Friday, February 27, 2015

Work Smarter.

"Work Hard. Play Hard."
"Team No Sleep"
"I'll sleep when I'm gone"
"I work Hard."
"Hustle Hard"
"Be Hard."

I'm sure these are all phrases and song lyrics that we have encountered throughout our lives and they are all
 (in my humble opinion)


If you are serious about your business, your craft, your talents, your art I don't believe you should continue saying any of these phrases from this day forward.

10 ways to STOP working Harder and to work Smarter!

1. Hustle in the beginning but after while....

Everyone has to start somewhere.  Hustle means: a force or (someone) to move hurriedly or unceremoniously in a specified direction.  I get it.  It's understandable that you want to get your craft, name, talents out there so you do what you have to do make a name for yourself.  Noted.  

But, be careful, "Hustle" can also associate with cheap, fast and now which can ruin your product your name and your brand.  That's a very thin tightrope to tip toe on when you are trying to build a quality business or brand for yourself. Instead observe, study, take note and come up with some ways different than what's already out there. 

In other words plan your hustle first.

2. What's your Blueprint or Pinkprint?

Like the dreaded interview question "where do you see yourself in a year" But this time ask as if you are hiring yourself.   
It should go something like this. 

Robin: "So, where do you see yourself in three years with the LeMahogany Art company?"

Robin2: "Well, I would like to be more global and grow with the brand."

Robin: "Great! You are hired!

In all honesty...what type of business do you want to be?  What's your legacy?  
Questions to ask yourself so you can stop wasting time on wishes.

3. Stop repeating the same ol' ish hoping to get some different results

It's a guaranteed one way ticket to crazy town then here comes your friend Anxiety that wants to come  along for the ride with you.  Change is inevitable so you might as well learn something new from an expert or hire that expert to do it for you. Whether it's help with web design,  getting great advice from an industry expert you want to be in: Don't be afraid to get the help that's needed or too prideful.

4. Sleep. No really, sleep

Health is wealth.  You need to sleep.   It's really worthless to announce how you stayed up all night doing something that you could have avoided but choose not to. 
 It's really not a badge of honor to do so.... so just stop.  Set time aside for creativity then put on your pj's and get a good night's rest. 

Sleep its good for you.

5.  Form your accountability group to keep you on track.

Your squad, your clique of people that can ask you from time to time.  What's happening with your business, art, talents.   You all (my wonderful blog followers) are more of my accountability group along with a few other special folks in my life. 

It helps to have people in your corner pushing you a bit. 

7. Set a deadline and get a timer

Focus your focus.  For example, take an hour of your day on inventory. 1/2 hour finding inspiration, writing or sketching.  It's great on time management and can even out your day.

8. Multitasking

Multitasking = doing a whole lot stuff poorly.  
Nobody can focus on everything at once.  You are only one you.  Delegate your work if you can. But,  you're better off sticking to one task at once and doing it well.

9. Say "No."

Do the stuff you like and want to do. 
 Never be forced to doing or giving your time to something you're not feeling or hate. 
Just Say No.

10.  Organize.  

Check out my blog post on 5 ways to maintaining your creative space.  

When you know where everything is you are already working smarter and cutting down on the stress. 

Happy Friday!

Monday, February 23, 2015


Let's face it, the Oscars can be a serious snooze fest.  Without a great host or some great musical acts, acceptance speeches can be sometimes the spark you to continue your dreams or just can be too much (let's cue closing music).

But, who watches when the real games begin on the Red Carpet!  

Here's my top 9 looks I absolutely loved last night.

It was hard to pick because there were more great looks then those that "make you say hmmmm".  But,  I have one runner up and one honorable mention!

Runner Up: Rita Ora in Marchesa  

I am a huge fan of Rita Ora and her stylist for always coming correct when it comes to her red carpet looks. The dramatic train is perfect for the setting of the Oscars and the navy blue, dramatic eye, bare neckline, she looks like a dream.  But it wasn't number one for me.  It looks a bit ill fitting in the bodice area but other than that I would give her a rating a strong B+.

Rita Ora looked breathtaking to me!  But it wasn't a knock out punch

Honorable Mention

Solange in Christian Siriano.

Daring, Red and I love it.
 I swear Solange can do no wrong even though it maybe wrong...

Solange Knowles in Christian Siriano



Scarlett, Lupita and Zendaya!

These ladies looked amazing last night!  Scarlett (a.k.a my girl crush) looked ravishing in green and the necklace was a dream, Lupita dripping in pearls......lord that smooth melanin skin and white pearls was just breathtaking and Zendaya's  youthful look with her faux dreads and simplicity of the off the shoulder white gown from Vivienne Westwood, Perfection!

Reason for picking my top 3 from Oscar 2015? 

I will be illustrating one!  Stay tuned for my pick of the "Best Dressed" for the Oscars  

Follow along through my instagram for how they turn out and there's something pretty special to check out if you subscribe to my monthly newsletter by the end of this week!  Subscribe Today!

I want to hear from you.  What were some of your favorite looks last night? Oscar2015

Friday, February 20, 2015

Josephine Baker x Erte Art Mashup part 2

My Josephine Baker collection is coming together nicely and I am so excited to be able share a few pieces with you all.  Among all the snow days I have been able to finish up sketches and put the finishing touches on some of the illustrations.

Researching your subject when it's Josephine Baker is always fun.  Scouring the youtube videos, watching documentaries about her life and viewing other sketches of her I couldn't help but notice that she was truly a woman before her time.  Her devotion to the country of France is admirable.

I am still currently working on the Josephine Baker x Etre Mash up.  All great works take time but I couldn't help but show you guys some snippets on what to expect with the collection with these three finished works thus far. 

Josephine and her Shadow Dance

See how this all got started:  Josephine Baker x Erte Mashup

 More to come! 

Monday, February 16, 2015

7 Ways to Stay Creative

1. Be Open. Learn Something New.

No matter what kind of creative you are: A writer, an artist, music artist, you have to keep an open mind of learning something new. Don't be the one trick pony.

Skillshare is a great way to learn something new to enhance your business or creative skills without the cost of college tuition.  Enrolling on-line is really easy and the cost per month in learning from professionals across all industries of creativity is worth it.

2. Collaborate with other creatives

You can't do it all by yourself.  Collaboration can not only increase your creative juices but also introduce you to another kind of audience and increase your followers on both sides.  It's a win-win!People Need People.

3. Keep your creative space clean

I can not stress enough the importance of keeping your creative space clean.  Click on the title above to see my top five ways in maintain your creative space.

4. Go Somewhere New

You don't have to go far unless you want to take the planned vacation that you have been meaning to take. This could be as simple as taking a different route to your day job.  Go to the museum on a weekend, a walk in the park and get into nature.  You'll be surprised at how quickly inspiration comes to you.

5. Create your own creative manifesto

If you're serious about your creative business, create your very own creative manifesto that you follow and hold it to its highest standard.  Sort of a like a rule book or code of conduct. 

6.  Be Observant. Mediate. Exercise

Get away from your possible rut and go work out.  Meditation is also an amazing way to get silent and manifest some wonderful ideas.

7.  Have fun!

I like to ask myself on any art project or commission work that I'm asked to do how fun is this going to be for me  The point of being creative is to create something that you could literally have fun doing while getting paid.  Time is money and you might as well have fun doing what you love instead of wasting time doing something that you are really not into.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Book Review: The 5 Love Languages

Take the Test!

Happy Valentine's Day! 

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!  Book of the month The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts. I've read this book once before and decided to do a  re-read to get a better understanding of the "L" word also re-took the test and had a different result then about 5 years ago. 

(Yes, I have matured)

I took the test and not only have I learned more about my love language but, I also learned more about others love languages in which I feel will result to better communication with my *future spouse and loved ones.

*to be determined

My review I would say that every self classified single, looking single,  couple, between couples and married folks should read it.  It's amazing how sometimes re-working your words or your approach could mean the world to your loved ones.

Have you read The 5 Love Languages?  Let me know in the comments below!  

Monday, February 9, 2015

Custom Illustration: "Patrice Reads"

I love when my clients ask for COLOR! This particular painting was for a client of my mine out in Maryland.  She asked for something she could use for her book blog.  Like myself, she loves to read.  I really enjoyed illustrating her!

Here is the process of 'Patrice Reads' from start to finish.

To find out how you could get your very own custom illustration and what my rates are:  Click Here

Friday, February 6, 2015

DIY: Origami Envelopes

February's  D.I.Y 

 How to make an Origami Envelope

Really easy and you don't need a lot to start with.  

Here are the essentials

Let's get started!

1.  Take your 12 x 12 Scrapbook paper face side up and fold it into a triangle like so: corner to corner

2. Take your 12 inch ruler and measure somewhere between 14.3 to 14.5 cm long along the folded edge.

3. Mark your spot then take the right side of triangle and fold towards the mark.

4.  Now fold the left side to the edge of the right side like so.

5. Fold down the left side until it lays flat and now take the same left corner that you folded to the right and fold the flap back towards the left. 

6.  Now this parts a little tricky that took me about 10 minutes to figure out but the corner that you just folded,  open it up until you get a diamond shape and fold down. 

7.  Fold down the top part of your envelope to very edge of your diamond

8.  Open up your envelope and insert the top edge into the diamond like so: 

And there you have it!

Your very own Envelope! The double sided tape is to secure some of your folded corners. 

 It will fit cards in a A2 (4.25 in x 5.5 in) size but really great and easy to make especially for the upcoming Valentine's Day!  

So many great patterns for Valentine's day!
Made items are the greatest during Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Josephine Baker x Erte Mash-Up

Josephine Baker

Happy February! 

The month of love and it is Black History Month!  In honor of Black History Month and in something that I have been itching to do for years but haven't quite had the time or gave up on the idea is an illustration collection of one of my favorite Icons and one Amazing human being: Josephine Baker.

Of course we all know her for her swanky moves, the famous Banana dress dance and her fascinating life in Paris.  Well, hell she was Paris during the time!  She literally took over the city.  She was the "Beyonce" of the time.  Everyone loved her and everyone wanted to be her!

Funny, quirky and a brilliant talent.  I can not get enough of Josephine, her life and her legacy not just as a performer but as a human being standing up for human rights and advocate for social change. 

Why Josephine Baker?

Collage of some of Josephine's amazing costumes
I loved the costumes, the dress of pure elegance in her films and performances (okay so some were a bit riskay, topless and all) But many weren't.  The feathers,  the crystals, the furs, silks, satins, her Cheetah: oh all that G L A M O U R! 

Although I am not certain if Erte (a.k.a Romain de Tirtoff) ever knew Josephine, (they both lived in Paris at the same time in the 1920's)  I can't help but wonder if he ever attended her shows to find inspiration.  As an amazing costume designer, jewelry and set design Erte had some amazing and inspirational illustrations.  In both of his autobiographies he quotes to not getting any of his inspiration from anyone or anything...which is obviously highly unlikely since every artist steals (in a good way) from something influential. 

MASH-UP:  Josephine Baker x Erte!

I am taking the inspiration of the amazing Josephine Baker and Romain's a.k.a Erte illustrations and illustrating a collection. I've started sketches so far and you can get a chance to look for them through out the month of February  on my instagram @lemahoganyart so, make sure you follow me on Instagram for all the latest! 

Here's a few from Erte that I picked up for inspiration that I absolutely love.

Etre's Flapper

The revealing of the collection will be February 23rd!