Monday, 14 January 2019

Productivity tips!

Happy New Year everyone!! I like to start the new year off with good intentions so here are my top 5 productivity tips:

1. Use the time blocking method...
Print out a daily schedule and fill in the gaps with fixed commitments you have. Here's an example. You can then see what time you have to really dedicate yourself to your business or a side line business. Make you sure you allow time for exercise! (see tip 5)

2. Turn off distractions
Ok this is the obvious one... we probably all work with our phones right next to us looking down every time we get a notification. Try putting your phone out of sight for an hour or two and really focus on the job at hand. Close your email for hour too!

3. Stay on top of your accounts and money
Try not to leave it all until the last minute when the tax return is due. Keeping on top of it through-out the year will make you less stressed and more in control. Set aside a morning a month to focus on your accounts. 

4. Get out!
You might think to be productive you need to bury your head in your work and never see the light of day. Not true, get out, network, go to a show, do things you love and meet like minded people. Maybe you'll meet someone you can collaborate with. It's important to keep your creative spark alight so getting out and about will in the end help you be more productive. 

5. Exercise
You don't need to be running marathons but try to make time for exercise that works for you. Don't like to run, don't run. Love yoga, do yoga... Whilst it's great for fitness it's also good for the mind and healthy minds will lead to better work, probably done quicker as well! 

My Skillshare class The Freelancing Guide: How to Organise your Life and Work is currently being offered as part of a much bigger bundle of classes on Productivity, mindset and goal setting. The stack is called Your Best Year Yet. Please do check out everything that is included and there's a massive 97% off the total price of these classes - but the offer runs out tomorrow. There's also a 60 day money back guarantee. Take a look at everything included here - it's huge!

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Branding your Creative Business

Oooooo I'm so excited! My new course is now live on Skillshare. I've been working on this course for a few months and hope it will help all those people who find the branding of their businesses a little tricky. My main inspiration for this course was meeting a load of talented surface pattern designers and many of them found the branding of their business their biggest hurdle to get started. Even as a graphic designer myself, branding yourself is one of the hardest jobs due to how personal it is.

This course will break down all the steps to creating a perfect brand. In part 1 of this course - Define your brand - we will look at:
Defining your business
Your perfect customer or client
Your brand questionnaire
Your brand name
Your brand mission statement
And writing a design brief for your logo design

Part 2 will be all about Designing your logo and part 3 will cover releasing your brand to the world! more details coming soon.

Hope you can join me on the first part! check out more details here:

Friday, 24 April 2015

100 days of hand lettering

I'm always one for starting new challenges! Advent challenge has been loads of fun but last Christmas I couldn't keep up so when I embarked on #the100dayproject I thought 'this will be a miracle to keep this up!' So I decided to keep it simple and focused on an area I really wanted to get better at...
#100daysofhandlettering seemed like a good plan as I could be as intricate or as simple and quick as I wanted each day, depending on my time.

I kicked off on a lovely sunny day so felt I wanted to reflect that in Day 001!!

Day 002 things got a little more detailed! This took a few hours whilst I watched a film ;) 

And then around day 9-10 I signed up to an app called Steller where I could start recording all the days in a flip book...
A few days later it was picked up for their Stellerverse Collection and appeared on their front page! 

This was just what I needed... I'm feeling really inspired now to get to 100! I can already feel my skills and confidence improving...

I'm using Tombow and Micron pens, sometimes using a guide pencil... And just started using a paint brush too... Next up I really need to master calligraphy!

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Branding your creative business - new course!

Oooooo, I'm pretty excited... I'm in the process of creating a new online course all about Branding your Creative Business - really aimed at everyone running a business in a creative field who might need a little help with their branding... This course will be launched on Skillshare in the next few months. 
I hope you can join me soon!

Friday, 19 December 2014

Advent Challenge 2014 Showcase

I've been so blown away with everyone's responses to Advent Challenge 2014, I just had to do a post showcasing some of the amazing talent taking part...

For the last few years I've run an Advent Challenge, starting with Advent Doodle in 2012. This year I wanted to go bigger and better suggesting anyone could enter from artists, musicians, poets, dancers and film makers... To be fair, it's mostly been artists - but the level of artistry and creativity is pretty astounding. 

Here's a selection of some awesome people taking part and their work... Sit back, put on the Christmas music and enjoy this feast for your eyes!

I love Mary's (aka Groovity) bright folky style - check out more of her work here. I also need to thank Mary for asking me to do another challenge this year!

Rebecca Stoner's illustrations are just lovely, love the colour palette too!

I love seeing what Meg (May I Design) comes up with each day - her embroidery is amazing!

Melissa Iwai is an illustrator and children's book author. I'm so in love with her magical illustrations - I'd hang most of them on my wall!

The best thing about running something like this is meeting new designers and illustrators mostly on Instagram using the hashtag #adventchallenge2014 
Katherine Lenius is one of those people! Her style is so fun and fresh

I also saw Kayleen West was taking part via Instagram, she's a children's book author and illustrator from Australia. I'm loving her cute illustrations, especially the penguin!

Lindsay Buck (aka Slumbermonkey) is an Advent Challenge veteran, having taken part since the start! She's used the prompts to create a series of awesome patterns and illustrations. Lindsay also set up a pinterest board collating some of the designs from people taking part. 

It's great to see the challenge go global, Jessica Phillips is an illustrator from Canada. I love her characters and the colour palette gives her illustrations a really fresh festive feel. 

Christine Gardner has used the prompts to create a collection of patterns and illustrations that all look amazing together - I can imagine a whole range of greeting cards, wrapping paper and tags!

Bley Hack has also used the prompts to create a series of fabulous patterns. It's hard to choose but I think my favourite is the Nutcracker top right.

Other artists have picked a couple of prompts to illustrate. Suzanne Washington (Suzy Spellbound) illustrated this beautifully intricate tree decoration for Day 3. 

Anne Bomio from Switzerland created this striking pattern, I really love the cute illustrations and colours. 

Julie Hamilton (Artistically Afflicted) created this stunning illustration for Day 7 - Winter Wonderland. Julie was brilliant at spreading the word about the Advent Challenge, helping it to go truly global! Thanks so much Julie, it's been a massive success!

I can't wait to see what everyone ends of doing with all their new artwork. I'm hoping to see some on the shelves next year. Make sure you check out #adventchallenge on Instagram to view all the amazing work, by many artists. And if you have taken part and would like to be included in this or a future blogpost please email me one jpg. 

I'd like to thank all the artists who have taken part. It's honestly a joy to open up instagram each morning and see the new illustrations, just like opening an advent calendar each day! 

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Latest logo designs...

I've had a busy few months with our lovely little baby daughter but managed to squeeze in some branding projects... here's a few logos I've been working on lately.

Logo for Original Cinema Posters. I loved designing this and working with the client closely. I'm going to write a full post about it soon.

Branding for Glister Plumbing and Heating. Craig wanted a professional fresh logo that represented both elements of the business. 

Branding for COAL Fitness. COAL stands for Change of a lifestyle. Liam also wanted to incorporate a diamond element to the design linking to the word COAL.