Bloggers, Unite!

The blogging world is a weird one indeed. It started as essentially an online diary, an extension of Myspace if you will, and now it’s become a multi-million dollar cash flow for bloggers and influencers alike. 

It still blows my mind how people are getting paid hundreds of dollars for simply giving brands a shout out on instagram. As I’m not in the fashion sector, I can’t really speak from experience, so I’m currently sitting on the sidelines gawking at how many pairs of shoes some women are sent. 

The road to becoming ‘someone’ always interested me because these girls started from the bottom – hell, we all had to. Unless you were already somewhat famous before launching an online platform, there’s a good chance that you’ve got a few years under your belt and a lot of squirm-worthy content to match. Which is all part of the fun! It’s quite nostalgic looking back through old posts and seeing how your writing style has evolved, right along with your taste. 

What I have been noticing lately, which really is unfortunate, is how little these established bloggers are helping out their baby cousins – the up and coming blogs. I’ve seen plenty of posts where women discuss other publications and podcasts they love (looking at you, Alice and Liv 🙂 ) but it’s a shame that although there is collaboration, it’s generally with other bloggers with a similar-sized following. 

Whatever happened to helping out the little guy?

Maybe it’s just me, but it sure would be refreshing to see more of these “big bloggers” working with fresh talent. To actually help launch these quality sites into the world and know you were a part of it. 

Other than a few unanswered emails, I can’t say I’ve been personally affected by this, but it would be nice to know that it’s happening in abundance, rather than watching the same groups of tight-knit girls taking selfies and doing #collabs because they both have 500k + followers.

Other than a few unanswered emails, I can’t say I’ve been personally affected by this, but it would be nice to know that it’s happening in abundance, rather than watching the same groups of tight-knit girls taking selfies and doing #collabs because they both have 500k + followers.

It’d be so cool to see these girls (and guys) using their platforms to lift others up. Is this free publicity? Sure, but is it really that hard to schedule a coffee date to chat with someone who is inspired by you? 

I really like the idea of mentoring, but I understand that not everyone has the time or resources to do so (let alone answering all of the emails that accompany it). So how can we contact these masters of the internet and start learning from them on a one-on-one basis? And should it be a paid thing? Are we wanting this to gain business experience or make friends?

As you can tell, I have a lot of unanswered questions surrounding this subject. I know that if I’d had the courage to take this thing up sooner, I could be in a very different position right now. Also, it’s a proven fact that working with and around other creative individuals boosts your own creativity levels (which I’m pretty sure is why everyone wants to move to NYC).

So leave this with me – I want to do a bit more research and see what’s available for the newbies out there in the way of networking, collaborations and courses. Since the industry is becoming increasingly saturated, it will be interesting to see if there’s much point – or hope – for more blogs to rise to the popularity of the current mix. But since these things are supposed to be a passion project, it definitely won’t hurt to try.

Reporting back soon,

Viv 🙂 

 

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A Word on Creativity

I’ve always thought of someone complementing me as ‘creative’ as the highest of honours. Like really – is there actually anything lovelier that can be said to a person?

In my eyes, the creatives are the soul of our earth. We’re the inventors, the innovators, the collaborators, the artists looking for a lucky break. We come in all shapes and sizes and often hide our true talents away better than the stealthiest of superheroes ever could. We seem normal and clever and funny and happy – but sometimes this ‘gift’ can get the better of us.

We’ve all heard how some artists create their best work when they’re depressed or medicated. That how some how to retreat into themselves and face their darkest of demons to produce the work that hangs in the world’s most memorable galleries. We all know that the arts isn’t always (or often) deemed as the practical path to pursue at a young age – or any age for that matter.

We aren’t always guaranteed a steady income, and rarely achieve the figures of those working on Wall St, but we know we’re doing what we’re supposed to do, and what fufills us.

I’m writing this at a little bit of a crossroads – I’m three-quarters through a design course, and feel okay about everything, but not fuelled. I’m intimidated, unsure and doubtful. I pass all of my subjects and recieve praise but I still don’t feel like I’m nailing it. It’s like there’s something missing – but what exactly? I have the ideas, I have the patience to learn the skills and programs, but I lack the confidence in my work. I often dream of cool little side projects but rarely start them up, due to lack of time and energy.

Self doubt is like a parasite – when you give it what it wants (aka, sucummbing to the negative thoughts) you feed it and it grows. It starts to infiltrate every area that you’ve ever enjoyed. It makes you question every creative project you’ve ever worked on and chastises you for every one you never started. It compares and insults and generally makes you feel inadequate. It’s a really shitty thing – and a really viscious cycle.

Yet, despite all of this – the creative path is all I dream of. There isn’t a day that goes by without me wondering how the hell I can make this a full time gig…whilst working for myself and not being dirt poor. It’s exciting to know that there’s so many awesome possibilities and ways for me to be successful without conforming, but in the meantime I have to learn how to be patient. 

One of the best things I’ve ever done is purchase Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. That book has become a bible for those seeking fufillment off the beaten path, and has so many gems in it discussing living a creative life without fear.

Liz taught me to create for the sake of creating. I knew that this was a thing, of course, but I didn’t realise how valuable it could be for a person until reading it from another’s point of view. I’d like to say I’ve embraced this notion wholeheartedly, but I haven’t. I jot as many ideas down as I can, but often fall short with the execution side of things. But at least I’m allowing myself to dream, which is more than others can say.

Having this blog has helped tremendously with unleasing the creative beast. I’ve always been one to read and watch other people’s work, but now I have a space where I can share my own, and it keeps me accountable to stick to my weekly uploads. I’d love to step up to posting 2 times a week, but my inspiration often comes at weird times (usually when I should be studying) so I don’t know how consistent that would be. Maybe in the future, eh?

I’d love to know what your tips and tricks are for boosting your creativity and sourcing inspiration. I personally love putting on a good playlist, making a cup of tea and reading my favourite magazines, repotting my house plants or travelling. Kind of a random mix, but afterwards I always feel invigorated and ready to create.

Till next time,

Viv  

*Image by my cute friend @taylawebbxox

The Affordable Art Club: Volume 1

Hey guys,

As promised, here is the first chapter of my Affordable Art Club series. To kick things off, I’ve decided to “start from the beginning”, as it were, and introduce you to a few artists that have held a special place in my heart for YEARS. I have possibly the most assorted taste imaginable, so hopefully there’ll be something for everyone in this mix. 

 

Joel Birch

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Shine On – Joel Birch
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Part of “Hopeless and Romantic” Exhibition – Joel Birch
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Love Conquers All – Joel Birch

 

Joel, Joel, Joel. Where do I even begin to describe my how much I adore and respect this man. Too much? Perhaps, but it’s true. Not only is he the lead singer any my favourite band, but Joel is an incredibly talented typographer, illustrator, graffiti artist and photographer. On top of all this and the band gig, he also has his own clothing brand, Fairly Ordinary, which shows a darker side to his creative expression. The majority of Joel’s work is lyric-based, whether they are his own or the beautiful thogutsh of others, and I have always admired his attention to detail and experimentation when it comes to typography. I’m the proud owner of 4 of his prints (2 fine art, 2 poster style) and they are worth every cent. His silk screen prints start at $100 and are of impeccable quality, but if you’re wanting to snag one of his works for a little cheaper his poster prints range from $10-25. He also recently released a film photography book which I’m yet to purchase, but it’s on the list! Find all the good shit here.

 

Rik Lee

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Night Train – Rik Lee
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Left Handed Studies – Rik Lee
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The Woods – Rik Lee

Have I already mentioned Rik on here? Probably, because his work ROCKS. I found him through the magical mind field of instagram back in 2012/13 and absolutely fell in love. Of course, it took me over a year to finally buy anything from his shop because I couldn’t decide on just one. I wanted them all, and ended up buying 3 of his lovely prints on a 3 for 2 deal (that’s still running, btw) and am still one very happy customer. Rik’s work is bright, quirky and downright dreamy. I’m a huge fan of his non-dominant hand sketch series, and the best way to keep up with him and all of his WIPs are via his instagram account. I always make sure to watch his stories, as he does a lot of behind the scenes and asks his followers for their input on his drawings, which I love. The majority of his prints are A3 and are $35, which is such a bargain considering what beautiful quality they are, and if you’re feeling spendy he also sells a range of coasters, lapel pins and clothing, which are all available here.

 

Ali Gulec

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Skull 2 – Ali Gulec
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Gramophone – Ali Gulec
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Room Skull – Ali Gal

I discovered Ali on Society6 back in 2013 or so, and fell completely in love with his “Skull 2” print. It was one of the first nice art prints I’d ordered and because of its peculiar size (my fault for choosing it, of course) it sat in its postal tube for about 3 years. A lot of Ali’s work on Society6 has skulls as a reoccurring theme, and has made quite a name for himself with turning something once associated with death and loss into something beautiful and interesting. Ali’s prints range from $20-$50 depending on size, and because they’re on Society6 you also have the added option of getting them on t-shirts, wall tapestries, cushions and a whole lot more. Find all his work here.

 

I hope you enjoyed this as much as I loved babbling about these guys. Stay tuned for Volume 2!

 

The Affordable Art Club: Prologue

If you’ve been hanging out here for a while, then you’ll know how much I love collecting art. My obsession began at a young age; from ripping out funky pictures from magazines and carefully hiding them in a manilla folder, to covering my walls in Blunt band posters, to having a go of creating some pieces of my own, artwork has always been a major part of my space. 

I’m a visual person, meaning 2 things: 1) I like to have pretty and inspiring things on display, and 2) I am constantly having to battle with my inner hoarder on how many of these things I really need – because this gal does NOT like clutter. My personal style and taste has definitely evolved over the years, but one thing remains: I still like my walls covered in pictures.

These days, said pictures have been sourced from all over the world and come in many different forms, whether they be fine art prints, photographs, oil paintings or mixed media pieces. I’m a sucker for anything that has soft colours/watercolours mixed in with sharp lines and edgy aspects. Which is possibly the vaguest description I could offer, but hey, that’s my taste! 

So in light of this love, and because I have neither the cash flow nor the wall space to keep up with my findings, I have decided to start a new little segment on the blog: The Affordable Art Club. The name is pretty self-explanatory, but I think it’s important nonetheless. We are living in a time where we have the art world at our finger tips, being able to watch faraway exhibitions on Youtube and gawk over snaps from the Louvre that pop up in our news feeds (and give us instant holiday envy), and that also comes with another added bonus: accessible and affordable art pieces. Hooray!

When I first made the transition from band posters to a more mature taste, I didn’t know where to look. Instagram was obviously an amazing tool (and I have in fact found the majority of my favourite artists through that handy little square-space!) but now has become quite overwhelming when trying to search for stuff. 

Enter, the ever trusty Affordable Art Club, where I’ll be showcasing all of the cool artists, designers and stores I discover, with all of their links attached (because there’s nothing more annoying than finding a piece that you adore and having NO FREAKING CLUE where to find it). I’m hoping to add to this series every 4-6 weeks, which means I will have absolutely no excuse not to uncover some new gems for you in between posts. 

I’ve scheduled the first proper instalment for Monday in two of weeks, so until then…

Happy art hunting!

Viv xo