Are ‘followers’ acquaintances or dependents?

The Brand

I’ve had the opportunity being my own boss and having my own clients for close to 3 years now. Honestly its been awesome… and a big THANK YOU to anyone that I’ve had the privilege of working with – you make it meaningful!

But (yes, theres a ‘but’) there are only so many hours in a day and sometimes I try and create more hours by working nights…but I have kids and a not-so-endlessly-joyful disposition under duress. In the context of family, those night hours have ground me down. Im so sorry you guys for mornings I ruined by being curt, and hearts I may have cracked by being angry and even any hairs I may have pulled out while brushing impatiently! Im working on it. …So when Eli says that its time for me to start creating a product line and working “smarter not harder” I know he’s right.

I hate being the judge of ‘worthwhile’ or ‘good’ or even ‘finished’. I mean, that was one of the great things about having clients:

Is it worthwhile? Yes of course it is! the client says so. And I like the client!

Is it good? Well, client? what do you think? You like it? Oh, you even love it (sometimes)? Ok great… but I want to just change this one thing so that it sits well with ME. Is that ok? Ok. I upped your ‘good’ with my ‘good’. So now were GOOD.

Is it finished? well- I work for a lot of clients in the Jewish Community of Crown Heights. They’re the make-it-happen-yesterday crowd. So there’s a need and ‘the need’ for any client makes it finished rather quickly.

But working on my own product line? what’s worthwhile/good/finished is a tough one at the moment.

Ok. Ok. Ill just decide. But in addition to what I plan to make artistically, I’ve been told its wise to yell ‘look at me!! look at my stuff!!’ via social media… but in a coherent non-tacky kind of way.  I just took Hilary Rushford’s free course on “Instagram with Intention”…and now I have question: are instagram followers more like acquaintances/friends or dependents?

Id like to deliver! Id like to deliver something powerful and meaningful  as if you’re family. What would you guys like to see? What would you like to get? I have dependents. And I guess I wouldn’t ask my kids that question. I just give them stuff and either get silence, a ‘Thank you’, or criticism so harsh it should be enough to put me back in my mother’s womb… but it doesn’t because moms are resilient like that (and also, its impossible). So, just thinking out loud, I do not want you to be dependents. That solves that.

Friends and acquaintances then?

Yeah, that sounds safe. But Id like to do a little more than small talk, and Im pretty direct, and I’d like to make things that are pretty but thay a little something more… Those of you who see me on a regular basis know that Im not usually put together. That’s on principle. I never wanted to be one of those people that LOOKS put together but is falling apart on the inside and nobody knows it. Im NOT falling apart… its all natural wear and tear (and that would leave me under G-d’s repair warranty)… but Im definitely not ‘put together’… so what does that make my ‘brand’?

For all present and future followers out there, I hope to do good by you! All conversation on this topic – welcome.

2 Responses

  1. Dmitry

    Hi Annita,

    The clients are worse than children and their thanks are superficial: “That’s what the money is for.”

    Your brand is “Unusual interpretation of reality.” But don’t forget to add some polish, even if it strikes you as superficial. Yes, that’s what sells. No, we don’t have a choice.

    Thank you for being you. Best wishes to the family.


  2. Chaya Esther Ort

    Hi Annita,
    I landed on your blog after my dear friend suggested I check out your work. During a recent visit, I commented on how you so beautifully captured the nuances of her family members and dynamics in the portrait you created for her. As a fellow graphic designer and creative, I could identify with pretty much everything in this post.

    As a graphic-designer-for-hire for many years (mostly Jewish non-profits), I am oh-so-familiar with the I-need-it-yesterday crowd. As far as, ‘is it finished?’, there’s a saying amongst graphic designers: You never finish…you just stop.

    As an artist (mostly ceramics at the moment), I’ve been a terrible business person. I work on whatever I want, whenever I want, and spend obscene amounts of time on it, and I’m terrible at selling it. I have just very recently given myself the same advice your husband gave you: that its time for me to start creating a product line and working “smarter not harder”.

    After flailing around unsuccessfully for a good couple of years with Etsy, Shopify, FB, Instagram, Wix, etc., I finally just hired someone to take care of getting all that so I can just focus on my art. We’ll see how that works out….

    I struggle and grapple with all sorts of artist issues, such as, ‘Should I follow the creative urges and inspiration when arrive at the expense of regular life (shopping, laundry, cooking)? Or should I makes notes and sketches of ideas and percolations for when I have blocked out time for my art? Will anyone pay what my work is worth?

    If you’re interested you can check out my fledgling attempts to promote and sell my art at, and on fb at Kiyor Custom Art & Tile. My graphic design (which I try to do as little as possible now that I am a tuition-paying-free parent of grown children) can be seen at, or on fb at Heidi Ort Creative.

    Best of luck with all your quandaries and your beautiful work,

    Chaya Esther (Heidi) Ort