Monday, 8 July 2013

My Job Description

So do you work?  Its a question I'm asked a lot, you see I'm on of those mums who you'll spot walking through my home town, nipping to the post office and the supermarket, dropping in for a catch up with friends so you'd be forgiven for thinking that I don't have a day job.

But when people ask me do I work, I feel a little awkward saying, I own my own business, it makes me feel too pretentious.  So over the last year or so I've been really struggling how to answer this question without sounding that I think way too much of myself, but still explaining exactly what it is that I do.  In the business world this is known as the elevator pitch, as you probably can guess the term was coined in America, lift pitch, just doesn't have the same ring to it does it?

Basically an elevator pitch sums up what you do and what you have to offer in 2 seconds. It's supposed to enlighten and intrigue people to ask you more so you can use it to promote yourself everywhere you go.

So I guess I'll start with what I do, as you know I make bridal accessories.  I'm slightly different than most people in the same niche as they tend to focus on just one type of accessory such as jewellery, veils, shoes, garters, ring pillows, etc you get the picture.  Back in 2007 I started with tiaras, no business planning, I just jumped right in, then it progressed to jewellery and in the last previous years it's moving to veils, garters, ring pillows and shoe clips.

Previously I used to tell people that I made wedding jewellery. I know not the best elevator pitch.  So now I'm on the look out for a new one.

So what is it that I do?  I design and craft a range of bespoke bridal accessories.
What I can offer?  A full design service working with your budget.

Let's make this sound a little more interesting

I'm a bridal accessories designer, creating bespoke designs that allow brides to get what they want for the budget they have.

This seems a little long

How about

I'm a designer, creating bridal accessories for brides who know what they want but can't seem to find it!

I'm liking this a little better, but it's still a work in progress.  I think I'll use it for a little while and see what response I get.

Wish me luck.

If you have any suggestions, leave them in the comments section below, I'd love to hear them and you never know I might even use it.

Monday, 1 July 2013

So many tools, too little skills?

I have a wide array of interests, jewellery, photography, and digital art, just to name a few.  Without a tutor or a plan to follow I dive into these areas and learn as I go along.  I wander aimlessly from one topic to the next.  Last night it could be creating a tiara, today it's creating cool effects on Photoshop.

I still find Photoshop mystifying.  I've used it for a number of years for my bridal accessories website and general playing around with images.  I probably understand or even know about 1/100th of it's capabilities and sometimes I find the power contained within this programme a little intimidating.

So about an hour ago I came across a great beginner tutorial (I say beginner but you'll need to know how to access filters, change brushes, understand layer opacity and blending modes or at least know how to change them.  It may sound complicated but it's not - check out this video that should you the very basics of photoshop, I mean basic as in the first time you've ever clicked on the icon and opened it.

Anyway back to the tutorial, you can view it here, it's by Troy Packer and he's even kind enough to supply you with the original image so you can follow along.

Here's the original

The tutorial (which can be found here) shows you in clear steps how to get to this image:

I mostly found the tutorial easy to understand but I didn't complete the last few steps, I'd like to say it was because I liked how my image turned out, but in reality it's because I'm lazy.

Also I chose different colours and blending modes too. So while I used the same original drawing as Troy mine turned out different.

I've personally found this a great tutorial simply because it shows what type of effects you can get but using a number of different filters, including Chrome, Gaussian Blur and Wave, as well as various hardness of brushes, the eraser and dodge tool. 

This isn't the type of art that I'm passionate about, I did this tutorial purely to get to know Photoshop better. If you're at the same level as me using photoshop then I would ask you to seriously consider spending time on tutorials such as these just for practise.  It helps you understand what can be achieved with this programme and when you know what it is that you want to create, you'll have a good idea how to get there.

Have fun x