davis said, "Do not fear mistakes; there are none."

3. NOT EVERY WORK OF ART IS ACTUALLY ART.
Over time artists become adept at sorting out which of their creations are true "keepers" and which are mediocre "also-rans". This distinction comes from no place other than your gut, and can only be learned by experience.

These gut distinctions can be subtle at times, and take time to learn. After all, who really wants to admit the dark truth that the screenplay they've been writing for the past three months is actually a bore.

Better to let the marketplace tell you this truth… and it will.

Yet, you may also create something that you just know is a keeper—and the marketplace won't give it a break. The way you can distinguish what's truly a keeper is simply intuitive.

Learning to make that distinction comes with learning your craft.

4. YOU ARE USUALLY YOUR OWN WORST ENEMY.

It's a classic Catch-22. You cannot truly create something great unless you are willing to share your most tender, most vulnerable thoughts and feelings.

Yet, once you do that, you may be racked with self-doubt and fear. Few artists are able to accurately assess just how valuable and great their work is—or how much it will be appreciated by its audience.

In other words, insecurity is the name of the game.

The problem is that it is hard to believe that anyone actually needs and wants what you create. And yet, this is patently untrue. Out here in ‘Audience Land’, we're all patiently waiting for the next great thing to love.

Most of us (at least those of us who aren't professional critics) come from a place of appreciation and acceptance.

This is why the artists who make it continue to produce, despite the dark sense of foreboding, which often accompanies their very best work.

5. IT’S GOOD TO GET DIRTY.


The dirtier you get, the more intimate with your work you get, whether you are messing around with sales projections or oil paints.

Artists know the pure deliciousness of surrendering completely to their process. So don't worry about having to research things without a firm sense of where you're going, or whether you get some burnt sienna on your jeans.

It's good to get dirty because it means you're closer to that exalted state of flow—a place where spelling doesn't count (for the moment), amazing synchronicities can take place, strokes of brilliance pop up out of nowhere, and things blend in new and unexpected ways.

When I lead my ‘How Much Joy Can You Stand?’ workshop, I give everyone an unconventional material, like toilet paper, paper clips, or tin foil, and ask them to create something from it.

I've seen people create entire wedding gowns from toilet paper, and exquisite wall hangings from a ball of string.

The fact is, when you're given total permission to get in there, be messy, use your intuition and make mistakes, the results can be incredible. You want your coaching clients to think big and loose—to create with a sense of danger to what they're doing.

That is how greatness always begins.

6. YOU CAN’T CREATE FOR THE MARKETPLACE; YOU CAN ONLY CREATE FOR YOU.

I once heard an interview with a pop singer who had carefully dissected and repackaged the rhythmic patterns, vocal technique, lyric phrasing and dance moves of Michael Jackson, in an attempt to be Michael.

You have never heard of this guy because—guess what? It didn't work. You can't buy success any more than you can duplicate genius.

The key is to do the opposite. You want to begin with your own organic idea that is born out of who you are and what you are here to do in life.

Start with a concept that sparks your passion, then follow that spark as it guides you through its development. It may even lead you into the slightly absurd

7. IT’S THE WORK THEY’RE REJECTING, NOT YOU.


Sometimes you go out there and dangle your creative product in the marketplace, and you get back a big, wet raspberry.

Experienced artists know this has less to do with the quality of the work than what people are buying at this particular moment in time.

I used to cast television commercials in New York, and this was always a dilemma. You'd get fifteen incredible Broadway actresses vying for the role of Mom in your toothpaste commercial. (Such ads can provide several years of income, so everybody wants them.)

What it always boiled down to was not who was the best Mom, but which one was a redhead, or reminded the client of his wife.

Arbitrary, yes, but unfortunately true in a crowded market. This is why artists never take rejection personally. They simply keep looking for the next opportunity to show their work, with the understanding that they are playing the odds.

Sooner or later, someone's got to buy—and if they don't, then maybe that particular piece was not destined to sell at this time. (And that doesn't mean it won't sell later.)


Hopefully these lessons helped everyone refocus a bit, it's always nice to hear some tips on the creative process. Visit www.wallappeals.com or give us a call 270-761-5237 and we can talk about how to bring out your inner artist.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Wall Decals For Your Home!

Here are a couple of examples of how wall decals from Wall Appeals can really light up your home! These ideas came from 2expertsdesign.com:







Did any of these decals inspire you to brighten up your living room or bedroom? If so visit www.wallappeals.com or give us a call today at 270-761-5237 and we can get started on your new wall decal!

Friday, February 10, 2012

9 Tips: Boost Your Business With Pinterest

Wall Appeals loves Pinterest! Here are a couple of tips for using Pinterest for your business from inc.com:
 

One social site has captured the attention of the masses recently... and it is not called Facebook or Twitter. Sure, the number of users is clearly not as high as what you'd find on those two behemoths, but Pinterest is gaining traction, especially with the female demographic.

What’s the fascination? For Amy Larson, a special education teacher who uses the site for about two hours per day, the whole purpose is in finding interesting design ideas. She pins pictures to her Pinterest board, where she has a few dozen followers, as a reminder about what is cool and stylish. And, by the way, she does not use Facebook much at all, which is more about forming social connections.

"I love Pinterest because it's like getting a whole bunch of magazines without adding clutter in my house and without the cost," she says. "There are so many great ideas and recipes, and it's all organized on the computer so I can access my favorites at anytime."

Pinterest had an estimated 3.3 million unique visitors in the month of October. While there's no mechanism for potential customers to buy your products directly from the site, consider the marketing potential: Popular images (with links back to the original source) can get re-pinned on hundreds of other users' boards.

Here are nine proven ways to attract the attention of people like Amy, improve your click-throughs, and spread the word about a new product:

1. Spend the time
Like any social network, and maybe even more with this demographic, Pinterest.com requires an investment in time. Jason White, who owns Quality Woven Labels, says one key is to build relationships with those who are known for quality “pins” at the site. He says, once these movers and shakers get to know you and your business, they will be more likely to post about your product. White says to focus on the users who get the most likes and repins.

"All of these repins and likes share a common interest, making it easier to take the conversation to Twitter or Facebook to nurture the relationship," he says. "Like everything else, be real and show your true self. Authenticity is hugely important."

2. Keep it simple
The main appeal of Pinterest is that the site is exceptionally easy to use. Everyone has a “board” where they pin images that are all the same size. Hana Abaza, the co-founder and CEO of Wedding Republic, says it's best to mimic Pinterest's uncluttered aesthetic, so she creates boards that are clean and elegant looking. Each pinned photo includes one link back to her site (you click once to see the pin page, and again to see the source site). Abaza says Pinterest dramatically boosted page views. Through her social media efforts she saw a 75 percent increase in traffic, with Pinterest generating most of that.

3. Connect your physical presence with your online presence
It’s important to connect the dots between a physical location and your Pinterest page. Becca Bijoch does public relations for the Minneapolis store Creative Kidstuff. Often the physical store will feature online ads and Pinterest promotions. Soon the company website will feature Pinterest buttons. So far, the campaign has yielded about 150 extra page views directly from Pinterest and two direct sales. Not astounding, but that's only after using the site for about 30 days.

4. Make sure your business is a match
This tip might seem obvious, but Pinterest caters to those looking for recipes, room d├ęcor, and do-it-yourself crafts. If your company sells power sanders, you might not be a good fit. Quality Woven Labels, which makes tags for custom clothing, has been able to use Pinterest to connect with the perfect demographic: independent fashion designers.

5. Use other social nets to feed Pinterest
The new kid on the block may be getting all of the hype, but existing social networks have one advantage: a vast number of users. Justin Palmer, the online awareness director at Sevenly, a custom T-Shirt shop, says to get the most number of eyeballs his company uses Tumblr and Facebook to point people to Pinterest.

6. Launch a daily pin theme
Sevenly has created a daily pin to promote its brand. The idea is to come up with a catchy slogan that is tied to the organization's charity work and memorable enough so that the images get re-pinned. The daily themed pins usually lead to repeat visitors. Sevenly also posts a weekly custom-designed t-shirt, which is often re-pinned by other Pinterest users. Bonus: They come back often looking for the new one.

7. Promote more than products
The temptation for any business is to post pins only for products you sell. Giselle Gonzalez is a promoter for Cakestyle, a company that makes wardrobe suggestions for women, and says one key is to post interesting news tidbits, tips, and products from other companies. She says Pinterest users are savvy in spotting a board that is too self-serving and only posts product photos.

8. Follow the big hitters

One of the best ways to raise awareness about your company is to start following the big names on Pinterest. This is the proven method on Twitter: When you follow popular figures, and they follow you back, other Twitter users get the message and follow the leader. Sevenly’s Palmer says it’s important to find out who is “pinning” your products and to follow them to see if they follow you back. Most do, he says.

9. Selective curating

Pinterest caters to those who love to “curate” or weed out the good from the bad. Presenza, a custom clothing designer, finds unique products beyond their own offering and pins them. The company also uses key phrases on their board like “made in the USA” and “defining confidence” to help define the brand.

Visit Wall Appeals Pin Boards! See anything you like? Visit www.wallappeals.com or call us at 270-761-5237!