Thursday, September 14, 2017

The birth story of MADE by jagged

Starting Jagged Daisy design and photography was a non-decision. I studied graphic design, copywriting and advertising art and had been working as “graphics girl” for a few years in the corporate world. My hubbie, a computer geek, and I decided that we would like to have kids at some point and we both liked the idea of a parent that can have a more flexible schedule. So, weighing up pros and cons of each of us leaving our “safe” jobs (I love making lists) and starting our own venture, it just made sense that it would be me. This was 2004, and in 2008 our son was born. 3 years later our daughter made her appearance. A few years later a close friend of mine, Cornelia, pushed me to add my photography as a more official service to my line-up, and in 2013 I opened my home based studio.

Now I’m not gonna go into an extended tangent of how hard it is to work-from-home and balance kids and family life. Or that the idea we have of being able to sleep until noon and work until 2 in the morning quickly shatters (I’m a night owl, but most of the business world aren’t, so 7am I’m up, usually). That’s not the point of this post. Most of the time my design business does well enough to pay the bills, and I do mostly have the flexibility to be at home when a kiddo gets the sniffles.

But, as I guess happens with most long term relationships, I got a bit of an itch. Nothing to serious. Not, “I wish I became a lawyer” or anything. (Side note: my brother wanted me to become a lawyer and work at his firm. I think he liked the idea of having his little sister as a sidekick.) My itch stemmed from the fact that I had little to show for what I do. Yes, I see the logos I design on a store front or a business card, but although I designed it, it is my client’s. I see adverts I design in newspapers, even hold pamphlets and brochures in my hands. I can hop online and look at websites I built. But none of it is mine. And most of it fleeting. After the event, the posters I designed are taken down and probably end up in a bin. Hopefully a recycling bin.

“Sometimes in the digital age I feel I need something to hold on to….” 

A couple of years ago, while having sushi, a co-photographer friend of mine (Hennie from Cadmus) asked me, “what art have you made lately?” Say what? I’m a designer, not an artist! was my first reaction. (The “I am an artist” post is a post of another day.) But he insisted. “I designed and made a doll…” I offered and showed him a pic on my phone. He was super excited, and almost strong-armed me into a Facebook page.


Not long after an artist friend, Talita Olivier, showed me her work and told me I should draw. I can’t draw… was my first response. I was met with a blank stare. She introduced me to Zen Tangle and I was inspired. I have followed the Zia route – Zentangle inspired art – and never looked back. At some point I even noticed I can paint...



It is somewhere there that I realised; I want to have something in this world that I made on my terms. Not according to a client brief, but according to my (he)art. And that is the birth of MADE by jagged. I am still very happy to do design, writing, websites, photography as per the “rules” of my Jagged Daisy business, but with MADE I can expand into touchable, feelable, artsy things that I’m inspired to make on my own terms. And if I’m lucky, my art find its way into the hearts and homes of others and bring them joy.




MADE has grown. This year (2017), my mom-in-law (Cherry-Bee) and sister-in-law (Cally) has joined me with MADE by jagged. We are launching our on-line shop and crafting up a storm. And at night, when I close my eyes in by bed, there is a little fleece bunny next to me, keeping my warm and reminding me what I have MADE…

Love, art and happiness.
xxxSuki

Jagged Daisy website
Jagged Daisy Facebook

MADE by jagged website
MADE by jagged Facebook

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Taking pictures: use your feet

Today's tip is a two-in-one.

Not only will it help with your photography, it also has some cardio vascular benefits...

Don't always just stand in the first spot you get to and take your pictures from there...

Move around and find a different angle (higher or lower), frame it differently (move left or right), get more details (walk closer) or show more context (walk further away).

"Looking" for the photo rather than just sticking with taking the first thing you see, will give your photos a whole new approach. And you will get some exercise ;)

Any tips you would like to share?

Please add them to the comments!

xxxS




Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Mmmm, Chilli hot chocolate...

If you are in or near Cape Town, you probably noticed the cold, cold weather today... and I'm fighting back with hot chocolate.

A couple of years ago I found a recipe for chilli hot chocolate, a perfect thing to beat the winter chill (pun, anyone?).

The thing is, this recipe (although absolutely delicious) involved chillies, cream, dark chocolate and one or two other things I cannot remember right now. It involved infusing, straining etc etc, and other than that I probably don't have cream in the house. This is just too much trouble; in all honesty, if I want a cup of cocoa I want it now, not four hours from now. (That includes going to the shop for the ingredients and getting distracted by shoes. Okay, 5 hours.)

So my husband came up with a rather eloquent solution: and it comes in the form of Lindt chocolate slabs. (I don't know about you, but I need no excuses to add a couple of those to the weekly shopping list.) So here we go (and imagine me drinking a cup while writing, coz I am...).

Lindt Chilli Hot Chocolate (as per Gavin)

 2 blocks of Lindt Chilli dark chocolate (from a 100g slab)
1 block Lindt 70% dark chocolate (from a 100g slab)
mug with milk
microwave
spoon

Break block of chocolate into smaller pieces and add to milk. Microwave for 1 minute, stir. Microwave another minute*, stir again. Drink and make mmmmmm sounds.

*1min, stir, 1min, stir, works for me, but this might be different for your microwave, so maybe try a bit shorter to start and watch carefully, you do not want the milk to boil, just get nice and hot. Taste with caution.

This combo gives me that hint of chilli that I like, but if you prefer more of a bite, go chilli chocolate all the way.

The cream infusing recipe I mentioned above is more rich and luxurious, but for a quick fix, this will be hard to beat.

Keep warm
Suki


PS If you do believe you have a better quick hot chocolate recipe, please let me know
xxxS





Thursday, June 18, 2015

Hold your loved ones in the palm of your hand

For Valentine’s day I had a session promo that included the most adorable little photo book. At the time I was only going to use it for that one promo, but every one that has seen it has raved about it so much that it will now be a regular item.

The 7.5x7.5cm mini accordion album can easily fit in your handbag, and has become a fast favourite of grandmothers ;) Opened up they measure 45 cm.

It can fit up to 12 square images (10 pages plus the 2 covers) or you can let the images span over multiple squares for greater impact.

I still absolutely love to design these little gems, and love seeing people’s reactions when they receive them.

So keep them in mind for your next photo shoot, or if you want to get one for a previous shoot we have done, let me know: suki@jaggeddaisy.co.za




Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Add colour to your day

I've got a thing for butterflies... So after chatting to Talita, a Zentangle artist (more on her soon), I was inspired and decided to draw, well a butterfly.

So this is my zentangle-inspired-art (T calls it Zia, coz she's smart that way).

Download it, print it, colour it in, stick it on your wall, turn it into a card, make it yours.

And once you are done, pop me an email (suki@jaggeddaisy.co.za) with a photo of what you did - I wanna know!

Download now!

For personal use only.

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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Print it!


When I moved from doing product photography to mostly portrait photography, I did what many photographers in the digital age tend to do: I simply offered the digital images on disk.
It was a combination of misunderstanding what my clients need and forgetting why we actually have photos taken: too look at them!

Now, although I do not think there is anything wrong with digital images (I take most of the photos of my kids with my cellphone, you most likely too), over the years I have realised more and more how important it is to have something "real" to hold. When I put a photo display of my kids in our passage, it made me smile, and almost every time I walk past I smile again.



So although I still sell certain packages with only digital images, I highly recommend a wall print or a photo book for family or glamour sessions and damn near insist on a photo book when it comes to boudoir.

But don't just take my word for it. Wedding photographer Jamie Swanson was kind enough to share what she tells all her clients...

Thanks Jamie!

Why Digital Images are Not Enough

One of the first questions people ask when looking for a wedding photographer is if they offer all the digital images from their wedding. In fact, many couples plan to only purchase the digital images and aren’t interested in anything else.

By only purchasing the digital images, you’re putting yourself at a huge risk of losing your photos in just a few short years.

Many well-intentioned couples who only get the digital images never print their images at all, or only print a few for gifts or for display. Even we’re guilty of having a hard-drive full of photos of my kids and family that we simply haven’t taken the time to order prints of yet.

However, there’s a huge risk of losing the images and memories from them over time when you only have the digital files.

With only the digital files, you are responsible for transferring the images from one type of digital media to another as technology advances every few years. Every time a file is transferred, there’s a risk of file corruption. Not only that, but if life gets crazy and you fail to transfer it to the new media, you may end up with a beautiful disc/flash drive/etc of photos that you can’t see anymore because there’s no machine around to use the disc/flash drive/etc with.

 This is why we believe that a professional wedding album is of the utmost importance. Even if you never do anything except store it in a closet, you’ll still have images to look at and enjoy years from now with no additional work whatsoever.

In fact, we believe in this so strongly that we include an album in every single package we offer. We want the memories of your wedding day to be seen and enjoyed by your family for years to come.
Don’t risk losing your memories. Make a beautiful album one of your priorities. We promise you will not regret it. 

Looking for someone to help with photography or design? Please give me a shout, or visit my website.


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