Thursday, 30 June 2016

LAST Weekend Ashdown Artists!

Where are the days going?! We're already coming up to the LAST weekend of Ashdown Artists for Worthing Artists Open Houses! We're so happy to be a part of this beautiful house full of incredibly talented lovely people....and in our new hometown too! 
Located at 39 Ashdown Road, just a very short walk from Worthing train station, the house is jam packed full of awesome work from 8 very diverse artists. Plus, you can enjoy some yummy homemade treats and a good cuppa in the garden courtesy of Paulie's Cafe! Come along on Sunday and you can also join in with our badge making workshop and make hand puppets with Ellie Bond!

Last weekend of Ashdown Road Artists - 2nd & 3rd July
Open 11am - 5pm
39 Ashdown Road, Worthing, BN11 1DF
Venue 13 on the Worthing AOH map
Artists: Anna's Drawing Room, Debbie Terry, Ellie Bond, hello DODO, John Bond, Julie Ingham, Sam Pharaoh, Sarah Edmonds.


Thursday, 23 June 2016

Take Me Back To Blogtacular...

Unless you've been on another planet these last few days you'll probably know that us and approximately 300 women (don't feel sorry for Jam, he loved it) went to the Blogtacular conference! In my previous post I wrote a quick summary of things that I expected to gain from Blogtacular and I thought the day might exceed all of them but quite frankly I'm not overreacting when I say...
Blogtacular changed our lives.
Well that's a bit OTT you may be thinking. Here's a little round up of what we did and what the day meant to us..
BOOM! No sooner had we arrived, said hello to some familiar faces, poured coffee down our throats and had some brekkie (NICE spread Blogtacular!) we were then straight in with the first keynote speaker - the flipping awesome Lisa Congdon! I'd been really excited about this ever since I heard Lisa was coming over from the States to talk. I knew a bit about her and her work - I own her book "Art Inc: The Essential Guide to Building your Career as an Artist" - but it wasn't until reading a fantastic interview with her in Mollie Makes recently that I discovered more about her and her wonderful work. Lisa talked to us about becoming an artist relatively late in life and despite (after LOTS of hard work) becoming very successful still feeling insecure and not an "authentic" artist when meeting her peers. She talked about having a "vulnerability hangover"....where you do something, put yourself or a piece of work out there and then suffer the doubts and anxiety afterwards. Two points she mentioned that particularly resonated with us (and possibly most of the room) was when people ask how you're doing and your answer is always "I'm really busy!!!" (literally ALWAYS our answer to this question...) And whether being really busy and burnt out actually means you're being successful. I think, as Lisa Congdon has, we definitely need to attempt to re-address our work/life balance and try to adopt her mantra when it comes to opportunities- "If it's not a HELL YES, it's a no." Both myself and Jam were doing a lot of nodding during her whole talk!
Phew, so that was just the first session and we were already feeling totally inspired and uplifted! Now we broke off in to smaller groups with the choice between three different sessions to attend. We were so lucky that during the day we got in to our three top picks for what we wanted to attend and first up was Kate O'Sullivan of A Playful Day talking about Community. Kate talked to us about her community (not followers), about telling your story and the journey that they've been on with her, about keeping the story simple and on target, continuing conversations with people and not assuming everyone read your last post. I think you might have needed to be there, but it all got a bit emotional!! Here we are above totally engrossed!
Next up we went to Sara Tasker's (of Me & Orla) Phoneography session. Sara talked to us through some quick, practical tips for using our phone cameras and composition and then in more depth about finding our visual style and coming up with your three key words which describe it. We then had the opportunity to grab some props and to snap a quick flat lay. I knew from Sara's style that the props would be utterly beautiful but not in keeping with hello DODO, so I'd had the foresight to pop some bits in my bag and we styled the above pic....which to be honest isn't the best (I think we felt the pressure!) but not too bad with the time we had. If you want to see other people's efforts check out #meandorlablogtacular on instagram!
The last session we attended was Xanthe Berkley's video session and boy am I glad we did! I had been in two minds about going, not because I didn't think it would be amazing, I think more out of fear knowing that we'd be making a film right there and then. We decided on the day to go for it and managed to snag the last couple of seats in the room! Xanthe was totally inspiring and so generous in her knowledge sharing.....we learnt so much from just a short talk I can barely believe it! The very next day we made and editing our first short film which we shared on Instagram here. It's far from perfect but we're excited to keep playing and improving and making films a part of hello DODO's story and for that we'll be eternally grateful to Xanthe! If you're wanting to learn some film making skills Xanthe does online sources, check them out here!
So by this point I think we're at the peak of our inspiration and MEGA Blogtacular excitement and should probably have had a lie down in a dark room......but BOOOOOOOM then along comes the closing keynote speaker Enid Hwang, the community manager of Pinterest and their 6th ever employee (1st woman!) Enid is such a warm, intelligent and funny person it was a total pleasure hearing her talk....and amazing to hear about all of the initial Pinterest doubters and to see the (extremely) humble beginnings of the company and the tiny flat the 6 of them worked from. Amazing when you think about how for so many of us Pinterest is just part of our daily lives... "I'm planning my wedding, off I go to Pinterest!" "I want inspiration for our new kitchen, first stop Pinterest!" "I need a whole board dedicated to cats in boxes, Pinterest can make that happen". It was awesome to hear that we have this incredible resource now because a tiny group of people 100% believed in it and worked insane hours, had all the doors slammed in their faces to eventually make it what it is today. 
So THEN we know what happened! Us and our pals designosaur were revealed as this years goodie bag designers! YAY!!! Sadly designosaur were off parting in Barcelona (yeah, not so sad for them) so they missed out on standing up in front of 300 people. HOW people stand up and talk I will never know, all I had to do was smile and everything went a bit blurry and I felt like my face was melting off. Anyway, it was a total honour to work on the totes and we hope everyone loves our jazzy seaside-y design!
 HUGE MASSIVE KUDOS to Kat and Kelly for having the vision and bringing it all together so wonderfully, seriously cannot wait to see what they have up their sleeves for Blogtacular next!!!

Ok, I'm rounding up before I ramble on too much. Blogtacular was bloody amazing and to be honest the sessions were only half of it, the gaps in-between where we got to meet new people or people we've only ever communicated with online or people we rarely get to actually talk to because we're both stuck behind craft fair stalls. I'm not a cheesy person but the community really is incredible and totally positive and we're so happy to be a part of it!

Want to read more posts about Blogtacular? Check these out!

HUGE thanks to Mollie MakesWill Ireland for the pro photos used in this post! :o)


Monday, 13 June 2016


Blogtacular 2014 - Photo Credit Will Ireland & Mollie Makes

If you hadn't already gathered from the title of this post....BLOGTACULAR IS THIS WEEK!!!! We are MEGA excited to be attending our first ever Blogtacular! We were glued to our feeds while it was on last year as it seemed that everyone in the World who we "knew" was there and we had major FOMO. And now that the schedule has been revealed we're even more hyped to be going with shiny new notebooks at the ready!

*** It's just occurred to me that you might have landed here because you too are going to Blogtacular on Saturday and if so...HELLO! If I say 'we' a lot it's because I'll be attending Blogtacular with my business partner in crime (also husband) Jam. I don't always write as if 'we' are both writing though as I do all our blogging and social media and using 'we' makes me feel a bit like the Queen. Anyway, my name is Ali and together we run hello DODO - a design and printmaking business. We should be quite easy to spot on Saturday as we'll be the pink haired girl and the 6ft4 dude! ;o) ***

Now, obviously I'll be doing a blogpost after Blogtacular which will be full of lovely photos and tales of our experience and what we learnt. I thought it might be fun however to write a quick post about our expectations for the conference and then I'll be able to compare the two afterwards. This feels incredibly organised of me. I'm impressed.

What I love most about Blogtacular is the sense of community and support everyone gives each other even though mostly everyone is doing quite different things but at the same time we're all in the same boat. We're really lucky to get that community togetherness offline too as we're Team Leaders of the Brighton Etsy Team and help (with a bunch of other awesome volunteers) to run events and meet ups for this very large, active team of local designer makers. What's really interesting about Blogtacular though is it's not just small independent craft businesses, it's also bloggers and writers of every variety you can think of (and more!) so that takes us in a bit of a different circle and that's really exciting and inspiring. (Did that make sense? Are you still with me? Good).

Our brand hello DODO is really fun and bright and vibrant and as people we're also fun and bright and vibrant but in social situations I'd say we're maybe a tad shy. Speaking for myself anyway, I get major anxiety and feel like I'm going to blurt something weird out at any moment...or maybe I'm blinking I blinking weird? Does my hair look funny? Do I have something in my teeth? You get the general idea. I am VERY excited to meet everyone though, especially some people I've followed for ages. We'll also be stepping out of our comfort zone in that as a busy (alwayyyssss so busssyyyyy) small business I think that maybe we can get stuck in a bit of a routine and we should push ourselves to learn things that will help our business...such as taking better photos, creating more interesting content etc...all things we can get from Blogtacular! YAY!

We're all excited about those and what they might contain, right??? ;o)

I'm sure like most people attending this years Blogtacular we've been staring at the schedule pondering which sessions we should attend. I think we've narrowed down our favourites but to be perfectly honest I think we'd learn a lot from any one of them so we'll definitely be flexible on the day! 

Are you attending Blogtaclar this year? Do you have similar expectations or any that haven't even occurred to us? We'd love to know your thoughts and if you see us on Saturday do please say hey! :o)

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Studio Loo for Artists Open Houses

We're VERY excited to have returned to Studio Loo for the May's Artists Open Houses! Studio Loo is a wonderful space on Portland Road belonging to the even more wonderful Claire Potter, Eco Interior Architect. The studio, as the name suggests, was once a derelict public toilet and for that alone it's worth a visit just to see the magic that Claire and Mark have worked to create such a gorgeous workspace from something so grim. For Artists Open Houses the studio is packed full of delights, from original paintings, mugs, strange and wonderful creatures made from old piano parts, cushions, purses, candles, silk scarves and so much more! We also have SIX new screen prints there - our two new series 'Let's Happy' and 'Bird Song' which right now are exclusive to Studio Loo! Here's a tiny peek inside incase you need anymore tempting...

Studio Loo features work by Linescapes, Penelope Kenny, Peter James Field (don't miss his book, it's AWESOME!), Dave Friston, Sue Milner, Mark Reeve, Brighton Beautiful, Claire Cameron Smith and us! Find out more about each artist here.

Studio Loo - 201 Portland Road Portslade Hove BN3 5JA
Number 16 on the West Hove Trail
Open today (22nd) and next weekend - 10-5pm

Monday, 16 May 2016

Gifted At Unlimited - a Brighton Etsy Team Showcase

Hello! Most of you may already know that we are Brighton Etsy Team Leaders, which means that along with a bunch of other mega awesome volunteers we help to run the team - from day to day social media, design work, monthly meet ups and bigger projects such as pop ups, exhibitions and craft markets. If you haven't already visited, there's currently a showcase of Brighton Etsy sellers work (including some of our screen prints) in the beautiful Unlimited Gallery for Artists Open Houses. AND the good news is that the show is doing so well that it's now going to be open an extra week - until the 22nd of May (this Sunday!) So if you haven't visited yet GO GO GO!!!! It really is a treat for the eyes (as Unlimited always is!) Just don't go tomorrow (Tuesday) as that's the one day they're closed ;o)
Here's a few peeks of the goodies that you will find there...

Unlimited - 10 Church Street, Brighton BN1 1US
 AOH Central Trail - Venue 7

30th April - 22nd May

Opening hours
Open 6 days a week:
Weekdays & Saturdays 10.30am - 5.30pm
Sundays 11am - 4pm
Closed on Tuesdays

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Pick Me Up 2016

On Monday we took a very well-earned day off and hopped up to London to visit the 7th annual Pick Me Up Graphic Arts Festival at Somerset House. If you follow us on social media you'll probably know that Pick Me Up is our ultimate favourite thing EVER, we visit every year, it was one of the main catalysts that made us start up hello DODO and that last year we were incredibly lucky to exhibit there (dreams do come true kids). 

So with all those high expectations, it was with a mixture of excitement and trepidation that we entered Somerset House! We need not have worried though as Pick Me Up is always a delight for the eyes. When you first enter you're in the 'Selects' section of the show which is international 'fresh talent' from the graphic art world. Usually the Collectives is our favourite part of the show but this year the Selects really blew us away, every single one of them. Reading that a few of the Selects artists had literally only just graduating made us both wince but also be seriously impressed. 

Boom! As soon as we walked in there was Alice Bowsher's work in all it's black ink glory. We became aware of Alice's work at last year's Pick Me Up where she exhibited with Niles Collective and have seen her go on to do loads of amazing things and it's awesome to see her being recognised in Selects. We love how bold, simple, confident and playful her work is. 
Seriously, I won't keep banging on but I think her work is genius. Go follow her on Instagram!

Another fave from Selects was Dutch artist Aart-Jan Venema whose paintings had so many stories going on and little details to spot we could have stared at them for hours. Sorry for the appalling photos by the way, I'm not sure if it was the poor lighting or my overexcitement. See below for a close up of this piece 'The Gardens' in a terraced house we totally identify with this one!
Sooooooooooooo good, right?? 
What I also love about Pick Me Up Selects is you get to have a peek in to the artists working process, like with this sketch and paint palette from Aart-Jan Venema.
Here's an adorable and strange creature from Julian Glander!
We both really loved Jack Sachs work 'Inside Ya Body'. Whilst studying Jack badly injured his drawing hand and so decided to learn how to use 3D animation software. His hand has since recovered and now he combines these two forms of practice. 'Inside Ya Body' is a project which stems from the experience of this injury. Jack was actually our only print purchase from PMU this year (shock horror), we bought his heart print which you can see here.
Aarrgg, again a TERRIBLE photo but I couldn't not include one of these HUGE pieces by Dan see that? It's enormous and it's made of Hama beads! I am so so impressed by the planning and patience this body of work would have taken and in the flesh it looks AWESOME. And I've tried making things with Hama beads, it's not that easy!
Here's a Reclining Worm by Carlotte Mei which made me smile :o)
I thought Rachel Lillie's installation was really interesting and beautiful. Based on walks around the outskirts of London, the work featured observational drawings and sculptures made from the wood of fallen trees. 

Again, these photos don't do the work of Camilla Perkins justice. Camilla is inspired by African sub cultures, particularly from a fashion perspective and we loved her use of colours and patterns. So so happy! Plus she's Brighton based, HURRAY!
Here's Camilla painting live in the Selects Booth upstairs where you can watch the artists work and buy their pieces for a crazy bargain-ous £15 a pop. I was gutted because I wanted this particular piece but someone else snapped it up just before I could! It's a good job Alice Bowsher wasn't there or we would have bought everything she created.. It was amazing to see the work being created right in front of you but I do wonder if the artists feel a bit like a zoo animal!
So that's probably the biggest feature I've ever done on Selects! Let's move upstairs... We really enjoyed the Made North room which felt a lot more graphic design than a lot of the rest of the show. Made North represents and promotes northern design and craft and for Pick Me Up they showed their project 'North & South', prints by leading designers showing what the North or South means to them. They also had pieces on British Road Signs which were really interesting!
We loved these illustrated vases by Louise Madzia in the Best room! We also loved Daisy Emerson's hand painted signs in all their pastel pink and glittery glory but all my photos of them were really rubbish! Waaaah. Go follow her on instagram though!
This massive cheery head is from the Beach London installation. For Pick Me Up, gallery and agency Beach are presenting Cuckoo's Nest, a group of artists response to objects from The Museum of British Folklore. Having grown up in a rural village a lot of this resonated with me!
Jam admiring the prints in the Hato Press room.
I was excited to see Clay Collective at Pick Me Up as I'm loving the ceramics craze that seems to be in full swing right now. I really love that Pick Me Up embraces graphic art in all forms, not just the 2D and I think that's what makes it such an inspiring and exciting show. 
If you're visiting PMU and you're interested in clay then check the schedule as Clay Collective are running a series of introductory workshops.
Screens ready to go in the 3rd Rail section, sadly not while we were there though (one of the downfalls of visiting on a quiet Monday).
Lastly, there's a HUGE retrospective exhibition of letterpress legend Alan Kitching's work. This was really cool and spanned his whole career so far, plus the smell of the letterpress ink reminded us of our uni days. On certain dates Alan is doing live demonstrations so if you're interested in his work check those out. 

So there we have it! Have you visited this year or any previous years? Are you planning to? If you visited what did you love? :o)

P.s. If you're interested in my previous Pick Me Up round up posts you can find them here:

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