Yorkshire Lavender

Yorkshire Lavender - Liz Mosley

At the weekend we were visiting NM's family up North. His Mum had mentioned ages ago that there were some lavender fields near where they lived and to me that just sounded incredible. So since we were up at the right time of year we decided to go and check it out - I was not disappointed! It was completely stunning, not only was all the lavender and flowers beautiful but the views across the countryside were amazing too. I think on days like these I am just in awe of God's creativity and don't think I could ever believe that things like this beautiful just appeared by accident. 

Yorkshire Lavender - Liz Mosley

Anyway as you would expect I took so many photographs (these are just a small selection). I am saving up for a new camera at the moment so actually took all of these on my iphone but I am pretty pleased with how they came out. I shared the above picture on instagram and it had the most likes I have ever had for a photograph! ha. 

Yorkshire Lavender - Liz Mosley
Yorkshire Lavender - Liz Mosley
Yorkshire Lavender - Liz Mosley
Yorkshire Lavender - Liz Mosley
Yorkshire Lavender - Liz Mosley

There was also a really lovely tea room and we had a yummy lunch there after our exploring. 

I was really impressed with this place. It was free to get in, there was a lovely little shop, the food in the cafe was really good and there were some amazing views. The place isn't huge so I would say 1-2 hours would be plenty to explore. If you are in this neck of the woods at the right time of year I would seriously recommend checking it out. 

Afterwards we went and explored Beningbrough Hall - I wanted to go after seeing these photographs by the lovely Rhianne. We had a great time there too but I will save those pics for another post. 

I had a bit of a rubbish week last week, nothing major, just not been feeling myself and feeling a bit down, but a three day weekend in the countryside seriously did me the world of good! Sometimes a change of scenery and a bit of extra headspace is all that is needed to sort me out. 

Happy Tuesday!

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Book Review: Things I have learned in my life so far

Sagmeister Book Review - Liz Mosley

I am back with another book review for you today. This book is called ‘Things I have learned in my life so far’ and is by the graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister. Sagmeister is a Austrian graphic designer based in New York and I have known about him for a long time and been a big admirer of his work. 

Sagmeister Book Review - Liz Mosley

Now this isn’t a design book that you would traditionally expect. The book is made up of a set of zine like booklets which slot into a cover with Sagmeister’s face on and full of holes (I like the fact that if you position the zines in a different order it totally changes the look of the cover - and I'm sure that was part of the plan). Each booklet tackles one or two of the things ‘learnt’ by Sagmeister and each one is very visual and full of bright, rich typography and design work, but also includes small essays to go alongside the ‘lessons’.

I think initially I thought this book was quite self-indulgent but actually reading through it Sagmeister really does have so many interesting stories to tell and share.  

Sagmeister Book Review - Liz Mosley

Something I have heard Sagmeister talk about before and which is mentioned a lot in the book (and is really the catalyst for the work in this book) - is when he decided to take a year off from client work, to see what happened to his work when he didn’t have any briefs to work within. I suppose to a lot of designers this would seem like the ultimate luxury - just creating work for yourself, and it is so interesting to get glimpses of how Sagmeister used this time and the work that came about as a result when he started taking on clients again. 

The list of ‘lessons’ come from a list he hurridly wrote in his diary on his year long sabbatical, which were then incorporated into client work later down the line.  

Sagmeister Book Review - Liz Mosley
Sagmeister Book Review - Liz Mosley

I think something I always admire and find interesting about Sagmeister is his commitment to his work and the levels he is willing to go to, and take risks for it. There have been many instances of him doing crazy things to his body for a piece of design, like this poster with the typography razor bladed into his torso. Reading about the interesting projects that he has worked on and the lengths that he goes to, to create work inspires me and gets me excited about being a designer. Design is about having something to say and a message to share, and often we are sharing a message of the client but Sagmeister does have something to say, he has wisdom to share and that comes out through his work and his words. 

His life lessons are insightful and actually come from a lot of experience which he back up with anecdotes from his life. They seem honest rather than just a list of lessons that he thought would sound good or even look good typographically.  

Sagmeister Book Review - Liz Mosley
Sagmeister Book Review - Liz Mosley
Sagmeister Book Review - Liz Mosley

Sagmeister is a designer to take notice of, to learn from and be inspired by. He says in his opening essay that this is a design book that is not aimed at designers and I think that is a fair assessment - I would recommend this book to anyone even if they weren’t a designer…But if you are interested in design and glimpses into the life of a prolific designer I would recommend this book even more. 

Personally, I think I get stuck in a rut of only doing client work and not just creating for the joy of it, taking the risk that it might look rubbish and not work. I play it safe - but reading through these stories from Sagmeister has made me realise how important it is to experiment, how it helps you to improve as a designer, and it impacts on your work down the line. If you are feeling stale creatively (which I actually was when I read through it recently) then get this book pronto! 

I hope you all have a lovely weekend. We are in York and Bradford this weekend visiting family and I’m feeling happy to be out of the city and having a bit of a break.  

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Summer goals for my business

Summer Goals - Liz Mosley

I like thinking up goals and plans for my business in January when I am feeling all excited about the potential for the new year, but in the summer I always seem to get the urge to sit down and take stock of where I have got to and also come up with some new goals (or remind myself about ones created in January that I still want to complete). Although I have a bit less time to spend on the business having gone back to full time work for a few months, my brain is whizzing with ideas and plans for what I want to achieve. 

I thought for accountability and also transparency that I would just write these things down and give you a bit of an idea of what I have planned and what I am working towards in the second half of 2015. 

Set up a shop on my own website
I love Etsy and it has been a great start for my little business but I am feeling eager to get the shop up and running on my own website. I am in the process of moving things over and also adding new products. I am not sure what the exact launch date will be but I will keep you posted!

Start an email newsletter
I have been umming and ahhing about this one for a while. I have read/listened to lots of people going on about how you must have a newsletter. I can see the positives, but need to really sit down and spend some time thinking about how it would work. Anyway, I have decided to launch it in October. It will probably be some behind the scenes stuff, exclusive discount codes for the shop and maybe some free printables and downloads that are not available on the website. If you are keen to sign up and see what happens then there is a box in the banner on the right of this blog - it will probably start off being just once a month or fortnightly so no spamming for sure. 

Get organised for Christmas
I know, I know, sorry for mentioning the C word...but if you run a shop, especially if you design cards this is the reality...designing Christmas cards in August. I have got a plan for what I want to do cards wise this year so I need to get on it and make it a reality. I want to have designed and printed the cards in plenty of time to photograph them get them up in the shop and also start promoting them, rather than them being a bit of mad rush after thought! (ahem...a bit like last year). I feel glad that I am learning and getting a bit more organised year on year though.

Add more stock to the shop
I think I will always be frustrated on this one...that I just never have as much time as I would like to design more products. I was hoping to be able to add things to the shop almost weekly but let's be honest that was not realistic. But I am going to try and have a big push over the next few months and make the ideas floating around in my head an actual reality. 

Sell my stuff at market/fair
Eek this has been on my goal list for a while and to be honest I am not sure it will happen this year...I think I probably don't have a big enough range of stock yet..but I am going to keep working towards this goal even if it happens in 2016 rather than this year. 

Do you have any goals that you are working towards for the second half of the year? I would love to hear them! 

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My insta faves (part 5)

So I say this every time but I seriously do love putting these posts together. So now I am onto part 5 (you can check out one, two, three and four). As usual I have put together some of the people who I enjoy following and who inspire me on good old Instagram. 

@takecourageblog - I only discovered this blog (and Instagram) recently and I love Cat's feed. She is a lawyer in London and full of creativity and fun. Lots of beautifully colourful shots and creative ideas. 

@takecourageblog - I only discovered this blog (and Instagram) recently and I love Cat's feed. She is a lawyer in London and full of creativity and fun. Lots of beautifully colourful shots and creative ideas. 

@ettrumtill - Katrina is editor of Elle decoration in Sweden so it is no surprise that this feed is choc full of beautiful interiors. 

@ettrumtill - Katrina is editor of Elle decoration in Sweden so it is no surprise that this feed is choc full of beautiful interiors. 


@urbanxkoi - I don't think I have ever seen a feed so coheasive when it comes to this one. I think I actually gasped when I saw it - the images are seriously beautiful and she is based in NY so I couldn't not follow along. 

@urbanxkoi - I don't think I have ever seen a feed so coheasive when it comes to this one. I think I actually gasped when I saw it - the images are seriously beautiful and she is based in NY so I couldn't not follow along. 

@samphireandseasalt - Rebecca makes country life look seriously appealing and I am a full on city girl! Beautiful and thoughtful images. 

@samphireandseasalt - Rebecca makes country life look seriously appealing and I am a full on city girl! Beautiful and thoughtful images. 


@anabuho - Beautiful scenery and quirkly little moments this feed is fun and refreshing. Makes me want to go on lots of adventures.

@anabuho - Beautiful scenery and quirkly little moments this feed is fun and refreshing. Makes me want to go on lots of adventures.

@thislittlelion - If you scroll down the feed a bit you'll love the beautiful winter scenery! Lots of lovely images here.

@thislittlelion - If you scroll down the feed a bit you'll love the beautiful winter scenery! Lots of lovely images here.


@aprilmorns - This feed is dreamy and broody all rolled into one! Scrolling through it looks like snippets from a film.

@aprilmorns - This feed is dreamy and broody all rolled into one! Scrolling through it looks like snippets from a film.

@emilievancamp - Bright fresh shots that just make you long for wide open spaces! I would say that a word that sums up this feed is 'peaceful'.

@emilievancamp - Bright fresh shots that just make you long for wide open spaces! I would say that a word that sums up this feed is 'peaceful'.

Hope you enjoy all of these recommendations and have a lovely and inspired weekend. 

In other news if you could spare a few minutes to fill in my reader survey that is on the blog I would be forever grateful!

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Reader Survey 2015

Guys I have been thinking for a while that it would be pretty interesting to do a reader survey. I have really noticed that since January onwards, as I have been blogging a lot more consistently, engagement and readership has increased, which is great! As much as I write this blog for my own enjoyment and as a creative endeavour that I find inspiration from - you, my lovely readers are pretty key in the whole process. As I work on the blog and develop the content and try and work out what is working and what maybe isn't, it would be so useful to know a bit more about who is reading it and also your thoughts on what you enjoy and what you don't. I know there are a lot of areas that I can improve on, and I am really enjoying that process, so your answers to these questions I've put together will really help me to work out how to do that more effectively and how to grow in the right direction. 

You can find the form below and it really would mean the world to me if you would take five minutes out of your day to answer these questions (seriously you can see how grateful I am - my arms are open wide to give you a hug in the picture above! Haha such a silly photo but it made me laugh!).

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I hope you all have a lovely Wednesday!

(photo above taken by Samee Lapham)

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Summer party/BBQ printable

Summer party printable Liz Mosley

I haven't done a printable for a while as we were away last month but I am back to it with a summery edition. I have been day dreaming about some gatherings in the park and BBQ's in our back garden and thought about how fun it would be to send out actual physical invites. People don't do that sort of thing as much anymore but how excited would you be to get one of these invites in the post. Anyway I did two versions depending on what sort of gathering or party you were having. All you need to do is download them HERE - print out, cut out, fill in the gaps and then find a suitable matching envelope! 

summer party printable Liz Mosley
summer party printable Liz Mosley
summer party printable Liz Mosley

These invites are for personal use and must not be re-distributed or used for financial gain. 

Hope you all have a great Friday and weekend. We are celebrating birthdays and hanging out with friends - hopefully lots of time in the park! 

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A week in Boston

Liz Mosley Boston

After our jam packed few days in New York we headed on a bus to Boston. Our week there was much more chilled than NY and we were staying with some lovely family friends. We were staying in the South End of Boston which is a seriously nice neighbourhood. 

We had a lot of fun wandering around exploring the cute little independent shops (like Olives and Grace who I had been following on Instagram for a while) along with deli's and cafes. We did have a little bit of a culture shock with some of our shopping experiences. I guess we must be 'reserved' Brits because we found some of the staff in various shops pretty full on - they certainly know how to do the hard sell!

Liz Mosley Boston

Because we didn't cram in quite as many things each day as we'd done in New York I've decided not to do a day by day account but rather share what we got up to under different headings. If you have a trip planned to Boston I would seriously suggest trying these places out!

PLACES WE ATE
Coppa - This little Italian restaurant had great reviews. We went there for drinks and nibbles one afternoon and sat out on the sidewalk (see how American I have got?). The arancini and boquerones were pretty spectacular. 

The Beehive - We went here on the first night we arrived and it was so much fun! Except I got ID'd at the bar and nearly wasn't allowed in as I didn't have it with me! They had a great band playing live jazz -  which was totally the sort of jazz I love and the delicious cocktails were a winner in my book!

South End Food Trucks (SOWA) - I think food trucks are one of my favourite ways to experience great food. I just love the relaxed vibe. We were lucky that while we were visiting one of the car parks in the South End was overtaken with loads of great food trucks! I know we do have some but I hope food trucks become more of a thing in the UK.

Liz Mosley Boston

DeLux Cafe - This was a great local place with a relaxed and friendly vibe and fun kitch decor. 

Legal Sea Foods - Great seafood is a given in Boston and this place did great clam chowder! Lots of other yummy seafood on offer too. 

Union Oyster House - We didn't go this time, but if you are into oysters you should go and sit at the oyster bar and eat them here! It's super popular but such a fun vibe.

Mikes City Diner - If you want a proper American breakfast full of eggs, pancakes, grits etc and frankly more than you could ever eat then Mikes is the place to go - it is a proper traditional American diner and such a fun experience. 

PLACES WE VISITED/WANDERED
Beacon Hill -
This is a historic neighbourhood in Boston, full of beautiful houses and is a lovely area to wander around, with lots of cobbled side streets and huge brownstones. Definitely worth wandering around and seeing if you can sneak a peek in some of the windows. 

Liz Mosley Boston
Liz Mosley Boston

Marshfield - We also spent a couple of days at the beach about an hour south of Boston reading, taking long walks on the beach, eating yummy food and generally just relaxing. We lucked out with the weather those two days and got a little bit of a sun tan. I decided to brave the water and went for a quick swim - and I mean REALLY quick...it was soooo freakin cold, I think I lasted about 3 minutes. 
 

Liz Mosley Marshfield
Liz Mosley Marshfield

Boston Common - one thing I love about Boston is how walkable it is. You can explore so much of the city by foot. On one of the days we walked all around the centre including Boston Common which is a beautiful park and also the fairly new Rose Kennedy walkway. The city, in my opinion seems to have a great mix of high rise buildings and interesting architecture interspersed with lots of green space. 

Liz Mosley Boston
Liz Mosley Boston
IMG_7258.JPG
Liz Mosley Boston

Harvard - Just a short train ride away we visited the beautiful grounds of Harvard. It has such a great atmosphere and is just like you have seen in all the films. Beautiful buildings and it was fun watching lots of students and their parents being taken around on tours. 

Liz Mosley Harvard
Liz Mosley Harvard

Institute of Contemporary Art - I think this is one of my favourite galleries in the world. It is not huge but it's the perfect size for me based on the amount of time I like to spend in a gallery. It is an interesting building with incredible views over the waterfront and in the summer they have gigs and all kinds of interesting things going on in their outdoor space, over the years I have seen some great exhibitions here (One time I visited there was a Shepard Fairey exhibition that was amazing!) . This time sadly half the exhibition space was closed but I still really enjoyed looking around the exhibition that was there. 

PLACES WE SHOPPED
We didn't really do much shopping on this trip but we did visit a few cute places while we were wandering around. Olives and Grace is a cute little shop in the South End with super friendly staff. Newbury Street is a really nice place to go shopping, lots of high end shops and also lots of chains that we have in the UK. We also visited Davids Tea. We are not that big into tea but if you are then this is the place to go...you can get all sorts of loose tea here - more types than you can ever imagine - only go in if you are willing to sniff almost every type of tea they have though before buying anything. Also just wandering around the South End you will find lots of cute little boutiques and quirky shops. Definitely worth exploring. 

If you have any plans to visit Boston I hope these recommendations help and if you don't, totally add it to your travel wishlist! We had such an amazing time and now I am itching for more travel adventures. We will probably have to wait until next year and after quite a few city breaks since we have been married we are thinking somewhere more remote for our next trip and maybe somewhere in the UK

I hope you're all having a great Tuesday and have lots of summer adventures planned! 

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life lately

Liz Mosley by Samee Lapham

I thought I would do a little post today with a bit of a catch up on how things have been going. Since February I have been working 4 days a week at my job and then one day a week (and some evenings and weekends), I have been focusing on my own freelance work and my shop. It has been great and I have enjoyed it so much. I have been managing to juggle my job, the blog, the shop and freelance pretty well. I have been getting enquiries and jobs from new clients and it really feels like my business has been growing. 

Anyway part of the deal with me working 4 days at my job, was that over the summer when things get busy at work I would go back to 5 days, so that is what will be happening for the next 3 months. I have decided to try and be realistic about what this is going to mean and as a result I have decided to go down to posting two times a week instead of three. This will start from next week, and I will probably post on Tuesdays and Fridays. Then in October I plan to go back to posting 3 days a week again. 

I would love to get some feedback from you my lovely readers about what you like and what you don't on this blog, because although I blog because I love it and find it a great creative outlet, let's be honest I am hoping that people are reading and enjoying what I post. I think in the next couple of weeks I will put together a little bit of a survey, which should hopefully help me think about my content and how to develop and grow my little business over the summer. 

I am also planning to start a newsletter which will include discount codes for the shop and extra content and free downloads that are not available to anybody else. This probably won't start until October but I have put a sign up box in the right-hand menu of this blog, so if you are interested feel free to sign up now so that you are all ready for some inbox fun in the autumn!  

Ok I have waffled on long enough - I just wanted to end by sharing a little summer discount code for the shop. If you use the code SUMMERSUN you will get 15% off everything in the shop for the next two weeks. If there is something you have had your eye on now is the time to nab it! 

Hope you are looking after yourselves in this mini heatwave and have a lovely Wednesday! 

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(photo by Samee Lapham

Inspired by Chuck Close

When we visited the MET in New York last month they had a piece by Chuck Close and it reminded me that he really is one of my all time favourite artists. I have been so fascinated by him and inspired by his work ever since I was in school. Here are some of his paintings that are my favourites, but there really is nothing like seeing them up close and personal! I am alway in awe of photorealist painters because I admire the skill required so much. As his paintings are larger than life they are so impressive and I love when you can get close and see each tiny brush stroke, but from far away it looks just like a photograph. 

I think one of the things I find so interesting about Chuck Close is how he has overcome adversity and where many may have given up he did not and found new ways to paint despite his limitations. You can read more about it here but basically he suffered from a seizure which left him paralysed from the neck down. He relies on a wheelchair and continued to paint with a brush strapped onto his wrist with tape. He continued doing portraits and creates them by painting low resolution grid squares - which when put together make the portrait. I find these painting just as impressive as his photorealistic paintings even though they are very different.

I found this quote by Close a little while ago about inspiration and thought it was so wise and spot on. Sometimes we just need to turn up and keep doing the work rather than waiting for a bolt of inspiration to hit us. This really helps me on days when I am not feeling it. Just turning up and doing the work is so important. 

The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who’ll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work.

If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to do an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself.

Things occur to you. If you’re sitting around trying to dream up a great idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction.

Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that’s almost never the case.
— Chuck Close

If you ever get a chance to see Close's work in the flesh I would highly recommend it. Although I am not a painter I just find his work and his journey so inspiring. 

Hope you all have a great Monday!

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places I would like to visit in the UK

I don't know if it is just because we have just got back from holiday so I am automatically thinking about the next adventure, but recently I have been thinking about places that I would like to explore that are a bit closer to home in the UK. I think I always forget how many incredible places there are on this little island to check out. I don't think we will do another holiday this year now...but if we do these are a few places in the UK that are on my list to check out. I think also after doing quite a lot of city trips we are both craving something a bit more remote and scenic (there are still a few cities on here though - we can't help ourselves!). 

The Lake District 
This is a place that I am kind of surprised I haven't been to yet but after seeing Siobhan's pictures from her trip there it is firmly on my list of places that I want to explore. The scenery just looks so beautiful. I can totally imagine staying in a cute cottage and going for long walks and watching films and reading in the evenings. The image below is one of Siobhan's

Edinburgh
A city that I feel like I have read a lot about and heard lots of amazing things about but have just never managed to spend any time there.....yet. I drove through it once and the architecture did look beautiful. Image found here.

Scottish Highlands
The photo below was taken by Josh Brine. Doesn't it just look out of this world stunning. I love the thought of hiking through these wild and rugged hills and then snuggling up with a good book in the evenings. 


Cornwall
Ok so Cornwall is a big place but I would love to do a bit of a road trip (maybe in a camper van?) and explore loads of the beautiful beaches, villages and towns. I spent 3 years studying in Falmouth and it was a pretty beautiful place to hang out. I haven't been back for years but I think NM would love it. Click image to see original source. 

Oxford
Oxford is where my parents used to live and where they met, and they did take me a couple of times when I was a kid but it was such a long time ago that I would love to go back and explore. The architecture and history is just so interesting. The photo below is by Ella Masters.

Cambridge
Another beautiful historic town not too far away from London. I fancy a trip here too. I think we could probably do it in a day which would be a fun outing in the summer. Click on the image to head to original source.

Are there any other places that you think I should add to my list? I am definitely hoping to tick off a few of these over the next couple of years and see more of what the UK has to offer! We explored Corfe Castle earlier in the year and I really enjoyed it. 

We are off on a quick road trip to Devon this weekend for the wedding of some lovelies. I hope you all have a great weekend whatever you are up to! 

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handlettering // June

Liz Mosley - handlettering
Liz Mosley - handlettering
Liz Mosley - handlettering
Liz Mosley - handlettering
Liz Mosley - handlettering
Liz Mosley - handlettering

Can you believe it is the end of June - I reckon this summer is going to whizz right by. I have been trying to keep up with handlettering and here are a few of this month's offerings. I usually post them on my instagram so you can follow along with them there. I have been sticking with the white on black but I feel like I need to push myself and try something different so I might branch out a bit and try some other things. 

You can see more of my hand lettering stuff in my Etsy shop, I have been working on some commissions recently so if you have a quote or phrase that you love and that you would like handlettered feel free to get in touch for a quote! 

Hope you all have a great day!

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The Design Process

I have been thinking a bit recently about how I can do posts on this blog that are more helpful to people and inspiring and that actually help people learn. I guess design is what I know most about so maybe I will start a series about design with advice and tips etc. Today I want to share something with you that I remember being taught at University while studying graphic design and it was something that was really drilled into us regularly > the design process. 

At uni we had to show really clear evidence of each stage in all of our projects. I think now I use it slightly differently as I don't necessarily have that intense accountability (and assessment!) over my process and I probably spend different amounts of time on the various sections than I used to.

I still think it is a really great way to structure the way you work if you are a designer (and to make sure you don't miss out any of the important stages) and so I thought it would be worth sharing here for a reminder to myself as much as anything. I think this process isn't really limited to graphic designers either and would be useful to people working in any creative role. I hope you find it helpful! 

Identifying needs
This is the bit where you really get into the nitty gritty of what is needed for a project. In a commercial project this is where you work out exactly what the client wants and needs. Sometimes what the client wants and what they need can be quite different. It can be your job to be an investigator to get to the bottom of it all. You need to ask the right questions, give your opinion and use your expertise and then come to a decision with the client about what the brief should be. Some people have a questionnaire that they get clients to fill in to help them think about all the various aspects of the job they are commissioning. This can be a great idea and save you work later on if everything is clear from the beginning, sometimes though I am not sure a 'fit all' questionnaire will do the trick and a bit more hand holding on your part is needed. 

Information gathering
This is the time to get busy researching. To start off with you will need to find out and learn as much as possible about your client and the industry that they are in. Depending on what that is you will probably need to find out who their competitors are and what they are doing. The internet seriously makes doing research so easy and it is usually pretty easy to find out what other companies are up to when it comes to their design and campaigns. 

Analysis
This is the point where you take stock of everything you have found so far. You can start refining your brief. Often clients will want to do something similar to their competitors and stay safe but sometimes it is your job to push them and challenge them and encourage them to break out of the mould and do something new and fresh that will stand out from the pack. This is usually a scary prospect for a client so it is great to really develop their trust in you as the whole process goes on. 

Idea generation
This is the time to just let loose and come up with loads of ideas. At the beginning of this phase I just like to get down as many ideas as possible however crazy and unlikely they may seem. Part of being a creative is making connections and so often ideas can spark other ideas. After I have got everything down and out of my head and pushed it as far as I feel I can, it is good to take a break and come back to it again a day or so later. I think people (and me too) don't often totally realise the value of letting a problem percolate in your brain. It sort of hangs out there in the back of your mind while you do other things and often new ideas and connections hit you when you least expect it. When I am working on ideas for a client I usually want to present them with a few different routes to get their feedback on the initial ideas stage. The number can vary from client to client and project to project but I would say about 3 or 4 initial ideas are a good place to start. These don't have to be final designs, just enough for the client to get a good feel for what you are proposing. Getting feedback from these initial concepts can really help your client and you understand better what they like/don't like and what they are looking for. 

Design Proposal
This is where you refine your ideas and narrow down your final designs. This will often involve a bit of to-ing and fro-ing between you and the clients and it might involve quite a few iterations before the design can be finalised. It is quite likely that you and your client will have different opinions about elements of the design and it is helpful to think through which things you think are important to fight for and which are not. It is good to remember that you are the professional and the expert and you do have expertise to bring to the table that can help your client get the best solution possible. If you are fighting for some part of your design it is good to be respectful and explain your thoughts with good reasons that are backed up with research and your experience. Clients will often really respect that and take on board what you have to offer. I think sometimes as designers it is easy to give up and just make every change and suggestion that the client gives but this can sometimes be a bit soul destroying especially if you feel like it really detracts from the integrity of the design.
 

Evaluation
Now it is time to look back on all the work you have done and evaluate whether it has been successful. Have you achieved what you set out to? Did you fulfil all the 'needs' that were identified in the first stage? The evaluation can look different depending on the client and the project, but maybe you were creating a campaign to encourage more sign ups to a newsletter - in that instance the evaluation could take place over a period of time and would be assessed on how much sign up numbers increase. Maybe you created an infographic to help people understand some statistics better. In this situation it might be possible to ask for feedback from the audience. Either way it is good not to just walk away from a project and wash your hands of it immediately after it is delivered. Find out how things are working, learn from things that could be done better in the future, the evaluation stage is a great place to make sure you are gaining experience and learning lessons that will make you a better designer in the future. 

I think often as a designer client work can be frustrating because you don't have the freedom to just design everything exactly how you would like and you have to take into consideration the clients opinions and ideas. Though I think when the design/client relationship works really well, the working together and compromising element of the process can often create even better results than you could have created working all by yourself. I think when that happens I know that this is definitely a client that I could work with again. 

Anyway I hope reading through this process has been helpful and even if you are not a graphic designer actually thinking through these steps can be helpful whatever creative problem you are tackling. It is all problem solving after all. I would love to know if you found this post useful and if you would like me to do more design related/educational style posts. 

Happy Tuesday!

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New York, New York

Liz Mosley - New York

Earlier in the month you might be aware that we went on a bit of an American adventure. Originally the plan was to just visit friends in Boston but since we were so close it seemed a shame to not try and tag on a couple of days in New York. NM had never been and I hadn't been back since I lived there for 3 months about 7 years ago, so we were both excited about exploring the city. Anyway, I thought I would attempt a little run down of some of the things we got up to and places we went to eat out incase you might be thinking of going, or maybe this will inspire you to add it to your travel list! 

Our plane was delayed on the way there but we arrived at our hotel just in time to go out for dinner. NM had done loads of research and this place had been recommended all over the place. Cafe Habana - it was seriously such a good start. We were super tired but we sat at the bar, I had the most amazing taco's (mine were shrimp) and a cocktail and just had fun people watching - the place was small and nothing glamorous but had a great atmosphere (just how we like it).

The first day the weather was pretty grey and drizzly so we decided this would make a good gallery day. We started off with breakfast at a cute little vegan place near our hotel called The Butcher's Daughter. Smashed avocado on toast is always a winner with me...especially if there is an egg on top!

Liz Mosley - New York
Liz Mosley - New York

We then headed off to the MET, which even if we only ended up doing one gallery (which we did), was the one that I really wanted to check out. We mostly hung out in the modern art bit (we can usually only last about 1.5 hours in a gallery and this is the sort of gallery that you could spend a week in!) - and they have such a great collection. I was very happy to see Chuck Close, Anselm Keifer, Mark Rothko and a few other of my favourites, and the gallery was not too busy at all. The entrance was busy but the place is so big that when you get into the galleries it is actually really nice and relaxing. I wish London galleries were still like this. 

Liz Mosley - New York

We then headed off for a walk through Central Park which was so nice even in the grey and drizzle. If we had had longer in NY I could happily have spent a whole day exploring this park! 

Liz Mosley - New York

We walked and explored some of midtown having lunch at Empanada Mama, but then the rain got a bit much so we headed back to the hotel to re-group and get ready for an evening trip to Birdland a jazz club near Times Square. We seriously had such a fun night. We listened to Maria Schneider Orchestra while sitting at a little table eating food and drinking wine and it was just such a great vibe. I'm going to make an effort to go to some of the old school jazz clubs like this in London. It is a seriously civilised way to listen to music! 

Liz Mosley - New York

Day two the weather was AMAZING so we decided to cram in as much as humanly possible having had a pretty chilled day on Monday. We started off with breakfast at Black Seed Bagels which was a total highlight. I had ricotta, apple and honey in a sesame seed bagel and it was a total winner! I am definitely going to attempt to recreate this at home. 

Liz Mosley - New York
Liz Mosley - New York

We then headed straight to the Highline, which wasn't around last time I was in NY so I was keen to check out. It did not disappoint (but was maybe a little bit more crowded than we would have liked). But it was just so nice to walk along and the juxtaposition of all these plants and gardens next to the tall buildings around was pretty cool. There were some interesting sculptures and bits of artwork along the way too which was cool. 

Liz Mosley - New York

We jumped off at the end of the Highline and headed to Chelsea Market, but to be honest found it all a bit overwhelming and crowded...so we checked out our burger map and realised that in our wanderings we were close to Corner Bistro - so we popped in there for a burger. It had a really cool unpretentious old school vibe. 

After that we decided since the weather was so good it would be a nice time to walk over the Brooklyn Bridge. I love this bridge and the views of the New York skyline as you look back are super cool. 

Liz Mosley - New York
Liz Mosley - New York

Once we got to the other side we explored DUMBO for a bit and then headed to Juliana's, got a pizza to take out and had our dinner sitting on a bench in a park in the shade looking over the most spectacular view of the Manhattan skyline. I will be honest it was pretty awesome. NM and I are both pretty into our pizza and we both said we thought it was the best pizza we had EVER eaten which is pretty bold but I really think it was true. 

Liz Mosley - New York

After that we were both pretty exhausted from all the walking we had done but we decided to power on due to the good weather and headed down to the Staten Island ferry. We caught it just as the sun was setting (which was our plan) and watched the sunset behind the Statue of Liberty and then on the trip back we got another incredible view of that iconic skyline all lit up. I am sooo glad we did this and best of all it was totally free! 
 

Liz Mosley - New York
Liz Mosley - New York

Ok so this is probably going to be the longest post ever - but onto day 3. We started off with breakfast at the Egg Shop, again near our hotel (there were seriously so many good places to eat near where we were staying and I would totally recommend this area to stay if you're staying in Manhattan). I had a truly amazing breakfast of pulled pork, avocado, poached egg, with long thin tortilla chips on top. This is another one that I am definitely going to try and re-create at home. It was a total winner.

Liz Mosley - New York
Liz Mosley - New York

We then headed to wander around the upper west side a bit so that I could show NM where I used to live. Annoyingly I couldn't remember the exact address and every street looked the same and also everything had changed...so it was a bit of a disaster..but it was nice to explore a different bit of the city. I then dragged him off to see the Cupcake ATM! Haha so cool, and the coconut cupcake I had was yummy! 

Liz Mosley - New York

Next stop Grand Central Station...that place will never cease to blow me away with its stunning architecture and those windows! The onto lunch. I had it in my head that I wanted to try pierogi, so NM found a highly recommended Ukrainian place called Veselka and we got ordering. They did not disappoint that is for sure. We tried all different types but I think the pork ones were my faves and they probably would have been even better if they were deep fried (isn't everything?) like the other ones we had.

After lunch we headed back to Brooklyn this time to explore the oh so trendy Williamsburg. We started off with cocktails and nibbles in the bar at the Wythe Hotel. The views were so amazing and it was just nice to sit, chat and chill. We had some crostini that were really tasty and just gazed at that skyline again.

Liz Mosley - New York
Liz Mosley - New York

We then wandered around and checked out a few of the shops including the Mast Brothers Chocolate shop. As far as design is concerned these guys have totally nailed it when it comes to packaging. I could never justify buying chocolate this expensive back home, but since we were on holiday I treated myself to a bar - made from goats milk no less.

Liz Mosley - New York

Dinner was a bit of a disaster. We were planning to head back to the hotel and chill and then head out somewhere but my tummy started to feel pretty dodgy (probs too much food already) - so I went to bed and NM went off and got himself a pretty epic meatball sandwich from Parm.

The next morning we headed off to the very cool Jack's Wife Freda for brunch and then packed up our bags and headed to the Port Authority Bus Terminal to catch a bus to Boston, and all too soon the New York leg of our trip was done. 

Liz Mosley - New York

We felt really happy with all of the stuff that we had done...and while there were a million other things we could have done too, we explored lots of areas, saw some amazing sites and ate some incredible food. 

Tune in soon for a post about our time in Boston. Happy Friday, really hope you have a good weekend!  

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things I am loving on Etsy

I felt in the mood for a little round up of some things that I am loving on Etsy so here is my latest edition. Recently I have been really re-thinking what artwork and prints that I have on my walls. I am moving some things around and also in the market for some new artwork to fill in some gaps. There is loads of amazing artwork that you can find on Etsy so I thought I would share some of my favourites that I have found in my searches. Hope you enjoy! 

1. Succulents Print - Small Adventure - Everyone is crazy for succulents right now and this would have fit in perfectly with yesterdays 'blush' moodboard. This illustration would be a beautiful addition to any wall. 

2. Sweater - Karolin Schnoor - I am a huge Karolin Schnoor fan and I have loved this print for a long time now. I love the monochrome and the composition of this piece. 

3. Coney Island - Sophie Backall - eek! how cute is this illustration. I think this would look so fun and playful on the wall. Those tattoos! That moustache! 

4. My Brain - A Pair of Pairs - This print totally sums up how I feel so often! That is probably why it's so popular, so many people can relate to it. Simple black and white but lovely hand lettered type.

5. Woman and branch - depeapa - I really like the childlike nature of this illustration. It is so simple but just so perfect. I think this would add a great pop of colour to a wall or room. 

6. Get Lost in Nature - Worth While Paper - This is such a great bold typographic print. Love the combination of type and foliage. 

Now just need to decide which of these to add to my collection! Hope you all have a lovely Wednesday. 

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Tuesday Moodboard // Blush

Having being super organised and scheduling all of my posts while I was away, yesterday I totally fell off the blogging wagon and didn't get my Monday post up - So here we have a Tuesday moodboard! I decided this week I needed some inspiration and a pick me up after such a lovely holiday so I put together a moodboard of all things blush! I am not really a girly girl and pink is most definitely not my colour, but a few weeks ago I started spotting lots of 'blush' things on pinterest so I decided to start a board and well I kind of got a bit addicted. There actually ended up being quite a few rooms with beautiful blush accents (or just full on BLUSH) that I liked, so I thought that would be the inspiration for my moodboard this week. Is blush a colour that you would ever consider decorating with? I don't think I EVER would have, but these pictures are really starting to change my mind. 

Click on the images to link their sources. 

Hope you have a great Tuesday! 

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insta snippets from Boston

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We have had a lovely week in Boston, staying with family friends, chatting about life and exploring this beautiful city. It is nice to have been doing things in a slightly more chilled fashion after New York. We also spent a couple of days at the beach which was lovely. 

This city has got so much to offer and I would seriously love to live here at some point in my life if that was ever an option. There is so much creativity, music and culture, I think it would be a great place to live as an artist...and there is also a great foodie scene. Anyway, I will do a much longer post on what we got up to in the next few weeks. In the meantime we are heading back to London after a lovely refreshing holiday and will have the weekend to get ourselves together before going back to work on Monday! (ha, I am sure that will be a shock to the system!) 

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! 

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My insta faves (part 4)

I have done a few of these posts now and I really enjoy putting them together and going through my Instagram feed, falling in love again and getting inspired by some of the people I follow. These are new people who I have followed recently and who I think all do a great job at noticing and documenting little details in life. I decided to go for a bit of a plant theme when choosing which images to share. Seriously go follow these guys. I love using Instagram to get a glimpse into the lives of people all over the world. 

@me_and_orla - I discovered Sara's feed not that long ago and I am in love. A lot of thought goes into her images and I love the dark moody vibe. She is based in the north of England. 

@me_and_orla - I discovered Sara's feed not that long ago and I am in love. A lot of thought goes into her images and I love the dark moody vibe. She is based in the north of England. 

@mattscorte - Lots of beautiful architectural shots of Paris and other travel destinations. I am in awe of Matt's aesthetic and how cohesive his feed feels. That is my long term aim with Instagram. Definitely check out this feed!

@mattscorte - Lots of beautiful architectural shots of Paris and other travel destinations. I am in awe of Matt's aesthetic and how cohesive his feed feels. That is my long term aim with Instagram. Definitely check out this feed!


@yas_in_amsterdam - I am OBSESSED with Amsterdam (even though I have only spent one day there) and so was really happy to find this beautiful feed full of corners of this beautiful city! I love seeing glimpses of other parts of the world in my feed. 

@yas_in_amsterdam - I am OBSESSED with Amsterdam (even though I have only spent one day there) and so was really happy to find this beautiful feed full of corners of this beautiful city! I love seeing glimpses of other parts of the world in my feed. 

@bonniemade - This Instagram feed makes me feel calm and does such a great job of capturing the quiet little moments in life. Lots of little beautiful details. Bonnie, who is based in Adelaide, Australia has such a great eye.

@bonniemade - This Instagram feed makes me feel calm and does such a great job of capturing the quiet little moments in life. Lots of little beautiful details. Bonnie, who is based in Adelaide, Australia has such a great eye.


@smlalexander - Lots of block colours and clean lines (this image doesn't really represent most of the feed). I really love the simple and artistic nature of the images.

@smlalexander - Lots of block colours and clean lines (this image doesn't really represent most of the feed). I really love the simple and artistic nature of the images.

@lenacorwin - This feed feels really earthy and gives snippets of life and adventures with little kids. Beautiful creative shots and lots of inspiration

@lenacorwin - This feed feels really earthy and gives snippets of life and adventures with little kids. Beautiful creative shots and lots of inspiration


@josephowen - Again I love the little details that Joseph shares. A lot of thought goes into colour and composition and the result is a stunning feed. I also love seeing bits of London through other people's eyes.

@josephowen - Again I love the little details that Joseph shares. A lot of thought goes into colour and composition and the result is a stunning feed. I also love seeing bits of London through other people's eyes.

@agirlnamedleney - Leney has a knack for making the little moments in life look beautiful. Images are from where she lives and travels, this is another one that totally inspires me and makes me happy. 

@agirlnamedleney - Leney has a knack for making the little moments in life look beautiful. Images are from where she lives and travels, this is another one that totally inspires me and makes me happy. 


I hope you enjoy checking these guys out. If you are looking for more people to follow you can check out part one, two and three

Hope you all have a lovely inspired Wednesday!

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Book Review: Reinventing Letterpress

Everybody seems to be loving letterpress at the moment including me. A couple of years ago I did a letterpress course and it was so fun and really interesting. Setting type seriously takes SO LONG though! It took me hours just to set the type for the words 'Happy Christmas'. There was something that I really liked about the slow process though. It is a craft and it is very hands on. I guess ever since I have been practising design it has been about the computer so to get away from the screen and try and old school printing technique was amazing. Anyway back to this book. Since letterpress printing has become so popular there are loads of people giving a modern twist to the traditional art form and that is what this book is all about. 

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The book is a showcase of a whole variety of different letterpress artists. Each artist has examples of their work, and I found it so inspiring to be able to see such a wide range of different styles and designs. The cover of the book is nice and thick and feels great because of the letterpress on the cover, and I just love the pattern and printing of the end pages. It's the details that make the difference. The layout inside is simple but showcases the artwork with each artist having a page or double spread. 

If you are at all interested in design, illustration or traditional printing then I think this book is great for inspiration. I just loved seeing all the different projects and also what is possible with letterpres, and this book is just a starting place to find out more. All of these artists have websites and so you can see more of their work and also buy some! 

If you get it or already own it I would love to know what you think! 

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snippets from New York

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Guys we are in New York and it has been a total whirlwind! We have only had 3 days in the city and so we have really crammed in as much as possible. My legs and feet ache but I am a happy camper! We have visited the MET, Central Park, explored so many different areas, eaten A LOT of amazing food but also burnt it all off walking (I hope!). We went over the Brooklyn Bridge, ate the best pizza I have had in my whole life (for real!) in DUMBO, listened to jazz, walked the highline and eaten some more. Anyway I will do some more in-depth blog posts in a few weeks but just wanted to give a little taste of what we have been up to. You can follow along on Instagram too if you want. We are off to Boston today for what I think will be a much more chilled week! 

Hope you all have a lovely weekend! 

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Inspired by Amelie Fontaine

The internet is a magical place but also a total rabbit hole sometimes. I really love Pinterest for getting lost and discovering new artists and a few weeks ago I stumbled across the website of Amelie Fontaine and totally fell in love with her illustrations. 

These are just a few of her illustrations that I loved but there are seriously SO MANY good ones on her website. She has a shop on her site selling a book that she has illustrated but I seriously hope she starts selling prints because I would love her work on my walls. I really like the black and white food illustration below. I really enjoy the lines and marks that she makes to build up her illustration and how she breaks some of the rules, and by doing that totally builds up and enhances her individual style. Hope you enjoy checking out these images and getting lost in her website!