Saturday, October 1, 2016

What Moms Returning to the Workplace Have to Offer

I know many moms that choose to stay home during the early stages of their children’s lives. Many of them were professional women first, and moms second. I made that decision when my children were starting elementary school. I wanted to be there when my kids were learning how to feel secure in multiple environments; home, school, camps, sporting endeavors, friend’s houses, etc. I will never regret the choice I made to be home with my most precious assets. 

Now that my children are in middle school and high school I’ve returned to the workforce. It has been an eye opening experience. There is a six year block of time that my professional development came to a screeching halt and employers recognize this. I’m now competing with younger, more flexible and focused people for jobs.

I was making a high salary, and moving up in the company I was in when I decided to scale down and be at home, again a decision I don’t regret. I had 14 years of professional experience in Marketing, PR, and Graphic Design under my belt. And the longer I was in a position the more diverse my skills became. 

Fast forward ten years, the changes in technology and marketing are great. Although I freelanced to keep at least my Graphic Design skills fresh and I was active with social media, I now compete with 20-something candidates that will accept a lower wage and have few commitments outside of their own lives. The fact of the matter is, the skills I do have are valuable, and being a mother has added to that value.

Mothers learn the following to be successful:
  • Multi-tasking
  • Time Management
  • Negotiation
  • Communication
  • Event Planning
  • Psychology
  • Teaching
  • Coaching
  • First Aid
  • Networking
  • Social Media
  • Sleep Deprivation
  • Tolerance
  • Short-order Cooking
  • Team work
  • Budgeting
  • Flexibility
  • And so much more...
So when asked, why I am qualified to take on a Marketing, Graphic Design, and Public Relations position, I shouldn’t hand them my old resume from my time in a corporate environment, I should hand them my mom resume which would certainly say, I can do just about anything handed to me.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Is Being Creative a Dying Art?

When a primary or secondary school budget needs cutting what is one of the first subjects to go? Art. I believe cutting programs like art and music from our children’s curriculum will hurt their ability to think outside the box. It seems that people are recognizing the importance of creative thinking in education and why we desperately need to recognize it not as an extra-curricular but rather a necessary-curricular activity.

E-learning needs to use the element of creativity for the development of content-rich training and gives learners a whole experience versus one driven to the left brain.

Extracurriculars Are Central to Learning

Learning to Think Outside the Box


Ken Robinson: Do schools kill creativity?

Sunday, May 1, 2016

The Consumer Experience Online - How to Make it Successful



I’m about to purchase what I think is a perfect pair of sunglasses online. I hesitate, unsure if I can trust they’ll look good on me, or if they don’t, that I’ll easily be able to return them. 

We’ve all been there, ordering merchandise online wondering if we’re making the right purchase. But what makes the experience five-star or one-star worthy? Can I, as a consumer, trust a company to take my money and deliver the product that I’ll be satisfied with, without actually touching it or speaking to a human? That is the eternal online shopping question. Even when I’m able to choose the product easily and add it to my shopping cart without fail, there is so much more to having a positive experience. 

Where is good help when you need it? If I have an issue or a question about what I want to buy, somehow it needs to be answered. Whether it be a thorough FAQ page, a live person available to text chat, videos, or a forum, the answer should be there. 

Back to my sunglasses. So, what would help me feel confident that I’m making the right decision about the sunglasses I want to purchase? A few things. If the technology allows, I’d love to virtually see what I look like with the sunglasses on, make sure they fit the shape of my face. Beyond that, it’d be nice if there were comments or photos from others that made the same purchase and had either a good or bad experience themselves. Because, let’s face it, word of mouth is one of the most powerful methods to drive the success or failure of a business. 

I close my eyes and with a press of a button, I jump. I ordered my sunglasses. The checkout experience was easy, no one tried to upsell me a Ferrari to go with my glasses, my credit card processed quickly, and I was able to do it all as a guest. What will put me in a happy place is if the company holds my hand until delivery: send me an email to say they’ve received my order; tell me when it ships with a tracking number; and when that wonderful box arrives, thank me for my order because I could have gone to a number of other vendors for the same pair. 

Now, heaven forbid something is wrong with my order, the consumer experience still needs to be sprinkled with warm fuzzies. I want it to be easy to return my unwanted merchandise for free, and receive a full refund. Perhaps an email or text asking how things could go better next time will continue me on a positive path.  After all, if the merchandise return goes as well as my ordering experience, then I’ll come back again, and tell my family and friends to do the same.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Upcoming Speaking Engagement


This coming weekend, I'll be a featured artist and presenter at the California Art Educators Conference in Sacramento. My one hour presentation for the art teachers will be about how words inspire my artwork. Illustrations tell stories, but often times the images are a reflection of the story told.

Please visit my Web site for print outs useful to teachers.

Included is a handout that I'm giving to the teachers: a formula to the type of poetry I write in my books.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Changes Alter Camps



Hi Everyone,

I am sorry to say that I have to cancel my three summer art camp sessions this year. I just got offered a full-time job and will be starting in May. It caught me off-guard, but I have to take this opportunity and run with it. It was a really tough decision to make. I'm going to miss doing camps for all of your amazing young artists. I know a few have been waiting a long time just to be old enough to participate. I'll be sure to do a few art workshops after October, because I really enjoy doing them!

Thanks for your understanding and patience. It has been a wonderful adventure teaching young people art.


Please come to my Fine Art Sale and my house on May 23 & 24 from 9am-Noon. I'll have a table set up for kids to do art and would love to chat.


I appreciate that you gave me the opportunity to work with your children!

Rachel

Monday, April 6, 2015

Take a Deep Breath - It's Art

So many adults tell me that they wish they had talent in art. My response? Art isn't about talent, it's about enjoying the process of creating something that isn't right or wrong. We spend so much time judging ourselves. Are we a good parent? Are we doing our job well enough? Do we eat healthy, or look nice? Doing art for ourselves is about stopping everything, if for just a few minutes, and create something that resonates with us. It is individual and no two pieces of art are alike. As every person is different so is every piece of art.

Here is my challenge for anyone looking for a piece of art to do. Grab a blank piece of paper, a pencil, markers or crayons. Now scribble. Let your hand move and don't think. Then randomly start filling in the small sections with color. And as my friend so eloquently put, "I can find beauty in the mess."