I finally finished a logo design for a friend after 3.5 months. I kept getting busy or sidetracked with other projects and she let me know she needed it sooner, rather than later, so I did the final touches today and knocked it out. This is only a portion of the design. I’m going to wait till she reveals it before I show off the whole thing.
After a minor update to my heart eyes logo, and uploading it to Instagram for Valentine’s Day, I got a few comments suggesting I put the design on a shirt. That was never the plan but I’m up for it. Unfortunately I’m going to be out of town for 3 weeks so it’ll be a month, maybe more, before I could really start production. I’ve started sketching ideas for the label inside the neck that tells you the size and, depending on cost, a small graphic for the back. There’s not much else I can do till I get back besides get pricing, lock down the artwork, keep the momentum going and take some pre orders. We’ll see if people are still interested a month after Valentine’s Day for this lovie-dovie design.
The next time someone requests my design services and drops that line, I’m charging double! I’m currently working on two design projects for friends and both of them told me the same thing and gave me little to work with, expecting me to pull ideas from the ether. I came up with an idea for one of the projects, after asking my friend a bunch of questions regarding what they need from the design, and sent it it to her today. Sure enough it wasn’t what she was looking for. She then sent me a photograph as a reference to what she wants it to look like. If she had sent me the reference picture at the start it would have saved us both lots of time. So the next time a friend, or client, says to do “whatever I want” I’m gonna raise the price then offer to discount it if they come to me with a better understanding of what they’re looking for in a design.
I pressed some new buttons tonight. I also removed the pins and glued magnets on a bunch of them.
If you’re reading this and want custom 1.5” buttons of your own... send me a message for pricing info.
This is one of the two Thank You cards I drew this weekend. This one is was for my friend, Ferris, who bought an OG white 1.0 t-shirt on Black Friday. Ferris is also a local business owner. She’s a massage therapist and owns and operates Inhale Exhale Bodywork here in San Jose. I’ve already reached out to her so I can get my first professional massage in the near future
I got 2 orders ready to go out! One to be delivered tomorrow via The Frankie Mcfly Express (that's what I call it when I drop it off myself) and the other via the USPS on Monday. I also edited a short video with a crawling banner to promote my sale going on till December 25, 2020. Use the coupon code: IGOT5ONIT at checkout and get $5 off each t-shirt.
Incase you missed the sign on the front page or my Instagram posts earlier this evening... I put my t-shirts on sale for $25 each (including shipping & handling) by using coupon code IGOT5ONIT at checkout. The offer is limited to t-shirts currently in stock and runs until December 25, 2020. This sale is in response to Black Friday, (which was today) Small Business Saturday, and all live vending opportunities being shut down due to covid. It’s a small effort to make a few sales before the end of the year and get rid of some inventory that’s been sitting in boxes all year.
I also made my FRANKIE MCFLY kiss-cut stickers 2 for $5. No coupon necessary.
My cousin Reyna sent me this picture earlier today. It's Arely and I standing in front our booth at the San Jose Jazz Summer Fest last year. The sales weren't great that weekend but it was still a lot of fun being there and meeting new vendors. I really miss working events. The plan was to do more events this year before the 'Vid fucked that all away.
I picked up another small graphic design job today! I met with my buddy, Adam, (socially distant, outdoors and with masks on) to discuss redesigning his bands logo. We talked about what he and his bandmates have been through over the years and their plans to release their first LP. I also talked about how I've been considering doing more graphic design work for clients now that Covid has taken away my DJ & vending gigs. His band logo, and the other design I've been working on, are good first jobs to help me get my feet wet doing freelance work, which has never been appealing to me before.
My new monitor arrived today! Finally, I have more room to play with when using Adobe apps. I can even rotate it 90 degrees and fit my whole homepage on it. Weebly also sent me an eviction notice today. My website is still up and running as of now. I paid for a year of web hosting with a new host and installed Wordpress. Hopefully I can transfer my old blog posts over before Weebly shuts it down. Otherwise I'm gonna have to pay for an extra month just to copy it over.
Messages have started showing up when I log onto Weebly asking me to pay for a plan or to remove some features from my site. I didn't renew Weebly's Business Plan when it expired last week. I thought they were going to close my site but it's still up and running. I can still post to my blog and I think as long as I don't edit the site and click Publish, I can keep using it as-is. I want to learn & switch to a Wordpress site, so now that I got the time, I've decided to watch tutorials and get educated. It seems complicated at first but looks easier once it's up and running. First things first, find a web host and pay for a hosting plan, so I'm figuring out how to go about that.
I thought I was going to pay taxes for 2019 so I set aside some money. Instead, I got a refund so now I have a little extra spending money to put towards my business. Tonight I pulled the trigger on a couple pricey items that I'd been thinking about buying for quite some time. The 1st item is a new 27" monitor to connect my 15" laptop to. I need the extra real estate to work comfortably in Adobe Illustrator and other apps. I'll share details about the 2nd item later. It's something I've wanted to buy for a few years and I think it's going to be a lot of fun. I can't wait to share it with everyone.
I made a lot of progress yesterday & today preparing my taxes. I got all my 2019 business expenses categorized and entered into Turbotax. It's even showing me, as of right now, that I'm expected to receive a federal refund. It's been a few years since I've gotten money back from the Uncle Sam and that got me excited.
I started calculating my self employed income & deductible expenses in late December then paid my Sales & Use Tax at the end of January. I then started doing my state & federal income taxes in early February to give myself plenty of time before the April 15 due date. Soon after, the Covid-19 pandemic hit and the tax deadline was postponed till July 15th, which is 4 days away. Tonight I tried picking up where I left off 4 months ago. I spent most of the time reviewing the work I already did, going over old notes and taking a bunch of new notes. I was a little overwhelmed at first but ended the night feeling confident about what to do next and preparing to make future tax filings easier.
Today I and counted all my shirts after the Local Color Daytime Market on Sunday and updated my inventory online. This is the part of the job that sucks the most so I'm always trying streamline and improve the process to make it faster and easier to do. Everything from the way the shirts are folded, stacked, stored & logged has had some thought put into it. I recently made changes to how I log the info so I can see how many total shirts I have in stock per design/style and made it so I can quickly figure out how many of each size & style has gone out. Making those little tweaks are fun and the data it provides is valuable.
I drew this the other day. I wasn't crazy about it at first but now it's kinda growing on me. I didn't draw or do anything creative today. Instead I spent a good chunk of the day figuring out approximately how many miles I drove in 2019 for business purposes. The number I came up with was 1,586.5 miles.
I didn't do a good of tracking business related mileage last year. I downloaded a mileage tracker on my phone last year and never really checked it till this weekend. There are probably thousands of trips logged on the app and it just gives me the addresses at every stop. I have to click each address and zoom in to figure out the locations. I reviewed a bunch of trips today from 2019 and figured it would take me days to go thru all of them so I went and did all of 2020. I want to be better about logging mileage going forward so I'm gonna try and review my trips everyday before bed. Wish me luck.
Not really a problem, just more work. I earned more business income this year doing murals/painting, graphic design and t-shirt sales compared to last year just doing t-shirts. Now that I'm preparing my taxes I have to figure out the income and expenses for each type of work. I wasn't fully prepared for this so I've spent the last couple days going over all of my 2019 business transactions again, making sure I have all the data I need to calculate everything. Going forward I'll need to take even better notes on all business transactions for 2020.
I'm getting ready to file my taxes so I went thru last years tax stuff and found I picture I drew of myself. It was my first year filing business income & expenses for 2018 and it took me a few weeks to go over all my records and file. It sucked while I was doing it but felt great once I finished. I think I did better job at keeping records for 2019 so it shouldn't take as long as last year.
I waited till the last day but I paid it on time. All the sales tax I collected from t-shirt sales in 2019. I would have forgoten if my friend Arely didn't ask me about it. Last year was her first year vending so she got her first notice to pay from the CDTFA. This is my second time doing it. Any questions I had this year I figured out by looking at my old records. I'm glad I got it paid in time and that I saved the money to pay it. Next up are the federal and state tax returns. I'm just waiting on my W-2 from work, and maybe a few other forms. I can't wait to get it done & over with and see how much money I'll have left over for merch.
I am tired of staring at spreadsheets. The whole reason I started doing this now, instead of waiting till February, is because of Covered California. I have to update my information before the end of the year so I can continue getting healthcare coverage. I went and figured out how much money I made from DJing, t-shirts, murals and graphic design work. Then figured out my business expenses and how much I can deduct. Once I got those numbers I went to the Covered California website but kept getting stuck. I spent a couple hours trying to figure it out till I got frustrated and decided I'll just give them a call on Monday. At least when this is all said & done filing taxes should be a breeze.
I was almost done logging all my 2019 transactions. All my spending was done but now I'm working on logging all income. Every dollar made in 2019 from DJing, t-shirt sales & side jobs are being consolidated into one doc. I'm figuring out as I go what are the best ways to log things like fees & sales tax so it's taking a bit of time. Once this is done I'll have a complete picture where all my money went, and came from, in 2019.
Today I finished going thru all my credit card transactions from 2019, till now, and made sure they were all properly logged and categorized on a separate spreadsheet. After every purchase, I'd log the date, dollar amount, who I paid, how I paid, category, and notes on the doc. A lot of damn work. I made a Google Form and saved the link on my phone to make it easier. I mostly pay everything with credit card so this took me a very long time to go thru. I've already logged my business debit & checking transactions, all I have to do is go thru my personal checking transactions and make sure they're all been entered properly. Once I'm done I can start figuring out what's tax deductible and have a head start when I file taxes.
I'm going through all my credit card transactions from 2019 and making sure I log which ones where for personal use and which ones were business expenses. I've covered 7 months of transactions so far. I hate seeing how much money I've wasted on fast food and interest fees. I gotta be better about those things. I need to eat at home more (also good for my health) and make more money to pay off my credit card debt. Those are two good resolutions for 2020. I've also decided it's time to open a business credit card. Going thru all these transactions and figuring out which ones were personal and which ones were business takes way too much time.
I kinda got forced into starting my taxes a couple months before I originally intended. I'm not filing yet but I do have to figure out all my income and expenses asap. Figuring out the income was easy but going thru all my receipts, invoices, bank & credit card transactions, adding up my business expenses, is taking a long time. Once I gather up all the expenses I need to figure out what can & can't be deducted.I gotta come up with a better way of managing and logging all these transactions for next year.