Posts tagged Styling
Head ~ Brick Wall ~ Slump

It sounds dramatic, the title of this blog, but honestly this is how I feel at the moment, like I am banging my head against a brick wall.  

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I have been trying various different strategies to no avail. Reflecting on why some of them have not worked out makes sense. Such as offering free t-shirts to a selected group of women of colour for a shout out here and there on social media has not been a tempting offer for them; I guess they are wondering who the hell I am and what are they getting out of it? I do not have thousands of followers on Instagram and the deal seems more swayed in my favour than theirs. I get it. 

 

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Then there were the magazines / website options or platforms that I reached out to for either a feature or to include my t-shirt in a fashion shoot. A couple have responded, which is good but nothing has been locked down. People are busy I guess? Or not interested? I imagine they are bombarded with so many artists/designers? 

 

Funding is another option but aside from an email to check if I was applicable for a grant, which I wasn’t, you have to be on the ball when it comes to deadlines, eligibility etc. I need to be a lot more proactive on this front. 

 

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Another option I was excited about was the Instagram shop. I thought I had completed my Facebook shop ok and that it would be set but it isn’t and I have no clue as to why? I have tried to find a solution, ask on forums but no solid conclusion as yet. A promote button has been added on my Instagram page, maybe this is the next step? 

 

So as a result I have been rather down in the dumps regarding the business overall. It’s hard. It is hard by yourself. Don’t get me wrong I have support and I have had some really great advice, some of which I have implemented. But it still is not materialising in sales, which is the key point here. And it makes you think, what is the point? It takes time and energy. But maybe my brain is not the business type. So if this is the case I need to think very carefully about my next step. 

 

Ideally what I want is someone to look at my social media accounts, my website and see what works, what needs changing and to give me specific strategies to change things for the better so the brand values are clear, the message is getting out there and people want to spend their hard earned cash on my garments.  

 

Any takers???  

 

Another ideal would be that someone does all the business side or things including all the social media, PR and marketing so it frees me up to focus on the creativity.  

 

Again, any takers??? 

 

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So not to end on a negative. I am thinking of how to be proactive and get some advice. Researching companies that support start ups like me and who may be able to give some valuable advice and support like above to enable me to move forward. I have found three so far so I will be emailing them.  

Also, I need to keep the creative juices flowing so I have been fantasising about the business bank account being full and visualising new potential designs for the future. As the dream is to expand the garment range.

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What do you think?

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.