Sunday, March 01, 2015

Week Notes #24

Sunday, March 01, 2015
Week Notes #24
This week I spent an inordinate amount of time reorganising our kitchen..

Week Notes #24
and our new bathroom shelves..

Week Notes #24
and repotting plants.

Week Notes #24
I'm looking forward to introducing these two* into my daily routine

Week Notes #24
and these new gems into the shop.

Links You Should Click
| Stop Hating: Five Reasons It Pays to Get Happy About Other People's Success
| How Good Ideas Are Formed
| Contemporary Nordic Town House
| Enviously Organized: Inspiring Craft Rooms
| 9 Inspiring Work Spaces
| How Will I Pay The Bills?
| Good for you, not for me
| 守破離 Is How You Learn Design
| Credit Is Always Due

Saturday, February 28, 2015

How To Overcome A Creative Block

Saturday, February 28, 2015
How To Overcome A Creative Block

Figure out what you’re trying to achieve
So you want to do something creative and you’re feeling that block? Maybe it’s because you don’t really know what you’re trying to achieve. Start from the end and work your way back to the beginning; ask yourself what your goal is and think about how you can achieve it.

Stop worrying about it being perfect
It’s frustrating to know in your head what you want to create but the process of getting it out into a tangible form can be daunting and messy. Your initial first drafts can be sketchy and vague, which makes you doubt how good your idea really was. But that’s all part of the creative process; getting an idea out means you can play around with it and see how it can work. Stop worrying about the final product being perfect and just go with it.

Just keep going - Finish what you started
When you’re not feeling creative and things aren’t working out, the easy option is to give in to that creative block and simply quit trying. Sometimes it’s worth persevering, seeing things through, and keep going until whatever you’re working on is finished, you might surprise yourself..

Walk away - Do something else
Sometimes you really do just have to walk away. If you’re really not “feeling it,” go do something else. Pick up a book, work on another project, move away from the computer screen or desk, and it’s almost certain, as soon as you concentrate on something else, inspiration will hit.

Change your environment
It could be as minor as leaving your desk to go sit on the couch or as extreme as going travelling. Changing your environment can have a dramatic effect on breaking that creative block. If you can’t get away from your work space, at least try to change it in some way - introduce something new like prints or plants or move the furniture around - give yourself a new perspective.

Break your routine
Wake up tomorrow and do everything differently; break the routine that usually works in your favour and in turn it could help break your creative block.

Friday, February 27, 2015

13 Things That Will Make Yourself Proud This Year

Friday, February 27, 2015
13 Things That Will Make Yourself Proud This Year

Make some positive changes this year that will make you feel proud.

#1 Clear our your wardrobe
#2 Start working on a 'minimal wardrobe'
#3 Create a savings plan
#4 Make some money rules (and stick to them)
#5 Write a business plan
#6 Start using a creative planner
#7 Make time for the things you love
#8 Remove toxic people from your life
#9 Get more organised
#10 Go on more adventures
#11 Embrace positivity
#12 Ditch the television
#13 Live more intentionally

Thursday, February 26, 2015

My Creative Process: Planning

Thursday, February 26, 2015
My Creative Process: Planning

Sunrise Calendar
I use this to schedule in routine, reoccurring tasks and major events, and set alarms. Things like accounts, appointments and meetings, and events are all scheduled into this calendar, which sends alerts direct to my phone and syncs to all my devices. I do not schedule daily tasks into this calendar, I reserve those for my daily planner.

White Board Calendar
After considering using a giant wall decal as a calendar, I was totally inspired by Oh No Rachio! to customise a whiteboard and use it as an overview of the upcoming year. This whiteboard in my studio serves as a reminder for the major points in the year such as product launches, target deadlines, and important events.

Social Media Plan
I use a simple document to plan out social media marketing; this basic table lays out specific days and crucial times to publish on social platforms. Having a social media plan helps serves as a reference point for daily activities and I also use it as a reminder for key Twitter chats. I combine this planner with Buffer to schedule content.

Daily Planner
The layout of this diary is ideal for the way I work: it has a Monday to Friday view on the left hand side with a spare page on the right for note-taking. This is where I dump the weekly ‘to-do’ lists and then break it all down in specific days. I can see exactly how the week is going to work, what I need to do and on what days, plus I can plan ahead with the monthly calendar at the front. I jot down everything from basic tasks to personal memos, reminders and major tasks. This planner gets taken everywhere with me and is where all of my task organisation gets worked out.

My Creative Process: Planning

Business Planner
This where my business planning gets done. I converted a simple notebook into a business planner by splitting it into sections that cover business goals and what will be focused on during the year; stockist and event information; promotions and ideas. (Learn how to make your own planner.)

Goals and Focus
I keep track of goals (a mix of minor and major) at the front of the planner along with the current focus of the business such as designing new products, improving services, and social media marketing. I revisit this periodically to mark off accomplished goals and set new ones.

Stockists and Events
A ‘potential stockists’ section allows me to identify and keep track of shops and businesses I would like to approach about stocking Oh My Clumsy Heart jewellery and a section on markets allows me to track dates, plan ahead, and monitor stocks and sales.

Ideas and Promotions
I tend to dump all my ideas together, as and when I have them, into the final section in the planner. This includes potential future goals, promotions, product designs, and marketing ideas. This ‘brainstorming dump’ helps me get everything out onto paper before I filter through them and decide which ones will work and which ones won’t. Once an idea has been worked on and is ready to be put into effect, I find space in my day-to-day diary to get the idea into motion.

The promotions section of this planner is reserved for marketing campaigns, secret sales, new product launches, and partnerships with other businesses. I map out everything from what the promotion is, what it involves, when the promotion will launch, and notes on performance.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Book List #29

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Accidental Creative: How to Be Brilliant at a Moment's Notice by Todd Henry
year: 2011 | pages: 240 | rating: 3/5

I read this book a couple of weeks ago and somehow forgot to add it to the book list.

Todd Henry specialises in "business creativity," which is more for office workers and "non-traditional" creative roles such as artists, illustrators, photographers, and designer-makers. It's a lot more formal and directed more towards people who struggle with creativity in a business environment. The Accidental Creative focuses on goal setting, relationship building, and structuring your day for an efficient, productive routine. As someone who is well aware of her creativity, this book didn't quite ignite my interest as much as it could for someone who struggles, in their current job role, to perceive themselves as a creative person.

Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day by Todd Henry
year: 2013 | pages: 240 | rating: 3/5

Again, this book focuses more on businesses and job roles that are not traditionally perceived as creative. It's also more concerned with exploring the procrastination that prevents people from being creative, and how creativity can stagnate due to certain circumstances and habits. Todd Henry offers a three-part process for breaking through these barriers and being a more productive creative. There were some fantastic ways of perceiving creativity and "creative types," which I found incredibly interesting, however, just like The Accidental Creative, Die Empty is geared more towards floundering time-wasters than established creatives.

The Skeleton Crew: How Amateur Sleuths Are Solving America's Coldest Cases by Deborah Halber
year: 2014 | pages: 285 | rating: 3/5

The Skeleton Crew explores how ordinary citizens investigate missing persons and try to match them with unidentified remains. Amateur sleuths take to the internet to solve cold cases via facial reconstructions and fragmented clues. The concept for this book is a lot more compelling than the outcome; there is a lot of jumping around between stories and very little factual information. The characters were interesting and some cases intriguing but Deborah Halber's writing style is a little boring, which is a shame because the idea behind the book is fascinating.

{ the book list #1-28 }

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

10 Ways Creatives Make Themselves Miserable

Tuesday, February 24, 2015
10 Ways Creatives Make Themselves Miserable

#1 Comparing themselves and their work to others
#2 Basing their success or failure on one project
#3 Not allowing themselves to experiment or mess around
#4 Making money the top priority
#5 Setting unachievable goals
#6 Trying to please everyone
#7 Letting self-doubt dominate their thoughts
#8 By not defining what success really means
#9 Forgetting to acknowledge their achievements so far
#10 Becoming obsessed with everything being “perfect"

Monday, February 23, 2015

Japanese Stationery

Monday, February 23, 2015
Japanese Stationery

Japan loves stationery, some shops were literally wall to wall with pens alone. It was incredible, I could have gone crazy but I didn't. I loved looking at all the kawaii products but they're not really my thing, what I'm really into are the modern and functional office supplies - and what better excuse for buying stationery is there than wanting to give the studio supplies a little refresh?

Here's what I picked up:

Stationery Organiser | because what more could a girl want than something to organise her stationery?
Pilot Frixion Erasable Pen | these pens erase ink and they actually work, I'm sad it's so ugly though
Mitsubishi No. 460 | basically just a fancy version of my favourite biro
Triangle Paper Clips | I have never needed to paper clip anything in my life but these are triangles
Okina Project Paper Sticker Memo | who doesn't like grid paper, am I right?
MT Tape Dispenser | useful and totally necessary.. besides it looks really nice
MT Pastel Masking Tape | up until now all I've ever known is black washi tape, let a girl live
MT Masking Tape Trio | I bought this purely to copy Rachel's whiteboard
MT Gems Masking Tape | because GEMS
MUJI Notebooks with Coloured Spines | gotta love those MUJI notebooks
MUJI Masking Tape Trio | the tape situation is getting ridiculous now
Mono Eraser | best eraser in the world apparently but I don't use pencils so I guess I will never know

Places you can buy Japanese stationery in the UK:
Tofu Cute | Artbox | MUJI | The Fox and Star | The Journal Shop | Something Kawaii | Sticker Stack | Notable Designs

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