Tag Archives: Events

My thank you post

This time last year, after 4 years of working with the same company straight out of uni, I handed in my notice.

Work had became a home from home and a reassuring constant as I moved between 7 homes in 3 years and travelled back and forth every weekend to see the boyf, so handing in my notice was like cutting the strings and seeing whether I could stand on my own two feet. It’s a relief to say, I’m still standing!

I had so much support in making that decision and I was fully prepared to fall flat on my face. I had nothing lined up after my notice period and didn’t think I knew enough people in the industry to reach out to other agencies. Luckily, it turns out that the people I did know were so fantastically generous with their time and connections!

Through their help, I have had the opportunity to meet with a variety of agencies and work on some great projects. Happily, each agency I’ve worked with has asked me to come back to work on further projects, so I’m doing something right!

I realise this isn’t really a post about art, but I thought that if the only thing I can complain about recently is a lack of inspiration with my paintbrush and having to stay an extra night in Paris due to strikes, then I am obviously in a good place right now, so I wanted to celebrate and share it with you. I am so thankful and grateful for the support you have all given me this year, so I just wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you!

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thank you stars

Work hard, relax hard – wait, that doesn’t sound right…

March began with a two week project in Geneva and ended with two glorious weeks relaxing at home. This was the first time I’d been onsite for 15 days and it felt like such a long time – I am definitely a homebody at heart!

Once the project got going, the production team left for home and I stayed on with the group of martial artists and a physio. The martial artists were all lovely and very different people and the physio was brilliant, keeping my spirits up and keeping me sane! As quite a shy person, spending a fortnight with a group of strangers was quite intimidating, but luckily (this is not the right word), we were all in such a small cosy room, we got to know each other very quickly and it taught me a few things about myself:

1. I should be less vocal about my love of all things Disney – it makes people think your head is filled with fluffy kittens and rainbows…

2. I will never be comfortable in business clothes – jeans for the win

3. I have an entirely impractical selection of shoes – the comfy ones don’t quite have the grip for walking on wooden ramps and the smart ones leave me with no feeling in my toes!

4. I should spend more time with groups of people my age – it turns out they are lots of fun

5. I am awful at quick fire questions – when asked what is the thing I use too much of and should live without, most people answered ‘mobile phone’ or ‘the internet’… I said moisturiser… seriously, who says that, it doesn’t even make sense?!

Anyway, here is a little sketch of the performance, just as the heroine beckons the baddies towards her so she can take them down! We had two female ninjas throughout the performance run and they were both so impressive and fierce, it was amazing to watch!

geneva 2015

So after two weeks of going bright red when answering any quick fire questions and losing my patience a few times with bad time keeping, the boyf met me at the airport and brought me home.

The plan for being back at home was to get back into a routine of yoga, reading blogs, painting and building on contacts for future projects… Two out of four isn’t too bad…

One of my favourite blogs that I wanted to catch up on was the Skunkboy blog, my sketch below is inspired by one of the Autumn outfits Katie wore last year. It’s such a cute blog, with crafts, fashion and little updates on her family life, and not least her gorgeous hairstyles, which I’m sure many of you will have seen on pinterest!

skunkboy inspired

Also, as the boyf was banned from watching any of my (numerous) tv shows while I was away, our planner was stacked, so I’ve spent quite a few pyjama days indulging on everything I’ve missed! One that I’ve especially enjoyed is Indian Summers, about British rule in India in the 1930s. I’ve found the storyline pretty addictive and I love the 30s fashion. This sketch is inspired by one of the characters, Leena, and admittedly it looks a little like a passport photo, but I thought I’d share it anyway!

indian summers

Now that I’m fully recuperated after 2 weeks of (let’s be honest) laziness, I’m determined to be more productive with my days at home. I’m hopefully working on a project with another agency in the coming weeks, (which I am beyond excited about!) and I have projects pencilled in until the end of the year, so now that I don’t have to worry too much about finding work, I am going to fill my home-days with some painting projects to share on the blog!

So, hopefully we can expect some more regular illustration updates both here and on my Facebook page!

Finally, here is the painted version of a sketch I shared in the January post – I normally do sketching and painting in separate batches, so sketches can go naked for weeks before seeing any paint!

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jan bench

Back to the office

This week I’ve been back at my old office, which was my home from home for the last four years until I handed in my notice this summer.

It was such a daunting prospect handing in my notice and deciding to strike out on my own. I didn’t have any projects lined up and I had no real back up plan in place, but I knew that if I didn’t go for it now, I never would.

7 weeks on from my last day working with them and I’m back in the office working as a freelancer rather than a full time member of the team. It’s still early days yet, but it definitely feels like I did the right thing!

I spent the last 6 weeks working at a different agency, which was a huge learning curve. As quite a shy person, suddenly I was surrounded by people I didn’t know and in a sprawling office that I did not know my way around – in sum, it wasn’t the ideal situation for me, but if I was going to go freelance I knew I had to get used to starting out somewhere new.

The first few days were especially awkward, I’d gone from running the office to not knowing where the meeting rooms were or how to use the printer, which I ended up avoiding for all 6 weeks! Also, I am the worst at striking up conversation with people I don’t know, but luckily the people I was working with were so friendly, chatty and helpful, so I was let off the hook and I soon felt comfortable, if not quite at home there.

So this week, I’ve been back in familiar surroundings, but everything is ever so slightly different. Firstly, I’m at a new desk and there are new people in the team, but it’s more than that, the everyday discussions about the office don’t apply to me anymore, I don’t have a stake in any of the decisions or outcomes.

It took a little getting used to, but then I realised, this was exactly what I was looking for when I handed in my notice in back in summer. I’m now officially an events producer, not an events producer slash office manager, not an events producer slash IT help desk, not an events producer slash web manager. Just an events producer.

So now, when I’m not in the office, doing my events producing, I can focus all my energies on other things, such as building this blog, improving my illustrations one drawing at a time and spending more time at home with my family.

I think 2015 will be an exciting year 🙂

To celebrate not having to dream about my perfect job any longer, I decided to focus on what I have at the moment, so rather than my dream work wardrobe, here’s a quick illustration of what I actually wore on my first day back in the office – I told you I’m a jeans and jumper kind of girl!

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work outfit

The bumper Paris post

Firstly, apologies for the radio silence this week – it’s been a busy one at work! So to make up for it, I have a bumper edition post for today!

This week I had a day trip to Paris for a meeting. Sounds glamourous, I know! I can assure you it didn’t feel quite so glamourous waking up at 5am in a Travelodge on Tuesday morning and trundling up to St Pancras with my overnight case!

I was well prepared for the eurostar journeys, with 4 new books on my Kindle and music on my iPhone in case of overly chatty passengers! There was a group of American school kids in the four rows of seats ahead of us, and to be honest, I was preparing for the worst, with my headphones poised, but thankfully, 5mins into the journey they were all plugged into their own devices and were silent for the rest of the journey.

I was shocked! When I think back to my school trips there was a never ending stream of conversation across rows of seats, things being thrown to one another and the teacher trying to pretend they weren’t with us… obviously a time before mp3 players. Well, that makes me feel old!

When we finally got to Paris, the taxi queues were all the way down the street, so we stood in line for 20mins to get the metro. Following a quick shoe change (flats to heels obviously!) before the final stop we got out at George V onto the Champs Elysees.

In all my time in France; living in Rennes for a year, holidaying near Bordeaux and Lille, working in Cannes, working in Paris, school trips to Paris and day trips to Paris – I don’t think I’ve ever actually been on the Champs Elysees before.

I’d seen it in pictures and maybe whipped past it on a bus, but to actually walk down it and take a few minutes to enjoy it, it was amazing!

Arc de triomphe

The architecture of the buildings lining the avenue is so very French and so beautiful, with the pale stonework and blue slate roofs, shutters and iron balconies on all the windows. The road signs, lamp posts and metro signs look like you’ve gone back in time and the view up the avenue to the Arc de Triomphe was amazing, like a scene from a film.

Paris signs

As we were running late for the meeting, we didn’t get long to admire the sites, but when we came out into the avenue again following the meeting, I embraced my touristy instincts and got my phone out! I was still taking pictures as we jumped into a taxi to head back to the station!

I don’t know how I managed to miss the Champs Elysees every other time I’ve been in Paris, but I can’t wait to go again and really explore, and to test my phone memory to the limit!

To ensure this really is the bumper post that I promised, here is my July calendar. A little later than planned, but I only got the chance to finish it yesterday!

July

Now, as you can see, I’ve got plans today, so I’d better go and get ready!

Hope you all have a lovely weekend,

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Week 17 – work work work

Despite week 17 being a 4 day working week, I think I’ve done more work this week than the rest of April combined!

We have been putting together a proposal of stand activation ideas for one of our clients. Essentially this is suggesting ways they can make an exhibition stand more interactive and more engaging for their stand visitors.

It’s the kind of project I love, it involves brainstorming and researching the client to try to find (new exciting and interesting) ways they can establish a connection with their end consumer. Once we’ve decided on a few ideas we then involve 3d and 2d designers to bring it all to life in a pretty presentation doc.

I ended up spending a lot of my week watching YouTube clips and finding pictures of selfies… my job is nothing if not varied!

However, as I was so busy at work, I didn’t have as much time as I would’ve liked sketching and painting in the evenings. Fingers crossed I can find more of a balance next week!

As I can’t really illustrate any of the work from this week, I chose to focus on another important subject instead… April showers!

April Showers

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Week 9 – more events life

This week I’ve been getting ready for a few days onsite at the Geneva Motorshow.

I’m supporting the team producing one of the press launches and as part of the preparation I got to go along to the rehearsal for the musicians involved with the launch.

Obviously, I can’t go into too much detail about the plans for the launch, such as the type of music and the role it plays, but I can tell you I was blown away. The musicians were brilliant, of course, and the music was exciting, emotive and impressive – I can’t wait to see it all come together on site.

So this week, my illustration is inspired by these rehearsals.

 

cello

Now I’d better get packing for my flight tomorrow morning. Back again on Tuesday evening!

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Week 2 – events life

This week held my first event of 2014. I spent most of the week onsite at glamorous Birmingham, where we had a conference and gala dinner for 700ish people.

As well as my usual role of supporting the production and logistics team, I coordinated the gala dinner – a task I found a little scary to say the least! We had set and staging, sound checks and rehearsals, ice sculpture table centres and various performers.

The technical and catering teams were amazing and so experienced, so the evening pretty much ran itself, but it didn’t stop me being incredibly nervous that something might go wrong! I mainly spent the day double checking that everything was in place and on time, and the evening enjoying the entertainment!

The room looked great, especially the ice table centres. I can’t share a photo (due to client logos everywhere you look), but here is a little sketch to show how they looked.

Table centres

(Apologies for the dodgy quality of my images – my scanner and camera seem to be conspiring against me!)

We had a wreath of lovely flowers (no idea what kind!) to girly up the table a little bit, branded menus and some sparkly red stars scattered across the tables to pick up on the lighting around the room. The table centres, themselves, had lighting that was all linked together, meaning all sixty tables were in sync as the lighting changed.

All in all, the evening was a success and the clients were super happy. The band that closed the night with a two hour set were brilliant, nothing beats a live band!

The only thing I would do differently next time, is perhaps wear different shoes… I was in agony by the time I was walking back to the hotel, but I suppose that is the punishment for wearing shoes stolen from my Mum!

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