Monday, 2 July 2012
Review- Blogging Your Way 2 with Holly Becker
Holly's BYW2...and a little about me along the way!
For a surprisingly text free blog, today's post is going to be a bit of a wordy one-albeit with a good smattering of pretty pics and lovely links for all you image-led bloggers like myself. I don't consider myself a curator or a story-teller, but more of a picture maker, hopefully providing a story and a little inspiration through my images...
This is the final week of uber blogger Holly Becker's Blogging Your Way 2 e-course and our last homework assignement. We have been asked to produce a post on how the course has been a help and influence on our blogs and what blogging means to us personally.
Before I relay my thoughts to you, I'd love to give a little background information on myself and my career to date and how the digital age has pulled me kicking and screaming into the 21st Century!
I fell into the world of magazine styling quite by chance in 1996 when the lovely editor of the now defunct Home Flair magazine offered me a 12 page interiors editorial for my very first freelance commission. I had previously been in buying and merchandising for for a high street fashion chain, followed by 3 years marketing and PR in the Interiors industry, so in the year of my 30th Birthday, I felt ready to jump ship and branch out on my own as a freelance stylist!
Way back then, things were still, unbelievably, a little antiquated. Mobile phones were a rare sight and hardly what one would call mobile these days. Research was conducted on foot, traipsing from one end of London to the other, requesting transparencies via post from PR companies, requesting samples by super-speedy fax and heavily relying on my well-thumbed copy of The Interior Designer's Handbook. With almost no insider information on the industry, let's just say the research formed the bulk of the project, but 3 months later I had very proudly produced my first ever magazine article!
Fast forward to 2002 and the formation of Mise-en-Scene Interior Design Ltd with two old friends. We had a blast, working in conjunction with B&B Itaila to design the launch penthouse for the exclusive King's Chelsea development in the Kings Road. The project started exactly when I discovered I was 13 weeks pregnant with my first child Evie! Yes, these things really do happen-although people who know me well won't be at all surprised to hear this!!
Living Room shots from The Penthouse, Kings Chelsea. Design, Mise-en-Scene Ltd. Photography, Graeme Ainscough.
The penthouse was finished in early 2003, Evie was born in the March and then Gabriel in 2005. It's fairly safe to say that I more or less disappeared from the London styling scene for the next 8 years or so, concentrating on the kids and local design projects.
On then to September 2011. Boy has the world changed-I've (just) discovered blogs and heard Holly Becker of some hugely successful blog Decor8 speak at 100% Design in London (how could I not have heard of her before?!). Leslie tells me their next blogging course will start in November and I should just give it a go. Well, why not I thought-in for a penny, in for a pound, as they say.
Hooked-no other word for it. How had I missed out on the fascinating world that is blogging, the phenomenon that has now engulfed me so utterly and completely? BYW1 consumed me to the point where I had no idea what the kids were up to at school, the house looked a tip (not so unusual, actually) and I was up till 1 most mornings trying to get work (paid) and course work done. Anyway, I wasn't complaining-I loved it!
I took everything on board from BYW1: set up Twitter and Facebook accounts for the first time, Flickr and Instagram; read like-minded blogs from what seemed like dawn-to-dusk and scribbled down a million ideas in the notebook that stays permenantly by the side of the bed. The one thing I didn't do, until March this year, was actually set up my blog. So, I made the BYW2 start date my deadline and I finally I now feel like a bona fide blogger!
So here we are, July 2012 and BYW2 is drawing to a close. With over 4,500 students under her belt, from experienced bloggers to absolute beginners, the Decor8 network spreads far and wide. Holly has produced a course to encourage bloggers to 'share, connect, motivate and build friendships.'
Along with her podcasts and tutorials, students have had the privilege to learn from her 3 hugely successful and talented guest tutors:
1. Producing your own e-magazine with Jeanette of By Fryd-
Simple, beautiful Scandinavian style with stunning room shots, styling, inspiring retail and creative reviews. Jeanette takes her own photography and utilizes her graphic design experience to produces a truly visual feast.
2. Monetizing your blog, advertising, readership and collages with Nicole Balch of Making it Lovely-
Nicole's tag line says it all-'living the stylish life and transforming the so-so.' Her huge readership hangs on to her every word and shot about making the ordinary just that bit more interesting without breaking the bank. You can take a virtual trip, room by room, around her home-even her wardrobe, try out DIY projects and marvel at her before and after features!
3. Photoshop creative applications galore with Katrina Tan of Pugly Pixel-
Tips, tutorials, resources-you will find absolutely everything you need on Katrina's site to take your blog to the next level. Colour Lover, Lifestyle and Hand Made are just some of her regular features- it's a true mine of invaluable information and a reference must-see.
I have plenty of inspiring and informative information from all of them to store away and absorb at a later date. Hopefully one day I will be able to tackle photoshop and monetize my blog, but right now I love building up my little on-line portfolio, learning how to use my DSLR, meeting new friends and getting back into an industry I love so much. For now, I'm taking way a huge dose of inspiration from the very lovely Jeanette of By Fryd, now in its 3rd issue and growing in popularity every day. Her aesthetic is clean, beautiful and simple shots. Her philosophy is less is more and I think her pictures are very much from the heart. Her talent as a graphic designer, styling and photographic skills shine through in By Fryd and her followers love her for it. Week on week I use her blog and publication as inspiration, concentrating on improving my light and most of all, simplifying-letting the beauty of the content speak for itself, whether it's flowers or objects, cameos or room sets. It's a really interesting process to start pushing myself in new directions, out of my comfort zone-it's the best way to generate new ideas and become inspired all over again.
So, with that, I'll keep practicing diligently-not hard when you really love doing something and make my way ever nearer to my next goal- a small and simple on-line mini e-zine of my very own. I don't know what, how or when yet, but it will happen, one day...soon.