THE GLASSES THAT CONVERTED MY COFFEE

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This post was created in collaboration with Nespresso. 

Earlier this year I went to a class with Nespresso because let's be honest, my coffee knowledge was non-existent. As long as it wakes me up and tastes good, what else is to know? I was proven wrong. 

We started the tasting portion of the morning and they had all of my attention at the words 'coffee tasting'. We first started with an espresso in one of the Pure Espresso Cups. Then the coffee expert brought out these glasses that made me think we were about to have some red wine. They were instead the Reveal Espresso glasses designed specifically with different intensity coffees in mind. As he poured the same coffee as previously tasted in the espresso cup he said that we would notice a difference in taste between the two tastings. 

To be very honest I was super skeptical, but after the first sip I knew some sort of magic had taken place. Here I was tasting a espresso at intensity 10, which was so smooth and didn't make me secretly want to put a little milk in it. I walked out with a set and now every time a latte drinker is over, I make them try an espresso out of these glasses. Even for the most stubborn latte drinker, they are converted. 

If you're coffee of choice isn't usually a intensity 7 or above, the Reveal Range also has Mild & Lungo options. The shape is designed to perfectly to match the intensity of the coffee, giving you the best experience when tasting. 

Reveal Espresso Intense - For intensity 7 & Higher (My Current favourite is the Milano)
Reveal Espresso Mild - For intensity 6 & Below (My pick would be the Rosabaya De Colombia)
Reveal Lungo - For a longer pour (My favourite Lungo coffee would be the Vivalto)

From one coffee lover to another, if you normally don't enjoy the taste of espressos, you must give these glasses a try.  

jasmine x

 

TECH TALK: Camera, Computer & Software Reviews

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Cameras

Fuji X-T2 with 23mm F/2 Lens 

What I use it for.. Client Shoots, Blogposts, Print Photography etc. Whenever I need high quality imagery.

What I don't use it for.. When I am out and about on a normal day just shooting my life. 

Pros.. After using Michael's other fuji cameras, he converted me to Fujifilm & I really did not want to go back to a large DSLR camera. This is my eyes is the perfect medium, it creates beautiful imagery, you can switch out lenses but it isn't too chunky or heavy. This also feels like a great quality camera in terms of the build. 

Cons.. It is larger than the Fuji x100 ranges because of the lenses etc which for me makes it less travel and carry around friendly. Ideally I like a camera that fits into my smaller bags and this just doesn't. Not a huge con but something to think about. This is not a DSLR, so you cannot use your lens kits etc that you may already have. 

Alternatives.. If you want a camera that doesn't need interchangeable lenses, small to take with you everywhere - look at the Fuji x100 range. They are less expensive but great value for your money.

iPhone

What I use it for.. Most social media content. I love still using my iPhone camera for social content while I am out and about. For accessibility and ease of use the iPhone is perfect. 

What I don't use it for.. Client/Blog Imagery or in low-light situations.

Pros.. The best camera sometimes is the camera that is with you all the time, and my phone is always with me. It is easy to take photos without looking like you're taking the photo and you can instantly post online.

Cons.. Front facing camera still sucks and it doesn't perform well in low-light.


Editing Software

ON MY COMPUTER

Photoshop
What I use it for.. Cleaning up lettering scans for high resolution Image output. Any specialty photo editing like getting rid of dirt or mistakes. 

Illustrator
What I use it for.. Vector designing. I take my Lettering artworks into Illustrator when I need to vectorize the artwork. I do this manually as live trace can work against you sometimes. I also do all my logo design or graphic design projects in Illustrator.

Lightroom
What I use it for.. This is my most used photo editing software. I use this to adjust Exposure/Contrast/Saturation of Blue or Yellow to get a true white/Crop/Clarity or Sharpness. I like to use the brush tool for spot editing in Lightroom. 

InDesign
What I use it for.. I use this to create PDF for client proposals or drafts. I also use this for any document/print/book design.

ON MY PHONE

Snapseed
What I use it for.. I use this for on the go editing on my phone or iPad. This is a great app for everything from photo tuning or spot editing to brighten up a corner etc. This isn't the app if you are wanting to smooth out your skin or conceal any flaws but it is perfect for enhancing your phone photography. 

VSCOCAM
What I use it for.. Filters that aren't too intense. I am not huge on filters and I don't use them often but if I do I will go into VSCOCAM and use A6, but tone it down to it isn't at 100% filter. 

 

Computers

Since I got my first computer I have gone in-between desktop to laptop to desktop so I thought I would let you know my thoughts on both ways of working. 

iMac - 21.5 inch with upgraded hard drive

What do I use it for.. My life basically. It is probably the tool that gets worked out the most. I use it for everything work related from artwork post-production, image editing, admin, graphic designing etc. 

How does it change how I work.. I found switching back to a desktop this year meant I really kept more of my work in my studio. I am less likely to sit in bed doing emails or take work with me when I leave. It also has helped me separate my work life and my home life while both are under the same roof.

Do I wish I got the larger one? Sure they look more impressive but I really didn't need it. I was happier to spend the money on upgrading the insides of the desktop rather than getting the larger screen size.

Pros.. It cuts down my procrastination because I have to sit at a desk to use it. It runs really fast and it is basically one of my favourite purchases of the last year.

Cons.. Can't really take it travelling with you. Also the wireless mouse needs to be charged in the worst and most inconvenient way possible. Probably the worst product design I've ever seen from Apple.  

Macbook Pro

What do I use it for.. I used my MacBook pro for a good 4 years as my uni and work computer everyday and it has been very good to me. I use it now when I am travelling for work or feeling sick but still need to get work done. 

How does it change how I work.. It just meant I was more likely to take work all over the house. I didn't have as designated 'work' areas. 

Pros.. It is portable and fits into luggage. If you are going to pitches and meetings a lot this would be a better fit than a desktop. 

Cons.. The screen feels a little small now for post production of artwork. I was more likely to procrastinate because I could sit in bed/couch/kitchen table to use it. I don't use the newest MacBook Pro but they have a pretty steep price point.


Tablets & Accessories

iPad Pro & Apple Pencil

What I use it for.. I use this a lot of brainstorming, early stage concepts/drafts, personal experimentation or social media / blog content. I also take this with me when I am going away but not intending to do any design work. It is great for doing admin or editing images with the pencil. 

What I don't use it for.. Brush lettering. For me, I can't do digital brush lettering. For me it looks too artificial and I lose the reason I love brush lettering in the first place. Sometimes I like to play around with lettering styles on the iPad but never for final artworks. 

Pros.. Easy to travel with, great for quick mockups or brainstorming, easy to experiment because I don't have the fear of wasting paper, saving on paper for initial drafts, great for on-the-go photo editing. 

Cons.. The only major con I have for the iPad Pro & Pencil is that there is no friction between the pencil tip and the screen. You don't feel the texture of the paper. That lack of friction can really put me off some days. 

Do I need the pencil? If you are looking at a iPad Pro, you need the pencil. It makes the Pro worth while.


Scanner

Full disclosure, I only just bought a new scanner last week after my Printer/Scanner combo died after serving me well for 8 years. I previously used a HP Photosmart 2-in-1 for reference. 

EPSON Perfection Photo Scanner V370

What I look for in a scanner.. In scanners all I really care about is at what DPI can they scan up to. I scan everything at 600 DPI but to go larger than that is also handy. Scanners built for photography scanning is always a good guide too. 

Why didn't I get a printer/scanner combo? I was looking at getting the Canon G2600 combination printer and scanner but the scanning proportion just wasn't good enough. In house I only really print tests or mock ups of things so for me, printing quality isn't high on my list. I have all my artworks printed by a professional printer so I instead stuck to just getting a separate scanner only.

Pros.. It is more compact and slimmer than a printer/scanner combo. So far I love the quality of scans that come from this scanner but as I said, I have only had it for about a week.

Cons.. All scanners are ugly and take up valuable desk space but this can't be helped.

 


As always, this is just what works for me in my circumstances. It is always good to research and google the hell out of products before purchasing for yourself. Typing in Comparison between 'X Product' and 'Y Product' or Youtube Reviews are always helpful resources.

How good the photograph is, is not determined by how expensive/impressive the camera is. How good the artwork is, is not determined by the computer it ends up in. People can often get wrapped up in the equipment but often it is the person behind that equipment that makes the work great. You have it in you already. But sure, these things make our jobs easier. 

Hope this blog post answers a lot of your questions and let me know if there is anything I have forgotten below.

Jasmine x 

HERE COMES THE SUN

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Wearing: Amore Tee & Wide Leg Pant by Seed, Jacques Slides by Tony Bianco, Emery Sunglasses by Bailey Nelson 
& So Chaud Matte Lip by MAC. All available at Westfield Chermside.  

It is official, winter has left Queensland. As I pack away my knits for another 9 months I look towards my spring/summer wardrobe updates & must-haves. So I headed into check out the latest fashion offerings from Westfield Chermside. Some of my premium fashion favourites like Furla, Alice McCall, Tony Bianco opened this month in store and that was excuse enough to visit.


My Summer Must-Haves

THE T-SHIRT

Incase you are new here, tees are a must-have for me. They are easily my most versatile piece in my wardrobe so it's no surprise that when I found this 'Amore' Tee at Seed I had to make it mine. What is better than a plain white tee? A plain white tee with french on it.  

 

THE SLIDES

The easier the shoe the better in the warmer months. The slides mean you have one less obstacle between you and having sand between your toes when you hit the beach. I fell in love with these slides from Tony Bianco. They are cotton with a frayed edge. I love them so much I am thinking of heading back to get them in natural also! 

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MY UPDATE PIECES

WIDE LEG PANTS

If you haven't guessed by now I have been converted to wide leg pants. Normally I would call you crazy if you suggested I wear long pants in the summer months but the trick is a wide leg. In a light weight linen or cotton, they are the perfect update to your summer wardrobe. The wide leg style above from Seed won me over with an origami style waistline that folds rather than the typical drawstring or gathered waist band. 

COLOURED SUNGLASSES

Sunglasses are the easiest way to update your wardrobe for spring/summer. After trying on everything in Bailey Nelson I set my eyes on these yellow toned Emery frames. They instantly lift a simple outfit and brighten the face. 


What are your wardrobe must-haves & updates for the warmer seasons ahead?

jasmine x 

This post was created in collaboration with Westfield Chermside. 

VALIDATING YOUR CREATIVE PURSUITS

One of the things I think everyone who works for themselves in the arts can agree on, is the struggle to validate or justify our job. Even I catch myself trying slot myself into a box to justify that what I do is a career to someone who has no idea who I am or what I do. Then there is that point when you are in your studio and you are the one questioning your work. 'Why do I keep doing this?, 'why does anyone care?', 'why have I still not brushed my hair?' And all the other not so fun thoughts you have when you haven't seen another human in a while. We don't have a boss to tell us we are doing a good job, we don't get employee of the month or have closing hours that tell us our job is done for the day. So we try justify or validate our work to ourselves. Normally this takes place in three forms and I wanted to discuss why each of these forms are problematic and how I deal with them. 

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THE ADMIRATION BEAST

Do not get me wrong, I love sharing my work on social media. Sharing has become second nature in my process and there are so many good things that come from that but there are some negatives if you don't keep yourself in check. Nearly every creative I have spoken to has admitted that the work that they are most proud of, isn't the work being most 'admired' through their social media. It isn't the pink peonies. It is probably something people aren't used to seeing in their feeds, therefore doesn't get a double tap out of habit (come on, I can't be the only one who catches myself doing this). It is probably darker, or in colours that aren't on trend. But the trick is to remember that admiration for your work doesn't make it good so the lack their of doesn't make it bad. The more you depend on the admiration of others to validate your creative work, the more you open your creativity/work up to becoming diluted to suit the masses and that might not be where your best work lies. This doesn't mean you shouldn't listen to what the people want, but just question whether doing that will hinder your creativity and happiness. Remember you didn't quit your day job to do another job everyday you don't enjoy.  

MONEY

The second way we validate our creative careers is through money. How many jobs we have on, how busy we are, how many unread emails you can show in your Instagram Stories, How much money you made this month. I hate to admit it so publicly but one thing that I think about before I sleep is money. I worry that I haven't had enough invoices paid this month, why have I not made as much as last month, have I not been working hard enough? Which I know logically is ridiculous as I work my butt off everyday and I know that I am fine financially. I think it is because sometimes I fall into the trap of validating what I do for work by being paid for it. This isn't something that I think of everyday but when it is late, a couple of times a month those thoughts will creep in. As with admiration, it is problematic. A lot of the time you can not control when that job will finish or when your invoices get paid. Sometimes jobs you are really passionate about will hardly pay you anything, and sometimes jobs that take you less than a week will pay for the month. What has helped is figuring out how much money you realistically need to make. I found the bench mark I was holding myself to was way above what I needed. Once I realised this I only was concerned with making the amount I needed, then anything over that I wasn't allowed to waste time thinking about. 

I AM SO BUSY

I 100% convince myself that if I am not busy something is wrong. I think wanting to be busy is the combination of both of the above. In your mind, being busy means you are getting paid, it means people want to pay you (admiration) and you are doing a job. Not being busy with work honestly sends me into a state of anxiety but I have been trying to resolve this over the last 6 months. I first sat down and thought of the other jobs I have worked. There were lots of times where I wouldn't be technically doing any physical work while I was there but when I went home those days I didn't mentally punish myself for not making a huge impact at work that day. I didn't think 'Oh jasmine you sat googling random shit for an hour today, you are useless and shouldn't be in this career' I just went to bed and got up the next day and went back. So why punish myself if I spend an afternoon clearing out my drawers, or taking pictures of flowers that I may never use just because it isn't what others would consider 'work'. It's hard to change a 'busy is better' mindset. Instead I really value the particular projects that I am working on or have coming up rather than valuing how many projects I have coming up. I think about how I would like to spend my time. If spending an hour at a flower market mid-week makes my week better, I am not going to feel bad about that. I don't attend a lot of events just to get my face out there and talk about what I am working on because I know as an introvert I will be exhausted for the next 24 hours because of it. You have to look at how you want to spend your time, choose wisely and focus on that. You can't cannot compare your work day to someone who is in a typical office. 

SO WHAT NOW?

We aren't all screwed, we don't have to fall into validating our work by these three factors above. I think it is good as creatives to keep ourselves in check but admiration, money and how busy we are aren't always the healthiest ways to go about it. Instead I keep myself in check by asking myself the following;

Overall, am I happy with what I am creating? 
There are always going to be jobs that don't go as planned or projects you take on that you aren't thrilled about but overall are you able to do what you made you quit your day job in the first place. 

Am I making enough money to live off?
This cuts out any unrealistic expectation on what you think you should be making.

Is what I am showing on social media authentic to me?
If you don't truly like what you are posting than you are probably chasing admiration from others rather than staying true to what you like.

Am I busy enough that if I have an idea I can fit in time to pursue it?
Being busy is great, but if you don't have time to pursue your personal creative projects then you are probably too busy.

Hope I am not alone with the above ramblings and it helps some of you who may have felt the same at some point.

jasmine x 

 

ON THE BENCH

A few months back we renewed our lease on our home for another year. I'm sure if you're also renting you might have felt the same that the house wasn't going to be something permanent so you never really made it a home. When I first moved out of home I bought the basics, I didn't want to go crazy pinterest style because I didn't know what I wanted or needed and looking back I am so glad I didn't. Instead in the last few months we have been slowly adding pieces that we felt were missing and making decisions that felt the most like us. We picked up two mid-century chairs which are the most comfortable things I have ever sat on. We have my brother building us a minimal bed frame & I have switched out impulse clothes shopping for impulse plant shopping. 

The latest piece we have added is our bench. I live with a minimalist so we wanted something that could be versatile. For us it was the perfect piece of furniture that could chameleon as a tv stand, a coffee table, seating or for an artwork/art book display. Then I found the perfect one by Ethnicraft via Retrojan. It is a beautiful timber and has thick legs which can be positioned in multiple ways under the bench top. 

So I thought I would dedicate a post to my new love & style it up in new ways that don't include its usual purpose - seating. I hope this inspires you look at your versatile pieces and how styling can breathe new life into them. 

First up, the ACCESSORY Bench. 

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Notes; Bench via Retrojan, Marble Tray (similar here) Peace Print & Stay You Print
Details; Le Labo Fragrance, Palm Beach Candle, Posse Sandals (Blush), Gingham Sandals (on sale here) Lack of Colour Hats (shop here)

This concept would be stunning either in a entry way or your bedroom. Line up your hats along the wall (3M hooks will be your friend if you're renting), add some of your favourite prints, your perfumes, candles and even some of your favourite shoes and use them as decor. 


SEcondly, the bench bed head. 

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Notes; Bench via Retrojan, Marble Tray (similar here) Fingers Crossed Print, Bed Threads Linen Duvet
Details; Aesop Face Mist, Palm Beach Candle, Lack of Colour Hat (shop here), Nespresso Espresso Cup & Saucer, Old issues of RUSSH.

No bed-side table? No worries. Place a bench at either the head or the foot of your bed to store your bedroom details. A candle, a face mist, an espresso, books to flick through in the morning, what more do you need? I love that the feet of the bench and set in from the edge so that the piece of timber almost looks floating when you add your pillows in front. 


GO-TO PRODUCTS FOR AN INSTANT STYLE UPDATE

BRASS TRAY

BRASS TRAY

 
SLY CANDLE

SLY CANDLE

LINEN CUSHION

LINEN CUSHION


In the next few weeks I will be switching my studio room around to avoid the summer heat so let me know if you like these types of blog posts and I can shoot the studio next. 

Lastly, a huge thank you to Retrojan for working on this post with me

Jasmine x