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.
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.
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…………………
Many, many, many years ago when i was a young woman not sure of what i wanted to do with my life i decided to explore Graphic Design as a career. Baring in mind this was around the time when schools had just started to invest in IT and were finally buying computers for their ‘Computer Lab’s’. The IT tutor was a dinosaur when it came to teaching women, he wouldn’t have them anywhere near his precious computers actually, so i learnt graphic design the ‘old’ way. I really loved the whole concept of designing a brand from the bottom up but at the time, the whole community was so tight knit that it was incredibly hard to find a job, unfortunately when it came to it, i just dont think i had enough of what anyone was looking for to move forward, so i did something else instead.
Now as i design, or should that be, redesign my website and branding i’m finding that i actually need to learn a ton of new stuff and it is so interesting. I started by looking at my brand name and to be honest, even though i have been told to change it as its, well what it is, i’m really not going to, i’m going to stick with it no matter how naff some think it is because the most important thing is ‘people remember it’. It has a back story to it that i can use to interact with clients easily, everyone likes a good story, so it stays. I’ve a Tag line too, then i looked at colour, i loved colour theory and how different colours make people react in certain ways.
Purple, who doesn’t love purple?
Adobe Purple; #361354
It’s cutting edge, wise, feminine, shows wealth and luxury but is also playful. Does my work mean any of these? Well its expensive so that could be a luxury item, not sure about the rest though but i do love Purple.
Red, a very hot colour!
Adobe Red #E50305
It gives a sense of excitement, passion, anger, its loud, playful, youthful and modern but im not a great fan of Red so im not sure that’s the colour for me. I could go on but google it and you can find tons of stuff to read on the subject.
I then set about looking at brand shapes, did i want to appear intimidating or harmless, friendly and inviting, gentle, light hearted and cute, if so then i’d use a circle or was i going for intelligent, stable and cool, then it would be sharp and angular shapes. Then there is the dependability of your brand to think about, who knew that would be a triangle! Maturity, alternative, bad ass, powerful and sleek are all triangle, is that what i am, it is what im aiming for and i do have maturity on my side, so yes i’m a triangle. I haven’t been able to decide on one colour so i’m using lots of them. And the begining of a brand is born. Now i just need to find a Logo………………………..
Being bored and not able to go far from home, what a nightmare! I am constantly being told ‘enjoy it while you can, soon you will be back to normal, running around after everyone wishing you had more time for your self.’ True! Too true but it doesn’t help, at all. So what do you do? Spend money of course. I decided that if i can’t take photos outside away from home then i would make it possible to take photos at home. I bought a light box and a couple of lights and i am going to start a small project photographing fruit and veg among other things. I have a fancy for creating some photos with snails, i found a small snail climbing a flower stem and liked the look of it and wondered if i could reconstruct it. I also want to photograph thin sliced fruit in fizzy water, flowers against coloured backgrounds. There are numerous ways for me to use my new toys. All i have to do now is, well, do it!
I don’t know what to call this post as i haven’t written anything here for a while, it’s not that i haven’t been busy I’ve just been busy in a different way. I have had a difficult working year up until now, nothing seems to have gone right and at every turn i seem to have been hindered in one way or another and not able to make my art.
I have been battling with ill health for many years now, i have fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis among other things which have both got to a point where i have struggled with every day life. The arthritis in my hip had become so bad that just to walk i was taking morphine and paracetamol to get me through it. I have a great Doctor, she helps me so much and we both decided that we had to do something about the hip, she told me about the prerequisites for having the hip joint replaced and armed with multiple leaflets i went home to talk it through with my family. We would need to put a lot of thought into it as i am a carer for my mum who has cancer and i am the only driver in the house, the one who gets everyone everywhere on time. There is a lot resting on my shoulders that would have to be delegated carefully to others.
One thing on the list for the hip replacement was weight, body mass, i hold my hands up and can say that yes Chris and i have let things slip a bit, ill health and medication with side effects of weight gain weren’t helping me and i was told i needed to loose weight.
I guess in my heart i new that this year was going to be the year things had to change, i looked deep inside and new that i couldn’t go on with the way things were and made a pact with myself that i would do everything possible to fix my hip. I committed to loosing weight to take the strain off my joints and so far have lost over 2 stone and dragged Chris in with me which has been good for him too.
At the beginning of April i went in for surgery and had a total hip replacement. I was a model patient, did everything i was asked to the best of my abilities and pain threshold, which wasn’t easy i can tell you! Now at home i am forced to sit quietly with my feet up wearing the most ridiculous white pressure stockings, taking many short walks throughout the day. I am healing incredibly quickly and recovering well but oh am i bored!
November is the start of the truly busy time for craft fairs, artisan markets and most notably for myself, the Chester Arts Fair. This will be my third outing with a Deepbridge sponsored arts fair and hand on heart i have to say i just love them. You are guaranteed a very healthy footfall, fabulous art work from truly great artists who are all very friendly and you are guaranteed to find something to buy at reasonable prices. If you fancy visiting, Christmas gifts and all that, i have added a ticket to my Facebook page that you can download for free and this will give you free entrance in to the Arts Fair.
I have not heard a great deal about it and certainly no one i know has ever asked me to contribute to their crowd funding project, quite possibly that is a good thing as i spend most of my money on my photographs! But then i had an idea for a photographic project and as it developed i realised i was going to have to fund it in some way. My project is called ‘Poverty is a state of mind’ and i started it because of the things i have read in the media and experienced my self with regard to benefits and the stigma attached to people on them. I knew what i wanted to aim for and realised that as i am a landscape photographer i would actually need a new camera lens as all the ones i have are telephoto/zoom and if i am going to speak to charities and individuals it would be nice to be able to offer a donation for their time. Then i have the cost of printing my photographs to exhibit them, so there is indeed quite an expense to be covered. I looked at a few crowdfunding sites, Justgiving, Fundingtree, Kickstarter, Indigogo to name a few, there are literally loads out there and decided to go with Fotofund as it is aimed at photographers.
Crowdfunding is a way of raising your finance by asking a large number of people each for a small amount of money. Crowdfunding uses the internet to talk to thousands – if not millions – of potential funders. Typically, those seeking funds will set up a profile of their project on a website (Fotofund) then they can then use social media, alongside traditional networks of friends, family and work aquaintances, to raise money. Once a donation is made you then reward the donor with something, either a photograph or set of photographs from your project down to a thank you on social media. Typically you would work an hour a day posting on your blog, up dating your website, using social media, sending emails and ringing potential donors. Its hard graft and you have to do it to see the results.
You can visit my Fotofund page at http://en.fotofund.org/campaigns/poverty-state-mind-damn-government-dictates/ pass it along on your social media if you would and look out for future posts.
Do we really want another golf course on the Wirral? We already have over a dozen courses, there is even a women’s course, does it differ to men’s? Hoylake, Wallasey, Caldy, Leasowe, Bidston, Heswall, Eastham etc etc….. they rang in difficulty, Hoylake home of the Open golf championship to Adventure Golf in New Brighton. Dotted around the edges of our beautiful peninsular making the most of our parklands, there are short courses (9 holes), windy, sandy courses, a women’s course, flat courses, historic courses, i suppose if you were a serious golfer you could play any way you fancied, as long as your a member.
If you look at the Wirral as a whole it is made up of 60 square miles of fabulous seaside, parkland, woodland, rural walks and cycling routes, historic villages, industry, great restaurants and many wonderful artists in an active artist community. There are over 320.000 people situates in towns and villages over the Wirral but there is also a lot of rural land, we have farms, pigs, cattle, sheep, turkeys, award winning farm shops, Tam O’shanter urban farm and GreenBelt land which should be left untouched.
Because of where we are situated Wirral is lucky enough to be visited by many unusual birds through out the year with Parkgate being one natural hotspot. Both the Mersey and Dee estuaries are internationally important wildlife sites for waders and wildfowl in winter. We also have marsh land and reed beds home to Natterjack Toads. Do we want all of this spoiled by yet another Golf course/resort?
Jack Nicklaus is going to design our new course, he has been involved in the design of 290 courses. At least 70 Nicklaus Design courses have been ranked by major industry publications but how many have failed? Polaris World in Spain crashed and burned, Mount Holly Club Utah didn’t work so why should it work here? We dont need our environment disturbed, our animals moved from their homes, our flood plain interfered with so a minority can wack a small ball around our countryside. This will lead to new roads, new homes we wont be able to afford and more traffic!
This is not one of those ‘Not in my back yard’ type of cries, we really dont need this golf resort, change one of the established courses, give it a new designation but seriously dont let Jack Nicklaus ruin what is such beautiful countryside. There is a meeting on March 29th 2016 at West Kirby United Reform Church starting at 7.30pm for anyone who would like to air their views or just find out more details. Please dont leave it to others to raise their concerns, every voice needs to be heard.