Planning Ahead

This is a mood board I must have done well over a year ago when I took a branding course with Fiona Humberstone from the Flourish design partnership. I came across it again today while I was going through my plans chest sifting through old work.

Making mood boards is such a valuable excersise. When I did this I was thinking about a second range other than Moobaacluck but looking at it now it simply says me and really it sums up what I am working towards.

For the next month or so I am going to be really focused on clarifying my goals and separating what Moobaacluck is from what Gabriella Buckingham is. (Yes, that old chestnut - as anyone who knows me will know, it preoccupies me far too much!) Update

Mainly for my own interest to help me with this process I've put some images of work that never came to anything.. ie unpublished or that I took no further;  that I see things I like in.

Immediately I know I must use that ''Miss You x"  and get it on a card (or possibly a print) soon. But I also know that isn't Moobaacluck it's Gabriella Buckingham! Ha ha.  So the other thing to decide is how I proceed with my notonthehighstreet shop. It has quite a few designs based on my handwriting like this in it, that do sell for me - I'm loathe to remove them but if I am to make Moobaacluck a strong brand in its own right then maybe it would be better to do that. Increasingly I think it might be sensible to build my own eponymous shop; not only sensible but really FUN actually! What do you think? Is this a good plan?

Update Feb 3rd: reading that paragraph sums up what I seem to go through daily! But it's exhausting. Even since writing all that I think that there isn't actually anything wrong with having calligraphic designs in Moobaacluck - at least in the shop on These things will become clearer as the year goes on. The key things about Moobaacluck are fun, quirkiness and thoughtfulness. Yes it did begin with hand painted things for children but all brands extend don't they?! I don't know quite why I have worried about all this for so long.

 this one is clearly Moobaacluck

I am really glad I signed up for Monica Lee's course 'Smart Creative Style' in February as it's questions like this I want the answer too. I know I'll be doing more mood boards!

Seeing my lovely friend  +Tia Lush this weekend, who is a great designer, was a great help. She always talks clear headed sense and I found myself deciding that really I want Gabriella Buckingham to be the over arching company and Moobaacluck to be an imprint within it. I said I'd be working towards a trade range, something I tried before mainly with wooden designs and it didn't feel like the right thing despite a few lovely clients. So although it scares me I have to pin down what this range will be, I do know it won't be high volume. It might take me a long time because I am exploring my painting and illustration again and once I feel I have several distinctive looks ( I can't be limited to one!) then I'll be looking for work in those fields again.

 an old painting I did of one of my husbands tiny bikes

Twice recently I've come across that saying 'You can do anything, but not everything' which seems to imply that other chestnut - focus. I want my anything to be that I paint, draw, design and sell under my own brands and illustrate to commission for other companies.It's not everything.. I won't be knitting or crocheting ( except for a hobby, need to take up one of those)). There are plenty of people out there who do what I've listed. I think they probably have help though, packers, book keepers, an agent - at least a cleaner! :)

 this is ink - loved doing large abstract shapes - not Moobaacluck!

The key is in what proportions you do it all .Making lists and being organised. Allocating time to all projects quite strictly. Delegating. Hard work - which I have no problem with although delegating is always hard for me. In the spirit of evolution I will now state that delegating would be a relief and actually could be really fun. It would stretch me, challenge me to be more precise and systematic but ultimately freeing. It's a way off but I will welcome it.

How do you run your self employed life? What or who helps you most? How did you go about finding them or changing the way you do things?

not moobaacluck either - probably more subject matter here rather than style
What's your recipe?

I tell you if I suceed in what I want to do I'll write a book about it. Today I read a line from a list written by Austin Kleon : "Write the book you want to read" from his book Steal like an Artist. There's a thought.

I've read a lot of business books but there's no substitute for just doing it.


  1. I remember those moodboards, I still have mine aswell :) It was a fantastic course.
    I am also learning that I cannot do everything, reigning in ideas is hard sometimes but this year is definitely about focus for me. Even though I've left behind the self employed world, well just about, I still help my hubby build his business. Maybe the best of both worlds for me, but studying is definitely my priority.
    I think aswell as focus that balance maybe a word to consider in building the Gabriella Buckingham brand. Doing the things you love :) xx

    1. Thank you Zoe - I completely agree with you. Happiness and freedom have to be priorities. No comparisons with other businesses - other than simply to guage where I fit perhaps :)
      I'm glad you and Drew seem to have found your way of living life and good luck with all your exams!
      love Gabs x


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