Things I have learnt in 7 years as a graphic designer

learnt01.jpg

I can't actually believe this but from this January I have been working as a graphic designer for 7 years! I guess my experience extends a bit longer too as I was doing freelance work before that when I was at university. Anyway, that is a pretty long time and so I thought it might be fun to share some of the lessons that I have learnt in that time. So here goes...

1. Only present ideas you are happy with. Otherwise you can guarantee the client will choose the one you don't like - so it's best to not even let that be an option. Yes you probably won't like all of your ideas equally - but at least if they are all strong then you won't resent having to work on and develop them further. 

2. Come up with a good way of filing your work. Now this is something that I have not always been great at and am still working on improving, but we don't only have to deal with organising our physical possessions anymore, we now have to keep our digital possessions organised too, and there is often a lot! With your work you want to be able to find old and current work as quickly as possible. Name your files sensibly and also come up with a folder system to keep it all organised. Do this from the start and you will thank yourself down the line when you need to find old files from a client who wants an update.

3. Keep old rejected ideas. They might be useful for other projects in the future. This has worked in my favour a few times and has saved time and has meant that I have been able to re-use and re-purpose designs that I really liked and are appropriate for another project again. The ideas are yours and so you are totally entitled to use them again - but you probably need to be a bit sensitive about it depending on who the clients are. 

4. Communication is key. A lot can get lost over email - phone calls and meeting face to face are often better if possible. I have definitely learnt this recently. Often people don't love talking on the phone and it's a lot more effort to meet the client in person - but honestly nothing beats being able to present your ideas face to face and for the client to see your enthusiasm and be able to ask questions there and then. You can also get a much clearer idea about what they feel about them.

5. Don't charge an hourly rate but a total amount for the project. So this was something that I only really started to consider recently after reading quite a few different articles about it. The main idea that really struck me was that as you improve and gain more experience as a designer you will work faster. This means that unless you are increasing your hourly rate regularly you will actually be earning less the more experienced you get when people should be paying more for that experience. For me, with some clients it is just not appropriate to charge a fee for the whole project (and if they are the sort of clients that make lots of amends it can be helpful to charge hourly) - but I am going to try and do this as often as I can in the future. 

6. Knowing when to fight for your ideas and when not to. Often working with a really good client makes the end result even better. They bring ideas and feedback that are really helpful and constructive. Sometimes the client doesn't always know what's best though and in those instances you need to decide when to fight for your ideas. Part of it is about educating the client about the process but also you have to remember that you are the professional designer and that you have insight and experience that they might not have and there might be things they have not considered or thought about. It's always important to be polite and respectful and most often than not they will really appreciate your feedback and ideas and will really take them on board. I think that is when a client/designer works really well - when there is mutual respect and trust so that can share your different ideas and work well together. 

Are you designer? Do you have any other lessons to add that have helped you? I would love to hear them if you do. If you are not a designer I hope you found this an interesting insight into working as a designer. A lot of these lessons I think would be pretty relevant to other jobs too. 

Find me on Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest / Etsy

Inspired by Abbey Lossing

I noticed the other day that all my 'inspired by' posts seem to be illustrators. I guess maybe it is because people are hardly ever just one thing anymore - designers are illustrators too - illustrators are amazing photographers - photographers are designers etc etc - there are just so many overlaps within creative disciplines. Anyway, it seems I tend to be drawn to share illustrations here - but in the future I might try to consciously mix it up a bit. 

Today I am totally inspired by the illustrations of Abbey Lossing. She has such a great sense of colour and I really love the palettes that she chooses for her illustrations. There is something simple but really captivating about the characters she draws and you can't help but smile when you look at them (well I can't anyway!).

She seems to have a great sense of humour, (a talented illustrator who is genuinely funny is a great combination!) which is evident in her animated gif's - they also engender feelings of endearment towards the characters in them and contain witty observations about life that we can probably all identify with! 

Check out her site too because where there is so much more of her amazing work. It was really hard to pick out a few pieces to share. She also has a shop where you can buy a couple of prints. I love it when the work of artists and creatives that I admire is available to buy so affordably. 

Hope you have a creative and inspiring week!

Find me on Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest / Etsy

New Year in Cornwall

Liz Mosley - Cornwall

I am always a little bit suspicious of New Year - there is always so much potential for it to be an anti-climax. So I have learnt in recent years to make sure I have something planned with people I love pretty far in advance. This year turned out to be pretty much perfect! 

We went to Cornwall for a weekend and stayed in the most beautiful cosy cottage in a little village called Stratton. The weather wasn't great but we still managed to get out to do things and who cares when you can snuggle up on the sofa in front of the fire reading a book watching the others do a jigsaw (haha when I was a kid that would have all sounded so boring to me, but now it is just pure relaxation!). 

Liz Mosley - Cornwall
Liz Mosley - Cornwall
Liz Mosley - Cornwall
Liz Mosley - Cornwall

It really was such a chilled few days and when we got back to London all I could think about was being back there, not needing to be anywhere, reading, and eating yummy food with some of my favourite friends. 

Some of the highlights were
1. A cinema outing to the most amazing little village cinema called Rebel cinema.
2. Drinks and pool at the local pub around the corner while desperately trying to connect to wifi.
3. Crazy golf in the cold and rain and not coming last (!!!) then on a hot chocolate mission to warm up.
4. Fish and Chips at Rick Steins.
5. Exploring Bude, Padstow and Boscastle
6. Windy walks on the beach
7. Heading to the end of the sea wall to watch the fireworks over Bude and welcome in 2016

Liz Mosley - Cornwall
Liz Mosley - Cornwall
Liz Mosley - Cornwall
Liz Mosley - Cornwall

It sounds like we actually did a lot but really it was the perfect amount in the time we had. I tried to carry the chilled vibes into the start of this year, I have been taking things easier and I feel like for the first time in my life I have learnt some really good lessons in self care and coming up with little rituals and routines that make me feel relaxed even in the crazy busyness that is London. I am appreciating our little snug house more than ever and going to bed early with a book is what I crave right now. 

How ever you are finding to cope I hope you are enjoying January and are finding ways to relax and rest! Have a great weekend! 

Find me on Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest / Etsy

 

Moodboard Monday

I think because its winter and we have been dreaming about future holidays I am kind of longing for spring and greenery. I just want lots of green things in my life right now. We have been gradually adding some bits of greenery around our house (and trying not to kill them) - but I still want to add more. Also, from my green Pinterest scrolling I have noticed that green seems to work so well in interior decorating. Check out this all green house! We have a green wall in our house and now I want more! Also this green door is a beauty!

For today's Moodboard Monday I am sharing a bit of a green themed moodboard of things I have been gravitating towards on Pinterest recently. 

Hope you all have a lovely and inspired week!

Find me on Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest / Etsy

Goals for 2016

Liz Mosley 2016 Goals

Business Goals

1. Start a sketch book for experimenting.
This one could probably go in the personal or business goals but I have decided to put it in the business goals as I think it will have a huge benefit on my work. I hardly spend any time just doodling and playing with things that are not necessarily going to turn into something. I think working and experimenting without the pressure of a final product will be such a positive and inspiring habit to get into. I also just miss having a sketchbook - something that I am not precious about - that I can make a mess in. If it works out, I am excited about sharing some of it on the blog as it will be a bit of a behind the scenes look at the creative process.

2. Start an email newsletter. 
So, as I mentioned in my last post this is a goal that has been transferred over from the 2015 list to the 2016 list. Ideally I was hoping that newsletters would be weekly or fortnightly at least but I think to be realistic I am going to try and start off doing monthly newsletters (hopefully that will seem less scary and get the ball rolling), and then see how things go from there. I have started putting together a template in mailchimp and have used mailchimp quite a bit before so hopefully it won't take too long to get the first newsletter sorted. 

3. Re-photograph all of the stock for the shop and edit down products.
Although the way my products look and have been photographed has improved A LOT since I first started my Etsy shop there is still a lot I would like to improve about them. I want to take some time to really thoughtfully plan out how I want to present my products and take photographs that do the products justice but that also work well together to give the shop a cohesive look and style. I think I am going to have to work on my styling skills for this one and think of fun and interesting ways to make the products look their best. I also want to get rid of any products in the shop that I am not 100% happy with and make room for new designs. 

4. Define the mission and purpose of my business
My business has quite a few different aspects to it but this year I really want to come up with a clear purpose and vision for the business. I think this will really help when making decisions about what projects to pursue and work on, and which to let go as they don't fit in with my purpose. Tangibly, I want to come up with a statement that really sums up what I do and what I am passionate about. This will be something that can be on the website so that people are even clearer on what I am all about, but also something that I can keep referring to and being inspired by as I try and grow and push the business forward. 

 

Personal Goals

1. Learn to make Macarons.
My love for Macarons only really developed in the last few years. I think before I just thought they were over-rated but then I had some amazing ones and now I am hooked. Some friends of mine have made them and they came out so good. I have never been able to attempt them as our oven was soooo bad at heating evenly but now we have a brand spanking new oven I am going to give it a go. 

2. Learn to make my own candles.
I have done a little bit of candle making when I was a kid and it was really fun. Again my love for candles has seriously grown over the last few years and so I have always thought it would be great to make my own for me to use but also for gifts for friends and family who I know love candles too. Once I saw this Instagram from Siobhan I felt more determined than ever. This WILL be the year that I do it. 

3. Make more time to read and do things that don't involve looking at a screen.
My reading list is seriously long - when I am at home and tired I find myself lying on the sofa just automatically scrolling on my phone - it's not really anything of worth that I am looking at, I'm just stuffing my brain full of things for the sake of it. I am going to try and use this time to read a magazine or book instead. I think it is going to be a habit that takes a long time to change but I am determined to work on it!

4. Eat less sugar.
Ok I will be totally honest I don't think I will ever be the sort of person who can cut out sugar completely - but I have realised recently that I have not been making the healthiest of choices when it comes to food. I want to have treats for sure, I just want to cut down on how often they happen! (I used to joke with my husband that my life was just one big treat - because I constantly seemed to be saying the words 'I am just going to treat myself'). I also want to get creative and find healthier and tastier options to replace the daily chocolate bar. (just realised how contradictory this is with the first personal goal! ha)

Blog posts about peoples goals are some of my favourites (they are always so inspiring and I find they encourage and motivate me). So if you have shared your goals I would love to read them! Share them below.  

Find me on Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest / Etsy

Looking back on 2015

IMG_9235.JPG

Last summer I put together some really concrete goals that I wanted to work on for my small business. So I thought I would do a little re-cap and let you know how I got on with all of them. Here is the original post if you want to check it out. 

1. Set up a shop on my own website
Yes! I finally managed to do this. I was really glad that I had this set up before Christmas. I haven't closed my Etsy shop and will still leave it there for now, but I'll focus more on promoting the shop on my website. I think it will take a while and will be slow growing but I am looking forward to adding more products to it and improving how it looks and works. 

2. Start an email newsletter
This one I totally failed on. I think if I'm honest I have been trying to do too many things and so this was just another ball to juggle that would've required a lot of work. I am frustrated with myself for not doing this and think I need to take my own advice about just getting started from my post earlier in the week, but this will definitely be on my goal list for 2016 and hopefully it will be achieved this year! I would love to be able to offer special discounts and behind the scenes updates to my regular followers.

3. Get organised for Christmas
I think there will always, always be room for improvement on this one but I was pleased that I managed to get two packs of Christmas cards up in the shop. It was still a bit touch and go getting them up in plenty of time and I feel like each year I am learning about timings when it comes to greetings cards. I want to try and be even more organised with it in 2016. 

4. Add more stock to the shop
One of my frustrations, as ever, is not being able to add as many new products to the shop as I would like to and I will need to think about what is realistic on this front in the coming year. I definitely didn't add as much stock as I would have liked in 2015 but I think I need to manage my expectations about what is realistic with all the other things that I have to balance. I also want to re-think which products I keep in stock too. Some I am really pleased with and some not so much, so I guess it will be a constant process of editing and refining. 

5. Sell my stuff at a market/fair
I think this was the achieved goal that I was most pleased with in 2015. I applied for markets not really sure if I would even get accepted. I ended up doing 3 markets between October and Christmas and it was such a learning experience and really valuable. The sales were good and I made more than I expected (except I did go with very low expectations! Ha) - but what I really loved was meeting customers in person and seeing people interact with my work. It made me so happy when people would pick up a card and laugh or smile at it. It was a really good reminder as to why I love to do what I do. If you have a small biz and haven't done any markets yet I would totally recommend it. I shared a post here with some info about doing your first craft fair and things to think about. 

I feel really happy with how I have pushed my business forward last year. I feel like things really have grown and developed and although I didn't achieve everything I set out to I achieved a lot of what I wanted to. I know there are still so many areas that I want to improve in and develop further and so I am looking forward to 2016 and moving forward in this little adventure of mine. I will be sharing my goals for 2016 in the next few days so come back and check that out. 

Thank you so much for all your support and following along with my creative journey here on the blog. After a bit of rest and taking it easy I am finally feeling excited and inspired about the year ahead and everything to come. 

Find me on Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest / Etsy

 

Just get started

Oh boy - I have started writing this post so many times - I don't know what is wrong with me but at the end of last year with everything going on, life, work, the shop, selling at craft fairs, I just sort of fell out of the habit of blogging regularly. This has been probably the longest accidental break from blogging that I have had for a while, but when the New Year came round I just found it so hard to get stuck back in again. I can't really put my finger on why to be honest, maybe a lack of inspiration and ideas, maybe a creative rut, maybe too many other things to think about - but I have missed it, the routine and structure and a space to be creative in a different way.  I guess it just got to the point where I had to make a start. So here it is. I am back. I am making a fresh start.

This is going to be a pretty short post - I am just easing back in but I just wanted to mention that there is a MEGA sale going on in the shop at the moment. Seriously, most things are 50% off and there are so many bargains. It ends on the 16th January so you still have a few days to get involved - and some things once they are gone will be gone forever. 

I will be back later in the week with my goals for this year. I have quite a lot of them buzzing around my head so I think I need to think them through and make sure they are not totally unrealistic. 

I would also like to do a post reflecting back on my goals last year and how I got on with them. It is always encouraging to look back and see how far you have actually come even if you don't manage to achieve everything. 

I hope January hasn't been too blue for you and you are looking forward to the year ahead! Also, if you have written posts with your goals in I would love to read them! Just post a link in the comments below!

Find me on Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest / Etsy

Inspired by Aisha Zeijpveld

A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to go to one of the days at the Offset London conference. I had been to one of the Offset conferences in Dublin quite a few years ago and was excited that they were putting something on in London. 

There were lots of inspiring talks from different creatives throughout the day but I think the major highlights for me were Erik Kessels and Seb Lester. Someone new to me who's work really blew me away though (I have kept thinking about it since) was Aisha Zeijpveld

She is an Amsterdam based photographer and you might not necessarily know it from looking at her photographs but there is so much work that goes into them. I have lots of friends who are photographers and I know that it's not a case of just pointing and shooting - there is lots of planning, research, styling and technical skill that goes into each shot. But Aisha's work just took things to a whole different level. The way she works seems very experimental and sometimes looking at the images you just can't know all the different layers and processes that she has gone through to get the final outcome. 

I think this is why her talk really stood out to me because it was really fun to see the behind the scenes of how she works. The image below for example hasn't been photoshops. Portraits were taken and then parts of the image where cut away and light shined through to get the halo effect. 

Again, you might think that the below was photoshopped but actually it was a case of genuinely throwing things at this guys face to get the perfect shot. I think what is quite exciting (and risky I guess) is that you don't always know how it is going to turn out - or how long it will take to get something that works and is just right. 

Quite a lot of her work involves various stages of photography. A photograph might be taken and then printed, ripped and manipulated and then photographed again. It gives them such a deep and beautiful quality that I think would get lost in photoshop. I think the image below is really beautiful and was for an editorial piece to illustrate back pain. 

 I would really recommend checking out Aisha's website to see more of her beautiful work. There is such a distinct style and beautiful quality to her images. It is always amazing to discovered an artist and to be inspired and mesmerised by their work. 

I hope you all have an inspired Thursday! 

Find me on Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest / Etsy

Shop independent this Christmas

One thing that I love about the internet is how easy it is these days to sell things online - as a result there are so many creative talents selling beautiful products. I love starting my Christmas shopping early and feeling organised and on top of it all - I think part of it is because I just love buying gifts and thinking about what my friends and family will enjoy. 

In recent years obviously being a small business owner myself I feel more and more passionate about supporting small businesses and shopping from 'independent' places as much as possible.

I am gathering quite a nice little collection of independent shops online and so I thought I would share them in case you are like-minded and want to start ticking things off the list in preparation for Christmas. All of these shops I have featured below are also all UK based because lets support local while we are at it hey!

So lets dive right in...

The Pattern Guild - A friend brought me a pencil case from these guys and I use it constantly and love it. The patterns are beautiful and the products are handmade and really quality! 

The Pattern Guild - A friend brought me a pencil case from these guys and I use it constantly and love it. The patterns are beautiful and the products are handmade and really quality! 

Wild and Fawn - Simple but striking jewellery is where it is at. I have a beautiful ring from Wild and Fawn but also have my eye on the necklace above. Great for your stylish friends.

Wild and Fawn - Simple but striking jewellery is where it is at. I have a beautiful ring from Wild and Fawn but also have my eye on the necklace above. Great for your stylish friends.

Pluck'd Designs - What I love about these hats is they are super stylish but also reflective! They are handmade and beautiful quality and would make such a great gift.

Pluck'd Designs - What I love about these hats is they are super stylish but also reflective! They are handmade and beautiful quality and would make such a great gift.

Clement and Claude - I have got really into candles recently and so was really excited to discover these guys at a Crafty Fox market. I bought a couple and the scents were perfect!

Clement and Claude - I have got really into candles recently and so was really excited to discover these guys at a Crafty Fox market. I bought a couple and the scents were perfect!

Esme Winters - I have the most beautiful patterned journal from these guys. Great for stationery lovers and also for getting your wrapping paper to make your presents look top notch!

Esme Winters - I have the most beautiful patterned journal from these guys. Great for stationery lovers and also for getting your wrapping paper to make your presents look top notch!

Dianne Tanner - I have the clutch above and I absolutely adore it. I love Dianne's products because they are quirky and different and you won't find anything like it anywhere else. 

Dianne Tanner - I have the clutch above and I absolutely adore it. I love Dianne's products because they are quirky and different and you won't find anything like it anywhere else. 

Basil and Ford - These guys have really fun bright typographic prints that would look great in any house! They also have a glow in the dark print which is pretty cool! 

Basil and Ford - These guys have really fun bright typographic prints that would look great in any house! They also have a glow in the dark print which is pretty cool! 

Geo-Fleur - Everyone is crazy for succulents and plants these days - these guys have such beautiful and affordable planters that would be ace gifts and add a stylish twist to home decor! 

Geo-Fleur - Everyone is crazy for succulents and plants these days - these guys have such beautiful and affordable planters that would be ace gifts and add a stylish twist to home decor! 

Above are a few of my current favourites that I have featured but there are also some old favourites that I always like to go back to and check out - so here are a few more links for you to peruse at your leisure:

Oh my clumsy heart
Chloe Vaux
Prickle Press
Lucie Ellen

Also, don't forget to check out my shop for paper goodies that would make great stocking fillers or that would be beautiful additions to your friends walls. 

Happy Shopping! 

Find me on Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest / Etsy

New Shop Launch

Liz Mosley - New Shop

One of my goals for this year was to launch my shop on my own website - and I am so happy to share with you today that it is a reality! It is live, and just in time for Christmas too. For a while you will see a little announcement bar at the top of the website telling you that the new shop has launched. You will still be able to buy things from my Etsy shop too if that is your preference but from now on I will be promoting this shop.

There are still so many things I want to change and improve about my website and I am gradually working towards that, making changes one step at a time so keep your eyes out for those down the line. 

Another thing that I am excited about is that my Christmas cards are up in the shop too! I went through lots of doodles and ideas before I was happy with these and I love how they have turned out. They are available in packs of 8 and you get 2 of each design. They are printed on really nice thick 325gsm uncoated card and come with kraft envelopes. I am going to be sending out an email newsletter to my subscribers at the weekend with a discount code for the new shop so sign up for that below if you want to save on your shopping. 

Liz Mosley Christmas Cards
LizMosley_Xmascard01.jpg
LizMosley_Xmascard03.jpg

Hope you are all having lovely week.

Find me on Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest / Etsy



Handlettering in October

Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 09.10.55.png
Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 09.09.30.png
Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 09.11.09.png
Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 09.09.43.png
Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 09.12.08.png

It is the end of October (!!!) and so in my mind the Christmas preparations are going to start soon. Sorry if you hate me for saying that, but I like to have plenty of time to think about present ideas and plan out what I need to do. In November I am going to share some gift ideas and will be launching my own Christmas card designs very soon so keep your eyes peeled for that. 

Here is this month's handlettering offerings. I snuck in a black on white one for a bit of a change but I think I prefer the white on black to be honest. 

I am struggling a bit with blogging at the moment and keeping up with it all, but I still really enjoy it and so am going to keep plodding on. I have had a few ideas for being more time effective with how I create content so hopefully that will help. I am always trying to think of ideas to improve and get better.

Hope you are all having inspired and creative weeks. 

Find me on Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest / Etsy

Colour study and a free desktop download

Do you remember a couple of weeks ago I shared these colour palettes inspired by photographs I had taken at Kew Gardens. Well I decided to take one of them and use it as inspiration for lettering. I decided to go with the most Autumnal colour palette and a quote about Autumn. 

What do you think? I really like these colours together. While I was playing around I also decided to whip up a couple of desktop screens for you all to brighten up your computer backgrounds with and to get you in the mood for Autumn. Download the leaves here and the quote one here.  

I do generally love Autumn and all the amazing colours - but coming out of work at 5 and it being completely dark pretty much sucks. Oh well - will make sure that I enjoy the bits that count. 

Hope your weeks are off to a great start! 

Find me on Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest 


a collection of sunsets

So not only am I trying to de-clutter and sort out all my physical possessions but I also need to tackle my digital possessions. This is something I need to get on top of pronto or it is going to get even more overwhelming and out of control! In particular I need to come up with a good way of organising and storing my images (if anyone has any amazing systems they would like to share I am all ears!) Anyway enough of that, while going through lots of old images I discovered that I had accumulated quite a little collection of sunset images over the years (I think some of these are over 10 years old!). I really do love a good sunset. I think it is one of the most beautiful things in the world and the colours just blow me away. God seriously is an artist and I love that he creates things like sunsets that are so beautiful they take our breath away. 

This last photo was me and a friend - lying on the top of a mountain (hmm maybe hill) that we had climbed and we just lay in the grass and watched the sunset over us. It was pretty amazing. 

It is often frustrating photographing sunsets because they never come out as good as in real life (and some times I think its better to not even bother trying and just enjoy them - not everything has to be photographed right?).

Anyway I hope you enjoyed this little bit of sunset inspiration for a Friday and have lovely weekends planned. 

Today I am going to be selling my wares (from 10-5) at The Green Room Cafe in Stoke Newington. If that is your hood stop by and come and say hey! I have really enjoying selling my stuff at markets and meeting customers and making new friends. 

Find me on Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest 

 

Book Review: Hand Job

Ha so don't let the title of this book deceive you! If you are a lover of hand lettering and illustrated type then this is the book for you! I have always been a big fan of Mike Perry's work so when I found out he had put together a book about hand lettering I had to check it out and I was not disappointed. 

Hand Job is set up alphabetically and is a catalogue of loads of amazing creatives with examples of their work. I love discovering new people's work and it has information about them and their websites so you can go and explore even more beyond the book. Saying that the book is jammed packed and it has plenty to get you inspired and get your creative juices flowing. 

One thing I love about it is although it is all hand drawn type there is just such a variety of styles and techniques. The lettering is often shown in real life situations on products, printed items, t-shirts etc. The work is also interspersed with photographs of the artists' work spaces in some places. I LOVE that...it is always nice to get a peek into the creative spaces that people work in. 

This book is full of colour and creativity on every page and just really makes me want to get all of my pens out and start doodling and writing things. I think I say this in every post on here...but I really need to work harder at creating work just to experiment and for the joy of it rather than for anything in particular...and who knows where it might lead. 

This book is thick and chunky and jammed packed. If you like doodles, lettering, typography, colour and illustration then this book is the book for you! 

Hope you are all having weeks full of creativity! 

Find me on Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest 

 

Colour inspiration from Kew Gardens

The other weekend we had family staying and the weather was really good so we decided to head off to Kew Gardens for a picnic and explore, which did not disappoint. There was just so many beautiful things to see and I loved it. I hadn't been since I was really young but I definitely want to go again soon. I think each season is quite different at Kew so it will be fun to go at different times of the year to see how the plants have changed. 

Anyway, as I was looking through all of the photos that I had taken I was really struck by the incredible colours. I am always on the hunt for interesting and beautiful colour palettes to use in my work so I thought it would be interesting to take some of my photos and put together some colour palettes from them. 

colours.jpg
colours2.jpg
colours3.jpg
colours4.jpg
colours5.jpg
colours6.jpg

I really enjoyed using these images as inspiration for colours and really like how some of the colour palettes came out. They are definitely the sort of thing that I would use in my work. I think what I might do over the next few weeks is pick one of these images each week and then create a bit of work using the colours that I chose. I will definitely share them here. I will probably experiment with some patterns and some hand lettering. 

I have been thinking recently that I want to create work that isn't for anything in particular but that is just about experimenting and having fun. 

Hope you are enjoying all the Autumn colours around at the moment. Happy Wednesday!

Find me on Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest 


Tips for your first craft fair

7623F388-B687-46CB-B036-CC03F4CC7AC4.jpg
6983839F-E590-410C-A4CD-7EC33D120C57.jpg

Guys I mentioned it enough times on here for you to probably have worked out that on Sunday I was selling at Crafty Fox Market in Brixton. One of my goals this year was to sell my products in person at a craft fair and I am so glad I achieved it. 

It was a really great day and I loved meeting so many customers in person and also other makers who I had been friends with online for a while but not met in real life yet. 

Whilst it is still all fresh in my mind I thought I would get everything written up and share a whole load of tips for doing your first craft fair (or some tips might be handy for old seasoned pro's). Some of these things were tips that people shared with me before the event (thank you so much!) and some are things I worked out and learnt on the day. 

Packing list - For peace of mind work out way in advance of the event everything that you need to take and then as you are getting everything packed and ready you can just tick off the list and feel confident you haven't forgotten everything. I did have a dream (nightmare!) the other day where I turned up and had forgotten everything. 

Phone/device charger - I decided to get this for the market but I think it will probably be handy for so many life events too. There are loads of different makes and styles of these but I decided to go for an Anker one which would charge my phone 6 times over. If you are doing a craft fair and have a smart phone with a crappy battery then this is a must! ESPECIALLY if you are taking card payments using your phone. You don't want your phone to die and then not be able to use the card reader/take photos/book a taxi etc. 

Card Reader - I debated about whether to take one or not as I didn't know whether I would be doing a lot of craft fairs in the future, and I didn't really want to shell out £70/£80 for one - so I decided to go for iZettle as they have a card reader you can get for free. They take a 2.75% cut (or lower depending on the volume of your sales) which seemed reasonable to me. I was so impressed with this. I didn't use it loads as a lot of people came prepared with cash and people don't tend to buy a greetings card using a card, but I did use it a couple of times for larger sales and I think it was totally worth getting. It was so easy to set up and really easy to use on the day and it felt really good to know that I wouldn't lose out on any sales due to not having one. 

Box of tricks - This is a box that you fill with things like masking tape, packing tape, paper clips, safety pins, string, glue, pegs - anything that could come in handy when putting your stall together. Having all of this stuff made me feel so much better even though I didn't need to use most of it. You never know though when you are going to need to tape/peg/pin something in place. 

Suitcase - I pulled out the biggest suitcase we had and filled it with everything. When you are selling notebooks, prints and cards that thing got heavy quickly - luckily for me the venue was only a very short taxi ride away so it wasn't too bad getting the suitcase there. It was a bit tight squeezing the suitcase under the table but it worked out fine and if you have a bigger table then this wouldn't be an issue at all and is a great place to store it. I had all of my extra stock in there too so I could just duck under the table and get things whenever I needed to stock up cards or prints. 

Attitude and mood - I tried really hard to stand up behind my stall as much as possible (rather than sitting down and pretty much disappearing behind the card stand) and to smile and look as friendly as possible. I want to be friendly and open to chatting but also not pushy so that if people wanted to just browse the stall without any pressure to buy they could totally do that to. It was a hard balance to get but I think your mood and attitude at these events is really important. I really think that people who are shopping probably subconsciously pick it up, and if you look sulky and like you don't want to be there that is not going to make them want to come over and chat about your work. 

Biz cards - Not everyone will necessarily want to buy things on the day. I have definitely gone to markets before where I wasn't ready to make a decision but took away biz cards/postcards and checked them out again online later. I think it is sooo important for people to have something they can take away. Get more than you think you will need printed. People who pick them up might turn into customers later on. 

Table cloth - It totally depends what kind of look you want for your stall and some people didn't use table cloths and it worked well but I decided to get a really big one so that it covered all sides of the table so that people couldn't see all the stuff I had stored underneath. Zoe suggested getting a cotton dust sheet which was one of the best tips I was given. I got one from a local paint shop - it was £7 was totally massive and will cover all sorts of size tables in the future and I really liked the material. 

Practice your stall - I wish I had done this earlier on (but wasn't ready) but I am SO glad that I practiced my stall beforehand. I set everything up as I was planning to on the day. It was really helpful to take some time to think as a customer and work out the best way of presenting everything, labelling everything and how much to put out. I did actually slightly change it around on the day because of lights reflecting on my prints and things and what looked best but I think as I had a practice it saved a lot of time and was just a case of tweaking things rather than starting from scratch.

Stock - I don't think anyone will ever be able to give a clear answer on this as there are so many variables but before I went I really struggled with knowing how much stock to take. I erred on too much rather than too little as I knew I had another craft fair coming up in a few weeks and so would be able to take left over stock to that too. I am glad I did as my stall looked full and well stocked all day long. 

Take food - I don't know about you but I am super grumpy when I haven't eaten and I wanted to be totally on top of my game so that I had lots of energy and was friendly and alert when customers came past. My lovely husband was around for the day and he brought me a yummy sandwich, chocolate and diet coke to keep me going. If you don't have someone with you who you can send out to get treats then I would definitely recommend bringing a packed lunch. Also another tip, make it something that you can eat over a long period of time (it took me two hours to eat one sandwich), and also that doesn't look totally gross to eat - I had to keep ducking down to grab a bite of my sandwich behind the stall because no one wants to see that. 

Anyway I hope if you have a market coming up or if you have been thinking about doing one then this is helpful. I had such a great day and feel like It was such a good experience. I am looking forward to my next market already which will be on Friday 16th and the Green Room Cafe in Stoke Newington. If you are free come and pop by, it would be lovely to meet you. 

Find me on Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest 



A notebook giveaway

notebooks01.jpg

Hi, my name is Liz and I have a notebook addiction. It is a bit of a problem really, I seriously can't get enough of them. I have quite a collection at home, and some of them are so pretty that I can't bear to use them. Crazy huh! I also can't seem to give gifts to my friends without there being a notebook in there. So eventually me designing some of my own just had to happen. 

I am so excited that I will be selling these at the Crafty Fox Market on Sunday - and then next week I will aim to get them up in the shop

notebooks02.jpg

In these photographs are only the A5 notebooks but there are also a couple of little A6 ones too which would be super handy to have in your bag for quick notes and lists and things. Also did you noticed the inked polka dot insides. I love that bit! The notebooks all have blank pages inside. 

So anyway here is the exciting bit. I have decided to give a few of them away! In the next couple of weeks I am going to be sending out my very first newsletter (eek!) - Everyone who signs up to the newsletter in the box below will have their name entered and I will pick two names at random to win a set of the two A5 notebooks. I will email the winners on Monday (5th October).

Also, in case you were in any doubt here is a great article about why you should carry a notebook with you everywhere

Hope you all have a great weekend and if you don't have plans on Sunday come and visit Crafty Fox and say hey! I would love to meet you in person!

Find me on Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest / Etsy

 

An evening at the London Graphic Centre

LGC_02 copy copy.jpg

The London Graphic Centre has been one of my favourite shops for the longest time and I have been shopping there ever since I was an art student (it is actually freaking me out how long ago that was now!). Whenever I would visit London I would pop in and I got myself a really nice portfolio folder from there to go around to all my interviews when I graduated. 

I am now lucky enough to work pretty nearby, so I can pop in on a lunch hour or after work and browse all the paints, inks and pens and try not to spend ALL OF MY MONEY!

Anyway last week they hosted an evening for creative bloggers to pop along and see what they were up to. I jumped at the chance and the evening did not disappoint. 

Not only was it awesome to meet some of the other lovely creative bloggers that I have been following online for ages but never met in real life (and guess what - they were totally lovely in real life), but I also got to wander around the store after hours and drool over everything and also play with some new products and partake in a bit of colouring in. 

The London Graphic Centre have events planned in the next few months for things like halloween and Christmas but an exciting one that is coming up is student day on the 6th October. If you are an art student you need to get yourselves down there because not only will there be lots of fun activities, food items (art supplies and food is a totally winning combo in my book) - but you will also be able to get a 15% discount and this goodie bag jam packed with useful art supplies. They gave me one of the goodie bags to check out and it is seriously so generous. Check out some of the things you can get your hands on....

LGC_04.jpg

How cool is that Freitag card wallet! Anyway if you are an art student totally get yourself over to London Graphic Centre next Tuesday, and thanks to all the staff at LGC for organising such a great evening. 

Hope you are all have a lovely week!

Find me on Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest / Etsy

Things I am loving at Crafty Fox

Guys I have probably mentioned it enough on Twitter but just in case you haven't heard, this Sunday I am going to be selling my cards, prints and notebooks at Crafty Fox Market. I have been wanting to sell my stuff at a market for a while now (see my goals earlier in the year) and I am so glad that Crafty Fox is going to be my first one. 

The market (which I have been to before as a punter) is going to be at the Dogstar in Brixton, which is a pub that gets transformed for the weekend. The bar is still open though so you can pick up a beverage while you wander around taking everything in. If you are free I would absolutely love for you to come visit and say hi. There are so many amazing creative people selling their stuff there it should be ace. 

In the spirit of all that, instead of doing a 'things I am loving on Etsy' post I thought I would do a 'things I am loving at Crafty Fox' instead, and share some of the stalls I am excited about visiting (haha if I can convince my husband to man the stall for a bit while I sneak off and spend money!)

These are just a few I have my eye on but check out everyone who is selling here

IMG_0181_1024x1024.JPG

Prickle Press - I have been following Rachel online for a while, so I am looking forward to meeting her in person and also checking out her lovely cards. I totally love letterpress so will be good to stock up on greetings cards!

il_fullxfull.511168097_8ml1.jpg

Lucie Ellen - I bought the necklace pictured a while ago for myself (and also got some other colours for friends) and I love it, so am thinking about buying some more jewellery from her to add to my collection. They are really beautiful simple wooden items and work well with so many different outfits. 

db3638_032e261f39fb4e1199b100f530d7bd3b.jpg_srb_p_659_660_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.jpg

Clement and Claude - I hadn't heard of these guys but their soy wax candles look awesome! I love a good candle and so am totally planning to snag myself one of these. The scents sounds really good too if the website is anything to go by! Wild plum sounds perfect for Autumn and as things get colder around here will definitely need to up my candle game. 

il_fullxfull.821145590_fup9.jpg

Natalie Strachan Ceramics - Another definite Autumn plan is drinking lots of hot chocolate and this mug would be perfect for that. I am really excited to check out Natalie's ceramics and maybe find some nice choice items for our new kitchen that is being installed soon (!!). 

Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 12.59.09.png

Dr Designs - I got myself some succulent babies recently and so I really fancy one of these concrete plant pots to make them look pretty and to make a bit of a feature of them. I think concrete can be so stylish when used in interiors. 

Anyway I hope this has whet your appetite a bit. Come visit and see all of these lovely things and meet of all the creative people who make them in real life! Real life is where it is at! Ha! 

Find me on Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest / Etsy

How to deal with rejection as a creative biz owner

I don't think people running a small business talk about rejection all that often - I know I don't. It's the sort of thing you don't really want to shout about as I guess it makes you appear as a 'failure' and we naturally worry that it might make our business look bad. I guess that might be true and although I am not going to talk about specifics I do want to share some thoughts on rejection today. I experienced it recently (and it could be anything from not winning a job, not getting a stall at a market you wanted to sell at, not being featured somewhere etc) and it knocked me a little bit and my natural reaction was to let it get me down and make me doubt and question myself. I wanted to think about it a little deeper though and try and look at it from a more positive perspective. I came up with three points to keep reminding myself of that actually really helped so I thought it would be good to share! 

1. Your worth is not tied up in your creative business and work.
I think this is hard to remember because so much of our identities are tied up in our 'career' and what we do but even if your business/creative activities stopped tomorrow you would still have worth as a human being and something to offer to the world. Although it would be hard, your creativity and your work is not the only important and valuable thing about you. It really helps me to be reminded of this, and even if everything doesn't work out with my small business and even if it isn't considered a 'success' it won't have been a waste because I have, and am learning a lot, and I still have something to offer. 

2. Everyone has to deal with it - even the people who you think are 'successful'
It is always really encouraging to me when people who I class as 'successful' in this industry open up about their journey and often you realise that it hasn't been smooth or quick for them, it is often slow and difficult, full of ups and down and has involved a lot of hard work. Everybody has to deal with rejection and things not going exactly how they planned and so I find it helpful to remember that this is normal. I work in a creative industry and that is full of subjectivity. Not everyone is going to like my work or want to buy what I make and that is ok - and that is the same for other wildly successful businesses too. It would be pretty sad if we all had the same taste and liked the exact same things. Recently I have made friends with other people doing similar things to me but who are maybe further along on the journey and they have been so generous sharing the behind the scenes to me, and opening up about struggles they have had. It really does make it easier to remember that failure and rejection is part of the process and everyone goes through it. 

3. Keep going and get better at what you do
A lot of people don't deal well with rejection (understandably) but they let it defeat them and give up. Sometimes it is right to call it a day and change direction but a lot of the time you just need to keep going - and get better, learn from your mistakes, try again, work out what you can do different next time and grow a better and stronger business as a result. I am really trying to do this...and when I have thoughts of giving up I remember that there are ups and downs and that I just need to keep going and try harder. 

I often get into bad thought patterns and things spiral a bit out of control, so having these three things to remember and keep reminding myself of has really helped and encouraged me. Do you have any ways of dealing with rejection? I would love to hear if you do.

I hope you all have a great Friday and a lovely weekend!

Find me on Instagram / Twitter / Pinterest / Etsy