5 Ways To Discover New Clients


Art & Commerce Series Have you heard of Aroma Poetry, Lab Grown Bones, Mixed Reality Making The Mundane Magical. These were each created by artists who are applying technology in new ways to areas they are fascinated by -- everything from biology to virtual reality. Artists are leading the way in taking down barriers and showing connections between art and technology. Living in Seattle where there has been much friction between art and technology, I see great opportunity if only the two sides will connect. 

“The next 10 years will require people to think and work across boundaries, into new zones that are totally different than their expertise. They will not only have to cross those boundaries, but they will also have to identify opportunities and make connections between them.” - Designer Clement Mok

The starving artist is a well-known metaphor, but this doesn’t have to be our lives. If we are willing to do the work of creating something unique instead of being comfortable with producing pale imitations. In the book “Rembrandt’s Enterprise: The Studio and the Market” author Svetlana Alpers shares about Rembrandt the artist being an entrepreneur and businessman. How his successes in the marketplace brought him honor in contrast to the artists who sought honor through the patronage of the wealthy or religious institutions.

Daniel H. Pink in his book “A Whole New Brain: Why Right Brainers Will Rule The Future” encourages individuals to ask themselves the following three questions about what they’re doing to earn a living:

  1. Can someone overseas do it cheaper?
  2. Can a computer do it faster?
  3. Is what I’m offering in demand in an age of abundance?

We are at a pivotal time where artists have the unique ability to team up with businesses and organizations in a variety of industries to create as Pink’s book states “artistic and emotional beauty, to detect patterns and opportunities, to craft a satisfying narrative and to combine seemingly unrelated ideas into novel invention.”     

5 Ways To Begin Uncovering New Opportunities

  1. Go online or visit your bookstore, find a magazine that is not what you would normally read. Look for an article that fascinates you and follow your curiosity. Keep your eyes open for opportunities.
  2. Experiment with how you share your art, look for new technology or avenues you have not previously used. Think about how you can tweak your work to tell a better story or capture a new audience through the platform.
  3. Have coffee with a friend in a different industry, and pick their brain as to what new industry trends, technologies, etc. are currently inspiring them. Look for ways to adapt the idea for your own art.
  4. Create an inspiration board around a word, article, texture or image that you find compelling. You know those crime boards every TV show has, imagine yourself as a detective and begin to connect the pieces.
  5. Make digital solitude a part of your life. This past weekend I unplugged from my phone and computer as part of a 25-Hour Experiment, this allowed me to have undistracted conversations and think deeply on ideas. I believe it is in depth that we are going to find our competitive differentiation.

“The challenge in this era of globalization - for countries and individuals - is to find a healthy balance between preserving a sense of identity, home and community and doing what it takes to survive within the globalization system.” - Thomas Friedman

Image By: Lindsey Bolling Photography

The 25 Hour Experiment


From sunset on Friday until stars dot the sky on Saturday night, I disconnect from the digital world.. For 25 hours a week.. Pollution from information overload and carbon emissions are stopped cold on the day of rest. - Mel Alexenberg

I recently stepped into a local apothecary and began to the proprietor a series of questions. I was curious what people typically came to see her for, I guess it to be the common cold. She said I was mostly correct, but that people in my generation are dealing with anxiety and insomnia. This wasn't surprising to me, but when she mentioned that she was the crazy lady on the corner telling people to turn off their phones it really got me thinking.

The challenge in this era of globalization - for countries and individuals - is to find a healthy balance between preserving a sense of identity, home and community and doing what it takes to survive within the globalization system. - Thomas Friedman, The Lexus & The Olive Tree

Technology has pretty thoroughly saturated my life, I run social media for companies, as well as consult individual creatives and small businesses on how to level up on marketing. Though I value my connectivity, I am someone from strong family roots where dinners were spent together and deep community was treasured. My mother is German and part of what she passed down to our family from her culture was a passion for sitting around a table for hours conversing about art, religion and ideas. In addition to rich conversation, I grew up in a household where TV was limited and I was encouraged to spend time in nature though if it was too humid (ohh Arkansas) then there was a library stocked with books. All of these things greatly fostered my imagination, my curiosity, and my hunger to delve deeper into areas which I knew little about.

I have a growing concern that as this new economy increases pressure on us all to adapt more quickly, constantly be growing our skill sets, etc. we are losing our depth. Our ability to look deeply at ideas, to converse, to see connections and strategic positioning at the intersection of the arts, business and technology. And you know what the crazy thing is? I am fairly certain this depth is the key which will greatly differentiate us in the new economy.

Artists in the postdigital age also function as researchers and teachers. Artists - researchers - teachers inhabit and explore the borderlands between art, science, technology, and education, integrating knowing, doing and making through aesthetic experiences that flow between intellect, feeling and practice to create and convey meaning. - Mel Alexenberg

As efficiencies increase and the economy transitions to more of a "gig economy" we need to make sure that we are intentionally directing our lives, instead of them running us. Did you know that Rembrandt was known not only for being an artist, but also an entrepreneur and business man? His successes in the art marketplace brought him great honor. Today more than ever before we need to allow ourselves time to unplug and to think deeply, not only for personal wellness but for competitive advantage. So this weekend I am launching a 25-hour experiment, from sunset on Friday till the stars dot the sky on Saturday evening, I will be unplugged from my computer and unavailable by cell phone. Whether you decide to be this extreme, or test your own variation - perhaps not looking at your phone for 1-2 hours, I am curious to see what happens. Many of us have been pushing for breakthrough and seeing areas where we need to pivot, so let's give ourselves some time + space to focus.

Your Dream Defender,


To Learn More About The Gig Economy Check Out:

3 Ways Hiring A Coach Will Make Your Business More Successful


It's September and if you are like me you are probably thinking to yourself SHIT! where has there year gone. Not that we haven't accomplished amazing things this year, but the pressure is really on now to end strong. The challenge can be you may feel stuck or stagnant, either lacking direction or feeling overwhelmed by everything that needs to happen in your business by the end of the year. Because as creatives, entrepreneurs and small businesses owners, let's be honest -- we wear a lot of hats! So I am writing to encourage you to consider signing up for three months of coaching, to help you get your marketing, strategy and social media in order for 2017. Here are the reasons I see that have helped my clients, and which you can benefit from:

Everyone has creativity in them. It's just a matter of unlocking that creativity. - Christina Canters

  1. Provides A Sounding Board: You may have a lot on your mind, and not even know where to begin. A coach is a sounding board for you, helping you to prioritize so as to not lose momentum or miss opportunities in the midst of all that is happening.
  2. Creates Room To Explore New Ideas: If what you have been trying this year has not worked, then it's time to experiment and pivot. A coach can help you review what you have done, expose connections and next steps.
  3. Removes Barriers: Whether they are mental barriers that are limiting growth, skills gaps or lack of bandwidth. A coach can help you identify collaborators, resources, and strategies to bridge the gaps and pave the way for greater business growth.

Please contact info@uncommoncartography.com to schedule your free 30-minute coaching consultation. I want to help you position for success in 2017!

A Pattern For Success



“A good host is the one who believes that his guest is carrying a promise he wants to reveal to anyone who shows genuine interest.


We will never believe that we have anything to give unless there is someone who is able to receive. Indeed, we discover our gifts in the eyes of the receiver. ” - Reaching Out, Henri J.M. Nouwen

This weekend I was asking myself how can I cultivate gratefulness and true selflessness in the collaborations I coordinate and participate in. Then you know immediately what came to my mind? Leaders set the example. You know that whole saying "if you want to change the world you must start with yourself"?

“There is a pattern that exists in organizations that achieve the greatest success, the ones that outmaneuver and outinnovate their competitors, the ones that command the greatest respect from inside and outside their organizations, the ones with the highest loyalty and lowest churn and ability to weather nearly every storm or challenge. These exceptional organizations all have cultures in which the leaders provide cover from above and the people on the ground look out for each other. This is the reason they are willing to push hard and take the kinds of risks they do. And the way any organization can achieve this is with empathy.” - Simone Sinek, Leaders Eat Last

"In 1909, the psychologist Edward Titchener translated the German Einfühlung (‘feeling into’) into English as ‘empathy’. Empathy can be defined as a person’s ability to recognize and share the emotions of another person, fictional character, or sentient being. It involves, first, seeing someone else’s situation from his perspective, and, second, sharing his emotions, including, if any, his distress.” - Neel Burton M.D.

In the gig/project based economy when we are not working in an organization or an institution we as individuals are defining our guiding principles. How will we relate to fellow creatives, entrepreneurs, dream chasers? Yes, there is a measure of calculating the return on our investment. But I am curious to see what happens when instead of putting profit first, we prioritize the well-being of people?

guiding principles: any principles or precepts that guide an organization throughout its life in all circumstances, irrespective of changes in its goals, strategies, type of work, or the top management.

Let’s practice this week being not only those who hustle but those who have empathy and see the promise that is buried within each individual we come into contact with. Because you and I are trying to accomplish some BIG things here. What happens when we begin to sprinkle every interaction with love and support?

Dream Defender,


Check out our blog to read more about: Tools, Feeding Your Curiosity and Thought Leaders.

Cut Out The Distractions, Focus On Growth


This past week the power of my relationships was highlighted in my life. We don’t travel through this life alone. We have community and as my dear Lindsey says “The connections of community... Make the impossible, possible”. Friends, clients, and strangers alike invested in me and cheered me on through a scary time. Now I am doing everything in my power to cut out distractions, and truly capitalize on the investment in my life (because with every investment there is a hope for a return).  I feel like I was given a lifeline, an opportunity, a bit of a buffer, the practical currency of a little more time to go HARD after my dream.

Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it's always your choice. - Dr. Wayne Dyer, Change Your Thoughts - Change Your Life: Living The Wisdom of the Tao

We each are given the same amount of hours in our day. How are we spending it? Because the PRESENT is really all we have, there are no guarantees of future. Don’t let excuses hold you back. Don’t wait for the stars to perfectly align to go after what makes you come alive. Focus on GROWTH this next week, whether it’s personal, business, or in your community. Expect to see results from your INTENTIONALITY. 

“Men of genius themselves were great only by bringing all their power to bear on the point which they had decided to show their full measure.” - The Intellectual Life, Sertillanges

Two Core Abilities for Thriving in the New Economy 1. The ability to quickly master hard things. 2. The ability to produce at an elite level, in terms of both quality and speed.

The Core Components of Deliberate Practice 1. Your attention is focused tightly on a specific skill you’re trying to improve or an idea you’re trying to master. 2. You receive Feedback so you can correct your approach to keep your attention exactly where its most productive.  -  Cal Newport, Deep Work

Let's Do This! Esther