Monday, August 22nd, 2016
I love interviews and getting to know people behind their ideas, projects or businesses. I went to Secret 7” twice in the last two years and always thought it’s such an amazing idea. I was lucky that my boyfriend knew the founder of Secret 7” so I asked Kevin a few questions.
Let me know if you have heard of Secret 7” before. I can’t wait to see the next “exhibition”. I actually wanted to take part this year but then time was flying; you probably know what I mean. Count me in for next year, though. Promised!
And now the interview!
1. Can you briefly describe what Secret 7” is & how the idea was born?
Since 2012 Secret 7″ has been combining music and art for good causes. Each year we take 7 tracks from 7 of the best-known musicians around and press each one 100 times to 7″ vinyl. We then invite creatives from around the world to interpret the tracks in their own style for every 7″. The resulting 700 sleeves are for exhibition and then sold for £50 apiece. You don’t know who created the sleeve, or which song it’s for until you have parted with your cash – the secret lies within. To date, we’ve raised over £170,000 for charities.
The idea came about while I was working at Universal Music. The staff was challenged to come forward with fundraising ideas and inspired by the RCA postcard sale, Secret 7″ was my response.
2.What has been your greatest success with Secret 7” so far?
I’d say successfully developing it year after year. The core concept of the show has stayed the same but we’ve grown into a month-long exhibition with a programme of events and various bonus material. This year we had sleeve making workshops with artists, talks, hosted a sleepover, gave the public the chance to record live to vinyl at the exhibition, reanimated a vintage jukebox and commissioned seven unique turntables with Thierry Noir and Rega. We’re a small team of two (see last photo), and when I step back and look what we output each year it’s incredible.
3. What has been your most favourite sleeve of the past 5 years?
That’s a really tough question. I’ve 3,500 to choose from now! I’ll reference two sleeves, one by Non-Format (who sealed the record inside a concrete block) and the other Boneface, both for Peter Gabriel’s Sledgehammer last year. They are equally brilliant in their execution and yet worlds apart, I think they show how wonderfully different two people can interpret a track through the project.
4. How long does it take you to organise such a big event?
A lot of hours! We’ll almost start picking up conversations with partners and venues for the following year as soon as one show ends. It gets really hectic and sleep deprived from December till May for the two of us.
5. If you don’t organise the Secret 7” show what do you do?
Now that 2016’s show has come to a close we’re exploring more projects as Goodness, using our skills and network across music/art to deliver meaningful campaigns.
6. Last but least, how do you stay creative?
Good question. If I’m looking for inspiration I’ll get out in the world – walks, holidays or a drive. If I can’t go far and need a clear mind I’ll have a shower. At peak madness bringing Secret 7″ together, I’ll shower three or four times in a day.
I’ll update you as soon as I know when the next Secret 7” show starts again.
Monday, August 15th, 2016
Last week, I went to the Mayfield Lavender Fields close to London. It was such a cool trip that I needed to share it with you. There were several reasons why I wanted to go there.
Number 1: I barely leave London so this was a great destination to finally leave the big city for a few hours.
Number 2: I wanted to find a really nice location to take photos of the Föllinge products (more about it in a second).
Number 3: I can finally go on adventures during the week because I’m freelancing so that was the first big chance (silly reason, I know).
So I went to Mayfield Lavender Fields with my friend Emelie last Friday – we’re in the middle of organising our event at the moment (coming soon on my blog). She is also the one who introduced me to an amazing organic beauty brand: Föllinge. You can see a couple of their products below. Föllinge is a Swedish product – so is my friend (not a product though) – and it was founded in the north of Sweden in 1985. I’m very happy they made it to the UK (and other countries – you order their products here). I’m a huge fan of Swedish design and I can tell you that their beauty products are as amazing as their design. Well, at least Föllinge is. Their organic products are divided into products for your face, for your body, and wellness. I just started trying a few of their products and I love how they feel on your skin.
Although I could not travel to the north of Sweden to take some beautiful photos of the products, I thought the lavender fields are very suitable to take some nice photographs. England meets Sweden, right?!
As I mentioned before, it was a great day and I could refuel my creative juices. If I wasn’t concentrating on taking photos of Föllinge I would have sat down to work on my art journal. And if the lavender fields wouldn’t be a 4-hour journey in a day I would spend more time there for sure. BUT, sometimes you just need to put a little bit of effort into something in order to get good results. For me, it was taking 2 hours to get to the lavender fields and 2 hours back. I had a wonderful day of sunshine, treats, and fun, and of course, I couldn’t resist buying some lavender for the house, too.
Do you have a favourite place where you can feel the magic?
Thursday, August 11th, 2016
If you’re in need of a creative break, I found the perfect stay in London for you. Please let me introduce you to the new hotel citizenM, a creative paradise as you can see in the photos. I was invited to attend a design blogger event at citizenM a couple of weeks ago. I checked in early because I wanted to have the full experience of being a mobile citizen in the hotel. Luckily, I live in London because I didn’t want to leave the hotel. I spend almost 24 hours in there and it was fantastic.
If you’re a freelancer like me you can work from anywhere. So I checked in, got myself a coffee in their café (yum!), and then worked in the lobby. I was surrounded by art and so much attention to detail. Okay, I had to be careful not to get distracted too much but it was such an amazing creative environment.
Before we – the bloggers – met downstairs, I also quickly checked out my room. I spend a couple of too many minutes playing around with the technology in the room. You could pretty much control everything from the iPad they provided you with. I loved the personal welcome as citizenM Uli, too. You could open the blinds, have different mood lightening and they also had German TV. I know, this is especially important for you LOL
I finally met the other bloggers after a couple of hours exploring the hotel and working from the lobby. I couldn’t wait to see the bar with the amazing view. Scroll down to see what I mean. By the way, the room I was staying in had the same view *LOVE* We pretty much hung out at the bar for the rest of the evening with a short break to have some dinner. Believe me, you wouldn’t want to leave that bar either.
Last but not least, I had such a great sleep in the huge bed and an even better breakfast in the morning. I really liked that the hotel also provided healthy options.
Can you see why this hotel is the perfect stay in London? It just opened. So if you’re travelling to London soon or just want to have a little luxury break from home, like me, then you know where to go. Oh, and did I mention the WiFi is perfect?! They have everything a freelancer needs – the Internet, coffee, a creative environment, and a bar.
PS: If you’re not travelling to London, you can also stay in a citizenM hotel in Amsterdam, Glasgow, New York, Paris, or Rotterdam.
Monday, August 8th, 2016
Meet the gorgeous stationery brand Lonetree and its founders, Sara and Emma, a lovely sister duo (see image below). They got in touch with me a couple of months ago on Instagram and it took a lifetime to finally introduce them to you on my blog. Life gets always in the way… You know I’m a stationery fan and I’m so happy Lonetree found me. Their stuff is absolutely my cup of tea. Emma and Sara introduced themselves as paper-holics which I thought is an amazing description. You can definitely see the love for paper in their stationery products. I’m also very jealous that they work from an old converted stable block on the edge of the North Yorkshire Moors. Sounds dreamy!
Without further ado, please get to know the faces behind Lonetree below.
Have you heard about Lonetree before?
Thursday, August 4th, 2016
I just spent a wonderful week in Germany, so apologies if I haven’t updated my blog as usual. Today, I want to talk about the good things in life. Sounds good, right?! Everything started when I was invited to a brunch at Albion Clerkenwell by 451life a couple of weeks ago. You might be familiar with some other ‘Albions’ in Shoreditch and Bankside. The Albion Clerkenwell just opened its doors and I’m already in love. It’s a perfect location and it’s so cosy inside. I could spend the whole day there and it probably will be my new freelance hub from time to time. I wish it was there when I was working at We Are Social just around the corner.
But it’s not only a café. There’s a whole story behind it! And that’s where 451life comes into the picture. As I mentioned above, it’s bringing the good things in life to us; all the little stories about makers, creatives, designers, and more. You won’t be able to NOT fall in love with the people of 451life. How to better tell a story than with a video?! At the event, we watched the story behind the Albion Clerkenwell, the story behind The Wild East – A Pop-up Story, and the story behind Tatty Devine Jewellery. I honestly couldn’t tell which story was more interesting because they’re all very unique.
451life is a subscription based platform. You can test it 24 hours for free or you can sign up with the code 451ALBION until the end of August for a month of free content (found on their Facebook page). There’s also a free section but if you want to benefit fully from unlimited access to content, amazing offers from their talented contributors and invitations to very special events I recommend signing up here. I really wanted to write about this because I think it’s a wonderful idea. I always want to know more about a product or place and 451life gives you the opportunity to get to know the creators better. I also think it’s very inspirational, especially if you think of starting your own business.
Tell me, what’s your story?
Monday, July 25th, 2016
I finally found the time to write about how to become a successful freelancer. It has been more than 6 months for me and I already can tell you a few things about what to do and what to avoid. I have written a blog post about the beginnings before, but here’s my progress. When I talk to people about how to become a successful freelancer there’s such a big halo around it. Don’t misunderstand me, I like it when people think it’s a big deal but I also think if you’re a creative person who likes to find solutions, becoming a freelancer is easier than you think. It has a lot to do with your own attitude.
Before I give you some useful tips I want to tell you when I decided to go freelance and how I started. As far as I remember, I started thinking about freelancing 4 months into my new job when I also started this blog in January 2015. I secretly told myself I have one year to make the jump. So I’d say my thoughts lasted way longer than my actions but that’s quite a common thing. The urgency of becoming freelance is mostly developed out of an emergency, e.g. getting fired, or a huge dissatisfaction, e.g. the job is not fulfilling anymore. My job was alright and so were all the others before but my problem was that everything was too slow for me and I could barely develop my own skills because I had to follow processes and rules. I know I sound like such a rebel but I knew for a long time I might not be the best person doing what other people tell me to do, at least not without questioning it. So freelancing was the first step into independence. I’m guilty of not being prepared enough, i.e. I didn’t have savings when I made the jump. I just couldn’t wait anymore. It might not be the best starting point but on the other hand, I really needed to push myself to make things happen.
At the moment, I still have a mix of different jobs. I work sporadically for an agency as a social media manager and I do have my own clients. I’ve been incredibly lucky that my clients can see such a big potential in me and trust me with my expertise. I not only help them with their social media channels, I also provide help with branding, PR, and marketing. The truth is that I can do so much more than social media but sometimes it’s tricky to sell this to your client when your obvious expertise is social media. Once people get to know me and have seen what I’m capable of we’re rocking their brand together.
But enough about me and my clients. I want to tell you a little bit more about how you can make it, too. Here we go!
Please share your thoughts with me! Are you thinking of going freelance? What does stop you? Where do you see your biggest problem? I’m happy to give some more advice and encouragement!
Working from the coffee shop around the corner of co-working space Campus London.
Working with my freelance friend Emelie on my shared terrace in East London.
Thursday, July 21st, 2016
Summer is finally in London! It’s the perfect time to introduce you to illustrator Marylou Faure. I discovered her at the recent Adobe Creative Meetup. It was an event where creatives talked about their skills and careers. I highly recommend attending one of their events. If you’re interested in creative talks from Adobe you can pre-register here. It was a very well organised and inspiring session. Do you know the feeling when you met lots of creative people and listened to their stories and then you go home and just want to create things?! I definitely felt like that when I listened to Marylou’s talk.
I just thought that illustrator Marylou Faure totally stood out. Her style seemed very significant. She was telling us how she started and what it means to develop your own style. You have to practice, practice, practice, but with a lot of patience and stamina, you can do it, too.
Her illustrations are very bold. I remember she was saying she wanted to go away from the cute designs and be more daring. A great tip from her: if you want to be known for a specific style you need to put it in your profile. Don’t put everything you’ve done in your portfolio. Show people who you really are and what you want to do.
Would you agree with her statement? It was really interesting to hear that illustrator Marylou Faure started off with a darker approach to her illustrations. But one day she decided to make her drawings brighter and happier. Well, I can tell you that they definitely make me happy, especially since summer has finally arrived in London, too. She went through stages until she developed the style you can now see in her illustrations. I really loved seeing her process and progress.
It was really interesting to hear that illustrator Marylou Faure started off with a darker approach to her illustrations. But one day she decided to make her drawings brighter and happier. Well, I can tell you that they definitely make me happy, especially since summer has finally arrived in London, too. She went through stages until she developed the style you can now see in her illustrations. I really loved seeing her process and progress.
What do you think of her illustrations?
Monday, July 18th, 2016
What do you think about workshops? A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure to attend the Viking Arty Party, a blogger meetup where we could test some arty skills such as origami, block printing, and calligraphy. I’ve never seen so many creative bloggers in one place. It was great meeting some like-minded souls. A couple of months ago I’ve attended my first workshop. It was all about collaging in different forms. I really loved it. So I was very excited to attend the Viking Arty Party and I want to tell you a little bit more about the different workshops. Are you ready?
First stop was the Origami workshop with Samuel from MindFOLDness. You’ll probably wonder but origami wouldn’t be my first workshop choice although it’s the closest to Found Some Paper. Anyway, I totally changed my mind. It’s wonderful! First of all, we got a little introduction to what origami means and where it’s used. Samuel was so good in explaining the meaning of origami and he impressed us with stories of the folding craft in different areas such as medicine and the space industry. If you want to know more about origami and mindfulness his book will help. Finally, we folded a bird ourselves. It’s quite therapeutic and relaxing, to be honest. Samuel told us to give this bird to a stranger as an act of kindness. What a wonderful idea, don’t you think?! Have you ever tried origami?
Second on the list was block printing. It’s actually easier than you think. You don’t need a lot of materials. Jane from Tea & Crafting introduced us to the art of block printing. All we needed was a thin sponge, a piece of plastic to stick our sponge shape on and some paint. I’m a big fan of triangles and diamonds so I tried to combine these two and block printed a Viking folder with my purple shapes. I’d love to show it to you but I was too concentrated in the workshop I forgot to take a picture. What shape would you choose? Have you ever tried block printing?
Last but not least, we had some time to dive into calligraphy. I almost missed it because I had to attend a friend’s birthday party but then I decided to stay half an hour longer to at least try it. And it was so worth it. Suzie from À L’aise came super prepared. I was quite impressed how structured her workshop was. She printed some beautiful templates for us to use and practice with. After a short introduction, we started immediately. It was so much fun! I didn’t have time to do the whole alphabet but we could keep the ink and the pen so I still need to practice more. If I have to compare calligraphy to something it would be the language French. Not sure if you can relate to this comparison. It’s just beautiful. If you have ever tried calligraphy it would be amazing if you share it with me on Twitter.
And here’s me very concentrated taking photographs (this photo was taken by Search Laboratory). When I was a child I always put out my tongue when I was being creative. Guess nothing has changed much hahaha
See you at a workshop in London soon?
Monday, July 11th, 2016
It’s about time I’m sharing my art journal progress with you again. A few months ago I posted the first pictures of my new art journal and told you how to easily start one. Since then I’ve sat down a few times and continued drawing and painting. Art journaling helps me a lot to stay creative. Here are a few tips on how to stay creative with your art journal.
Do you have an art journal yourself? I’d love to see yours! Share it with me on Twitter.
PS: I’m always happy to hear feedback, too.
Tuesday, July 5th, 2016
Together, we created our own little tile designs in a morning workshop. Head to my Twitter account to see what I’ve made. We also had an interesting introduction to the designs of Bisazza. To be honest, I’ve never really thought about tiles but after I’ve visited the showroom my opinion completely changed. After all, we have at least two rooms with tiles in our house: the bathroom and the kitchen. So much potential! I will never look at these two rooms in the same way again and yes, I feel that my bathroom and the kitchen look fairly boring after I’ve discovered Bisazza’s dream world of tiles.
Bisazza works together with artist teams like the Studio Job and Tom Dixon, who I’ve also discovered recently and with whom I fell deeply in love with… ehm, I mean with his design. Of course, Bisazza is an extravagant brand and it’s not cheap. Therefore, I recommend start saving now so when you buy your own house you won’t be able to go with any lower than these tiles after reading my blog post. Promised!
I’m definitely planning on having a pool in my house. Tiles sorted! What would you create in your bathroom or kitchen?
I really like the gold and white tiles at the entrance of the Bisazza showroom. It looks very elegant.
Bisazza has so many inspirations to choose from; every colour theme you can imagine as well as the most beautiful artworks.
This is us creating our own tile designs. The Bisazza team was absolutely lovely and I really enjoyed getting creative myself.
Just look at the details of the mosaic flowers. They’re not only a place where you buy tiles, it’s a place of inspiration and true art.