6 Things I Would Do If I Were A Hand Type Artist, Graphic Artist or Calligrapher

Yesterday the weather was beautiful, so Brooke and I made ourselves some iced coffee and sat on the front porch while June napped upstairs.  I just recently purchased multiple copies of the #ASKGARYVEE book, and prior to sitting on the front porch I had just finished reading chapter 1.  When it comes to business books I like to read chapters and then spend a day or two thinking about what I read.  I want to actually retain the information and not just consume it.

The last two sentences of the chapter say,

"Bet on your strengths.  It's an underrated business strategy in a world where we so many people are obsessed with fixing their weaknesses they give short shrift to the skills they were born with."

A photo posted by T.J. Mousetis (@tjmousetis) on

So, on the front porch with iced coffee in hand I asked Brooke, "What are my greatest strengths?"

Without hesitation Brooke said, "Your ideas, your decisiveness and your ability to solve problems."  She continued and said, "You have the ability to think of something someone or some business should do within seconds of hearing about the business or the problem they are having."

We sat and talked about that for a while and I started to ask her questions like, "How can I use those three strengths to help others?" Part of what I want to do is have short 1 on 1 sessions with people, which you can read about here - One on One.  I already have about 10 scheduled and I am pumped!

I came up with another idea which leads me to the point of this post.  Periodically, I am going to try to write out ideas for businesses that I have nothing to do with.  I sell t-shirts and have tons of ideas for my company, but I can't help and think sometimes, "If I owned a food truck I would..."

Because walk in love. does deal with hand type and graphic artists I thought I would start there.

So, here are...

6 Things I Would Do If I Were A Hand Type Artist/Graphic Artist/Calligrapher*

*Please note that I am not any of these.  I do some graphic design for walk in love. when I am working on t-shirts, etc, but these aren't my professions.  You can't hire me as a graphic artist and there is no way you'd want me to write anything for you, especially in calligraphy.  I have no dog in this fight or skin in this game.

1. I'd start trending. 🔥

The very first thing I would do is start trending.  When phrases like, "Damn Daniel. Back at it with the white vans." set the internet on fire I would stop what I am doing and design the popular phrase for my Instagram.  Not only does a viral phrase instantly connect with a person scrolling through their feed but it also opens the slight chance for a blog or news site to use it when they talk about the famous video.  More people are searching and using the hashtag and scrolling through it so you have potential to grab more fans.  I wouldn't just jump on viral phrases.  I would do it with trending events, moments, etc.  For example the oscars were a few weeks ago.  If I were a hand type artist I would have had the the phrase on my feed, "And the oscar goes to.." the night of the oscars with the question in the text, "Who do you think is going to win?"  Creating something for my followers to connect with.  Then the next day I would have had a piece that said "Congratulations Leo!" or "I'm King of the World!" since it was such a big deal that he finally won!  Engage with trends whenever you can.

2. I'd get moving. 🌀

We are living in a more video heavy social media age at the moment.  Snapchat is proving that people want to watch videos all the time.  Facebook feeds are mostly videos and GIFs are starting to take up more and more digital space.  I know that elaborate motion text is not an easy skill to acquire, but simple moving GIFs are easier to create than you think with Photoshop or different apps.  I'd start moving my text from time to time just to show a variety in the content I am producing.  It might catch the eye of a fan that has scrolled by 50 still images before getting to your moving one.

3. I'd Show How I Do What I Do 🎥

I'd use Snapchat and Instagram to shoot really short videos of myself creating.  People love behind the scenes looks at a skill they don't have.  If you can draw or write well, especially calligraphy, people will go nuts over that.  If you are more skilled on the graphic design end do some screen captures of the work you are doing in photoshop.  Show people that you are a person with a really cool skill

4. I'd Do A LOT Of Stuff For Free! 💰

I'd post an Instagram today and say, "I want to write as many of your favorite phrases as possible.  Comment below with them and I will get to as many as I can and send you a direct message of the piece when I am done."  Then I would spend all day with a bunch of paper and a scanner or iPad pro and hammer through them.  I am doing two things by spending my time and energy on this.  First, what I am doing is practicing my skill and honing my craft, and second, I am creating an amazing experience for someone.  Next time they hear someone say, "I need a new logo" or "We are looking for someone to design our wedding invitations." They might be quick to tell the story of the phrase you wrote for them.  Write people's names, kids names, favorite bible verses, addresses, whatever you can to engage with them and give them something one of a kind and custom.  Designing things for people just takes your time, you don't have to spend any money, except on paper, but it's worth it!

5. I'd Reach Out To Everyone! 👋

I'd start reaching out to blogs, Instagram accounts, local businesses and just tell them, "Hey my name is TJ and I do custom design/hand type/calligraphy.  I am not selling anything right now but if you ever need a banner or Instagram to say something custom let me know because right now I am just trying to grow my business and would do it totally FREE, no strings attached.  Here is a link to my portfolio, let me know if you are interested! xoxo, gossip...I mean..T.J."  If you want to get really hardcore I would look into the business and find their mission statement and maybe design it or write it all cool and include that in the e-mail, telling them they can use it for free, you just enjoyed the practice.  There are also apps out there that provide overlays for photos, like the walk in love. VRSLY app.  Reach out to those apps and let them know you'd love to submit something.  We've had so many young artist take over VRSLY for a week and grow their reach and engagement.  Most people will say, "No." but some will say, "Yes." and then you have a piece that is out there in their circle.  It's door to door sales in the digital age and it will help grow your business more than anything you are probably doing today!

6. I Wouldn't Take Myself To Seriously. 😛

We get it.  You can write the word, "wanderlust" and go to Unsplash and put it over a photo of someone wrapped in a blanket on the edge of a cliff....But so can 9,040,305 other hand typers.  This advice is similar to the get trending advice, but have a little more fun with your craft.  If you follow me on Snapchat you know that Brooke and I eat a lot of Snack Trays.  If I was a hand typer I would write out things like, "SNACK TRAYZ FOR DAYZ" to add some light heartedness to my feed.  If you are super into New Girl at the moment, maybe take a few of your favorite quotes and post them.  Something to make people smile will always be more memorable than the 9,000th version of something everyone else is doing.

Again, I am not a graphic designer, hand typer or calligrapher so I have no skin in this game.  I just want to share my ideas, which Brooke says is one of my greatest strengths, so take the ideas or leave them.  It's what I would be doing if I were one.  Hope it helps you grow your business.

And since I was inspired to start these types of post by the #ASKGARYVEE book I want to give away a copy.  To enter just comment on this post with what business you'd like me to share my ideas on.  Thanks!