business, design, home decor, sweet oxen

Tomorrow – One Day Only Print Sale!

Get yourself over to the Sweet Oxen online store tomorrow for a one day print sale – huge discounts on prints, including 50% off the popular range of Circle prints.

print sale hi

There will also be further reductions on soon to be discontinued colour-ways and designs! Sale will end Wednesday 18th March at midnight. Enjoy!

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creative, design, graphic designer, illustration, sweet oxen

Changes

I recently decided to have a bit of a revamp of both my product range, and my website. I’ve taken out a few designs I’m no longer totally happy with, that no longer fit in with my collection and/or haven’t been as popular as others. I guess the key is to keep refining the designs within the collection so that they 100% reflect my own visual style, and will continue to complement designs I am currently working on. Some designs will be discontinued, and others will remain with changes to colour palette (for example my ever popular circle prints are now available in a more limited colour range).

Grey-Circle-Print

Sweet Oxen Grey Circle Print

I’ve noticed a huge shift over the last couple of years in my own taste in art, design, interiors and also fashion. Previously, I was pretty obsessed with pattern, and don’t get me wrong I do love geometric pattern very much, but I have completely veered away from stereotypical girly floral patterns in the last year or so, both in clothing and in our home. I’ve totally gone off it, and seem to prefer more the more minimal/clean/simple aesthetic.

Group-Shot-Cards

Sweet Oxen Greetings Cards

I’ve also made changes to my ever popular YAY! Occasion Cards. I’ve been so thrilled with the reception this collection has had but felt they needed a refresh going forward into 2015. To give them a revamp I have simply chosen a more varied colour palette to link through the range while giving each card design it’s own relatively gender neutral colour-way. Pink is not just for girls, and blue is definitely not just for boys.

Keep your eyes on the Sweet Oxen website over the next few weeks – I have some exciting new designs to add, and more to feature on the blog including my work for Young Gold Teeth, photo-posts and another ‘Obsessions’ post.

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artist, design, Etsy, evaluation, goals, illustration, illustrator, notonthehighstreet, review, sweet oxen

Things I learned in 2014

2014 has been the best year so far for Sweet Oxen with a big increase in overall sales and new customers, designs and challenges. It hasn’t been easy but I’ve enjoyed learning more about my business, visual style and myself.

Things I learned in 2014

Not following the same path as everyone else is ok

It is very easy to look at other people’s blogs, shops and social media and think…oh my god should I be doing that? But you are one person, and you can only focus on a few key ideas and projects at a time. Always ask yourself whether an idea is relevant to your business, and is it realistic?

Making mistakes is part of the process

If you aren’t making any mistakes it’s probably because you aren’t doing anything at all. It can very disheartening to realise a product hasn’t sold as well as expected, or to spend a whole day photographing products to realise they are not coming out right! Take a breath, and learn from it, and push on.

Make the most of free resources

Here I am referring to valuable online resources such as Codecademy, Youtube tutorials and online forums, where you can learn new skills and techniques for no monthly fee. There are also a huge number of free apps. For photo editing I use Afterlight, and productivity apps such as GTasks and Evernote make it easy to keep organised across many devices. I’ve found these have really helped keep my outgoings down which in the early stages of establishing a business is crucial.

Know when to outsource (if you can)

I have spent numerous hours on my product photos and I just wasn’t 100% happy with the results, and so I felt it was time to outsource to a professional! Enter Holly Booth, a fellow Derby Uni Graduate who has done an amazing job of my product styling and photography (a more detailed post on this to follow). They say that time equals money and if possible, it is better to pay to outsource to a professional, than spend so much time trying to get something to look how you want (and failing, in my case!). Those were hours I needed to spend on dealing with orders, developing my new website and I will now feel much more confident now I know my products have been photographed professionally, and look the way I want them to. Thank you Holly!

(Try to) focus on what you enjoy

There are aspects of all jobs that aren’t 100% enjoyable (accounts, I’m referring to you) but if you hate something and you’re only doing it because thats what you think you should be doing – re think it. I’ve realised recently I’m personally not enthused about celebrating Valentine’s Day, yet I feel a pressure to scrabble around developing more Valentine’s cards and gift products and sending press releases….because that’s what I think I should be doing. This year I’m going to focus on rushing less, and have more fun developing cards and products organically and ‘accidentally’ rather than forcing it.

Stay organised

As a notoriously disorganised person, I’ve had to really pull myself together with regards to keeping my receipts filed, sales logged and supplies well-stocked. There’s still more I can do (a big re-organise session is something I like to do once a month in the studio so I know exactly where everything is) but I’ve come a long way from the ocean of receipts floating in the bottom of my handbag.

Keep going

I’ve been known to have little blips every few months where I get impatient, consider going back to full time work and generally freak out, yet each time I think it the thought fills me with dread. I just couldn’t give this up now, and when I look back on my few first sales and products and see how far I’ve come I just know I have to keep on at it.

What have your lessons been from 2014? Let me know in the comments below!

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design, home decor, homewares, interiors, obsessions, sweet oxen, trends

November Obsession // Concrete

In recent weeks, I’ve been obsessing over the use of concrete in homewares and how damn well it works in lighting, planters and even furniture.

The concrete look, when combined with other current trends such as naturals woods, neon, metallics and the urban garden-style obsession with plants, cacti, succulents, is a visually effective contrast.


Benjamin Hubert

Benjamin Hubert | Heavy Desk Lamp

Bentu

Bentu | Contemporary Lighting Design

RoughFusion Concrete PlanterRough Fusion | Concrete Planter

KateMiss-Jewelry-Summer-Neon-product-pinkstripe

Kate Miss Jewelry | Handmade Jewelry

While I certainly don’t think I could quite pull off the ‘industrial’ sort of vibe in our current flat, or perhaps ever, I may still treat myself to a couple of concrete planters. For those on a budget there are options out there for DIY concrete furniture ‘hacks’ including lights, planters and even stools – however I may avoid making too much of a mess and just keep browsing Pinterest.

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british talent, creative, design, editorial, illustration, illustrator, lifestyle, music, vector illustration, younggoldteeth

HURRAH! Young Gold Teeth Launch

Apologies guys for the seemingly huge gap in posts. The last few months have been pretty manic but full of exciting new ventures, ideas and of course illustrations!

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I’ve recently taken on the role of illustrator over at Young Gold Teeth, which has been super fun and really got my brain and Illo skills playing together! I’ve produced a set of four illustrations that you can check out over at the site and on social media – themes including the Nottingham music scene, vinyls, fashion and of course the launch itself.

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Check out the newly launched site here for the best creative talent, from writers to artists to designers to musicians, and make sure you also follow on Twitter @younggoldteeth. And me too, obvs.

Fashion Mag-02

 

 

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Make sure you keep an eye on YGT and Twitter for the next instalment!

x

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business, creative, design, Etsy, greetings card, illustrator, new baby, notonthehighstreet, stationery, sweet oxen

New Baby Greetings Card Designs Now Available!

This week I added some new designs to my YAY! Greetings Cards range, including some new baby cards.

I wanted to meet the demand for the celebration of the birth of a new baby but without falling back on pink/blue stereotyping for baby boys and baby girls, so here’s what I did! I also included a ‘twins’ option as I don’t tend to see as many of those around, plus I really wanted to include a bright orange and blue design…



boy

 

twins

 

I also added a card for any older siblings that might feel left out – it’s really common for them to be a bit jealous of all the attention so why not buy them a card and gift too?
big sis

 

And last but not least, in view of my own parents 30th Wedding Anniversary last week, I thought it was about time I added an anniversary card to the range, in the ever popular three colourways – blue&pink, yellow&black and turquoise&grey.

 

anniversary

Enjoy! X

 

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