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written by carrie reynolds
Panda Press, taking their icon from the chinese symbol of diplomacy, are a family run design and print company based in Stone. They embrace the panda heritage as an icon of good relations, and believe it reflects the way they do business. The “panda difference” for them is how they help clients through their processes, with a friendly team ready to fulfil their needs. Panda Press want to help achieve maximum results at the best possible value. A few of their products include; business cards, leaflets, folders, creative books, and brochures.
written by carrie reynolds
Reena, an illustrator, graduated from a BA at Camberwell College of Arts in 2008 and creates art pieces which go beyond drawings. Her illustrations not only incorporate embroidery, but also objects, drawings, and prints. She has exhibiting in many places including the Hibbleton Gallery, dalla Rosa Gallery London and the Department of Coffee and Social Affairs. She also runs a project aimed at showing work by female artists and creating projects – ‘Nest Gallery’.
photography by jim richards
written by sharlene gandhi
Creativity is defined universally and quite simply as ‘the use of the imagination’. Were we, hypothetically, to redefine creativity, would we take it further than this action of the mind? Would we go as far as saying that creativity is a lifestyle choice? Or perhaps the complete opposite, just a pass-time. The term that I am most likely to go with is ‘saviour’, but keep in mind that this debate, is of course, open to all; the more creative your responses, the better.
In Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs, ‘creativity’ currents sits at the very top, on the self-actualisation level, accompanied by ‘problem solving’ and ‘the acceptance of facts’. Maslow’s theory was that without the fulfilment of all the needs beneath, the likes of which include breathing, nourishment, security, belonging and confidence, the highest level cannot even be understood, let alone attained. I do, however, find myself counteracting this theory. To me, my confidence and self-esteem lie in my ability to be creative. Long story short, if somebody were to, one fine day, inform me that an imagination was no longer in my possession, I would be mentally bedridden and reliant on somebody else to think on my behalf.
The state of mind that is classified as ‘creative’ is a beautiful one because it is limitless; time need not be a constraint, nor is there a concern for spatial awareness. Creative people- designers, writers, artists, filmmakers, choreographers, dancers, musicians- live in this mindset comfortably for a large chunk of their lives, causing, what I like to call, EDS… Extreme Daydreamers’ Syndrome. Your own thoughts become a means of transport by which you travel to the stepping stones to your next big idea. The creative mindset won’t cease to inspire ambition at nightfall either. It seems to me that the brain does its most imaginative thinking after hours, when access to writing material means leaving your warm bed with a heavy heart and equally heavy ideas buzzing between thoughts.
Inspiration is key to formulating creative thoughts, however. Writers take inspiration from authors, columnists and poets, whilst designers could exploit their visual surroundings and capture these in garments or prints. Inspiration is often fairly misunderstood; people think ‘inspired by’ equates to ‘stolen from’, which, any creative would assure you, is preposterous. We should be able to appreciate that to be entirely original is a challenge within itself, and to be able to use another’s art as an influence upon your own is a stage in the creative process that aids growth and development, both on personal and professional levels.
I maintain the belief that everybody has creativity within them; a reflection of your creative thinking almost always comes across in how you choose to dress, in the manner in which the working woman subconsciously matches her accessories with her choice of footwear. But there is a huge difference between people who occasionally have the odd creative thought, and those who ‘live’ creatively. And that difference is defined by the ability to interpret inspiration from a wide variety of sources; from nature to industry, from hair fibres to toenails, from the pot of gold at one end of a rainbow to whatever unknown treasure awaits you at the other end.
written by carrie reynolds
One of the best pieces of advice given to Jessica Willis was to do something she enjoyed as a career, to turn a hobby into a business.
Flossy Jewellery started when Jessica was studying a Foundation Degree at Staffordshire Uni; part of her criteria was to create a start-up business plan. And as she had previous jewellery making experience, she decided to take it a step further and created actual items to display at the end of year show. After a really positive response, Jessica gained the confidence to put items for sale online after graduation. Her first collection sold quicker than she anticipated, reaching a global audience through the handmade onine store Etsy.
Although Flossy is only in its first year of business, Jessica has worked through the huge learning curve, expanding her network online. At the moment she is working on connecting with her customers through Instagram; Jessica wants to have a good relationship with her customers, and thinks Instagram is a fun way to connect. Not only has she been building relationships with customers, but suppliers too. This has enabled her to order new crystals for her upcoming pieces. At first she began with Swarovski and vintage crystals, which makes each piece unique. During the year she has also figured out what works well and what doesn’t, and now is selling more rings with a wide variation of colour and size.
Jessica believes that high street jewellery can become repetitive and doesn’t always offer the best quality, so she wanted to create unique pieces at a good price that people can treasure. By using vintage items and making pieces in limited numbers she maintains an exclusive collection. This is also an important factor for the brand ethos of Flossy.
Although Flossy currently only sells on Etsy, Jessica is looking into having craft stalls and fashion fairs starting from March. Even further into the future, Jessica aims to have a presence at craft fairs and galleries where she can have the opportunity to meet customers face to face. This will help her establish which direction to take Flossy, directly from customer feedback. Jessica thinks that it’d be amazing to have Flossy jewellery stocked in independent boutiques and like-minded retailers, but her biggest ambition is to have a stall at Brookyln Flea Market in New York. She had the opportunity to visit there last summer, and has since been in love with the place.
Currently the Spring/Summer 2013 Flossy collection has just been released, which coincides with the launches of the website and Instagram. She has also ordered some interesting, large druzy crystals which she intends on making into statement rings.
(Photography Jordan Reece Williams)
Do you have a story or anecdote to share about your graduation day? With our Transformation issue upcoming, we’d love to know about the day that is supposed to not only transform your education, your career but also your life.
If you’d like to have your words feature in #5, please complete the questions below (or send your anecdote of under 300 words) to email@example.com before 13/02/13
- First things first - did you make it to Graduation?
- Cap and gown in toe, what was the best part of Graduation day for you?
- What did you Graduation in, and what did you get?
- Did graduation meet your expectations?
- Any embarrassing tales to tell about Graduation day?
- Did graduating transform anything (career, life, etc.) for you? If so, what and how?