What are the ideal dimensions for making your Pinterest account look awesome? I put this little cheat sheet together to help you get your Pinterest looking perfect.
What are the ideal dimensions for making your Pinterest account look awesome? I put this little cheat sheet together to help you get your Pinterest looking perfect.
Whether you are a painter, a photographer or a crafter these quotes should spark you with a reason to carry on and remember why you should never let anyone walk on your creativity with dirty shoes!
“To live a creative life we must lose our fear of being wrong” ~ Joseph Chilton Pearce
“Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity” ~ Charles Mingus
“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time” ~ Thomas Merton
“Every artist was first an amateur” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Art is anything that you can get away with” ~ Andy Warhol
“Great art picks up where nature ends” ~ Marc Chagall
“Being creative is not a hobby; it is a way of life” ~ Unknown
“Life is the art of drawing without an eraser” ~ John W. Gardner
“Creativity takes courage” ~ Henri Matisse
“Art is the most intense form of individualism that the world has known” ~ Oscar Wilde
“Painting is just another way of keeping a diary” ~ Pablo Picasso
“Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one” ~ Stella Adler
“Play always, as if in the presence of a master” ~ Robert Schumann
“The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later when a stranger looks at it, it moves again since it is life” ~ William Faulkner
“Life is a work of art. If you don’t like what you see paint over it” ~ Unknown
“An artist is not paid for his labour but for his vision” ~ James Whistler
“Anyone who says you can’t see a thought simply doesn’t know art” ~ Wynetka Ann Reynolds
“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep” ~ Scott Adams
“An artist cannot fail; it is a success to be one” ~ Charles Horton Cooley
And… last but not least, here are some of my favourite quotes. If you want to share these awesome quotes on social media feel free to download them.
We have just opened up brand new Facebook group solely for creative businesses. We would love to invite you to join us!
It does not matter what area of creativity your business falls into. Creativity is creativity, right, so whether you are an artist, writer, web developer, bakery owner or whatever come over and join us!
Use the below hashtags when you want to share something in the group. There is no specific day that you need to use these (except #MotivationMonday, of course)
Show us what you are planning or working on this week.
Share a blog that you recently read and loved that you think will inspire the rest of the group.
Got something to celebrate? Go ahead and tell the group so we can celebrate with you.
Use this hashtag when you could do with some support from the rest of the group. This can be anything from a new idea, a new design, to branding your business, copywriting, marketing or website design.
Learnt something new that you think would benefit the group? Share your thoughts and ideas with us.
See you there, creative entrepreneur! [Click the image below to join]
I just joined The Creative Business Hub on Facebook with @aplace4creation. Come and join us 🎨 – https://gemmalouisek.com/join-the-facebook-creative-business-hub/
Freelancing is not as easy as it may look and there are plenty of misconceptions about what is it is really like working on a freelance basis for organisations and businesses, big and small. In this post, I break down the things that I have learnt and the pros and cons I found during the two years I spent freelancing as a graphic designer, website designer, and social media manager.
The most important thing I learnt that I have taken forward into my own business:
So, after saying goodbye to the corporate 9-5 slog and doing it for myself, here are some of my pros and cons. Remember – only you can decide if the pros outweigh the cons when it comes to freelancing. We all have different visions for our lives, and mine was to freelance for as long as I needed before I could move on and start turning it into a business and start helping others to get their own creative freedoms.
One of the biggest things that being a freelancer gave to me was the opportunity to be directly responsible for everything. It gave me a huge insight into what it is like to run my own business, so for that, I will always be grateful.
If you are thinking about freelancing and want some more insight, check out ‘The Art of Freelancing’ by Noah Bradley.
Do you have any pros, cons, and tips to add to this list? If so drop a comment below.
Being a self-employed creative in this day and digital age often means that you need to have the skills of a website designer, graphic designer, marketer, sales person, blogger, social media manager, customer service guru as well as someone with a life outside of business, so this post is totally dedicated to every creative who gets super bogged down keeping on top of everything.
This list of 7 hacks are so easy to implement and are super handy for getting rid of distractions as well as increasing the number of things you can get done throughout the day.
1. Use a timer
This works every time! How many times have you logged into Twitter or Facebook to post a new piece of work then wasted an hour browsing? If you can’t even begin to count how many times this has happened to you, then you better get yourself an E.ggtimer and start allocating your time. This means time for creativity, right? (Bonus tip: Bookmark the timer)
2. Top 5 Tasks
Sit down for half and hour every week and decide what your 5 most important tasks of the week are, then break these down into smaller tasks. If you only have small tasks get them listed out of the way so you don’t have any little tasks festering at the back of your mind. If will free your mind and make you way more productive on the bigger things. Don’t forget to grab your free planning sheets below – these will help you with creating your top 5 and task breakdowns)
3. Turn off your notifications
Yes that may sound like a crazy one because you know, you might miss something, right? But what if you are in the middle of a brain wave or you are on an absolute roll with your project then your hourly email notification pops up to say you that you have just been hit by 47 emails or social media is going wild, you are likely to get distracted by it and lose that amazing bit productivity that you just had. So save the excitement of new emails and social media to allocated times of the day and you will find that you are flying with your creative work which is what it is all about, right?
4. Tidy your workspace
I am pretty sure everyone has been guilty of this one. You will feel much better if you put them away, plus you’ll gain a little bit of extra space inside that creative brain of yours as you will no longer have to look at the mess and procrastinate on getting it sorted out! Woohoo, high five!
5. Eat and drink water
Take a time out and grab some food and have some water. This can be tough when you are really immersed in productivity so make sure you always keep some snacks and a drink in your workspace – that way your creative brain will be fed and you won’t need to worry about cooking until you actually feel like you can put down your paintbrush. (Please don’t put off eating for hours and hours though – artists gotta eat!)
6. Use a planner
This one goes hand in hand with point two. Organising yourself so that your creativity can flow easily can be tough but once you get into it, you will really start to fly. So… bunch smaller tasks together so that you can sweep them out of the way in one go (this is likely to be much faster than if you were to complete them spread out over a week or two) Plan ahead – Don’t just plan out your tasks as they come each week… Map out your 90-day goals, then organise them to fit into a monthly plan, then expand on your big goals week on week. This process will really make you think about what it is you want to achieve in the months ahead.
7. Make all of the above a habit!
Being organised means that we can accomplish so much more than when we just go with the flow. Having a planner changed the way I do organise everything both in business and in my personal life. So, as there are so many on the market these days, I decided to put this post together to make picking one a lot easier.
I really do recommend that you choose wisely and take my number one tip on board before you buy: organise your mind. By that I mean figure out what exactly it is that you need to organise.
Once you have sussed that out, you can move on to finding out which planning system works best for you. If you have a job and are running a creative business, not to mention all of the family events that you may need to keep track of, you absolutely need to avoid getting into a tangle of tasks and one of the best ways to this is a planner – that way it is all in one place. TIP: A good incentive for using a planner is buying an expensive one, that way you will feel like there is no escape from staying organised!
#1. The Simplified Planner by Emily Ley:
As a married, busy mother of three little kids with business to manage, Emily Ley got the idea of a planner from her own need to manage her day well. With this planner, she wanted to help others like her get their work done alongside their other responsibilities. This planner has a daily and monthly layout. The daily pages give you space to fill in the day by half-hour intervals and make notes on the side of the page (perfect for writing lists) Get hold of your here.
This planner comes in at $58.
#2. Erin Condren LifePlanner:
This planner comes in 2 different layouts; vertical or horizontal. This planner is super versatile as you have the option to clip in extra pages. The Erin Condren has a monthly and a weekly view which means you can plan well in advance and make sure you are doing them in the right order. If you are interested in the Erin Condren Life Planner, you can use my referral link to grab yourself $10 off your first order! These planners start at $50. A great alternative to the Life Planner is the Create 365 Happy Planner from Me and my Big Ideas.
#3. Passion Planner:
The Passion Planner aims to help you break down your goals and create steps that fit into your daily life to make your goals actionable. At the end of each month, there is a section which asks you questions that help reflect on the progress of your goals. This planner provides you with a weekly view with time slots so that you can really plan your day in a very detailed way as well as monthly and annual views. To get hold of your own Passion Planner and stay focused on your day check out the website here.
#4. Bullet Journal:
The Bullet Journal is a customizable analogue system designed by Ryder Carroll. This system is an awesome way to keep a log of your tasks in a very simple and super effective way. Watch the video below to find out more about how this system works.
Get your own Bullet Journal here.
If you don’t feel like any of the above planners will work for your schedule, you could create your own planner so that you can really customise it to suits your needs.
Here is a little insight into how I stayed organised and on top of my tasks:
It may sound like a lot of notebooks, but seriously if I didn’t have these, I would not be on top on anything. If you want to run a business, you have to be super organised so go out there and grab yourself a planner.
If you have any planner recommendations or other any great ways to stay organised drop them in the comments.
Welcome to my 2015 Etsy Holiday Gift Guide especially for Designer Makers!
Buying a gift for a designer-maker is tough as they may tend to look for the quirkiest items that they can find when shopping and for the most part they will try their hardest not to go mainstream and buy mass produced items. Now it’s your turn to follow in their footsteps, but don’t worry it is not as hard as you think as Etsy is on hand to bring us handcrafted gifts from creative sellers all over the world, and I have handpicked some of my favourites for you.
Gifts for the Studio
Gifts for the Home
Gifts for her
Gifts for him
I have spent days scouring Etsy for the most designer makery gifts I could find and I have to say that it was tough as Etsy is packed with amazing talent so I decided to create some treasuries of my top gift ideas for 2015.
For more gift inspiration be sure to check out the Etsy Holiday Hub HERE.
Personalised Leather Camera Strap by EchoSix – Shop Now
‘There is a Good Chance There is Paint in Here’ Coffee Mug by theMugHermit – Shop Now
Black and Grey ‘Maker’ Art Print by rosieoneilldesi – Shop Now
Time Flies – Wooden Wall Clock by JennyWalshDesign - Shop Now
OOAK Three Robins in flight Lampshade by LilCritterDesigns – Shop Now
Set of 3 Laser cut Rolling pins by RollingWoods – Shop Now
Anything Can Happen Art print by FleurtPrintables – Shop Now
Bridget and Mia Notebook Set by ElleJaneDesigns – Shop Now
Seaglass acrylic solid wood bangle by OMGoshShop – Shop Now
Personalised Travel Mug by mariaallenboutique – Shop Now
Personalised Leather Notebook by MedievalJourney – Shop Now
Screenprinted Stag Illustration T-Shirt by StudioAinsworth – Shop Now
Gone are the days when Instagram was a platform full of just filtered pictures of your lunch outings and pets. Instagram is an extremely important creative tool for artists and designers to use as a way of cataloguing their portfolio as well as expanding their networks. From painters, illustrators, typographers and contemporary crafters to animators and 3D designers – everyone needs to have an Instagram page to show off their creative niche so if you haven’t got one you better get on board.
Here is a list of 10 super cool typographic artists that I think you should follow to bring some motivation and pure creative fuel to your Insta feed.
1. Timothy Goodman
This New York based multitalented artist exhibits his artistic flair in his well-curated Insta feed – His endless projects including the publication of the book ’40 Days of Dating’ with the fellow designer, Jessica Walsh and ‘Quotes on Shit’ prove that Goodman’s Instagram feed is a great hub for inspiration. He has also collaborated with Target, Google and Airbnb.
2. Jon Contino
Self-proclaimed as an ‘Alphastructaesthetitologist’, Jon Contino is a jack of many trades from advertising, typography, illustration, apparel design to being an overall a branding consultant. By following his Instagram feed, you will get consistent creative inspiration from the guy who has done it all. He has even tattooed someone with no experience of tattooing whatsoever – The sign of a true artist 😉
3. Andreas M Hansen
Designer and typographer, Andreas M Hansen’s speciality is a sleek and sharp type which you can see through his sophisticated designs of bold black against white backgrounds. Andreas specialises in branding, web design and calligraphy. He is also Head of Design at AIRTAME in his hometown of Copenhagen. Keep up to date with him on Instagram and check out his shop here.
4. Sean McCabe
Don’t miss out on checking out Sean McCabe’s Instagram profile where in one half you will explore inspiring design focusing on typography and the other half provides eloquent advice on the creative industry. Sean also has a full online course on lettering and a ton of free tutorials.
5. Steven Harrington
Illustrative designer and influencer, Steven Harrington’s specialty is sharp bold lines and strong use of colours which create amazing thought provoking, playful illustrations. He has been quoted as being the ‘leader of a contemporary Californian psychedelic-pop aesthetic’ by Highsnobriety. Follow his dynamic designs and occasional evaluation pictures on his awesomely curated Instagram account or on his website.
6. Luke Choice
Luke Choice of Velvet Spectrum has some serious digital talent. His illustrations, typographic work and animations are playful and jammed with imagination. Alongside independent projects, he has also collaborated with large brands like Nike, American Express and Ray Ban.
7. Prose Appropos
The inspiring Instagram feed of Stephen Power is an unlimited supply of witty design works for hand-painted murals and signs. His use of bold shapes and typography create playful stories will provide you with plenty of inspiration. Check out his work on sale at First and Fifteenth.
8. Erik Marinovich
Working with high profile clients like Google, Nike, Facebook and Target along with being the co-founder Friends of Type, Erik Marinovich is one awesome lettering artist that you should be following on Instagram. Erik is also a co-founder of Title Case, a workspace for workshops and lectures about lettering.
9. Joshua Noom
Joshua Noom’s Instagram page is an awesome place to explore how he wonderfully creates a marriage between bold illustration and hand-crafted typography. Also don’t forget to check out his iPhone wallpapers and colouring book pages on this website.
10. Amadeus Malmén
Typographer Amadeus Malmén shows his artistry in motion and dimension with 3D designs that pop. He is currently studying Interactive Art Direction in Stockholm. Join him on Instagram or check his website out here.
Pinterest may be one of those social media platforms that you log into now and again but actually, it is one of the places that really should be utilised by you as a creative business.
I have put together our top Pinterest Tips for creatives. If you utilise these tips and continue to contribute to this platform I promise that you will start seeing great results with your Pinterest account.
1. Branding – Be consistent
2. Make sure your website is optimised for Pinterest
3. Create boards that inspire and mix in your own work with repins.
4. Follow people who inspire you – Don’t follow people for the sake of having a follow back. Dwelling on numbers is a waste of time and really it does not matter – You want your work to speak for itself.
5. Make sure the interests section is cleaned up – When you sign up for Pinterest you will find that Pinterest asks you to choose some interests and you probably picked personal interests such as cooking or makeup. In this section, we need to remember to be professional so that when you are looking through the home page you don’t get distracted by these interests. Also, your followers will be able to see what kind of things you are genuinely interested in with regards to business – Your personal interest in a celebrity or cooking and baking doesn’t compliment your own work unless of course, you are drawing inspiration from these interests.
6. Design tall pins – For example: Create a long image that shows a WIP (Work in Progress) and feature the finished piece as the last image or you could share a series of illustrations.
7. Collaborate with others. i.e. Find someone who complements what you do, message them and see if they would be interested in collaborating on a board together.
8. Always link your own pins back to your website.
9. Monitor pins from your own website – It is great to know who is enjoying your work.
10. Do not dwell on stats too much – Followers to Following Ratio is not important as long your followers enjoy what you do and have the same interests as you.
11. Space your pins out through the day – It is better not to log in once in a blue moon and pin lots of images all in one go.
Choose 3 things to implement over the next week and work toward building a consistent Pinterest presence.
There are so many tools across the web which are created to lend a helping hand when it comes to social media so we thought you would be interested in finding out what we think the best ones are. Here is a list of our favourite tools for organising social media accounts as tried and tested by my social media team and myself.
1. Manage Flitter
You can track keywords, find out who has the highest spam scores and unfollow them to protect your own account, find out when the best time for you to tweet is as well as schedule posts for Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Alongside cleaning up your Twitter account and unfollowing people, you can even see when they last tweeted, how often they tweet and whether they followed you first as well as their bio so you can check if you are following the people you actually have an interest in. Find out who your most influential followers are and who are the most talkative with the click of a button. Filter out the people you are following who does not tweet in your native language (for us this part isn’t applicable because you don’t need words to speak art 😉 )
2. Twit List Manager
It may not look like much but Twit List Manager is one of the top Twitter list managers out there. If you want to organise all of the people you follow into different lists this tool is perfect. However if you want to sort through specific followers then we suggest that you use Tweet Be. You can search the people you follow by keywords contained found in their bio for example. Pretty cool right?
If you are looking for some interesting content to share on your media accounts then this is the place for you to find it. Add keywords to your Sway dashboard and share related content with your Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin communities.
Bring your hashtag to life by creating a feed from Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Instagram, Vimeo and Google Plus. You can create one free board with Tagboard but if you upgrade to pro you can create many more boards and also monitor your stats. Awesome? Yes we think so too!
5. Commun.it teamed up with Buffer
We recently started using Commun.it, and we absolutely love it so far. It is aimed at Twitter, so if you want to grow this social network, this is the perfect tool for it.
When we first signed up one of the first things we discovered was that the normal Twitter feed wasn’t showing us who was interacting with us and we were completely missing out on some of the good stuff!
Buffer can be teamed up with Commun.it and is great for scheduling tweets. With this app we find ourselves getting very tweet-happy and tweeting out far too many tweets all at once so if you use it make sure you pace your tweets and not ping them out all at once otherwise you might find yourself on Twitter all day and end up with an overly spammy looking feed. If you are like me and you get bored really fast and I will just start scrolling over. The main reason for this is that all the tweets just merge into one big tweet. I miss the messages behind the tweet, then just get scared and do a runner!
If you are starting out we don’t recommend that you sign up for the paid version until you feel ready to really go for it with your business.
I hope you enjoyed this little list of our favourite tools for organising social media accounts. We will add new posts as we discover more interesting apps that we think can you should try out for your creative business.