I'm slightly freaked out about it being the end of February already, I know it's a cliche... but where the hell has the time gone? To make myself feel better about this madness I'm starting a new series where I share some of my fave things I've discovered this month. At the end of each month I'm going to try and share with you small business news that made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside or super inspired as well as recommendations for things to watch, listen to and visit. Enjoy!
SMALL BUSINESS NEWS
Hello Harriet and pet photographer Rachel Oates collaborated on this Free Hugs Lookbook to promote Harriet's new dog tag range and I don't think I'll ever get over how cute it is. The tags were modelled by first rate floofers Winny and Ryo, while Chariza modelled Harriet's jewellery and pins. Harriet also wrote a brilliant blog post called How to Stay Chill Around Doggos which I'm pretty sure was written for me. I can't even.
Two of my favourite things combined this month when Supermundane (aka Rob Lowe) transformed We Built This City's storefront.If you don't know about WBTC, it's a London souvenir shop with a difference, showcasing the work of over 250 homegrown creatives. Every few months they invite someone new to put their stamp on the outside of their Carnaby Street shop and I was so pleased to see that the latest artist was Supermundane (and that he featured pigeons in his design!). I love Rob's bright and bold artwork and have visited his studio a few times at the Havelock Walk Open Studios in Forest Hill, near where I live so was really excited about this collaboration - the slogan Rob chose to tie his artwork together 'London is for all' feels very apt at the moment. I recommend checking out the video on WBTC's instagram page of Rob working on the artwork - watching him peel off the masking tape is ridiculously satisfying. Read some more about the collaboration on Creative Boom.
I'm cheating with this one a bit as it technically happened in January... but you guys can look past that one right? After sharing sneak peeks since 2016, we finally saw the fruits of Annie Dornan Smith's labours and she revealed her full rebrand on her blog. Just look how beautiful it all is! This really made me think about my own branding and I've been inspired to work on my own packaging and branding later in the year when I have a bit more time (and some more products for sale). Annie makes some really good points in her blog about making her packaging more cohesive and relevant to her product range and I think she's done a BEAUTIFUL job with this rebrand. One of my favourite things about buying from small businesses and indie makers is seeing how creative people are with their packaging and I always really enjoy packing my own parcels too!
I literally saw this update pop up on instagram as I was typing up this blog post and I'm SO glad I saw it in time. I always love Natalie Lea Owen's bold, colourful work and her new SS17 collection is looking absolutely gorgeous too! I'm a sucker for a botanical print, so this new collection is right up my street and those greetings cards in particular have caught my eye. Shop the whole collection on Natalie's website.
Tiago Galo is one of the illustrators we represent at Phosphor Art and the past few months he's been working on some fun animated gifs. It's always a pleasure updating his portfolio and I think his style lends itself really well to animation. I'm always excited to see what new things Tiago comes up with, he always seems to have something new on the go and such a unique imagination. You can see some more of Tiago's gifs and illustrations in his portfolio.
I can't tell you how much I loved this film! KP and I have been quoting it non-stop since watching. Hunt for the Wilderpeople follows a boy and his foster father who become the subjects of a manhunt after they get stranded in the New Zealand wilderness and it's just hilarious. It's written and directed by Taika Waititi who also wrote and directed What We Do In The Shadows (with Jemaine Clement from Flight of the Conchords) which I also love and Eagle Vs Shark which is completely bonkers and brilliant. It's so well written, brilliantly acted and there's a dog called Tupac in it - what more could you possibly want? It's on Netflix now so it's super easy to track down and watch. Next on our list of Waititi's films is Boy.
I recently discovered Song Exploder through Austin Kleon's weekly newsletter (which I also HIGHLY recommend) which mentioned the Solange episode. Song Exploder is a podcast where musicians take apart their songs, and piece by piece, tell the story of how they were made. Each episode is produced and edited by host and creator Hrishikesh Hirway and I'm slowly making my way through the episodes on iTunes. One of my favourite albums of 2016 was A Seat at the Table by Solange and hearing her talk in depth about how she wrote the song Cranes in the Sky was fascinating! In particular, I also recommend the episodes with MGMT, Thundercat, tUnE-yArDs and Justin Hurwitz talking about La La Land but I still have so much more to listen to! Each episode now has a cool illustration linked to it too. This Solange portrait is by Carlos Lerma.
This month I've been reading His Bloody Project: Documents relating to the case of Roderick Macrae by Graeme Macrae Burnet. This is a crime novel like no other - the book is made up of a selection of official documents found by the author referring to the brutal triple murder in a remote Scottish village in 1869 which leads to the arrest of a 17 year old named Roderick Macrae. The murder plays out right at the start of the book, with Roddy taking full responsibility (don't worry, that's not a spoiler at all!), so I was a bit concerned that all action and mystery would be lost for the rest of the book but it proved to be a gripping read! The book combines police statements, medical reports, psychological evaluations and ends in a courtroom transcript of his trial. The middle section of the book is taken up by Roddy Macrae's own writing, in which he tells his story and gives his accounts and reasoning for the murder. All of these things paint a really fascinating picture of life at this particular time in this particular place and the way the author stitches all of the documents together to create a novel is so well done. I'd definitely recommend it!
I've been wanting to go to Palm Vaults for months now, so when my pal Kim wanted to meet up to discuss a project we're working on I thought it'd be the perfect opportunity to sample this pink paradise! Palm Vaults is probably the most instagrammable cafe in London - with pink lattes, plants in macrame hangers, leafy wallpaper in the loos and pink lattes! If you're near Hackney you should definitely check it out. (Photos by Kim)
So those were some of my favourite things from February, I'd love to hear your recommendations too, especially for books and podcasts! Next month I'm going to try and make it to some art exhibitions as there are so many things I want to go to at the moment. If you have any good recommendations find me on instagram or twitter or send me an email, I'd love to hear from you!