Friday, 28 December 2012

T-Shirt Designs

Hello, I hope everyone had a nice Christmas/ Yuletide! With the few days off work I've had, I decided to get cracking on some new artwork, which is when I had the new idea of producing some T-shirt designs. 

Well, here is the first one I've came up with. I must admit I have been watching alot of 'Game of Thrones' lately and my favourite character is 'Khaleesi' otherwise known as 'Daenerys Targaryen', called 'Daenerys Stormborn' and 'Mother of Dragons'. (If you haven't watched this TV series or read the books yet, you must, it is cracking!)

Anyway, I felt inspired to do a 'Queen of the Dragons' style of design and I hope to build up a few more T-shirt's from a variety of ideas and inspiration, eventually selling them to anyone who may want to buy them through either my Ebay or my future planned online web shop. Here is my first idea for the 'Queen of the Dragons' T-shirt:



Thursday, 20 December 2012

How To Make Mince Pies

I don't get round to baking much, but I thought I'd get in the spirit of Yuletide and give Mince Pies a go. Really easy!

Ingredients
225g cold butter, diced
350g plain flour
100g golden caster sugar
280g mincemeat
1 small egg
Icing sugar to dust

Method:

  1. First is to make the pastry. Rub 225g cold, diced butter into 350g plain flour then mix in 100g of golden caster sugar. Combine the pastry into a ball and knead it briefly. 
  2. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Line 18 holes of12 whole patty tins by pressing small walnut sized balls of pastry into each hole then spoon the mincemeat into the pies.
  3. Take slightly smaller balls of pastry than before ad pat them between your hands to make round lids big enough to cover the pies. Top the pies with their lids, pressing the edges gently together to seal. (You can experiment with different styles of pastry toppings to be fancy).
  4. Beat 1 small egg and brush the tops of the pies. Bake for 20 minutes until golden. Leave to cool for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack. Lightly dust with icing sugar, then they are ready to serve. They should keep for 3 to 4 days in an air tight container.


I think after this I should start baking more and as I do, I will try to blog the recipes. I found it quite relaxing and therapeutic.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Alanis Morissette: Live at Liverpool Echo Arena

Ever since hearing 'Jagged Little Pill' when I was about 13 years old, I've always had a soft spot for a bit of Alanis Morissette so what a nice surprise it was when James treated me to some tickets for my 30th Birthday. Last night 'Alanis day' finally arrived and I got to see her at the Liverpool Echo Arena and I must say she can still pack an almighty vocal punch! 

Opening up her set, saw Alanis emerging through the stage lights to the tribal drums of 'I Remain', which then led into 'Woman Down', both new songs from her latest album 'Havoc and Bright Lights'. Not quite as angsty and angry as the 'Jagged Little Pill' 90's classics but I still quite liked it. 

I was a little concerned she would favour playing more of the new stuff instead of the back catalogue, but as soon as I heard the harmonica play, my concerns where gone as the guitar lines began in harmony to 'All I really Want' leading on to a great set list that mixed between the new stuff and the classics. Her angsty mood may have mellowed, but her vocals still effortlessly carry the songs. 

An artist definitely worth seeing!


Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Sandstone Brewery: New Pump Clip - Onyx

Another new beer from Sandstone Brewery, Onyx. It is kind of a lower ABV version of their 'Obsidian' beer. This brew used a blend of seven malts including Pale Malt, Munich, Flaked Barley, Dark Crystal, Roast Barley and Chocolate.

They describe this one as a Welsh Black Ale. Here is the pump clip I designed for that one:


Sunday, 14 October 2012

New Earring Jewellery Collection

I've been busy making some more earrings. 

The Queen of Heart earrings seem to have proven quite popular so I've made some more of those, along with the usual Tibetan Silver Moons, Pentagrams and Crosses. 

Also, I've made a couple of new designs this month including the Large Butterfly Earrings and the Bead and Silver Feather Drop Earrings.

All are available to purchase on my Ebay. (Click Here).



Thursday, 11 October 2012

Sandstone Brewery: New Pump Clip - Emerald

New Pump Clip design now complete for Sandstone Brewery's latest brew called 'Emerald'.

This is a one off brewed batch that was made to celebrate this years British Hop Harvest. 

It is a light copper coloured traditional beer made with fresh harvested hops that haven't been through the drying process resulting in a completely different and fresher flavoured beer.

One cask of Emerald will be available at Chester Beer Festival (Friday 26th to Saturday 27th October 2012)

A unique beer not to be missed! 


Sunday, 7 October 2012

30th Birthday: Mad Hatters Piss Up In A Brewery

I had a great time last night with good friends to celebrate my 30th. I decided I would like to do something a bit different with it being a milestone birthday so it all started with an idea of a 'Mad Hatters Tea Party' in the back garden.

Obviously with it being October, the weather was a bit crap so my other half suggested we have it in the brewery... And so the idea was born. A Mad Hatters piss up in a brewery!

As stressful as it was to organise, I did have fun coming up with ideas for the decorations and all was done for a fair price. I got an old colourful duvet cover and made bunting by simply cutting triangles out and then safety pinning them to some thick rope. (I'm not much of a sewer!)

I got a nice cheap cardboard cake tier stand and managed to pick up a box full of cups and saucers for only 20p each from a random yard sale while out and about in Llangollen and I picked up various other bits and bobs from the pound shops and Ebay. Finally and most importantly we had a keg of Opal Beer by Sandstone Brewery on tap. Which shock horror, all got drank in 3 hours! Here's just a few pics from the night:





Monday, 10 September 2012

Jewellery Making

I've not posted much on here lately as I've been really busy. I've been getting creative and made a few more pairs of earrings, which are available to buy from my Etsy shop which you will find by clicking the link to my shop on the menu bar.

I'm just starting out with this hobby, but I've got some great ideas for new ones to make, I just got to wait for the delivery of my new materials. I'm very excited. Here's a peek at some pairs I have made so far.




Friday, 17 August 2012

Interview With Illustrator: Alexandra Rolfe

Alexandra Rolfe is a talented freelance Illustrator based in London. Her work uses a mixture of traditional and digitally enhanced methods but is mostly in the favour of detailed pen and watercolour techniques. Past clients include Craft Guerilla, Rowan Arts, Amelias Magazine, Ballad of, Creative Mag and Catch 22 Magazine.


I really like your drawing style. How many years have you been illustrating for and how did you develop your own personal style?
I have always loved drawing but since graduating from university studying illustration in 2010 my work hasn’t stopped developing. When I was studying I did a lot of printmaking, I really enjoyed the printing process etching and most of my work was black and white but since leaving have gradually developed using watercolour and pen and use a much more fun and quirky style now.

What would you say is your biggest inspiration when it comes to your illustration work?
Apart from Beatrix Potter and her charismatic animal character illustrations, my pets have always been a huge part of my life with their individual personalities. This made illustrating their characteristics and other characters fun and interesting.

Who ate all the Carrots – Can you guess who ate all the carrots? A fun quirky private commission


I'm loving the Alice in Wonderland series as pets that you have done. Tell us about your idea behind this and where you plan to go with it in the future?
The Alice in wonderland illustrations are my favourite to date, they were so fun to illustrate. They were for The Canine Games dog show in Shoreditch recently. I illustrated 6 dogs inspired from the characters from the mad hatter tea party inspired by dogs for the section of the show called Alice in Woofland. Illustrating animals as characters I will keep pursuing in the future.

'Mad Hatter' Part of the 'Alice In Woofland' series


What current trends have you noticed emerging in the illustration industry and do you have a current favourite style that you find inspirational?
I have noticed a trend in illustrators manipulating photographs to produce illustrations although my favourite trend will always be decorative illustration, detailed hand drawn illustration and type is always inspiring.

What is your favourite personal piece of your work?
I illustrated my cat Tallulah wearing a crown and a robe portraying her character as a princess, as many animal lovers think of their pets as princesses. I submitted this illustration for the magazine BalladOf for their pet my ballad issue as well and since then have been producing pet portrait commissions.

Princess Tallulah

I see that you have produced some fantastic pet portraits. 'Jake the Airedale Terrier' is one of my favourites, it's detail makes it almost look 3D like a teddy bear. What techniques did you use to achieve this style and effect?
I used watercolour paint and pen for the detail to bring out his character then in photoshop added the background colours to try and make the illustration pop out.

Jake the Airedale Terrier


Any tips for any young illustrators who are about to graduate from university and take their first steps into the industry?
To develop their personal style which is so important and to network as much as possible. Social networking is important and to get feedback as well.

I'd like to thank Alexandra, for taking the time to answer my questions for this interview. If you'd like to learn more about her work you can check out her websites below:

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Twitter Marketing

I've been doing a bit of reading lately on how marketers use Twitter and what is the best way to go about it.

What I mostly seem to be coming across is that a lot of Marketers are doing it wrong by tweeting too much on the wrong days and not using hash tags.

One interesting report I came across was from Buddy Media (a social media marketing firm), which you can download yourself from here. It makes an interesting read.

Between 11/12/2011 and 23/02/2012, Buddy Media analysed user engagement from more than 320 of the Worlds biggest brands. What they found was that the Twitter engagement rate for brands was 17% higher on a weekend compared to a weekday, but the brands don't seem to be taking advantage of this trend.



As you can see from the Graph above, according to Buddy Media, the brands are wasting time posting on Wednesdays and Thursdays when the engagement rate is at it's lowest. What the brands should be doing is using scheduled social publishing tools to tweet at the time of the highest engagement rate (in this case on the weekends), allowing scheduled tweets to go out even when nobody is in the office.

Other interesting facts in the report include:-

  • The best days to tweet by industry
  • The best times to send out your tweets
  • What tweets perform the best
  • How to drive traffic elsewhere on the web via Twitter
  • Using Hashtags and images and much more!

In conclusion, the following list is the best practice for Twitter Marketing:

  • Tweet on the days best to your industry (Most often on weekends)
  • Use Facebook to link your tweets to create an "always on" conversation
  • Engage with followers on Twitter during "busy hours"  (7am-8am)
  • Post to fans on Facebook during "non-busy hours" (8pm-7am)
  • Tweet no more than 4 times a day
  • Use less than 100 characters per tweet
  • Add links to tweets to drive higher retweet rates
  • Ensure links are clickable by placing a space before the URL
  • Include hashtags in tweets, but don't use more than 2 per tweet
  • Use images to drive the highest engagement rate
  • Use a "Retweet" or "RT" tfor a call to action to prompt followers to retweet. (Apparently spelling out the word "Retweet" gets the highest engagement rate).



I hope you find this information useful? It was too good to not share it on and I highly recommend you download the full report which incase you missed it can be downloaded from  here.

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Pistyll Rhaeadr Waterfalls


I decided to get away from it all today and head to Pistyll Rhaeadr Waterfalls, it is a beautiful place and really relaxing. At 240 feet high, it is the UK's tallest single drop waterfall located in the Berwyn Mountains just inside of Wales. 


This enchanting waterfall is captivating to all that visit her and offers some stunning walks. James and I decided to brave the walk to the top using the zig zag steps up the mountain side, there where lots of 'rest stops' along the way (Please note, I was a tad hungover from the night before!) It was definitely worth it for the stunning views of the valley and the river tumbling over the 240ft drop into the pools below. With the fresh mountain air and the lovely warm sun, it was the best hangover cure ever!


I took some photograph's to share, here they are:















Friday, 13 July 2012

Email Marketing: Subject Lines

Over the past week, I have been doing a bit of research into Email Subject Lines in email marketing. The question that hangs on everyone's lips is "How should I write my subject lines so that more recipients will open my emails?"

I found this really interesting report over at MailChimp, an email marketing service that provides users with an easy way to send out email newsletters. In their report they have analysed over 40 million emails sent from their customers through MailChimp to find out the best and worst open rates. Here are their results below:-


The best 'click to open rates' are not as "salesy" or "pushy", however the worst side has subject lines that read like newspaper headlines as if to grab the readers attention. Unfortunately, lots of people get so much junk mail that anything that hints of spam will be thrown away immediately.

What advice is there for email subject lines?
  • Describe the subject of your email in the subject line and nothing else
  • Always set your subscribers' expectations during the opt-in process about what kinds of emails they will be receiving
  • Don't confuse newsletters with promotions
  • If the email is a newsletter, put it in the subject line
  • If the email is a special promotion, tell them what is inside
  • Don't write your subject lines like advertisements

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Logo Design For a Holistic Therapist

Over the past week in between work, jewellery making and investigating the paranormal, I've been working on a logo design for a friend's new start up business as a Holistic Therapist.

'Waterfall Therapies' offer a range of Holistic treatments for the mind, body and soul. These treatments include Aromatherapy, Reflexology, Colour and Crystal Therapy and much more.



I personally don't know too much about Holistic Therapies, so I thought I'd do a little research and share my findings on here to make this post a little more interesting than me just sharing my design work. (Plus, in return for my Logo Design I will be receiving a treatment for free so I could do with a little bit of holistic education!)


What is Aromatherapy?
Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils for psychological and physical well-being.  It is a form of complementary therapy that is designed to treat the whole person and not just the symptom or the disease by assisting the body's natural ability to balance, regulate and heal itself.


What is Reflexology?
Reflexology is a treatment that is based on the principle that there are areas and points on the feet, hands and ears that map via the nervous system to corresponding parts of the body. When pressure is applied to these areas and points it stimulates the movement  of energy along the nerve channels and helps to restore balance throughout the body.


What is Colour and Crystal Therapy?
Colour and Crystal therapy works on the idea that we are vibration and colour and crystals are vibration too. Working together they can clear our vibration blockages and resolve our energy to resonate and strong. Various crystals are placed around a fully clothed person to induce deep relaxation, release stress and pain and promote energy balance within the physical and subtle bodies. Crystals may be used singly or in patterns and are placed on points of pain, on acupuncture points or on subtle energy vortexes called chakras.


When designing the logo, I decided to go for a natural style, combining swirl like graphics based around a waterfall type of graphic and font. Here is the final logo:




You can find out more about the range of Holistic Therapies on offer over at Waterfall Therapies Facebook Page.

Thursday, 28 June 2012

Hand Crafted Earrings


You've probably noticed the new tab up there for my soon to be online shop. I decided to set up a shop to sell some of my creations to see if I can make a bit of pocket money.


I've got lots to do in building and designing the shop but first of all I have to build up some stock. Here's a sneak peek at some of the creations so far:






What do you think? Would these be something you would buy? 
If so, how much would you pay for them? 

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Photo Restoration

I've been spending the past few weeks restoring an old photograph of my Grandad. It has been sitting in a frame for years and was badly sun damaged, so I decided for Father's Day that I would restore it and get it put in a nice new frame for my Dad.


The original photograph was taken at some point in the 1960's outside Central Park in Wallasey, so I'm guessing my Grandad would have been about my age in this picture or in his late twenties or early thirties.


I searched around for tutorials on restoring photographs, but in the end I had to pretty much digitally re-paint all of it using Adobe Photoshop. It was a lot of hard work but here it is before and after.


Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Recyclable Arts & Crafts: How To Make A Chrysanthemum Mirror

I've been so busy over the past few weeks that I've neglected my Blog! With Father's Day fast approaching, I have been working on a photo restoration of my Grandad that has taken me a lot longer than I originally planned. It is still a work in progress, but I think once it's complete and nicely framed, it will make a great gift for my Dad's Father's Day present. (That's a whole other Blog post, so more to come on that soon).

Anyway, I was just having a little lunch time session on the old Stumble Upon and came across this fantastic idea for recycling old plastic spoons. How to Make a Chrysanthemum Mirror. It's simply too good to not share and I feel an urge now for a recyclable crafts project coming on in the near future. Enjoy!

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Hawkwind: Live at the Tivoli, Buckley


The Tivoli, located in the Flintshire town of Buckley in North Wales is a fantastic venue who really make an effort to put on a variety of bands from all genres.


Last night, I went to see Hawkwind, what a fantastic time! Now this is one band that has stood the test of time. They've been actively making music since 1969, that's over 40 years!

This English Rock band was one of the earliest groups of the 'Space Rock' genre. Their lyrics mostly favour a theme of urban and science fiction. They are also noted as a precursor to Punk Rock and are considered a link between the hippie and punk cultures.

The whole show was visually stunning and full of creativity! There were stage dancers (a couple of them even on stilts at one point!), stunning costumes and a mesmerising light show. All this combined with the atmospheric music provided a hypnotically entertaining treat from these psychedelic warlords!

If there is one thing that Hawkwind can do well, it is to wrap you up in their music and carry you away in their little magical bubble. With elements of synth, rock and dance, every song they played flowed into the next. I personally think they would have carried on forever had it not been for the venue curfew.







Thursday, 31 May 2012

Sandstone Brewery: New Pump Clip - Opal

I've been spending the past week, working on the new Pump Clip for Sandstone Brewery's latest beer creation. This Intergalactic Pale Ale will be hitting the pubs near you very soon.


With this being a new brew, this Pump Clip has been designed to fit in with the new "Rock Solid Ales" Brand.


Here it is:


Friday, 18 May 2012

Sandstone Brewery: Re-Branded Postmistress Pump Clip

Continuing with the roll out of Sandstone's previous designs onto the new re-branded pump clip, here is the one for Postmistress. 


The brewery decided to stick with the 'Ales of Character' theme for this one as their customer base are already familiar with this popular choice of beer, especially after it won an award for Best Bitter category of Champion Beer of Wales in 2011.




Postmistress is a traditional best bitter with a slightly more hoppy taste. It is a dark chestnut red colour with a medium body. 


Over the next few weeks, I will be making a start on a new pump clip design for one of Sandstone's latest brews. More details to be posted soon!

For more information on Sandstone Brewery, you can visit their website here:-


http://www.sandstonebrewery.co.uk

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Interview With Graphics Designer And Fine Artist, Anja Mohn

Anja Mohn is a mixed media artist who currently lives in New York and runs www.amartandgraphics.com. Anja studied Fine Arts in Karlsruhe, Germany with the British sculptor Michael Sandle and Japanese sculptor Hiromi Akiyama and graduated with MFA from Parsons School of Design in New York. 


Her artwork has been exhibited at a variety of New York City Galleries and art fairs as well as internationally at various galleries and museums including the Center for Contemporary Art in Moscow, Museum Haus der Kunst in Munich and the Roland Apold Gallery in Switzerland.


In 2004, Anja Mohn set up AM Art & Graphics, a New York City based Graphics Design studio that serves small to medium sized companies, organisations and individuals from a wide variety of fields. Here I interview Anja about her work, the inspiration that lies behind her ideas and how she got into Graphics Design:


After looking at some of your mixed media fine art work on your website. I particularly liked "Eye, 2000". What was the inspiration behind this piece? 
Most of my artwork happens in the process. Things that I have collected, sometimes years ago, or have developed during the work process on different artworks come together in the studio. This is where poetry happens: the unexpected connections between those things. Content, emotions, experiences, the observed and memories find their way in and reappear in these connections. In case of the work ‘Eye’ it was the water glass, the photo of the eye, which stemmed from a completely different idea that I was working on at the time. In the initial artwork, the photo, printed on silver gelatin, would disappear during the course of an exhibition. The work touches on our perception of memories, time and loss: the present moment that we never can hold on to and the constant change we must experience.

Eye, mixed media photo object, 2000

With your mixed media art covering elements of multimedia and photographic objects, where do you get your ideas and how would you describe your style of work?
The ideas come from life, daily experience and observation of inner and outer phenomena. As an artist I have spent a lot of time searching into the subconscious, dream and emotions, short: the inner world. But observation of the outer world is a large part of my work as well: studying nature, taking in the chaos of the city, the noise of our modern life. All this corresponds to the inner, there is a constant dialogue between the inner and outer world, and this is my field. I listen to this dialogue. I am a Romantic in that regard. Novalis said: “The outer world is the inner world in secret form.” Through close observation we can learn to decipher it. Form does not have content as an addition, it is content. There is no difference between the environment for example, and a human face. You can read all of its the history in it, their story.  Formally I am a minimalist though. I like to keep it simple and clear, no embellishments. This is where often times tension arises: a cool form, but behind it awaits emotion. An art critic once called my style emotionally loaded minimalism. This may sound like a contradiction, but it is actually what I do.

How did your career move into Graphics Design and how did you advance to where you are today with your own design studio? 
From the beginning I have constantly ventured into new media. I initially started out with painting, expressionist landscape painting, and soon wanted to combine several perspectives into one work, which brought me to sculpture and I did stone and wood sculptures. However, using one solid material felt inappropriate to express anything of our fragmented world, so I went on to creating mixed media sculpture, combining different materials like metal, plaster, found objects etc. Aiming to document my own work lead me to photography, which soon showed up in the work itself. From there it is not far to video, the moving image, and to sound, which ads another sensual experience to the work. Venturing into graphic design happened for the same reason. I eventually came to explore new media and wanted to see what I can do with them. People also started to ask me to create things for them, logos, posters and business cards. One major reason, however, why I came to graphic design was a change in me. Before I came to the U.S. I was a very introverted person, who spent many hours alone in her studio. NYC does not allow you to be introverted though; you would not survive. As my life opened up, I enjoyed more and more collaborating with people, and to use my skills to realize their vision. This is a new challenge for me, and I love challenges. Doing design work gives me an opportunity to create work that has a direct purpose for another person in their daily life. Life and art move closer together, so to speak, and historically artists have worked in all those fields and did not separate between Fine Arts and Applied Arts.

What inspired you to set up AM Art & Graphics?
A friend actually inspired me to do it. She said, Anja, why don’t you start your own business? This thought had until then never crossed my mind, but it stuck with me and I eventually was excited enough about it to make that step. The day after I incorporated I had my first large contract.

Describe a typical day at work for you. What software programs do you use to carry out your Graphics Design work and where do you look for inspiration?
A typical day at work usually starts with communication and marketing. In the morning I communicate with my clients about current projects, changes that need to be made, and answering questions. I recently set up all the social media sites and I have gotten involved in them. I have found them to be a great tool to connect to people from around the world. To carry out my design work I use whatever medium fits the purpose best; it can be a hand drawn sketch when creating a logo or illustration, computer generated drafts for print design or digital presentations. And occasionally people request me to do hand drawn and hand colored illustrations for them. My most frequented software programs are Illustrator, Photoshop and InDesign. The inspiration for my design work comes from the client. People are most fascinating. When working for a client, I try to grasp who they truly are, what they want to accomplish through their project and what their vision is. I collaborate with them, they are involved from start to finish to ensure they will be satisfied or more than satisfied.

What are some of your personal favourite projects you have completed and why?
Some of my favourite projects are: The PowerPoint presentations and print design work I have done for the Tourism industry. The tourist branch lives off images, and that is one of my specialities: working with images. Tourism has such great pictures to offer, be it landscape, food, architecture, art, lifestyle or culture; you will always have amazing pictures to choose from. 
   
‘Castles, Parks and Gardens in Germany’
PowerPoint presentation, created for German National Tourist Office, New York
Another favorite project of mine is a promotional film, also created for the tourist industry.  The project was such a wonderful experience, not only because of its topic, but also for the great collaboration we had. I selected a team of a 5, a videographer, a composer, a graphic animator and a narrator/voice over. Everyone worked so well together. Great collaboration definitely is an enhancing factor for each project.  

‘Come to Central Europe’, Promotional Film, created for European Tourism Association. (Click to Watch Video) 

Another project I enjoyed a lot, was being Art Director and Photo Editor for a huge website project about German-American Heritage. The website is currently being re-designed and will be back online soon. For this project I was dealing with about a thousand images that I had to select and place. The site covers everything from German inventions, famous personalities of German heritage, and history of emigration to German festivals and recipes. Stay tuned for the re-launch date, which is coming up soon.

‘400 years of Emigration and German Heritage in the U.S.’,
Art Direction and Photo Editing; Client: German National Tourist Office New York


  1. Typography tends to play a big part in design, what is your favourite typefont?

As I love simplicity and minimalism, I also love simple fonts. I cannot point to a particular font that I would use more than another one, since it depends on the project, which font fits best, but naturally I prefer sans serif fonts. As mentioned, it depends on the client; whatever fits his or her purpose and objective that will be it. 

Do you have any favourite designers that inspire you?
There is a lot of designers I admire: the Bauhaus movement, of course, and Milton Glaser and Chermayeff & Geismar, to name a few. They inspire me. One of the most important inspirations and who has been my mentor in art for years is British sculptor and former teacher Michael Sandle. He has encouraged me a great deal throughout my career, because choosing the path of an artist is not easy.

One Final question. What tips do you have for the novice designer?
My tip for a novice designer would be: be true to yourself and believe in yourself, follow your dream and have a long breath. Be patient and have endurance. And most of all: keep learning and advancing! Never rest on the point that you have reached. Push your limits, keep challenging yourself.

I'd like to thank Anja, for taking the time to answer my questions for this interview. If you'd like to learn more about her work you can check out her websites below:


Websites: 
Design: 


Fine Art: 


Youtube/Interview: 

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Websites To Find Free Stock Images

If you're a Web or Graphics Designer, there will probably be times when you will have the painstaking task of trying to find websites that provide free open source images and photography to use in your designs.

The other day I spent hours trying to find free stock images for a banner I was designing for an email newsletter, so I thought I'd keep a list of my findings for future reference.

Hopefully this list will prove helpful to any Designer's out there and save you the time of hunting for free image resources. If you know of any other free stock image websites, please feel free to add the link in the comment box at the bottom of this post.

Stock Xchng: The leading free photo sharing website.

A Digital Dreamer: Free royalty free stock photography.

Free Range: All images can be used for commercial or personal projects.

Turbo Photo: Quick and easy stock photo downloads.

Morgue File: Public image archive for creative's by creative's.

Stock Vault: A well known stock photo sharing website.

Free Stock Images: Free photos, graphics and icons.

Free Photos Bank: 100's of free images sorted into different photo categories.

Free Digital Photos: Royalty free photo's and illustration's for corporate and personal use.

Free Foto: A large collection of free photographs, all organised into different galleries.

Kavewall: Free stock photos, images and textures.

Cepolina: Free stock images based around travel and nature.

Unprofound: Loads of free images on this site created and run by designers.

Open Stock Photography: Over a million stock images, searchable by keyword.

Image After: Images and textures available for free.

Free Photos Index: Not very user friendly, but over 10,000 free photo's available.

Every Stock Photo: A search engine for free photo's.

Animation Factory: Not so much images, but Powerpoint Templates, Video and Clipart.

Woophy (World of Photography): Just click on the map for photo's of your chosen location.

Mayang: Over 4250 free to download, high-resolution textures.

Design Packs: Free Stock Photo Sets. 

From Old Books:  Images, engravings and pictures from old books. (I love this one!)

Texture Warehouse: Free high resolution textures.

Insect Images: All images of insects.

Free Media Goo: Great site of free images set up by a bunch of developers.

Creativity 103: A library of free abstract backgrounds, textures and design ideas.

HDW: A library of high definition wallpapers


Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Sandstone Brewery: Re-Branded Edge Pump Clip

As mentioned in one of my previous post's, Sandstone Brewery: Pump Clip Re-brand, the Brewery have decided to move on from the 'Ales of Character' design to a more modern style.


After the run of their latest beer 'Obsidian' to launch the re-brand, the time has come to start rolling out the old design's onto the new format of Pump Clip. Here's the first for their golden session ale, one of my favourite's, Sandstone Edge.


Now a bit about the beer. Sandstone Edge is an aromatic golden session ale. It has a light bitterness and citrus taste and is made with a large hit of new world Cascade hops.

For more information on Sandstone Brewery, you can visit their website here:-

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Most Popular Brands on Facebook Report by Social Bakers

With Facebook having 31 million users in the UK, I just thought I'd share this little report I came across from social bakers.


Their quarterly report shows the most popular, engaging and responsive Facebook brand pages in the UK.  


I found this quite interesting for seeing what people like, interact and engage with when it comes to companies that they are a fan of.


Out of them all I know there are a few I have 'liked' and 'engaged' with on Facebook including Innocent Drinks, The Guardian and Pizza Hut all for different reasons. (One's comical, one's informative and one has good offers). 


Are you a fan of any of the company pages below? If so, what makes you engage with their brands?

Saturday, 14 April 2012

R.I.P. Peter Steele

For those not familiar, Peter Steele was the singer, bassist and composer of one of my all time favourite bands, Type O Negative. Two years ago he passed away of heart failure at the age of 48. 


In memory of the singer I produced a piece of work a couple of years back  that is displayed in the Peter Steele Memorial Gallery. With it being two years today since his death, I just thought I would share my memorial artwork here. (R.I.P. Peter Steele, your music will live on)


It is a Vector Illustration that took me approximately 20 hours to complete using Adobe Illustrator CS2.


Classic Type O Tune!

                                  

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Best April Fools Email Marketing

Well, I opened my email to see this and yes after seeing an advert for chocolate Philadelphia cheese spread, I will be the first to admit that it took me a while to click that this was just an April Fools joke. Genius Ha Ha!


You've got to love the email marketing idea's from Innocent Drinks. I very rarely buy their products, but I've subscribed to their emails because they are just so entertaining, quirky and fun.


Just thought I'd share the fun on. If you've got an interest in email marketing, I recommend you subscribe to their newsletters.


(Oh, because I've just took a screenshot of the email, you won't be able to click the links. If you are sick enough to think that mangoes and marmite may be a good idea for a drink, then the link to click is here http://www.innocentdrinks.co.uk/things-we-make/smoothies/mangoes-and-marmite)