Posts tagged blog
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.  

So Far...

Focus is key in business along with having a plan.  Being focused on creating a vision and how to achieve it has been at the forefront of my mind this week.  

The concepts I have - the creative world I would like to build, achieve, invite people into.  But the knowing how is the hurdle, having knowledge is power as they say and having the confidence to execute this vision is where I need to push myself.  Hence contacting a consultant.  

Like any artist, we suffer and question if what is being created is worth while.  But the desire to create is like oxygen, the outlet is needed, it is a requirement.  So therein lies the conflict.  Having a business and wanting to fulfil an ambition, to make it work is so important.  At this juncture having the confidence and knowledge is important in being able to fulfil all aspects.

So the research has started again.  Compiling lists of stylists, magazines, women of colour who are in the media world that I can contact who may be willing to help me raise the profile of the brand.  I have also spoken to my friend, who is a fantastic documentary film maker, about helping me create a short film to use as promotional material.  I need to put together a storyboard of locations and the way I want to convey the narrative.  The PR element is so important, which made me think about writing a synopsis of the brand and the ethos behind it, which engages people quickly.  This has been done and I am happy with the message it sends out.  It is clear and concise, hopefully people get on board with the idea.  The magazine I made has been doctored into a lookbook that still has my artistic touch on it in terms of it being mixed media and not just images.  I want everything to do with the brand to encapsulate my creativity, that is a hybrid of both the art and fashion world.  Hopefully I can print it out this week to proof it.  

I still have to action the photoshoot and contacting models who can participate in the shoot for me and getting a photographer of course.  My budget is zero so I am contemplating friends who may know people who could do it for free or at a lower cost.  Or if crowdfunding is an option to consider.  Either way I need to get on with this as a priority but so many things capture your attention.  I need to just have the confidence to get on with it instead of feeling overwhelmed, which is an easy default.

The most recent distraction has been an artist teacher exhibition I am a part of. Yesterday I completed painting one of the pieces I will include and today I framed both of them.  

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The above piece is a play on the 'Abstract Asian' image, which was a screen print to begin with that I have collaged and painted onto to create a slightly different aesthetic.  I really like how it has come out and I might consider printing this onto t-shirts in the future.  

The images I create are not solely for one surface or specific medium.  I like to play with the different ways in which they can be used and challenge the space in which they can be shown or used.  This has always been part of my artistic practice and area of curiosity.   

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The screen print above is a replica of the print that is on the t-shirts also entitled 'Abstract Asian'.  It has made me think about how the t-shirt could be framed and included as an art piece too.  But time is of the essence and I do not want to rush how this could work especially as I need to drop off the pieces at the gallery tomorrow.  

So now I just need to price up the work and label it correctly. 

Then back to the drawing board and list research.

Market Time - On The 'Up'?

This blog will be written over the course of the day. Today I am trading, for the first time, at Brick Lane 'Up Market'. As it is Easter weekend I am hoping there will be good footfall and some sales to be made. I have put all of my products on special offer so I hope I break even at least.

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So it is midday and the footfall is increasing, which is a good sign. People are engaging with the products, again another encouraging sign. A purchase was nearly made but the fit was not quite right for the gentlemans frame. Such a shame as he really liked the Abstract Asian print sweatshirt and was really apologetic, which was really sweet and made me feel somewhat better about not making the sale. 

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14:00 - some sales have been made hurrah. There is so much truth in the saying that buying from an independent business means that we do a little dance on the inside after each sale.   So far, a Maya t-shirt has been sold, an Abstract Asian print and two Maya tote bags.  Maya is popular today.  Fingers crossed for a couple more purchases by the lovely public. 

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17:00 - I have made the rent and a bit more so I am feeling super happy.  It is always a big concern if you are going to return home with breaking even or not at least. So for my first venture here I am happy with the positive vibes I have received from people and of course their purchases.

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To summarise, I feel very happy with my overall experience at the market today. There was a lot more interaction with the products and people showing genuine interest in the brands overall aesthetic and ethos. Also, I have met some really lovely traders around me, who were really supportive and made the day go by quickly with various chat. I think that is what makes a market, the community and support from one another.  Because we are all entrepreneurs in our own way whether it is from a creative perspective or selling various goods.  I think my pitch really helped also.  Located in the middle between the food and the beginning of the other traders made the footfall past my stall even better. So I will endeavour to request that spot for next time if I can. 

With this new positivity I need to utilise it.  To build up the brand with the feedback from the fashion consultant and other people in the know along with building on my research, contacts and much more. Watch this space, as usual.