“promises promises”

So I believe I promised some links to awesome things that get my creative juices a flowin’ all over the place. So here is one, I stumbled across it the other day. Its an article featuring a pretty freaking cool Japanese illustrator, like there are any other kind!?



“you were born on a full moon, but i’m the only one howlin'”

Today, being lost in the wilderness feels good, it feels like there are possibilities, and I am going to gobble them them up like the accomplished, competent sunofagun, that I am.

Today was the first day back at work after 2 weeks off. Two weeks of chilling, sleeping and horrendous intensive CV writing boot camp.

The talented girlfriend, and I have been sending each other newer and improved versions of my CV each one covered in highlighted sentences, paragraphs, and bullet points. Each version with a little more written in, or adjusted, or tweaked.

I attached my official current job description to send to her, to get a better idea of what I do, it brought about her, asking me lots of questions about every point on there, and then distilling my garbled answers into something resembling professional sounding writing.

Suddenly I am aware of just exactly how much i deal with on a day to day basis in my place of work, suddenly i feel like i can do this job standing on my head.

I turned up today, first day back from holiday, feeling……..well….. sparky! Like I can do anything.

I was calm and collected, considering how totally messed up all the communications had been regarding the current offers, and how bad, the replen is, and the fact the CEO decided to pop in while i was away, i barely broke a sweat.

Me and my managers walked the floor, discussed the store, and the set up, and I had the answer for everything, while they seemed to be flapping and stressing and worrying. Hence the title of this blog entry by the way (these guys are supposedly bona fide, born in the blood, “i’ll die if we dont make over ‘x’ amount by lunchtime” sales managers) I’m just a pretend visual manager. Most of the time. My managerial status is a convenience that I overlook. Today I knew it all.

I was the calm little centre of the howling retail tornado.

Working through my CV with the girlfriend, in the detail that we did, describing things and re-describing them in different ways, to get them sounding, appropriate.  Its changed my perspective on what I can, and frequently do, do.

I also have a Kick ass CV to send out now, and THAT my friend, THAT gives me a little more swagger to my step!

Hey, how does this work?

So this is a new thing for me, an attempt to try to get some direction, some clarification, I have drive, I have enthusiasm, but so far I  have just been spinning. I  need to get off polar north and start pointing myself at something.

That is why I am writing this.

I am going to post anything that gets my passion fired up, link to anything I find fascinating, artwork, architecture, photography, theatre, interiors, tailoring, upholstery, bikes, music, film, news, anything really.

I’m sure this is going to end up being terribly narcissistic, but that’s never stopped me before. This isn’t for you, dear reader, this is for me, If you happen to like it then thats all well and good!

I should start with some back ground.

I am recently 31 years old, I live in south London, and i do mean south, so far south it is debatable whether it is actually london at all, my loving girlfriend, refers to  it as bumfucknowhere, I kind of agree with her.

I studied 3D designer maker (BA) at uni, which always begs the question.

‘So you do stuff with computers, 3D auto cad drawings and the like?’

To which my standard reply is.

‘No, it means you gain an extensive collection of wooly cardigans, grow a beard and throw pots in your shed, which you flog to some local gallery, all this whilst probably smoking a pipe.’

This is Grossly untrue, and very unfair of course, some of my fellow graduates have gone on to do great and wonderful things with their degree experience.  I merely floundered a bit, and ended up in the ceramics department because it was the only department that didn’t shut for 2 hours every lunchtime (thank you woodwork/metalwork technicians!) where I made slab built pots that were structural, and heavy, and massively impractical for making any kind of money out of.

You start to see the embryo of  my dilemma!?

This is all sounding VERY  negative I should explain that I do love design, textures thrill me, color dances across my eyeballs and make my heart pound, I love the smell of sawdust, and the ozone that surrounds an active welding torch, the heat of the furnace and the depth of a glaze, have a ludicrous effect on my state of mind.

After Uni I was living in Devon and fell into a sales job with a well-known British furniture and home accessories shop, I was very good at it, but it wasn’t what i wanted to do, I was surrounded by intersting people, gorgeous product, beautiful furniture and textiles, but i was dealing with customer complaints and selling things.

I left and became, like my father, an upholsterer, for a short time, which paid well enough, i got to make things, and use the parts of my brain that give me satisfaction, no, not that bit. But the people were, well….. They were a bit, umm……. how do i say this. They were all lovely, and total craftsmen every one, but…..Well they were all men, they all read the sun, and the main topic of conversation was tits (i love ’em too but i don’t go on about it) and football. I’m afraid I’m not a fan.

Alas for reasons other than my career, I decided to move to London where I quickly found a job at another branch of the aforementioned furniture shop and became a Visual merchandising assistant, JOY!

I loved the job! I didn’t have to deal with (too many) customers, I was painting things, building things, using my aesthetic preferences!

I soon got promoted and moved to my own store and put in charge of the visuals I had my own assistant! I was a manager! I learnt people skills, I taught the staff about the seasonal themes,  I gave the room sets identity, I would dress the windows, I got to design the layout of the store. We had a refit and I pretty much re designed the whole store myself! (bloody architects couldn’t draw an accurate blue print to save their lives, I ended up doing a better job after their 3rd attempt came up shonky!) I am immensely proud of what I achieved during that period of time. I pretty much project managed a £35000 store refit.

Fast forward to now and I am at a cross roads. The Job has changed, it is no longer fun, there is no more creative freedom, briefs are vague last-minute, leaving no time to plan anything, and there is no communication, there are fewer members of staff to help set things up, the enforcement of these vague briefs has become draconian. (read between the lines and interpret it but DO IT THE WAY WE MEANT, OR ELSE!)  Also I am sick of working on Christmas eve and getting paid bugger all for thrashing myself daily.

In short it is time to move on.

But to what?

Interior design? Regional visual managing? Set design? Props making? A head office role devising briefs?  Go back to uni and study something else? One thing I know and that is, i need to get the hell out of retail. Gentle reader it is time for me to get my arse in gear and get that compass pointing at something more rewarding.