Post 1: 3 Day Challenge Accepted! 121 Posts to Go!

Kat doodles about life and accepts new challenge:

If you are reading my blog for the first time, specifically due to new challenge, let me give you little introduction. My name is Kat, I am Czech born, 28 years of age, Aries, living in the UK for more than 9 years and my friends describe me as ‘hilarious’. I left home at 19. Three days after passing A-levels I was off discovering world abroad and somehow still not planning to change that quite yet. I have gone through all sorts of jobs, adventures, but travels and art were always my thing. Somehow I got accepted to university, which has the word ‘royal’ in its name, so it sounds great when you speak to people and they give you that acknowledging look. But even going to this amazing place my life since graduation is not posh at all and I have been struggling to make my living needs only just from doing art. So I somehow currently ended up in four jobs I run in between with still never enough money to this day. The blog was born sometime ago, but with being all over the place with too many things to do, I never had enough focus to keep it going.

And then it happened! I went for this internship in interior design and was told I cannot get it, because I do not drive! It was a slap in a face for my own incapability, not the lack of talent (which of course I am questioning every day). So I decided to get my act together and set myself a challenge to blog for 92 days solid and do something productive, to get things going. To see if I can beat my fear of driving, of inner myself and get on with the career I really want to have. Otherwise I am a loser and I might simply just give up and get a “normal” job, whatever that would mean for me. And things started to look up, I finally got into that car, arty opportunities started to appear and 92 days was gone without even me realizing.

So here we are, year 2014 and I decided to create new challenge for me since the last one made a difference. I call it 3 Days Challenge. I will start today on 3rd January and will be blogging every third day! For the whole entire year. Crazy you think, I know! I think so too. But that is simply, who I am. Ideally I would like to keep each blog post more artistic and relevant rather than me going on about what I had for dinner or about that cute guy I met at work, but I am sure something like this will sneak in anyway. With the daily challenge it was difficult, so I am hoping three days is just enough time to have a bit off time off, do the normal household stuff and still be artistic in some way. I have created list of challenges I would like to achieve or at least somehow move on with:

  • become fully freelance or employed in art& design- meaning doing anything in theatre design, interior design, visual merchandising, 3D related industries, decorating…
  • give up my two little jobs- even to the sadness of my bosses (before they do it for me), although we always had great relationships and they both secretly know I need to get on with this “art thing”
  • improve in my interpreting job- to see what I can do about moving on to next band
  • learn how to drive- which will mean the actual driving, passing theory test, practical test, and then it comes to the even more expensive bit of buying the car, an insurance, plus I am sure the list goes on.
  • become fluent in AutoCad and all the other related programs required by the industry- it was either this or learning how to drive, which became blatantly more important
  • focus more on social media, update my Facebook Page, do more networking and use the time more effectively instead of watching funny videos as I am sure we are all guilty of.
  • create a proper website since I now bought a proper domain name, which is simple enough to pronounce rather using my full name
  • and obviously make sure I blog every three days- I am thinking I might do like a monthly project to stay focused, see what happens once I start.
  • start translating this challenge into Czech for sister version of this blog, which has been neglected since last year. And I mean very neglected.
  • have fun, meet new people, make effort. Think before I say anything, which is usually what gets into trouble. And say yes to new opportunities.

    So I think that is it! I am sure there are more resolutions, but they may appear as we go. Not ambitious list at all! Walk in a park, I say! Obviously if any of you have any ideas or would like to collaborate, let me know!

And not be alone in this crazy challenge I have these people, who feel very similar about their life. Ladies and gents, let me introduce You to all brave men and women, who taking up challenges of their own!!!

art represents:

Katdesigner and her ‘My journey on becoming full-time designer

Art Fn and  his Regular sketching in 2014

music to your ears will bring:

Lukas, the bass guitarist

Mr. Sawlid and Mr Dj are stopping smoking (they do not have a blog, but they will be updating me on regular basis apparently)

for the ideal trim figure is looking:

Twinmumanddad

IT/Blog list of resolutions has:

Bex with Blogging Goals 2014

and last but not least in our non resolution pile is:

Learner Mother

The Crazy Bag Lady

Now, I had a lot of interest from other people, so I guess they are waiting to see what is this whole thing about. Please feel free to join us at any time during this year, with whatever your challenge is and your decision on how to number posts. Details and few little reminders on the posting etiquette can be found here. Enjoy the journeys and happy reading!!!

day11

Day 7: Week one review! 85 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

7 days! Hellooo!  I am feeling very excited as I managed to not only do something creative every single day for the past seven days to get closer to my career, but I also managed to blog about it. What is rather more exciting, I feel a bit of a thrill from blogging and the adrenalin is high pushing me more thinking about ideas. I have now actually that many, I feel almost as 92 days may not be enough to write about all of them. And I know this must sound pretty hilarious. I have also noticed the speed I am writing these posts with. Depending on the subject, but it takes me somewhere between hour or two with the corrections and adding Instagram (katerinatdesigner) picture to make it look more exciting. I am also starting to feel that my written English is improving. Obviously long way to go, but I am working on it, so it is a progress. There is a Czech band called Mnaga & Zdorp and they sing this beautiful song that ‘even a journey can be finishing line’ (search for ‘I cesta muze byt cil‘).

In one week I have done and wrote about more things than I would imagine if I did not make so much fuss about it to the outside world. The push has certainly worked. I am fearing the moment when someone  will message me asking ‘Where is your daily post’? So far I covered topics from purpose of this blog to tips on how to organize yourself and get things done based on the advice given by David Allen. From the important theme of cv, different cv sites and useful feedback on mistakes in my own cv to joining Twitter (@katerinatdesign) in order to get more people to join my challenge, update me achieving their dreams and obviously making my point of looking for creative career more obvious. I started tackling my fear of driving and got myself to watch the theory dvd. Having a bit of emotional roller coaster from high to low, to high and low again I am finishing the week on high celebrating when getting to this point by inspiring people with scrapbook ideas in yesterday’s post and going to pass on another little paragraph from David’s book today. During the past 7 days I received some really wonderful supportive messages, had many new followers and even few people telling me what they would like to achieve. Although no one has confirmed officially what they will do or if they actually started. So come on people, take an example from me and get on with it! And trust me, you will feel great! Don’t be shy and e-mail me on katerina.t.designer@gmail.com

Since this post is about weekly review, David Allen is giving out these tips to do so:

  • Loose paper into basket.- Get a basket or a box and fill it up with anything you feel you need to deal with. From receipts, postcards, objects, your diary ,pieces of paper, notepads, drawings etc. Absolutely anything. If it doesn’t fit inside, describe bit on a piece of paper. Go around the house and do it with every room(for example decorating the room, fixing broken light in the hallway). Like this you will end up with clearer space to work on and all your things to do in one box.
  • Process data.- Go though the box and use simple diagram technique I have posted in Day 1 post.  Do I need this, if no, Trash it. If Yes, do I need to make some kind of action with it? If not file it into review or read, if so and it takes less than two minutes, do it. If longer divide it- put into to pile Next Action, Waiting for (e-mail reply, buying certain equipment or something else to happen in order to do it, last pile is future someday/may be things to do)
  • Previous data from calendar review.- Fairly straight forward, look at what have you done this week or add tasks or things to relevant pile.
  • Upcoming calendar.- the same again, but this coming week or possibly a month if needed.
  • Empty your head.- Do you need to pop in to see your friend or send timesheet in, write it down. There is a very high chance it may disappear from your head and you will totally forget it.
  • Review projects (and larger outcome).- Look at projects  you are working on and want to work on and don’t leave until you write a note of what is the next task on it. Do you need to call Pete to start organizing event in order to promote your products, either call him now or put it on the list of calls. You won’t move on with a project until you establish what is the next step.
  • Review next Action Plan list.- Go through the pile of tasks which make take longer than two minutes and do as described within the point above.
  • Review Waiting for.- Waiting for phone call (were you expecting one, did the person forget), has your order arrived yet, so you can get on with things etc.
  • Review any relevant check list.- I hope that speaks for itself.
  • Review Someday/May be.- You would like to learn French, take an exam, learn how to drive, plan trip around the world. Think what is the next step to make it happen. Do you need to start researching language schools online, start saving etc.?!
  • Review Reading& Support files- Go through magazines or leaflets or anything you collect over the time, if you find something interesting to read, tear the pages out and put in pile of reading, which you can do before going to bed, or keep it together and just highlight pages it with sticky post it notes.
  • Be creative and courageous.- 😀

Advice points above taken from the book of David Allen: Getting Things Done and explained by me.

Have a lovely day, take care and don’t forget to update me on your progress. With love, back tomorrow. Kat xx

day7

Day 3: From High to Low! 89 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

Alright, it is nearly 4pm of UK time and I am already writing this post, whilst outside it has not stopped raining second day in row. I think that is it for today, enough me sitting at the computer. I have been doing so for the last three days, wrapped up warm, recovering, drinking countless cups of tea.  I fancy a change. I started high and now I am feeling my energy levels are going down. Well there might be few reasons for that. Sleeping too much in the last few days and staying awake last night texting past my usual bedtime, being woken up by three demanding phone calls at 5 am, was the start.

When I got out of bed feeling fairly shattered, Ilooked into the fridge, finding it empty. Forced walking out of the house, I came backa with a treat in a form of nutella jar. How wrong I was. I stopped eating chocolate about three or four months ago and felt much better ever since, so hoping that little chocolatey treat will make me feel better turned into something like eating gurkin. It tasted horribly sweet and I am thinking Oh no, I have lost this little life saver. Never mind this sugar rush which brought me down few hours later.  There was a little hint of hope, when I managed to clear and response to my e-mails within only 7 minutes, but not long after there was this reply from CV Site waiting to tell the truth I didn’t want to know.

So apparently there are few issues, which prevent me from communicating my skills in optimum way. The first paragraph states following: There are grammatical issues …, … it is too colloquial…, …if an employer reads that you are ‘stubborn’ it would be off putting within the context …, … mentioning four jobs doesn’t send out positive impression. Alright with grammatical issues I can agree. That has always been a problem, I am not a native speaker, I can only keep learning and trying, because I know it will always follow me. I am not entirely sure why ‘stubborn’ used together with ‘perfectionist’ and ‘willing to learn’ does not translate as ‘motivated until achieving the goal’. I guess the negative feel of the word used without its context coming from someone, who is an Aries in zodiac, is not exactly giving the friendly willing approach. Lastly what is wrong with having four jobs? Is it the lack of focus I might be giving impression off? Surely having two different self-employed positions show that you are on your way to turn them into careers, whilst the other two part time jobs show commitment and secure regular income in order to pay bills and food offering to take time off when needed. Why all the cv gurus, employers or general advice out there tell you to keep going and making sure there is no gap on your cv and now being told that if you work too much sounds wrong. Anyone else had similar issue before?

Second paragraph is focusing on employment history. It is vast…, …for very brief periods, this would not instill confidence any potential employers…, You clearly have a lot of skills but CV needs focus…, … I appreciate that a lot of jobs are short term…, … better to provide details of the work and the props you designed rather than the designer/directors names. You clearly have a lot to offer, …you are creative and have flair but a CV is still a formal document and you need to adopt a few conventions in order to illustrate your talents and competencies without coming across as disordered. Looking back at my cv after reading this, was so painfully true.  I think the problem is when you are preparing your cv during your graduation time and not having that much professional experience, you are told it is important to tell all the directors and designers you worked with having to stretch it making it look reasonably good, but as time goes it may become a bit too much and I think that what happened to me. Taking your cv and giving it to people asking them to look at it with their critical eyes is nerve wracking and depressing, but the most helpful as knowing the weakness of your enemy.

They finished the e-mail by saying this: … Overall Katerina, it is a quirky and fun approach but that just doesn’t work for a CV and it would benefit from a rewrite for ease of reading… Further down were priced packages to make it perfect with extras added in case I would like to take this offer to improve it under the professional eye. Alright Thank you very much, but I think I need few days to take this all in and think about this changing it completely. In case anyone would to share their cv, which bagged them that job they wanted, feel free to send it to katerina.t.designer@gmail.com and perhaps share few tips on how they think which is best way, please do so. I am sure everyone reading will appreciate every handy advice.

I am ending this post with photograph of my ‘fun’ evening ahead. I have been offered emotional support and forced watching Driving Test Theory DVD, possibly so I am prevented from covering my eyes and having to focus. So I guess I will update you how it went tomorrow. Lovely evenig to everybody. Kat xx

day3

Day 2: Oh the CV malarky! 90 days to go!

Kat doodles about life:

So day two of the challenge.  I woke a bit tired after not being able to sleep much last night thinking about the challenge plus I blame two cups of strong tea I drink straight after each other. Yesterday after posting, I sat down and cleared all the e-mails into relevant folders and made all tabs clear, so every day, when I wake up, I can deal straight away with what is relevant. There is lot more deleting and organizing within my e-mail to be done, but that is for another time. This morning it only took me less then hour to reply and organize all e-mails and social media I have received during the night with nothing more hanging to be done in my account. How brilliant.

When going through tasks and trying to get yourself out there, I have realized that keeping up with cv and updating all social media is the most important thing nowadays. I decided to dedicate the day to updating my cv and uploading it to different sites.  Recently I did that with LinkedIn account. That is quite a good one to use as a starting point. However they allow you only to put limited amount of characters under one job, so when you work as self employed, listing all the little jobs in one may not be enough.  So I looked at all sorts of the jobs I did and under my company name created three kinds positions. One for theatre design relevant work, one for painting and decorating, interior design and decluttering and the last one for general artistic work. It suddenly made lot more sense for everyone to look at and understand what I do. I have applied the same system onto my cv today, but just make sure you keep saving the document as you go.

In the summary of who I am I used to use one particular paragraph for years, which may have sounded professional , but I felt it no longer had that crisp fresh sound, so I wrote, who I see myself as with simple few adjectives characterizing my life and work attitude, current state and aspirations into the future. No more then five sentences should do the trick.

Within my e-mail account I had e-mails from about 4 different job sites. I went through each of them and with different levels of luck managed to upload my cv. Jobsite as first, which keeps sending me not very relevant job offers for design positions. Unfortunately all the ones, where you need to be computer  geek and somehow the beauty of designing or building real model is no longer needed. You would think that website like which is advertising on national level would have different options for uploading your cv apart from word file. Perhaps jpg or most likely pdf, separate fill in  boxes, if it comes to the worst as txt. Especially after you have just spend hours tweaking your pages to making it look the part. Several uploads of the files have failed. Well not only that, after I spent updating details in the form, they have disappeared after the file hasn’t uploaded properly, so I had to do it again.  Cup of tea break was needed to lift my spirits up. As soon as I sent in the help line form in I have finally figured out the problems. Turn your fancy word document into plain text with no columns or anything else. When saved as rtf, after save it again into document, but keeping it plain. Hallelujah, it uploaded, but let me tell as a designer, it is not looking exactly great. If you are not able to change your details within the site program, it feels pretty useless even having to upload it in a first place.

Guardian website was lot more user friendly. They had all my previous details saved already, so I just checked if they are correct, updated and moved around jobs and ready I was. Highly recommend it. I did not have that many e-mails from them as website in the past, but now with fully updated previous jobs I am hoping for more luck.

CV Site e-mail ended up in my account somehow without really knowing how. I have a feeling it came together with paid membership for LinkedIn I had once tried. They offered me free CV check as a member of their anticipating partners, but have never used it, so I decided give it a go since it is needed now more than ever. With technical issue of not letting me to the free check up as advertised I e-mailed them and within few minutes I had lovely lady messaging me back asking me to send her my cv. Brilliant. Will definitely post you on that one. Their site has a partner site called CV library, so I will be uploading cv there once it is returned.

Lastly UK Staff Search  was probably the most quickest in the whole process. They simply asked for e-mail, uploading the file and within second you had the form with all boxes filled with relevant information taken from the uploaded cv. I have corrected the employment and education history just by simply copying and pasting information from my original document and here it was , done.

So that is for today, enough for sitting around at computer. I am reminding everybody join me in my challenge, or please spread the message around and let me know what is your dream. Keep that 92 days spirit and get it achieved by the end of the year. Better start now and really make it happen, than attempting to turn it into New Year’s resolution. Have a lovely day a take care. Kat xx

day2

“I noticed in your CV that you don’t drive currently?”

Kat doodles about life:

So today’s post is actually about something that happened last week, but it is in my head ever since and it feels like when you hear a song, but it is on the loop. It is increasingly getting on your nerves and it shouts out loud. ” I noticed in your CV that you don’t drive currently?”

The time has come. I have been avoiding to this ‘skill to must have ‘ for certain (well most of them) jobs for the last ten years.  And I have managed to become very creative about how to get things done, how shift stuff around and how quick I can become compare to bus, car or train commuters. Me and my bicycle are pretty much one item and I quite honestly I use it and abuse it, but then I treat it to a good service twice a year. I have been told so many times by my close and very wise friends that having a driving licence is certainly “that” thing, which will get me a better job or getting me home without getting wet at 3 am, when I finish at work and the list of reasons why goes on and on.

Well apart from enjoying the countryside views on my rides there are two reasons why I still haven’t pass the test. Firstly I don’t want to get fat. Or more fat than I am.  Or shall I be polite to myself and say large instead. Everyone, who knows me personally can confirm I love to eat. Pretty much anything and I don’t mean junk food. I just love food. Full stop. Oh the colours, the smell, the experience. Oh yes. So to keep going with my passion I am absolutely fine with having to ride to work and out and about for an hour a two a day and get sweaty. Plus the extra motivation of being paid for it why not. Why would you want to become one of those people, who drives around and then has to go to the gym and pay for it in order to stay trim, when you can do it for free.  And secondly I am terrified, well of the speed car can go. You will be laughing that comes from someone, who loves watching Formule 1 races and finds it incredibly exciting. Well it is the same person, it’s me.  Somehow I feel that on the bicycle you are in charge of that speed you are going.  Plus that freedom of you can go anywhere and become part of a road or cycle path or just simply part of the pavement if the traffic gets a bit too much for example those massive three lane roundabouts.

Two weeks ago I treated myself a new A3 printer, scanner thing and got really excited about updating my portfolio. Exactly around that time local interior design company posted an offer of paid interior design internship. How fantastic, I thought to myself, thinking the universe is sending some positive messages. Great e-mail communication with the owner of the company since the start. ‘Great, keep going’ I am thinking to myself whilst resizing images in Photoshop at 4 am, when the cold shower comes in… the e-mail says: … “I noticed in your CV that you don’t drive currently?”… It was like slap in a face. My attempt of cycling to Bath or getting a train and cycling just outside of Chepstow may have made impressive impact of ‘ I really want this and I will do anything’. Unfortunately the job role involves visiting clients even further away from these locations in the middle of countryside. You will  have to carry mood boards and pieces of furniture around. I guess they may not appeciatte me turning up in cycling shorts either.

So here we are. The truth no one wants to hear. ‘Sorry you can’t get the job, because you don’t drive. But I will keep you on file.’ How lovely. There is a hope? Writing this post is somehow encouraging for me to go and get in touch with that guy with dreadlocks (yes that special bond between all people ever owning dreadlocks including me), who owns a driving school and drove past me few months ago. He seems like cool and calm kind of guy, who could help me conquer my fear. It may sound stupid as anything, but if that is beginning of me passing a test and getting on the road in order to get that better paying job, I better start writing an e-mail to him right now.

Fun card I created for a friend.

Fun card I created for a friend.

Have a Fab Day!

Kat doodles about life:

17th September! I have been awaiting this day for a good while! Not only because it is dad’s birthday but also my course Designing for Interiors was going to start today. Hurray! As I have finished seven long weeks run in the kitchen  I thought I will treat myself to a day off in between doing interpreting session tomorrow and back to peeling carrots and working at the door on other days. So not only I put on my burgundy heels, favourite black&white dress and had fab haircut, I also had a positive search for a voluntary design experience. You need to start somewhere! I thought! And by being enthusiastic, open and patient it can be achieved. So fingers crossed! Looks like I will getting haircut more often.

So now! Designing for Interiors! Taught by Angela Morris at City Bristol of College. Very lovely lady, who used the teach full time version of this course, who definitely has ton of knowledge and I certainly felt like the kid in the front row, who wants to know everything. Looks like two years out of education did well to my enthusiasm. We discussed the plan and what we can expect in the other parts, introduced ourselves (we have everybody from a theatre designer to a surveyor, mum, crisis coordinator and Spanish teacher) and talked everything and anything from design process and Kelly Hoppen to World of Interiors and Cabin Porn including exhibitions 100%Design and Decorex. As you can imagine very interesting.

Homework is to find a picture and describe it! When I will, don’t worry you will be informed. I attempted to take some photographs to make this post more interesting  and show off new hair, but rather worryingly none of the pictures looked quite right especially the ones taken with pin hole effect. I want to keep my readers, so I rather skip this action for a moment. So have a fab day! Or do something to make fab! And let me know what it was! xxx

We talked about types of designs and one of them was when shipping containers used as a budget hostel. These types of containers were also used in advertising in Homebase campaign.