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The year that was and the year that will be

Hi everyone and welcome to our first blog of the year.

And what a year we’ve just had. (I think I said the same last December and maybe the December before that……not sure, you can blame that on the ‘ole brain fog (more of that later).

If 2022 was a movie it’d be a spaghetti Western. There was the good, there was the bad and there was most definitely the fugly.

The Good

We celebrated another milestone. We kept our heads above water. We remained afloat. Oh, and we changed our name. On the day of our 7th birthday we officially became known as Lemonface Creative. A subtle change that better reflected who we’ve become. We’re not just a designer anymore – we’ve become strategic, conceptual thinkers and we thought this name better encapsulates this.

Why did we celebrate a ‘little’ birthday?

Because it's a cold hard fact that a large percentage of start-ups fail to move beyond the start-up phase. Statistics New Zealand say only 37% of 'micro' businesses, or start-ups, exist after two years. And so that means 63% fail to reach their third birthday, and that’s in normal times. These times are far from normal. So, forgive us for shouting from the rooftops. We’re not gloating. We’re not boasting. We’re just glad, thankful, grateful, proud, vindicated, confident, strong, purposeful and bloody relieved we made it this far. To those who have come on this journey with us we say thank you. To those who have been on our journey from the start (you know you are) we say thank you very much.

I went to Fiji and switched off. I watched my kids have fun in the sun. I read a book or two. I worked my way through the cocktail menu. I recharged and re-set. Bula to Fiji. I’m most grateful to you.

I collaborated more this year than ever before and really loved it. I opened myself up to other people’s ways of working, tapped into their ideas and inspirations. And as a result, I produced work that was really good. This brought new opportunities, new faces, new clients, and new friends. In many ways collaboration was my personal salvation in 2022. 

My workspace at the Other Side has been brilliant, not least for giving me the reason to get out of the house. The other occupants of this funky workspace have been a tonic. Thanks Helen & Karli We’ve done so much together and I feel like it's only just begun. Ka pai wahine!

TEDx happened and it was a great success. Lemonface Creative was brought on board as design lead to create, produce and roll out the materials used in support of and in promotion of TEDxKāpiti, a BIG event for OUR local community. The room was full……nearly full. And it was full of people who wanted to be there. They were there to see the speakers who were hand picked to provide an exceptional day. And they certainly did deliver. There was a buzz on arrival, a palpable buzz of anticipation that was in the air. You could feel it. There was a nervous excitement. And it was ELECTRIC. It was overwhelmingly positive AND people (patrons and potential suppliers) were already talking about the NEXT one.

The Horowhenua Taste Trail returned after a three year hiatus. And it was brilliant. Our lives have been on hold for so long now and to be back in the community seeing my work come to life and be surrounded by so many familiar faces was cathartic. I love where I live and the region that I share with so many great people. I also love food. And drink. So….. you know this really is my kind of gig. And the Taste Trail is ripe for the picking (pun intended) – it can become as big as it wants to be and I look forward to being on that journey with them.

Semi Permanent also returned and was held in Wellington for a welcome change. It was a really good one and I took away new connections and the rekindling of old friends. I took away the sheer delight of being in a dark and beautiful room and the joy of listening. Intently listening. I remembered what life was like pre-pandemic. These are the good times people, and we must never take them for granted.

I got a new camera and I love it. I’ve so enjoyed experimenting with it and getting out there. I see things differently through this new lens of mine. And – I think I’m pretty good you know! There is so much to learn, but isn’t that what life is all about? PLUS I’ve got the BEST tutor just down the hallway to ask for advice and guidance.

I sent care packages, and I received care packages. I’ll never forget this simple gesture. It meant so much during the darkest, foggiest times.

The Bad

COVID-19 was bad. And it’s not finished with us yet if the latest figures are to be believed. I got hit quite hard by it. And then it lingered. Truth is, it's still lingering. It has fu*ked with my energy levels, my attention span, my get up and go and don’t start me on the ‘ole fog. The fog is real, it rolls in and sticks around for a while before disappearing. Only to roll in again. I hate it. I hate what it’s done to It’s made me doubt myself. It’s made me less brave. It’s diluted me. It’s knocked my confidence and at times my ability to provide the service I’m known for. If I can wish for anything in 2023 then that would be for the fog to eff off.

The Future

I intend to offer photography as a genuine new service next year. 2023 will see a few other positive changes from Lemonface Creative too, so stay tuned people, it’s gonna be a good one. Thanks for everything, whānau. Thanks for sticking with me and believing in me. It means everything.