Gripse's Blog

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A little bit of advice from a semi-pro

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I’ve been wrestling with my conscious for most part of the day about writing this post. At first I was really excited and buoyant about the idea of sharing the little I know about working for yourself in the creative industry but then I started to feel like I wasn’t qualified enough as it’s not like I own a Fortune 500 company. Thinking about it I then realised that I do have some useful, seemingly obvious but often overlooked gems about the pros and cons of self-employment and why not share them on the off chance that someone, somewhere may find them useful. So here I am sharing with you the little insight I have gained so far.

What do people want more than winning the lottery? For all those that answered ‘to be their own boss’, ‘to work for themselves’, ‘to run their own business’ – all answers are acceptable and correct. With the scaremongers aka the media panicking the whole nation into thinking there are no jobs out there, people have been turning to self employment. I have managed to conjure up the pro’s and con’s of being answerable only to God and not an overpaid, busy body jerk manager.

Firstly the bad news.


1) Solitude

You will get quite lonely and quite looney kind of like this poor guy. Whilst your friends are out partying, you will no doubt have some work related job to do whether it be an invoice to send to a client, updating your website,designing a new piece etc, the list is pretty endless. Eventually the only thing that will interest you is the field you work in and your ‘friends’ will find you pretty dull but hey as long as it makes you happy and you are working towards something beneficial to your future drops those ‘friends’. Eventually believe it or not getting ‘SMASHED’ on the weekend will no longer interest you, your mind will be in overdrive plotting your next move. You will initially doubt yourself and force yourself to go out and dabble in a bit of the classic ‘gun fingaz’ and general ‘skanking’ moves but you will find yourself just not caring. Remember you are not in retail anymore, you do not live for the weekend, you are working for a better future for yourself. By all means socialise but do not feel it obligatory if you’re friends are out at Dave’s Rave every Friday to join them, they are NOT you and YOU are not them.

WARNING! This is me behind my computer. Look at what you will become! Tash not included.

2) ‘Friends’

Benjamin Franklin once said ‘Be civil to all, sociable to many, familiar with few, friend to one, enemy to none’. Those ‘Friday friends’ aka those who you used to hang about with when you had nothing better to do will soon drop off and you will then realise they were one of those ‘sociable to many’ type of people. Don’t sweat it. True friends will stay and encourage you.

Poor Fluffy Balls. You too will have to resort to an alernative reality.

3) ‘The best richness is the richness of the soul’ Muhammed PBUH

And BOOOOOY you better believe in this for at least the first year of running your business because that will be the only riches you have. Say goodbye to the frivolous days of buying those £94.99 (plus £30 shipping from Germany)limited edition Casette Playa Blazers because you will be struggling. Money will certainly come in but it won’t stay in for long as it will all go back into your business. But remember the mantra ‘SPEND MONEY TO MAKE MONEY’. From experience I can tell you that Lidl and Poundland will become your best buddies and your parents if they do not charge you rent. But always remind yourself that one day you will be paying yourself your own wage as agreed with.. well you.

A quid to anyone who can spot me.

4) Pressure

I can only speak from an artistic/creative point of view but when you design a new collection you do feel the slight pressure of having to improve on the previous release. But fear not, what I do which I think is handy is I remind myself that with each piece of designed I’ve designed initially for myself and what I like and if other people like it, it’s a bonus. And thank God so far, it seems to have worked. So develop a motto or something to remind yourself that first and foremost you started this from a love of creativity, the money is a super awesome bonus. Kerching! (Is that show still on?)

Lolz. Ignore the science and look closely. Begins with V, rhymes with minor.

5) Admin

Unless your mother, brother, sister, father work in admin and will do this for you at an illegal immigrants rate of pay or even better free, expect to do all the admin work. This is the backbone of your business and unfortunately the dullest. You will need to cosy up to Excel like she was a total babe and become inseparable. If you are unfamiliar with formulas and Excel worksheets, google tutorials. This will help you keep on top of your income, expenditure and invoices owed. Skills in Word are also handy for creating invoices or if you want to get real snazzy – Illustrator. Do not put them off, dedicate one day a week, not even the whole day but a few hours to do your books. Keep EVERY receipt, if you are in a cafe for example working and you buy a latte, cookie and a kosher hot dog, this expenditure is work related so stick it in your expenditure costs.

If you haven't watched this movie, watch it so you know what you should expect from your secretary.


1) You are DA MAN

Aka you are top dawg aka the boss. You decide your workload, you decide your schedule, you decide your fate. If you work hard and are willing to work that much harder than anyone else you know then you are closer to success than you think. Sometimes when you’re doing the boring finances, trying to figure out the whole tax return (as I currently am), sales haven’t been the best and so forth, persevere and stick to your plan. Skill, talent, brains, beauty, luck, these things do not determine or define success but hardwork and perseverance does. Many people waltz with failure on the way to success, do not let anyone or anything put you off. The ultimate goal is worth it.

2) Fantasy becoming reality

Well ideas but fantasy sounded better. Let me share a story with you all (waves at all 3 of you), I designed our biggest selling ring in bed in my chocolate stained bathrobe. It was an idea I had, I designed it and voila 6 weeks later it was a reality. NOTHING will ever beat this feeling. The feeling that whatever crazy idea the right side of the brain is putting into motion, will quite possibly be something tangible, something you can touch and something that people will appreciate is a super great feeling.

3) Appreciation

On par with your ideas becoming a reality is people appreciating your work. Having publications, blogs, media in general pick up on your work is pure elation. And when you have someone willing to part with their hard earned cash to purchase something you have designed, again is just pure elation. That is the only way to put it and I strongly suggest you try this, the feeling of receiving that order confirmation – EUPHORIC! It makes you proud, humble and determined to carry on and grow as a person, designer and business.

4) The Future

It maybe ‘Odd’, it maybe ‘Orange’, it maybe ‘Back to’ (I think the last one works). Whatever it maybe it is yours. The exciting thing is that you get to pave the path that leads you to it. You can grow in so many ways whether it be work wise by producing and exploring different ways in design/production or it could be moving into your first office and employing your first employee. Sure the future is uncertain and you could get hit by the diamond bus on the way home from Sunday Mass but the future is something so exciting and full of endless possibilities. Keep the thought of the future positive, leave any negativity out. Don’t focus on what may not happen but what could happen. Remember kids worrying about the future will waste away your present and that is all you are guaranteed in life.

I really hope someone, somewhere has a) read this, b) learnt something or at least been inspired or c) enjoyed my picture captions. God Bless and you live once, you are care free only once in your life, so go out there and demand what is yours, just don’t demand it wearing a balaclava, holding a shotgun, in your local newsagents.


Written by gripse

August 30, 2011 at 9:19 pm

Posted in Business

2011 Update

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The last time I wrote on this blog, my blog, I ‘reviewed’ The Selby, that was August last year and I don’t even think Mystic Meg and her balls could have predicted the journey I have taken so far. I sort of had a plan, I knew that I’d want to be in the creative industry, ideally at a magazine, I even had plans for my own magazine ‘Feature’ and secured an exclusive interview with Jon Burgerman but unfortunately the person who was building the website absolutely did one half way across the world. New Zealand to be precise. Therefore that got shelved but it is still in my life long plan, I think it is so important to support those debt ridden students coming fresh faced and virgin like out of university into the big, bad, well hung world aka the reality of getting a job you graduated in. But I’ll save that for another rime.

For the two people who will actually continue to read this post after the first sentence, you probably know me personally and I’m sure you know my journey so far. So what I will do is share something quite intimate, no not that intimate but I’m sure if you Google me they will appear on a paid entry website but rather the below. I wrote this to myself at aged 17 when I was working at an independent record label for £4.50 per hour, plodding along, frustrated that I couldn’t draw but having this feeling deep down that I would achieve something. I recently found it in my pantie drawer, I had totally forgot about writing it, it has been 6 years and I’m glad I did.  I think, nay I strongly believe if you are frustrated, write yourself a little note, tuck it away in your pantie drawer, work towards it and many years later you will stumble upon it and your soul will smile.


The picture is not the clearest I could get it as the note has been through the wash. So here is what it says I’ve even included the seemingly conceited parts however I left the last sentence out, high five if you can make it out. It scared me a little.

‘By the time I am 25 years old I will be running my own successful business. Stay focused, stay within reality, think of the future and how you will help others. People will admire and aspire to be me. I can and I am able to do so’

PS NOT RELATED TO THIS POST BUT LASTFM.COM IS THE BEST THING EVER!!! Ginuwine – Pony has just come on and I ‘whined’ in my bed in my pj’s, now there is a mental image to warm your cockles.

Written by gripse

August 28, 2011 at 11:21 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Book review – The Selby

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I pre-ordered this book ages ago and got it a day before official release which was AWESOME!

Pros: Makes a great ‘coffee table’ book and also sits nicely on your book shelf. A great source of inspiration for your own home. Reasonably priced. Lots of nice pictures not much horrid text – no one reads books these days. And some RAD free stickers.

Cons: His website has all those featured and more so no point in buying the book some would say. If you suffer from depression do not buy this book, you will become so envious of those rich, talented beautiful people when you compare them to your terraced housing and Ikea furniture you may have a breakdown or worse.

Written by gripse

August 4, 2010 at 5:20 pm

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I hate Art Culture

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I was thinking about this just yesterday and the value that Art holds, both monetary and influential that pieces like the Mona Lisa hold if any at all. Firstly as one of my favourite quotes goes ‘A Diamond has no Value except that which is placed upon them’ so when paintings like Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II by Gustav Klimt sell for $87 MILLION BUCKS! To a private collector may I add – what conclusion or even better, reasoning do they have  to justify spending a shizer load of cash on a piece of artwork that just looks ‘pretty’ and will no doubt either hang above this ego-testicles desk whilst his builds forts from his gold bullions like they were lego pieces or even worse stay his some private Swiss bank until he pops his diamond encrusted cloggs, for it then to go back to Christies to sell for $124 MILLION BUCKS (my estimate do not hold me or my blog to account for anything we write wow I just referred to myself and my blog as one entity, scary). Art has been hijacked by the Capitalist vultures so eager to monopolise every inch of our global heritage and our future. This is what makes Art repugnant, these hoarders and those artists who literally sell themselves to the highest bidder. People like Damien Hirst who as everyone knows I absolutely despise. And on a related note, I have it on good authority that Mr.Hirst whose eye sore diamond encrusted skull, which wouldn’t look out of place around Rick Ross’s fat turkey neck, did NOT cost £12 million pounds to make nor did he do ANY of the leg work – he runs a sweat like shop of struggling artists who ‘help’ him with his works whilst he makes £43 million on a conflict enrcrusted diamond skull – if I was Jacob the jeweller I’d be screwing. Just saying. Sorry back to the point actually no not point back to my release all I have to say as my mind is hurting ART=FART. We will have no revolution not in the art world or the real world. So kids stay away from fine art at University – get a REAL JOB!

Hope these were conflict free

She ain't no Megan Fox that's for sure

Written by gripse

August 4, 2010 at 5:02 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

My first bit of Jewellery design

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Very happy with the way they have come out – just need them to arrive safely.Will post on here when they are available to buy. They come in both mens and womens sizes. And for £15 quid – what a bargain. Only 20 to be ever made.

Written by gripse

May 20, 2010 at 3:27 pm

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So today I got an email and it was an invitation to a special preview of a great artist/illustrator known as SAM3. Unfortunately the show is in Dusseldorf, Germany.

I’m a huge fan of his, his composition, style, colour palette, content. Everything just sits right.

You can see more of his work here

And a PDF of his show- if you click the link below which are all available to buy and includes a price list.

collectors preview sam3-1

Written by gripse

May 7, 2010 at 5:16 pm

Dollar ReDe$sign

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(… no I did not get inspiration from the Ke$ha sign/name thingy i’ll have you know)

This is it’s second year running and it is not an official brief from those dogs at The Whitehouse, but a design competition run by Richard Smith in order to bring hope and change to America’s failing economy. The US Currency has changed since 1930 – apart from maybe a few tweaks here and there. Anyone can enter and there is also a cash prize for the winner.

More info can be found here

Here is my re-design – which I think is fitting – click on it – this is just a screen grab.

Written by gripse

May 1, 2010 at 9:17 pm

Posted in Uncategorized