Meet The Maker

Hey guys,

Well, the lurgy has struck the Lily Pad and it’s a ‘Froggy down’ situation but I think I have enough energy to put this together for Blog Post Thursday. Forgive me if it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, I didn’t get much sleep last night.

Today I’m offering up something a little different; a Meet The Maker post where I’ll disclose ten Froggy facts about me; a fun change to my usual posts. So, first off, for those that don’t know, this is me…

Meet the Maker blog post, image of Frog & Pencil

Image credit: The lovely Rose & Spear Photography

FACT 1

One question I’m often asked is, why did I choose the name Frog & Pencil? Well, it’s from a loving nickname my hubby gave me. Apparently, from a certain angle, I look like a Frog. Having created a Frog and a Bear character for our wedding, it naturally progressed to Frog & Pencil for my business. I love the name, it’s certainly memorable but I don’t quite see the Froggy resemblance.

FACT 2

I have dual nationality and was born across the pond in Austin, Texas; I’m officially a cowgirl…best get me some boots and a Stetson!

FACT 3

I love what I do but if I wasn’t an illustrator, I think I’d want to be a florist. I have found a new love of flowers after being in this industry and I’m in awe at how creative people can be with blooms. Their workshops also smell incredible…not sure how I’d deal with the cold though…I’d have to find a fab hat! My Mum kept the most amazing gardens, so I’m hoping I’ve inherited some of those green fingered genes for my own little plot.

FACT 4

I adore Children’s books. When I’m in a bookstore I always make a pit stop at the kids section and you’ll most likely find me giggling away and drooling over the beautiful and playful illustrations. My hero was Roald Dahl and I remember how deliciously lost I found myself within his words and Quentin Blake’s drawings. A dream of mine is to illustrate my own Children’s book one day and to create something that fires off kids imaginations.

FACT 5

At some point, during all my commissions and illustrations, there will be a moment where I utterly hate what I’ve made and I think it’s a pile of poop. I’ve learnt to try to not give in to those feelings and to simply carry on. The magic happens right at the very end when the last brush mark has been made, it just requires a dash of patience and a lot of belief.

FACT 6

I have a phone phobia! I’m fine when it’s friends and family but if my phone rings I get super anxious and tense. And making a call, well that’s the worst! I have to psyche myself up and make sure I have everything ready. For example, sorting out the car insurance. I have to sit in the quiet, have a glass of water and a pad and pen ready. I’ll write down my own details, address, phone number, etc, just incase I blank when they ask for them. I even write down reference numbers even though they’re right there on the letter…they have a funny way of hiding when prompted. Holy moly I just hate it and I feel so relieved when it’s over! Silly right!?! Anyone else feel this way about phones? If so, any tips on how to manage those feelings would be greatly appreciated.

How I survived in a call centre, on the phone selling mortgages for 3 years, I don’t know, I already feel a cold sweat coming on just thinking about it!

FACT 7

I fell out of love with illustration. I was a mature student at University and after an amazing year at foundation level, I was so excited about Uni. It was mostly a horrid three years where I just didn’t fit in and never found my groove. In hindsight, I think I should have seen a doctor as I was terribly depressed and I became a crazy person. I made it to the end though and somehow passed. I graduated in 2011 and still to this day when I’m in that part of Norwich I get very uncomfortable. I’m a believer in things happening for a reason though and I discovered tenacity. It also opened some sideways and upside down doors which inevitably led me to where I am today. I’m happy to say, for the majority of the time, my illustrations and I are friends. 🙂

FACT 8

I ADORE earrings and hats. They make me so happy.

FACT 9

I’m a big fan of cheese but it makes my face tingle…I could be allergic but the stuff is too damn tasty. Nom!

FACT 10

A lovely friend recently asked what inspires my work. Some of the biggies would include, nature and the awesome colour play you can see right outside your window. Couples stories inspire my work, if they have a cute anecdote that can be captured I like to include it. Instagram is a big inspiration, the creative community on there is incredible and spurs me on to make good work too. Lastly, the local wedding supplier community fuels my passion. There are so many talented people in this industry, photographers, stylists, cake makers, designers and florists to name a few and they’re always pushing the boundaries. Their way of thinking encourages me to step out of my comfort zone. I’m honoured that I can call a lot of these guys my friends.

There you have it, some Froggy insight which I hope you enjoyed and could also relate to. The Bear and I will be having a two week break as of this coming Monday, so look out for a new post when I return, there’s always plenty to share. In the meantime, I’m off to battle this lurg!

Adios amigos,

Cx

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Just Keep Tweeting!

Hello there!

It’s been a bit of a slow ole week here at Frog & Pencil HQ. My lovely hubby has been poorly for most of it (he’s now on the mend) and in turn, I feel a little out of sync. Unfortunately, I haven’t managed to produce much work aside from a few sketches, and I’ve also come to realise that not having a place to make work is frustrating me. I have bits and pieces all over our apartment, which doesn’t help when it comes to having some focus. I’ve eyed up a comfy spot in our lounge where I can set up shop and I’m on the hunt for a new desk to create my mini studio…I’ll keep you posted!

On the flip side I’ve been getting to grips with Twitter. I’ve worked with it for previous jobs but I never quite knew what to do with it personally, I’ve always been more of a Facebook kinda girl. However, I understand how Twitter can benefit Frog & Pencil so I’ve been trying to get involved where I can and have been pleasantly surprised. I started by following lots of people, particularly in the wedding and craft industry which led me to Folksy. This is an online shop where you can buy and sell lovely handcrafted work from UK designers and the Folksy community is very prominent on Twitter.

On Tuesday, I stumbled across #folksyhour and between 8pm – 9pm, like-minded people get together on Folksy’s Twitter feed for a live chat on a particular topic; this week was all about product photography. I thought this would be super helpful for me and I tweeted that I’d be checking in for handy tips. 8pm came, I was at my computer excited and raring to go, albeit a little clueless at how to find the #folksyhour discussion! Once there, it took me a while to fully follow the live stream conversation but it was worth it. Plenty of people were participating who were friendly, knowledgable and helpful, and I picked up some great advice on how to photograph my work, the main key is having LIGHT! The best nugget I took away from Tuesday’s #folksyhour was to recognise that marketing and editing work takes time and that time should be paid for. So, when it comes to pricing up my work, I must remember to take into consideration the whole process.

The hour flew by and thankfully useful links to further reading materials on the topic were posted. I also discovered that Folksy have a blog and forums which is excellent news for me and I’ll certainly be dipping into this resource for future information. Not only did I gain advice, I also picked up some lovely followers by taking part. It feels like they have built an engaging community with a wealth of knowledge and I look forward to being involved in future #folksyhour’s.

Norfolk is known for its arts and I do hope to find a fellow local community to meet like-minded people, it would be incredibly beneficial. There are always plenty of craft fairs taking place around Norwich & Norfolk, in fact I’m planning on visiting one tomorrow. Made In Norfolk is being held at the fabulous Norwich Castle from 10am – 4pm, and I’m looking forward to seeing what delightful creations are to be found. I’m also hoping to chat with some of the crafters and designers to see if they have any advice for starting up a craft business…perhaps this will be the beginning of finding a community that I can belong to; I’ll let you know how it goes.

Cx