motivational monday: community over competition

Community Over Competition

Did you roll your eyes when you read the title of this post? Sometimes I roll my eyes when I see people using this phrase on Instagram, and you can tell it’s not really coming from their heart, it’s just part of an image they’re trying to curate online. More times than not, those girls hashtagging this up have an exclusive group and only want to interact with people that they can tell are fan-girling and/or have a decent following.

We all have a secret skill, and mine is seeing through people’s facades. This can make it hard for people that can’t be real with me to become my friend. To me, when you build a facade, you are building a lie, and I don’t want to be friends with a liar. What’s the point? If your friend can’t be their real self with you, then you can’t have a real relationship, which to me is a waste of time.

What does all this have to do with “community over competition”? Well, if you’re building facades, you’re not having faith in your community to accept you for who you are. Your facade is also something you’ve built to make your life seem better than it is, this means your using your facade to compete with those you think have “it” better than you.

I love social media, but these unreal views that people create promotes more competition. I’m not saying that this is all social media does, though!

Twitter is my favorite social media outlet. I’ve made so many friends, learned a lot, collaborated with people, and have helped people in return. I’m slowly building a similar community on Periscope. These two places seem more real to me than Instagram. I love my Twitter community. There’s no drama in my Twitter community.

I’m also in some Facebook groups, and in most of them there’s a lot of drama (sadly a lot of the planner groups can be like that). That said, I LOVE the Louis Vuitton planner group I’m in. Some people think less of people that buy “luxury” goods, but this group is so full of positivity! Yes, we all have LV planners, but the inserts range in “price” from homemade to high-end, and no one judges anyone’s inserts. No on makes fun of someone when they have a DIY insert that is not super sleek. We’re all just cheering everyone on and sharing how we made them, or where we bought them (often off Etsy). It’s a great group to be a part of.

Sometimes I feel stupid for not understanding why anyone would ever choose to not be supportive of their friends or strangers on the internet. If your friend got a raise and is making more than you, celebrate her! Don’t try to knock her down. If your friend has more followers on social media, don’t be jealous, ask her for advice. If your friend’s business is booming, ask her to share steps she took to boost sales. Unless you two are making the exact same product, she is not your competition.

A rising tide lifts all boats

There are a lot of business coaches out there, many teach people how to become coaches themselves, they know there is room for everyone. I’m in several licensing groups on FB as well, and we all help each other out. We share resources, give feedback on art and contracts. I know I’ve mentioned before that I’ve helped some friends that are complete competition for me, they have a similar style and target demographic, but I’ve helped them anyway, and I will continue to help them any time they ask. The mark I want to leave on this world is of being helpful, that’s more important to me than fame or fortune.

I’m a believer that what you put out comes back to you. That’s not what motivates me to help people, but I’ve seen where selfish people have “paid the price” in their lives. You can’t fake your karma, either, your good actions have to come from the heart. I was recently jealous of someone. It lasted less than 24 hours, and then I decided to get over it, and go back to my normal helpful self. After I made that choice I felt so much better and was no longer wasting time thinking about that person in a negative way. We’re all going to feel jealous from time to time, the trick is to move past it, and keep putting out positivity into the world.

Isn’t there enough bad out there? We have the choice to help people out. If you’re one of the “good guys”, you’re out there raising everyone up and being supportive, try taking it a step further. When your friend or co-worker (you know the one, the one that lives for gossip and tearing others down) starts in, try calling them out (in a positive way). If this person is too difficult, any time they try to bring their negativity around just change the subject. That way you’re squashing the negativity. Every day we get to make a choice on the impression we want to make in this world. We own that choice. Maybe bad things keep happening to you, and you’re feeling angry and like you’ve been dealt a crappy hand. Last year was a very bad year for me, but I didn’t let all the crappy days change what I put out there. When someone is a jerk to you, you can control whether or not you take it out on the next person.

So what’s this “Motivation Monday” about? It’s about motivating you to constantly make the choice to help your community, and spread the energy to get others to do the same. For some this will come easy, for others this will be changing their habits. If you think it will be hard for you, have a buddy help you out. Together we can do so much.

motivational monday: change can be good

henry ford quote

This Henry Ford quote can seem not that “motivational”, I look at it as more of a kick in the pants. It’s similar to the Albert Einstein quote “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

We all tend to find comfort in routines, even if those routines are not helping us improve our work or life. When you decide that you know everything and have something down perfectly, that’s when you’ve constrained yourself from growth. Make no mistake, you make that choice. You are the only one that can change up your patterns. You decide if you want to keep growing. This decision applies to business and life.

Lets say you’re trying to lose weight, but it’s not happening, that’s when you need to seek out more advice. Switch up your routines, give what you’re eating some more thought.

What if you’re business is not growing? Make a list of everything you’re doing, then figure out what you’re not doing that other successful business owners are doing. If you’re pitching stores, venture out of your home city/state. Look into doing shows, if you haven’t done them before. Review your target audience on FB and your SEO, maybe it’s time for a refresher.

I volunteer for SXSW, and have been a volunteer forever. I’ve specifically worked in the Press & Publicity dept. for the last 10+ years. I used to complain that every year when it becomes “show time” we are asking each other how to process certain things. I would say, “we’ve done this long enough we should have this down”. What I learned from us questioning every year was that by us questioning, we were constantly improving our processes. We may have basic guidelines, but we’re always improving. We’re not afraid to mix it up. We’re not afraid to try new things.

BIG TIP!

ALWAYS BE REVIEWING –
Review your daily routines. How can you make things more efficient? How can you work smarter, not harder?

Here’s a super personal place I’ve recently put this practice into action. I reversed the order in which I do things in the shower. This helps me have shorter showers, saving me time, and water. Win-win!

I also recently stopped checking emails first thing in the morning. This helps me be more proactive than reactive. I get some business done first, then designate a time to go through emails.

REMINDER
It’s up to us to control our lives. Did you read about the employee that wrote an open letter to Yelp complaining about her wages? Setting aside that the living wages in the US are not where they should be, the employee chose to accept a job knowing the pay, and knowing what she needed to earn to make ends meet. She should have been looking for other employment to meet her financial needs. We cannot rely on anyone, on any employer, or on the government to care about us enough. This is not meant to be political, this isn’t about that. It is about us taking care of ourselves. If you hate your job, start looking today for a new one. If you don’t have the skills to get the job you want, start taking online courses. You’re in the driver seat, and life is too short to settle for an unhappy life.

Don’t think it’s all about having a “cool” job, either. It’s about having a happy life. If you can work somewhere that can afford you the finances to buy the things and experiences you want out of life, then you’re getting a pretty great trade there.

There’s no such thing as a perfect life, don’t be fooled by that nonsense you’re getting fed online. It’s all about finding gratitude for all the good things, and knowing that you can have more good days than bad, and that without bad days, those good days won’t seem as good as they are.

inspired: pretty in pink 30th anniversary

Pretty in Pink 30th Anniversary

Today marks the 30th anniversary of the 80s movie Pretty in Pink. On Valentine’s Day they had special screenings through Fathom events, and boy did I scoop up tickets as soon as I found out. This movie has had a long lasting impact in my life. To this day, that soundtrack puts me in a very productive mood. If you haven’t seen the movie, stop reading this post now, and come back after you do. Trust me, you’ll want to see it. If you have, let me share the ways this movie weaved through my life. Pretty in Pink inspired me to cut up clothes and rework them into new pieces, it made me want to work in a record store doing fun displays, it made me want a pink car, it reminded me not to let what people think change me, and the music, well, the music just ended up being my own life soundtrack.

Now to give specifics on all of that. In middle school my best friend and I would get together and swap clothes, I always used the clothes I got from her to cut up and mix with my clothes. I didn’t know how to sew then, so I would staple, safety pin, and tape pieces together. No one knew that I did that, but people always asked me where I got what I was wearing, and there was no better feeling than getting to say I made it. It felt amazing knowing something new I pieced together was well received.

In high school I did my first choreography dance final to Shellshock by New Order (featured in the movie).

In high school I had decided I wanted to own my own record store. In order to do that I thought I should get a job at a record store. After I graduated I worked in several trying to learn as much as I could, and often getting to work on displays. I even did a variation of the record display in the movie at one of the record stores I worked for. Once I started working for Tower Records, it was then that I learned of art departments in record stores, and doing that became a new goal. One of my favorite jobs ever was when I was in charge of signage, displays, marketing and events for a record store, it was there that I was really marrying my two loves; being creative and music.

Perseverance is a strong theme in the movie. Duckie, Andie, and Iona kept pushing forward and having a strong sense of self. It was inspiring, it made me feel like I could hold my own no matter what.

I still haven’t owned a pink car, but that’s next on my list. 😉

What do you think about Pretty in Pink? Are there any movies that have inspired you? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

xo
renée

makeup monday: tribute + transformation

The recent death of creative legend and pop-culture icon David Bowie has sparked a beautiful wave of fan art inspired by his body of work and his persona. His impact across several decades of prolific artistic endeavors has no doubt been a catalyst for growth and transformation in people all over the world.

I was fortunate enough to be part of one such collaborative tribute with a small, talented team of Austin-based artists last week, each of whom have been influenced in both work and life by David Bowie, and I am so stoked to show off what we’ve created in the star’s honor.

Photographer Naomi Loghry of Loghry Photography shot the images and coordinated the session. Model, actress, cosplayer, and all-around artistic whirlwind Jennifer Lynn Larsen (Mayhem’s Muse) was the subject. I provided makeup and assisted with hair styling to help bring the looks to life. Our vision was to recreate a few of actress Tilda Swinton’s many Bowie-inspired portraits.

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“For this project,” says model Jen Larsen, “I drew inspiration and mood from one of this generations GREATEST muses-David Bowie himself. A gentleman who knew intimately that act is only limited by our perception, and believed that we should always make statements which help those around us feel more comfortable in their own skins. No matter gender, sexuality, or station in life, art and music speak to us all. All are obtainable.”

Of course, Bowie was well known as a chameleon who regularly reinvented himself. This means there are a plethora of options for style and direction, but I think this one is a perfect fit for Larsen’s physical look, as well as her personal philosophies.

Jen goes on to explain, “This collaboration is done in the style of Tilda Swinton and her iconic tribute to Bowie. She has an amazing ability to transform herself from concept to concept, which is an ability I have always attempted to manifest in my work. It is her chameleon-Esque ability to blend into her setting which drew her to Bowie, and in turn inspired me to reach inside for a more powerful, androgynous self.

It is when we throw caution and boundaries to the wind that we discover our true potential. When we look deep inside and let go of pre-conceived notions and limitations, we are free to be exactly who we dream. We will always dream. We will always Strive for the Highest.”

I think we totally captured that power with this photo set, don’t you?

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When asked about her overall motivation for the collaboration, Jen told me the following: “It has always been important to me to have artistic freedom. To be able to work with people who have beautiful creative freedom, and to trust each other enough to let their muses fly free. Creating art that makes people feel inspired and empowered has always been one of my highest ambitions as a creator.”

Loghry, our masterful photographer, is also thrilled with the outcome. “This was such an inspiring session and I couldn’t be happier with the results! The makeup and hair; Jen’s amazing posing, all resulted in 100% success in creating Tilda and Bowie’s lovechild character.”

I agree completely!

To achieve the bright blues in two of the makeup looks, I used Kat Von D’s Synth eyeshadow, blended with Skulls and Lyric, all from the Mi Vida Loca palette. For the third, darker look, I transitioned to a smokier eye by smudging Dark Wave on the upper eyelid just above the lash line, and blending with Hyperballad, both from the same eyeshadow palette.

We kept Jen’s skin and lips pale, and used concealer to minimize her eyebrow color in a couple of the looks.

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All wardrobe came from the model’s personal collection.

While we’re certainly not alone in our sadness over the loss of this incredibly talented human being, it’s amazing to see the outpouring of residual art being made, and it’s healing to take part in some of that as a participant. I hope you love these photos as much as we do!

“So I turned myself to face me but I’ve never caught a glimpse of how the others must see the faker… Turn and face the strange. Don’t want to be a richer man. Just gonna have to be a different man.” -David Bowie, “Changes”

biz chat: how to infuse color trends into your work

Infusing color trends in your work

We’re doing a blog theme this week, and that theme is the 2016 Pantone colors of the year. Jen shared with you how to add it to your make-up routine, and I’m here to share with you how to incorporate it into your work.

If you’ve seen the colors Robo Roku uses, we tend to be very bold, and more toward the primary color side of things. This year’s Pantone colors — yes, that’s plural, are Rose Quartz and Serenity (featured in the image above). These colors are more on the pastel side of things, but we do have some ways we can work it in. I recently learned about mompreneur coach, Renae Christine, and watched a three part video series where she breaks down how you should build your color story per line launch. She recommends using five neutrals, three trend colors, and two “out there” colors that you just love and need to have in your line. Neutral doesn’t need to mean beige, so don’t freak out if beige is not in your wheel house. Robo Roku’s neutrals would be more like black, red, and blue.

I really like Renae Christine’s breakdown of colors. It’s a helpful list to keep you from using all the colors out there, and keeps you focused on the colors that will sell the best. Honestly, I would even say you could maybe do two trend colors, and add one more to “out there”, if you’d like. As long as your overall color story is staying on brand, there’s no harm in infusing the newest trend colors every year. It’s not only going to challenge you, but keep you current! Let us know if you decide to try to infuse the trend colors into your line this year.

Share your work with us via Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #TCLcreative so we can see what you’re creating!

XO
-renée

makeup monday: pantone color of the year 2016

Happy New Year, everyone! As you may know by now, for the first time ever this year, Pantone is combining two colors for its Color of the Year 2016: Rose Quartz (13-1520) and Serenity (15-3919). For those of us who are not only color and design geeks, but also love charming humanoid female cartoon characters, this is a joyous situation!

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Whether you’re into both the pale pink of Rose Quartz and the soft periwinkle of Serenity, or are shy about color but want to try one of them this season, you’re in luck. There are plenty of cosmetics brands creating products to satisfy your hankering for these hues. Here are a few of my favorites:

SEPHORA+PANTONE UNIVERSE Color of the Year Lipsticks

These shades come in a nourishing formula and gorgeous packaging, easy to mix and match with your existing beauty regimen. There are several products to explore in this year’s collection at Sephora, but the lipstick options and eyeshadow palette in particular are all over my radar right now.

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I will definitely be trying out some of these products soon and sharing the results with you all. In the image below are a couple of the looks I found particularly pretty.

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essie nail polish – lapiz of luxury

Beautiful blue tone! This is one I already have, as I’m a huge fan of periwinkles. Find it at essie.com or Target.

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MAKEUP FOREVER Artist Eyeshadow and Powder Blush – Fairly Pink and Periwinkle

These shadows can be purchased individually, and make a great addition to your compact or kit. Get them online or in store at Sephora.

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How will you wear the 2016 color(s) of the year? We’d love to hear about it! Comment below to share.

xo,
Jen



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