Tag: social media

Random Acts of Awesomeness Day

Digital Art by BZTAT

I think that it is important for artists to surround themselves with a variety of influences — some being artists and arts related influences; some being people who inspire us in ways beyond the world of art. I have been lucky to have both in my “real” world as well as my “virtual’ world via social media.

I am not exactly sure how or why, but somewhere along the line I found myself connected to two Human Resources bloggers though social media. I have become a big fans of both, and have also found reciprocal support from them. One of these bloggers is Laurie Ruettimann of Punk Rock HR, through whom I got connected to Amanda Hite, CEO of Talent Revolution. Both of these women have inspired me artistically, but also influenced me in terms of developing a business around my artwork.

I don’t think I am typical of either woman’s following, but both are women who break standards on a daily basis, so I fit right in.

Anyway, I got an email this morning from Amanda and the rest of the Talent Revolution Team that today was “Random Acts of Awesomeness Day“, meaning that today is a day to randomly send shout-outs to people for their awesomeness. I thought that was a pretty cool idea, so I am dedicating my blog today to five people whose awesomeness has made an incredible difference in my life.

  • The first shout-out goes to Laurie Ruettimann, whose cat Scrubby is my Brewskie Butt‘s long lost twin, and serves as her partner in the blogosphere as the Brew does with me. Laurie constantly challenges me to think about new things and ideas through her funky but intelligent blog. She also inspires me to be real and fun via social media, which has helped me significantly in find a following for my artwork online. I have never met Laurie in person, yet she has given me personal support and encouragement many, many times. I am really hoping that she is able to make it to BlogPaws West in September so that I can meet her in real life.
  • The next goes to Amanda Hite. Amanda, like Laurie, is often the keynote speaker at major conferences and conventions, and she consults with important people from large corporations. Even so, she once took time out of her busy schedule to talk with little ol’ me for an hour (for free) on a Sunday evening. She sends me tweets and Facebook comments now and then to encourage and support me, and she posts really encouraging stuff on Talent Revolution that inspires me. I hope to meet Amanda in real life someday too.
  • The next goes to Caroline Golon, co-founder of BlogPaws, public relations pro extraordinaire, and staff to the incomparable Romeo the Cat. I met Caroline online through social media as well, however, I have had the opportunity to meet her in real life, and we are great friends. Everyone should have a cheerleader like Caroline in their corner. She has been a steadfast supporter of my artwork and has helped me access great opportunities.  Plus, she is a tireless fundraiser for animal charities, a cause which is near and dear to my heart.
  • My next shout-out goes to another animal charity fundraiser phenom — Lynn Haigh. Lynn is the founder and coordinator of the incredible monthly PawPawty — a 24-hour Twitter event that raises money for animal charities. Lynn and I met online through the early pawpawties, of which Brewskie Butt‘s birthday was the 2nd official “pawty”. We have since met in New York City when we were both nominated for Shorty Awards, and again at the first BlogPaws conference. The pawpawties have raised OVER $33,000 for animal charities in little over a year! That is just awesomeness to the nth degree, if you ask me! For her efforts, I have nominated Lynn as one of CNN’s Heroes.
  • My last shout out goes to a local Canton, OH hero of mine — Robb Hankins, CEO of Arts in Stark, the County Arts Council. Robb has given me amazing support personally and helped me develop several artistic projects. But beyond that, he has inspired a movement in Stark County, OH that has helped artists and the entire community develop an identity around the arts. Few people know this, but Robb was also the first person to encourage me to develop my niche as a pet artist, for which I am eternally grateful.

Laurie, Amanda, Caroline, Lynn, and Robb — You are all the most awesome of awesomeness to me, and I thank you for all the inspiration you have given me.

Who has inspired you with awesomeness? Why not send them a random act of awesomeness today? Send them a tweet or Facebook shout-out, or give them a shout-out here and send them the link.

BZTAT is going to the Shorty Awards in New York City!

Artist BZTAT at work for recent Paint-a-thon

I have the BEST friends from all around the world!

First I asked them to help get me into the finals for the Shorty Awards in the Art Category. As an emerging pet portrait artist whose business has been built by leveraging social media, I thought that being in the Shorties would help advance awareness of my artwork.

My friends came out in a big way!

I came in third place in the popular voting, which is one component of the overall judging for the award.

Then I asked them to help me raise money for the trip to New York City for the Shorty Awards Ceremony. As an  artist and  creative entrepreneur starting a new business,  funds are very tight for extra things such as travel, and I couldn’t do it on my own.

Including donations, proceeds from a 12 hour Paint-a-thon, and new commissions, my friends helped me raise over $1400 for the trip!

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!

I will be meeting up with a number of friends in New York with whom I have come to know through social media but never met face-to-face. Most notably, I will be meeting @FrugalDougal‘s staff (Shorty nominee for the Nonprofit Category), and @Yoda_the_Dog‘s staff, who is the tweeter for @VAStateParks (Shorty nominee for the Government Category).

@FrugalDougal‘s staff is traveling all the way from the UK for the Shorty Awards!

The ceremony is Wednesday evening (3/3/10) from 7 -11 pm EST. Be sure to follow my tweets on Twitter with the hashtag #bztatnyc during the ceremony and throughout the whole trip.

I plan to post many photos and chronicle my trip on Twitter for those who helped me make the trip. I hope you will join me on the adventure!

In case you were wondering, @BrewskieButt and my other cats will be well cared for while I am away. I have a sitter checking in on them and the studio to make sure all is well during my absence.

New York, here I come!!!

Life is an Adventure!


BZTAT Artwork: Paint-a-Thon Fundraiser

Artwork by BZTAT

Thanks to my loyal fans on Twitter, I am a  finalist in the Shorty Awards!

“Hollywood has the Oscars. Broadway has the Tonys. Now Twitter has the…Shorty Awards.” ~The New York Times

The Shorty Awards Ceremony where the winners will be announced will be held in New York City on March 3, 2010. In order to raise money for the trip, I will be holding a special fund raising event.

On Thursday, February 18, 2010, I will engage in an exclusive “Paint-A-Thon”, painting animal themed artworks non-stop from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm at Second April Galerie in Canton, OH.

All works created in that 12 hours will be auctioned off in a silent auction to raise money for my trip to attend the Shorty Awards Ceremony, which will be held in New York City on March 3, 2010.  Interested individuals can bid on the artwork either on location at Second April Galerie or online via Twitter.

Bidding on BZTAT artworks will begin at 7:00 pm EDT and conclude around 9:00 pm EDT on Thursday, February 18. I will have assistants tweeting photos of the works on Twitter as I create them and also after they are completed. Follow #bztatptg on Twitter to get the latest updates.

If you would like to submit a bid on Twitter, please send a tweet with your bid amount and #bztatptg written in the tweet. Your profile must be visible in Tweetgrid for us to receive the bid. All bids must be in $5.00 increments. A 10-minute warning will be tweeted to announce the conclusion of the auction 10 minutes before bidding stops.

It is recommended that interested Twitterers follow the action on Tweetgrid to get real time updates. (We are not responsible for any technical difficulties that may occur as a result of Twitter or associated application interruptions.)

Bids will also be taken on site at Second April Galerie. Winning bidders will purchase the work by contributing to the Chip-In widget located on the left sidebar on this blog. Any shipping costs will be the responsibility of the winning bidder ($15.00 in Continental USA, varies for other locations).

Even if you do not wish to bid on the artwork, I hope that you will still participate and help re-tweet the action! Non-deductible contributions to the Shorty Awards Trip can also be made through the Chip-In widget located on the left sidebar of this blog. Any size contribution is welcome!

The Shorty Awards honor the best people and organizations on Twitter. These unique awards are for the Twitter community, by the Twitter community. Online voting is public and democratic, culminating in an awards ceremony that recognizes the winners in 26 official categories as well as those in brand new crowd-sourced ones.

I am a finalist in the ART category. This is quite an honor, considering the millions of people using Twitter around the globe and the many artists who use the micro-blogging site to promote their artwork. I am very thankful to those who nominated me and voted me into the finals!

I look forward to seeing you either on Twitter or at Second April Galerie on This coming Thursday!

Date: Thursday, February 18, 2010

Time: Paint-A-Thon by Artist BZTAT:  9:00 AM—9:00 PM; Silent  Auction: 7:00 PM—9:00 PM

Where: Second April Galerie, Canton, OH; Twitterverse

Contact: 330.451.0924 or secondapril at sbcglobal.net for information about Second April Galerie.