This month has whizzed by with some really wonderful moments that will make me smile for years to come. It's been a funny few weeks with all that's going on in the world casting a little shadow across life. Thankfully I had a couple of dates in my diary that helped fill me up with inspiration ....
The first date was to run a morning workshop at my local secondary school (where I was a pupil many moons ago). It was during the school's Art's Week. A week where the usual timetable is torn up and the students have an opportunity to choose many different creative activities, experiment and try something new. My workshop, over in the art dept, was a greeting card design session. I did a bit of a show and tell, giving the pupils plenty of opportunity to look through my portfolio and ask questions. I explained how I approach creating my designs and gave them lots of information about art licensing (because nobody told me about that when I was studying art & I wish I had known about it sooner!).
I did a similar workshop last year at the school and once again I had a wonderful group young minds to work with (mostly 12- 14 year olds). They really embraced the brief I set them and managed to produce some lively, playful and exciting designs in a very short space of time. They all did themselves proud and I could see that there were definitely a couple of people in the group that were showing signs that they may go all the way with their art education. I really hope they do, and I hope that they all continue to enjoy creating just for the joy of it...
The second date I had was one I have been looking forward to for a while. Last year I was asked to speak at The Creative Women in Business meet up at the Colliton Barton Events and Training Venue, to talk about my experiences of selling online on sites like Folksy and Etsy. I so enjoyed that meet up and was keen to visit again.
My friend Helen from The Creative Business Network organises these events and knew that I had a long history of working with brands and so knew a fair bit on that subject. She asked me to come back and do a talk on branding this week...
To be honest, she had me at 'creative women's meet up' so I really didn't mind singing for my supper on this occasion. My philosophy has always been, what is the point learning things the hard way if you don't pass those learnings on to help others learn from them too.
Besides, I was also looking forward to hearing from the second speaker she had lined up - the very lovely Lauren Ashton, who I met at the last meeting. Since that meeting, Lauren has gone on to achieve amazing things with her fledgling business. Her talk was very inspiring and uplifting. She is the embodiment of how hard work, good planning, a thirst for knowledge and applying that learning can take you a long way. Thank you Lauren, I thoroughly enjoyed hearing about your business journey. If you'd like to hear what she had to say, she has began sharing that talk as a series over on her blog here:
Lauren Ashton Designs
I began my talk sharing a bit of my story about my background in advertising and my road to becoming the freelance designer I am today. The leaflets in the image above are just a small sample of things I've had a hand in, in my murky past ...and looking at that very fresh faced Mr Oliver you can get a good idea of how long I've been working with brands in some way. In fact it goes back further than that - I got a good chuckle from the crowd when I mentioned that I'd worked on Teletext advertising campaigns. Before the internet, there was good old Teletext!. Also, that's a poster design for the launch of the first ever Harry Potter Film at Warner Village Cinemas! Oh, I am feeling every one of the years on my birth certificate now...but that really is OK with me, because with age comes plenty of experience and hard earned wisdom!
With those many years of experience, I was able to share some things I've learnt along the way, to what makes a strong brand and the most important things to bear in mind when developing your branding to ensure that it has the best chance of being successful...
A while ago, over on my old blog, I did a 5 top tips about branding. Following yesterday's talk, here they are again, slightly revised. I hope you find them useful - and if you attended yesterday's meet up, I hope they act as a little summary of what I waffled on about. It was lovely to meet everyone and I hope to come again to a meeting as a fellow Creative Woman as I love our chats over tea and cakes.
THIS MUCH I KNOW ABOUT BRANDING...
Thank you to Helen at The Creative Business Network for hosting such a great event yesterday. If you've read this and think that The Creative Women In Business meetings sound like something you've been looking for, you'll be able to find out about the next meet ups (which will now be in the autumn as they have a break for the summer), over on their website here:
Have a lovely week!