I am often asked how I came up with ‘spikey mouse photography‘ for my business, I have to admit that it is all thanks to a boy called Ben who wanted to buy his mum a birthday present. Ben is my eldest son and one day when he was out with his grandmother he decided that he was going to buy me a present for my birthday, I think he was around 3 or 4 years old at the time. They finally came up with a ceramic ‘Hedgie’ hedgehog and Ben has been buying me 2 or 3 of them a year ever since. It is an understatement to say that I now have quite a collection and when I was naming my new business adventure everyone suggested using ‘Hedgehog’ but I wanted something a little different and found that in Bengali Hedgehog was spikey mouse and a business was born! Strange how things happen, I have a great and memorable company name and am reminded every business day of my little boy Ben and my lovely Mum who has sadly passed away now. Ben is now a grown man and a father himself and is really happy I chose to use him as my muse, thank you Ben. x
Good morning everyone, my FLASH SALE is now LIVE! I am offering an amazing 10 x 8 print of ANY image on my website for the outstanding price of ONLY £15.00. This offer is too good to miss and closes at midnight TONIGHT. GRAB A BARGAIN WHILE YOU CAN. Screenshot the image you want, DM me on instagram or email me firstname.lastname@example.org and i will send you a paypal invoice and then your photo, easy as pie! Free postage to the UK ONLY.
(¯´•._.• 𝔽ｌα𝕤𝐇 Ŝ𝔸𝐋Ｅ •._.•´¯)
After a severe knock to the head which has led to a massive purse injury I have decided to sell 10 x 8 prints of A͎N͎Y͎T͎H͎I͎N͎G͎ from my website https://karen-lawrence.pixels.com/ for O̲n̲e̲ ̲d̲a̲y̲ ̲o̲n̲l̲y̲!!!! On Wednesday 21st October!!!
For the amazing price of ❤ ONLY ❤ ☆£15.00☆❤
I will 𝑵𝑬𝑽𝑬𝑹 sell them at this price again!
If you are interested send me a DM screen shot of your choice on Instagram with your email address and I will send you a PayPal invoice followed by your print. Easy as…. banging my head I suppose.
Stay safe out there!
¸„.-•~¹°”ˆ˜¨ X Karen ¨˜ˆ”°¹~•-.„¸
Make sure you are following me on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/spikeymousephotography/ As im having a 1 Day only Flash Sale.
Step up your Christmas shopping with my 1 Day Super Flash Sale on instagram https://www.instagram.com/spikeymousephotography/ Treat yourself to some beautiful new Landscape Fine Art Photography or just go for a nosey. Follow me, like, comment and share to your stories! Thank you.
No one can say that their lives are not influenced by their parents, it is guaranteed that your Dad will influence you in a different way than your Mum will. I am lucky to have had a very close relationship with my parents, we have understood each other the majority of the time. Yes there were times we argued, i was a teenager once. Somehow I became the daughter who was nominated as the caring daughter, I was the one who was left to look after my parents, I didn’t really mind , you don’t do you they’re your parents after all. When my Dad died my husband, son and I moved into the family home to look after Mum and over 20+ years we lived together through arguments, peaceful times, births, deaths and cancer. I was there for Mum 24/7 and when she was diagnosed with cancer, Multiple Myaloma, i became her carer. We were able to laugh through much of her battle, she was lucky with her Chemo she didn’t loose her hair or suffer sickness, we had the same sense of humour but at the end she did suffer terribly and when she finally passed away peacefully early one December morning my sister and I were able to say a peaceful and loving goodbye. I held her hand and told her how much I loved her and she was gone. Her funeral was a family affair, we were all able to catch up with each other, to talk and reminisce and wonder about the strong woman she was. After Dad died she restarted her education and ultimately gained a Ba hons in the History of Art and Irish Studies, a 2:2 no less! Last night with my loving family and my sister and her girls, we said the final goodbye when we scattered Mums ashes along the beach where we used to go in the summer, near to where Dad worked so he could pick us up in the late afternoon. We said goodbye just as the sun set in a riot of glorious colours and walking back from the beach i felt the weight of caring lift from my shoulders, when we went into our home i could no longer feel Mums presence, finally I am free to start living my life for myself, with the closing of the door a new stage of my life has begun and I hope i finally get to live it how I want not around others needs. Goodbye Mum, hello me.
There are a lot of ‘Challenges’ going around on social media at the moment, #30daysofart #atistsupportpledge drawing challenges etc. Some designed to help with online sales others to explore your talent. These are all great BUT does it take away the time you need for creating your work? I’m finding it incredibly difficult making art, as a photographer you would think it easy, just go outside with your camera and take photos right, WRONG! I’ve tried the drawing to get inspiration, got bored, tried setting up my lightbox and getting wildflowers to photograph, bored! Thought about photographing the sunsets as they seem to be wonderful at the moment, no inspiration. I think im broken.
I’m not sure if it is depression, after all i am in morning for my mum, we are living in strange times closed off from everyone, i can’t make money selling my work the normal way and online is certainly not working for me at the moment. Online social media course being taken. I need gallery space, i love gallery space, i’d love to sell during the Chester Art Fair but as I’ve made no money recently the £700.00 fee is just too much, so just what am i going to do?
Any suggestions? They are all welcome but PLEASE, be nice! There is one thing that is calling to me. I was bought a Polaroid Lab for my birthday in May, I’ve used it once and IT IS SO GOOD! The down side is the film, its so damn expensive, you only get 8, yes 8, images out of a box and its around £15.00 for a box, three boxes for £55.00 with shipping, so i really don’t want to use it but i do but i dont, HELP! I could experiment till the cows come home but i only have one and a half packs left and i could use that in a day, then no more, then i would have to find a way to sell them to buy more film, see the vicious circle i’m in? Oh how i wish i was a painter or felt artist, anything that is easier than being a photographer!
But a photographer i am and that is not going to change, so i need to get my act together, make a plan, keep to it. Go for it with the #artistsupportpledge and get my work out on Instagram (@spikeymousephotography) It works i’ve seen the SOLD by peoples art, i want it to work for me too. SO this is what im going to do, sit at my computer and make multiple posts to use over the week of the art i want to sell, post it, do the social media thing and comment on my favorite artists and friends posts, try to get myself seen by more people. Im going to create! Im going to use that Polaroid Lab and all of the film and enjoy myself while it lasts, then im going to look for galleries that are open and talk to them about showing or just stocking my art. Oh and shops, those too and i am going to DO IT and enjoy myself too. Isn’t that why we make art?
So that’s my plan. If you have been patient enough to read down to the bottom here this is where i have the big ask. PLEASE go onto my instagram account @spikeymousephotography and have a look at the work i have posted, the work for sale through #artistsupportpledge and think about buying a little something, my work starts at £25.00, all of the Polaroids are original one of a kind and will never be reprinted so your getting a great deal on them! And they really are beautiful, eye catching and very collectible. You will be kindly helping an artist who in turn will help another artist and the support goes on.
My Mum died. In December last year, so it is still a very raw feeling. We had an amazing relationship, very close. We could talk about anything and we did. We could sit for hours with a cup of tea for her, coffee for me and we would go around the world, figuratively, fixing things.
The other day i was walking my dog Storm, on our route we go up to the cemetery and walk along the pathways there before walking along the main road back home. This day we were wandering along and i was looking at the grave stones when i realised that the actual graves of the older burials were sinking and that a large portion of the headstones had fallen over. Which got me to thinking, if you bury someone you love, leaving a lasting memorial wouldn’t the family keep that grave in good order and what did it say for the older graves, had all of the family moved away and it made me sad and a little mad. Not just because no one was looking after these memorials but also because i couldn’t go home and talk to Mum about it.
She would have recognised the names and she would have had a little anecdote about the family but she was the last of her generation in our family so there is no one who can hold that conversation with me and it caught in the back of my throat, brought tears to my eyes, i had lost my friend as well as my mum and i wont ever be able to get that back again.
My husband said ‘talk to me’, i tried but it wasn’t the same, i feel like all of the conversations we would have had are now stuck just under my breastbone not able to come out and it is so frustrating. I loved our talks and we continued them right up until she passed away, now i need to find a way to have these conversations with someone else, to put those i had with mum into a little box and tie it with a ribbon to put up onto the top shelf to be remembered another day and to find a new way to hold long conversations about life with someone else.
Something happened this week and i just didn’t have anything to post, im not a naturally gregarious person to start with so me and talking dont really go hand in hand. I have been artistically busy though, i stumbled upon a video series on painting and drawing leaves just by using numbers which was fun. The article is called ‘Colour Play’ by Este McLeod I had a lot of fun with free form drawing and using the numbers to create leaves coming up with a rough bunch of leaves with some flowers in, much to my surprise. I haven’t picked up a pencil or a paint brush to draw or paint in so many years and got quite a kick out of it.
I also, finally, got my camera out, went for a walk and picked some flowers (from where they wouldn’t be missed) and set up out in the garden to do some natural light photographs. That really got my mind going and some 200 images later i may have one i like! I wanted to find and incorporate a LadyBird into my pictures but for the life of me i could not find one which i found very strange as the weeks before we had loads in the garden, weird! Head over to my instagram page to see a few of the images i took.
Did you know that the word ‘Fractal’ was first used in 1975? By definition a Fractal is; ‘any of various extremely irregular curves or shapes for which any suitably chosen part is similar in shape to a given larger or smaller part when magnified or reduced to the same size’. “Fractal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fractal. Accessed 14 Jul. 2020.
If you look close enough you can see fractals occur everywhere, in a head of broccoli to the milky way, from the Mersey estuary to snow flakes and thanks to the wonders of Adobe Photoshop i can produce my own fractals in no time at all.
I stumbled upon a beautiful pattern on instagram and after a little research found hundreds more so beautiful and full of colour that it made me want to experiment myself.
- Select a suitable image preferably with a dark edge
- In Adobe Photoshop open the image and duplicate the layer, turn the original layer off
- Turn new layer to a Smart layer
- Choose Filters; Pixilate; Mezzotint. I use Medium lines but experiment with the various settings
- Choose Filter; Blur; Radial Blur; Zoom; 100. Do this three times
- Choose Filter; Distort; Twirl; 120
- Copy smart layer by dragging it to create new layer
- Double click Twirl on copy and move slider to -120
- Change the blend mode, upper left of panel, to either darken, lighten or pin light
- Shift Control Alt E to merge smart objects to layer 1
- Choose Edit; Transform; Flip horizontal or vertical for mirror image, change the Blend mode to create the image
- Import into Adobe Lightroom to edit
Now when i have spare time i am going back through my old photographs to find an image that will make the perfect Fractal and i am totally loving what is coming from those images.
Found my brand Logo, found my brand colours and font but wait my brand has a personality too! Why did i start my business, what are your beliefs and values, what do i do better than anyone else, what makes me special, what three words do i want my customers to describe me by? All questions that i need to answer apparently. It seriously makes you think about yourself and what your trying to accomplish as its not just about going out and taking your amazing photographs or making your fantastic art, that’s just the beginning.
I personally started taking photographs as a form of therapy, to deal with pressures of family life and it snowballed into a business. I suppose looking at the questions it kind of helps to form a very loose start to a business plan, if you’ve not got one to start with. I really loved pulling the words together that i felt symbolised what i wanted my brand to say and how i wanted potential customers to think of me then matching those words to colours. Words have such power and create a response in your audience that i wanted to get it right, out came the mind map and colour wheel and i think i have my three colours for my brand.
- Blue —— Reliability
- Orange —— Artistic
- Green —— Friendly
- Head text —– DrCarbfred Pro
- Subtext —— Elina web
- Body text —— Acumin Pro
Putting it all together i now need to make my templates for social media posts on facebook and instagram, these are the two i regularly use, i use Adobe Spark to make my templates but there are other apps to make them in and after i have my templates made i seriously need to get down to making some art! I have neglected to an extent my photography as we haven’t been able to go anywhere, my garden is empty of flowers so i cant get inspiration there so basically i have not done a great deal. However my lovely husband bought me a very exciting birthday present this year and i am going to enjoy using it to make my photographs in a different way.
My next project is Polaroid Lab, hang on to your lens caps its going to be a fun ride…………………………………………………………..
After the agony of finding my brand shape and colour i now have to find a logo, i want my logo to be cool, on trend and i want a little of me in there too. I looked at my business name ‘Spikey Mouse Photography’ i want something photographic in there of course and spikey mouse is a Hedgehog in Bengali, read my back story to find out WHY, so i want to incorporate a hog somewhere but i am also aware of the power of shape and colour which need to be incorporated too, so how do i get it all into one logo?
I have looked through page after page on google, cute hogs, graphic hogs, hogs with colour, hogs in lots of colour, how do i make my mind up! I downloaded 10 free vector images from Shutterstock and had a play around with colour and text, i then sent the three i liked the most to various members of my family and we took a vote. So i have my Logo now and its not the one i liked but in retrospect it was probably too cutesy, i will probably use it for a photo watermark though because i do like it.
Next is Font, now im going to drive myself crazy going through pages and pages of Fonts on the Adobe website, wish me luck…………………