Baby, You’re So Classic

Baby, You're So Classic- an essay column via Opinion9.comAnd we buzz through everyday, barely aware that we are writing the history of tomorrow. Minutes counted down,  days ticked off calendars and before you know it, today becomes yesterday.

That philosophical feeling came to me as I listened to Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ on my old playlist.  Here I was, singing along to a song from 1982 (yep, just googled that) when I caught myself thinking “Ah! This song really is a classic!”.  The song has proved to be immensely popular, timeless… but a ‘classic’ – is it really one? Or is that territory only reserved for Beethoven’s and Mozart’s of earlier eras?

What does it take to make an artwork a classic? What does it mean to be a classic? And… which songs or books do you think will be the classics of tomorrow?

We often refer to something classic to say that it is timeless – like in my case, with the Thriller track. I thought of Jackson’s song as a classic because it was still enjoyable even now. Several years after its release, it still retained its charm.  Another key factor is that a classic is usually relatable – although in an indirect way. The song is still relatable – its subject of ghosts and zombies is an age old story that we would have all heard before and yet, a story that never goes out of fashion. It contains a message that we can relate with in a different time period.

Baby, You're So Classic- an essay column via Opinion9.com

The same goes for books. Shakespeare’s tragedies haven’t lost their charm because of their extensive portrayal of human emotion – a subject that is once again, timeless. We can feel jealousy like Othello, and crave power like Macbeth even though we don’t dress or talk like them.

Relatability is perhaps a criteria that people take with a pinch of salt. Many times we refer to books as classics, not because they were very popular or because they describe a relatable human experience – but simple because they are… old. Mark Twain seems to agree with this. He once said, ” Classic: a book which people praise and don’t read.”

Baby, You're So Classic- an essay column via Opinion9.com

Not to disregard classics, of course. There may be many works which are exemplary forms of literature despite being un-relatable. Dickens’ Great Expectations is often described as a classic although in my personal opinion, I found the story quite hard to relate with. But then, is ‘classic’ truly the right word to describe them? Or maybe it’s just me.

Either way, it’s interesting to wonder what parts of our present life will become classics tomorrow! I wonder if Justin Bieber’s ‘What do you mean?’  will become a “classic” in pop music. In the future, perhaps safari scenes in films depicting this decade will play Taylor Swift’s “Wildest Dreams”. If only we could take a sneak peek and find out!

Baby, You're So Classic- an essay column via Opinion9.com

Well, for the time being- we could just borrow MKTO’s upbeat definition. If “they don’t make you like they used to” and “You’re never going out of style”, then…. Most certainly I’d say, “Baby, you’re so classic”.

Essay by Dee & Photos by Aaria Baid

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To Print or Not to Print?

To Print or Not to Print? via Opinion9.com- an Essay columnA habitual note-taker, I find it hard to focus in my classes at university without a pen and paper. And yes, I’m one of those students who turns up with a printed copy of the lecture material every time. But the environmentalist in me keeps urging me to embrace technology, stop printing every single set of notes and just read it off my computer. In vain, however. Usually it’s a passing feeling, and before I know it I’m standing in queue to use the library printer once again.

To be fair, I’ve tried it one too many times. Each time it’s the same. I resolve to read a set of notes online instead of printing. Type out my notes during class instead of writing them. But I just can’t get used to it – I find it hard to organize my thoughts without a pen and blank paper in my hand. And even when it comes to reading materials, it frustrating when I can’t flip back and forth between pages smoothly, or annotate with the freedom that handwritten marking provides.

I often see my tech savvy friends come to class just carrying their tablet – one place for all notes, all readings, and even an entertainment source during study breaks. Seems extremely effective –  but I wonder: does a physical copy to read or handwritten notes have a charm that hasn’t yet been recreated by technology?

Just the way our grandparents always say that an email can’t replace a handwritten letter – indeed there seems to be some unnamed charm in the feel of paper instead of a type-face on our laptop screen. It’s funny how touch, enhances our sensory perception of something we read in a book despite the fact that the content written doesn’t change.

But it’s also possible that the charm of paper only exists for grew up with that tradition. To me, books and e-books feel different – but perhaps not to the millennials who were born into a more tech savvy world. Maybe  I associate the pleasure of reading with the experience of reading books as a kid, snuggling in a bed with a book in my hand. Maybe I just can’t type fast enough as I think and that’s why handwritten notes are the more effortless alternative.  Maybe.

The gap between my laptop screen and notebook seems to stem more from my mind  than actual differences between the two media. If that’s the case – I think it’s time to step out of my comfort zone, and start embracing the virtual world in small steps (like typing out this blogpost on my text editor for example hehe). That way the sudden change won’t tempt me to resort to pen and paper all the time, and let me adapt to the change gradually. Well, it’s definitely worth a try! -Dee

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Uncovering the charm of Mafalda

Hello! I’m VERY pleased to introduce Opinion9’s newest contributor: Dee! This is also her own column: EXPRESS. Enjoy! Let’s begin with uncovering the charm of …Mafalda!

Mafalda Cumple

So, I started learning Spanish a few weeks ago as an elective for college. It was one of the first few classes, that my professor introduced us to Mafalda.

For those of you who have never seen this charming little girl, here she is:

mafalda2

Mafalda is a cartoon kid among the spanish-speaking countries – and being introduced has been one of the best bonuses of my Spanish classes.

After persistently looking for Mafalda between study breaks for a few days I started to wonder – why did I like this cartoon so much?

The charm didn’t seem to be coming from the art, or the rather mundane household scenes depicted. It wasn’t particularly witty language, and neither was it involving any politically charged themes. What could it be?

Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 8.42.25 pm

After some thought, I think the answer is this: Mafalda’s charm is in her character – she is not a child trapped in adults world.

It’s hardly a surprise that she appealed to a university student like me- curious and confused about the adult world of job hunting, MNC jobs and work-life balance.

Mafalda’s reactions to the world – be it laughing at the definition of democracy or literally trying to find the ever-so evasive notion of ‘happiness’ – captured my confusion, and often frustration, toward the real world situations I’ve often faced.

Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 8.42.05 pm

Maybe you’re a student like me, and can relate with Mafalda.

Maybe you’re more of an adult, who could reminisce the feelings you first experienced as your grew up.

Maybe you’re just someone learning Spanish like me.

Either way, Mafalda could bring a smile to your face (especially if you’re learning Spanish)!

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picture credits: 1/2/3-6/7

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Discovering Art With Stephanie


Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

Hey everyone! Today, we have Stephanie telling us about her take on art, life and..cats!

Aptly named ‘Inky Cat Studio’, Stephanie’s work can be described as cats, cats, an assortment of other animals too- set with everyday items like scooters, donuts, human stuff..you know?

And she also draws humans. Intrigued? She terms her own art as ‘offbeat’, and I’d add the words..quirky, imaginative and whimsical as well to the mix!

Well, let’s hear what she has to say on the matter!

Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hello! My name is Stephanie and I’m an Australian artist living in Singapore for the last 2 years with my husband and two cats. Before that we lived in Sydney where I worked for a long time in the higher education industry.

When I came to Singapore, I worked a few corporate jobs at first but after a while I felt the pull to work for myself and actively make a living from something that I’m passionate about.

After a lot of soul searching, Inky Cat Studio was born in August of 2015 😃

Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

What motivates and inspires you the most?

I love producing art that expresses me and my ideas. My motivation is to build a successful business around this passion of mine, so that I can spend quality time with my family, travel and live around the world.

When I need something to inspire me, I like to go through Pinterest and my Instagram feed. There are just so many talented artists with such a great variety of stories to share.

Looking at their work really helps me think of what I could be working on as well and helps kickstart my imagination.

Besides that, I also like listening to podcasts these days and TED Talks are always a great way to feel inspired.

On a personal level, my husband is also a big inspiration because I feel that on this journey, where I am the meandering, often confused traveller, he is the steady and recurring signpost in my life. (He’s also very fast and good about packing all my merchandise hehe)

Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

 

I absolutely love your quirky and colourful animal sketches! What is your drawing/painting process like? 

Thanks Aaria 😃 Yes I love drawing animals! Especially when I can put them in odd scenarios like a Pug with a Ninja Sword or a Cat wearing a Donut.

I also paint less oddball animals like this fish, but the process for all of them are roughly the same.

First, I always try to have a strong point of inspiration before I start on a painting.

Lately I’ve realised that if I don’t have a strong feeling or idea, or if I haven’t researched a subject before I paint, it can become quite lifeless and isn’t satisfying for me. Sometimes it could just be a memory of a good joke between my husband and I, or sometimes it’s a video that I see online, whatever it is, I try to set an intention before I paint.

Even if I’m painting abstracts the intention I have is “I’m going to play with colour” or “I’m going to experiment”.

When I know what my intention is then I begin sketching out ideas that I have. When it’s a very clear idea I just sketch directly onto my watercolour paper and just paint away.

Other times it takes a while to fine tune so I do little thumbnails in my sketchbook. When I’m happy with a thumbnail then I draw a final sketch onto watercolour paper and start painting. It’s during the painting process that sometimes I’ll think “this wasn’t such a good idea”, but usually if I have a strong intention beforehand it helps me overcome these doubts so I can at least finish the painting.

Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

 

Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

(the model and below, the art inspired)
PumpkinCatIllustration

How much time on an average does it take to create a piece?

Most of my works are A4 size if they’re rectangular and 25cm x 25cm if they’re square. For these sizes my whole process only takes about an hour or two.

Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

(donut+ cat!)

Just out of interest, what was the first (or your favourite) piece of art you remember creating?

When my older brother was in school he used to paint with oils. When I was 13 or 14, after he moved out, I took my brother’s left over oil paints and brushes and painted a rose on a black background. I think this rose was inspired by the enchanted rose in Beauty and the Beast lol.

I had never painted in oils, but I had tons of my brother’s oil painting books to read so I thought I’d just go for it. It sounded like a great idea at the time, but I wish I chose a smaller canvas lol It’s a memorable first piece, because it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be and I got paint everywhere, but when I did finish I felt a real sense of accomplishment.

Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

Where do you see yourself in a few years?

I see myself managing a growing a creative business and still travelling and living overseas. I see myself having more confidence as an artist and continuing to experiment and define my style.

Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

(her husband helping her out at work)

Can you share a glimpse of a typical day in your life?

Sure. A typical day in my home office looks like:

– 9am wake up and go through my morning routine: shower then coffee and some kind of light breakfast, check my phone for alerts on my social media for Inky Cat and my personal accounts.

– 9.30 Hop on the computer to plan out my day using https://getplan.co/. I love this tool because it syncs with my Google calendar and keeps my tasks visible through out the day. It really helps me own a task when I see that I’ve allocated time for it.

-10 am – Go through any online tasks that I need to do; emails, marketing, art research etc.

– 11.30am – Working on art pieces on the computer: scanning completed pieces and working on them in photoshop or illustrator.

-1pm – I usually get hungry around this time. Either I’ll eat at home or go down to the shops and pick up something around there. Sometimes I’ll drop by my Printer to pick up any reproductions that I’ve had printed as well.

2.30pm – I’m back home and if nothing’s pressing then I’ll do a short workout.

3.30pm – I’ll pack all the prints and merchandise I picked up earlier in the day and put them aside in boxes for a courier to pick up.

4pm – If I have any direct orders to ship, I’ll take this time to drop by the local post office and send them away.

4.30pm – Art time! (this includes sketching and researching, looking for reference material).

6pm – I start thinking about dinner plans with the husband. If I’m cooking at home, then I’ll start around this time. When he comes home we usually talk about each other’s day and after dinner we’ll settle down into our own wind down routines.

8.30pm – Art time! This may not necessarily be another painting, it could be a doodle or a smaller illustration. Sometimes I also spend this time just looking at more art online.

10pm – Read a few chapters on my Kindle

11pm – Go to bed.

Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

How long has painting and art in general been your hobby? How did you think you could convert it to something more?

Art and painting has been an interest of mine for as long as I can remember. I have always needed some kind of creative outlet, for a while I also played classical guitar and crocheted (I still do! :D) . But painting has always been the constant in my life.

I transitioned from the mindset that art was just a hobby, when after moving to Singapore I had to reassess my career plans. In Sydney, because I was in the same industry for so long, my career progression was quite straight forward. But in Singapore, I started from a clean slate.

So I did what was comfortable and took 2 office jobs before I realised that I was pursuing someone else’s dream and that I wasn’t passionate about it. When you graduate from school and start out, there’s nothing wrong with working for someone and gaining experience like this.

But for myself, I felt like an office job wasn’t going to get me where I wanted and the more I felt dissatisfied, the more I started to narrow down what I DID want to do, which was make art. At first it sounded ridiculous even to me, but because I knew what I didn’t want to do I made a plan with my husband and started painting furiously so I could build up a body of work. After that, the rest is history 😃

Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

What is your favourite travel destination, colour, food and flower?

I’m half Japanese (dad is, mum is Filipino) so I love Japan for their everything! The beaches in the Philippine are also amazing, so I’d like to go there again with my husband.

Favourite colour is Prussian blue.

Food: Too many! Right now I’m thinking, waffles, nasi lemak, ramen, beef stew…I could go on and on.

I don’t know if I have a favourite flower, but lately I was thinking that orchids are really fun to draw and are very pretty.

Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

 

What’s the importance of art in your daily lifestyle?

Art causes me to reflect more on everything and make my own interpretations. It makes me slow down and observe and think. I can’t rush out my drawings or paintings, and even if I could I imagine it wouldn’t be enjoyable.

So when I sit down and sketch or go online and look for reference photos or inspiration, I feel like I’m not just admiring pretty things. I feel like I’m absorbing new information and interpreting it in my own way.

I really like this feeling, because for a long time I didn’t prioritise the way I interpreted the world. I prioritised how my teachers, or bosses wanted to see things, how my company  wanted to see things. But making art reminds me to express and share my own views of the world.

Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

What do you do in your leisure time? (apart from art, of course!)

Lately, my husband and I have been visiting Macritchie Reservoir here in Singapore to go hiking and kayaking. Hopefully soon we can get our two star certification for kayaking and go on expeditions 😀

Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

Some themes/ topics inspiring you nowadays?

Lately I’ve been painting a lot of hands and legs lol With these, my style is quite different from when I paint my usual animals. These are for upcoming art shows that I’m participating in so I can’t reveal too much yet, but they’re happening within a few months and I’m very excited to push myself and try new things!

I chose to paint body parts only because I think even on their own they’re strong but delicate and expressive. I want to see how much I can convey just by painting them alone.

Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

What are your go-to art supplies and your preferred art media?

I use Micron pens and brush pens from Kuretake or the $2 ones from Daiso for my doodles and small illustrations. For my sketches, I have a mechanical pencil from Muji with blue lead that I like to use. The blue fades away easier into a painting if I decide to paint it, as opposed to regular lead.

I love watercolour. It’s my favourite medium by far. When I want to paint on the go I have a portable Windsor and Cotman set, but when I paint at home I pull out my box of Kuretake Gansai Tambi and Holbein tubes.

I only usually use two brushes when I paint, a number 4 synthetic round brush, and a 0 brush for details. I rarely need to use a bigger brush, but if I do, I have a half inch and 1 inch square brush too.

There was also a time when I would only use my small or medium Aquash water brushes, but nowadays I only use them when I’m out of the house. A good white pen is also very important for highlights so I use a white Sakura Gelly Roll pen for this. Sometimes, I’ll dig out a tube of white acrylic paint as well.

For paper I just use any good watercolour paper – ideally it’s smooth or hot press. But for my smaller doodles and illustration, I’ll draw on any clean spot I can find lol I’ve scanned in doodles that I drew on copy paper or business cards. I always try to have a pen and paper near me.

Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

How did you discover your own style of drawing? Any advice for artists stuggling with getting in the swing of things?

My style is still very much a work in progress, but I do feel that I’m slowly starting to see what colours I’m drawn to, how I like to mix them and what subjects interest me. I attribute this progress to just making a lot of art.

Looking at other people’s styles help as well. Making a board on Pinterest of art that interests also helps me see the types of things I like and what I want to try myself. So yes make lots of art.

It can be frustrating when it feels like there are roadblocks to your growth, so my next advice is that nothing is wasted. Every artist I know of, including myself make a ton of bad drawings and sketches.

But of course, that’s not what gets posted on Instagram or printed. But that’s not to say that they’re a waste of time and effort (which is how I thought of them before).

Lately, I’ve come to understand that even the worst and even the most random of sketches move you that one step closer to that meaningful piece of work that you’ve always wanted to make. When I realised this, I started putting less pressure on myself and really appreciating all those little sketches and doodles.

Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

(flower cat!)

Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

(as Stephanie puts it, the rare deer cat!)

Discovering Art With Stephanie- a creative interivew with artist Stephanie Hew via Opinion9

(unicorn cat?)

Why cats?! (I love ‘em too!, but I want to know why you named your whole biz around them!)

Besides them being super cute (my new favourite instagram kitty is sir_silas_kitty and albertbabycat), my own cats are the epitome of cool. They’re so chill and they totally live to the beat of their own drum.

They always stretch after they wake up, when they play they really play and when they’re concentrating on something (e.g birds outside the window), it’s very hard to distract them. They enjoy life and have incredible focus.

These are qualities that I really admire and that I want to incorporate in my art and business.

My logo, the black ink blot kitty, is based around my 16 year old Devon Rex. I thought I’d make a logo and brand name around him because I wanted to be reminded of all these qualities so that it would keep motivating me.

….

Find Stephanie and her work here:

Direct store – inkycatstudio.bigcartel.com
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A Doll Discussion with ABOE Designs

A Doll Discussion with ABOE Designs via Opinion9.com

Hello! Today for the Inspiration column, we have Jacqueline telling us about her wonderful world of dolls, delicate floral designs and more! I especially adore the dolls she designs, which you can dress up and colour in. Her work brings me back to childhood when all a girl has to think about are dressing up her dolls, and buying more clothes and colouring books.. and lazy play days. (yes, that would sum up quite a large portion of my childhood days too, haha!) So when I found Jacqui’s work on instagram, I had to contact her to find out a bit more on her process. I really appreciate the fact that her work started off (and still very much is) a source of inspiration not only for her, but also for her children! Let’s hear what she has to say.


Please tell me a little bit about yourself.

I am a 30 something, stay at home mum to three children. As a family, we have moved lots for my hubby’s work. This has meant that we have lived in quite rural isolating areas and I have been affected the most by this. Living away from friends and family and unable to really make a new social circle my children and our home really have been the focus of my life. As much as this is a blessing, I do struggle sometimes; feeling very much like Jacqui has just ceased and the Mummy has just been autopilot mode for all of these years. So, desperate to have a bit of ‘me’ back and to get back to a talent that I didn’t want to waste, I started ABOEdesigns.

A Doll Discussion with ABOE Designs via Opinion9.com

A Doll Discussion with ABOE Designs via Opinion9.com

I love your lovely dress up dolls and all your products really (bunnies, florals and all)! What got you started in making them?

My youngest was a tiny baby when I started ABOE. I had made lots of things for her and her room; just like I did with my other children. I always had other mothers asking me how I made these items and it seemed obvious to me to create products to encourage crafting and make the process seem less daunting and more fun to do. I began selling baby shower kits. Beautiful bespoke boxes filled with all the goodies needed to create unique decorated onesies. These pieces made such thoughtful keepsakes for little ones. I created example vests to show what the kits could create and to my surprise found the vests in demand too.

Wanting to create pieces to encourage crafting in all ages – and of course because I have three children I was also toying with a kit for the older girlies. It was after my eldest daughter was bought a gorgeous paperdolls set that the #colourcouturedolls became a strong idea! My daughter spent ages beautifully colouring the outfits. But her stubbornness wouldn’t allow my help and on cutting the pieces out there were accidents followed by tears 🙁 The outfits that did survive didn’t last long with the card ending bent or ruined somehow. So my daughter genuinely completely inspired the colourcouturedolls! It was producing something that she wanted to play with that wasn’t available.

A Doll Discussion with ABOE Designs via Opinion9.com

A Doll Discussion with ABOE Designs via Opinion9.com

A Doll Discussion with ABOE Designs via Opinion9.com

 

What was the hardest (and easiest) part while starting your business?

My work starts in the evenings when the littles are sleeping. Sometimes this can get frustrating, especially when I have lots of orders. I also panic sometimes because my family does come first and should one of my littles get poorly it means everything stops while I naturally dedicate myself to them.

I’m not sure I could describe any part as easy – well the coming up with ideas, what’s that saying “too many ideas, too little time!!”

A Doll Discussion with ABOE Designs via Opinion9.comA Doll Discussion with ABOE Designs via Opinion9.com

What makes you the happiest in your creative process?

The dolls and the dresses took over a year to perfect! I never imagined it would take that long; but I am a perfectionist! I draw every part of the dolls and their outfits. Including the prints for the dresses and even creating the dolls dress pattern myself. They really are made with such care and attention to detail. I find these initial stages my favourite! I like designing and drawing and I could sit and draw florals for hours; but as much as I love this part I cannot described the feeling of accomplishment on seeing all the finished components together – each time I package a doll I cannot help but smile!

A Doll Discussion with ABOE Designs via Opinion9.com

A Doll Discussion with ABOE Designs via Opinion9.com

A Doll Discussion with ABOE Designs via Opinion9.com

How do you balance your creative business along with regular life?

I enjoy the balance I have created in our lives now. On a daily basis I do all of the usual Mummy duties, the house hold chores, the school runs and play dates etc. Two of my children are at school and I have only my youngest at home with me now. On days that she is happily playing I can package orders, or do some sketches but if she doesn’t want me to then I don’t get to do any work. I get to be in ABOE mode when the littles are all sleeping.

A Doll Discussion with ABOE Designs via Opinion9.com

A Doll Discussion with ABOE Designs via Opinion9.com

Where do you see yourself in a few years?

While my youngest is still at home I will continue to grow ABOEdesigns. I’m uncertain what the future holds. My studies were in contour fashion (lingerie design) and surface pattern design; so I will always be doing something creative this is where my passion lies and I just love drawing and designing. Thanks to Instagram I have also developed my love for styling and photography and have had some product photography jobs, which I really enjoyed! ABOE designs is A Bit Of Everything! So I really am keen to develop and open to new avenues and ideas.

A Doll Discussion with ABOE Designs via Opinion9.com

A Doll Discussion with ABOE Designs via Opinion9.com

What motivates and inspires you the most?

ABOE began completely inspired by my children and my life with them and I’m proud of that creative detour. In the future I might return to what I know best. Although saying that, at the moment my current inspiration really is the wedding industry! Since eloping with my Hubby I cannot stop ‘pinning’ wedding themes and inspirations! I’m very keen to produce pieces for such special occasions and I have a major crush on tulle!! I think I’d be very well suited to this industry; quite often describing myself as ‘unashamedly girlie’ – a true lover of all things blush, letterpressed, gold foiling and of course peonies……just screams wedding doesn’t it 😉

A Doll Discussion with ABOE Designs via Opinion9.com

How long has making and designing been your hobby? How did you think you could convert your hobby into a business?

I have always been artistic. Never one to have phases of this career path or another it has just always been design that I have wanted to follow. I found my niche – lingerie when I was 16. However I found studying in the fashion sector very hard, it is an environment that very few thrive in and I preferred the free and messy art side of print and textiles. I don’t think for one second I ever had the arrogance enough to say im starting this business and it’s going to make it and be fantastic! I am simply a Mum who wants the enjoyment of creating and making and if I can earn a small income whilst staying at home with my babies then that’s just amazing and more than enough…for now 😉

A Doll Discussion with ABOE Designs via Opinion9.com

What’s your favourite food, colour and flower?

I am a chocoholic!! I cannot resist chocolate and am constantly on a diet as a consequence!! Blush is my favourite colour and peonies are my favourite flowers; I cannot resist all those ruffles!

A Doll Discussion with ABOE Designs via Opinion9.com

Could you share some advice for people trying to start a business?

After just two months of launching ABOEdesigns I received an email from a lovely company called Belle and Boo, announcing the launch of their Boo-tique. Where they collaborated with other designers to create new Belle and Boo inspired handmade pieces. I couldn’t help but send them an email and ask if they would consider a collaboration with my baby shower boxes! This would be my first piece of advice to any other start ups – be brave!! You never know until you try! To my delight they loved the boxes and a special edition was created and is still currently for sale on their website www.belleandboo.com.

 

I launched the colour couture dolls in July and the response has been amazing! The colour-in products have completely surpassed the baby products which I have now had to stop doing in order to keep up with demand for the new products. My second piece of advice would be don’t be afraid to evolve! My initial products becoming part of a very saturated market meant it was actually exciting for me to concentrate on the new unique products!

 

Another piece of advice is to be open and honest with your customers if you are able. Thanks to social media sites such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter it is possible for people to get to know you, the person/the mummy behind the makes and not just your products and I think people would be pleasantly surprised at how much customers can be supportive and understanding!! The Instagram community in particular being my favourite and most supportive!

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Find ABOE Designs over on instagram | twitter | blog | etsy

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