THAT IS THE QUESTION
I realize that’s it’s been almost a month since ALT, but I thought I would share with you my honest thoughts of the whole experience. And maybe these thoughts will help you decide if you want to attend next year.
ALT is the kind of place that will break you down and build you back up all within 48 hours. If you’re ready for a change, then this is the type of conference you may want to attend. I realized this past year that I was ready for something new. My old blog felt outdated and I was ready for something fresh and hip. So I started designing. I also wanted a place to showcase my portfolio, since I’ve never had a website dedicated completely to my work. My goal was to have it all up and running by ALT. I accomplished my goal and I was hoping that ALT would continue to fuel the fire for my personal and professional goals.
I’m going to cover four categories from ALT, the people, the panels, the parties and the plan.
Plan to meet lots of amazing people while at ALT. I met some of the most amazing, inspiring, creative, talented, stylish and thoughtful women I have ever met. And don’t forget to bring lots of amazing business cards. I’ll post about mine soon. I went with my good friend, Lindsay. We attended BYU-Idaho together and have since crossed paths several times. I’m so glad we went together, I couldn’t have gone without her.
Plan on meeting some “famous” people, or at least famous to you. I met “THE” Amy Butler, need I say more. She even signed my sketchbook. She was so much more lovely than I could have even imagined. If I could choose to be like any textile designer, it would be Amy Butler. Her designs are amazing! I’m hoping to get into textile design soon, and she is such an inspiration. Did I mention that she’s tall too? I’m 6’1″, so do the math.
I met a whole group of women from Seattle, one of them is the amazingly stylish Jenn Blake. Wow! We met Wednesday night after things went amiss at Registration. She is genuinely nice and super sweet! Isn’t that scarf adorable!
I took like 30 pages of notes at the panels and hopefully you will find some of this information helpful as well. I know that in order to achieve any of these I need to set some goals and check my progress along the way. I hope by writing these things down here, I’ll be more inclined to do them.
“The Business of Blogging” Panel
• I need to be legit, get a business license, register my name/logo, open a business account
• Back up my web server
• Your blog is a business, your content is a product
• Get my office organized
• Have regularly scheduled original content. Be consistent. Have a reliable structure.
• Get an ad/sponsorship kit put together.
• DREAM BIG!!! I love this song from Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband.
“Work, Life, Balance” Panel
• Make room in your day to be creative
• Balance is constantly changing
• Set boundaries for myself-how much time I spend online. Unplug!
• Get a babysitter. Listen to your gut/inner-feeling.
• Do what I do best and let someone else do the rest
“Blog to Book” Panel
• Design and write up a one sheet proposal and send it to a publisher
• Decide which publisher understands my voice best and use them
• Ask tons of questions and don’t be afraid to negotiate contracts
“Kickstarting your next project” Panel
• Make a project that is separate from what you do day-t0-day
• Be passionate and excited about it
• Have rules that constrain it and make it manageable
• Share it regularly on the internet
• It should be motivating and challenging
• Try something new and be ok with failing at it
• Do what you love and give it a fair shot
• Jump in with both feet but know where you want to land
• Have a structured day
“Licensing Your Designs” Round Table Discussion (one of my favorites)
• Why do I want to license?
• Find out which manufacturers/companies I would fit best with and contact them directly.
• Don’t be afraid to ask questions
• Don’t give up your exclusivity!!!!
• Don’t be afraid to make mistakes
“DIY Tutorials” Panel
• Do my research to see if the idea has been done before and have a willingness to change it if necessary
• Take photos of everything and develop strong photos (thanks to Ez she explained this to me later in the evening!)
• Keep a variety of colorful fabrics for photo shoots
• Save high res photos of all of your photos incase a magazine wants to feature your tutorial
• Continue to learn photography
• Take photos at the same time of the day and in the same place
• Create a newsletter
“PINTEREST” and Ben (by far my favorite part of the conference. He was so genuine and a great public speaker)
• Be willing to try new things
• He said, “I wanna be known for the things I make, no the things I say”
• Even if you don’t know exactly what you are going to di, you should be around people that are doing what you want to be doing.
• Dream really big
• If you don’t bet on yourself no one else will
• What you collect says so much about who you are
The parties were fun, a little crowded, but still fun. The winter white party was fun to see everyone in white, but I wish it was in a bigger room. It was really hard to talk to each other. I would have liked to have taken more opportunities to meet others.
(btw these photos were not taken by me. see more here or just click on the image to find the source)
Friday night mini parties were a blast, mostly because of the photo booths. I had the most fun making the beaded necklace and drawing the frame and stache. If you want to see a little video that features me in the beginning, go check it out here.
By Friday night I was ready to go home. I was just tired. I had to find some time to clear my head and make a plan. So I did. The 40 minutes it took to drive home helped. My husband was quite surprised when I walked in the door that night. I would have liked to have attended the Saturday classes, but somehow my registration got lost and I didn’t want to intrude, plus I was tired. I’m glad I went home.
And now for the plan! The plan is to continue moving forward. I want to work on many of the things I mentioned here on this post and also continue to develop associations with those that attended ALT. It was impossible to meet everyone at ALT, so I really feel that places like this ALT pinboard and ALT channel are more opportunities to meet others.
If you’re thinking of attending ALT, I’d say weigh out your options and decide if you’re ready for change and if it’s right for you. Overall, I’d say I’m glad I went. It gave me the courage to go forward.
Tags: alt summit, alt summit 2012, goals