Canon imageClass Laser Printer


Here is a review I’m writing for a color laser printer. I purchased a Canon imageClass Laser Jet Printer for the computer lab.41m0fuxq+el

This was a great replacement laser jet color printer for my classroom. The old one was an HP and the colors printed super dark. I’ve been using the Canon and I’d like to get one for myself. I really like how the colors print. They are vibrant and if I could just find some glossy stock that works with a laser printer I think don’t need to worry about using the inkjet printer. If I found a glossy stock for laser jet I will let you all know. If you know of a glossy stock that works with laserjets please comment!

Adult Edu, High School Lesson

Macbook PRO 2015 i7 Core, 16GB RAM, and 512GB SSD

Image result for macbook 2015

I purchased the macbook 2015 from ebay. It was a refurbished model, and I’ve been really enjoying it. I did a lot of reading of reviews. I didn’t want to purchase the newest version, because it was so costly for the SSD drive. I wanted at least 500 GB. I really wanted 1 TB, but that was going to be WAY TOO MUCH MONEY. My macbook 2015 runs pretty quickly and starts up fast. It does throttle and it gets hot. Overall I’m happy with my purchase. I love the trackpad! Feels great! I read the new macbook they were missing ports, and then issues with the keyboards. I spent $1120 for mine. It had Apple care included and I got Final Cut Pro. I will keep you posted on it continues to work.

Adult Edu, High School Lesson

Photoshop CC

Screen Shot 2019-05-10 at 9.35.21 PM

I just saw a youtube video by Brad Colbow on how Photoshop is raising their subscription rates.

I use Photoshop all of the time. Luckily I can afford the entire Creative Suite. I agree with the video content by Brad Colbow regarding how Adobe really hooked people on the lower subscription price and now they are raising their rates.

I’ve been hearing slowly that designers are trying Affinity Designer and some of their other products for their design work. I don’t think I’d be able to justify crossing over, but I’m thinking about paying for the software to try and see what it is like. At $19.99 it is reasonable, and you don’t have to do a subscription. Schools just don’t like the subscription model because they see that you have to upgrade and pay the cost every year.

I’m thinking about downloading and trying it. If anyone has tried it love to hear what they think of the software.

Adult Edu, College Lessons

Georgia Southern University Cont. Edu

Screen Shot 2019-05-03 at 9.34.34 PMI’m excited to announce I’ll be teaching a Lightroom and Photoshop course in June for the Georgia Southern University Continuing Education Program. It’s a night class that runs twice a week for 2 weeks. I love teaching the night classes and enjoy spending time with students who are older. It’s been a wonderful experience.

Here is a link to the site for my class. Introduction to Lightroom and Photoshop.

After my high school classes are over I’ll be posting what I’m working on with my Lightroom and Photoshop course. Looking forward to it.

I’m also trying to get some work together for an art show Aug 1-31. Then I’ve got a workshop that I’m going to be teaching to art teachers about art and technology. I’m very excited about everything that is going on. Then I signed up for 3 graduate classes at SCAD. I’m back to trying to get my MFA in Illustration. I’ll be posting along as I go. I also started a Youtube channel for Nancy Miller Illustration.

I finally got a custom URL for my Messy Art Teacher Youtube channel. I’ve gone past 102,000 views.  http://youtube.com/c/MessyArtTeacher

This has been all the effort I’ve been making while working full time.


Teachers Pay Teachers Tips


I’ve had a TPT store since Aug 2013. I had a son in elementary school at the time and I wanted to be able to find products I could remediate him if he was having problems understanding a concept in school.

In Jan 2019 I actually decided to take it serious and start posting my lessons.TOP


  1. TPT is viable as a side hustle for teachers. I thought that there was no way for me to compete on the site since there are so many teachers on there in 2019. The marketplace was founded in 2006. I kept having friends tell me you should sell your stuff on there. I’m one of those odd ball teachers that though I did pin things from Pinterest I liked modifying ideas and making them into my own.  In today’s world work/life balance is the buzz talk. I really don’t have much of that. LOL! I really like making stuff art or otherwise. I spent 2018-2019 recreating my own animation curriculum. It was a ton of work! I was putting in 70 hr work weeks and making everything. There are teachers that are in the boat were they need to create a new program and they don’t want to start from scratch. The trade off for buying my lessons and assessments is their time. No one really wants to work 70 hr work weeks. Now I teach graphic design and photography, so I’m adding new products in those area.
  2. Quality products. Like a grocery store there are tons of options to choose from. I think the level of quality will help you get sales. Teachers are broke and busy. I want repeat customers, so I make products that I’ve used in my classroom. I have like 4 binders of material I used for my animation pathway last year alone. Really look at your work objectively and decide if it sucks or not. Is this a time saver, and does it work with standards that teachers would teach in that content area. I spent time google searching teachers complaints about TPT products they purchased and made sure I didn’t make those mistakes.
  3. Branding. When I first started posting things on TPT I was so busy putting stuff up I didn’t really thinking about the look and branding of my products. Which is a bummer, when post 100 products and you realize you gotta go back and fix it all. I made consistent thumbnails, previews, color palette.
  4. Links. Linking to your other products and social media platforms is really helpful on TPT. I didn’t do that originally and started noticing when looking at other peoples stores that they had all those links. I keep a plan text file that has that info. I try and do that for my Youtube videos. It really is good to have a starter template to work from. Copy & Paste. That saves you a ton of time.
  5. Double Down. What does sell on your site double down on. I realized very quickly what products were selling. I then just when gang busters on creating more variations in that product. They continue to sell. I look at my sales analytics from the site. Compare and contrast. Fix what isn’t selling and see if that helps. I’ve added more content and that helped fix some of my issues.
  6. Who doesn’t like FREE! This is me personally I don’t charge for classroom management products on my site. I feel like some of my customers are new and broke teachers. The area they are probably going to be weak in will be classroom management. I got  help from other teachers and it really helped me out. I pass that along. I also provide some intro lessons for free to give people and idea of the quality of my products.
  7. Pinterest/Blogging. For me my customers mainly find me by searching on TPT. The second place they are coming from is Pinterest. I did an experiment and spent $50 on social media ads to see what worked best for getting the word out on my TPT store. The best results i got was from Pinterest. Makes sense. All of us teachers are pinning our way to success and getting ideas from other teachers. The audience is primarily educated women and it helps them create vision boards for who and what they want to be. I organize my pins on boards, and then I did ask to try and become members of some popular boards. That helps get your products out there. Make sure you follow the rules of the board. I got this info from another TPT seller. He had a youtube video on it. If you google it should come up. Blogging is another great way to improve your SEO, and I use it to provide supplementary free info for my customers. I post weekly overviews of what I’m teaching. I also post when I put a new freebie on my store. I’ll post it on the boards I’m members of. I also switched my account to a business. That way you get access to analytics and promoting your pins. I will say it took me more time to get used to how stop my ads on Pinterest. FB and Instagram are easier.This is my personal observation on why Pinterest works for TPT. The company really didn’t do as aggressive profit revenue generation in the beginning. Which to me works heavily in their favor. When I first joined never saw any ads. You felt like you weren’t being sold to all the time. FB and Instagram I can tell more of when I am getting sponsored content. FB is getting worse and worse. I rarely pay attention to the ads. In the past year the sponsored content on Pinterest has grown considerably, but because of how Pinterest is laid out and I’m seeing a whole lot of images that I’m interested in at one time with the occasional ad content it doesn’t seem as intrusive.  I mentioned the audience is primarily women and educated, so the cross over of a lot of female teachers. I am more likely to try something from Pinterest than I would from FB or Instagram.

    Their IPO went public this week. They are a company that is in the negative, but next year their revenue is projected to be $1.6 Billion from overseas revenue. I read that on money/stock site. I did purchase 2 shares.

  8. Sales Tax. Do some research or talk to someone about tax implications on TPT. They started nexus for some of the states in Jan 2019. I submit my own sales tax. The dreaded tax man, but it isn’t that bad. I made calls to my state tax center and they walked me through it. I also called my local state/county business license office. I got my license and sales tax permit. I feel better that I went ahead and did this. Being a teacher I’m not much of a rule breaker. It will also helps you to get your own business checking/savings at your local bank.
  9. Regular Products. Posting products on a regular basis will help you show up on the feed of those that are following you. It shows up on the homepage.
  10. Collaborating. I’d like to collaborate with other teachers that are blogging and Youtube. I really need to get out and DM people. It’s hard having the confidence. I’ll keep you posted on how that all works out. I’ve been doing that on FB as well with other illustrators. I’m an introvert at heart, so this is a big step for me.

Good grief this is a long post. I hope it will be helpful to teachers that want to jump into TPT. I think it is never too late.

High School Lesson, Uncategorized

Graphic Design Final Project

Above 2 student examples for logo project.

Wowser, were does the time go? I’ve been having students work on their final projects for their Graphic Design and Photography class. I’ve been thrilled with the results. I think even if they aren’t going to pursue graphic design, they see the practical nature of understand why it is important in business. I don’t have a marketing background, but I had the opportunity to work with a wonderful marketing director. I learned a lot from what she said and why she would do the things she did for the magazine. It’s great to learn from someone like that on the job.

They design their own logo for the company or personal brand. Then they are taking the logos to make business cards, stickers, and letterhead. Then they will put their logo on to 5 different pieces of swag.

We started by going over some history of logo design. Then they created a mind map for their brand. Then they created their sketches. Next it was turning their best idea into a vector image in Illustrator. They had to reproduce their set of 12 stickers, 16 business cards. Next week is letterhead and swag. I would say this unit took them a month of 44 min class sessions. Once they finish and mount everything I think it will surprise a lot of them on how good it all looks together.

I was hesitant of teaching graphic design and photography. Mainly because I hadn’t done it before in an educational setting. My professional experience has been a huge help. 10 yrs spent working as a graphic designer/illustrator. The assignments are based off of what I’ve been asked to do as a graphic designer. It’s like having to train newly hired graphic designers. I get to watch them grow and start getting good with the projects. I can tell some of the students will one day own businesses. They start planning and thinking ahead about what they would do for their identity. I really like teaching the class. I’m already starting to plan out ideas for lessons for students that come back and take more classes in graphic design.  I see product packaging design in their future. I’d also want to do more field trips for the photography. I think we’ve shot about everything I can think of in walking distance. I really enjoy teaching these classes.

Side note I also have been teaching a night drawing class at local university campus. Man, I love my adult students. They are fantastic! I love listening to them and where they are in their lives, and why they love making art! I’m going to ask them next class if I can take photos of their drawings and post them! They are already amazing artists on their own!!



High School Lesson, Uncategorized

Faking it till you make it?

I’ve been a teacher for 10 yrs now, and I know there is a small niche group of art teachers out there. Then within that group there is a subset of us teaching digital art. I realized after switching to high school last year that it was such a tough time. I had to rethink everything I was doing. I try and post and share because I know that there are other art teachers that are making the change or trying to add more digital curriculum to their lessons. It can be really overwhelming.

I also think some times it is really hard to figure out where I can I find resources to help me out with classroom management and lessons. I’ve been trying to post resources as I go along to let other teachers know we are all trying to figure things out.

That’s part of why I like teaching it is something that evolves and changes over time. Very challenging.  I also really enjoy watching my students develop their skills in graphic design. I’ve worked in the profession. I know even if they don’t ever become a graphic designer they could one day own their own business or work at a higher level within a company and have to work with a marketing department. I want them to know what you should expect from someone that says they have that expertise.

I still try and freelance graphic design/illustration on the side. What surprises me that at some point we all start out as newbies. We all have to learn by getting some professional experience. I’ve see in the professional world that people say they have the expertise and fall short. I think of it like teams sports. Someone comes along and says they are the best player in the league and the team/coach says let’s give them a shot. They fail and have no idea even how to throw the ball. It is painfully obvious that they oversold their abilities. It’s better to be honest and say “I really don’t have the experience, but I’m learning on the job.” The idea of faking till you make is really strange to me. I’ve never told a client I can do something, knowing that I can’t do it. I’ve told a client let me look into this and see, but then I’ll get back to you. I let them know that is beyond my skill level or I just don’t have the equipment. I never want to lie to client, because that wastes their time and money. I also don’t do work just because it pays. I really don’t like web designing, so I stay away from that.

In this age when things can be faked to look like something else. I should know I teach graphic design and I lean heavy on advertising. I tell my students that, I teach animation, but I’ve never worked in that industry. I let them know that as a fact. I say I don’t know let me get back to you on that instead making something up. I also say have you Googled it?

Technology related pathways are constantly evolving and changing. There are updates getting pushed out every other week on software. New software companies are emerging to compete with current software. It’s a lot for to keep up with. I feel like as education continues the students need to have that motivation to learn on their own, because many times there might not be a simple path from A to B that is clearly defined that you can learn from a textbook and teacher. Sometimes getting in there, try different ways, making honest mistakes, and doing the work is the best learning experience.