Monday, 7 September 2015

Shortlisted for Blog Awards Ireland 2015- Public Voting is now open!

I started this blog, 'Petal to Petal' back in 2008 while I was still in college studying Graphic Design. I knew that I didn't want to work as a Graphic Designer and at the time I was unaware of different areas in the design world, like surface pattern design. Writing posts for my blog was my way of documenting the things that I was doing outside college and in my free time- what I really wanted to do.

I graduated from college, started another course and graduated as an Art and Design teacher and then moved to Berlin, Germany for two years. While I was in Berlin, I wrote about my experiences there, posting photos and writing about new projects and exhibitions that I was taking part in.

I was working in a great shop in Berlin but my dream was to work full-time on my artwork. I read a lot and love discovering different creatives, and I realised how hard it is to get your own work out into the world. Doing admin takes up so much time that many creatives don't get a chance to market their own products. Getting an agent is great but doesn't usually happen until you have a large and developed portfolio of work so it can be a bit of a vicious circle. Art agents also take a percentage of money for their work, which is totally understandable as it is their job to market and promote their artists, but a lot of small businesses can't afford that. I wanted to interview and promote small businesses like myself and to do it completely for free and in my own time. 

It didn't matter how established the business was- I had my own criteria and curated them based on my own personal taste. If I thought that the work was high quality, beautiful, distinct, unique and skillful then I would contact the artist and arrange the interview. I started getting e-mails from creatives all over the world asking me to feature their work but that wasn't the point of the Artist Features for me, it was important that I found the artists and curated the features myself without any outside influences. I tried to mix different disciplines so the features were enjoyable to read and not repetitive and the Artist Features covered illustration, print, surface pattern design, textiles, painting, jewellery, ceramics and more.

The Artist Features started to get great feedback so I decided to mix them up and interview some well known artists and I loved the fact that everyone was on the same platform and being promoted in the same way. I was delighted to interview one of my favourite artists, Rob Ryan, for the 30th Artist Feature in July. I don't like the idea of people only ever promoting their own work, and I really believe that there are so many amazing creatives out there that people should be talking about. 

I moved back home to Ireland last year and blogged about my reasons and experiences. Having trained as an Art and Design teacher, I got a lot of grief for not choosing not to be a teacher. It was important to me that I focused on my own work as that is what I really love to do. People don't often get to do what they love for work, but I believe that anything can be possible if you are passionate enough about it and are prepared to put the work in.

I got engaged and married last year so it was a busy one! I also created and launched new designs and products which can be an overwhelming but also an exciting experience for many creatives. I like to show insights to my life in the West Cork countryside with my lovely husband and our three little cats. As I work from home, I get to balance my home/ work life and spend as much time as possible with the people and things that I love. 

For the past three years I have been posting images and work that I find inspiring- photography, lovely shops that I have visited, work that I covet, adverts, music videos and songs that I love, art installations that have blown me away and beauty that I find in the small things. 

I hope that readers find my blog inspiring and unique. As I only blog about the things that I love, my blog is personal to me and an extension of my work at my brand Petal to Petal. I keep the blog updated and spend a lot of my free time trying to make it as enjoyable as possible to read so I was delighted to receive this e-mail on the 25th August:-

'Congratulations...your blog Petal to Petal has made it onto the Blog Awards Ireland 2015 - Long-list!
Your blog has been long-listed in Best Art & Culture Blog!!!'

Then while I was on a trip to London, on 2nd September, I received another e-mail:-

'Congratulations...your blog "Petal to Petal" has made it onto the Blog Awards Ireland 2015 - Shortlist (Personal/Individual)!!! Your blog has been shortlisted in Best Art and Culture Blog Category!!!'

I would like to thank everyone who reads my blog posts. Today, The Blog Awards Ireland 2015 has officially begun the public voting stage. This will stay open until 23rd September at noon and I would really appreciate it if you voted for my blog. You can do this by clicking the image below and you will be taken to the voting poll :)

Thanks for reading, and thanks for your support!

Lily x