Building a Creative Livelihood


Thursday, June 10, 2010

#8 Greeting Card Writer

When I go into Hallmark, I get so involved in selecting the right card, with the right image and the right message. I've noticed, though, that there isn't a terribly large selection of cards (more than once, I've received the same card from different people on birthdays, graduations, etc.). I haven't seen the statistics behind whether the greeting card business is a dying industry or not, but even if it is, maybe partering with a brilliant illustrator could be an idea to get some card out of the door (and selling!)

  • My correspondence, on any occasion, is adequate, suitable, and tactful
  • I've written quite a lot of poetry in my day
  • I'm an emotional extrovert

Some ideas to sharpen the skills that I'll need:

  • Find an illustrator
  • Find some local stores that sell cutesy things like this
  • Review my journals

If you'd like to collaborate, drop me a line!

#7 Dancer

When you know what you LOVE, you just gotta DO IT! I've been dancing since I could walk, and I spent my best years at the Sydney School of Dance in Philadelphia. It was awesome! I just wish I had stuck with it, and maybe I could've sculpted a career in dance. Nonetheless, I've been dancing with The Cultural Arts Studio School of Afro-Caribbean Dance since I moved to Ottawa, and I'd love to continue with dance groups, performance troups, and others who love to leave that energy on the dance floor!

  • I've got a great spirit and energy for many forms of dance
  • I can keep up
  • I can offer a commanding presence on the stage

Some ideas to sharpen the skills that I'll need:

  • Engage in various forms of dance (I'm taking a Lindy Hop class next week!)
  • Get in better shape
  • Research opportunities for paid performance in Ottawa

If you'd like to collaborate, drop me a line!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

#6 Wine Vendor

My intro to viticulture was in 2005 when, as the grant-writer at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina (Hilton Head Island, USA), I was drafted as part of the team to organize the Wine Auction & Celebration, a huge fundraiser based on the business of Bacchus. Knowing very little about the fluid temptation, I was pulled in to write the catalog for all the lots...all the wine...all the vintages. Needless to say, after a full day's work, a glass of wine was quite the reward!
  • If I can sell wine lots as part of a fundraising wine auction (through lot descriptions, organization, and display), I can surely sell it to likely clients (restaurants, hotels, lounges).
  • I've got a keen taste for these things
  • I lived in Italy for a year

Some ideas to sharpen the skills that I'll need:

  • Stay on top of who is hiring in California
  • Become familiar with Canadian vintners
  • Attend more wine festivals
If you'd like to collaborate, drop me a line!

#5 Fashion Show Coordinator

Well, to be honest, I don't know the fashion world (design houses, yesterday's trends, tomorrow's forecasts, etc.), but I know how to stage it. With some girlfriends in Ottawa, I'm working on a fashion showcase to be presented in September (more to come on that!). It'll be a fundraiser, also, much like the one I co-organized in Charleston, South Carolina.
  • Insane attention to detail
  • I work best under pressure
  • I know how to manage tasks and hold each team member accountable
  • I know how to strut (and can impart it easily:)

Some ideas to sharpen the skills that I need:

  • Research industrial, low-cost, and easily transformed locations in Ottawa
  • Develop weather contingency plans
  • Increase my network in Ottawa

If you'd like to collaborate, drop me a line!

#4 Photography Model

While I'd be shocked if anyone offered, I'd JUMP at the chance to do some modeling (paid or unpaid). I've always prided myself on smarts (degrees that I'm still paying for, mind you:), so I've not really pursued anything that was based on outer beauty. In structuring a creative livelihood, I figure...why not?
  • Modeling and pageant experience (Miss Boston in the house!)
  • Patient and professional demeanor
  • Adaptable and versatile facial structure and features

Some ideas to sharpen the skills that I'll need

  • Increase my portfolio
  • Get in better shape
  • Work the Ottawa network

If you'd like to collaborate, drop me a line!

#3 Restaurant Critic and Consultant

Everybody loves to eat - I totally get that! But a restaurant critic has to observe the business performance (price analysis, for example) cleanliness of bathrooms, the courtesy of the staff, and the effectiveness of the restaurant's marketing, right? Then, the critic/consultant has to write about it! Here I am at Pat's in South Philly, and I have a word or two to share about that experience (the outer decor was original and the service intentionally rude but charming; on the flip side, the seating was poorly designed, especially for disabled and older patrons).

  • Keen eye for appropriateness and order of restaurant design and setup, marketing displays, and menu compilation
  • Detailed sense and expectations of etiquette and customer service
  • Willingness to try new foods

Some ideas to sharpen the skills that I'll need:

  • Study the spices and savories
  • Learn how to evaluate the healthy criteria of dishes

If you'd like to collaborate, drop me a line!

#2 A Travel Journalist

I constantly get lost in the Travel section of bookstores - not just because I like traveling, but I like to industry behind writing about it. Identifying a location, getting to know the locals' favorite spots, and taking advantage of the natural beauty and the adventures offered (yup - that's me cliff jumping in Hawaii) seems like such an awesome opportunity.


  • See the writing skills here
  • Avid traveler (See 51 Places in a Day, a travelogue of sorts)
  • Willingness to travel to (and live in, if necessary) any part of the world
  • Adventurous spirit

Some ideas to sharpen the skills that I'll need:

  • Travel to Asia and Australia
  • Start my travel blog
  • Hone in on my perspective through which to view my travels (the arts, volunteerism, religion, etc.)

If you'd like to collaborate, drop me a line!

#1 An Author

The first to come to mind is an author, perhaps of self-help books. One of my faves is Sark. I love the way that she has cultivated a lucrative business of writing, speaking, and sharing from her life's experiences. While I hope to collect a lot more experiences to write about in the coming years, compiling life's learnings in a way that's helpful to others...that could be a delightful gig!


Some ideas to sharpen the skills that I'll need:
  • Continue journaling, but with more detail, content, and exploration of my experiences (and what they mean to me)
  • Park ideas right here at 51 Gigs
  • Become familiar with how to aggrandize the book into an actual business
  • Research publishing companies
  • Share my idea with family, friends, and loved ones (and put the energy of believing in it behind it!)

If you'd like to collaborate, drop me a line!

First Post

Morning folks!

I'm in Canada on a 2 year work visa at Community Foundations of Canada, and while I absolutely am in love with my work, I'm a year into the contract, which means that at this point in 2011, I just may find myself in another country, job, health plan, and retirement account (and I just got it set up here...ah well, at least it's one little egg getting bigger :>)

So I'm putting together some inspirational ideas for jobs/careers/gigs that could give me the lifestyle, paycheck, and amenities that I really want in the next big thing. More important that those, though, I want a day, not of working, but of doing what I love and enjoying the blessing of making a living off of it.

If you can help me along the way, would love to be in touch!

ciao y'all!