Easy Ways to Grow Your Online Presence…

Trade School in West Norwood, London

I plan to attend this next week and whilst, I know a fair bit in theory, I think having someone else’s point of view will be extremely useful. (no spaces left as now full).
I think it’s possible to get lost in all the information that is available and I’ve been reading and watching a lot of information on the subject – online courses, books, RSS feeds to many blogs/websites and organisations that I’ve signed up to and I do  feel somewhat fatigued – sometimes it’s useful to hear from a human being  that is stood in front of you which helps to clarify and shift through any jumbled thoughts you have on the subject.
Plus, going over the basics again can be brilliant at reminding yourself of things that may have been forgotten or dismissed previously because it just didn’t ‘click’ at the time.

Easy Ways to Grow Your Online Presence…   

Do you want to make sure that people can find you when searching for the type of product or service you sell? Are you already doing social media? There are lots of other techniques small businesses should consider to attract more customers, even on a budget. This class will help you understand the basics of two major digital marketing channels and how it can benefit your business. The class will be interactive so you can easily apply what you have learnt.

Bring one of the following:

Blog (or any other online post) about the class – you are looking at mine!
Design help – of what I ‘m not sure yet – will update afterwards.
Enthusiasm! I’m quietly enthusiastic 🙂
Nibbles or drinks for the class – yay, biscuits!
Your business card – always have those but tend to forget to give them out.

About the teacher, Vanessa Fullerton-Batten 

Marketer with a digital focus, having worked for 15+ years in sales and marketing for different sized organisations from start-ups through to large corporations. Now run my own digital marketing company for small businesses, www.vfbmarketing.com. I’ve lived in West Norwood for the last 7 years.

   6:30p.m. to 7:30p.m.
James Wilson Coffee Shop
357 Norwood Road
London SE27 9BQ GB

The Open Works Trade School project

This is through The Open Works Trade School project – you can see a selection of their other projects here – click to visit and have a look yourself – they are generally free and some have a simple barter element but all in fun!

I’m part of The Stitch and several members are setting up a website which we hope to launch soon.

I’m also part of the Rock Paper Scissors collective and we have 2 venues L’Arche next to St Luke’s Church (where they hold the Feast Sunday) in West Norwood and the James Wilson Cafe in Tulse Hill (next to the train station – turn right!) and apparently there could be a 3rd option in Streatham 🙂

I fancy doing the clay version but I need to use some time in trying to find a job… work wanted 😀

The Open Works Trade School Projects Selection
The Open Works Trade School Projects Selection – click to visit page

They are ending this year long project soon but the individual projects will continue – there tends to be a crossover of people in them so there is still a link between them all which is great.

This was a project with Lambeth Council and they didn’t know if it would be successful and they plan to review/research the outcome over the next few months.

Personally I think it’s a great idea and it’s a shame I didn’t know about sooner – I found them through the Makerhood group – it’s so useful to have these links, I really wasn’t bought up with any type of community so I’m finding it interesting and hope it all continues!

Get feedback at our product surgery – Makerhood

The following evening I have a Makerhood meet up – ‘Get feedback at our Product Surgery’ Westow Hill near Crystal Palace park – which has also sold out of tickets (free to Makerhood Members & £4 to non-members).

Jane Doxey is a product design development and retail expert with years of experience as a buyer for companies including Liberty’s and Marks and Spencer’s. Jane also runs her own consultancy, Creative and Retail, which specialises in offering help to individuals and start ups who are just getting started.

Liz Clamp is the owner of Smash Bang Wallop, a shop in Crystal Palace that sells beautiful goods – from jewellery to accessories, cosmetics to candles, toys to homewares including products by local makers. Liz’s background is in fashion design, and she previously worked for Joseph and was a lecturer at London College of Fashion where she wrote a book on fashion marketing.

Think my brain will be overloaded again… oh well… 😉

Related Images:

Off to Bootcamp hoorah!

I signed up to the “Make Art That Sells” (MATS) 6 month Bootcamp – one assignment each month (except for April as they have a five-week course in the middle) so a total of 5 assignments where you are given a ‘brief’ and a use of design use as well as other useful tips and info – the private Facebook group is very cool.

Bootcamp with Lilla Rogers

This is my submission – I did also do the February assignment but as I signed up just a few days before that deadline my design wasn’t very good – I may post that up later.

March 2014 MATS Bootcamp
my Submission into the March 2014 MATS Bootcamp ‘Jelly’ themed design for Bolt Fabric.


My other designs that I rather liked from all the doodles and sketches I did in the week before receiving it’s ‘use’ ie: bolt fabric.

another design for the ‘Jelly’ themed design for Bolt Fabric.

A very quick mockup on products: jelly wave, fun, kids design, surface pattern

another design created whilst working on the ‘Jelly’ theme

a floral variation on the ‘Jelly’ themed design for Bolt Fabric.


a few other bits from the Jelly theme:



I did some photos of Jelly to use as texture but didn’t get around to using them…
experiments in jelly!
experiments in jelly! it will probably be a few years before I eat Jelly again!

Whats Next?

For the people not doing the 5 week course ‘we’ have decided to do our own assignment for fun… one member’s six year old son has given the theme of Underwater and it will be for dishware.

I have also decided to join ANOTHER online course – this one being with The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design Module 1: Designing your Way 5 week course which is more affordable for me right now and I think the other MATS course will be good to take once I get to a better level of work.

The Art and Business of Surface Pattern Design

I’ve been eyeing these modules for at least a year and it started on Monday (24th March 2014) I signed up that night… I couldn’t help it. I need to find more work or sell more products in order to afford this lol.

I’ve added my shop links to my about page… hint hint hint 🙂


Pikaland… making ‘my’ mark!

I completed a BA Hons degree 2 years ago and then spent some time unemployed but finally got work freelancing (for my old company) which means anything creative/craft work that I wanted to work on went out of the window… stress doesn’t help in the process of experimenting and creating new work.

So I signed up to a Pikaland online workshop

Screen Shot 2013-04-21 at 18.54.53

Pikaland Artist Bootcamp: Making Your Mark

by Amy Ng & Jamie Shelman

It’s a 6 week bootcamp to help illustrators, drawers and creative types ‘make their mark’… I have ideas I just find it difficult to get them out of my head AND not to think they are rubbish as soon as I have… anything I made or created as a child was destroyed by my mother and other siblings… crawl critique and total dismissal of ideas and experimentations is not particularly helpful so I tend to get myself in a total pickle.

The BA Degree did help as I had to complete work for deadlines so I had to finish my ideas weather I liked them or not – but it did mean not talking myself out of an idea or quitting or throwing it away – I think having others waiting on you and helping with kind comments also helps – to accept what you do weather it’s great or not is very helpful. I think everyone wants that yet do the opposite to others… weird!

Assignment one

composition/lighting/colours etc and to take a photo of nature – I’m fine with that as I work as a photographer but finding nature that wasn’t wilted and dead (which is fine for the assignment but after everyone going on about the lack of sun at the start of the British Summer Time must have played on my mind.

Spring Buds
Spring Buds in a South London Park.
Summer Bells and mini trees :-)
you can buy prints here!
Plant frills
warm bokah

Blossoming Buds

I rather liked the 3rd image so created an illustration in illustrator… it didn’t go well as I got bogged down in trying to create the circles on a line path… basically it’s a way to procrastinate as I didn’t plan what I wanted the image to look like at the end… oh well… it’s better to create something than not bother at all… trust me I know that well!

Illo Mini Forest 2

But I have to say that I prefer these images more… I know they are black and white (my favorite) but I want to try a few things with these images… the trees look like feathers… and the large tree top when flipped on its self becomes an island… I’ll post those up if I actually get around to doing it.

They are effects that have been done before but everything has been done before… BUT not by me (can’t remember who says that but it’s very apt!)

A Trio of Trees - feathers
prints are available – click the image to go to the gallery where you can choose your size and other options.
A Mountain of Trees
Love the shape of this and that the tips are darker too 🙂


ps: I sell prints so let me know if you like any of my images!