• Gothic lolita, cute food and a famous kitty: Epic Interrogation: La Carmina – gothic, alt fashion and travel blogger extraordinaire

    One of the best things about the Epic Interrogations series is that I get to interview some of my idols. One of the ladies I particularly admire is La Carmina – an alternative film, fashion and pop culture journalist, TV host, and author of three books. La Carmina has been profiling lolita, gothic, jrock and visual kei subcultures on her blog since 2007, and she’s built herself an incredible online presence – she writes for AOL travel, provides trend consulting, and runs her own coolhunting company, La Carmina and the Pirates.

    If your company name includes the word “pirates”, you’re OK by me.

    I first came across La Carmina through her column on the Lip Service webzine, and I love her laid-back, cheery approach to alternative subculture. If your mother ever tells you there’s no such thing as a happy goth, you’ve just got to show her La Carmina’s site. This girl is quite awesome, and gorgeous too. I’m stoked to be talking to La Carmina about making money being creative, gothy and cute, and how an ex-law student with no media connections made it into TV, and her famous kitty.

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  • The Creative’s Guide to Asking for More Money

    [dropcap]I[/dropcap]n this week’s epic interview, I talked to burlesque beauty Leda Petit about the dance business. Leda says one of the best business decisions she ever made was to ask for more money.

    Wow, now that’s a scary thought.

    As creatives, the thought of asking for more money can be terrifying. You’ve only just got your little business going, and now you want to turn away all your clients / customers by putting prices up? It seems ridiculous. Bear with me, and I’ll explain why asking for more money or raising your prices won’t drive your customers away, but may set you up for real success.

    Are you paying yourself a fair wage?

    You have as much right to earn a decent wage as anyone, and there is absolutely no point being in business if you’re going to run yourself ragged for pennies – you’d be better off working part time and doing you art for fun.

    It’s time you sat down and worked out exactly how much you’re earning per hour. If it takes you three hours to paint a picture, and you sell that picture for $100, and you minus off $10 for materials, you’re earning $30 an hour, which sounds pretty decent, actually … but is it?

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  • Burlesque, birdbaths and titillating for money: Epic Interrogations with Leda Petit

    Leda Petit is a bit of a legend around my neighbhourhood. New Zealand’s own Queen of New Zealand burlesque, her talents range from tantalizing solo shows to corporate events, group performances and private parties. Leda’s also the sprightly lass in charge of the Auckland branch of Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art Group, where young artists (such as […]

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  • Holy Shit, Guys, I’m on Problogger!

    [dropcap]Y[/dropcap]ou got a blog – it’s awesome. You’ve been writing and loving it. But one day you wake up … and it’s not so much fun anymore. You think “Eh, it’s just the Monday blues, or the Tuesday terror, or the Wednesday willies. I’ll be fine tomorrow.” But you’re not fine. In fact, strange boils […]

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  • The Big Bad Blogging Wolf

    Once upon a time, a little blogging girl was working away on her little blog empire. She was typing at her little desk, eating sausage rolls and smiling and writing things that changed people’s lives, when suddenly, there was a knock on the door. “Who’s there?” asked the little blogging girl, peering through the peephole. […]

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  • I’m am NOT a Workaholic … I’m Just Sensible

    I hope you’ve all had a gander at Monday’s EPIC INTERROGATION with Laura Simms, creative coach and artistic inspiration mistress. Laura has a lot of great tips for anyone interested in getting into coaching and consulting with our kind of people (those are creatively awesome people, by the way).

    When I asked her if she was a workaholic, Laura had this to say:

    No. I think that word gets bandied around a lot amongst online business people without much regard for what it really means. Do I work a lot? Yeah. Do I enjoy it? Almost all of it. Do I sacrifice other activities in order to work? Yes. Is my allegiance to my work detrimental to my health and relationships? No. I’m not a workaholic.

    Laura’s comment about not being a Workaholic inspired today’s post. First, let’s do a little semantics on the word “Workaholic”.

    The word consists of a root – work (defined in the noun as “Activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a purpose or result”), with the -holic suffix. When applied to words, -holic ususally denotes a negative condition, a person having an abnormal desire or dependence on something – an addiction, usually. Holic denotes an inability to stop oneself from indulging in their chosen vice.

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  • World Changing Writing Early-Bird Registration Ends TODAY!

    If you’re on the mailing list (and you should be – it’s grand. It’s even going to be pirate-themed this week) you’ll know that my book, the Grymm & Epic Guide to Blogging, is part of the World-Changing Writing Workshops. I’m so proud my work is included amongst these other amazing writers – Pam Slim, […]

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  • Epic Interrogation: Laura Simms of Create as Folk on being an amazing creative coach and how she’s totally not a workaholic

    Another installment of Epic Interrogations, slightly later than I intended because I spent most of yesterday recovering from the Alestorm gig and pirate partying of this weekend (You know this isn’t a typical business blog when I will shamelessly link to a bunch of photos of me drinking mead, dressed as a wench and singing onstage at a pirate metal show). But I have an amazingly awesome lady to introduce to you, and I didn’t want to wait a minute longer.

    Laura Simms runs the awesome blog and creative business at Create as Folk. Laura is one of those people that was BORN to be creative and an inspiration to others. She shares my love of archaeology, but went into acting instead of digging up the dead things, which honestly probably paid more. Now she’s an amazing creative coach and blogger – simply reading her blog gets me psyched about my art. It’s no surprise she works as a creative consultant, helping her clients form their creative careers from their sometimes chaotic lives (she knows our type well, you see). I won’t hog the stage a moment longer – bring it on, Laura!

    Firstly, we just want to know who you are, and what you do:

    I’m Laura Simms, and I coach creatives at Create as Folk. My work with clients is at intersection of where creative career strategy meets quality of life coaching.

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  • SMART goals for smart-ass creatives

    [dropcap]I[/dropcap]f you’re joining the Gyrmm & Epic blog for the first time, I highly recommend you pop back to Monday’s Epic Interrogation post and read Sam Browne’s story. Sam’s a remarkable character who’s managed to build a viable creative business for himself to support his career as a musician. He shares some incredible advice, and swears a bit, which we’re totally down with here on Grymm & Epic.

    One of the things Sam talked about was goal-setting and using SMART goals. If you don’t know what a SMART goal is, it’s a goal that is so awesome you’re actually going to achieve it.

    If you set yourself a SMART goal, and it’s something you really, truly want, and you’re quite prepared to work your ass off (just like Sam) and you don’t give up, than it’s inevitable you’re going to achieve it. And when you do, you can walk around with your chest puffed out and be a bit of a smart ass.

    SMART goals have five key elements. If you’re missing one, you haven’t got a SMART goal – maybe a SMAT goal or an ARM goal or even a TECZF goal (I don’t know what that stands for). Here’s what your goal needs to qualify as SMART:

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  • Epic Interrogration: Interview with Sam Browne of Findaband.co.nz

    Welcome to the first in what will hopefully be a grymm and epic series of interviews with inspiring creatives. Every Monday, I’ll be posting an “Epic Interrogation” with someone awesome who’s made his or her creativity into a business. We’ll drink cheap beer and talk inspiration, money, promotion, and all that jazz.

    This week, I’m talking to Sam Browne, a kiwi musician and entrepreneur who has created a series of unique websites – Findaband, Findadj and Weddingbands. Sam’s band, Black River Drive, have been doing amazing things here in NZ, but I’ll let Sam tell you all about that, as well as game shows, wine in the evenings, and opening for Bon Jovi!

    Welcome, Sam!


    Firstly, we just want to know who you are, and what you do:

    I started playing music properly when I was 13. but as young as 3 I was pulling pots and pans out of the cupboard to play along to my parents’ music collection (which, happily, is vast). They are not musicians but are music lovers and so miniature instruments appeared soon after – a ukelele and then a tiny drum kit. So the seeds were sown early on.

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