Tag Archives: interview

Finding Work: Get Ahead Of The Competition

Finding Work: Get Ahead Of The Competition

It can be a difficult time when you are looking for work, especially if the roles you are going for are particularly competitive. The truth is, everyone worries when they are in this situation that they will not be good enough or that they won’t get the job that they want. As long as you are keen to focus on continually improving yourself, however, you should find that the process is not as hard as you might have thought. In this article, we are going to look at some of the essential things that you should think about doing if you want to get ahead of your competition as easily and quickly as possible. With any luck, following this advice should help you greatly in the long run, thanks to some pretty simple solutions:

Apply For More Jobs: This first piece of advice might sound too simple to be effective, but the truth is very often that those who succeed in their work efforts are those who put more work into applying for jobs. If you think about it, this makes perfect sense. After all, you need to be doing everything in your power to increase your chances of finding work, and one of the most important things in that regard is the simple act of applying for more work. The more you apply for, the more you are opening yourself up to possible chances and the more luck you will have on the whole. If you are worried that the quality of your applications is not as good as it could be, then practicing or attending resume workshops is the best way to fix that problem. Either way, applying to numerous places is always going to be a top solution for the issue.

Get Qualified In Your Field: Hopefully, you will be applying for a relatively slim area of jobs, as it is this focus which enables you to get ahead more easily. It also means that you can more easily prepare for the roles you are likely to get. What’s more, you can get qualified in the area that you are interested in so that you are a much more attractive prospect to those potential employers than your rival candidates. The more qualifications you can get in your field, the better off you will be, so make sure that you are doing everything you can to get as qualified as possible.

Do your best to ensure that you are going for qualifications which are as specific to the desired roles as possible. If you are keen to be a nurse, then look at what your local nursing schools have to offer. If you want to be a teacher, then look into getting your teaching diploma from a reputable institution. It is hard to overstate just how important the qualifications can be. Make sure that you are doing everything you can to be more qualified than your fellow candidates.



Work On Your Confidence: A lot of people have trouble with developing confidence but, the truth is, is that confidence is a skill which can be developed just like any other. If you are wanting to become a more confident person, then the first step is to realize that you have within you all of the necessary ability to do so. All you really need is a change in attitude, and then you will find that this is reflected in the outside world. To work on your confidence in the particular area of job hunting, however, it is simply a matter of practice.

Go to as many interviews as possible, treat them like practice, and you will soon be speaking and presenting yourself in a much better manner. As long as you want something enough, it is likely that you can easily work on your confidence to the point of getting it. The trick is to fake it till you make it, in that very often confidence is merely a show. With some time and patience, you can become more confident than you have ever been before.

Networking: Although you might not like the idea initially, networking actually often proves to be a very powerful way of increasing your chances of success in the world of work. As with anything else of this nature, networking takes some practice, but it can be easily achieved as long as you are happy to put the necessary effort in. With any luck, this will ensure that you massively increase your chances of landing that ideal job and beating the competition.


Networking webs!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Improve Your Chances Of Getting A Job

Improve Your Chances Of Getting A Job

So you are out of college and into the real world. Now the next step is to find a job. But in the current climate, it can be trickier than ever to secure one. There might be twenty of you all lined up for interviews, all with the same course behind you. In fact, many people are left down in the dumps when they haven’t received a job offer months after they finished college. When the competition is stiff, here is how you can improve your chances of getting a job:

Get Some Experience: One thing which can help you stand out from others is work experience. Of course, it can be hard to get experience when it means you have to work for free. Having bills to pay is no joke. But, if you can try to get a couple of weeks of work experience in a job, you will have some great new skills to talk about when you go for job interviews. And in some cases, work experience can actually lead to a full-time position if you impress your employer. Make sure you get some references from the employer and keep any work you do to put in your portfolio. It will help you infinitely when it comes to securing a new position.

Commit To A Follow Up Course: Despite the fact that you completed your course, it’s always good to consider doing a follow up course after you have finished. Doing a CE course can help you pick up extra skills that you need for the job. And, if a potential employer sees that you have had the training already, it could save them time and funds if they hire you. This might help put you a step ahead of others when going for an interview. Look into the additional courses that you could take (look online, too) to help you secure a job. Knowledge is power!

Mingle With People In The Industry: It’s also a good idea to get to know people in the industry if you are hoping to improve your chances of getting a job. Unfortunately, it’s often about who you know when landing a job. Impressing someone in the field could ensure that you are the first to know about upcoming positions. It’s time to get on platforms like LinkedIn and get to know people in the field. You can also join groups on the site and give your opinion on the latest goings in the industry. And as we said before, network in spaces where people in your industry are likely to schmooze. For example, you might want to attend trade shows and corporate events to meet people in your dream field. And name dropping people during your interview could give you a helping hand to a second interview or a full time position.

And remember to practice your interviewing skills so that you are well-rehearsed before attending the interview. Preparation is powerful in helping to shake away those pre-interview jitters!



Featured Image By: Flickr

Break The Mold, You’ll Win The Gold

Break The Mold, You’ll Win The Gold

Some people, you might be one of them, struggle to find a job or position that keeps them satisfied. Usually, this is because they are beaten to the best positions by other candidates. For instance, you might have been applying for a job as a teacher at a popular private school. Obviously, there are plenty of advantages to this type of position. The standard of teaching will be higher as well the earning level. However, there’s also a problem: Businesses like this are looking for the best, rather than average candidates. So, unless you break the mold, you’re not going to get an awesome position like this. How can you make yourself stand out to potential employers?

Give Yourself A USP (Unique Selling Proposition: Sticking with the teaching example for the moment, what makes a teacher stand out from the rest? If you look at an agency like Simply Education, you’ll see that there are plenty of opportunities for teachers on the market. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be chosen for the one that you want. You can, however, boost your chances if you have some unique skills. These days the world is a melting pot with people of different languages and cultures living together. Therefore, a bilingual teacher might certainly provide an advantage to school owners. This is just one example of a USP that will put you a cut above the rest.



Gain Some Awesome Experience: Employers always look at the experience of people who they are thinking about hiring. It’s not enough to have excellent recommendations from employers although that’s certainly a good start. You need to think about doing and pursuing experiences that make you and your resume exciting. The trick to this is not turning down unpaid positions. While they might not seem like much, they could provide exciting experiences and stories that are worth talking about in a job interview. For instance, maybe you’ve managed to rub shoulders with people who are high up in the food chain of your chosen industry. You’ll never know what possibilities await you unless you’re willing to put yourself out there.


Experience is key!

Be Independent: When you’re out on the job market, you don’t have someone to represent you and push your agenda (although it would be nice!). Instead, you need to represent yourself and make sure that people pay attention to what you can offer. The best way to do that is to work as a freelancer in whatever spare time you have. Set yourself up with cool, killer profiles online and make sure that you are a fantastic hit.


Pexels Image

Say What You Mean: It’s not always a good idea to be too outgoing at an interview. But you have to remember that businesses are trying to get an idea of who you are and what you can offer. You also need to know that they want to find out whether you’ll fit in well with the rest of their staff. That’s why it’s worth being yourself. A lot of candidates instead try and match who they think employers want them to be. Offering a little sincerity is sure to make you seem more interesting than other people.


Say it, sister

Featured Image By: Flickr

All Done!

All Done!

Hey everyone and TGIF! This week my spring semester at Tri-C finished up and I could not be happier. This semester seemed to drag on like no other, especially considering I only really enjoyed one of the classes I was taking. Despite disliking some of my courses, I still ended the semester with straight A’s for days so that was cool! Now that all of my classes are over and done with, I get a little break until the end of May when my summer classes and internship begin.

This summer I’ll be taking a course on Shakespeare, cultural anthropology, and the psychology of personality on top of my internship on campus. In fact, I just logged on to my student page a few minutes ago and saw that I have an official employee email account now so that made me feel…official. 😉 I’m excited that I’ll get to have some time off before my busy summer but I’m so amped to start my new classes and campus job that I just want it to get here now!

My time off will be well spent, though. During my little vaca, I plan on finishing all of my home interviews for a research project my job with NCI (National Core Indicators) is working on. After ten or so more interviews, I’ll be done until we start up our research again this winter. I also have lots of plans to catch up with some old friends as well as perfecting everything for my birthday party at the end of the month! Then it will be off to North Carolina for some much deserved R&R for the family. Can’t wait!

I’m pleased as punch to be All Done with my spring semester – especially with the good grades to show for it! Where are all of my college kids at? How did you fare this semester? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

John Patrick Halling

John Patrick Halling

Hellooo everyone and welcome to a very special article on lifewithlilred about an extremely talented artist that I had the pleasure of getting to know, Kent, Ohio blues musician, John Patrick Halling. I was lucky enough to sit down for a chat with John Patrick about his most recent tour, his performance style, and some of the corniest jokes you’ll ever hear in your life.

Those who frequent my page will know that I have literally no talent for music. I can’t sing, I can’t play any instruments other than three songs on the guitar, and I also have cried during every concert I’ve ever attended – but that’s neither here nor there. What I’m getting at is that I LOVE talking with musicians because they are skilled at something that I wish I could do. John Patrick was no exception. He was humble and genuine with the quick wit of a seasoned performer. Take a look at part of the interview conducted by yours truly and listen along to the songs we discuss on his website.

Our chat began with some rapid fire questions about John’s most recent two month musical excursion, his Boy in the Water US tour, so let’s get to it:

  • Lil Red: What was your favorite place you traveled to?
  • John Patrick Halling: Well I’m from Kansas City, so playing there was a lot of fun. I loved Asheville, North Carolina which was a cool little hippie city, and Boulder, Colorado too.
  • LR: What was your favorite tourist activity you did?
  • JPH: I liked trying all of the different foods and craft beers, sight seeing, and hiking! I hiked ten to twelve national parks. For two weeks of my travels I hiked from Yellowstone to the Grand Canyon.
  • LR: Favorite restaurant?
  • JPH: Oh, what was it’s name? The Mellow Mushroom. It was in the south. It was wood fired pizzas, there was a lot of vegan and vegetarian options, and a bunch of stuff on the walls…Not in the TGIFridays or Applebee’s way, in the cool way. The Mexican food in New Mexico and Arizona was also out of this world. (So jealous, mama loves Mexican food!)
  • LR: Favorite venue?
  • JPH: It was called the Purple Fiddle in Thomas, West Virginia. This place was cool because it had a hostel built into the venue where the performers could stay as well as a crowd that was pretty much built in too from all of the tourists and locals.
  • LR: Where would you like to go again?
  • JPH: Everywhere! Wyoming was beautiful and it was filled with the nicest people – they were exactly how you would picture people from Wyoming to be, in the best way possible. I am bummed that I didn’t make it out west, though.
  • LR: How many shows did you play?
  • JPH: Around thirty…I played to a few empty coffee shops. I also performed at open mics and found a few good places on the streets where I would set up shop and play. Pearl Street in Boulder was great for that and so was San Antonio and Asheville.
  • LR: How many miles did you travel?
  • JPH: I traveled 12,000 miles in two months. But 2,000 of those miles was probably me driving around not knowing where I was going. My GPS system broke down halfway through the trip so I had to buy a road map, which was actually hard to find. I had to map out my routes and rough it and if all else failed, I still had my phone! Being on the road is a glamorous thing.

jph2 jph33

^^^ Pictured above: John striking a pose in the Grand Tetons National Park in Wyoming as well as a scenic pic he snapped while driving into Kansas City.

After having a spitfire session about the Boy in the Water tour, John and I moved on to discussing his music, his style, and his future plans for his career. Please don’t think that I use the word spitfire lightly, either. All of the questions above were asked and answered in a little over five minutes. Everyone tells me that I’m a very fast talker and I met my match with John Patrick! Turn his music up and let’s move on:

  • LR: Where did the title for your album Boy in the Water come from? Are you part merman?
  • JPH: Well now the secrets out! I tried a lot of different titles but they were all basic and boring. My cousins and I are big fans of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies and in one of the opening scenes Elizabeth is standing on a boat and she sees Will Turner flailing in the ocean and she says “there’s a boy in the water”. So the album title is a tip of my cap to my family as well as whatever metaphorical symbolism it might mean.
  • LR: What was the first song you learned on the guitar?
  • JPH: “Sunshine of Your Love” by Cream and some Lynyrd Skynyrd songs. Since we’re sitting in a Starbucks, I like my coffee how I like my Eric Clapton greatest hits albums, with a little bit of Cream in it!
  • LR: I was a fan of your Hawthorne Heights reference in “If I Would’ve Known”, who are some of your musical influences?
  • JPH: Everything. Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, Hendrix. I grew up on 90’s country. I had a Rasta phase in high school where I listened to a lot of Bob Marley. I had my punk phase where I played a bunch of Blink, Simple Plan, and Green Day.
  • LR: Your lyrics are very poetic, have you always liked to write or was that a talent you didn’t know you had?
  • JPH: A little bit of both. I loved history and English classes which involved a lot of writing. I was also always a performer because I’m the middle child who was always striving for attention! I was very into theater in high school and played in quite a few different bands so I think all of these things helped develop my writing style.
  • LR: I thought it was interesting how in “Siren Song” you portrayed the devil as a woman. Is that based on a particular situation?
  • JPH: Kind of, but it also goes back to mythology in general when mermaids would sing their siren songs to tempt men. Women have always been men’s number one vice, asides from beer and cigarettes. But I also feel like I lose myself in relationships very easily. I try to change myself for the person and make myself into what they want me to be instead of finding someone who accepts me for my vices…If that makes sense.
  • LR: It makes perfect sense. Because I have a lot of fashion bloggers tuning in, how would you describe your look when you’re playing a show?
  • JPH: I wear whatever doesn’t smell. No, I’m a big hat guy, I have three or four wide brimmed Brixtons and Stetsons that I love. I also wear a lot of boots. You’ll never see me in shorts though, I’m always in jeans…I woke up like this.
  • LR: You should be a comedian if your music career falls through.
  • JPH: I actually love telling jokes on stage. Why does Peter Pan always fly? Because he never lands. That joke never gets old. It’s got a good hook to it.
  • LR: So where do you see John Patrick Halling one year from now?
  • JPH: Hopefully on the road again. I’d like to start recording a new album in January or February and be out on another tour by August. I have about ten to fifteen songs to narrow down so I’m still deciding on if it will be an album or an EP.
  • LR: And finally, does the drinking ever end in downtown Kent?
  • JPH: Not when you’re drinking with your friends!

jph44 jph55

^^^ Pictured above: Sporting a signature hat in Asheville, North Carolina and a view of the picturesque Arches National Park in Utah. (Can we just talk about how the sky in both pictures looks like something out of a story book? So amazing.)

Are you a fan of John Patrick Halling? You can reach out to him by:

  • Liking his page on Facebook
  • Following him on Twitter
  • Following him on Instagram
  • Emailing him at: johnpatrickhalling@yahoo.com

You can also listen to the album Boy in the Water on all of the following mediums:

I really can’t begin to tell you guys how much I enjoyed my time with the fantastic John Patrick Halling. The pleasure was truly all mine and I can’t wait to see him perform in the near future! Do you have any questions for John Patrick? What is your favorite song off of his album Boy in the Water? I wanna hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Monday Update: NCI Training Edition

Monday Update: NCI Training Edition

Hi everyone and happy Monday!! This past Thursday I had my training for the National Core Indicators (NCI) research project in association with the Ohio Board of Developmental Disabilities at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio…What a mouthful! I had the honor of being one of fifty out of over five hundred selected to take part in this opportunity and I was so happy to be there – even though I had to get up at 4:15 in the morning to begin my day! Let’s discuss, but first take a look at some of the responsibilities that my new job will hold by watching some or all of this video:

My day began early on Thursday morning and didn’t stop until I got home at roughly 7:30 in the evening. After I finished getting myself ready for the day, I packed some snacks, made some coffee, and then hit the road. I live in Akron, Ohio and my drive to Columbus took a little over two hours. Luckily, I began my drive early enough to account for traffic because the rush hour traffic was insane! I had to be at The Ohio State University’s McCampbell Hall by 8:30 to begin checking in and because of my early start I made it right on time.

When I got to our designated room number, I was a bit taken aback by the fact that I was easily the youngest person there. Everyone was at least thirty or older and as I learned throughout the day, all of them had some type of job in the field of service for people with developmental disabilities. Other members of the research project had children with some type of special needs and there were also some fantastic self advocates taking part in the day as well. My parents were so impressed when I told them this and I have to say, I was quite impressed with myself, too!

Our day began at 9:00 sharp and we were introduced to the responsibilities we would have as members of the NCI research project. It’s going to be our job to interview people with developmental disabilities to make sure that through the Ohio Board of Developmental Disabilities they’re receiving the best care possible. It’s also going to be our duty to report anything suspicious to make sure that there is no negligence or abuse going on.

Throughout the day we watched and analyzed the video I posted above, learned how to report possible cases of abuse, and listened to speakers such as the head of the Nisonger Center at OSU who is assisting with this project, department heads at the Ohio Board of Developmental Disabilities, and the people in charge of the NCI project. It was so cool to be able to ask questions and interact with people who are in such high esteem in the world of developmental disabilities.

My training went on until five in the afternoon and I learned so much. We went over the survey that we’ll be completing in extensive detail and I feel confident in my ability to do it well. I have a folder full of paper with the slides of the Powerpoints that we were viewing too so I can look over them whenever I need. My mom read some of them with me too because she’s a developmental pediatrician and is always hungry for more knowledge!

My day was so jam packed with information that I couldn’t even begin to cover it all in one post. All of the speakers did a great job of holding my interest because it definitely would have been easy to zone out during the day! I am so happy to take part in such an important project and I can’t wait to begin conducting my interviews throughout the next few months!

So there you have it, this week’s Monday Update: NCI Training Edition! How was everyone’s weekend? What are your plans for the holidays? I wanna hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Shameful Specimens: Kylie Jenner Edition

Shameful Specimens: Kylie Jenner Edition

Helloooo everyone and welcome to a new edition of Shameful Specimens. Usually I don’t care to put celebrities “on blast” but I hardly consider Kylie Jenner worthy of being called a celebrity, so it’s okay. I had the misfortune of stumbling upon Jenner’s disgusting photo shoot for Interview magazine and I just had to say something. Especially as someone who:

  • Has a brother with special needs
  •  Is a figure skating coach for the Special Olympics
  • Has a job interviewing people with developmental disabilities to help provide them with the best services and care possible
  • Has a mother who is a developmental pediatrician
  • Also, as someone who sees the glamorization of disabilities as severely wrong

I’m not going to post the pictures because I don’t care to, but if you haven’t seen them – just think of a blow up doll sitting in a wheelchair with a blank expression and a rigid body. Then in other pictures imagine the same thing except with Kylie’s legs lifted in a position that a wheelchair bound person more than likely can’t achieve on their own. I saw these pictures and they made me sick.

Anyone with an ounce of intelligence or sensitivity would know that these photos are offensive. These photos show a disabled person as powerless and as if to make it worse, Jenner is wearing fetish style garb which enhances this statement even more. It really is just shameful and I’m baffled as to why anyone thought that this was a good idea. Disabilities aren’t a fashion statement.

Clearly, the Jenner/Kardashian clan who never had to work for anything in their life compliments of Kim’s sex tape have never encountered anyone less than perfect, by their standards. Had they ever had one day in the real world, interacting with normal people, they would meet someone bound to a wheelchair, someone with an amputation, or a developmental disability and realize just how wrong this photo shoot is.

Get off your high horses, come down from whatever high you’re on that makes you so gassed up as to think that you can’t do anything wrong or offensive and at least apologize to a community that has a difficult time enough as is. I praise those who have voiced their distaste for this “high fashion” shoot via social media and I adore the photos that people have posted in their wheelchairs with captions such as my personal favorite, “Oh I see! When I’m in my wheelchair no one can look me in the eye but when Kylie Jenner sits in a wheelchair it’s FASHION. silly me,” from @amysgotmilk on Twitter.

Usually I bite my tongue when it comes to celebrity offenses and mishaps but I just had to take a stand on this because it really is shameful and it hits so close to home for me. Kylie Jenner, you are my Shameful Specimen of the week and I hope you grow up and mature enough to understand the severity of your little photo shoot.

So there you have it, this week’s Shameful Specimens: Kylie Jenner edition. I know I’m going to get some backlash for this and I don’t care. I can’t stand the Kardashian/Jenner family as is so let’s add some fuel to the fire. Who has seen Kylie Jenner’s Interview photo shoot? What did you think about it? I wanna hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Exciting Announcements!

Exciting Announcements!

Hellooo everyone and happy Hump Day! A few weeks ago I applied for an interviewing position for families effected by developmental disabilities. I would get to chat with the family for a half hour or so and report my findings so that they can be provided with the best services possible for them. Well, yesterday I received an email that I was one of the fifty applicants accepted out of over five hundred for the position!!

Next weekend I’ll be making a two hour trek to Columbus for a day of paid training and then I can be on my merry way with the program. It promises to be a great opportunity and I’m so excited to get started! I was so happy to have heard back from the company because I had given up hope on earning a position with them! The timing couldn’t be better, either, considering my winter break from Tri-C starts next week! It looks like homegirl won’t have to scrounge around for a short lived retail job for my month off! 🙂

You’ll notice in the title of this post that Announcement was plural, so yes, I have one more cool happenstance to share with you guys. As you know if you follow lifewithlilred, I started working for Twistfire Media last week. Things are going fantastic as you might have read from my post about it! Someone pretty special to the company also happened to stumble upon the article, as well…The president of Twistfire!!

Yesterday when I was with Kyle, I checked my email and saw that I had a new message with the subject “Blog Post”. I opened the email and saw the sweetest memo from Twistfire’s very own president thanking me for my post and also giving a shout out as a fellow redhead. I was SO surprised and proud as I read through the email and it made me even happier to start working for a media company where the founders have a genuine interest in you and your work. Thanks again, Mr. President! (And if you’d like to know more about working for Twistfire Media, you can email me at sarah.mush6794@gmail.com)

So there you have it, this week’s Exciting Announcements compliments of Lil Red! Who else has some exciting news to share? What was the best news that you’ve received this month? I wanna hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

^^^ That pretty much sums up how I’m feeling! 🙂

Nelson Morris: For The Sake Of Art

Nelson Morris: For The Sake Of Art

Hello everyone and welcome to a very special article on lifewithlilred. I had the absolute pleasure of getting to know Nelson Morris, a teacher, an artist, and now a new friend. Nelson recently had a part of his work entitled the “1000 Faces Project” featured at the Cleveland Ingenuity Festival and it is currently being displayed at the Waterloo Sculpture Garden and let me tell you, those who can make it out are in for a treat. Learning the intricacies of Nelson’s artwork was such a joy and I know I shouldn’t be saying this but I’m going to anyways…I have never been so excited to work with someone. Take a look at the interview conducted by yours truly as well as some photos of Nelson’s creations:


  • Lil Red: So the first thing everyone is obviously going to want to know about is your latest creative endeavor, the “1000 Faces Project”, so tell me more.
  • Nelson: Of course. It started when I was a student teacher in Middlefield, Ohio. My art students never wanted to do portraits, which I think comes from the social anxiety a student can often feel from the fear of making a mistake. I fought tooth and nail with them about it and one day I set up a still life of a plaster cast and the kids drew it. Something in them clicked, similar to the light bulb moment that I had during a trip to New York City to help a fellow artist. I saw so many people and all I wanted to do was draw all of their faces. This project is about diversity and the subtle facial differences that make us unique. What makes us the same? What makes us different? I wanted to find out, so I began making casts.
  • LR: Approximately how many faces have you cast?
  • N: So far I have 165.
  • LR: And you think you’re going to get to 1000?
  • N: Yes, I really do. At the Ingenuity exhibit I was set up on stage casting audience members. I casted thirty faces there and got a great response so hopefully I can keep that momentum going.
  • LR: Has it been difficult finding people willing to sit for you to get their faces cast?
  • N: Yes! The casting part is easy, it’s finding people that’s the hardest. I can transport an 1800 pound statue on my own and it’s horrible but finding people is much harder.
  • LR: How have you been finding people to plaster?
  • N: First I started by reaching out to my friends on Facebook but then I quickly ran out. I then started adding all of the people on the “people you may know” section – I sent a friend request to anyone who looked sane! That’s how I got in touch with you!
  • LR: I’m glad I look sane to you! But I do the exact same thing when I want more views on my site – a friend on Facebook is a potential viewer.
  • N: I’ve met some great people from it, too. One time I got to cast a group of fifteen people in the basement of the Fastlane bowling alley in Barberton after it closed thanks to finding the owner on Facebook.
  • LR: I didn’t even know bowling alleys had basements! What are some of the most memorable moments from all of the people you’ve casted?
  • N: I’ve had some creepy ones, that’s for sure – but I’ve also had a lot of really fun ones too…Except for the first cast that I ever did, which was on my own face. As an artist, you always experiment on yourself first, so I was home alone at my parent’s house and I stood in front of a mirror and started to cover my face in plaster. I had straws in my nose, walrus-style, so I could breathe and after about three layers of plaster I covered my eyes and did the rest by touch. This was in June and I had hay fever at the time and the straws stuck up my nose kept on bumping and tickling me and before I knew it, I felt a huge sneeze coming on. I tried to pry the cast off but it was stuck on there pretty good and for a split second I thought to myself, “great, this is how I’m going to die – with a plaster face mask on”. But I got the cast off and I survived! However, the plaster that I used originally was very rough and gritty and when I pulled the mask off some chunks of plaster got into my eyes…I spent forty-five minutes in the shower trying to wash it all out.
  • LR: The things people do for their craft. Can you tell me more about the process of creating a plaster face cast?
  • N: Well, the process was a bit messy to start because I’ve only plastered bodies, never a face. I used to use about six layers of gauze impregnated with plaster but now I’ve got it down to only one to two layers. Like I said, making the casts is the easiest part now. All you do is dip the gauze in water, squeegee it off, and slap it on the face. I’ve got the process down from a half hour to ten or fifteen minutes flat.
  • LR: What do you think the finished product is going to be like once you’ve finally cast 1000 faces?
  • N: It changes all the time. I think very architecturally though so the idea right now is to have the faces lined up next to each other, kind of like in the old underground catacombs. When they’re lined up next to each other is when you can truly compare and contrast them. I also want to incorporate audio into the project. I take recordings of the voices of everyone who I’ve plastered and I would like to make it so if you touch one of the faces you can hear the voice of the model.
  • LR: Wait what? How do you plan on doing that?
  • N: I know it sounds crazy but stay with me! I’ve played with this idea before with a life sized terracotta statue. The sound chip was solar powered so when the sun lined up just right the statue of the woman would begin to sing. But that was just for one statue – I had no idea how I would do it with hundreds of face casts. I started to ask around for help and the head engineer of 107.9 (a Cleveland radio station) told me about a processing board that might make the idea possible. I happened to find a hobby group dedicated to working on the processing boards in Akron and I emailed a member with the subject “For The Sake Of Art”. He replied and has been helping me with creating the codes and wiring to give the plaster masks voices.
  • LR: I’m so excited to see the “1000 Faces Project” in all of its concrete and audio glory. So, if you could say one thing to a young Nelson before he had a beard, what would it be?
  • N: Everything’s gonna turn out alright.

Pretty cool, huh? Not only is Nelson an artist extraordinaire, but he also teaches pre-k through 8th grade. How he has time to breathe is beyond me! He told me a great story about how on the first day of one of his classes he presented the students with a basket of one hundred pencils and a pair of bolt cutters. He cut off the eraser to every pencil because his students don’t use erasers in his classes so that they can learn how to fix their problems on their own. This goes along hand in hand with the mantra he tells his students daily: “Making a mistake isn’t a problem when you’re creating art work. You have to learn from your mistakes and adapt from them”.

Nelson is a self funded artist who creates customized pieces and will be selling replicas of the tiles seen in the pictures featured on this post. If you are interested in any of his art work old and new or have ideas for a custom piece, you can contact him at:

If you live in the Akron/Cleveland, Ohio area and are interested in having Nelson cast your face he now offers free house casting parties. If you can get five people to attend, he will come to you. But if you get ten or more people to come to the party, all of the guests will receive a free record of their face which will look something like this:


I want to thank Nelson so much for sitting down with me for a chat because it was seriously an  honor. If you have any questions for my new friend you can reach him through any of the mediums I posted above or leave me a comment to relay to him. Would you get your face plastered for the 1000 Faces Project? What do you think Nelson’s finished product is going to end up looking like? We wanna hear from all of you, so leave us a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Lil Red Reminder

Lil Red Reminder

Hi everyone and happy Thursday! I was going to save this friendly reminder post until Saturday but I have quite a bit to do today so I figured I’d keep my daily post short and sweet. What am I so busy with? Well I’m glad you asked! I have the pleasure of penning a new article for an incredibly talented artist fresh out of Ohio, Nelson Morris. His work on the “1000 Faces Project” will be on display at the Cleveland Ingenuity Festival this weekend as well as at the Waterloo Sculpture Garden. Yesterday I got to sit down over coffee with Nelson and chat away about his creative endeavors. I’d like to get a rough draft of the article done today while everything is fresh in my noggin so I don’t completely jack up describing all of the technicalities that Nelson told me about. This guy is the real deal so you’re all in for a real treat once the interview is published!

I’m not going to post Nelson’s contact info just yet but I do encourage you to show some love to the Facebook pages of yours truly, Recipe of Life, Millstone, and Daffodil Blue Photography! Please, please, please? 🙂

I don’t ask for much on the ol’ blog but I really would appreciate it if you guys took the time to give a quick “like” to any and all of these pages. Supporting local artists who use their talents to not only express themselves but relate to others is so important and I wouldn’t be doing my job properly if I didn’t showcase all of their amazing work on lifewithlilred. Thanks again!!


Alright everyone, it’s almost the weekend so hang tight for just a few more days! Does anyone have any big plans coming up? Who is one of your favorite local artists in your neck of the woods? I wanna hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah