Tuesday, 19 April 2016

3 Takeaways from Design Conference OFFSET

You'd think that since my day job is all about creating content for conferences, I'd be somewhat bored of them. But working for Web Summit has in no way tainted my love for attending events outside of work. And thank goodness for that, Dublin's design conference OFFSET was an amazing experience that taught me some lasting lessons. Namely...

1. Don't be shy, share your work

Share your work and good things will happen. At least, that's how artist GMUNK sees it. In his talk he urged the audience to publish their creative work, whatever that might be, as it will leave them open to new opportunities.

I needed this reminder... It's so easy to put off sharing personal projects until they are absolutely perfect. But sharing your work and getting feedback is all part of the process. And who knows where you could go by putting yourself out there?

2. You'll suck at first, that's okay

There wasn't one particular speaker that said this, but I love the quote by Finn from Adventure Time in the official OFFSET magazine. Dude, sucking at something is the first step toward being sort of good at something, it reads. How true is that?

Úna Burke alluded to this thought when she showed us her fashion designs from her undergrad degree - she cringed at what she had created back then. Of course, now she's a sort-after leather designer whose pieces are seen on celebrities like Rihanna and Lady Gaga and are on display art galleries. She didn't start out amazing, but she got there eventually. Like all accomplished creatives.

Step one: you suck. Step two: you practice. Step three: you get better. And one day you make it. But not before you've repeated those steps a few thousand times.

3. Set crazy goals, achieve crazy things

If you don't set crazy goals in life, how are crazy things going to happen? Those were the exact words of Seb Lester, the calligraphist with a million Instagram followers. I know because I jotted it down as soon as he said it - I wanted to remember it.

Goals are supposed to be a stretch - that's why it feels so good when you achieve them. Your goal might be crazy, but I can guarantee crazier things have happened. So go for it.

As you can see, I was throughly inspired by OFFSET. You can be assured that I'll be sharing all the crazy things that happen to me, so do be sure to follow me on Bloglovin.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

A Pretty Lil' Part of the World

I love a good roadtrip. Far from the girl I was at 13, when I would sulk in the back of the car at the mere utterance of the word "detour", 23 year old me is rather fond of seeing the world through the car window pane. Despite this I still can't drive, so until I get behind the steering wheel I only get the chance to go on roadtrips when I'm in Donegal with the family. Luckily, Donegal just so happens to be one of the more beautiful parts of the world.

And of course, if a roadtrip is worth going on then it's worth carting along the camera. That's exactly what I did when my mum and I went off to explore Ards.

Donegal is a gorgeous county. But it's also notoriously wet. The day we decided to visit Ards was no exception. Yet somehow, as soon as we stepped out of the car, the sun was out in full-force. It was an utter fluke but we'd managed to time it perfectly, only catching a bit of rain as we made our way back to the car.

For a while now, Wes Anderson imagery has inspired and informed many of my Instagram pictures. There's something about the subject sitting smack-bang in the centre of a square format image that works so well. But now the style has come creeping into my DSLR photography. Rule of thirds be damned, I'm loving how my images are looking when the subject is centred, like the two below.

To be honest, I've slacked a bit when it comes to 'proper' photography. Everyday I'm taking photos on my phone, while my DSLR sits at home, underused and unloved. That's something I plan to change. Can I use this as an excuse for more roadtrips photography excursions?

Oh Ards, you pretty lil' part of the world. You do make it easy to take good photos. Now, to plan my next adventure...

If you like my photography, check me out on Instagram where I'm posting (nearly) every day.

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Copenhagen: First Impressions

By the time I touched down in Copenhagen it was already pitch black. But the buildings were lit up, either by spot lights or simply by passing cars, and I could already tell that the Danish architecture was something else. A few blurry phone photos later, I decided to save my creative energy for the next day, when the sun would be bright and the buildings looking their best.

Much to my delight, the next day the sun was bright and the buildings spectacular. I was thrilled with the weather. Yes it was cold, dipping just below 0°C at its lowest, but it was sunny and calm. All you needed to do was wrap up warmly - layers upon layers upon layers topped off with a bobble hat - and you were sorted for the day. It was a paradise compared to the windy, then rainy, then windy and rainy Irish weather I'm used to.

Copenhagen is a fairly easy city to get around, which was lucky since I was exploring all on my lonesome. Of course, it helped that I had downloaded the city map on Google Maps before the trip. But I didn't rely on it. All it took was one look at the map to get my bearings and I'd trot off without needing to cling to it for support.

After wandering up and down the street packed with restaurants and bars, I began to realise that my hostel was located in the Temple Bar of Copenhagen. That is to say, Nyhavn is oh-so touristy. But when the buildings are this pretty and Instagrammable, who cares if you're charged a few extra krone for a beer?

I'll take the red apartment with the red boat to match! 😍

A photo posted by Claire Petersen (@clairepetersen32) on


My first impression of Copenhagen? Wow, this is the perfect place to be exploring alone with a camera in hand. These are just a sample of my snaps - I'll be sharing many more photos and stories from my trip on the blog soon. Stay tuned!