Thursday, 19 June 2014

Anna Bond of Rifle Paper Co. at Creative Mornings



I've been a fan of Anna Bond's work ever since I started blogging and I discovered her beautiful stationery and wedding invitation line online.

Anna Bond, for those of you who don't know, is the the founder and creative director of Rifle Paper Co, a stand-out success stationery company from the US that have been stocked in high end stores such as Anthropoligie.

Anna hand paints each design and her style is distinctive and quirky.

Anna recently gave a great talk at the Creative Mornings series interviews - and, by the power of the internet and Youtube you can watch the inspiring talk and behind the scenes insight into how Rifle Paper Co started right here.

I truely believe that Anna and Rifle Paper Co have really paved the way for hand illustrator artists like me, and made the authentic line cool and trendy again. So I have nothing but thanks and love for this awesome lady who's hard work and dedication to her stationery line and the creative goods industry, has really paid off and spread handlettered love around the world.

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I'm even more excited that Anthropologie now has a new store in Bath, UK - which is just down the road from me and I cannot wait to gooooo!

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Zoe Sugg's book Girl Online

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As a blogger, I really champion other bloggers and vloggers and people who are putting great things out there on the internet. And Zoe Sugg is no exception, really doing such amazing things in the internet landscape, I'm so thrilled that she's got her first book deal. Especially as she has announced her main character will have issues with anxiety and panic attacks, something I can empathise with on a very personal level...

I've always been an avid 'internetter', from the early days back in 1997 I was one of the first kids in my class to go 'online' and use email. I would email this other boy in my class who was a bit of a geek too.

I remember the days of ICQ, MSN messenger, when Google first popped up in stead of Yahoo and Alta Vista, I even had a website, a fan page dedicated to the TV show Friends. Yes I was a geek  - but I was a geek and I found comfort in computers because I used to suffer from Panic Attacks and Anxiety would always hold me back from hanging out with friends.

Now that I'm over 30 I look back on those days and really try not to remember the bad times. My school days were not a perky time. Anxiety or Panic Attacks weren't really talked about a lot in those days either, we didn't have the internet (only a few of us geeks!) we couldn't google symptoms and doctors didn't really understand it either.

So because I kept getting panic attacks in Lectures at University, I dropped out.

I've never really talked about this before, but I feel like if it had been talked about more when I was a teenager, I probably would have sought help or advice in a much better way. Instead I hid myself away.

So now I'm a 30 year old woman and, for those who know me would probably think that I would be the last person on earth to have gone through this because I'm always so chipper and chirpy and talk to anyone and stand up in front of crowds of people and chatter away. But I want to talk about it because it's important - it's important for the next generation that we are open and honest and share our experiences good and bad.

I'm proud that despite everything I made it here today, I own my own successful business and I've got the most amazing friends, offline and online. I got through it so, so can you :)

But sure I still get anxious, worry and have the odd attack of panic where I want to run out of a room or just hide myself away but i'm totally ok with that because that's me and that's who I am, and as you get older you really care less what people think.

I'm especially grateful and proud of Zoe Sugg (AKA Zoella) because she too suffers anxiety attacks which have in the past held her back, she has such a strong following of young teenage fans and is able to send such a positive message to them through her videos. I think this is awesome and I cannot thank her enough - I wish I had a 'Zoella' figure to look up to when I was younger and going through what I did.

Her new book, Girl Online, will cover all these topics and she has hinted that her heroine will have these feelings too.

Well done and congratulations on your first book deal - I've done a little sketch up of your new book especially for the occasion in true Angie B style (i.e everyone in my drawings wears the Coco Chanel Le Breton coveted stripe! hehe) :)

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Afternoon Coffee Guests - with Lyndsey James Photography

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Time for an afternoon cuppa and a biccie - so sit back and have a little read of this inspiring interview; the 3rd part in the Afternoon Coffee Guest series (here's part I and part II if you missed them), to fire up your inspiration and give you some top tips to getting started in your creative career.

Today I've pulled aside Lyndsey James of Photocraft and Lyndsey James Photography to share with us how she started as a photographer and her unique business concept teaching designers, makers and sellers how to take awesome shots of their products.

Over to you Lyndsey!


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Lyndsey James Photography


1. How old were you when you first started to take photography seriously and consider it as a career option?

I left school at 16 to study photography at college, I couldn’t wait to get away I really didn’t like school at all. My dad wasn’t too happy at first, I remember him saying ‘Photography? How are you going to make a living out of that?’ Sadly my dad passed away before my career really took off.

These days I am a commercial photographer, which means I shoot products, people and places for businesses to make their brand stand out in a crowd. I choose to only work with independent businesses and love to photograph both food, and makers in their studios.

2. What made you take the leap from 9 to 5 to self employment?

There wasn’t really a leap for me, self employment was always the plan. I come from a family of entrepreneurs and grew up above a village shop. After I graduated I would sell my photos in an art gallery and used a rather dull 9-5 to pay for the gallery space rental.

I would spend my weekdays in the office job and my weekends at the gallery. Despite diving into the unknown and giving up a regular salary I have loved every second of the freedom I gained.

3. What one piece of advice would you give anyone who's sitting at their office job feeling like a drone who wants to make a go of working for themselves?

Being self employed isn’t for everyone. If you think 9-5 is full time (it isn’t) or if you like security, then stay put, no one pays you when you are sick or need a holiday so there is nothing wrong with pursuing a new project and making some extra cash alongside a secure job.

That was my sensible answer. If however like me you LOVE an adventure, run! run and don’t look back. Life is too short to hate Mondays.

4. What has been your favourite project that you've worked on with your business so far?

I’m not just a commercial photographer I have always had at least one other project on the go at the same time.

I owned a city centre coffee shop which was a lot of fun for a year before we sold it on. I also owned a lovely little gift shop once which was a lot of fun buying for, we sold photo albums, journals and all paper products, but the most exciting project is my Photocraft® brand.

In the past 6 months http://www.photocraft.org has grown so rapidly and we now have a team of 5 us working on it. We sell product photography courses online and have designers & makers from all around the world signing up to learn with Photocraft®. I get to work with some amazing small business owners and it is very rewarding seeing them go from being scared of a camera to taking product photos that I would be proud of.

I also speak at various craft/business events on the subject of how great product photography will boost your brand and have made guest appearances around Europe at events for Etsy, Folksy, Triumph and Enterprise Nation.


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Photocraft® - A Photography School for designers, makers and sellers

5. How old were you when you first took a photograph that you thought was better than alright? And what was it of? 

My first commercial shot as a student was pretty good, we had to replicate an advertising shot from a magazine and I chose Pears soap because the lighting was a challenge. It was all film back then and I was shooting on a 5x4” field camera so had no idea what the outcome would be, I remember I could only afford 5 sheets of film too!

I think with photography you are always learning though, too many people take a lucky shot and think they are a pro, but while digital editing has allowed some really bad photographers to become pros it is now going the other way. On high end shoots my images will now be wirelessly transmitted to my client as I shoot and have to all be perfect. I love that kind of pressure because I know not many
people would!

Even in my role as a photography ‘expert’ though I still don’t consider myself top of my game and still look up to those who are more experienced, despite having over a decade of experience myself. My expert knowledge lies in the power of commercial photography and my ability to explain a technical subject to technophobes, while making it fun and creative.

6. Who's your inspiration (who do you think is like, totally cool)?

I absolutely love the author Seth Godin, I read his books on marketing and other business rifts and rants over and over. I think he is super cool and is on the same wavelength, and so I adopt a lot of his ideas. Here come the noisemakers!

7. Do you have any favourite blogs or websites you regularly read?

Seth’s blog and Sweet Paul which is just full of scrummy crafts and food and lots of lovely photography...and this lovely lady who designed my engagement ring, I love her blog...

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Thanks Lydnsey for giving us a super awesome insight into how you grew your photography business - as always, these Afternoon Coffee Guest interviews fill me with renewed inspiration.

{Psssst! Lyndsey has offered a great discount coupon code for readers to get 10% off her online courses > use 'angieb' (thoughtout july, august and september) and start taking those amazing photos you've always wanted - great for bloggers too!! }

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Further info::
Lyndsey James is a freelance commercial photographer and the founder of the Photocraft®  photography school for designers, makers & sellers.

Her popular Product Photography 5 week online course has students from around the world signing up to learn new skills for their creative businesses. They also host shorter 1 day online workshops, free photography webinars and live classes around the UK.

Check her out - she's social!  Website // Twitter // Facebook
For more information on Photocraft courses visit :: http://www.photocraft.org

Monday, 9 June 2014

Desk tour - my creative space

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I had a little spring clean on the weekend  - tidy desk makes a tidy mind, right? (or something along those lines!)

So here's a little corner of my studio where my desk sits. It's usually full of bits of paper, pencil rubbings and empty cups of coffee (don't worry, they're well out of shot!)

I love looking at other people's creative spaces, so you can be a fly on the wall of my studio for today! (until it gets messy again!) - I uploaded a video giving a tour of all the bits and bobs.




Other than clearing up all my crap from my desk - Here's a few other things I got up to last week from my Instagram.

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Left to right

2 - My new coffee machine makes a damn good cup!

3 - Beautiful Peonies in the window, loving the sunshine.

4 - Some birthday pressies from my Mum - check out the flouro pineapple scarf, isn't it lush!

5 - New prints ready for their first print run!

6 - Quick photo opportunity in St Ives.

7 - Sewing on photographs, at the ETSY Craft Party - first time I've sewed anything in years!

8 - A quick photo op in the photo booth at the Craft Party.

9 - Second training run in the park for Race for Life - it's at the end of June so better get cracking!

Enjoy your weeks!

AB
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Thursday, 5 June 2014

Beach sketches - St Ives

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I spent a few short, sunny, sea-air-filled few days in St Ives this week for my birthday. It was fan-flipping-tastic!

Here's a few sketches I did on Porthminster Beach - just one of the beautiful bays in St Ives.

I turned 34 this year, which isn't so bad, but I may have to know where the nearest loos are more than I did 10 years ago #bladdercontrol!

AB
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