Sounds like a ‘no-no’, right? I’m sure these sayings evolved from past bad experiences but I’ve had a few gooduns lately that I’d like to share with you.
My day job is that of a freelance graphic designer. I studied studio practice and design at college and catapulted myself straight into the world of advertising, aged 17. It was poorly paid, work-heavy and I’m sure my liver has not forgiven me, but it certainly put me on a par with those lucky enough to afford to stay on course ’till degree level.
A lot of years since, and a journey from advertising, through marketing to publishing, I took the bold step to become a freelancer. Haven’t looked back to be honest. It completely opened up the pathways to meeting some of the most wonderful friends and colleagues I would otherwise have never have met nor had the pleasure of working with. And it has led me to work on such an amazing array of projects to boot. I’ve designed logos, game packaging, CDs, brochures, billboard posters, stationery, badges and books… and more.
So what’s all that got to do with the price of fish? I’ll tell ya!
I took up sewing a few years ago to give my eyes and brain a break from the screen. I’d always had it in me. Right from small. But the patience was never there as a child. Not too much more of it as a grown up either but just enough to turn a hobby into a forever passion!
And who knew I’d meet so many more lovely people from sewing and blogging about it?!
Well small worlds get smaller and it was inevitable that my two tiny worlds would collide at some point. And they did.
Didyoumakethat was one of the sewing blogs I came across and Karen, one of the first bloggers I met in person. It was seriously like meeting a celebrity. From screen to in the real! And it was a pleasant surprise to find out that she worked in the same publishing industry as me too! Anyways, a couple of years down the line, a few more meet ups and plenty more projects (sewn and designed) in the meantime, Karen asked if I’d design the cover of an Ebook for her. It was to be a downloadable tutorial for creating the perfect bound buttonhole. I’m sure you’ve seen it featured on her blog for a while but for those of you who haven’t and who seriously want the best advice, click right here!
Sew Busy Lizzy is another of those sewing celebs who has beautifully graced my screen for as long. And even though she lives across that giant pond, I was still so very lucky to spend a few hours with her at Drink Shop and Do a year or so ago. My belly still hurts from just thinking about all the raucous laughing that evolved that night. And so when Lizzy asked if I’d design her a business card, I leapt at the opportunity. It would have been more difficult to do a bad job when you are presented with such beautiful photography!
Both the above are examples of design work from sewing meets but more recently I was commissioned by a publishing house for a sewing job! And this time for an Olympic swimming celebrity!
I was asked if I would be able to sew an apron to congratulate Ellie Simmonds on the success of her first in a series of published books: Ellies Magical Bakery. She’s a busy lady that, Ellie Simmonds! Would I?! Oh all right then!
The book cover was printed on cotton before being turned into a front pocket. I lined the apron to conceal all seams and enclose all straps. And I incorporated a couple of D-clips for adjustment purposes.
Ongoing, I have a fabulous logo to design for an amazing lady and her amazing new range of makes. All is hush until completion. But still, secretly I am more excited to meet her when she comes over. I’m a terrible tease, I know! But keep tuned and you may find out!
I think there is greatness in the mix of business and pleasure, for me anyway.
Have you had any cross-over experiences recently, good or bad?
14 Replies to “Mixing business with pleasure… and celebs”
Gorgeous apron! That book cover ain’t bad either. Did you know a very good friend of mine is involved in that Ellie Simmonds series?! Where did you get the cover printed onto the cotton, out of interest?
Lol. Thanks Karen! Such a teeny tiny world! Snappy Snaps did the printing. Very quick and good but probably not the most cost effective!
My very first job out of college was in an advertising agency in London. Our office was over a pub and my boss used to take me down there at 11 in the morning and he would have a whisky and I can’t remember what I had but he probably wouldn’t have let me have anything as innocuous as an orange juice. I still bear the scars – probably also on my liver!
My daughter is studying advertising at university but I don’t think the culture is the same these days!! At least I hope not.
How wonderful is it that you can earn a living and have fun and meet fabulous, interesting people at the same time? What more can you ask from your working life?
Sounds all too very familiar, Tialys! Hair of the Dog was essential to get off to any sort of start in the 80s! Thank heavens publishing is more tea and cake than Gin and Tonic! 🙂
What a lovely post ! You talented lady, I love your business with pleasure makes – how eternally satisfying to be able to combine the two. And again, you’ve such skills in sewing, it’s inspiring to catch sight if some of your design skills too. X
Thanks Winnie. I’m terrible for not updating my work site. Fear of getting any more work I guess!! 😉
Would you mind letting us know your design work site?
Have looked around, but can’t seem to find it.
Love your being able to combine work & pleasure, and enjoy reading your blog tremendously!
Many thanks ~
Thanks Del. It’s http://www.janenespencerdesign.com
It’s been a while since I updated it but hopefully will be some more books on there soon x
I love your designs – it must be so nice to be able to think so visually – to see a website, or book, or whatever and to know not just what would look great and capture the essence of something, but also to be able to execute it. Lovely work. Well done.
Thank you 🙂 I do consider myself lucky that I landed such lovely work 🙂
That apron is so cute! I didn’t know you designed Karen’s cover. And now I am all curious about your next celeb job!
Thank you SP! 🙂
Thank you so much! I love my ‘blog cards’ & they are much admired!
I call them my blog cards… and they have certainly save me scribbling my details onto the back of receipts & shopping lists when I meet people or friends ask me about my blog!
Mwah! You are a clever beautiful lady & it’s a pleasure to call you a friend. May we drink again one day soon!
‘Twas an honour and a pleasure Ms Busy xxx