I had several ideas to start but not all have come to fruition. Mainly this has been a time-issue. With a household to run and two children to look after my time has been restricted. Also due to my husband’s working patterns I haven’t been able to attend some workshops/events I would have liked including several events run by the Sheffield Creative Guild (

“Sheffield Creative Guild has partnered with SIA to deliver a series of events aimed at bridging the gap between graduating and professional life.

Join us, Guild members, and other industry professionals as we explore and showcase creative industry opportunities in the city and beyond.

Expect talks, presentations, 1-1 opportunities and a chance to meet people and get your questions answered.

At 7pm this event will move to a nearby pub so that we can continue the good conversations and connections.

This event is part of a series:

31st January – get_local
14th February – get_connected
7th March – get_outthere
21st March – get_inthere

All the events are aimed at students and recent graduates but Guild members and other interested people are also encouraged to attend.

The event will be held in the Head Post Office Cafe. It is a free event but please reserve a ticket through Eventbrite or if you are a SHU student please use the UniHub link below:

There was also an illustration/sketch club workshop run by the Arthouse Sheffield which I also couldn’t attend. My hope as the children get older I might be able to attend something similar. But the ones by the Sheffield Creative Guild are the ones I’m most disappointed about not being able to attend. It may have given me ideas of what I could do with my creative skills.


I came up with ideas for some YCA and D & AD briefs I just never found the time to get them past the initial ideas stage. On reflection it may have be useful to create some designs for the briefs even if I didn’t enter the competitions. My design skills are rusty and these could have given me some practice which I need.


I have made several connections on LinkedIn, added my work to Twitter, Behance, Dribbble and Facebook Graphic Design groups. Although I don’t plan to pursue a Graphic Design career at present I still enjoy being creative and I would like to keep my options for the future. Keeping a “toe-in” seems like a good idea. Also networking will be useful for me with my Etsy shop. The Crafty Business Facebook group has been very handy for hints and tips but they also providing local meet-ups. I have also done some Freelance work for the group (


I will be starting my ESCAL volunteering soon with Grenoside Primary. Closer to the time of applying for my PGCE I will apply for a teacher training placement, I haven’t done this yet as I haven’t applied for a PGCE yet.


Although I didn’t purchase a new camera (I was considering this) I have used my own photography in my research and also just for my own pleasure. I have had chance to discuss photographic techniques and cameras with Scott. I also had time in a photography studio with Scott and Sam Devine.

Graphic Design Placement/Jobs/Anxiety

In the end I did not contact any agencies for a placement or job opportunities due to my anxiety. My anxiety and depression is something that I can manage most of the time but sometimes it does come to the surface. Managing my anxiety better would help especially in regards to driving again. Due to anxiety I no longer drive which limits where I can work, driving again would increase job opportunities for me.

I will look further into helping myself handle my anxiety:

However, even if I was to over come my anxiety regrading graphic design jobs/placements due to the lack of part-time jobs in the industry I think I would struggle to secure work. Also


I got time to practice my illustration skills by designing some Xmas cards and some cards to sell on Etsy.

Having come on this course I have realised how hard it is to balance “working” and looking after two young children. Everything I have ever read or heard about a PGCE is that it is much more intense than a degree. This has made me re-evaluate the practicalities of studying for a PGCE. It is looking more likely that I will wait for the children to be much older before embarking on it. The practicalities of looking after a house, children and working is a lot to juggle. Selling on Etsy gives me the freedom to look after my children during the day and make items in the evening to sell.

Freelance Work

I didn’t set out to do any freelance work at the start of the course, it just came my way. At this time I’m not sure I want to pursue anymore freelance work, in my experience most people want work for cheap or free – getting paid a reasonable amount for the skills and time involved seems like an impossible task. Many people value trades but don’t value creative skills.


Used my own photography in my research and also

Teaching Skills Test
LINKED IN, Behance, Dribbble, Twitter
Photograhphy – didn’t buy camera but started using old 350D – Practice

Also pracitsed illustration – xmas cards

PGCE – Struggling to get a 2.1 – revaulate – Plan B?
Job Searches
Freelance Work

Placement – explain anxiety issues and then further link

explain skills issues – not up to scratch


Having come on this course I have realised how hard it is to balance “working” and looking after two young children. Everything I have ever read or heard about a PGCE is that it is much more intense than a degree. This has made me revaluate the practicalities of studying for a PGCE. It is looking more likely that I will wait for the children to be much older before embarking on it. The practicalities of looking after a house, children and working is a lot to juggle. Either selling items on Etsy like I have been doing or working a non-teaching part-time job may be more practical for now.

Logo Research and Initial Designs

Although I consider a wider audience after feedback on my idea I have decided to aim the app at parents, in particular of younger children who are visiting the park with their children. This could still cover a large age range from parents in their 20s to 40s but most live births are to mothers and fathers between 30-34 so it is likely the app would be used by parents in the 30s to early 40s.

“In 2015, over half (53%) of all live births in England and Wales were to mothers aged 30 and over and two-thirds (68%) of fathers were aged 30 and over.

The average age of all fathers increased to 33.2 years in 2015, compared with 33.1 years in 2014. For mothers the average age was 30.3 years compared with 30.2 years in 2014.

The average age of first-time mothers was 28.6 years in 2015, compared with 28.5 years in 2014.”

Parent/Mum App Logos

Cover art

Cover art

Cover artCover art

Cover artCover art

Cover artCover art

Cover artCover art

Lots of geometric shapes, contemporary yet friendly typefaces and bright colours.

Initial Ideas.

These logos ideas are the ones that have the most potential. Making amendments/adjustments to the most workable logo idea including potentially a different typeface choice and colour scheme.

The idea by this is that I wanted to have something that represented parks/green spaces – the leaf but make it look like a heart to represent the love/care people have for their local parks.

As the logo for is an app/website, keeping it simple will work better on phones due to the screen size.

I have played around with using hand-drawn/grunge/ink effect for the stoke around the leaf design to make it look more natural.

I put my design on the Graphic Design Forum requesting feedback:

Some of the feedback received:

“Look at the logos in your post without clicking on the images. That’s the sort of size they will be on the screen. They are too small and blurry. #4 is the simplest but it looks like a zillion other ‘green’ logos.


“Personally, I like where you’ve gone with these and although there is some room for improvement I think you’ve done well here.
I tend to like No4 the most but I see what you’ve done with the others also.

Green/community logo type stuff can be hard to do and re-invent the wheel so to speak as they do tend to have a similar vibe anyway.
A bit like optician logos. ;)


“They really need simplifying, remove all the additional texture and fuss and just work with a black shape for now. No.4 would be my favourite to work up, the heart/leaf motif would transition well, and a heart is a recognisable app icon already, so could be worked into the UI for saving/favouriting content. I’d use a stronger font though, what you currently have reminds me of a day care centre or something (though the colours could have something to do with that). Look at the National Trust font, that’s a serif which feels traditional, but it has character of its own.

Also try it out in some different contexts – a sign in a park, livery on a van, engraved into a bench, hell even mowed into a park field so it’s visible from above! Really go to town with the idea and push it to see what works and what doesn’t. Generally the simpler something is, the stronger and more versatile the branding elements around it can be. If it doesn’t work, well you’ve got some decent research for your final project, which is generally what gets you those points anyway.”


“Does the app even need a logo? The words OurPark with the right font and colours is all you really need.”

I have decided to work on the leaf/heart idea more and I will also test out just using a typeface without a logo. However, with it being an app and website some sort of logo even if just a monogram would be needed for favicons etc.

Custom Typeface Research

England World Cup Kit

“Nike’s England World Cup kits feature a bespoke typeface designed by Craig Ward” –

The brief for the new typeface for to include the St. Georges Cross if possible. This was incorporated in a 3D sense, which is hard to explain but the link above explains how this was done.

So although you can’t see the cross it is in their as a cross section. It is very interesting how it has been incorporated and the end result is a modern sans-serif typeface with character. Sometimes sans-serif typefaces lack character.

Designing a typeface would be a risk as it is not something I have done before and as this is a grassroots project paying for a custom typeface design is not appropriate.

Wireframes for the England typeface


National Trust Typeface

“Six years ago the National Trust revealed their updated branding from Wolf Olins which included their own new house font National Trust in assorted weights and designed by Paul Barnes of Commercial Type. The Trust describe their font as having been inspired by old engravings from their stately home Stourhead. It’s similar to Optima although it lacks some of the grace of Optima.” –

National Trust Typeface



The National Trust typeface has a heritage feel to it which isn’t appropriate for the target audience (parents taking their kids to parks), something modern is needed.

Further Logo Ideas and Feedback

John looked at the logo numbered 1 and said that it looked like OurPork and suggested changing the leaf/heart to point upwards, as shown in logo 2. Joe then said that it looked like OurPork but the other one didn’t. I don’t want to create confusion so I put the leaf/heart in the O. Although I think this feels cramped.

Lee gave feedback on that the Kirvy typeface was too futuristic. I agree with Lee as I was going through several typefaces to try to find something suitable.

Kirvy Typeface

Looking at apps and websites aimed at parents rounded typefaces tend to be more popular with a less formal look.

Second lot of ideas.

The feedback has been mixed but the last logo has the slight edge in popularity.


Logo trends for 2018

Want to keep it simple in order to

ESCAL Volunteering

The training session was yesterday and now I have to wait for my DBS check to come through. There is a school local to me that needs volunteers so I have asked to be placed with them. The volunteering sessions will involve helping a child read a book but also playing games to make reading fun. This will provide me with some school experience which will be useful for my eventual application for a PGCE.

Working Mothers

Having come on this course I have realised how hard it is to balance “working” and looking after two young children. Everything I have ever read or heard about a PGCE is that it is much more intense than a degree. This has made me revaluate the practicalities of studying for a PGCE. It is looking more likely that I will wait for the children to be much older before embarking on it. The practicalities of looking after a house, children and working is a lot to juggle. Either selling items on Etsy like I have been doing or working a non-teaching part-time job may be more practical for now.

However, this has got me thinking about childcare. I pay £41.30 for 9 hours on top of the 15 hours Elijah gets free whilst I’ve been attending college. If I was working 16 hours or more Elijah would get 30 hours free, however these free hours are for term-time only.

It’s approx. £4.59 an hour for childcare for my youngest, add on the costs of travel plus the cost of childcare for my oldest I would be losing money during the school holidays. Childcare is not cheap, according to a report by the OECD the UK has the highest childcare costs in the world.

However, the BBC ( state this is based on a “a relatively well-off couple” in the UK and does not apply to all demographics.

“In this example – which the claim is based on – we’re looking at a relatively well-off couple.

Parents on lower incomes in England may be eligible for additional support, which will reduce their childcare costs….

…Under the childcare element of universal credit, parents in the UK can receive up to 85% of childcare costs….

…Since September, most working parents in England have been entitled to receive 30 hours of free childcare a week for three and four-year-olds.

The Department for Education says that 202,783 children in England benefited from the policy and that families could save £5,000 per year on childcare costs.”

However, many parents like me are trapped in the middle my partner earns too much to receive help with childcare costs but not enough to be able to afford childcare during the school holidays.

The other issue is that many hours I see advertised are under 16 hours, thus making me not eligible for the 30 hours free. But I still have to get to work and back, which could add a couple of hours onto the childcare care I need. If it was 15 hours over 5 days, with an hour there and back I would need 25 hours of childcare.

A job like this, below, makes more sense for me because I can work without needing childcare as long as my husband keeps working flexible hours.

“Job Title      Cleaning Operative
Hours           15 hours per week x 52 weeks per year
Salary          £7.50 per hour

Sparks Managed Services are looking to recruit a Cleaning Operative to work as part of a team to provide cleaning of accommodation at Hillsborough Campus, Livesey Street, Sheffield S6 2 ET

The working pattern is 5.30am to 8.30am Monday to Friday

Duties will include vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, polishing, emptying bins, toilet cleaning and using appropriate cleaning equipment and chemicals.

Previous cleaning experience is preferred but not essential.

Attention to detail and a flexible approach to work will be required.

The successful candidates will be required to undertake an enhanced DBS check

Childcare, Flexibility and Low Wages

The issues that I face are ones that many women facing when they are working mothers or wanting to be working mothers.

“The report said a woman with a partner and two children who works fewer than 16 hours a week and earns the government’s “national living wage” of £7.50 an hour would see her childcare costs overwhelm her earnings, leading to a net loss.” –


““It is often thought that women stay at home because they ‘want to’, but the reality seems to be that they often do not have a choice, or indeed that going back would make them financially worse off,” Hupkau explained.” –


“Thousands of well-educated, professional women are forced to accept low-paid jobs beneath their skill level in order to work flexibly after having children.” –


“After their first child, 60 per cent of women with a child aged up to four were in work. This increased to 75 per cent for women with a child aged between five and 10 and 80 per cent when the child is older.

But the statistics dropped dramatically after a second child arrived.” –


“On the basis of this analysis, it can be seen that significant numbers of the women surveyed, who are working in low-paid, part-time jobs, are working ‘below their potential’. These are women who are working in jobs that do not use their full range of qualifications, experience and skills. This is unused potential that has been developed previously through labour market experience, or as a result of training and education.” –

Mothers taking low paid part-time work because the hours suit their childcare needs is common. Mothers quitting work completely because of childcare costs, especially after having a second child is not unusual. Finding a job that is worth working is not easy unless you want to consider unsociable hours, evenings and weekends. Understanding many mothers don’t want to work these sorts of hours because it the only time they get with their partner and only time they get a break. Or even the only time they get to catch up on the house work – once the kids have gone to bed.

UPDATE 14/03/2018

My husband has changed jobs and is now leaving the house at 8.00 a.m. and coming home at 6.30 p.m. thus making working mornings or evenings difficult for more. This is also putting pressure on me as I have less time in the evenings to complete my degree. Working around someone else is something I suspect I lot of Dads don’t have to do. From the mothers I know, it is often them who have to consider working around their partners hours not the other way round. Which of course limits a lot of mother’s choices. My own choices are feeling pretty limited right now but as the children get older it will get easier for me.

Behance – Volunteer Job Opportunity

I received a message through Behance on 11/02/2018 about a volunteer job opportunity:

“Hi Ayshea,

I hope your well
I am writing to you, in regards to an opportunity with my magazine.

I am the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Music Geeks UK. We are seeking contributors for the second issue of our music industry magazine.

Although it is a voluntary role, we are looking for individuals who would be happy to be a part of our team. Opportunities include joining our editorial or art / graphic design team.

Our first issue was released in September 2017, based around Festivals featuring Scottish singer-songwriter Kat Healy. The digital mag is available to view via Issuu We are working hard on producing a print edition for issue 2.

If this opportunity is of interest to you, It would be great to discuss in more detail.

I look forward to hearing a response from you soon.


Nicole Alii
Founder & Editor-in-Chief”

I emailed back asking for more information but I haven’t heard anything back yet.

UPDATE 05/03/2018

“Hi Ayshea,

Thank you for contacting us.

We require contributors remotely to create artwork that will accompany editorial. Work can be completed in 2-4 weeks depending on the artist/designer. Illustrators can choose their workload/ or work they are happy to be involved in. As each feature is different, artwork can be on a small or large scale (Double page spreads etc). We are curently working on the pre-production stages of the mag, brainstorming and assigning features to our writers. Unfortunately at this time, contributors will be on a voluntary basis.



I have asked Nicole to contact me when they have finalised what they are doing.

Another Sale on Etsy

Managed to sell another card on Etsy, really pleased especially as I have not promoted my Etsy shop at all. The advice given for Esty is promote your shop as you will struggle to get sales otherwise.

I think once this course is over I will get more time to promote my Etsy shop via Instagram, Facebook, etc. Having not being sure what to do for Prof Dev, I now feel that going back to working for myself is the best route until the kids are older at which point I will do a PGCE (assuming I get a 2.1 from this degree).

I’m part of a group of Facebook called Crafty Business Sheffield, here are what some of the members have said about selling on Etsy:

I use Etsy and I like it. There’s a really good Etsy sellers community in Sheffield who have started doing Etsy Made Local fairs and such, which have been really popular. You do have to do a lot of social media marketing to get sales, and that takes a long time to build up, but it’s the same with any platform you use. I’m thinking of trying Folksy this year, too.”

“I have an etsy shop and went a few months before I sold anything. You do have to market it yourself but I’m also getting traffic through etsy search results and I’ve started having more online sales since doing fares and making people know about me that way. There is lots you can do to optimise your etsy and google search results, there’s lots of advice out there and help in the etsy guidebook on their website.”

“It depends what you are selling. Set up is free and listings are inexpensive, but very few make much money on there. Where Etsy failed for me is in the promotion. You sped so much time promoting it is ridiculous.”

This comment was posted in January;

Not too bad to set up, but you need to drive traffic to your shop. As yet I haven’t sold anything been on since October. Still trying.”

The group has been really useful for networking and receiving advice. It’s been a good way to connect with other businesses/local crafters.

UPDATE: 10/02/2018

Sold another two cards.