Creating content is a process, and it is not the easiest of processes.
As I work to rebuild and relaunch my personal brand, I’ve had to come to terms with what works, what didn’t work, and how I can improve to move forward.
All businesses have ups and downs, and when the world is in an economic and pandemic peril, it can be really easy to lose focus. For me, trying to identify myself as a “brand” and to fit a mold that doesn’t offer me financial stability was a soul crushing endeavour I had to over come.
What’s not working:
Creating video content. While this is a fun hobby, and something I really enjoyed doing, it’s not financially sustainable for me personally.
What is working:
Books, and language have always been of interest to me. I’m a decent typist, and I like writing. Writing is a way for me to tell a story, utilizing words, learning new words… etc. Language is neat.
What Am I?
A visual storyteller.
What I am not?
I became lost in this perception of reality that I had to be the product, and that all I was-was an object to be commodified. I lost my sense of self, and my sense of person-hood.
This lasted well over a decade from various traumatic experiences leveraging that I was nothing more than whatever Man believed me to be.
I tried to hide behind costumes, behind mirrors, and behind modeling. That I wouldn’t face the truth that I could be more than just a symbolic “piece” of meat that had been instilled in me from sexual harassment and abuse. Something that took away both my childhood, and my sense of self. I was so succumbed by darkness, depression and narcissism that I couldn’t even manage basic tasks. Keep in mind, I’m far from neurotypical, I’m a queer person with undiagnosed ADHD and some other brain related health issues; and I have also been dealing with resurfacing trauma due to current world events.
So, I have been writing. A lot. Some days, I feel lost in limbo, as if nothing has changed, as if I’m pushing myself so hard for no reason, but I know that’s not true.
I’m working on my first series of YA fiction books, a nonfiction novel, and might even turn one of my old short stories into an illustrated children’s book.
(I’ll post that story to this blog later!)
For now, I just wanted to send out a virtual update.
I am alive, and I am trying my best.
Art will forever be apart of my work, but for now I find myself through words.
I’ll be setting up a newsletter in the coming weeks, and I am taking donations to get my marketing/publishing business up and running as well. So if you’d like to tip to that you can here:
For all those who tip, I’ll send you book updates in the designated newsletter with special excerpts and links!
During April I had to see an optometrist for the first time. I had a pretty severe cut across my eyelid, and was dealing with some pretty intense pain. I also was diagnosed with astigmatism, and dry eyes, and a slight vision problem that glasses will help with.
Well, I order a pair from their office, but those haven’t been mailed yet, and because I feel like it’s better to see than be in pain, I found a site that sells glasses for pretty cheap.
Firmoo sells glasses for every gender, and age, and in a variety of styles.
And other amazing places to visit!
Seattle Meowtropolitan is the first cat cafe in Washington state located in Wallingford, Seattle. This cafe features Wednesday paint and pet nights, scheduled and drop in services, and more. They have a variety of teas, Hirkamer coffee and espresso, and italian soda’s available. Some of the cutest macaron’s in the shape of cat faces, and other delightful pastries as well!
To visit the cats, you have to be 8 and older, but anyone is welcome to come in for a coffee or to purchase some cat themed gifts!
Open seven days a week, it’s a real fun treat and spot to hang out at.
Go here to reserve your own time!
13$ get’s you a drink and one hour with the kitties!
*They do offer soy, hemp, and coconut milk substitutions.
Harley Quinn is by far, one of my favorite characters of all time. Her strength, smarts, and quick wit set her apart and her charismatic nature is what really endears me to her. Most of all, she’s a well developed, well loved character and with the release of her own film, is understandbly popular. Birds of Prey and The Emancipation of one Harley Quinn, is a fan-love story. It’s an ode to who Harley is, and it’s a love song that is played out through the costume and wardrobe design choices all the way down to the writing.
Harley debuted in 1992 as a side character on Bruce Timm’s Batman cartoon. Then, appeared in a comic titled “Mad Love” which began her descent and story of being Mr. J’s gal. It’s evolved over time, different writers taking on different stories, but some things always stayed the same.
Harley’s evolution and character development wasn’t written by just one person, but by many. Her story is one of strength, of isolation, of domestic violence and survival. It’s a common story for a lot of women, and along with that, her sexuality being claimed by men, versus when she claims her own sexuality as she free’s herself from Mr. J.
Her sexualization didn’t even become a trope of her objectification as the Joker’s side kick until Arkham Asylum (WB Games). Something that held strong as men drew her for fan-service and cast aside her traditional Jester attire. This led up to the Suicide Squad film and comics, where it’s very obvious in the choice of direction that Harley is “an object” and not her own person. It’s only after earning her freedom from SS that she is able to reclaim herself-slowly over time. It’s the beginning of her seperation from Mr. J, and her acknowledgement that she’s a strong bad-ass woman.
The New 52/Rebirth comics do a great job of developing this and showing how trauma can impact someone’s own values, belief, and looks. How when you really love someone, you’ll do anything-even if it’s unhealthy. We see how much of an empath Harley is. She grows, and learns that real love isn’t having someone toss you in to a vat of acid, or leaving you locked up when they said they’d save you. Her emotions play out through her wardrobe, and her ability to express herself. She’s no longer dressing sexy for the male gaze, but rather, she’s doing it for herself.
The film seems to encompass these elements by paying key attention to her look with subtle nods at this in her fashion choices.
By wearing a shirt that says “Harley Quinn” repeated heavily in a bold serif font, to the clear jacket that has caution tape strewn about the sleeves along with electrical tape. As if to say “I’m here and beware”. Each costume in the film has emotional ties to Harley Quinn’s personality and style.
While on screen they tested a multitude of color combinations, I think the sparkly and shiny gold is a great basic wardrobe piece. It’s not a “costume”, it’s just “I have this in my closet” look. It’s a step away from her original jester attire but also plays tribute to it with the diamonds and over-all shape and structure. Harley is free to be herself finally, and doesn’t need to hide behind a mask any longer. We see this evolution of freedom spaced out across her journey through the comics, and into the movie.
Each outfit seems to have been a manifestation of her mind and a reflection into the soul of who Harley Quinn is. She wears her heart on her sleeve. She studied, went to college, and has spent time in Arkham Asylum. She is intelligent, caring, and loyal to the ones she loves. As she let’s go of the Joker, she also let’s go of being his shadow and doormat. She embraces her own style and find’s color that is more bright and happy.
With Birds of Prey, the film took a lot of my own favorite story line’s and incorporated them into the film. Harley Quinn is here to kick ass and take names. Her wardrobe is a commalgeration of her personality, and I feel that New 52/DC Rebirth Harley shows us just that.
Harley wears the caution tape jacket with a see-through back early in the film as she blows up Ace Chemicals and then runs through the streets of Gotham City in an attempt to outrun the cops and some of Black Mask’s men.
The designer Erin Benach did a piece for Business Insider that explains their own thought process behind the caution tape jacket:
“Harley, she’s anti-establishment,” said Benach of the inspiration for the colorful jacket. “Caution tape is the scene of a crime and the establishment. It made so much sense to me that she would take that symbol and essentially deface it and take it on as her own.”
Benach said the caution tape wings are supposed to have a do-it-yourself sensibility.
“She would be able to maybe make that jacket and come up with that idea and just say, ‘I’ve broken up with The Joker. I’m independent now and I’m going to go party,'” said Benach of the symbolism behind the jacket.
Though feeling like a fun party, which is very much in line with Harley’s personality, the caution tape is also supposed to add another level of subtext.
“The other part of caution tape is like, ‘Don’t f— with me,'” said Benach.” https://www.insider.com/birds-of-prey-harley-looks-costume-designer-2020-2#the-caution-tape-jacket-is-supposed-to-symbolize-that-harleys-the-life-of-the-party-but-also-someone-you-shouldnt-mess-with-2
If you’re familiar with the term brand, then you may be familiar with how it can reflect and shape a business.
Target, a red circular logo with a dot in the middle-representative of the brand’s name: Target. Their soft warm lighting and open floor plan, and willingness to appeal to their demographic are shown in their merchandise and store layout. Target is a brand that is for the ‘everyday’ person, and they often update their marketing strategy to reflect their demographic, but their brand doesn’t change.
What is a personal brand?
Nikita Dragun, Cher, and Dolly Parton have extremely iconic personal brands before the term personal brand was even a thing. They know who they are, and they own it. But for the rest of us, finding words and descriptive terms to define who we are can feel challenging. Especially if people already assume they know everything about you based on how you speak and act, and the way you look.
With social media, we can control some of this, while not being able to get rid of complete bias, we can also create and curate the ‘life’ or person we want people to believe we have.
There are three key factors in building a personal brand:
Who you are
What you do
What your goal is
Here’s an image to help define who you are with an example.
The goal behind this exercise is to define your brand to align with your business goals.
From there, we can form an ideal short paragraph. Here’s mine:
Rina Lo is a qualified business owner with a background in social media marketing and public relations. Rina uses their various creative skills and time management to enact change and meet deadlines that fit the market demographics of X brands. Rina Lo is open to multiple business ventures and collaborations. Rina is a lifelong learner.
What is your online business path? Was this helpful for you?
The steps to becoming a thought leader often involve a lot of market research. I’ll be breaking down some of the basics below.
Post on socials at least 3x a week to begin to establish yourself as a thought leader in these spaces.
This takes time, and will not be done overnight. The best growth is organic growth by building your community online.
If you’re generating income from another project, job, or resource be sure to invest it back into your brand. It’s roughly 200$ a year for quality domain hosting, and from there you can build out through a variety of platforms.
Having a dedicated website that you can direct potential leads to will make you stand out amongst people who only rely on social media.
Stay on top of your market’s trends and what people are interested in now. Read up on historical trends and marketing curves.
Build your community.
The goal isn’t to shoot for EVERYONE in the world, but a select group of people that will relate to what you’re sharing with them. This is your target demographic and market.
To do this:
Research on the social media platforms you are using to figure out what other creator’s in your niche are doing, if it doesn’t exist, then work to establish it and listen to what the people are saying.
Your Social Media Kit will include a variety of websites that you use daily and weekly.
Hello fellow makeup geeks! This is my first makeup video where I try to talk-while doing makeup. Makeup is a huge passion of mine, and I absolutely love doing it. Music is royalty free. 🙂
Foundation: BH liquid foundation in nude
Lips: Burt’s Bee Rhubarb lip shimmer
Lollipop Eyeliner in Black
Mascara: Lottie London #lashgoals
2019 was a fantastic year for me-as far as gaming is concerned.
I played a ton of games, from puzzle type, to RPG’s and action-adventure. Now, these are just the games that were released this year that I happened to love the most, and not a list of all the games I’ve played or experienced.
Here are my top 5 games of 2019:
1: Untitled Goose Game
Goose Game is a delight to play through. Despite it’s meme-like tenacity, the game it self has wonderful puzzles, an easy learning curve that is so user intuitive that you actually enjoy the game as you get to know the mechanics. Personally, being able to annoy your neighbors and steal their belonging’s is really what appealed to me. I played it for around 10-15 hours and managed to beat it rather quickly. Yet like a quality meal or good movie, I felt satisifed and that the game was perfect. I only hope that they begin to add more on to it and expand the goose universe.
2: Fire Emblem: Three Houses
Fire Emblem Three Houses. Or where I want to wife every single gorgeous character. This game is more than just strategy and war-time mechanics, it has a quality storyline, and is a great dating sim. At first I wasn’t a fan of Dorothea, but time-skip Dorothea is super relatable and kind. This game really made me interested in the Fire Emblem series, and I love it’s replayability. Certainly worth a play through for anyone!
3: Pokemon Sword/Pokemon Shield
Pokemon Sword is an interesting game, but is the first Pokemon game in a long time to really catch my heart. The shiny Ponyta is on my list of things to catch as I currently work through the storyline, and meeting all of the BallGuy’s in the game is pretty neat. The only character I really dislike is the best friend/rival, and maybe that’s just due to my own personality, but he just seems to pop up at moments when my goal is on getting to the next location. Over all it’s a fantastic game, and a lot of fun.
4: The Sims 4 (plus expansions)
I’m not ashamed to say that The Sims 4 pulled me in this year and I became obsessed. I’ve clocked in over 500 hours playing through multiple stories, downloading custom content, mods, and adding expansions and game play. I’ve become attune to the sim language ‘sul sul’ and just love the creativity of the community. It’s honestly one of the nicest communities I’ve been apart of and reminded me why I enjoy gaming so much. This is probably one of the few games EA does right.
5: Resident Evil 2: Remake
Resident Evil is a game and series that have been apart of my life since I was a young child. I love horror genre games. While I have yet to beat this game, I do think the mechanics, art, and storyline are amazing and worth a full playthrough. So for nostalgia reasons, it does get a spot on my top 5 games of 2019.