8 Simple Rules…

While some people assume that starting a company is too difficult or would prefer to leave the stress of running a business to the boss not everyone thinks this is the most rewarding option and I am one of them. Before starting the module for design and the market I never considered starting my own business or it was something I thought would be way in the future when I was old and wise but after hearing some guest lecturers talk about their experience starting up a business it’s maybe something that isn’t too far out of reach in the not too distant future.

I want to show and influence others with my love of Environmental and Interior design and show it’s not just placing a few scatter cushions, I want them to be inspired to follow their own path… and that’s exactly what I plan to do….

Following a lecture by Iain Lauder, the creative director at RedPath, I have found that to be successful in business I will need to follow these 8 SIMPLE RULES:


My future clients aren’t going to wait around for me to get the job done, they want the work  fast and the faster the better, they definitely won’t pay me for procrastinating.


Being nosey can be a good thing…being nosey means you learn more!


I often criticise my work before I even hear the tutor’s point of view on the piece, which is stupid since I always work hard and always strive to do my best so why plant negative thoughts in their head before we even begin.


Otherwise your client won’t wait around for you to be ready; they will just find someone else with the same skill-set that’s willing to fit them in.


If you don’t know don’t be too ashamed or proud to let your client know, they will respect you more for asking instead of you returning later to ask for a better explanation after you told them you understood!


Absorb everything! The more like sponge-bob you are the better!


And share them or someone might get in there before you


Because nobody likes a quitter…

This lecture was short but sweet however it really brought home what it really takes to succeed, most of it was common sense but sometimes it’s easy to get wrapped up in everything that going on around you that you forget the simple things that can really make a difference.



Merchant City

On Thursday we visited Glasgow for a day trip to have a look round merchant city and to have a look at shops for our advertising and branding module. When we arrived we initially went for a Starbucks coffee then began our search for the shops we were most interested in viewing, the first being apple :

The Apple Store
The apple store is different from the other shops I have seen mainly because it is extremely modern and everything is white and clean. What I have noticed is they all look the same on the inside, the swirling glass staircase and the white tables which have there items neatly displayed for everyone to have a look at and try out however the outside of the building varies between location however the inside is always familiar to the customer. There staff wear casual clothing often similar to what many of the buyers would wear and as they look more comfortable and familiar then seem more approachable to ask questions to. The layout is very simple and allows for easy access throughout the store even when the store is busy which makes it more appealing to go into as usually people would avoid shops which seems to be overcrowded.
The next store we visited was John Lewis:
John Lewis
As John Lewis is a department store it is extremely large and often very confusing to find your way about, I felt that there direction boards were often confusing or not very clear and it was difficult to make out the sections from far across the store however the store was very neat with the layout of products. The staff wore suits which I’m sure was to give the perception of a more high end store however they just looked uncomfortable and slightly unapproachable as they aren’t really relatable to many people who would shop in the store. While they did try to keep the shops looking the same with white and pine tables and clothing racks it all seemed a bit jumbled and unclear as to where one shop ended and the other started. It’s not a shop I would visit often as I always feel it’s a bit too much with all the floors and endless clothes.
And the last store we visited was All Saints:
All Saints
The first thing that struck me about all saints was the price…kidding it was there window displays which I have always been a fan of, they are very striking and cause you to stop and take a look intriguing you into there store however when you get inside it is very rustic and dark which I feel doesn’t highlight the clothes in the best way. I didn’t feel like browsing too much as the lighting and the music slightly put me off the place which I think many of my fellow peers felt the same way. They also have all the clothing “tied” up so that you have to ask a store worker for help which there is many floating about however I think this takes away the joy of just picking things up to have a look at or try on as you have to keep pestering the shop assistant which would I think inturn prevent them from getting more sales than they would if they didn’t have there clothes tied down. The staff where however really friendly and dressed causally similar to how many of us would dress so this made them familiar and approachable.
We then took a trip to Merchant City but had a hard time finding the borders of it. While we walked around noticing that there was some really nice restaurants and bars there was also not so nice areas where the rubbish was sitting openly on the street and it looked a bit run down. We didn’t find many of the standing sign post for merchant city the only reason we knew we were in it was the fact the street names had it writing in small text below the street sign. I thought it would be more obvious we were in Merchant City however to me it wasn’t very clear. I did like that they had plaques which told you a little bit about the history of the area however these were also hard to find and see as they were often above eye level and many people would pass them unaware they were even there.

It was a good day out to experience how different shops tackle their branding and advertising and how they reflect that in there stores and window displays.

Visiting Edinburgh Galleries….

Yesterday I took a trip to Edinburgh to visit some of the local galleries and generally walk about, at the moment I’m staying in Peebles with family so visiting Edinburgh is fairly easy and we are hoping to take in some shows at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival if we can. Yesterday however I went with a friend from University to catch up after being away in America for so long. After walking about for a bit taking in the sights of the Festival we went to the Fruitmarket Gallery which had an interesting exhibition on by Ingrid Calame.

The exhibition presents paintings and drawings of markings from the concrete banks on the L.A River and locations in Buffalo including ArcelorMittal Steel Shipping Building, the Perry Street Projects wading pool and the Albright-Know Art Gallery car park. Her process involves Calame tracing marks on the ground outside, then combining and layering them into a composition. She then retraces excerpts from each trace and composes a final piece.

She uses coloured pencil or pure pigment to complete these intricate drawings which although is a simple idea it gives a really striking and effective final outcome.

We also visited the City Art Centre where an exhibition for David Mach was currently running, at first his work didn’t really appeal to me as it seemed to be heavily influenced by religion and politics however throughout the exhibition the work began to grow on me with the clever use of “cut outs” to create scenes for collages.

Both these exhibitions are worth a look at if your in the Edinburgh area, it shows that even with relatively simple techniques you can create some really interesting and powerful pieces of art.


I recently came across a product designed by Freyja Sewell a recent University graduate called the Hush Pod. Its designed for a place to hide, relax and to escape everyday stressful life. Its a warm cocoon which is completely biodegradable, made from local felt which is not only Eco friendly but helps local businesses. It is hand sewn and can be used almost anywhere as well as transforming into a setting area to comfortably read a book or just lie and relax.

In a world where we are increasingly watched by CCTV, using social networking and generally switched on to an device which will let us communicate with the world around us it’s sometimes nice ( also healthy) to get a bit of clearance from it all and take a step back. This hush pod offers a great place to switch off from the world and the stresses that it’s brings
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It’s good to see local products going to use since felt is generally seen as a coarser material so not widely used and it’s also sustainable which is another good factor. The wool used inside the pillows is also environmentally friendly as it’s naturally a fire retardant, breathable, durable and elastic, it’s also a multi climate material meaning that it stays cool in the summer and retains heat in the winter.

I love this idea of being able to sneak away for a while and enjoy just relaxing away from everything, since I’m going into my 3rd year at University I think this would come in very handy when all the projects go into overload!

Juan Munoz

I’ve been away from blogging for a few weeks now mainly cause I’m currently working on setting up my new blog, starting TWO new jobs and trying to fit in seeing all my family and friends which I have not seen since leaving for Texas 6 months ago. I’m run of my feet but least it’s keeping me busy while I’m on my summer break from university.

A few months back my friend Liz introduced me to the work of Juan Munoz a sculptor from Spain. I began looking at his work to give me inspiration for projects in America and wanted to share with you some of my favourite pieces. He worked mainly in paper mache, resin and bronze and was often called “the storyteller” by viewers of his work. His work can be seen in the Tate Modern London, Guggenheim Museum New York and the Art Institute Chicago. His last work is placed in Porto Portugal after he sadly passed away in 2001.

The detail in the face is amazing

Extremely realistic

Facial expressions were a speciality of Munoz

>Cirque du soleil – Dominique Lemieux

>I recently went with few friends who study the fashion design course here to an art exhibition in Dallas. While there I noticed a designer called Dominique Lemieux, she is the costume designer for Cirque Du Soleil and since I’m going to be going to Vegas at the end of my time here at UNT I thought I would have a look at some of her costumes and share them with you…

Her work seems amazing and I hope to get to see some of the real costumes when I visit Las Vegas at the end of May.

>Ron Mueck

>I recently mentioned to a friend that I was looking for new designers/sculptors/painters ect to enhance my learning of design, she told me about the museo de arte contemporaneo de monterrey, which is an art gallery in Monterrey Mexico which is where she is from. She gave me the address of the website and while looking on there I found a really interesting sculptor.

His name is Ron Mueck, he is an Australian sculptor who works in the United Kingdom. He does very realistic interpretations of people and scenario’s which he then sculpts into large over sized pieces. I thought his work was incredible, it’s so detailed and is very striking although he mostly works with nude sculptures. Have a look at his work below, you can get a real sense of how big they are by the people standing below them…

>Art doesn’t have to be on paper….

>I believe that art doesn’t always have to be a painting or anything along those lines, I recently have become obsessed with a show called Cake Boss, these cakes are actual real works of art, some of them I can’t believe how realistic they are. Me and my friend Vivi are going to New Jersey this summer and hope to visit the bakery…

It’s run by a family of Italians and has been in the family for generations, the main owner is called Buddy and his vision of peoples idea’s make the most amazing cakes.Here’s a look at some of his and his families work…

Check out the show… 

>Shepard Fairey!

>My new found love is street art and graphics due to the amount of graphic festivals that have been taken place in Denton. I recently came across a graphic designer called Shepard Fairey who is mostly known for his work in the Obama campaign – he was the designer of the Hope poster.

He originally started out doing art on his skateboards and t shirts and later developed on to large scale poster using spray paints and stencils, his work is extremely detailed in some posters which show his great skill and eye for design.

Fairey became known within the skater community by placing “Andre the Giant Has a Posse” posters around Providence,Rhode Island. It took off within the skater community and the images started appearing in many cities and towns across the U.S.A. He altered the work stylistically into the OBEY Giant poster.

Here’s some of Shepards Fairey’s work as well as a video of him working:

>Colour Coded Building

>I recently stumbled across this building while looking for a place to travel next year, it’s called Arc en Ciel and is situated in Bordeaux France. Half of it is residential the other half is offices. Take a look at this amazing building, it really is eye catching!

All the exterior windows are coloured glass which give off a rainbow effect in the hallways of the building which makes the place look vibrant and bright.