journal

the story of April

04.29.17

I can’t quite believe we are saying goodbye to April already. How? Actually my blog turned 2 at the end of March though I forgot to mention it, it doesn’t really seem like a birthday noteworthy enough to celebrate. I am really just giving it a nod in a moment of ‘that went really quickly’. My first post here still makes me chuckle, I really had nooo idea what to write.

Bizarrely one of the things that has struck me most about April is how it hasn’t rained here. Only a couple of showers and nothing that really even watered the garden. I know I live in the sunniest town in England and all that (when I last checked we had the most recorded hours of sunshine in a year, I am not complaining!) but where is the water for my flowers…? Hmm.

I was really excited to be invited to join local artist Jessica Zoob at her studio this month along with a small group of creatives to see her new work. I have admired Jessica’s paintings for a good few years and it was a real treat to be able to meet both her and them. Jessica’s new painting is enormous, painted over 7 canvases which are each large enough to fill an entire wall in my house and utterly beautiful!

Jessica was very welcoming and gave us free run of her studio (imagine that! Amazing) and I took so many photos that I will share soon – including some of the new paintings. I met a few familiar names too, which is always something I love. Being able to finally put a person to the online name I’ve know – in some cases – for years. I left at the end of the day feeling really very inspired.

For now I will share just one photo (above) of one of my favourite collections in the studio. It simply makes me happy. The colours…

a new logo

Oh and have you met my lovely new logo? When I originally set up a website just over three years ago we found a font on the internet that I liked. Then used that. Not exactly the most well considered thing about my business which is funny since it’s integral to brand image isn’t it? It’s taken me a few years to get my head around needing a ‘proper’ logo but now I have one I’m really happy with, it kind of makes sense.

It was designed by Ryn Frank who put onto ‘paper’ a gabbled collection of thoughts I had about how I might want it to look. She works magic. I was spoilt for choice. As for the finished design, I love it!

one day in london…

You may have seen that I made a trip to London mid month to attend an event organised by Whalar at Facebook HQ. Whalar are an influencer marketing agency, essentially they introduce brands to photographers and Instagrammers who will then create content for social media – folk like me. It was an  interesting afternoon and the session run by Instagram in particular was really positive.

A few of us asked about “the algorithm”. Of course. Although I don’t think it is just one algorithm and it has been ever changing in the four years I have been Instagramming anyway. This version/these versions is/are different. My thoughts are this, reading a little between the lines here, that for Instagram it has so far been a big success story with many more people joining the app (a really huge growth in the months since it was rolled out) and users spending more time on the app than they were before.

My business head can see that this means there is no incentive at all to change things back as it has been a positive change for their overall statistics, but my creative heart feels ever more frustrated at the wall of lower engagement I seem to hit all to often.

Reaching a new audience seems to be harder than ever before, growing a following (I’m being honest here because I know a lot of us have lost the growth in new followers over the last 6-9 months) frustratingly slow and I still can’t help having mixed feelings about the motivations behind them changing the app so drastically. For those of us who have been dedicated to Instagram for years it is the worst incarnation of algorithms, of the app, yet.

As always I am trying to find the positive side of this particular aspect and there are great things to be said. Perhaps lower engagement means we have a little more freedom to post what we fancy, to try new things. The pressure to post regularly has also changed, there are actually advantages to being more sporadic in approach. That’s a lovely thought! And one I will explain my reasoning behind soon. As I mentioned I left feeling really positive and have stayed so since, this is a time of different opportunities, we just need to shift our thinking to fit the current version of Instagram rather than hoping they will maybe have a change of mind and remember we are the people they need to use their app in the first place.

I’m still processing all the information we were given so I may come back to this again later. In the meantime lets just enjoy this incredible wisteria in Notting Hill which I took a diversion to see on my way to the event…

A few other lovely things of note this month include…

time for tea?

A beautiful gifted package which arrived from JING Tea. Inside was a tea infuser, a timer and 3 types of tea for me to try. Whilst I’m still not utterly convinced about floral flavours (rosebuds I’m looking at you…) I can honestly say the Peppermint tea is the zingiest I’ve ever tasted with such a different flavour to some off the shelf supermarket teas. I wonder if that is due to its freshness? Anyway, if you are a tea lover like me, I suggest you have a look at their website and maybe try some for yourself.

And then there is this rather beautiful Etruscan jug I was gifted from Burleigh’s newly launched Black Peacock range. You can find the full range here. I can see this beauty being filled with blooms all summer long…

And finally, I use the word lovely too often. But then it has been a very lovely month in many ways.

J x

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9 comments on “the story of April”

  1. Love the new logo! I’ve been meaning to work on one for me for ages, but my focus keeps shifting…. I was sorry to miss the Jessica Zoob event – we were on the long journey back from Cornwall. But I got to visit last weekend – I always find my visits so inspiring. And please can we have some rain!!

  2. Lovely April, indeed! I am looking forward to the post from the studio. Interesting thoughts on the IG algorithm (I totally feel you!) and breathtaking images from spring London! I needed that positive energy today, thank you Julia!

  3. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the algorithm. My following is teeny tiny but I have noticed very strange things and have been having to search out people who I always engage with. That being said, it isn’t my livelihood and it’s so wonderful to see your positive thought processes on something you have invested time, energy and considerable effort into growing. I will be following your example xx
    The canvases are absolutely stunning, those colours are so calming and yet spark joy, emotion and are so energising.
    The logo is so beautiful, it’s whimsical, delicate and clean and reminds me of your beautiful styling – a perfect fit! xx

  4. Really interesting, Julia, and I look forward to hearing more of your thoughts about being more sporadic in posting habits. And those tea shots are beautiful! Really like the new logo too.

    Skye x

    1. Thanks so much Skye, I’m working on a post and have a head full of ideas so hopefully some of it will be useful to others too! The tea, it’s delicious and my new logo is something I’m really happy with so thank you again!

      J xx

  5. Lovely logo, lovely you, lovely tea, and woosh it was May! There thought I’d get a few lovelies in for you.

    Jx

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