Posts in Look book
Exhibition Time - Exciting Weeks Ahead

The following weeks are going to be busy, but good busy.

Whilst waiting for the photographer to finalise touching up the photos from the shoot I have been playing about with a digital lookbook, which I will send to specific fashion / arty magazines and stylists who I hope will feature my garments in their shoots.

When I created my first magazine, Front Cover, it was fun and somewhat easy as it was a creative space for me to explore and have fun whilst learning how to use indesign at the same time.

But this lookbook is on another level, literally. One where I need to consider many aspects. Not only placing images into the template but also the composition, collage, textures and the overall narrative. But moreover, the commercial aspect, making it look professional but also being true to me as an artist designer. So balance is key. 

As a result I have been researching other brands lookbooks to see how they lay out the images, text and if there are any artistic touches. What I have found interesting Is the brands aesthetics and how clear it is. When you see it you know which brand it is, there is a strong visual message being communicated. 

I am always drawn to specific designers for their artistic exploration and individuality like Vivienne Westwood. I like the combination of the locations the models have been shot in along with the post production artistic elements that have been added, such as text, scribbles etc.  Along with Maison Margiela who has a very playful aesthetic that is in keeping with my own. 

Vivienne Westwood lookbook  

Vivienne Westwood lookbook  

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Maison Margiela

Maison Margiela

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So I will draw inspiration from them and play around with mark making, which for me is key as I like to express myself creatively whilst constructing a strong visual image. I generally know when I am happy with something as it just strikes a chord, an instinct of sorts. So here is the start, the cover, it may change a lot, it may have a tweak here or there. Who knows?  But thats the joy for me. All I know at this point is that my logo needs to be on it and the tag line with a strong image. Some elements have been ticked here. 

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So what else this week? Thursday my friends and I are going to the Barbican to see the Basquiat exhibition. Words cannot express how excited I am about this.  It would seem Banksy is too and utilising the opportunity to make a political statement. Very apt. I am looking forward to seeing this in real life. 

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Although this is something exciting especially as I have drawn inspiration from Basquiat since A levels. It is not as exciting as the up and coming exhibition that my painting is going to be in at Stour Space Gallery in Hackney Wick. It is a great event to be a part of due to all proceeds going towards charity - End Violence Against Women, hosted by Nasty Women. I am really looking forward to seeing all of the other art works and meeting the other artists too. 

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The following Friday is the launch of the annual print magazine gal-dem where there will be a party. So again another opportunity to mingle, meet people within the industry, other creatives. Need to get my chat hat ready and decide which t-shirt I am going to wear. Shameless self promotion I know!!!

There are hopefully tickets left, which are £10 and you get a copy of the magazine, drinks and food. You can purchase them at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/gal-dem-print-issue-2-launch-home-tickets-37533547852

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And last but not least, Zines of the World, have released the dates for the exhibition at the Truman Brewery. So another date for your diary

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The exhibition is free but you need to RSVP at this link https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/zines-of-the-world-tickets-37817063856

So all in all exciting times ahead. It is the start of the journey but I feel very positive about the new platforms that are opening up.  Let's hope they lead to something.  

Decisions Decisions

This image I took along side the photographer, Nate, from Nate Visuals, to check the overall aesthetic of the image, which has been placed provisionally on my website to check its visual appeal. It will be replaced with the professional one he shot. What do you think? I am obsessed with the colours and the textured peeling paint. 

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This week I have been looking at the proofs from the shoot. My instruction was to select 35 frames from the 600+ shot, ready for retouching. Easy right?

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This has to be one of the biggest decisions I have had to make recently and it is pretty anxiety inducing. Mainly because of all of the questions rolling around in my head like is this image right for the page, garment, overall aesthetic? It is like being a kid in a sweet shop - too much choice. 

But after about four days and moving from the definitely no or maybe folder to the definitely yes one, I am happy with my selection. There is always doubt. But I have cross referenced them with my website to see how multifunctional they are, slotting them provisionally in place to see if the narrative is there as well as being loyal to the product and showcasing it effectively. 

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It is amazing how analytical you get but there has to be limited distraction so people are drawn to the garments and not a sleeve bunched up here or a a sticker on the base of a shoe there, sounds over the top but details are very important. And I have had a very critical eye. But also critical of myself, why didn't I notice that, straighten that out there. It has been another great learning experiences and one I can look forward to again with new understanding of what to achieve. But of course we have the digital technology to manipulate and get rid of any issues so I am excited to see the photographs once the touch ups have been completed. 

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Then the final images can be added to the website and ticked off my vast list of things to do. And then it is looking forward to the exhibition at Stour Space and the magazine launch of gal-dem this month, which will hopefully generate more interest in the brand. On a side note I was thinking about PR and if I should order more business cards to hand out to people at events or whether there is a more interesting way to way to share that information in a visual way???? I need to do some research on this really. Are there new trends on sharing your brand in a physical form that is not too cumbersome to the receiver? 

Anyway, as always, there is no rest for the wicked. So the next plan of actions are to start listing influencers, magazines and stylists I would like to approach along with other channels, which will hopefully inspire both traffic and sales to my website. Being busy is good as it helps the motivation and focus factor. Keep pushing and striving for more knowledge, more ways in which to improve whilst being reflective. And keep reaching out, which is key. 

Third Time's a Charm - Photoshoot Reflections.
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The photoshoot happened, I am floating on a sea of happiness and surrealness. Mostly because it happened, as the title suggests, third times a charm but also because it ran so smoothly and the images aesthetically capture what I was hoping for, urban edginess. 

Retail test shot, too bright in the garden.  

Retail test shot, too bright in the garden.  

Behind the scenes, all hands on deck. 

Behind the scenes, all hands on deck. 

Despite only one out of the four models being professional, they all stood up to the plate taking direction well and easing into the shoot more and more as the day went on. 

I think, upon reflection the research and planning helped significantly as the shoot could be guided well based on my location choices in a sequence that flowed allowing time to concentrate on the images. The only change I would make is to have taken more single shots of the girls in the third location but I think there are enough there to crop and manipulate if needs be. I was more interested in the camaraderie between the group and creating a visual message of a strong sisterhood and the narrative that can be derived from that. They looked so good together. 

Love love love these flats, the pink blue and deep red just really work (for me).  

Love love love these flats, the pink blue and deep red just really work (for me).  

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Aside from that everything else was great, the weather, Nate, the photographer was so professional and his calm nature allowed the models aka my friends to feel secure and relaxed in a situation so removed from their comfort zone by guiding them with each click of the shutter but also because of who they are, calm, collected and supportive of one another really helped the day run smoothly. No divas, no big annoying personalities, it was all good. 

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I think everything happens for a reason, from the way we met, to the two delays and subsequent rescheduled shoots, to who could make it on the day, it all worked out. I truly am buzzing from the day. It was exhausting as my adrenaline was pumping causing my anxiety to spike but as everything unfolded I felt more relaxed but focused on the vision I wanted to capture that had been in my head and on the walls of my studio for months. I can not wait to see all of the images. I think the selection process is going to be hard.

The day and events leading up to the shoot have spiked my enthusiasm for the brand and how diverse this creative space can be. There is no questioning of how much hard work it is and how there can be significant shifts between the highs and lows but when there is a high, like now, I am feeling so inspired - I am going to embrace it.

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I think it is the range of creative output. From the designing to the printing to the website and the visual research. There is so much to think about and consider but that is what is exciting. It suits my personality, which by my very Piscean nature is changeable. I get bored very easily and what frustrates me is offset by all of the physical creative elements that both challenge me but allow for that creative freedom. I am my own boss. I realise that I have drive and a passion for this, which was cemented by the success of the shoot (I hope). I worked hard at putting it together and thinking about the outcomes, which are seemingly successful and that was what was exciting. It has really made me think about my choices in life, not to be all melodramatic but we should follow our passions shouldn't we? 

Reflecting on my university days, when I was getting ready to graduate I wanted to become a fashion photographer but couldn't afford to pursue it due to financial reasons. Imagine if I had found a way? I found a way to move to Tokyo, I wanted to become a teacher and move to London, which I achieved, I wanted to start my own business. So when I truly want something I make it happen. If only I had down that then. But as we know, things happen for a reason and our paths are either what we go with or what we choose to carve. Now is the time to do more carving I think! 

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So, next steps are to update the website when I have the images. Oh and go back to the locations and take more pictures of textures, I forgot to do that as I was so focused on the models. I want to collage them together for the digital look book and website. Haggerston really was a great backdrop to the whole visual aesthetic, so I want to incorporate it as much as I can.

Then I need to push the PR side of things. Contact stylists, fashion magazines for a feature or for the t-shirts and sweatshirts to be included, both would be great. Again pushing forward the ethos of the brand, Celebrating Women of Colour

So a busy but exciting month ahead with exhibitions to attend and the publishing of the magazine my advert will be in towards the end of the September. I really am happy with how things have progressed over the last month, long may it continue.  

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A captured moment from a video I took. Love these girls for their commitment and patience x