At the beginning of the year, I chose 3 personal focuses to grow creatively, and 3 business focuses to stretch myself with. Last year I also did this, but I kept it to myself. This year, I'm bringing you along for the ride and showing you every step of my journey. Here's what I did for January... | Three Focus Challenge - January Update | http://www.amandasuehowell.com/the-3-focus-challenge-january-update #threefocuschallenge

At the beginning of the year, I chose 3 personal focuses (acrylic, makeup, music) and 3 business focuses (Pinterest, Instagram, video).

I’ve walked you through choosing your own 3 focuses, and now I’m gonna take you through my first month with these focuses, and give you all the details… what’s working, what’s not working, and what’s coming up.

Note: Any links with an asterisk* next to them are affiliate, which doesn’t add anything to your cost, it just gives me a tiny kickback. However, I do not share links to anything I’m not a fan of.

Personal Focuses

Acrylic

Right now, I’m in the gathering stages of this one… I did the same thing with watercoloring last year. Paints can be quite expensive, so I’m gathering up a few here and there. I’ve got a few more shades I want to pick up, and then I’ll start with a class on how to paint a sunflower from my friend Bonnie Lecat*.

After that I’ll poke through Craftsy and pick a class.

Coming Up:

– More acrylics purchases
– Picking up more canvases on Hobby Lobby’s next “package of 2” special
– Picking up more brushes on the next craft store sale
– Bonnie Lecat’s class

Makeup

First thing I did was set up a BoxyCharm subscription*, and I got my first box last week. The next thing I did, was renew my Ipsy subscription*, and I’ll get my first bag in February.

Next I went to Ulta, with intentions of picking up some of the Urban Decay Vice lipsticks on sale. But our Ulta was out, but while there I did pick up a lovely spring shade of nail polish, and the Benefit Roller Lash mascara. I’ve got a sample of mascara from my first time around with Ipsy, but it’s “Better Than Sex” mascara, and that’s not really a name I’d like to explain to my children just yet.

When I got paid, I ordered makeup from ColourPop, and I’ll be sharing it on IG when I get it. I also ordered a metallic lipstick from Black Moon Cosmetics that I’m very excited about.

Meanwhile I’ve started watching a few YouTube beauty tubers recommended by my sister:

Kathleen Lights – She’s a hilarious, feisty Latina with a military husband. And she watches Supernatural. Score!

Tati – She’s closer to my age than a lot of the beauty gurus, which is refreshing. And her Instagram feed isn’t JUST makeup. It’s much more lifestyle, which I love.

Coming up:

– My first Ipsy bag
– My ColourPop & Black Moon purchases will arrive
– I’ll look for tutorials of my current makeup collection and start trying out looks
– Watch Instagram for photos of makeup/looks

Music

Honestly, I haven’t done much with this one at all. Partially because I haven’t figured out how to track progress on all of it, and I don’t know how to share accountability on this. Progress on playing the piano or violin is easier…. progress on singing is a bit more difficult and nebulous to me.

I’ve found an app called Vanido that’s supposed to be good for vocal training. Still searching for what I’ll use for learning piano… if you have any recs lemme know. 🙂 I’m also looking at an app called Music Tutor, to learn how to read music. I can read the treble clef pretty well… but not really the bass clef.

Coming Up:

– I’ll test out Vanido and let you know if I like it
– Same with Music Tutor

If you have a way for me to share what I’m working on musically, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. 🙂

 

Business Focuses

Pinterest

This month, I haven’t done much with this. I did attend a very good class on Pinterest for stationers. I’m not one, but I figured lettering is tangentially related, and who knows… maybe I’ll do stationery some day. 😉

Coming up:

– I’ve got one Canva template I like, but I’ll be picking 2 more and testing them
– I’m reworking my profile and playing with the sub-boards
– Officially launching Pinterest services on my site

Instagram

I’m still trying to get a handle on how to blend multiple topics into one Instagram feed. I feel like it can be done, I just need to figure out a rhythm or pattern. I’m testing out a few different kinds of backgrounds, and I’m currently acquiring some pretty props.

Coming Up:

– Nail down a pattern/routine for my photos, so that I can cover all of my different topics in a cohesive way
– Purchase a few more major props
– Collect all of my props and backgrounds into one easily accessible place
– Start doing a major photoshoot once a month, and micro shoots once a week
– Batch photos in Tailwind or SmarterQueue

Video

This is the one I’ve done the most with this month. I followed Jessica Stansberry on YouTube, and joined her Facebook group. I also purchased the book “Vlog Like A Boss” by Amy Schmittauer. I’ve done a bullet journaling video this month, several BookTube videos, Instagram stories, and several Instagram Lives. I even took a class from Brown Paper Bunny, and did a few time-lapse videos…. those are a blast, by the way.

Coming Up:

– I think I’ll be joining Jessica’s VidFluential U
– I’ll be reading Amy’s book
– And there’s another book that’s called How To Shoot Video That Doesn’t Suck

How are you doing with your creative exploration this year?

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