Thursday, 13 December 2018

Chit-Chat with Emma Bartley! | Collab with EB Designs ☆

Today I'm back with a brand new collaboration, or better yet, a fresh face to add to the Creative Youth Archive. If you're unsure of what that is, the CYA is essentially just a bunch of creative young adults who I interview and discuss their hobbies and talents with. You may remember Swedish makeup artist Tova, South African musician Reuben (who recently launched his own EP!) and Dutch illustrator Yasha. 
Today we're meeting Emma, an entrepreneur, girl boss (and just general badass) from England. I had found her account via a mutual person we follow on Instagram and I started a conversation, but it wasn't until a few months later that we started talking and I discovered Emma's hobby turnedbusiness. I knew at once that I had to interview her for the Creative Youth Archive section on my blog, so of course I had to reach out to her. To my delight, she said yes! We all know how excited I get for collaborations like these and it's so wonderful to see young adults be creative and do things they love. Below is the result of my chit-chat with Emma, I hope you enjoy and if you'd like to be featured, contact miahkeleigh@gmail.com!

 
Who are you and where are you from?
My name is Emma Bartley, I am 23 years old and live in Liverpool city centre, England.



What is your hobby and how did you discover it?
My hobby is glass marbling, painting mixed & messy patterns on glassware, plantpots, candles etc. I was making a birthday gift for my friend Elly and was feeling a bit stuck with a lot of the things I seen in stores, so I was going to attempt to make something for her. I had just been to IKEA recently and bought some stemless wine glasses and thought I could paint them, to jazz them up a bit. So, I began traveling through Pinterest to find an easy way to paint on them. I found that nail varnish was getting used a lot so I began marbling the glasses with nail varnish and really loved the effect! I posted a picture of them on Instagram and got a load of messages asking if I sell them. I began looking into how I could actually paint them and make it durable enough to be more than a hobby.


 


Are your designs something you’re trying to pursue professionally?
Yes, definitely! I’ve always been interested in abstract art and found this really therapeutic and fun so I wanted to do more of it. I’m constantly looking for new paints or glazes as I haven’t seen anyone else really doing exactly what I am doing but I would love to continue it as long as possible.



How did your glassware end up in one of your favourite bars in Liverpool? 
On Berry St in Liverpool, there is this beautiful little French wine bar that feels so homely and lovely. They play live music all throughout the week, have lots of plants and fairy lights about and whenever I’m there I feel a bit like I’m at home. I was posting my glassware on Instagram and received a message from Paul, the owner of Petit Cafe Du Coin, when I was first started posting pictures and he asked if I could do a set for the bar which I obviously jumped at!



Do you sell your items online? Yes, I take orders through Instagram mainly, but I am looking into setting up an account on an established website (such as Etsy) to make things run more smoothly.

What inspires you and keeps you motivated to keep designing? 
Colour inspires me, I just love messy abstract art. I’ve always loved just throwing paint on a canvas and making something for my bedroom but with this it feels a lot more refined. I really love the idea of small little pieces of chaos, livening up a corner with a marbled plant-pot. Seeing my pieces in use motivates me to continue. Although it’s hard with a full time, pretty demanding job, I just remember that I always feel better after a bit of painting.





How long does one piece take to do? Can you elaborate more on the process? 
It really depends on what the project is for example the glassware I made for Petite Cafe Du Coin (PCDC) took a lot longer than expected as it had to be fully glasswash safe and the paints that are made for the most pleasing marbling visually wouldn’t last. The batch of 24 took me about two months, but now that I have done all my research and know what paint and specific techniques to use for the glasswash safe paint, I am able to do 24 glasses in two weeks. The plantpots are a lot less time consuming and can take a week to make and let cure. Depending on the effect I am going for I will either hydro drip or just create a marbling bath and play with paints until I am happy with the design and colour intensity and transfer it onto the desired item.

According to your Instagram you do glassware, plant pots and candle holders but also offer custom pieces. What kind of custom pieces have you done?
Most of my items are custom pieces and mainly glassware, but other things I have created are Christmas baubles, hanging candle holders, makeup brush holders, vases and jewellery boxes. The PCDC set is definitely the biggest order I have taken so far, but other custom items are sets of marbled Prosecco glasses for housewarming gifts, plant pots that people choose their own colours and style. I prefer to do custom pieces as the items feel more personalised.

Have you ever created designs for you personally?
Yes, definitely, I have a lot of plantpots in my apartment that I have made myself, wine glasses and candle holders. Anytime I test out something new I would like to sell, I begin by making what I would want and then use that as a base point to improve. 

What is your favourite design this far?
I love my Jade & Amber glassware tumbler sets but I definitely love the plantpots the most. I have over 20 plants and love anything plant related. I have found that due to plants being a bit of a trend now, most plant shops in Liverpool at least try and make as much as they can off the trend and put plantpots at ridiculous prices. To be able to make interesting plantpots at a cheap price is definitely my favourite thing.

Fancy staying up to date with Emma? Have a look at her personal Instagram here and her design Instagram here.

Love always, 

Miah

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Through Kotryna's Lens || Collaboration with Kotryna Juškaitė ☆


The Great Ocean Road, Australia, 2016. Shot on film.


A few days ago I posted on my Instagram story that I was looking for new creative individuals to add to the Creative Youth Archive, a section on my blog featuring various, talented and badass creatives from all around the globe. It's been a hot second since we've interviewed a photographer though, which is why when Kotryna's  sister told me about her, I had to have a little stalk on her Instagram. I cannot emphasize how excited I am about today's collaboration. Kotryna's landscape photos make me feel. They capture my childhood roadtrips, even though they are photos taken from a car I've never sat in and taken of places I have never been too. There's a sense of nostalgia, familiarity and happiness. After a few e-mails, scrolling through posts and double-taps on Instagram, I finally got the chance to get interview Kotryna. 


Please tell us about yourself! Who are you, what do you do, what makes you interesting?

My name is Kotryna. I call myself a photographer of little things and places. Lithuanian, lived in the UK, Australia and Sweden (currently based in Stockholm). Also addicted to traveling. These experiences of living abroad have opened up my mind and eyes. I learnt to love the little moments and see beauty everywhere because that is the best way to be happy. Photography is the best tool to share happiness with others and by capturing an image you can make the viewer feel what you felt at that moment.

I also do graphic design, which has helped me realize that I have a huge passion for photo books. I started making them and love it as it allows you to tell stories and guide people through narrative imagery even if you have collected images from completely different places.



Do you do photography and graphic design as a hobby or a career (or both)?
Layers of Sand. Egypt, 2016.


I do a bit of photography and graphic design at work but not as much as I would want to yet. Mainly creating content for social media. I like the freedom that photography and graphic design provides me with and I now really enjoy working on my personal projects. It is sometimes hard to balance with work but hey everything is possible if you try hard enough.



What kind of camera equipment do you use and do you have a shooting strategy?
Sisters, Tenerife, 2017.


I actually shoot both, digital and analogue. A few years ago back at university when I got into analogue, nearly all of my projects were based on images taken on film. I like this technique as it provides one with certain limitations. I shoot in black and white mostly, which forces you to pay attention to details, shadows and shapes rather than the whole image itself. Digital gives you the freedom to shoot faster, you get to see your photos sooner and it’s free of course. The thing I love about it is editing. I use Adobe Lightroom to achieve the best result. For analogue I use a small Canon z135 and a digital Nikon D5100.

 
What’s your favourite thing to take photos of and why?

Parents and Brother on a mountain in the desert of Egypt, 2018

Landscapes because they make you feel like the world is an incredibly huge place full of the unknown and my family because they are beautiful and they trust me, so all images of them come most naturally.

How do you educate yourself to take better pictures, or if you don’t research, how do you find what you like? In other words, where do you draw inspiration from?
My main source of inspiration is traveling. Doesn’t matter if that’s to another side of the world, or just a few blocks away from home. If I get stuck, I know what I have to do is take my camera and go wherever my feet take me. Because as many people say, you never know when you will see something incredibly magical, so it is always handy to have a camera by your side.


Layers of Nature, Tenerife, 2017

Other places where I get inspiration from are books, so any places that have them including libraries, bookshops at art galleries or those on some corner of a small street.. Anywhere really, inspiration comes if you search for it or sometimes if you don’t, if you talk to someone new, if you look at other artists work, if you look at some unknown newsletter.

What is your favourite photo that you’ve taken?
Good question! I cannot answer this for sure, I like quite a few of my photos just because they mean something to me or because they made me realize how beautiful something is. But one that comes to my mind right now was taken on an afternoon walk along the coast from Bondi to Coogee Beach in Sydney, Australia in 2016. 

Rays of Sunshine, Australia, 2016


The sun was still up in the sky and I managed to capture the rays of sunshine coming through the tiniest holes of a heavy branched tree. I think this was the first photo that got me excited about looking out for more such moments and angles of the sun.

What motivates you to keep taking pictures?
I think one of the motivations is sharing my photos with a wider audience. And of course just taking photos for myself, for a bad day for example, so I could look at that picture later and smile just because of how much beauty there is and often we get so caught up that we don’t notice it anymore.



I’ve noticed you have a lot of landscape photos; what about landscapes do you find beautiful to capture?
Landscapes have powers, the can make you feel small, they can be incredibly full of life or very empty or a complete mess but they always have beauty in them. Different is beautiful. 

Staring into the never ending ocean. Australia, 2018.


Have you ever considered making a zine?
I have made some publications in the past and keep on meaning to do more but somehow got caught up in life and haven’t made anything in over 7 months now. I want to do more!


What are your favourite Instagram accounts?
@agotyte
@ifyouleavestagram
@photocinematica

 If you'd like to have a look at Kotryna's work, be sure to have a look at her portfolio and her Instagram

I hope you have enjoyed today's post - if you know of any creative individuals you'd like to see featured on my blog, send an email to miahkeleigh@gmail.com or DM me on Instagram

All my love, 

Miah

Thursday, 6 December 2018

L'Elegante Femme Unboxing | [Sponsored]





I am super excited about today's  post as it's a collaboration with L'Elegante Femme ! If you are unfamiliar with L'Elegante Femme, they are an online lingerie boutique based in the US. Aside from lingerie, they also sell gorgeous loungewear, comfy activewear and super cute pajamas! 



In addition,  L'Elegante also offers swimwear, accessories and bridalwear in a variety of sizes and colours. I am so happy that they reached out to me as I support their message of every womxn feeling good in their own skin, no matter the shape or size. They've been so kind as to send me a gorgeous item from their collection so today I'm unboxing it and sharing my first thoughts with you!

The piece I received is called the 'Pink Lace Trimmed Satin Teddy' and mine is in a size S. At first glance, I thought it was stunning - the lace adds a bit of sexiness to an otherwise sweet and very girly item, plus the colour gives me absolute princess vibes.






What I love most about this item is how soft it is. The product is valued at USD $25 (€22) and is an absolute steal for the price like many other gorgeously glam items on the website. What I love most about this is that L'Elegante Femme is making it affordable for college students, whether you want to buy underwear, pajamas, swimwear or accessories, they've got you covered!



There weren't any cons when trying the item on. It fit well and the quality is really good. I can only think of perhaps working on the packaging, as right now the item I received came packaged in a standard white envelope. This is a very minor detail, though. I know many people find lingerie posts controversial and sometimes even vulgar, I am all for embracing my body, sharing new finds and supporting businesses and brands whose messages align with my morals and values. I truly adore this item, this brand and wouldn't have partnered with L'Elegante if I didn't. 




Overall, my favourite about this piece is that it is adjustable for your comfort. It's also versatile as you can tuck it into a pair of jeans so it looks like a top, a trend of whose bandwagon that I have yet to jump on. I am extremely happy with my satin playsuit, how perfect that it arrived a few days before Sinterklaas!


What did you think of today's post?  Let me know in the comments!

Love, 

Miah