No joke. On April 1st I’ll be on Patreon

What is Patreon? It’s a website where I can offer the video classes and blog tutorials people have been asking me to create for, well, years!

Just like back in the days of the Renaissance, the idea was to develop a way for “Patrons” to support artists not by donating money to them, but by paying them to create things that their patrons wanted.

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Fast forward to modern times. The platform is used by artists and creators (fine artists, writers, actors, musicians, etc). Basically, it’s like paying for an online class/education/entertainment but you receive it and so much more! Because instead of like a real world class where you only receive what is taught that day, you receive the class you came for and every other class I have created on Patreon, all for the same fee. If you pledge a monthly amount then you’ll always have access to all of the content for as long as you’re subscribed.

The fees are in tiers so the higher your pledge amount the more content you’ll have access to learn from for a minimum of one month if you pledge on the first of a month.

Below are the answers to questions you may have directly from my Patreon page currently under construction.


Why am I joining Patreon?
I truly enjoy sharing information. Having been self-employed in creative fields since 1997 people have (for years) asked me to create videos that clearly illustrate my creative processes. Almost as often, I’m asked to share how I became an entrepreneur and the ways I approach running my own small businesses. When I learned about Patreon I realized this is a place where I can share information on both topics. Because of the time involved in producing videos I needed a solution that would allow me to do so in a mutually beneficial way. On Patreon I can create requested content (like online classes and tutorials) for my patrons and at the same time generate a revenue stream to cover the production time/costs. I hope you’ll think that’s a win-win too.

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What am I offering my patrons?
Inspiration will be included in all endeavors because that’s just how I see life: A place to learn lessons and to embrace possibilities. Each month I will post multiple behind the scenes photos and at least two blog posts (one focusing on my art the other on entrepreneurship), and one video tutorial. I hope to have more than one video per month but since creating videos is new to me, I’d rather under-promise and over-deliver. As I become more adept at video production I’m certain I can increase the number of videos per month in the near future. Higher tiers also have rewards of Tinygami care packages shipped at the end of your subscription year.

How can you become a patron?
Just choose a pledge amount from the sidebar and click on “become a patron.” It’s a monthly subscription based fee billed on the first day of each month. Note: It is not pro-rated so if you want maximum benefits sign up on the first of a month. You’ll receive a monthly notification from Patreon as a thank you and reminder that the pledge has been charged to your account. You receive access to all content previously created as well as new content each ongoing month you are subscribed. Also, you can cancel at anytime with your request taking effect at the end of the most current month for which you’ve already received content for.


So that’s it. Just a little update, a sneak peek at what April will bring. I will be adding a Patreon link on April 1st to my website. If you have a request for a particular online class or tutorial please message me via my website or leave a comment in this post. I’ll let you know if it’s something I can do and add it to my list of future projects to create.

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A highly social recluse

That’s me. The post title is how my friend Carl once described me. It just goes to show he knows me well. I may be a bit of an oddity for being adept at both, equally. While I would be perfectly content to hide myself away in the woods in my folding studio, I find that being an entrepreneur demands I leave Greenville (from time to time) and go be amongst people.

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Obviously the 19 days I spend each year at ArtPrize is a good example of the “highly social” part. It takes me a day or two to get used to both being around so many people again and talking constantly all day long.

But now I’m also being paid to talk in other ways! It’s part of the many revenue streams now available to me as a working artist if I’m willing to get in my car, drive to a place I’ve never been before, and give a public speaking presentation or demonstration.
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For instance, I was recently hired by the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa to come be an entertainer at a party they were hosting for their guests for Chinese New Year. They set me up in a corner of the ballroom and I folded for two hours, giving away each model to a guest after asking their favorite color and if they would prefer a crane or a butterfly.

Because Traverse City is over 2 hours away from Greenville, and because I am no longer able to drive at night due to my photophobia triggering migraines (bright oncoming headlights give me headaches), I stayed overnight at the hotel as a guest. So not my usual kind of Saturday night!

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Just two days later I was back in my car to drive to Allendale for the first time. I was invited (as a working artist) to come give a one hour presentation about my 2017 ArtPrize titled “Acceptance.” The entry focused on my maternal family’s experience in a WWII Japanese American internment camp, my father’s experience as an MIA POW during the Korean War and how they overcame all of the racism and injustice they endured to be the loving people who raised me. They all chose love over hate. A timely message given the country’s current struggle to define who we are.

I met Connie Dang, the Director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs at Grand Valley State University at the Varnum Law party where I was folding and giving away Tinygamis last September. Since then she has helped me in many other ways such as making introductions and giving me guidance as I launch Tinygami. I am most grateful to her for all of the time and guidance she has given to me.

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Four days after visiting GVSU I attended my first session of “Break it Down | Make it Better” in Grand Rapids. I can best describe it as a mini, one day conference for artists, curators, and creatives. Basically anyone working within arts.

A collaborative endeavor by the city of Grand Rapids, Avenue for the Arts based in Grand Rapids, Creative Many based in Detroit, and ArtPrize the day consisted of a keynote presentation followed by three sessions with multiple tracks each attendee could choose from.

A light breakfast spread was set out upon arrival at 8:30 and lunch was served with vegetarian, vegan, and carnivorous options. I learned a lot that day, met many people, and took one step closer towards the local art community here in West Michigan.

Early Bird registration was $20. Day of was $45. It was definitely time (and money) well spent.

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In two weeks I’ll be back in Lowell on March 10th (2018) for the monthly origami folding club meetup that I host once a month. You can learn more about it on our Facebook Group or the Tinygami website. Come out and join us if you ever have the interest and the time!

I am a fulltime origami artist

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So much has changed in the past 9 months since I last posted. For one thing the studio is done. Almost. Just a few touches that will wait until spring when I can do some staining outside, or at the very least with the windows open. For now I’ve been working away creating Tinygamis each day, hosting the folding club each month, and trying to figure out how to transition from creating a business to running one that has now made the leap from a “someday” goal to happening now!

Earlier this month a video was released online that appears to have been the tipping point that I have been working towards, not just the past few years since arriving in Michigan, but really all the way back to the mid 90’s when I first became self employed.

My journey on the road of self-employment has gone through several iterations beginning first with the couture custom bridal accessories I created as “The Flirty Bride,” followed by years of custom web design and development for small business owners, before veering down my current path of miniature origami art. All of it has been part of a process in which I learned so much about being an entrepreneur and myself. For starters I learned there was so much I needed to learn. I also discovered I am far more tenacious than I ever would have given myself credit for all those years ago.

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This video by 60 Second Docs sums up where the journey has led me. A path of self discovery and finding the place where I belong. You can view it at the following links:

Facebook: https://facebook.com/60SecondDocs/videos/1900135243632631/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bes1SP5HVRu/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/60SecDocs/status/959456396205998080
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqaAfkm6X1A

A huge thank you to 60 Second Docs and their production team. I am very grateful that you were interested to produce this piece about my art and that you so perfectly encapsulated both who I am and why I fold.

Thank you also to all of you who left kind comments on the videos and sent me messages via every social media platform I have an account on and through my website! I’m sorry I haven’t been able to reply to each message personally but will do my best to catch up when things calm down a bit 🙂

Thank you also to everyone who has placed an order via my Etsy shop, hired me to speak or do demonstration folding, and to everyone who has shown interest in allowing me to share my work and/or story with them. It’s all (and everything) I ever hoped this business could become.

Two blogs instead of one

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You may or may not know that before I started the Tinygami.wordpress.com blog I used to blog over on Blogspot (aka Blogger).

My first blog was named “The Flirty Blog” after my bridal accessory business The Flirty Bride. I began posting there in 2006. Because I was leaving California in 2014 and intended to continue posting about travel and tourism I changed the name to I Found the Place. Instead, I didn’t post much at all then started the new blog instead. It’s taken a year for me to realize how much I really missed my old blog. It just wasn’t the same posting my lifestyle content here on the Tinygami blog since my art has become more than a hobby. Because of this I’ve made a somewhat drastic change…

I started posting in my original blog again just a few days ago. It was a first step. The next was to move the lifestyle content I’d posted here, over to I Found the Place. I decided the best way to do it was to copy the posts over there but leave the lead image in the original post here with a direct link to the post’s new location. My apologies if that’s confusing but from here on out I will post all art content directly into the Tinygami blog and all lifestyle content into I Found the Place.

I even updated the banner to include an origami crane and Michigan’s mitten and am consolidating the older wedding and California categories over on the sidebar to make more room for my new Michigan posts 🙂

There’s a subscription button to Feedburner just under my bio picture in the righthand sidebar. You can receive email updates every time a new post is added to the blog if you don’t want to have to go check each week.

Here’s hoping I found the solution to how to feel more motivated to blog again!

My new origami website on Squarespace

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My 10 year love affair with Dreamweaver is over. After the past year of nothing but problems since switching to the Creative Cloud* version of the program I realized I’d spent too much time on the phone with Adobe support technicians who whispered sweet nothings in my ear… Meaning suggestions of things to do, not do, delete, reinstall, troubleshoot, etc. only to be told in the end there are problems and someday they may be able to fix them. I believed them at first because love will blind you that way. I probably even believed them the second time they told me the same things because I wanted to believe them. But a year later and having spent too many wasted hours, sleepless nights, and force quitting endless crashes to occasionally be able to update an existing page I finally realized: This is never going to get better. It was time to accept this truth and move on.

So, here I am with a new Tinygami.com website for the new year! Thank you to my friend Dana for telling me about Squarespace.com. I used their click and build platform and was able to move my origami site (now full of new and project descriptions) to its new home in less than 24 hours. Awesome! Even better is the site built on Squarespace converts for mobile devices. My old site didn’t do that. StacieTamaki.com is still up as my  legacy site but if things continue to go well here I’ll be moving it to Squarespace as well.

*While I have nothing but contempt for Dreamweaver CC I do like the rest of what I’ve used on CC so far. Particularly Photoshop. I still love Photoshop. Just wanted to make sure people understood I don’t have an issue with the entire platform, just one of the two programs I used the most frequently. 

Tinygami business cards from Vistaprint

First I tried blurring out my contact info in the image for this blog post. . . But that made me look more than a little paranoid or like I was posting WikiLeaks style, as if I have something to hide.

Why go through the trouble of masking my contact info? Because I don’t want to be inundated with even more SPAM than I already receive, which is way too much! Lately I’ve been receiving not only SPAM emails but more and more tele-marketer SPAM phone calls on my cell phone. So I’ve decided the only way to protect myself is to not share my contact info on the web any more than absolutely necessary.

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Screenshots of the online proofs VistaPrint creates to allow you to see your order before your place it.

Rather than design just one card I did two. One with all of my contact info, the other with just my phone and website URL. I used Adobe Photoshop to create the card files after downloading the design template from VistaPrint’s website.

I used to order my business collateral from PsPrint in Oakland because I could drive over on my way to SF and pick up my orders to avoid shipping fees. What I’ve come to realize since moving to the Midwest is VistaPrint is more economical. Their purchase price may be higher at times (than PsPrint) but their shipping is considerably less expensive so it makes them the more economical company to work with.

I used VistaPrint to print my collateral for ArtPrize and was pleased with the quality of the postcards so I used them again to print my new business cards. I also chose their economy shipping which is half the price of their standard shipping. It means my order isn’t scheduled to arrive for 8 business days but that’s ok. I’m not in a hurry.

Very happy to finally be moving forward with launching Tinygami. My three month cancer scare really threw me off track for a bit. Now that the worst is behind me I’m doing my darndest to get focused and move forward!