Her Lovely Heart

December 22, 2014

Merry Merry Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from Her Lovely Heart!

We’re signing off for the holidays and heading towards the chocolate! We hope you all have the loveliest Christmas, and some much-needed downtime with your loved ones. See you on the other side!


Her Lovely Heart


Winner of the Quote Contest is…

Winner of Her Lovely Heart quote contest.
Ta-da! The winner of our Quote Contest is Franky with the above submission. I love the cheekiness of the quote, and the image makes me think of summer and how oceans make me feel like everything is not only possible, but also connected. Congratulations Franky, you will receive a copy of the Awesome Planner for 2015!

Winner of Her Lovely Heart quote contest.
Kelly is a deserved runner up with this amazing quote, and they will receive a pack of Share the Good Life greeting cards.

Remember, you gotta be in it to win it, so thanks to everyone who took part!


Her Lovely Heart


December 19, 2014

Guest Blog: a trip down to B&W photography archives

In this guest post,  photographer Nick Ray shares his take on the popular Black & White Challenge, with a little trip down memory lane.

Despite all the technology available to photographers today the black and white image remains popular. There is a beauty and purity to a black and white image, which seems to communicate across different tastes and cultural influences. In many cases losing the distraction of colour allows the composition of the photograph to become the dominant element, and the tones reveal themselves.

A ‘Black and White Challenge’, where photographers nominated each other to post five black and white photographs on five consecutive days, recently made the rounds on Facebook. I too got challenged to take part, and the images I ended up choosing acted as a proper trip down memory lane. Here are my five choices.

Sierra Leone. 2008.

Guest blogger: Nick Ray and his take on the Black & White challenge.
This photograph was taken on assignment for The Times in Sierra Leone. Initially I overlooked it when editing, but in monochrome the rich tones brought it to life.

Night Patrol in Helmand, Afghanistan. 2008.

Guest blogger: Nick Ray and his take on the Black & White challenge.
There was no colour in this photograph to start with! it was shot on a compact camera whilst on patrol with the British Army in Afghanistan. The soldiers are silhouetted against the moon. I love the ethereal quality of this photograph.

Pinhole camera. 1985.

Guest blogger: Nick Ray and his take on the Black & White challenge.
I was still at school when I took this photograph. I used a pinhole camera made from a biscuit tin with a piece of photographic paper taped inside, and an exposure of about 30 seconds. The resulting negative was contact-printed to create the print. To me this was pure magic, and it was the moment my love of photography, and eventually my whole career, began.

Landscape in Co. Kerry, Ireland.  1994.

Guest blogger: Nick Ray and his take on the Black & White challenge.
This was shot on Kodak T-Max 3200 film. In film terms 3200 ISO was amazingly fast, but at the cost of huge grain. Modern digital cameras can shoot at 3200 ISO and above with almost imperceptible grain these days, which would have been incomprehensible back then.

Bride and her mother. 2014.

Guest blogger: Nick Ray and his take on the Black & White challenge.
As a wedding photographer I find many couples love the romanticism of black and white. For me this shot works better in black and white, I just love the light coming through the veil.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this trip to my b&w archives, and that it’s maybe given you a spark to explore black & white photography further.

If you want to learn photography with Nick, join us for our Thru Your Lens workshop on January 19th.

Her Lovely Heart


December 18, 2014

Get into the habit of celebrating your business success

Get into a habit of celebrating your success!

Let me tell you a little story about one tiny furry animal conquering her fears.

If you know a little bit about me (or follow me on Instagram) you are probably aware that I have two cats, Astrid & Sofia. They are 18 months old and they really are the loves of my life (sorry husband!). Watching them grow and develop into their own little individuals has been fascinating. Despite being sisters from the same litter, their personalities (or sizes!) couldn’t be more different. While Sofia is super laid back, always looking at you with a calm introspective expression, Astrid seems to exist in a constant state of alertness, which is a mix of high energy, curiosity and being extremely jumpy about things. She is a strange little contradiction of being super timid, but possessing boundless energy to burn, she could play constantly and loves the outside world, going for long trips to who knows where every night. In the meanwhile Sofia could really take or leave the outside, she does like going out and spending the day sitting in the shade of her favourite bush, but she’ll be just as happy spending the day on the sofa being occasionally cuddled.

It was really Astrid that made us decide to let the girls outside in the first place, before that she was constantly demanding attention and play, and was clearly distressed when she couldn’t get rid of her highly strung energy. So it was for mostly for her benefit (and because we got tired of operating a constant door service for her) that we decided to install a cat flap.

After the flap was in, I was so eager to show Astrid that she had her own door. She could come and go when ever she wanted, dash out and climb to the top her tree (yes, the first time her head popped out from the top of that tree I nearly had a stroke, now I’m used to it being the only climbing tree big enough to satisfy her), run around chasing grasshoppers until she was properly spent, the lot. I was so sure she’d be over the moon! Sofia was the first one to investigate the flap. She wasn’t sure about it, it made a funny noise, and it seemed a little bit like hassle compared to getting us to open the door for her. Slowly she started to experiment more, pushing the flap with her paw once in a while, and eventually figuring out that she could indeed go in and out when ever she could muster up the energy for squeezing herself through the hole in the wall.

Astrid on the hand, took one look at the flap and completely freaked out. There was no way no how she was going near that thing, and when we tried to gently push her towards it she started shaking and crying and then played dead. To be honest, that was not the way I had imagined that moment going down. I started reading up on ways to ‘train’ cats to use the cat flap, and we proceeded to experiment with a litany of techniques from trying to ply her with food, to threading her favourite toys through the flap, to taping it open and slowly lowering it day by day, to just trying to push her through it. Nothing worked. The heartbreaking thing was that while Sofia was quite happily getting used to having her own freedom, Astrid clearly felt like she was being punished for something. All that time she had to spend inside when we weren’t there to make sure she’d get in, resulted in her adopting a constant look of feeling sorry for herself. She started crying in the night again, and doing this thing where she looked at you with her big, always slightly alert, eyes and make the cutest, most soul-destroying tiny pleading noises, and then come rub herself all over us in attempt to charm us into letting her out. And all the time she could have just walked out through her flap anytime she wanted!

Cut to about two months of frustration later. We had advanced to me pushing Astrid’s tiny shaking body towards the flap, and letting her own paws push the flap open a little bit so she could then crawl through it, staying as flat as she could. Until one night. I could sense a sudden change in her attitude, it was like she had finally got to a point when her desire to go out was starting to tip over her fear of the flap. I watched her mentally talk herself into finally properly trying. I held my breath and stayed still, knowing that if she saw me watching she would revert back to pleading me to come help her. She got closer, and the flap made a click when the lock opened, she jumped back. But she steeled herself and tried again. She placed her little paw on the edge and tried to push. It didn’t open as the lock had closed again. She went closer and the lock read her microchip and released, she pushed again, and the flap moved. She froze for a moment, as if not quite believing what she was about to do. And then, slowly, determinately, she pushed herself through until she stood outside, tail up, looking like a complete champion. I whooped, jumped up and down, and after going out to give her a celebratory cuddle I ran into the bedroom to wake up my husband in order to give him the news. High fiving, our joy for her was so profound, and as silly as it seems, I felt so incredibly proud of how she had conquered her fears. A clicketyclickclick of the flap kept me awake for most of that night, as she kept going in and out, but it just made me smile. She was celebrating, giddy with her newfound freedom. The next day she slept 12 hours straight.

Pretty much instantly, after months of irrational fear before finally mastering the evil cat flap,  she completely owned her success. Now she takes her time going through, landing outside with a big stretch, she takes in her territory, her tree, her freedom. And clearly feels like a boss. And that’s something we could all learn from her (which is why I included that top picture of Astrid on the last page of the Awesome Planner, which you can win in the current Quote Contest). No matter how many struggles we will have on our route to seemingly small wins, it will serve us well to properly celebrate each and every success. Celebrating facing our fears, or taking new small steps, conditions us to taking pleasure in running a successful business. It teaches us to properly OWN what we do.

What have you done lately worthy of celebrating? Started a business? Painted a wall? Helped someone in some small way? Share your successes and we can have a little celebration together, I’m pretty sure I can get Astrid to do a victory lap around the garden for you as a bonus.

Seventy percent of success in life is showing up.


Her Lovely Heart


December 17, 2014

Quote Contest / 2 / Win an Awesome Planner!

We’re getting more and more into the Christmas Spirit at HLHHQ and decided we have just about enough time to give away one Awesome Planner (in soft cover) to one lucky winner!

Win an Amazing Planner 2015 at the Her Lovely Heart quote contest. Click through for details on how to enter.

To be in with a chance to win, create an original work with your favourite inspiring quote and post it on Instagram. In the description tell us why you find it so inspiring, and what you would do with your Awesome Planner. Use hashtags #hlhquotecontest and #herlovelyheart and make sure you are following us on Instagram and on Facebook, and are subscribed to our newsletter. What we are looking for are quotes that inspire creative entrepreneurs, and which are presented in a beautiful way. We will also be regramming our favourites on the Her Lovely Heart Instagram feed.

Win an Amazing Planner 2015 at the Her Lovely Heart quote contest. Click through for details on how to enter.

Our runner up will receive a pack of Share the Good Life greeting cards.

The deadline for submissions is this Friday the 19th, the winner/s will be announced next Monday. We can’t wait to see your submissions! Good luck!

Make sure you read our Contest & Giveaway rules before entering.


Her Lovely Heart


December 16, 2014

Inspiration Board / 6 / Pastel-coloured DIY Christmas

This one goes out to you last minute Christmas-decorators like me! I might be a little bit late to get into the swing of things, but I still want to try to do something new each year decoration-wise. So, I took to the internet to find some simple(ish) DIY ideas for a pretty pastel Christmas.

Her Lovely Heart Inspiration Board DIY Pastel Christmas. Click through for details.

Make sure to click through the links for more information, DIY instructions and images!

Her Lovely Heart Inspiration Board DIY Pastel Christmas. Click through for details.
These DIY Mini Wooden Christmas trees by Sugar and Cloth are the most adorable thing ever!

Her Lovely Heart Inspiration Board DIY Pastel Christmas. Click through for details.
How beautiful are these DIY paper crystals by Zilverblauw?

Her Lovely Heart Inspiration Board DIY Pastel Christmas. Click through for details.
These will printable gift wrap sheets from Toffee Magazine will make wrapping a breeze.

Her Lovely Heart Inspiration Board DIY Pastel Christmas. Click through for details.
Giant ornament balloons by Studio DIY. Amazing.

Her Lovely Heart Inspiration Board DIY Pastel Christmas. Click through for details.
A little bit in love with this ombre wrapping paper by Rifle Paper Co.

Her Lovely Heart Inspiration Board DIY Pastel Christmas. Click through for details.
The most amazing Christmas forest cake topper DIY from Oh Happy Day.

Her Lovely Heart Inspiration Board DIY Pastel Christmas. Click through for details.
Love these wrapping ideas from La Trastienda de Liderlamp.

Her Lovely Heart Inspiration Board DIY Pastel Christmas. Click through for details.
The loveliest decoration ideas by Carnets Parisiens. I’m definitely going to do something along these lines!

Her Lovely Heart Inspiration Board DIY Pastel Christmas. Click through for details.
A pretty perfect DIY gold triangle garland by Almost Perfect.

Her Lovely Heart Inspiration Board DIY Pastel Christmas. Click through for details.
I’m a big fan of kraft paper wrapping with a twist, and this paint splatter one by Go Forth Creative is just brilliant.

Happy crafting, everyone! x


Her Lovely Heart


December 15, 2014

Ask Marianne / 15 / How to use Instagram as an artist in business

How to use Instagram as an artist running a business? Click through to read.
In this series, Her Lovely Heart founder Marianne Taylor answers some of the burning questions submitted by blog readers, spanning everything from photography and business questions to personal mantras. Read on to find out what people are longing to know about…

I am an illustrator and have recently started selling prints and original artwork through an online store. I have a personal Instagram account, but I’m wondering whether I should have another one for my business, and how could I best use it in a business context?

Congratulations on starting a business! It’s an exciting time to run a business as an artists, and I think your instinct about leveraging Instagram is absolutely right, it’s a brilliant medium for exactly the type of business you have. First of all, whether you’ll open a separate account for your business depends on two things, the way you are using your personal Instagram account at the moment, and your branding decisions for your business. If you mainly use Instagram to post personal images of say, your children, pets or food, it would be better to have a separate account, which would be more about your work and curated to fit better with the brand of your store. If your business is 100% personified to you, and you already share your artwork on Instagram and have built a following, then I would continue to build on that and just curate a little bit more tightly in the future. Right, now we’ve established how, let’s talk about what you can do with your Instagram.

1. Interact with your audience

Instagram is a great way to have a conversation with your audience. They can get a glimpse into who you are as a person, and your motivations behind your work, which will make them feel more connected. You can also draw inspiration from your fan base, it can be exciting to see how diverse your audience can be, and what sort of thoughts your work produces.

2. Share work-in-progress

This is the easiest and most obvious way for an artist to create Instagram content that will be wildly exciting to your followers. The nature of a creative business is that you will always have works on the go, and sometimes it feels like nothing is ever getting finished, but sharing this in-between stage will whet your audiences appetite, and giving sneak peeks into future work will also motivate you to finish stuff, as you have so publicly committed to it.

3. Curate your brand

As a visual medium, Instagram is a great place to demonstrate your visual identity and really showcase your brand. Make it a habit to pay attention to how your feed looks as a whole. Is your gallery consistent or does something stand out in a distracting way (and if it does, it’s ok to delete photos here and there, it’s your feed after all!). If you look at the HLH Instagram feed, you can get a pretty good idea of our general aesthetic. A new follower stumbling onto our feed will know instantly whether our visual style and energy is something they love or hate.

4. Create #hashtag campaigns or collections

Hashtags are keywords that group topics together, and the usage for them is literally limitless. You can create mini collections or series of your work by creating hashtags that group work together, which will make it more exciting for your followers to anticipate new additions to their favourite collections. It will also help new followers discover older work when they click through to a hashtag collection from a new image that catches their eye. Don’t worry if you didn’t start doing this initially, you can always go back and create hashtag collections at any point in time.

You can also think up hashtag campaigns or contest, where your followers might win a free piece of work based on hashtagging their entries, from which you’ll choose a winner. It’s a great way to spread the word and reach new followers. You can also attempt bigger campaigns (like what we’re trying to do with the #sharethegoodlife campaign) which could potentially have a lot further reach and deeper impact.

5. Appreciate and comment on others work

Instagram is full of inspiring artists, who can be a source of inspiration, but also other service providers related to what you do, who could be potential contacts and future collaborators. So get social, follow others, comment on their images, start conversations. The best kind of networking and connections happen when you get honestly excited about something someone else is doing, and are gracious enough to tell them so!

Do you have a question about photography or running a business for Marianne? You can email your questions to submissions@herlovelyheart.com with the subject line ‘Ask Marianne’. The best questions will be answered on the blog throughout this series.
 

Her Lovely Heart


December 12, 2014

Latest from Instagram / 11

Latest from the Her Lovely Heart Instagram feed.

Lately, on Instagram, we kicked off the #sharethegoodlife campaign, and released new cute greeting cards to celebrate.

Latest from the Her Lovely Heart Instagram feed.

We fell in love with this proverb about the importance of always learning new things.

Latest from the Her Lovely Heart Instagram feed.

And lastly, a reminder that sharing your journey with others in the same situation makes the lows feel less harsh and the highs that much much sweeter.

P.S. If you like what we’re doing on Instagram, you’ll love our Awesome Planner for 2015, which is a diary full of inspiring quotes and Awesome Tips for every month of the year.


Her Lovely Heart


December 11, 2014

Five secrets of success

Five secrets of success. Click through to read.

This week’s Quote of the Week  got me thinking about the ingredients of success. I’ve explored some traits that successful entrepreneurs have in an earlier post, and I’ve also replied to a reader question about achieving success before, with a reminder that success looks very different depending on who you ask, and that it’s important to measure success based on our own standards. If you haven’t read those posts, or just want to get my top tips with less blathering on, here are the factors I think are most crucial, let’s call them my five secrets of success!

1. Set realistic, but ambitious, goals.

I think goals are super important. You don’t need to be a slave to your goals, but having them written down gives you a certain energy and drive. The bigger your goals are, the more possibilities you’ll see in front of you. I don’t personally think about my goals all the time, I don’t want to turn them into a stressful thing. But if I start feeling like I’m coasting or lacking focus, I’ll revisit my big goals and let them re-energise me. It’s also ok to decide that some of them have changed or become less desirable, in which case you can redefine them for a sharper focus.

2. Perfection is a dangerous trap.

Perfectionism is dangerous. Attention to details is a good thing, but not actually completing any tasks because you are over-working things to get them perfect, or worse, not acting on ideas until the ‘time is perfect’, means you are never moving forward. I talked about ways to nip procrastination in the bud in this blog post and the biggest takeaway from there would be stop waiting for the perfect moment. If you have an idea, start now. Set your goals and go for them. You can always refine what you’re doing later.

3. Positive energy and encouragement have incredible power.

This is something I talk about a lot, and it’s the reason for Her Lovely Heart existing. There is such power in surrounding yourself with positivity and people who think big and lift your spirit. And the great thing is that you can be a part of that cycle, like I wrote in this post about being the voice of encouragement, and what I’m trying to accomplish with the Share the Good Life campaign. The world is full of critics, you don’t need to be another one. Choosing to concentrate on the positive doesn’t make you naive or ignorant, it makes you someone who wants to actively take steps towards a better future, and a better now. Whether those steps are small or big doesn’t matter, what matters is that you’re pulling other people with you. And remember, you create the world you live in, quite literally. Read more about changing how you experience life in this post.

4. Never stop learning.

You’re never ready, there’s always more to learn, and that’s what’s one of the most exciting things about living. At any point, the amount of knowledge out there is infinite compared to the amount of knowledge you have amassed. What ever situation you come across, you can change that situation, and the way you feel and deal with it, with new knowledge and new awareness. The only way to get stuck is to stop learning.

5. Don’t fear failure or changing your mind.

Don’t put things you want to do off in the fear of failure. Failure is nothing more than a signpost on your journey, and it’s perfectly fine to decide to change direction or to admit something didn’t work out and try something else instead. As an example, I wrote about the difficult birth of Her Lovely Hear here.  To think that I wouldn’t be here, doing exactly what I’m doing now, if I had decided I failed because my initial idea wasn’t working in the way I had anticipated. That would be the true failure. Instead, I took stock, I re-assessed and really listened to myself and my desires, let go of the things I didn’t feel the fire for, and then really went for it with renewed vigour. And I couldn’t be happier with where I am at now, with more ideas flowing than I’ve ever had before, doing something that fills my heart with joy and allows me to spend my time thinking about things that fire me up, and actioning ideas and dreams. That is what success is to me.


Her Lovely Heart


December 10, 2014

Quote of the Week / 17

‘The world needs dreamers and the world needs doers.
But above all, the world needs dreamers who do.’
~ Sarah Ban Breathnach

Sarah Ban Breathnach quote wallpaper hand lettered for Her Lovely Heart by Gioia de Antoniis.

Dreaming big dreams, and then taking action, even in the smallest ways, is so vital in creating a cycle of energy, which will keep you reaching new hights. This beautiful quote reminds us how dreaming and action are as vital as each other.

Gioia De Antoniis hand lettered this beautiful Quote of the Week, and you can keep dreaming by downloading these gorgeous original desktop wallpapers.

Sarah Ban Breathnach quote wallpaper hand lettered for Her Lovely Heart by Gioia de Antoniis.
Sarah Ban Breathnach quote wallpaper hand lettered for Her Lovely Heart by Gioia de Antoniis.
Sarah Ban Breathnach quote wallpaper hand lettered for Her Lovely Heart by Gioia de Antoniis.
Sarah Ban Breathnach quote wallpaper hand lettered for Her Lovely Heart by Gioia de Antoniis.

Handlettered for Her Lovely Heart by Gioia De Antoniis. You can also find her on Instagram.

Click here to download Quote Wallpapers by Gioia De Antoniis: Download

 
Do you have a design you’d like to submit for our Goodie Bag? Create one design, or example of a digital product, and email it to submissions@herlovelyheart.com with the subject line ‘Goodie Bag’. We’ll review your submission and get back to you if it’s a good fit for the site!
 

Her Lovely Heart


December 9, 2014

Inspiration Board / 5 / Christmas in colour

I’ve been a bit slow on the uptake of the whole Christmas thing suddenly approaching. I’m finally getting my act together and looking around for presents that could spread cheer at Christmas, and beyond! I’m having a bit of a moment with hot pink, and colour in general, lately. Don’t resist it, just embrace the brightness!

Her Lovely Heart Inspiration Board - Christmas Cheer. Click through for info.

Bright pink Phoebe slippers from Graham & Green.
Cambridge Satchel backpack in fluro pink from Paperchase (in the sale right now!)
House of Rym ‘just my cup of tea’ pretty petal grey cup.
Illustrated Venice map by Marisa Sequin.
Hand die cut print ‘Steps to success: say yes, panic, pull through’ by Yellow Heart Art.
Limited edition magenta heart brooch by by Ma and Grandy.
Ferm Living small Mountain Lake cushion from Made in Design.
Dark Romance ceramic gilt bowl from Paperchase.
Ferm Living Geometry tea pot from Made in Design.
‘For Like Ever’ sign (in any colour!) by Oh Dier Living.

Follow us on Pinterest for more inspiration!
 

Her Lovely Heart


December 8, 2014

Ask Marianne / 14 / How to manage the use of your photos

How to manage the use (and misuse) of your photos? Click through to read.
In this series, Her Lovely Heart founder Marianne Taylor answers some of the burning questions submitted by blog readers, spanning everything from photography and business questions to personal mantras. Read on to find out what people are longing to know about…

I’m a new wedding photographer and I’m wondering how to manage clients’ use of your photos when it comes to posting them on Facebook or passing them onto other wedding vendors for their own commercial use. And what about manipulation of your images, can you really stop them, and is it worth the bother?

Good question! At the beginning of your career this can definitely give you pause. How you feel about these things is also a fairly personal thing, so it’s good to get it straight in your own head where you stand on these issues, and how you deal with them. There are two different slightly overlapping questions here, so I’ll answer them separately with my personal opinions on the matter.

1) Other vendors and the use of your images

I think it’s a good idea to allow other vendors working at the event to use your images, collaborating in this way is usually mutually beneficial, and it might drive business in your direction in the future. The best practice is to have a clear workflow for this in place. You want to be the one who is driving how and in what format other vendors receive images, so make sure your clients know to direct those enquiring about images directly to you, instead of supplying images from the files they have been given. Especially at the begging of your career, when you are building those vendor relationships, it gives a good impression to offer vendors images even before they ask (later on it might get impossible to stay on top of this practice, and you’ll be more reactive to others asking, but at least you’ll have a workflow in place for when they do).

You can make a tight selection of the best images for each vendor, resize the images to what size you are comfortable with, and then send a download link in a friendly email stating your terms for using your images. Personally I allow use in portfolios and blogs, provided there’s a credit, and if possible, a link back to my site. I don’t allow commercial use in the sense that someone would, for example, base their whole website on my images, or use my photos in a campaign that was unrelated to the original event. There are always exceptions of course, and you’ll have to weigh up whether you want to, for example, exchange images for services. If you do find a vendor using your images without your permission and without a credit, you should definitely send them a friendly email and state your terms. Often it’s just a case of someone who’s new to the industry not quite knowing the best practice, so don’t bite their head off before giving them a chance to put things right.

And yes, all this can take quite a lot of admin time. Tasks like these are some of those invisible things that add to your working hours (the same with actively providing images for blogs or wedding magazines). There is no such thing as ‘free marketing’, you will pay for it with the time you spend on it, but with good workflows in place it will be worth it.

2) Clients and the use of your images

This one is more about how clients use the digital files you have provided, and how your work is being represented online. First of all, educating your clients goes a long way. Include a little FAQ with your disk or memory drive, which explains that the images in the ‘websized’ folder are the ones to use online, and the ‘high resolution’ ones are only for printing. State that your work shouldn’t be manipulated, and that you would appreciate a credit when images get used. Now, these last two stipulations are the ones most likely to be ignored. Your clients never really need to think about things such as image credits, as they are not part of the industry at all. They might also do things such as add funky filters on Instagram (mind you, even some vendors do this!) making your images look like they got caught in an oversaturated alien-invasion, which is understandably frustrating. You work hard to get your visual style to match your vision, so for your work to be manipulated in this way can feel like a personal insult.

This is how I deal with the credit issue. At the time of delivering images to the client, I try to upload a nice selection of people-based images into the clients’ own album on my Facebook business page. I tell them that I’m posting a selection on Facebook, and that if they use it, they are free to tag themselves and their guests in those images. I leave the ball completely in their court, but most clients tend to eagerly tag themselves and their guests, which is great for two different reasons; 1) the first images anyone sees are yours and attached to your business page, and since people are already tagged there’s not really much reason for the client to post images sans credit to Facebook, and 2) your clients tagging their guest on the images on your business page creates brilliant word of mouth for you, which will build your referral base.

Then that other issue, about the alien green filters. It will happen. The best thing you can do for your own sanity is to ignore it. Any client who does it, will not understand your reasons for not appreciating it, and there really is no sense in getting into a potentially negative conversation about something that will not really have massive effect on you or your business. Anyone who comes to your website will see your images like you meant them to be seen, and they will book you based on those images rather than any funky Instagram version that might be floating around the internet. When it comes to keeping your clients happy, biting your tongue and looking the other way is sometimes the best practice!

Do you have a question about photography or running a business for Marianne? You can email your questions to submissions@herlovelyheart.com with the subject line ‘Ask Marianne’. The best questions will be answered on the blog throughout this series.
 

Her Lovely Heart


December 5, 2014

Share the Good Life to change the culture / #sharethegoodlife

Her Lovely Heart #sharethegoodlife hashtag campaign for small business owners. Be the voice of encouragement!

Today I received the loveliest, most unexpected card and a present from someone who’s products and services I love, and who wanted to reach out and thank me for collaborating with them. It really made my day, and couldn’t have come at a more perfect moment.

A blog post I wrote little while ago, urging you to be the voice of encouragement, has been playing on my mind a lot lately. In the days of searching for clarity about what Her Lovely Heart could or should be, one thing was always clear, a sense of wanting to create a place that encourages and inspires creative entrepreneurs. A place that sparks fires and gets you excited about being self employed, a place that makes it possible for you to have an internal dance party at your desk every day. It seems that my dream has gotten bigger. Like, properly massive. What I really and truly desire, is to create a culture of encouragement and kindness among entrepreneurs. To make a tiny dent into a whole lot bigger picture.

I’m sure you have your own experiences of being in a working situation with someone who is all about the ego, someone who is not about collaboration or sharing, but only looking out for number one and viewing every other people in their industry either as competition to be suspicious about, or alternatively heros to be worshipped or used as stepping stones. But that’s enough about them. I want you to think about those people who you’ve met or worked with, who approached you with kindness. Those who appreciate you as a person, no matter how far you are in your career or on any kind of coolness-o-meter. People who energise you and who you love to bounce ideas off of. Those who advise and support and offer a hug when you need it. You know the ones I’m talking about.

Well, what if we made that the standard for all small business owners? What if we led by example and started spreading encouragement and kind words where ever we went and with whomever we worked with? What if we changed the culture of doing business, into doing kindness, and thriving by serving others with good in our hearts? What if we showed that you can be prosperous while being generous. Wouldn’t that be something?

Her Lovely Heart #sharethegoodlife hashtag campaign for small business owners. Be the voice of encouragement!

So, here’s my idea, which is bound to evolve, but you gotta start somewhere. I urge you to reach out to a fellow business owner, and not see them as ‘competition’ but as an ally. Someone you should treat with kindness and encouragement. Send them a card to let them know you know what they are going through, and that how going through it together would be so much more fun. And how it would create so many more opportunities for actual dance parties. Bake them a cake, lend them a hand, phone them up and plan a collaboration. Or thank someone for the help or advice they’ve given you, even when they’ve been busy with their own stuff. And when you do, make a memory, post it on Instagram and hashtag it with #sharethegoodlife so we can all see the love spreading.

On the last day of every month, we’ll choose our favourite story from a business owner who has used the hashtag, and feature them and their work on Her Lovely Heart in the following month.

Her Lovely Heart #sharethegoodlife hashtag campaign for small business owners. Be the voice of encouragement!

To get you started, we’ve created a series of Share the Good Life greeting cards, with messages of encouragement ready for you to use. If you do send one of our cards, include it in your Instagram submission, and if you get chosen to be featured, you’ll also win a super cool surprise prize from us, since you’ve quite literally supported and encouraged our crazy adventure.

I truly feel like this could be a game changer. Let’s start sharing the good life, rather than feeling alone on our journey.

Are you with us? #sharethegoodlife

(If you want to enter for the prize, make sure you check out our Contest & Giveaway Rules.)

Her Lovely Heart


December 4, 2014

Adding colour with a Made of Sundays wall decal

Made of Sundays wall decal.

Last week I showed you how I curated my inspiration board. Well, the transformation didn’t stop quite there. I really wanted something fun to cheer up the empty space above my board, so decided to go with a wall decal from Made of Sundays (partly because they do the cutest decals, and partly because they are based in my native Finland!).

Made of Sundays wall decal.

Cutest packaging ever? Possibly. (Tadaa! I’m a package from madeofsundays.com and I love you.)

Made of Sundays wall decal.

First, deciding placement.

Made of Sundays wall decal.

Astrid likes to ‘assist’. The usefulness of this assistance is not always clear.

Made of Sundays wall decal.

I kinda winged it with the installation. If only I’d watched this handy video before… But even going into it blindly, it wasn’t too difficult.

Made of Sundays wall decal.

I’m very pleased with the final results. The good thing about these kind of decals is that when you get bored of it, it just peels off and you can start again. Perfect!

Made of Sundays wall decal.

Photos of me in action by the multitalented Steph off Fairynuff Flowers.


Her Lovely Heart


December 3, 2014

Quote of the Week / 16

‘What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters,
compared to what lies within us.’
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Hand lettered quote wallpaper by Lola Hoad for Her Lovely Heart.

Our Quote of the Week reminds us that we are the ones who have the power to decide how our past shapes or where our future takes us.  Lola Hoad hand-lettered this beauty for us, and here’s your chance to download this spark of inspiration as a free desktop wallpaper.

Hand lettered quote wallpaper by Lola Hoad for Her Lovely Heart.
Hand lettered quote wallpaper by Lola Hoad for Her Lovely Heart.

Hand lettered for Her Lovely Heart by Lola Hoad.

Click here to download Quote Wallpaper by Lola Hoad: Download

 
Do you have a design you’d like to submit for our Goodie Bag? Create one design, or example of a digital product, and email it to submissions@herlovelyheart.com with the subject line ‘Goodie Bag’. We’ll review your submission and get back to you if it’s a good fit for the site!
 

Her Lovely Heart


December 2, 2014

Latest from Instagram / 10

Latest from the Her Lovely Heart Instagram feed.

Lately, on Instagram, we’ve urged you to dream big dreams, and then start taking steps towards realising those dreams. Big dreams and impossible-seeming goals create energy that pushes you forward.

Latest from the Her Lovely Heart Instagram feed.

It’s important to take stock and appreciate what we have. Life is a wonderful, ever-evolving thing, and each up and down on our journey adds more flavour to it.

Latest from the Her Lovely Heart Instagram feed.

You’re allowed to connect your own dots in any way you want! And you’re even free to change your mind and start all over again.

If you like what we’re doing on Instagram, you’re really going to like what we’ve cooked up for next year! You are now able to pre-order our Awesome Planner for 2015, which is a diary full of inspiring quotes and Awesome Tips for every month of the year. We’re aiming to ship all planners ordered now before the year’s end, so you’ll be set to fill all 135 pages with your awesome plans for next year!

If you don’t want to miss any inspiration or latest news (and there are a LOT of news a-coming), make sure you’re subscribed to our weekly newsletter!


Her Lovely Heart


December 1, 2014

Ask Marianne / 13 / How to engage your ideal clients

'Focusing on one ideal client gives your business a clear voice.' - Her Lovely Heart
In this series, Her Lovely Heart founder Marianne Taylor answers some of the burning questions submitted by blog readers, spanning everything from photography and business questions to personal mantras. Read on to find out what people are longing to know about…

I’ve been in business for a few years now, but I feel like I’m running around in circles desperately trying to please everyone, because I’m afraid of losing any potential clients. How will I reach my ideal clients without alienating everyone else?

First of all, you’re not alone. Where you are head and shoulders ahead of majority of small business owners however, is that you are aware of what you are trying to do, and how it might not be working in your advantage. It’s a natural instinct to feel like we should be everything to everyone in order to thrive and have enough clients, but not having a clear grasp on who you want to serve is actually counter productive. If you try to please every possible client out there, you won’t connect with those people who would be your ideal clients. You need to know who you’re communicating to in order to engage them.

1. Create a Target Client Persona

Creating a Target Client persona is one of my favourite things to talk about at my workshops. It’s such a valuable process, and the closer you get to the right persona, you will start getting excited about your business again. Even if you haven’t been to our workshops, you can use the Target Client Persona Workbook to help you with creating your persona.

2. Talk directly to your target client

Once you know your target client, talk directly to them! Do this with in all your communication, from the copy on your website to your visual identity and the products that you offer. Yes, you are right, this might turn some people off. That’s ok! Repelling some prospective clients is actually a good indication that you are on your way to creating a business and a brand that will excite your ideal clients. Focusing on one ideal client gives you a clear voice.

3. Make all decisions with your target client in mind

When you have a specific persona in mind, all your decisions become that much easier. You don’t have to endlessly weigh your options, as you know that if it’s the decision is right for your target client, it is right for your business.

4. Don’t worry about not pleasing everyone

It’s ok not to please everyone. There will be other business who will be a better fit for those who are not your target client, and you’ll have more energy and resources to pour towards the clients you should be working with. The more consistent you’ll get at attracting your ideal clients, the more fulfilled both you, and your clients will be, and the more your business will prosper.

Do you have a question about photography or running a business for Marianne? You can email your questions to submissions@herlovelyheart.com with the subject line ‘Ask Marianne’. The best questions will be answered on the blog throughout this series.
 

Her Lovely Heart


November 28, 2014

PROfile / 9 / Rosie Harbottle

Her Lovely Heart PROfile interview with Rosie Harbottle.
PROfile is a series of interviews with artists and creative souls who have built businesses around their craft and passion. We’ll dig deeper to try and find out everything you could want to know from seasoned pros who have experienced the full gamut of highs and lows that come from running a creative business.

This week we are interviewing Rosie Harbottle, a Devon based illustrator with a fun and whimsical style, which will brighten up anyone’s day. Here she shares with us how she accidentally became an entrepreneur.

What was your first ‘proper’ job and how did you land it? Was it what you intended to do as a career?

After university I got a job as a teaching assistant at an Art College on their Illustration and Graphic Design course. I had always been torn between going into teaching and being a designer, so it was a fantastic first job after I graduated. However, after only a couple of months in I landed a job with Paper and Cloth Studio and I knew I had to take it as it was my dream job!

Her Lovely Heart PROfile interview with Rosie Harbottle.

Has art always been in your blood?

Yes, my mother did fashion at college and is extremely creative, so from a very early age I was painting, drawing and making things. My family are all very creative as well; one of my brothers is a fantastic musician and used to be in Giffords Circus, my other brother is a brilliant painter, and most of my cousins are involved in the arts, so it seems only natural to be following this path…

Her Lovely Heart PROfile interview with Rosie Harbottle.

How did you know you were ready to have your own business?

To be honest, I didn’t, it kind of just happened for me! I had moved back to Devon, as I missed being near the sea and my friends and family. Lifestyle is very important to me you see. After the move I had take a job as a Graphic Designer in a local printers, which was a huge step down, and it did make me wonder whether moving back was the right thing to do. I was then made redundant, but it turned out that was the best thing that could have happened, as it forced me to go freelance, and I’ve never looked back!

Her Lovely Heart PROfile interview with Rosie Harbottle.

How did you go about starting your own business?

I worked really hard on my portfolio and CV and sent out a lot of emails. Within a week I secured a meeting with the London Tigerprint Studio who offered me a freelance contract, and it all took off from there really! My experience with Paper and Cloth was the biggest help, as without that studio experience on my CV I think I would have had a much harder time securing clients.

What is your typical daily routine like?

I try and start work between 9 and 10 every day. Some days I’ll work until midnight, others I’ll be more flexible. I will do admin first thing, such as answering emails and writing invoices, but I mostly try to let the day flow organically, as I work better like that. If I have a pressing deadline then I will be much more strict with myself and set myself mini deadlines throughout the day.

Her Lovely Heart PROfile interview with Rosie Harbottle.

What traits do artists have that help with running a business?

Passion! Though I’m not saying that it’s only artists that have passion, but I do believe this is one of the most important attributes to running a business. I also think the ability to think creatively and outside the box really helps too, especially with publicising yourself.

What does the process from a idea to a finished artwork and a product to sell look like?

I will loosely sketch a few ideas first, but generally with my personal work it will be an idea that I’ve had in my head for a while whilst completing commissions etc. With my freelance work I will have briefs that I have to follow fairly closely, I will create mood boards so I’m clear in my own head about direction. Sometimes so many ideas can be swimming around in my head that it’s hard to pin down just one. Once I’ve created a design, depending on who I’m working for, I may be asked to do a few tweaks or colour changes, and after that it’s down to the client to produce the finished product…

Her Lovely Heart PROfile interview with Rosie Harbottle.

Where does your love of pattern come from?

As I mentioned earlier, my mother did fashion and she has an obsession with collecting textiles and fabrics, so I was exposed to pattern and colour from a very early age. My mother’s obsession seems to have filtered through to me and I just adore finding beautiful prints wherever I go…

Her Lovely Heart PROfile interview with Rosie Harbottle.

Do you have an allegiance to a particular type materials or techniques?

I think I will always find myself going back to the humble pencil, but at the moment I’m loving mixing it up with watercolour as well. Many commercial Illustrators use a tablet and draw straight onto the computer, but I don’t think I could ever work that way. I really enjoy the whole physical process of putting pen or pencil to paper, drawing straight onto the computer feels far too removed for my liking…

Artists and writers often describe the compulsion to work – do you experience an overwhelming desire to create new artwork?

Yes, I do. Especially if I’ve had time off from creating. I don’t think that desire will ever leave me, it’s what drives me after all.

Her Lovely Heart PROfile interview with Rosie Harbottle.

Do you ever feel alone in your work?

I do, as I work alone from home. Most of the time it suits me, but I would like to move to a studio with other creatives, as I’m really rather sociable, and it would be nice to bounce ideas off other people from time to time.

How do you relax?

I love cycling. Throughout the summer I will try and get out on my bike every day for an hour to refresh. I’m lucky that I live close to the moors and the sea, so if I need to relax or re-charge I’ll go outside into the fresh air and take a walk. I love being active as well, as I’m sat down at my desk all day, just getting out there and doing a sport such as climbing or surfing really helps me relax…

Her Lovely Heart PROfile interview with Rosie Harbottle.

Where do you find inspiration?

I couldn’t possibly pinpoint as to where. Inspiration often strikes when you’re not expecting it, but I’m an avid pinner, and travelling and being out in the great outdoors is always a source of inspiration. I also find other designers a huge source of inspiration and motivation, if I come across an illustrator I love, it motivates me to create.

What advice would you give to your 21-year-old self?

Do what you’re passionate about, experiment and don’t worry too much about the future. I left a teaching degree at the age of 20, as I wasn’t ready for a ‘sensible’ job and went travelling. I was confused and wanted to pursue a creative career, and taking a bit of time out really helped me put things into perspective.

Her Lovely Heart PROfile interview with Rosie Harbottle.

What would you like to be remembered for?

For creating beautiful artworks and having a fantastic sense of humour!

What’s been the best moment of your career so far?

I’d say the moment when I could move out of my parents realising I was making a good living from doing what I love, whilst working with some fantastic clients. I pinch myself nearly every day!

Her Lovely Heart PROfile interview with Rosie Harbottle.
Photo: Marianne Taylor

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

The most rewarding part is when I’ve designed something that I’m really proud of, and hear that the client is happy too. Also, seeing my work in the shops is always so exciting, whether it be on kidswear or greeting cards, it’s all very rewarding!

Her Lovely Heart PROfile interview with Rosie Harbottle.

What have been the biggest challenges or obstacles you’ve faced in your business and how did you overcome them?

At the beginning, there was a lot of challenges, mainly money worries and doubts about whether I was really good enough to go freelance and whether I had enough experience. But I somehow just had to believe in myself and my abilities, push my work and show it to as many people as I could, whilst working around the clock taking on as much work as possible.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Be brave, work hard and fight for what you believe in!

Her Lovely Heart PROfile interview with Rosie Harbottle.

If you could have dinner with any inspiring person (past or present), who would you choose?

Oooh tough one, there’s so many to choose from! I think probably Anna Bond from Rifle Paper Co.. I have followed the company for a while now and seen her build such a beautiful brand, I would love to pick her brains!

Bonus!

Rosie has kindly designed a wallpaper for our Goodie Bag, guaranteed to cheer up any desktop!
Her Lovely Heart PROfile interview with Rosie Harbottle.
Free desktop wallpaper by Rosie Harbottle for Her Lovely Heart.

Click here to download this gorgeous wallpaper by Rosie: Download

You can see more of Rosie’s lovely work on her website, and follow lots of prettiness via her Instagram.

Her Lovely Heart


November 27, 2014

Yay! 1K followers! Thank you for loving our Instagram!

Pink balloons by Her Lovely Heart.

We’re in a party mood over on Instagram, as we got our 1000th follower last night! Thank you so much for loving what we’re doing!

Thank you for 1K Instagram followers.


Her Lovely Heart


November 26, 2014

Quote of the Week / 15

‘This world is but a canvas to our imagination.’
– Henry David Thoreau

This World is but a Canvas.

The amazing Mari Orr, who recently opened an online store selling her beautiful artwork, made something a bit special for out Quote of the Week this week. This original oil painting by Mari is just breathtaking, the colours lift my spirit to no end, so it’s definitely the perfect desktop wallpaper for dark winter days. And what a perfect quote to go with it.

This World is but a Canvas desktop wallpaper.
Free wallpaper download by Mari Orr for Her Lovely Heart.

P.S. from now on we’re combining the connected Goodie Bag and Quote of the Week posts into one, as it makes it a bit easier to find the associated downloads.

Designed for Her Lovely Heart by Mari Orr. You can also find her on Instagram.

Click here to download Quote Wallpaper by Mari Orr: Download

 
Do you have a design you’d like to submit for our Goodie Bag? Create one design, or example of a digital product, and email it to submissions@herlovelyheart.com with the subject line ‘Goodie Bag’. We’ll review your submission and get back to you if it’s a good fit for the site!
 

Her Lovely Heart