Monday, March 30, 2015

How I Quit My Day Job: A New Interview Series

Monday, March 30, 2015
How I Quit My Day Job: An New Interview Series

After the amazing response to my post How I Quit My Day Job, I started thinking about sharing other people's stories. So every Monday during April, I will be introducing independent designer-makers, illustrators, photographers, and other creatives who have quit their day jobs to become self-employed.

For this first round of posts, I have reached out to some of my awesome creative friends to share their creative journeys. I'm hoping the series - which will run periodically throughout the year - will provide a little insight into how varied the path to self-employment can be. It's a series I'm really excited about and I hope you are too.

The first post of the series will be next Monday - 6th April.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Shop Independent #2

Saturday, March 28, 2015
Shop Independent #2
print | poster | anatomical art | brooch | tote | planters


My first (and only) "Shop Independent" post was received really well; I guess you all like shopping independent and buying handmade as much as I do, so I thought I'd turn these posts into a series and share the love even more.


I actually bought a couple of pieces from this selection; I finally bought the Jeu de Ficelle print by Mathilde Aubier, which I have been admiring for months. Now it's arrived I'm not quite sure where to hang it but it's every bit as beautiful as I imagined it would be. Lorna Scobie asked the people of Instagram to suggest animals for her to draw; I suggested a guinea pig (obviously) and here it is - such an awesome idea.


{ see more independent shops }

Have a favourite independent shop you think should be featured?
Let me know about them in the comments.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Tokyo DisneySea

Friday, March 27, 2015
Tokyo Disney Sea
Tokyo Disney Sea
Tokyo Disney Sea
Tokyo Disney Sea
Tokyo Disney Sea Tokyo Disney Sea

We had originally made plans to visit Tama Zoological Park except we didn't check whether it would be open the day we visited, and so we made a last minute decision to head to DisneySea instead.

We arrived in the afternoon meaning most of the Fast Pass tickets had gone and despite it being a freezing cold day, the queues were still massively long. We managed to rush around the park and see the sheer ridiculousness of everything (seriously, check out the inside of Ariel's Kingdom) but we only managed to get on three rides before the park closed.

It's true DisneySea isn't as sickeningly over-the-top happy as its sister parks, but it's not massively different from them either. All the Disney characters were still floating about, doing their thing, and the queues were just as long as they always are. I'm glad I got to visit this crazy place but it's not an essential attraction if you're visiting Tokyo. Next time I'm going to visit the zoo.. except I'll check the opening hours first.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

What To Do When People Don’t Believe In You

Thursday, March 26, 2015
What To Do When People Don’t Believe In You

When I started my business I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by a lot of supportive people who encouraged me to succeed. But there were one of two who wanted to discourage my ambitions and tried to put me down. These people refused to acknowledge the value of creativity and thought what I wanted to do was pointless - doomed to failure. Their ignorance meant they couldn’t accept there are possibilities outside the traditional 9-to-5 job.

If you’re struggling to deal with people who don’t believe in you, here are some reminders.


Not everyone will understand
Not everyone who discourages you is a bad person trying to destroy your ambition. It’s not always personal or an attack on your skills or talents, it’s simply not everyone understands why you want to do what you want to do. If they don't understand how something works and or know all the facts, it's hard for them to be positive about your goals, which can seem dauntingly ambitious.


Other people’s insecurities get in the way of giving good advice
When people don’t support what you’re doing, it says more about them than it does about you. It’s hard for people to give advice on something they know very little about and often it causes them to default to criticising or picking holes in your plans. The fear of the unknown means when people don’t understand what you’re trying to do, it can make them push you into doing what they know how to do and discourage you from any other path. If someone doesn’t believe in their own skills and talents, your ambitions can cause jealousy - don’t take it to heart. Remember if someone is trying to discourage you it says more about their fears and insecurities than it does about your own creative talents.


Listen to constructive criticism
Sometimes we’re so wrapped up in what we want to do, we only see the positive and neglect to acknowledge the pitfalls. Be open and receptive to other people’s criticism providing it’s constructive and take on board suggestions you might not have thought about. But don’t be afraid to ignore any criticism that is born through bitterness, spite, or the fear of the unknown.


Get rid of negative influences
There are some people who you can simply afford to be without; anyone who tries to put you down, refuses to acknowledge your creativity, or attempts to sabotage your success - get rid of them, you don’t need them in your life. Most of all: don’t listen to their negativity.


You can do it without them
You don’t need other people to believe in what you want to do, you can be a success without them. Surround yourself with positive people; find your creative allies; work hard; believe in yourself.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Book List #30

Wednesday, March 25, 2015
The Book List #30

The Dinner by Herman Koch
year: 2009 | pages: 304 | rating: 4/5

A pretty awesome read considering I picked it on a whim from a charity shop bookshelf. The Dinner sees a family - two brothers and their wives - meeting over dinner to discuss a delicate and dark situation brewing between their sons. The story unravels at a steady, suspenseful pace, making you want to race through the pages to reveal the darkness at its centre.


Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin
year: 1956 | pages: 150 | rating: 5/5

James Baldwin's beautiful story about love, passion, and desire will haunt you; the final pages of Giovanni's Room broke my heart. This is the most convincing story of true love and heartbreak I have ever read. David - an American living in Paris while his girlfriend travels Europe - meets Giovanni in a bar, and so begins their doomed love affair.



The Book List #30

Pastoralia by George Saunder
year: 2000 | pages: 188 | rating: 2/5

Short stories are hard to get right; I rarely find these sorts of collections to be anything exceptional and unfortunately Pastoralia didn't impress me. I found all the stories to be awkward and uninteresting. None of the characters stood out as anything exceptional and Saunder's writing style was a little too dry for my liking.


Holes by Louis Sachar
year: 1998 | pages: 233 | rating: 3/5

I feel the same way about this book as I feel about the film adaptation: I don't get it. Holes is about Stanley and his eventual escape from Camp Green Lake, a juvenile facility in the middle of a desert. Stanley's family history and the story of Kissin' Kate Barlow is revealed slowly throughout the book, showing the reader how the two stories intertwine. I just.. wasn't that into the story; Holes is a short, enjoyable read but when I reached the final pages, it didn't get much of a reaction from me, I'm sorry to say.


{ the book list #1-29 }

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

You Are The Best

Tuesday, March 24, 2015
You Are The Best

"If you pretend to be good, the world takes you very seriously.
If you pretend to be bad, it doesn’t.
"

- Oscar Wilde


It’s incredibly important to be confident - if you don’t have confidence in yourself, how can you expect anyone else to?

I suppose some might say thinking you’re the best is arrogant but I believe it’s an important characteristic to have and one that could determine whether you’re a creative success or not. Positive self-esteem is essential to confidence and creative growth. Excessive trust in your abilities could help you cultivate ambition and achieve more than you otherwise would.

Believing you’re the best doesn’t mean you don’t acknowledge your faults or your failures - that’s all part of what makes you the best anyway - and it definitely doesn’t mean you can't admire other people’s greatness. But confident creatives know they have it in them to be the best and believe, whatever they are creating, is awesome (even if it’s only a step on the way to greater things) - you should feel the same way too.



"You must believe you are the best. I do."
- Rory McIlroy


No two creatives are identical; no one creates like you create. While you can admire the success and acknowledge the achievements of other creatives in your field, it’s important to believe what you’re creating is unique and better than all the rest.

There is no room for self-doubt; you must believe in yourself and have confidence in your creativity to be success. Know where your weaknesses lie and work on them, but don’t let the negativity creep in. Being the best doesn’t mean you’ve accomplished everything and you have no work left to do - if you’re the best one in the room, you’re in the wrong room. Go stand next to other creatives that challenge your creativity and inspire you to do greater things.

To be the best you must believe you are the best.

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