I have spent most of the evening having fun putting this collage together as my first attempt at a style guide for my overarching brand. One of the things that Monica Lee of Smart Creative Style encourages you to create for yourself is a comprehensive style guide. Here I have simply created a page of visuals from a lot of the pinning done over the past few months in my voyage of self discovery. Next I'll be pinning things down in words - which will be harder, but doable. Oh yes. If you're interested in seeing the boards that I took many of these images from just go over to my Pinterest pages.
Luckily my husband was around tonight so that we could take turns in nudging the children to bed! I've named some key values over the imagery below (by no means all) and used some typefaces that I particularly like. Some of these are old favourites, which I take to be a good thing as they must therefore suit me and the direction I'll be going in.
© Gabriella Buckingham
I haven't yet written down what I thought and think of Monica's course... I was going to wait until we spoke (I won an hours consultation) but there's nothing to stop me writing about it all again once we have spoken - as no doubt I will! I think I've been waiting until I have some clear questions and new work to show so that I get a pat on the head... I will be happy with some clarity and a good chat! I know Monica is great at both. She's very kind, encouraging and observant but won't avoid telling it like it is.
Throughout the course - which really is a business course alongside finding your style - there is a Facebook group to enable students to share work if they want to and have it commented on by course contributors and participants. It's very valuable to have this objectivity.
I thoroughly enjoyed the course and keep dipping back into the interviews with fabulous creative people; designers like Melanie Burk (fantastic information on the branding process she goes through, my favourite interview) and Amy Butler on her work process; just two of many. There's advice from web designer and illustrator Linda Tieu and successful bloggers such as Joy Uyeno from the Frock Files and many chats with business and marketing strategist Khali Whatley who encourages you to think deeply about what's behind your brand with a series of exercises and talks.
Every time I listen I glean a little something that I missed the first time; I wish that I could keep dipping in for months but there comes a point where you must get on with implementing the excursuses and sensibly access is limited to 5 months or so. Fantastic value. Monica's husband Tom Hennell is a marketing expert and gives us very thorough information in the form of a several videos and talks - as well as print outs on SEO specifics. Which I am looking forward to reading thoroughly soon. Honest ;)
The star of the show is Monica - a vibrant, warm, approachable coach who really does seem to care about each person taking the course. She gives of herself and very much shares her own views as well as providing ample opportunity for successful creative business women to generously give theirs. Thanks for a life changing course Monica - speak to you soon!