VM at COW Vintage Nottingham

The Giraffe takes on the COW… As part of my course at Nottingham Trent university I was lucky enough to take part in a Lord Whitney workshop. For those of you that haven’t heard of Lord Whitney, they are a prop making duo and with a beautiful company and great workshops to get involved with.… Continue reading VM at COW Vintage Nottingham

La La Land Film Review

As I sit here listening to the sound track for the tenth time after only seeing it last night, it just puts me in a good mood…or though I can’t say the same for my house mates. ‘“La La Land” is set in contemporary Los Angeles, but its heart and soul are rooted in the… Continue reading La La Land Film Review

The Lanky Giraffe takes Berlin

If you have me on any form of social media over the past week, you’ve probably noticed I won’t shut up about the fact I was in Berlin… Lucky for you I’m about to talk about it in even more detail. I wanted to outline our itinerary and what we achieved in the days we… Continue reading The Lanky Giraffe takes Berlin

My exhibition mission: London’s must see’s

Last week I spent a few days in London. The reason for the trip was to gather cultural research for my current uni projects, and to add to my general contextual knowledge. I love visiting cities and anywhere rich with culture and art. So with only a couple days to explore I packed as many things as I could in to the itinerary, and heres a little note on what galleries and exhibition are worth a look:


Tate Modern:

The Tate is always one of my favourite museums to go to, there is always something great in the turbine hall and this trip was no different. HYUNDAI commission: Philippe Parreno, Anywhen is a immersive experience that is said to challenge your perception of time and space. The french artist has responded to the Turbine hall through acoustics, lighting, moving objects and film. You enter the large space and are immediately aware of the relaxed tone and atmosphere, most people are sitting or laying on the floor, looking up at the ceiling, taking it all in. The feeling I got was similar to sitting in a cinema- I was excited and suspenseful however relaxed in my surroundings. My eyes weren’t drawn to one point, rather flitting around the room. It made me question the sequences of our environment and feel as though it is a comment of an ever changing life cycle- random elements and no real formula.  After leaving the exhibition I wanted to know more and was interested in the ideas and artist behind the work. I found out that the piece is evolving daily, and will do so for the whole of its six week commission. A truly immersive experience and worth a visit if get the chance, I loved it.

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TERRIBLE photos I know, but wanted to give an idea on the size and space

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The Barbican:

I’d never been to the Barbican art gallery before and wasn’t sure what to expect, however I would definitely visit again. We made our way to Shoreditch to see the exhibition The Vulgar: Fashion Redefined.

‘Scandal of good taste’

Fashion curator and exhibition maker Judith Clarke has collaborated with Adam Phillips, a psychoanalyst and writer to build on Phillip’s definition of ‘The Vulgar’ as a bases. The exhibition highlights 500 years of fashion guiding you through pieces from the Renaissance to present day. Weaved together with the theme of vulgarity, whilst celebrating the incredible innovations of all the designers included. I really enjoyed this and feel it was worth the £10 fee of entry. Sadly they didn’t allow photographs so you”l have to check it out yourselves!!

The Hayward Gallery:

The Hayward was another gallery that I’ve never set foot in before and I still haven’t actually set foot in it… the exhibition we went to see was called The Infinite Mix. However it was held off site to our despair as we’d already walked all the way to the gallery to only find out that we were in the wrong place.

When we finally got to the correct location we spent the next hour and a half walking in and out of different but very basic screen rooms. The Infinite Mix is a collection of contemporary audiovisual artworks. Ten rooms in total exploring our cultural tensions all through varied genres.

‘They pointedly remix our notions of history and fiction, the real and the staged, and the sublime and the everyday’

Another one that is completely free and so great to go and see! Each film and soundtrack was completely different, some I connected with and some I didn’t understand at all. Thats all part of it. Its a really interesting space and a very thought-provoking experience I would recommend it if you love music, contemporary art or film.

White Chapel Gallery:

It was a few days of discovery it seems as White Chapel was also a first for me. A much smaller gallery but always worth having a look what they have on. We’d made the effort to see an exhibition about the anonymous feminist activists; Guerrilla Girls. If you don’t known who they are, look them up! These women wear gorilla masks in public to conceal their identities and take on the names of women artists from the past all for the fight against sexism.

The exhibition was called Guerrilla Girls: Is it even worse in Europe? The small exhibit is a room plastered with questions, statistics and proof on the subject of sexism in the art world. It highlights daunting facts about the industry and challenges how we can make change. The activists sent out hundreds of questionnaires to museums and galleries quizzing them on the diversity of their representation. With interesting results of inequality all over Europe- go check it out its really quite shocking and worth a visit.

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V&A museum:

My FAVOURITE museum on the planet… The Victoria and Albert. Not only equipped with the best gift shop but also housed a fantastic exhibition that is incredible useful to my current uni projects. You say you want a revolution? Records and rebels 1966-1970. The exhibition encapsulates the vibrant and explosive attitudes of the late 60’s, displaying fashion, film, design, music and political activism. Once again no photos were allowed and in terms of budget it was the most expensive to visit but worth it.

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A really sneaky pic from the beginning of the exhibition
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Some badges that were on sale in the gift shop.. love the dedicated fashion follower one

-The Lanky Giraffe 

Festival Style

A week ago Monday I was travelling back with my friends from V-festival in Chelmsford, Essex. The journey consisted of six passed out girls and the occasional rub on my arm from a fellow hangover sufferer asking if I was ok. Obviously this situation was the result of a crazy, exciting and truly hilarious weekend, and the last mini bus journey and utter exhaustion was totally worth it.

It was a weekend filled with music and laughter and I loved every second of it. Festivals are great fun and I recommend going to anyone! As this was my third time I knew what to expect and this included festival fashion. Not only was I surround by my beautiful friends but It was great to photograph who ever I thought looked the part. Armed with my phone and the confidence from a vodka and coke these are some of the images I took of the people it met…

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Hope you like it!

-The Lanky Giraffe 

Paint paint paint

My poor Mum and Dad have had a half finished mural on our garage wall for at least a year- typically I started something and found it hard to find the time to actually finish it. However blessed with a a couple sunny afternoons and lack of social life I was excited to get on with it. Typically, I wouldn’t think to share something like this on my blog but I think its important to put across what I enjoy and love to do when my mind isn’t on Uni work or submerged in social media.

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The sad beginnings of my colourful wall

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I mean not quite a Monet but you get the idea- I had fun with it and I hope its brightened up the garden. Painting is something that I’ve always enjoyed- loved it in school and will always have it as a hobby.

-The Lanky Giraffe 

TIR NA NOG- Interview with Christina Bentley

So, meeting new people and making new friends is so important when in the creative industry. A few weeks ago at Nottingham Fashion week I was lucky enough to bump into the lovely Christina Bentley, a local jewellery designer and freelance graphics designer. We hit it off immediately when I asked to take a picture of her for my street style post, she told me how she makes hand made jewellery. Following this I checked out the TirNaNog Instagram and fell in love with the beautiful rings, if you know me personally you’ll know I’m a little bit obsessed with rings.

Wanting to know more, I asked to interview her about her brand! So in a little coffee shop in Notts town centre she shared her wisdom. We sat down and Christina had bought some of the rings with her, giving me the chance to have a proper nose. They were beautifully made and strikingly sophisticated, I recommend to anyone that you have to have a TirNaNog ring!


Insta Ad 9bHow did you get into making jewellery?

“I actually bumped into a friend at a festival, he’s a DJ, he had this really nice necklace on and I was saying ‘oh I really like it!’… it caught my eye. It was really unusual, he told me he made it. And I was like ‘what?!’. I wasn’t expecting that, Id never really considered jewellery making before. He said he just did a course, it helped him with writer’s block (he’s a producer with his music), it was a good outlet for him. I also think, as I used to work in events and as a creative person its nice to have something tangible at the end of it.”

Where does the name come from?

“Basically its an old Irish tale. Translated, or roughly translated in means land of eternal youth or land of the young. My mum, when I was a baby, named our house TirNaNog. So it was our little home together.”

So your mum’s Irish?

“Yer! So it was really nice and I’ve always just really liked the name. And obviously we moved and I now live in bumblebee house. We always have unusual named houses (and) I wanted to do something with that name, so I chose it! My mum was like ohh I didn’t realise you even remembered that! Difficult having to name it, because it started off as a hobby. And like my friend, just something to do creatively in my spare time.”

Do you do the jewellery full time now?

“I’m a freelance graphic designer and this is kind of like a hobby but I had so many friends and friends of friends getting in touch saying they wanted to buy them! Because I did graphic design I have to brand everything! I was thinking more about the packaging and the website design, and all of that, before thinking about what I’m actually going to make. I had my logo before I’d even finished my course! Everything’s got to be on point!”Insta Ad 12

So you designed everything, including the logo?

“Yes! And the website is just through Etsy. I kind of put off doing things through Etsy for a while, lots of people on my course had set up an Etsy shop. And I didn’t know if I wanted to? I think the problem with Etsy, as great as it is, is that you are a needle in a hay stack. There a million guys and girls out there making jewellery, like mine. You know? And its difficult to get your self out there. I try and push the website more-so than my Etsy shop. Because when your on Etsy you’ve got ‘you might also like’ these 200 hundred other jewellery designers. Which is great but it kind of takes away from your own brand. I like having all my branding there together, all clean and isolated. So its got its pros and cons. Its easy and obviously it takes care of loads of issues with just having a shop, having that inter face. It would be really difficult to build that from scratch.”

Ok so what inspires your work? Is there any particular artists or other jewellery designers that you look to for inspiration?

“I try and not look at other jewellery designers. Just because, and it’s the same with any design work I do. If I’m doing my graphic design and someone asked for a logo I wont look at other logos, i’ll look at plants. Or if I’m designing a video for someone, I wont look at videos, I look at packaging or something. I try and get inspiration from different mediums because otherwise you just fill your head with other people’s ideas!”

I love that!

“I really like brutalist architecture. I love what people normally call a hideous concrete car park! I try keep it all very liner, very structural. And I’ve decided to not do any stone setting, I want it just to be silver. It just is what it is. But I am starting to work with copper, just because I quite like the two colours together. Its actually a lot cheaper, so if I want to work out a design I do it in copper then do it in the silver. The amount of silver I wreck, I would then have to melt it down and start again. Its really expensive.”Insta Ad 6

How long does it take to make your average piece?

“Its different for all of them. I think I’m getting quicker if I know what I’m going to make from start to finish. So if I know what its going to look like at the end I can get it done within the day.”

So sometimes you just go with it and you don’t know what your making?

“Yer so a lot of them are happy accidents! I’m like ‘oh I didn’t mean for it to go like that but we’ll just style it out!’- that’s fine. I try a different ring every time. I like to see a result very quickly. I never start a ring and do a bit everyday. If I start it, I’ll finish it in the sitting. It frustrates me too much to leave it. Obviously the simpler bands where its just one piece, they don’t take as long as the ones made of four. It depends on how many times you have to solder it and the pieces you have to put together that will effect how long it takes. But the lengthy part isn’t actually making the ring its in polishing it up. It takes ages, and you have to file it down by using loads of different files and then sand paper it with loads of different sand papers and then polish it. It’s a painfully slow process.”

Well its great they look great amazing!

 Which ring is your favourite?

“Hmmmm! I’m trying to not make them for me anymore. I have to start thinking about what other people want. Cause I just make them and I’m like “well I like it!” The one that I’m happiest with is probably this one: just because it’s the most ambitious one that I’ve tried so far. I like that you can wear it two ways.”Insta Ad 10b


 What advice would you give to young jewellery designers that want to start up there own business?

“Read the book ‘Make Your Own Luck’- by Kate Moross. Or ‘Girl Boss’- by Sophia Amoruso. Yes, that all you need, those two books will get you so far in life. She’s a graphic designer (Kate Moross) that I’ve loved for ever. You’ll be surprised by how many things that she’s done that you’ve probably seen. Her design work is really fun, very colourful. Very different to my style but her process and the way that she’s grounded herself; how she’s got her studio together and the way that she approaches her projects are brilliant. I went to one of her talks and she gave a lecture about how to be freelance in any industry you want to go into. So whether you are an illustrator or a jewelry designer or a photographer! Even if your freelance but wanted to join a studio or a collective it was some of the best advice that I’ve ever had and that I just didn’t get from university. So things like how to copyright my work and how to invoice people properly. And knowing when to say, ‘no I’m not going to do any more work for you for free’. Just simple tips like, don’t send them your work at print resolution until they’ve paid you, because otherwise they can print it and not pay you. The book goes through so many things like that.”

 “You’ll be doing so much free work at the start but its about knowing when to stop and put your foot down ‘saying no I’m not going to do anymore for free’. So yer read that book, because there is nothing I could say that would give you any better advice than what she has in that book. It’s a beautifully put together book!”

And lastly what will you take on next, what are your goals for the next year?

“I think I would really like to, regarding my jewelry, shoot a really nice look book. I really want to tie up all the loose ends, I feel like I’ve vaguely got a brand identity together but its not as solid as I’d like it to be. A look book would nail that.”

 “Hopefully get stocked in some places, maybe some boutiques and clothing stores. And I’d love to make some rings for… I’m trying to think of dream clients…”

 Of course, who is your dream client? Or dream celebrity to wear your jewelry?

“Christine and the Queens! I found out about her last week. She’s incredible. She’s French, and all of her music is really beautiful. She wears tailored suits, and is very androgynous. Also her performances are really interesting. I saw her on Jools Holland, I watched the performance and I was like ‘I want to know everything about you!’”

I love it when you see someone like that!

“But turns out she’s massive in Europe and in America and places like that. And she had some really cool jewelry on, and I thought I would love to make her something. All her stuff is very minimal, she wears very muted colours, with a monochrome look about her. And maybe Alexa Chung!”

 “But yes for now its just a hobby, I’m delighted you’ve enjoyed it and that you wanted to find out more. And I’d love to make you a ring for sure!”Insta Ad 9a


 After meeting with Christina I’m set on purchasing one of her beautiful rings! I was blown away with how friendly and passionate she was. Clearly talented with an eye for design I look forward to seeing what she does next. And a huge thank you to Christina for letting me pick her brains for the afternoon it was truly great.

Go check out the TriNaNog Insta page: @Tir_Na_Nog_

Have a look at the website: http://www.tirnanogjewellery.com

Thank you for reading

 -The lanky giraffe x 

PHOTO CREDIT: TIR NA NOG- Christina Bentley

Developing a fragrance brand- Aesthetic

blog image 4So following up my last post about the research task I completed, I wanted to share how I then went on to develop the idea into an exciting brand called Aesthetic Fragrance. As a group we were working towards a launch presentation, we needed to include several key areas such as; context and the big idea; creative concept followed by the execution and promotion.

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Moving forward with this project we knew two things: our target consumer and initial concept. In terms of our target consumer we built on our winning insight ‘defying age stereotypes’.  From all our previous research we knew that people over the age of 50 own 80% of the country’s financial assets. In addition to this, the industry isn’t capitalising on the potential of the 50+ consumer, we continue to see not enough products that celebrate age instead of offering anti ageing products. This target consumer goes shopping asking for advice, but often ends up disappointed because young sales assistants don’t understand there needs.

‘This well-informed and potentially lucrative demographic has been badly let down in the past by brands which have little understanding of what motivates them to buy’- Tracey McAlpine

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To sum up our initial concept we came up with three sentences that we could always refer back to:

  1. We hope to create an in-store experience that will break age stereotypes and encourage consumers to embrace innovation at any age.
  2. Our product will motivate individuality, freedom and creative expression by using fine art as a vessel for fragrance.
  3. Our brand focuses on creating an inspirational and unique experience in a space that is both stimulating and informative.

As part of our unique brand and what sets us apart from the rest is our exciting collaborations with UK artists. Using art as a vessel for fragrance in an innovative way. Simon Starling was our first choice, taking inspiration from his recent exhibition at the Nottingham contemporary. Having studied at Trent University he seemed fitting as our brand began in Nottingham. The Turner Prize winner is interested in physical, poetic and metaphorical journeys, something that our consumers would connect with as artistic individuals. The partnership has resulted in an incredible in store experience that is almost like being in a tranquil exhibition space. We work with artists to create a new a exciting shop space, as the brand develops into the future the idea would be to work with a different artist each year, keeping our costumers interested and a buzz around the brand. The fragrances and in store layout change annually keeping our creative costumers satisfied.blog image 1

When looking into what already exists within the market we found several examples that linked fine art with fragrance. Artist collaborations such as the brand Bio Killian who worked Sophie Matisse, and Comme des Garcons who worked with Tracey Emin. Other projects also exist that call upon museum and gallery visitors to use their noses as well as their eyes. Belgian artist Peter De Cupere exhibited his Olfactory Tree, a latex sculpture of a life-size tree trunk embedded with scents of the forest, while Japanese artist Maki Ueda presented her Olfacto escape, an aromatic journey evoking a landscape of cherry blossoms and fields of grass, in a small empty room at the Dutch consulate in Osaka.


Brand Positioning
It shows how we think of our selves as a vey modern brand catering for trend conscious women. Our bottles will be priced around £80-£100 as we know the customer has the money to spend through our research.

 

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These are our three bottles designs, each will hold a different fragrance. The scent will change annually with the interiors of the store as we collaborate with new artists. So basically, they are limited addition bespoke fragrances.

Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 11.59.17 Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 12.00.47Colour scheme:

-we wanted monochrome with a flash of colour to connote maturity yet fun and creativity.

-we also looked at photography that used colour blocking, acetate and light filters


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Print ad one: We were taking inspiration form Simon Starling and our colour scheme. Thinking laterally about how we wanted to communicate the mood and nature of the brand rather then thinking of literal descriptions.
Print ad two: Similarly to the first we took inspiration from art keeping in mind simplicity and maturity to connect to our consumer. This links to our colour scheme as well.

When it came to our promotional video we wanted it to be mysterious and enticing leaving the consumer asking questions. In terms of our Inspiration we looked at the Lost village festival video who focused on images of adventure where as we wanted to focus on images of creativity to attract the rebellious and creative archetype


In addition to the film and print ad we wanted to include social media platforms i.e. a Facebook page, Instagram and blog. In order of how successful we thought they would be we predicted Facebook then the blog followed by Instagram.

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 ‘Women aged 55+ are the fastest-growing demographic on Facebook’ WGSN

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(front and back)

Lastly we created a flyer and poster, this was to reach as much of our target costomer as possible. If we missed them through social media and advertisement on TV or even magazines, then face to face promotion was more personal. This way we could refer back to our initial research showing how this demographic wanted to feel more informed. Having people on the ground handing out information and talking to the public we can create more noise/buzz around the brand.

Thanks for reading,

-The Lanky Giraffe 

Insight Report

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As part of an on going fragrance project at University, over the past month I have been working to develop a brand. The brief was to create a brand that had something to do with fragrance; weather it was a scented product; perfume event or even some kid of service, we had to be at the forefront of innovative ideas.

To begin the process in which I could come up with a brand with my group, we had to create an insight report individually. Looking at three different potential concepts that we knew to be up and coming trends across all sectors. Our three insights were: Mental health and well being; Defying age stereotypes and Consumer waste. Making the report was a crucial stage to developing a brand so we could establish four things:

  • What is the initial concept- What exactly are you proposing?
  • Potential competition- Who is already doing this or something similar?
  • Potential consumer- who will buy into your brand, is there a particular archetype?
  • Potential visual language- how will it look, what is the tone of voice?

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And then Finally this process allowed me to make a final recommendation for the big idea, all members of the team would have their own recommendation. Of course this meant we decided as a team which insight we could take forward, as my two other team members had the same recommendation we decided to go with there choice. Resulting in the winning insight: Defying age stereotypes.

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Through out the making of the report I learned how important research is when coming up with initial ideas. Looking at who is our consumer and competition really allows the brand to be strong from the beginning. Working out a gap in the market is one of the most important things, how is your brand different? What can you offer that no one else can?

As a creative student with an art and design background I know my research is something that I struggle with most. However, putting together findings in a creative way gave me motivation to be accurate and committed. When you have a base of strong research you can then build a strong brand, a vital lesson that I’ve learnt.

Keep a look out for my next post all about the development of the brand and the final outcome! Very exciting.

-The Lanky Giraffe