31 July 2013

from my desk : Advice on blogging


When I first started out blogging 5 years ago, it wasn't really the done thing for the individual everyday human, myspace was the in thing and Facebook but writing full paragraphs about yourself on a social media platform wasn't really done by the masses like it is now. So its really only in the last 3 years ( thanks to twitter) that personally I have started to call myself a blogger. I hope to share a little bit of knowledge that I have picked up and maybe you can take something from my ramblings.

Have Passion

One of my main pieces of advice is, blog about something you are passionate about. I have tried to be enticed by make up and beauty blogs but it something i am not passionate about, it really isn't my cup of tea. When I first started blogging there really wasn't sections of bloggers or anything like lifestyle bloggers, art, fashion etc, so it was good to take the choice to focus on something you like yourself (there was no pressure because no one read it). Make a list of things you love thinking, reading and writing about, I do this most days, it helps you focus on what you want to write.

Writing and Planning

If like me writing isn't your strong point, then blogging can seem so intimidating and a bit scary. My first blog posts I never really penned anything because of an overwhelming fear of being ridiculed ( umm hello 2009). I never thought one day thousands of people a day would read my words and actually understand them. I found this the biggest challenge as a Dyslexic person to put yourself out there. Now if you are like me, with this fear. Squish it, write, re-write and get yourself out there, DON'T I repeat don't let it hold you back. I totally understand its hard, but if you make your pictures pretty enough who cares! haha Remember your strengths and work on your weaknesses life's to short to fear failure. Anyway I just want to throw this in the face of all my teachers who told me "Ella doesn't have the aptitude for reading or writing she won't go far," well....they stand corrected.

If planning really isn't for you, then I suggest you just throw yourself into it, this is a little how i work. My most planned blog post can become a bit of a chore and how i write as a dyslexic person is very sporadic, I embrace both ways and work somewhere in the middle. Try and find what is best for you.
Fear of negativity

I get a lot of emails from young girls wanting to start blogging with a fear of sharing and a fear of online trolls, Don't be worried about negativity from readers or an anonymous commenter, in life we will unfortunately come across people who don't agree with everything we do, wear and love, it doesn't make what you are doing wrong, it just makes those readers wrong for you. Do not sway from your passion. You may not be slender with clothes that fall correctly on you, or you fear you lack artistic skills all that matters to readers is that they can relate and care about what you write about. Take a moment to think about all of your good qualities and write those down and no not worry about things you don't like or fear for everything is the way it is for a reason and can be changed (if you want to)

Dont's!

For the love of all things holy, DO NOT, i repeat do not go into blogging from free items from PR companies. Its just not the done thing. Also Don't take content from other bloggers that's just not nice, or copy illustrations or paste other peoples work into your blog without permission.


Jealousy 

As human beings we have a tendency to turn into the green eyed monster when we see something we want or to be like another person. I suggest you live and learn from it. I had moments when I was a little like why is my blog not that successful, why don't companies contact me? that's ok we all feel sometimes, that life can be a little unfair and not lean our way, but with time if you embrace the fact that these things right now aren't happening for you and will one day it makes it easier. Also work harder, these things don't get given to everyone on a plate, change and keep moving. If you want something, work a little harder for it. You will feel more grateful in the end.

Aesthetics 

Sometimes you feel more like blogging if the blog itself is pleasing to look at, I used the simple blog editing tools that come with blogspot and then I hire Abby to create my layout. Its a lovely feeling having a nice place to write that when you look at it makes you smile, you can always ask for advice on twitter from people or on forums about html coding.

This also links in with a lot of emails I receive about help with layout and advice on photos my personal preference if the bigger the photo the better. When I first started out blogging you could drag the photo from your dashboard onto blogger and bam! you had a photo to blog about but this wasn't ideal I couldn't re size the photo. So I decided to do my research and I picked up a thing or two. I looked at other blogs and how they optimise their layout and websites out and I decided that I wanted my focal point to be my photos. Find what yours is, is it your ads, your writing or your art work?

Sharing your blog 

Now this was a major stumbling block for me...I blogged for FOUR whole years in secret, I told no one in my friendship circle or family. Sheer embarrassment would probably cut it, they wouldn't understand, its so self indulged, everyone would think I'm odd. Well it wasn't until I was nominated for best lifestyle blog with Cosmo Magazine that I had to tell my family. Mum and my sister were over the Moon and dad well he didn't get it but he was pleased for me. My brothers ( minus the youngest) still think its a bit odd, but to be fair I am a bit odd so it all worked out quite well.
Since I told people, my brother has set one up called wide eyes, and a few friends have too. (Its still an odd feeling when people you know read about you on your blog) For me it felt right to keep my hobby to myself until I was ready to share it. If you are unable or basically unwilling to tell people that is ok, but you wouldn't believe how much of a relief and how much bigger I have grown as a blogger being able to gain help and understanding from friends and family. And if you are a little odd like me any they expect it so share it with the world.

Quick Points

- Share other people work, blogs and fashion on your blog. Its nice not to always blog about yourself but to share other with your readers, creates good Karma.
- Believe in yourself, its as simple as that. No matter how down I am feeling the belief in what I do gets me through the sad times onto the happy times.
- Use twitter as a great place to socialise and meet like minded bloggers.
- Go on adventures, people love to see what you get up to, make it fun and use your blog to get you out of the house there is so much to see.
- Don't forget to laugh at yourself everyone loves an outtake post.
- don't ever apologies for not blogging, I find it doesn't matter too much if people follow what you write and what you do they won't mind if you haven't posted and don't start to feel guilty a break is good.
- make a point of looking at the everyday on your blog, you don't realize sometimes how beautiful the simple things are "The true secret of happiness lies in the taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life" I live by this quote from William Morris.
- create something beautiful. 

Illustration by Ella Masters do not re-post, steal or reuse without my consent copywrite of Ella Masters 2013
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30 July 2013

25 Facts about Ella

I know a lot of people did the 50 facts about me like 4 months ago, I just thought i would share a little bit more about me....



1. I have probably watched Hot Fuzz about 70 times, massive fan of Frost and Pegg
2. Massively obsessed with horror movies, would be my first choice of go to genre.
3. I'm really not a fan of dogs, they create a fear in me like no other animal.
4. I have a crush of Rafe Spall
5. I could live off pizza, ultimate favourite food the more cheese the better.
6. I worked as a barrista for a few months at university only job I have never been able to fully master,     I one day hope to open my own coffee/art shop.
7. My mum is my best friend.
8. I was partially deaf as a child, thank good for surgery.
9. When I was 16 I set up my first business drawing on t-shirts, massive emo was great!
10. My favourite year ever was 2009.
11. I am a massive fan of programs like Lewis, jonathan Creek and mid-summer murders nothing like a bit of twee english murder programs to cheer you up.
12. When I was a child I either wanted to be a vet or an archaeologist when I grew up, as a child I would make lists of animals i had seen and I was always playing in the mud and digging things up.
13.I failed to get into Chelsea school of art when I was 17, a life long ambition since the age of 6 but my unfathomed belief that things happen for a reason was my lifesaver.
14. I have never smoked a single cigarette ( or anything) in my life ( something i pride myself on)
15. I am the biggest fan of tea  have about 14 cups day.
16. I hate wearing shoes, covering my feet makes me feel rather claustrophobic.
17. My dads side of the family have lived in the area I live in now for the last 400 hundred years ( us Masters go far)
18. my favourite colour is probably mint/turquoise
19. I had a £3 phone up until last year ( for the last 8 years), i think as soon as my contract is over with my iphone i am going back to my old £3 phone.
20. I have a sort of phobia of octopuses ( sea creatures) and small holes 
21. My first day out in London was when I was a week old to London Zoo
22. My ancestors are believe to be scottish Pirates...
23. I knew I wanted to be an artist when I was 3
24. My feet are a size 2/3 sometimes size 1
25. I wish I was a pre-raphilte.


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29 July 2013

Ella's Oxford adventure



A few Tuesdays ago, me and the little brother took the Oxford tube from Hillingdon station for a little adventure. It was lovely and warm perfect day to take a wander around one of my favourite cities. If you have never been to Oxford, well I suggest you visit there is so much history in the beautiful city. my favourite place to go for a drink and food is the famous the Turf Tavern, (off an alley by the bridge of sighs)I had the jalapeno bean burger which is amazing, but maybe not the best to eat on one of the hottest days of the year. As you walk down the alley to the Turf tavern there is a blue plaque dedicated to Jane Burden who was William Morris's wife and pre-raphite muse, I think my outfit that I wore ( i believe my cotton cardi was handmade in william morris fabric) was well matched and a lover of both morris and the pre-raphilites made me feel at home. Its probably the only other city in the country that I could see myself living.

I love going on day trips with Saul , he makes the best day trip companion because he is hilarious and likes to eat like i do. When taking outfit photos he pulled the best faces, which resulted in plenty of out takes. Oxford would seem to be the best place to take outfit photos, so many colourful walls and pretty settings, excuse the same outfits snapped in front of different walls.

We wandered around the city for a few hours, taking in the sites and eating ice cream and cookies. There are so many beautiful things to see and do in oxford I thought I would share my top 10. 

Here are my top things ten to do in Oxford

1. Covered market is the best place to get local produce and fresh british meat and at christmas its has the most beautiful Dickensian atmosphere.

2. I do love the oxfam second hand book store, they have some really variety of books. 

3. The new gallery and shop at the old fire station in oxford has which hold lovely hand-made items by different illustrators and creatives as well as a gallery. 

4. I have never been into any of the university's or colleges but they look intriguing and beautiful.

5. The natural history museum and the pitt rivers museum are just exquisite and filled with wonderful things found from all over the world. 

6.  Oxford castle have great walk around guides very spooky and a great fun thing to do. 

7. Favourite pubs in Oxford 

8. The botanical gardens in oxford are lovely for a wander, entries is a few pounds but it is really worth the the money the floral displays are beautiful. 

9. The Carfax tower has amazing views from the top and on the main high street and is great if you love your history. 

10. The vaults and Garden in Radcliffe square is a lovely little cafe built into the ancient vaults next to Radcliffe camera which is a lovely view.

 I will be creating a wonderful set of illustrated maps of my favourite adventures soon excited to share them with you.



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28 July 2013

five ways to stay positive.

Now you are probably thinking this is a bit of an odd blog post from someone who has recently been emotionally suffering a lot be it a break up, bullying or being with the one person I want to but cant. You can become submerged into these negative thoughts and you can loose the path you were once on with stress and upset, but with a few tweaks the path can be re-found. I really wanted to write a more upbeat blog post then my tweets have been recently. It is always nice to look forward and think positively were ever possible believe me I know more then anyone somedays your can't see the wood for the trees. But little by little try one positive thing a day. These are the things I am going to be working on in the coming week and try and focus more on these things.


1. The days when I am feeling the most isolated and alone are normally the days when I segregate myself on purpose away from other people so I find to stay positive to spend my time with someone who makes me laugh


2. Make lists, lists are always the best way for me to re-arrange my brain and write positive things down, Bee is a wonderful believe in this and she share hers on her blog  Vivatramp. Her latest blog post is just beautiful she really is one of my favourite humans she is my positive rock when i am down she is always there find someone when you need the help that is there to hear you when you think no one else wants to. Bee also has a list of 100 ways to cure Melancholy 


3. Appreciate the little things, it sounds really silly but if I take joy in the little things sometimes the large things that affect me become smaller if i can cope knowing that something little has made my day. It can be anything walking to work and appreciating the clouds, trees or taking 10 minutes out of your day to people watch i do love to people watch and appreciate that moment. Take the time to smile once a day even when you really can't muster it i find taking a moment to watch a funny youtube video can make you smile, in can create positive thoughts.


4. Emerge yourself in a new project i often find my negative thoughts multiply when i over think and the negative thoughts become bigger and double. I'm not saying lie your way out of your feelings just focus all those negative things into something good.


5. Tidy room, tidy mind. I often find this can evoke a simple flow of positivity if I know that the space I am working in, its also really lovely when you have nice things around you that make you thinking of happy things. 


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26 July 2013

Tattitude


This week has been a mix bag, first week properly working as a freelancer and I have recieved some really lovely commissions, which is so wonderful and has been the perfect distraction from other things. 
So these are my tattitude girls, tattitude means tattoos with attitude... mum got so excited overt the new name. You can purchase the illustrations in print form, but more excitingly you will be able to purchase them in iphone cases. I get a little bit too excited about new items, products and illustrations. The first day, of sharing my new tattitude girls you guys responding so wonderfully, so thank you. You can buy my new illustrations from Ella Masters Illustration shop.

I just wanted to say thank you for all your support about my previous blog post you are all so wonderful.


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23 July 2013

a long note to say...


So I have been struggling with this thought for as long as I can possibly remember and its not till now that I totally feel comfortable to admit this to myself, that I have been suffering on and off with depression since I was about 11. Any of you that read my twitter may have seen that I broke up with my boyfriend at the weekend, it was slightly mutual and made me realise a lot about myself. I have been writing this post on and off for the last four days, not really knowing how to word my feelings. Don't worry i am no longer heart broken, or emotionally on the edge ( I don't think I ever really was). And it was at this point that it all became too much, I am aware that sharing too much information online can't always be good, but I thought screw it why not!

 Now I am not one for truly opening up and and being a semi-professional blogger this is a lot out of character for me, opening up isn't always what I am best at online, in person i talk about everything and anything (kinda). This isn't me searching for pity, or me being like woe is me life is rubbish, I guess its just me putting out there. I often get many people email me about my work, why do I do so much? where do I get the time? and why am I always working? I guess i've only just realised its my coping mechanism to get me through the stresses in life. It's now become so intrinsic within me that I do things and push through things without truly realising it.

I know a lot of people who suffer from a form of depression, so I was aware of my feelings for along time without actually admitting to myself that I am suffering from it myself, humour is my coping mechanism among many. I have pretty much suppressed it for the last 14 years I guess, i've decided well its probably time for a change and took the time sunday to talk to my mum about a few things. I think the frustration got to me a little bit. But thats ok becuase we are all humans.

Mum was in no way aware of how I was feeling, like I said humour gets me through, I'm one of those people who even if I spoke about my issues no one would be too bothered or would care ( that thought was in my head and wasn't true), that way of being like I don't want to burden you sort of thing. It got so bad it was to the point i no longer wanted to deal with it anymore or wake up in the morning, I guess I let a lot get to me, what with a very serious incident at work that I had to resolve before I left and an abrupt break up to top it all off.

I have come across a few people who don't understand the feeling of being depressed "there is a sure fire way of snapping out of it" they say, its the constant feeling in your head, for me its a constant non stop pushing. Some people can't do anything for days, I can't stop I never have down time. I suffer from server panic attacks since I was about 5 not aware that they were panic attacks up until about a year ago. They sort of come in waves when I am really stressed, and if I am honest I am stressed probably 90% of the time in fear that if I stop in anyway I will fall off the face of this earth ( totally unrealistic i know theres no logical reasoning!)

I'm not really sure on the use of this blog post its more of a realisation for me that things can get better, and life isn't always peachy and perfect, its ok to sometimes realise you can't cope and you may need to ask for help. I am aware that a lot of us blog to share products, art, and what we have been up to, to relate to people. So I have felt like as a person with over 11,000 readers and followers across a lot of social media platforms, I felt an obligation to share my story to make people aware that its hard to talk about how we feel and sometimes we really don't want to. No matter how high the walls we put up, sometimes, the only way to get through is to talk about it, write it down get it out of your head and get help. I haven't for 11 years, I personally just thought it was my cross to bare, not anyone else's, but remember there is probably someone out there who really cares and loves you and would hate to think of you suffering.

Mum has been great ( and so have lyzi, bee, and my 2  besties kelly and debbie thank you) and I have realised that I need to take everyday as it comes ( don't worry i'm getting help), so I hope in someway this has helped someone out there, to realise that suffering alone be it stress, depression, loneliness or fear of failure you aren't alone. You may look at my life, my drawings or what I create with envy or a sort of her life is pretty cool, well we all have our issues and stresses. Just its not always fun to moan or want to share those negative moments with the world!

This is why I created this blog to help and in some way create a place were people could feel inspired be it advice, life or the sheer fact you like the look of my drawings. This is where my negative emotions have gone, into creating this here blog, something positive and I can look at and say "hell yeah I did that" I want you to see that even though sometimes you don't think you can cope well you probably can, maybe not in the way someone else can but little by little, push by push we can at least try and to me thats what matters and this has got me through. I am too stubborn for the negative feelings to take hold, but in moments of weakness its easy I understand that, its so very hard to not let it consume you, but like I said remember there is someone out there even if you haven't met them yet that cares about you, and you should care about you.

I hope you can take something from these. Anyway I should stop rambling thanks for reading. 


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