Gifting The Party Girll With Hallmark

In my last semester of third year, I did a lot of work surrounding the stationary and gifting industry, which as an area of surface design I hadn't touched on much beforehand but really enjoyed the challenge of putting my illustration skills through its paces. 

During my work placement with Tigerprint (the creative studios behind Mark's and Spencer's stationary lines),  I developed ideas for reinventing gift wrap, and worked on a range of illustrated cards. The experience put me in good stead for my next textiles project which was working on a card range in collaboration with Hallmark. 


The theme for my project was based around girls getting ready for a special occasion which of course means lots of makeup, clothes and most importantly; shoes! I had envisioned a collection of cards using a bright colour palette, bold patterns and some fun illustrations, and wanted some of the cards in the collection to be interactive with the receiver.  I really loved the idea of exaggurating the makeup application process with bold shapes and foiling, and looked at a lot of Pop Art and editorial makeup for inspiration. However, I think my favourite card designs would have to be my paper peel-off and wear eyelashes! They are just a fun looking card that includes a functional element that makes it not just 'any-old' card. 

So what do you think? I love sharing my work and getting your feedback, and with my final year project just around the corner, I hope you're ready for lots more design posts!


Why You Should Travel Solo In Your Twenties

The Australian adventure has finally come to an end, and I have to say I am currently suffering from some severe travel blues. So to cheer myself up I thought I would share a roundup of why I think travelling on your own in your twenties is the way to go. Travelling on your own can definitely be a bit of an unnerving experience especially if it's your first time. I was quite apprehensive before going on my trip around Australia, and solo travel can have its drawbacks for sure, but ultimately I think it's much more self enriching and this is why;

You can do/ see whatever you want whenever you want.

Compromise is rarely an issue when travelling alone. Have a lazy day if you are needing one, spend the day wondering around an art gallery, or change your plans last minute

You are meet new people you might never have otherwise

At times traveling alone can get a little lonely, so making friends with others is the easiest way to always have company by your side. I had the best laughs with people I may not have otherwise spoken to if I was traveling with someone else. I listened to some amazing traveller stories and learnt a lot of tips along the way which made my travels a heck of a lot easier. 

Getting lost doesn't have to be a drawback. 

I made the brave decision to not use any mobile data during the months I was away (as it was going to coats me £6 a megabyte!) so Google maps was never an option when I was out and about, and being on my own I had to be independent. With that said I met lots of lovely locals who helped direct me, and even some that offered to give me a lift to places. Getting lost can also mean meeting interesting people too and reminded me that I am totally fine in situations on my own. 

You learn that doing things alone can be empowering 

I was worried that doing things alone all the time would get very lonely but in fact I started to feel a sense of empowerment doing things solo and really started to enjoy my own company. 

Get you out of your comfort zone 

Say yes! When someone new invites you for a drink say yes, if you are invited to do a skydive say yes; I'm sure you get the picture. No one else is standing next to you to influence your decision and you don't want to live with the regret of not trying something that you wish you did so just do it! I tried so many new things and met so many new people because I said said yes more often than I said no. (Obviously keep this idea within perspective, don't do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable.)

(All photos were taken on my trip around Cairns, Australia)


City Guide: Sydney In A Week

I completely fell in love with Sydney when I visited. I think it was a combination between its business and beach vibes mixed in with the art culture and health and wellbeing attitude that really made it for me, and it's a city I really recommend visiting (even if that means travelling across the entire world like I had to). This post is a bit of a twist on my usual travel diaries post but written as more of a travel guide, mixed in with a few tips I learnt along the way. 

How Long? 
I stayed in the city for just over a week which is oodles of time for exploring the city and the surrounding areas. 

There is an abundance of places to stay around Sydney, however the city is notorious for being more expensive to stay in than almost any other Australian city. I stayed at a hostel called Bounce next to the Central Station which was a really clean hostel with a great rooftop view. Although the hostel was a little more expensive compared to others, the destination was well worth the extra money as it was relatively safe and the station meant it was easy to get around. 

Something I totally fell in love with during my trip was Sushi! Australia does sushi so much better than the UK, and I love how avocado featured in almost every sushi roll... YUM! I frequently ate my sushi rolls on the grass in Hyde Park which is such a relaxing spot to enjoy the sun and people watch.

If you are after some brunch, Surrey Hills has lots of cute urban cafes serving the yummiest looking food including my favourite avocado on toast! It is also a really nice area to walk explore if you like quaint artisan shops and one-off boutiques. 

To Do/ See
Okay, this could be a bit of a list; 

- The famous Bondi beach is usually a go-see for most. Take a surfing lesson, or take a walk from Bondi to Coogee. The walk can take a couple of hours but you can easily catch a bus from Coogee back to Bondi, and the breathtaking coastal views are beautiful. If you are around during the summer months you could also take a dip in the Bondi Icebergs pool a little further along from the beach.

- I am not the biggest zoo fanatic but I think Taronga Zoo may be the exception. Either drive or catch a boat over from the City Quay and take the Skyrail up to the zoo, and enjoy the animals while looking over at Sydney's skyline (these animals seriously have the best view!) 

- If you are interested in the art scene, the Art Gallery NSW and the Museum of Contemporary Arts are both major stop offs often with new and upcoming exhibitions. Frida Kahlo was exhibiting when I visited and I found the general exhibition of Australian artists particularly interesting.

- Of course you can't go to Sydney without visiting the Opera House and walking across the Harbour Bridge. ( TIP: if you want to see a show, turn up to the box office first thing in the morning for reduced prices, and students get it even cheaper!)

- If you have a little extra time on your hands a ferry trip to Manly is really worth the trip. There are plenty of walks, shopping, and beach stops to do there and it's a nice way to get away from the bustle of the city. Also, a few nights in Katoomba (aprox. a two hour train ride outside Sydney) is a great way to see some of the Australian countryside. If you don't have the time to stay long then it's possible to see the main sites in a full day. 
( TIP: Sydney transport also has a maximum fare of $2.50 on a Sunday, so the ferry and long train rides which are a little more costly are better to do on this day if feasible.)

Didn't manage a dip in the Icebergs Pool in Bondi, but something to go back for next time!

Sunning it up at Bondi

The cutest giraffes at Taronga zoo. Wish I had this view out of my bedroom window!

A favourite of mine; David Hockney's "Pool With Two Figures" in the Art Gallery NSW. 

A beautiful view of the city from Watson's Bay