My Favourite Childhood Poem

I was just sitting in the park today when, all of a sudden, I remembered a line from a childhood poem. I feel like in most European kids have to memorize poems by heart when growing up. (My Italian flatmate did confirm this, so we’re 2/2). Reading the poem again made all the memories of being a 3 years old in Sofia come back.

And to this day, РОДНА СТРЯХА is one of my favourite pieces of writing:

Бяла, спретната къщурка,
две липи отпред.
Тука майчина милувка
сетих най-напред.

Тука, под липите стари
не веднъж играх;
тука с весели другари
скачах и се смях…

Къщичке на дните злати,
кът свиден и мил!
И за царските палати
не бих те сменил!

Transparent accessories are in FASHION.

You may have seen these invisible innocent little hair ties   taking the world by storm:

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I couldn’t resist jumping on the bandwagon. They’re great for putting your hair up without crumpling the hair strands and creating crease lines. Although they can stretch out, they magically regain their tight shape! I’m a big fan. (Though I fear it will be one of those short-lived fashion statements that I will have to explain to my children as they doubt my coolness as a 20-year old…)

Anyone who reads this blog will know by know… I love watches. So, with this clear/transparent trend going on in hair fashion, I looked for watches that were following a similar aesthetic. SWATCH was the main leader in transparent, fun time-telling accessories. At Stansted airport on my way from London to Ljubljana, I bought this lovely little watch: Thin Liner. I love the sleek thickness of the watch face as well as the fun colour choices. It’s definitely a statement of me not wanting to enter the later half of my 20s….

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Here I am in Ljubljana wearing both clear accessories:

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Hair ties and watches aside, Slovenia is one of my new favourite places in the world. (As in, I want to start learning Slovenian so I can move there…luckily the language is very similar to Bulgarian in pronunciation, it just uses Latin characters rather than Cyrillic). The nature, people, architecture, and city were all breathtaking, humble, and comforting.  Watch this space… but I reckon by 30, I’ll be wearing my Swatch and Invisibobble in Slovenia! #maybe #languagelearning #centraleurope

Chess, Courage, and Business.

The Unthinkable… and the Mundane. An article in Fast Company on business + Innovation. It’s DEFINITELY worth a read – takes just about 7.2398 minutes!

 But then the board became messy and complicated, and suddenly it was too late. I realised that I was losing because I didn’t have the daring to make a rudimentary move.

This is the beautiful tension that defines chess — that distinguishes between the unthinkable and the mundane. 

And for all my talk of boldness and daring, great chess players cannot lose sight of the mundane details. In business, you might call this blocking and tackling — the everyday operations that, if left untended, will undermine your organisation.

Written by: Garry Kasparov (#1 ranked chess player in the world)

PANTONE 17-4421 Larkspur

December 24th, 2014 – the Day I started my new Pantone Colour Notebook. With the following entry:

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Hello Pantone Book, 

I am currently at Starbucks in Chagrin Falls, Ohio with my sister (who is drinking Camomille Tea and reading Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell). I really believe this coming year is going to be a good one … after all, I’ve just been gifted a notebook full of shades and hues. Every page forward is a new burst of inspiration that starts with a new Pantone colour. 

Best, 

Violeta (PANTONE 15-3909 Cosmic Sky) 

Today, I finished that notebook – here’s a snapshot of what it’s many pages contain:

Last page of the book: PANTONE 14-6011 Grayed Jade

 

Intrepreneur or Entrepreneur

I got recommended the blog of Australian business man Les Hayman... and it’s a great source of knowledge, insights and stories for the world of business and management.

He also uses WordPress – so it’s slightly comforting that I might be doing something right in my life.

Great expert from his blog:

“what I missed most by being in a small company was the interaction with my peers and those around me who would stimulate, challenge and even oppose me, and I believe that this is one of the key differentiators between en- and in-individuals. True entrepreneurs are self-sufficient and tend to measure themselves mainly on personal success, whereas I have tended to measure my career success mostly by how many successful managers and leaders I have helped to build.

True entrepreneurs can go it alone, which is something I readily choose not to do, so I am obviously not one myself. I have always needed to be able to mix with smart, energetic, capable, enthusiastic, slightly cynical, optimistic, success-driven, non-political, life- loving, eccentric and ambitious peers in large numbers in day to day, equal to equal relationships. This is one of the reasons why in my retirement now I choose to be involved mainly in non-exec board roles so that I can keep satisfying this need of not doing it on my own.”

Read the whole thing here. 

Pukka Detox Tea, Chill Music, and a Sketchbook are the ideal Saturday night.

Desk **Quick observation sketch of what my desk looked like at 21:46 last night.  On a side note, my website was having difficulty with the gallery portion. Luckily, my magical IT guy (cough cough my dad) was able to fix it! So although it hasn’t been updated with new artwork… at least the old stuff is still available to view. My personal favourite is the figure drawings and oil paintings. I miss life drawing and hope to pick it up again this semester. The University of London Union do classes on Wednesdays from 18:30 to 21:30, so I’m going to motivate myself to go after work! Until then… here’s the current stuff: Figure Drawings.  And some Oil Paintings while we’re at it!

Full-Time Working Gal … in a Media Agency.

Ahhh… the bliss of Sunday! After my first two weeks of work, I have re-found my love of weekend relaxation. DSCN4644

I’m currently employed by Starcom MediaVest Group – a media agency – as a graduate media trainee in their London office. The program is a 13 week rotation scheme in order to gain exposure to different aspects of the business! The basis of media agencies, although difficult to explain at times, is their position between brands and consumers. The agency acts as the liaison between their clients [ ex. CineWorld ] and media owners [ex. The Guardian ]. With the data-driven research and expert knowledge, media agencies solve business problems through marketing campaigns. 

As a media planner…. here are some of the typical questions you would have to ask/answer:

1. From all the data on consumer behaviours, what is the one simple, meaningful insight into your target audience?

2. How can you use different media channels [press, radio, TV, outdoor, digital…] to create one unified message for the consumer? What do you want your brand experience to be? 

3. How well is your campaign performing? Can you optimise the budget to maximise the return on investment?

4. How are you going to get the right message in front of the right people at the right time? 

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Thus far, media as a career path has only been positive! The industry is extremely young [ the average employee age is around 29 ] and very fast-paced [ with digital technology, the rate of change is faster than ever ]. The work is intellectually stimulating and heavily relies on communication and networking skills within the small world of brand managers and media owners. Despite being a niche speciality, there is plenty of opportunities for travel and career mobility. As an arts and humanities graduate, I was lost in the sea of Google search results which suggested I would never find a job. But they were wrong. I love my job. [ SMG has ‘hot desking’, running clubs during lunch, chalkboard walls, free cappuccinos, and hilarious brainstorming sessions.] At the moment, it’s not very well-paid, but hey, you gotta start somewhere! And in 5 years time, I’ll have the expertise, the salary, and the happiness. How about that? 

“Don’t let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use.”

-Earl Nightingale