Use Your Creativity and Make Money
When I buy paper for a client’s project I order extra just because I know it will get used somewhere on some other project. Oh heck, any time I am even near a paper or arts & crafts store I am buying for some future project. Since a camera was first put in my hands, I have been taking photographs.
I love pressing flowers, rose petals and dried grasses and laminating them into bookmarks. Then I started scanning the flower bookmarks (the detail in the flowers made them look so real) and using the images to make inspirational bookmarks, with an image on one side and a quote on the other. Bookmarks are great handouts for book or business promotions and even wedding or party favors.
And let’s not forget autumn leaves. Being a New Englander I just love autumn and when the leaves change colors I am out there collecting them, laying them out flat as I carefully put them in my pockets until I get home. The leaves are scanned onto the computer and used to seasonally decorate newsletters, email promotions and websites. The leaves are also laminated to make bookmarks, place mats, window decorations, and even mobiles -- great projects to do with kids.
After attending a Stamping Up party where we used rubber stamps, card stock, ribbons, embossed and added embellishments to greeting cards, I realized a new way to use my creativity without having to buy much at the party, as I had lots of specialty paper and colored card stock already. These new skills and ideas complemented a lot of what I was already doing.
So where does the making money part come in?
Applying my creative skills to my desktop publishing and graphic design skills, enhances what I am able to offer (and sell) to my clients. When a client is impressed with my work, they will think of other ways to use my services, and be willing to recommend me to others. I use my photographs in newsletters, greeting cards and other publications I create; sometimes using that extra paper I have on hand. When I use my photographs in projects for my clients, I charge for their use just as if I purchased them online.
As well as selling my services, I also create numerous customized products by using mostly what I already have on hand: my camera, scanner, color printer, paper cutter, laminator, and my desktop publishing and graphic design skills. These items include place mats, bookmarks, window decorations, ornaments, name badges, custom luggage tags and whatever other ideas I come up with. By using autumn leaves, pressed flowers, and my own photographs, costs are minimal. After showing samples of greeting cards I made to some friends and clients, I received orders for save the date cards, custom thank you cards and wedding invitations. And this is doing what I love to do.
We all have creative skills. Whether it is in music, arts, crafts, photography, fashion, landscaping, interior design, laying bricks onto patios, to building skyscrapers and carving out Mount Rushmore! It is putting them to use that really counts and sharing your creations with the world around you!
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