Self-Portrait 2020

Purpose

A Story About Tripping Over Bread

As things have taken a doubtful turn, I race to the corner of the intersection, moving my head to the back to check for traffic turning right. I am mighty in this sweater I proclaim, not wearing it on my run, but in my head as I write about running. I cross over a slippery yellow grid and see three bright orange pylons. There is a construction site to my right, and a small mall with a Bell store and I always seem to think a Cobs, but there isn’t. This is the fastest I’ve gone in it must be over a year, I thought. I felt impressed with my speed but knew I still had a long way to go. Will there be a huge difference once my shoes stop blinking purple? The lights were slowly changing to green, then orange, then nothing. I could see the lavender bear making its way over the crest of Gladwin Rd, heading toward Mission, where the Vedder river was, and Chilliwack. My heart was in the that town for some reason. The bread? The bread would be over on Monday, so better start relying on something else for pleasure, I thought. I was already home, wiping the rain off my make-uped brow and scanning the kitchen for my pint of water. The bear’s cries could be heard, and thunder rang in the deep blue sky. RipnDip, I thought, taking my hoodie off. The scars on my back were getting better. It just took a little temper, and ignorance for it to heal itself back to smooth, normal skin. Vanity or was it purpose? What answer do you recommend?

ChonaBLOX Graphics

Hey everyone!

What a whirlwind of week it’s been!

Between studying like a madwoman and trying to maintain a consistent posting schedule, I’ve designed some quick, quirky graphics for various topics up on The ChonaBLOX Blog.

Right now, they are being shared across multiple platforms (remember, have you had your FILPTS today?) and I will present them in one swift punch once my colour scheme (rainbow, of course) has had its say.

I suppose it would be my most current body of work, should any amazing agencies in the air desire a digital marketer with an artistic penchant to boot!

For now, here’s a sample. A graphic designed today for my latest #girlstories post – her name is SABRINA and she is a…GHOST!

Check out her story as it relates to two other Elevententeen characters, Judge Judy (I know, and yes, on purpose) and Alice from Wonderland.

new #girlstories sabrina (1)

And last thing, two very important marketing terms that I’ve come across lately and seem to apply to my work – top of mind and evergreen. Here are a couple of simple definitions.

First, per Wikipedia –

In marketing, top-of-mind awareness (TOMA) refers to a brand or specific product being first in customers’ minds when thinking of a particular industry or category. … At the market level, top-of-mind awareness is more often defined as the “most remembered” or “most recalled” brand names.

And second –

Evergreen content is content that is always relevant – much like the way evergreen trees retain their leaves all year around. Interesting and relevant content that does not become dated is necessary in order to be found online by search engines (The Balance Careers).

As we enter the beginning of Q4 or reach the end of the year, I want to consider these definitions as they relate to my brand and marketing strategy. How have these terms applied to your business? Do you think they are relevant and does applying these concepts to your work produce less disparity between yourself and your audience? Let’s have a brainstorm!

Cheers y’all!

PS – Halloween is just around the corner, what are your plans?

PPS – FILPTS is a BLOX acronym standing for Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter & Snapchat.

PPPS – I gotta up my Snapchat game! Any cool tips or tricks my friends?

Sabrina

Our continuation of #girlstories…

The epiphany rang.

There was an evil sinister coming to Elevententeen.

Do you have plans yet_.png

Sabrina sat up from her seat and left her lunch in the mist. She was mentally picturing her fuzzy, white sweater getting soaked from the rain and it made her livid. She was too embarrassed to adjust, people were observing. She trudged through, carrying a green umbrella.

Carrying books in a used plastic bag, she walked to her class. Virtuoso would be there. Her heart skipped a beat knowing that he would test her classically trained ear. He didn’t know she lost the ability. For this exam, she would pretend; she could not hear a thing.

Only black. Sabrina quickly glanced at her feet to see where she was, her red rain boots covered in dew drops. Then, she coughed and tiny gray particles with lavender pieces came shooting out of her mouth. She coughed again and the door opened.

She couldn’t hold onto her books anymore. They dropped down the silver lining. Her arms struggled to reach for something, anything to stop her from slipping. There were branches sticking out on each side of her, then suddenly she remembered.

She was Alice and Sabrina was the nightmare.

10 years ago.

She didn’t want to see it, she squeezed her eyes shut to ignore what was going to happen next. No, no, no! She cried, just leave me alone! Don’t let this happen, loyal judge, I will bring you the falcon! But whomever she was speaking to didn’t care. She looked down and could see her legs changing into wide tree trunks, covered with green frost and violet branches. She looked at her hands and they too were made of wood. The apple from her lunch pack floated in a thick orange residue, and she reached for it, but it just turned into mush with a face, laughing. Oh shit, this is it. The sounds around her went bleep.

Finally, kerplunk.

Sabrina landed on soft ground. It was ridiculous that a tree could wear a blue dress. Still, she patted down her pinafore and retied a green bow. Judge? She searched. Her crispy hands aimed for her head. She ducked down as she knew she wouldn’t be able to prune her braids. The ground became solid with tiny, little versions of signs propping up, one by one, all over the place. Everywhere was now everything.

She wore a black hat and had red-rimmed eyeglasses.

alice. (2)

She wore a purple jacket with dirt under her nail beds.

judge.

It was over.

They played a game to determine their next meal. They didn’t want to eat. They wanted to get out of here. A sinister laugh bellowed from the fog’s bounds and they knew Judge Judy was prepared. Prepared to assign Sabrina with her next task. Prepared to evaluate the worth of Alice’s size, since she was just going to be used at the tribune. And throughout the entire evaluation, neither girl could sit still.

What would become of Sabrina’s jacket?

 

 

#girlstories

Hey gang!

I forgot to post my ad for #girlstories, which launched a month or two ago.

The purpose of this campaign is to empower women from different demographics and psychographics to tell their personal stories using creativity to dispel fear, judgement, and other negative attributes that we may associate with categorization.

Wikipedia describes categorization as:

…something that humans and other organisms do: “doing the right thing with the right kind of thing.” The doing can be nonverbal or verbal. For humans, both concrete objects and abstract ideas are recognized, differentiated, and understood through categorization.

I’m learning about Facebook Ads right now and it just seems fitting to mention this topic today! I love being analytical, because I don’t have to worry about ‘categorization’, it’s just an ‘interest’ hey!

It’s as simple as this:

doing the right thing –> creating campaigns

with the right kind of thing –> Facebook advertising

Facebook’s mission for 2019 is Embrace Automation. Perhaps a further step towards developing AI…

“Using Dynamic Ads, advertisers can upload an entire product catalog and set their campaign time, and let Facebook do the rest. Working in conjunction with the Facebook Pixel, Facebook will automatically show the right products to users who have visited your website previously.” –  Ignite Visibility

It doesn’t sound so simple, but it can be!

If we take this notion and apply it to a creative + technical writing style (see my first paragraph), we can attempt to mimic the theory and eliminate a need for keywords, bringing us one step closer to attributing right-brained thinking to adaptive modes of learning.

Check out this interesting article, A Glance at the Past & Future of Keyword Research on Semper Plugins.

In place of keywords, we can utilize Facebook Ad concepts like targeting, audiences and insights.

But, who is the pixel? Or, shall I say: who is Pixel? 😉

Okay, that’s my concept exploration for the day! Back to the matter at hand…

When crafting my ideas, I stay true to (what I believe is) the genuine nature of short story telling: condensed length + resisting the sense of obligation to apply edits to the original draft.

Okay, but I still run a wee minor check before I post – always!

This speaks to the campaign’s purpose – revealing our true self (it ends up being paradoxical at times – think: can we express truth condensed?) while maintaining the raw and gritty nature of our human existence.

At the end of the hour, we remain women (and men), powerful regardless of what we know, how we advertise ourselves and why we do it!

#girlstories Girl Stories is a series of creative, short stories focused on empowering creativity in women

These stories will be posted at least once per month. I hope you enjoy them and if you have any ideas for new character names, I’m all ears!

Cherry

She lost him. She stopped as soon as she could to catch her breath. The platform was empty, save for one man, standing by himself wearing a low, soft felt hat with a curled brim and the crown creased lengthwise. He looked at her. Cheater. Quickly, she darted her eyes toward the staircase. She half expected him to come up, but he didn’t.

Instead he played chess and she was alone at last. Cherry slid down onto the cold, non-foliated metamorphic rock commonly used for sculpture and as a building material. Her hand searched for a mushy, ham and cheese sandwich. Eat? The odd man turned and walked toward her using a device consisting of a circular canopy of cloth on a folding metal frame supported by a metal rod. It was his first. She didn’t understand the significance of the red and white peppermint patty stripes though. A big chunk of sandwich wedged in her throat.

There is no resting place in Paradise, Chona. Just the constant chase of Dreams and Toys. Whatever then. I don’t need the job anyway. They need themselves and that will never change. I reached into the fridge, the bright neon light glaring in my face. What’s it going to be tonight? 3% milk bought one week ago, or taro cream buns from yesterday? Her black, acid wash cut-offs were riding up her legs, a product of skipping two workouts over the weekend he supposed. Cherry didn’t want any of it. She slammed the fridge door for Each Other and climbed onto the kitchen island marble.

Boom, boom, boom.

Silence filled the entire apartment.

Dang it, he’s here.

She didn’t even have time to prepare.

Some empty containers of Nanö fell onto the floor. Cherry didn’t wait. Nothing. Then, suddenly again –

Boom-boom-boom-boom-boom!

She didn’t have time to leave.

Outside the window, the landscape was lavender purple.

The air inside her apartment was as cold as stone.

Cherry remembered the Toys in her closet. There was probably enough in there to pay him off. Jared didn’t take cheap toys as a barter. He was looking for some form of permanent reimbursement. She wanted to try to run away. Running to her room, she pulled her closet doors open and found him. A retro blue Ty bear stuffie, sewn together with black thread. His beady eyes were made of wind-blown agate, a mystical find these days in Chon.

Wasn’t it ridiculous to think gems held power these days? Jared was specifically looking to enhance his perception and analytical abilities. The agate eyes on Cherry’s Toy could heal the  anger inside and create a sense of security and blankets, much needed bling required at Life Space.

“Cherry!!!” Jared started, “Open the frigging door! NOW!” She grabbed Blueberry, stuffing it into her shirt, which had a hidden metric built-in. The bear quickly disappeared and she yanked the entranceway agape.

“Where is it?!?” Jared stumbled inside, her apartment was already in shreds. Cherry had old jars of Dream everywhere. But they were empty too. Users. “How fast can you put together a cheat sheet?” Jared stopped and looked at Cherry. They both began to laugh hysterically. She blinked her eyes. One by one, the jars started to break up into small parts, a result of impact and decay. She checked out the window. The purple haze was gone and replaced with a mauve checkerboard.

In the next moment memory, everything sat still and Jared was suddenly a statue, his eyes staring blankly at Cherry’s gaze. It was only going to last another 30 minutes, she thought. She moved taking a short time – the journey was going to be fast and furious. She ran back to her window and stuck her head outside. It was wet and sticky and humid. Further out she could see the retro blue Ty melding into life. Tiny pink flecks, stars, were also starting to become actual fact.

That was on her right brain. Her left was angry, used and taken for granted. She didn’t know how to fix him. It was probably going to be impossible. So why not just skip living and buy some cigarettes?

 

Katie

She loved the red glitter on her eyes. It was so thick and opaque. Looking into the mirror, she had to tippy-toe onto her Dr. Martens to see the details. It gave her a buzz – the satisfaction of seeing colour on her face. Kate patted down her hair, trying to ignore the grays.

There was a lot now. They came in from nowhere. Probably due to stress. Her mom-in-law. Lack of inspiration or something like that. Katie inhaled a deep breath while admiring herself. One more time, she thought. And then, she turned to exit the restroom.

Her dress was red too. Strolling through the children’s department, Katie saw something green. It was fabulous! Hyper-fantastic and surreal. She had to run towards it. A supreme, three-piece, pastel green, polyester suit. It was a suit of dreams.

Flared pants, minuscule vest, oddly-sized plastic buttons, and a blazer. The blazer. The lapels and the boning. That feeling she got when fresh clothes actually existed was drugs. Not street drugs, but visceral happiness-coated candy love.

Lime green market baskets. Apple-scented Jolly Ranchers. That sort of thing. Why in the world would you even need drugs, if you could find clothes like these? She didn’t know. It blew her mind. As she took the leisure suit to the till to pay, she was anxious, but she still smiled.

She opened her Celine wallet, removing the VISA card – personal purchase – she thought. I’m gonna make this work! Smiling and not evaluating an inch of the sales associate’s grin, Katie took the handles of her JC Penney bag and walked out. Into the world.

***The stores that have given me a sense of fashionable purpose growing up were JC Penney, Fairweather, Smart Set, Dalmys, Le Château, Mariposa, Jacobs, Westbeach, Au Coton, Aritzia, Nike, Winners, Eaton’s and Hudson’s Bay. Most have come and gone. Based on this subset, the champions have focused on a specified niche market, continual dedication through brand evolution and reduced pricing.

CONCLUSION

Time changes everything. How do we keep up (trend)? Stay relevant (worth)? Do you remember your favorite stores and brands? Are they still around? Have they become more or less ubiquitous over time? Why are the champions still in ‘power’ and how do you think they got there?