Giving Thanks to SOBcon Chicago 2012

SOBcon Chicago 2012 happened this past May, and I haven’t been online much since, working my butt off on building my studio and ideas that transformed and developed since the event…  The people and the event helped me more then words can could ever describe…

Bit of history…

This morning I got to thinking to my Mom who passed away from Cancer that morning a year ago today, the 7th of September landed on a Wednesday…  I smile thinking to how much she supported and helped me in becoming an Artist, and smile deeper thinking of how happy she was when I first shared with her ideas of doing a Charity Art Auction to raise money for the Cancer Research Institute and to help the homeless…

She had donated much of her life in helping people in our town and county…  My Mom had helped in starting the Tioga County Arts Council, helping with writing it’s non-for-profit status and being one of their first Presidents…  She donated thousands of hours during almost 20 years with our town’s volunteer ambulance, and even helping in writing the by-laws of our town’s Chamber of Commerce- she was so proud when later I would become the Vice President of the Chamber…  I was taught to give back to the community through her giving…

Last summer I ran this idea of doing a Charity Art Auction by a few of my friends online, and when Liz Strauss (one of the founders of SOBcon) felt this was a great idea, I knew I was on to something…  Sadly the idea I knew needed to be shelved last summer when I found the cancer had spread to my Mom’s brain, then her passing away- I knew then I would need a better frame of mind and my studio completely up and running… So slowly I handled the many challenges in front of me then…

Since my Mom’s passing a year ago, I’ve worked to get my studio equipment and needed materials and supplies to be able to offer the best possible color for fine art prints possible, I also worked on growing this idea…  The color management system is going to be added this week that will help with the Giclee Fine Art Imager to print the best possible color possible… Smiling with pride as I slowly work on the studio, building the furniture by hand and slowly earning the money needed for new equipment and materials to open the studio’s new Fine Art Reproduction service…

I’m getting close to finishing everything needed to reopen the studio soon…   Then turn my efforts to earning the money needed to pay for Artists and purchase more materials and get the needed permissions all in order for the first Charity Art Auction…

Inspired by SOBcon- Giving

With realizing in the beginning of this year my portrait abilities had become a bit rusty, I started to think to some Artists I would like to hire to do two portraits each of some inspiring people in Social Media…  As I started to look into this some, I suddenly had an opportunity to attend SOBcon Chicago 2012

Even before the trip to Chicago, this idea started growing, and I would like to share how…  A few weeks before the event, people were sharing online why they attend SOBcon…  Molly Cantrell-Kraig (founder of Women with Drive Foundation) did an AudioBoo audio recording that I felt was very insightful and so very inspirational-

Molly made my heart grow larger and larger- she Grinched me…  To you Molly, I whisper softly a special “Thank You”…  Wish I could have spent more time with you to share this idea more in depth, events like this have so many people, am glad we could share that glass of wine together, and now you know why I mentioned that you “Grinched” me…  As I was listening one late evening of sleeplessness to Molly’s soft voice, I came up with the domain name and bought it- ArtistsHelping.com (which I am thinking now to a nice logo for and will soon be starting to create the website)…

Knowing my studio wasn’t yet ready to start this idea, that I still needed a bunch of time to build studio furniture and buy the needed equipment to produce the idea of quality fine art prints…  Since December I’ve been needing to reinvest in a new computer, all new software and there was hundreds of pounds of materials and some more tech equipment I would need to purchase…  But also felt there was nothing wrong with starting to share the idea some with a few people to get their feedback…

Landing in Chicago, this artist from a small town without a stoplight was a bit overwhelmed with the BIG CITY…  It being about 8 years since I had been in New York and looking up at buildings that disappear in the clouds…  And even longer since attending a large Tech conference…

I shared the Charity Art Auction idea to a few people at SOBcon and got even more support for the concept that truly astounded me and also helped in growing more confidence in this idea…  Chris Brogan said he really liked the idea and would do all he could, as he would be one of the six Inspiring People…  Then after Tim Sanders spoke, he stopped at our table and asked me what I was doing, so I told him quickly and he looked to me and said; “I want to help make this happen!”, giving me his business card…  And then there was Jay Jay French who spoke a little bit about how he too had suffered the loss of his mother to Cancer, of how he came through that hard period of his life, such strength to share such pain and how he made it through it, which giving me a bit more confidence in my own pains of the heart…

Over the next couple of weeks I got to thinking as I listened to this recording Molly made…  I suddenly thought to myself- “Why do just one event, when I could possibly create something that could help other Organizations and Artists too”…  I did poured myself into research about Copyrights, Taxes and Art Donations…

Did you know if an Artist donates a piece of artwork to a charity to be auctioned off, the Artist can only write off on their taxes the material cost to create artwork?  So a piece of art that might be sold for a large amount of money, if it were a watercolor, only write off the cost of the paper, frame and a few more cents to cover the amount of pigment used, an Artist can’t even write off the time taken to create the art piece…  This too came into the idea- how could I maybe be able to benefit Charities and also help the Artists that donate their artwork?  Took a bit of time, but I figured that part out too, how this could also help Artists since attending SOBcon

The ideas I gained with some of the people I had the opportunity to meet during SOBcon in Chicago, and those ideas of “Giving” helped to grow this concept further…

The first Charity Art Auction I will do with ArtistHelping.com will be for three Artists to do 2 portraits each of Inspiring People in Social Media, produce 200 limited edition prints of each of the 6 portraits, then to do an online and live via smart phone Charity Art Auction during a major Social Media Conference…  To be able to donate the profits after covering the costs, to be able to print out one of those HUGE Checks to donate the net profits to be split between the Cancer Research Institute and InvisiblePeople.tv

Giving Thanks to those at SOBcon Chicago 2012

Now the time is drawing near and I wanted to share and also thank some people who were so very inspiring to me…

It’s the amazing people who attend SOBcon- the people that make it such an amazing event, not just the learning or mastermind sessions but the feeling as if all who attend are like family…  The speeches and learning is just a small part to the whole- it’s really the people and the giving that makes this such an amazing event!!!  Too many good people to list that I had the opportunity to meet, but there are a special few I do wish to thank-

Cate Equality Colgan (@CateTV), Liz Strauss (@lizstrauss), Terry St. Marie (@Starbucker), Tim Sanders (@sanderssays), Chris Brogan (@chrisbrogan), Diane Brogan (@DianeBrogan), Steven Brogan (@SteveBrogan), Mark Horvath (@hardlynormal), Molly Cantrell-Kraig (@mckr1g), Ric Dragon (@RicDragon), Marc Pitman (@marcapitman) and Jay Jay French (@jayjayfrench)…

Thank you all for listening to my idea and for giving me the extra confidence to start making this happen…   Thank you all for being so very inspiring!!!

Winding up this year of 2010

The times of change from one year to the next is upon us, like the shifting of sand underfoot bringing a new year, new challenges and a refreshing new life to start over… A new year is coming- 2011, like a morning sunrise full of color that fills your soul full of expectations and the pursuit of happiness…

I sit here on the couch, sick with a deep chest cold with my cat near purring his enjoyment of warmth of the woodstove, thinking of this past year, the ups and the downs, and where I am in my life, where I am heading… This year has not only given me a 2nd chance to live, but also redefined many of my views on my own life and on people too…

It wasn’t very long ago earlier this year in February, I was in the ER, my kidney’s starting to fail and my heart swollen from a Thyroid problem that also prevented oxygen from getting into my system… You can read about it here: An Unnecessarily Long Journey Back to Health: http://bit.ly/dgOHN6. The closest to death I hope to ever experience till it is truly my time to go…

I am slowly getting back on my feet, a lot slower then I had originally hoped to but getting there… Now it is my immunity and endurance that is still falling short of my expectations… This I found out as I sawed and split my firewood and in a few other things where endurance is needed… One of the things I am glad to have back is clear thinking, as the lack of oxygen to my brain made me slow thinking and also effected my speech… So my thoughts I use to love of images in color and 3D became flat, black & white and I had the hardest time solving the simplest of problems… This was the hardest part, as I no longer was able to think in color, was mentally blind in a way… I’ve no words to truly describe how hard this was for me… But now my thought process is back in full color and I can think to many concepts and ideas again at any given point…

While I have been facing my own hardships with my health, I found out my Mother is also facing health issues of her own, with having cancer, going through chemo and having lost her hair and re-grown it back… During this time, her husband had triple bypass, and is now back to good health and will be starting a new job in the beginning of the year… Health hardships can truly wear on one’s soul, but having a positive spirit and a will to achieve and go forward has ever been part of my family heritage and I am proud of it…

I look to this past year of my achievements… I got my Blog going very well, having a fair amount of viewers and readers…

Liz Strauss founder of SOBCon & Author of the popular Successful-Blog.com

Liz Strauss founder of SOBCon & Author of the popular Successful-Blog.com honored me with SOB badge for my Blog, which I value just as highly as my dual degree from Syracuse University… What some of you might not know is, I am dyslexic and have been working hard on my writing for many years and Blog writing since 2002 and also just my descriptive writing within e-mails to someone a world away during this time period… So to receive an award or badge about my writing is something very deeply touching and full of meaning to me…  I truly look forward to going to SOBCon in Chicago in April and be able to meet so many of my online friends in person, many of whom will be speaking at her event…

This time on my couch as I healed allowed me to set forth my goals and dreams into the steps and plans needed to achieve them… Though the economy and my health has not allowed me to get the old farm ready to sell and go forward with my ideas and plans of moving south, I have grown to except some of what life has laid in front of me…

I was also lucky in finding an old friend and have been dating her since April… Someone who not only is very smart, Tech Savvy but respects me for my views and isn’t materialistic, the best part is she makes me smile and makes me feel needed- and in many ways, I owe her my life just as much in my freely giving her my heart…

So I set out on some of the steps I have in reopening my studio, ArtWorks of Candor studio… Knowing that Social Media and Web 2.0 was going to be needed in my business, I set out to meet new friends online, and earn their respect as well as some earning mine… I have gone in just over 2 years on Twitter of having zero  to over 5390 followers and this next year I will be able to meet some of those great people at future Social Media Events through out the country…

I also would like to thank Debbie Morano-Mahler for helping me think to the entire possible network of people I have and haven’t been using… The idea was something I had been taught to stand on my own instead of using any network that I could have used with Family, friends, University and Business… She once told me, “Chuck, there are many that would give their teeth for such connections, I can’t believe you aren’t using them”…   So in a slow way, after I get my studio up and running, I will be using some of the heavy swingers I have connections to for a Social Media Event and also in Business…

I have also gotten to the point of being considered a Twitter Elite of the Ithaca, NY area- http://bit.ly/cfzSQb and will be joining very soon the Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce and will be teaching some Social Media Classes for Business, as an intro to Social Media for Business, Twitter for Business, Facebook with a workshop to help people get their accounts set up… I’ve plans to teach this in Ithaca, Cortland, Syracuse, Binghamton and south in Chincoteague, VA…

Originally I had planned on getting these lesson plans and classes going, then buying a Giclee Fine Art Printer, but my plans shifted with finding a deal I couldn’t pass up… The advertisement was for a 44” wide printer, instead of the 24” wide one I had planned for, but it was advertised as a Refurbished model, and ended up their sending me a completely new printer, for only a couple hundred dollars more then the 24” one… Lets say, I saved a couple thousand dollars on this deal and in the end will allow for a larger amount of work and less paper waste…

The challenge of renovating my office is something I’ve been facing, finding some major electric problems in my house that I am slowly correcting… I’ve hopes of having the office up and running very soon and then put my mind to renovating the studio more so I can get back to painting and illustrating future signed limited edition artworks… How I miss the smell and touch of watercolor paints, inks, and paper and illustration boards… The images and sketches and photos I have taken over the past couple of years have such need of sharing and with this new Giclee Printer, will allow me to do limited edition prints that I will soon be selling in an Esty store and a few other Fine Art online shops, as well as within my studio site…

This is going to be a good year too, as with more work, means more working capital for further enlargements of my business services… I am hoping to be able to set up the beginning step of my Internet café, but will start with a Portable version of it first… To be able to do a weekend Art Festival with my being able to sell the many different kinds of Java and also possibly provide a Wi-Fi area, so customers could relax, sip some java and connect online with some soothing Jazz or classical music would be nice… This heading toward my opening an Internet Café in Chincoteague, VA…

So lots of ups and downs this year of 2010, with the steps and plans made ready for this new up coming year of 2011…  This evening, I will spend it with my Girlfriend, in a quiet night of enjoying a movie near the fire, both of us under covers as we both are fighting off this cold…  But next weekend, will go up to Syracuse to share the New Year with one of my best friends and his family…  How I look forward to this New Year!!!

What will you be doing this next year?

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