The accidental web-designer

Hello Helen – Welcome to The Interview!

What sparked your interest in web design?

“When people ask me how did I get into web design, I tell them the story of a friend who had a disastrous experience with a web-designer who hadn’t spent any time understanding her business, charged too much money and walked off with her domain name – I saw an opportunity! We both agreed: “How hard can it be to build a website?” Eight years later, after re-training, I now create websites that look good, add value and deliver results.”

Helen Bantock talks to Everyword Copywriting

Helen Bantock talks to Everyword Copywriting

How do you get your inspiration?

“Listening to my clients is the key to my success. When it comes to inspiration my clients are often clear about what they like – and what they don’t like! This is the starting point; I usually develop the final design in consultation with my clients. As everyone has such different visions and desires for their website, my job is to identify exactly what a client needs and deliver a website that reflects his or her character, their product or service  – in essence their unique brand proposition.”

What sort of web designs to you enjoy doing most?

“It is very satisfying to work for clients who are starting out in their sector and watching their business grow with them over time.  I have a continuing relationships with many of my clients and that is what I enjoy the most.”

What challenges do you face when designing websites for clients in the creative industries?

“I think clients who are in creative industries have great imaginations, sometimes that means I need to temper their desire to have it all on their website and remind them of their original budget!  You can of course have it all but we are all constrained by budgets.”

As a solo-preneur, what techniques do employ to grow your business?

“Growing my business has been key over the last three years to its success. I have used marketing and a small amount of advertising which brings fresh leads.  Most of my new business at the moment is now coming through a business network, Athena, that I visit each month. Not only do I get referrals from other members but I also learn from them too.”

What one key piece of advice would you give a young web designer starting out?

“As I have been teaching web design for beginners at adult college I often talk to people who hope to run a business in web design, I advise them to read the trade blogs and news to see what is up and coming. I also tell them to keep training as this industry is on the move and your skills need to be up-to-date. If I had more time to mentor them I would also advise them to really listen to clients.

What or who inspires you?

“I get inspiration from many different places.  I love art, colour and visual expression so I enjoy a slow meander through a gallery. I also like to walk and take in the sights and sound of London around me; whether it is the simplicity of nature or the jumble of a bustling market. I love to listen to the younger generation who have such fresh ideas, you can learn a lot from them and get inspiration from their no-boundaries approach to technology.”

Check out Helen Bantock Web Design

E: She tweets @HelenBantockWeb

Suzy Rigg

I give you words like I give you gold

Disclaimer: Helen designed my website which I’m very happy with; and supported me in the production of this post.

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Ronald Moody: Exploration of a Jamaican artist in interwar London


It’s not often I find a post that I would really like to re-blog but this one was it. I’ve read about someone new and identified new art to explore in London – double plus!
I hope you like this too.

Originally posted on Media Diversified:

by Gemma Romain,

For the past three years Caroline Bressey and I have been researching interwar Black history in relation to London’s art world. The African and Asian presence in Britain in this period is fascinating and crucial to our understanding of modern British history, yet it has been systematically neglected within British historiography. Those who have worked to combat this neglect include Hakim Adi, who has published several important books reflecting on anti-colonial, Pan-African and communist politics in relation to the African diaspora in the early twentieth century; Rozina Visram who has published pioneering works on Asian history in modern Britain; and Susheila Nasta who led the recent Making Britain project.

In our work, we have explored how artists, anti-colonial and Pan-African activists, writers, musicians, performers and others from diverse ethnic and social backgrounds interacted with each another. Our focus has been on exploring the lives and…

View original 2,432 more words

An Afternoon with Jacqueline Wilson

Well, by an afternoon with Jacqueline Wilson it wasn’t just me and her, but nearly five hundred girl fans and their mums (mainly) crammed into Kingston’s Rose Theatre. Viv Groskop was understated as literary event host, the two seats opposite, that me and my son had our eye on, were soon occupied so we shuffled down on our silver and brown fluffy floor cushions brought from home and got comfortable. Off we went.

Jacqueline Wilson is watchable. With her shock of short grey hair and huge silver baubles, black cowboy boots and her dark darting eyes, she’s mesmerizing. She’s answers questions in fast-paced humour, her mind flitting around round like a butterfly.

EverywordCopywriting loves Jacqueline Wilson

Everyword Copywriting loves Jacqueline Wilson

I loved her answers to some great questions thrown at her by an adoring fan base of girls aged mainly between seven and thirteen. Borrowing her passion for first person writing, here is my personal impression of this creative lady’s talk:

On meeting Nick Sharratt:

“Writers don’t usually get a choice about who their illustrator is – I was lucky the publisher set up a meeting between me and Nick. Sometimes if you earn lots of money for the publishing company, you have a bit more say! It’s funny but we were both rather shy. He was wearing a very smart grey suit and looked very buttoned up. I was looking for someone who was quirky someone who could do all of these little pictures I had imagined to go in Tracy Beaker. Someone who could really bring her character to life on the page, almost like doodles in a diary –  I don’t ask for much! Anyway I had just reached down to pick up a tissue out of my handbag or something when I looked under the table and noticed that he had bright yellow socks on. That was it – I knew he was the right man to illustrate my book.”

On finding names for her characters:

Opal Plumstead? Well I’d just spent a huge amount of money on a rather large opal ring and was feeling a bit guilty about it, so I thought I call the book Opal, I can say I named the book because of the ring! Tracey Beaker. I was in the bath – that’s my day dream time  – and I was thinking about a surname for Tracy. I knew I wanted to call her Tracy and wanted a last name that was a bit silly that would stick in the mind. Toilet, soap, flannel all sounded a bit silly. When I went to rinse my hair, I use an old snoopy beaker for this, I thought that’s it – Beaker!

On being a writer:

I’ve always wanted to be a writer since I was very little – I used to read a lot as a small child and even before I could read, I used to make up stories to picture books. It took me a long time to make it as a writer, I had some very good teachers at school, but none of them would have imagined I would succeed at being a writer. I used to go to those grim adult parties, where you have to introduce yourself to complete strangers. I would always say my name clearly because usually no-one can never remember anyone’s name.  People ask you what you do for a living, I would say I write children’s books, they would say; what name to you write under? Clearly the implication being, they had never heard of me!

I’m very disciplined, I make myself write 1,000 words a day in the morning, even before I start any of the other writer-ly duties, such as checking proofs or doing publicity. As long as I’ve done my word count each day I feel better.

On writing Tracy Beaker:

This is the point where more people heard of Jacqueline Wilson’s the writer; Tracy was a lot of fun to write, she is sassy and spirited and likes to do things her own way.  Tracy Beaker was a lucky book for me, I met Nick Sharratt, the illustrations were just as I wanted them and Tracy and her adventures were commissioned by the BBC.

Illustrated by Nick Sharratt

Illustrated by Nick Sharratt

On why my main character’s are girls:

Well, I feel I know more about girls, I have a daughter and no sons so  it’s feels natural for me to write about girls. I really enjoy it and I’ve even sat through Frozen and I will be going to see Cinderella at the cinema! I also tend to write in the first person, to make my books feel immediate. I was a little girl a long time ago, so I can pretend to be my characters and this seems to work.

You are a lovely brother

“You are a lovely brother!” Jake was chuffed but he knew that already

I really enjoyed the talk, as a writer, albeit for a different genre, I learned a lot.

I will certainly consider buying a ticket for Write on Kew to listen to Jacqueline Wilson and other author’s talk about their work. Might see you there!

Suzy Rigg

I give you words like I give you gold

Choosing a designer to build your copywriting website

Choosing a designer to build your copywriting website Is the same as choosing a designer to build any site yes? Well, yes and no. As any copywriter will tell you, the word has it. Whatever your specialism, you will have an eye for detail, punctuation, sentence length and if you’re an advertising copywriter, you will know about type and font. This is brilliant. These are the skills your clients pay you for. But they can also be a hindrance when dealing with a web designer whose eye is equally trained on balance, form and their own portfolio!

Working with a designer you know, can be a blissful marriage of ideas and creativity. If you don’t know the designer, you might want to consider asking these key questions before you start the creative process, or include them in your brief:

Brief me right, brief me good!

  1. How many copy amends are included in the estimate after the website has been built?
  2. Who pays when copy errors creep into the build when correct copy was supplied?
  3. What happens when the website is built and you wish to change to a previous design?
  4. Who is responsible for proof-reading, especially if you have many versions?
  5. Will the web designer put your site on their own site?
  6. Does the designer request a credit on your website?

For a writer of any description, launching a website is like walking naked in front of your clients and colleagues. Your writing style, your case studies, your design, in fact everything is there for all to see. Your web design will tell, in capital letters, your personality, your deepest fears, your writing DNA. It’s easy to obsess about this process, but it’s essential to work through your neuroses and find yourself on the other side where there is clarity and (hopefully) a jolly good end product.

Budget is a consideration of course, which can make things more complicated. A polished show reel to show case your portfolio? A ‘selfie’ video to show you’re a natural presenter? A transactional site so you can sell and promote your services simultaneously? The possibilities are endless.

Whatever site design and functionality you decide upon, think carefully about why you are choosing that option, research the market. And once you have made a design decision, stick to it. Hone it. Refine it. Love it. And accept you will probably be changing it in a year or two anyway!

1st published in Creative Digest…  (March 26, 2015)

Suzy Rigg,

I give you words like I give you gold

Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers, daughters of mothers, friends of mothers, mothers of mothers…it’s a day to celebrate your achievements and tenacity. For all of your patience, solitude and endless love. I’ve written a small poem in honour of all of you. Please feel free to share :)

Happy Mother's Day

A mother is like a painter

or an architect,

building a family to her exact specifications

crafting manners and values in her children –

gifting them with  kindness, wisdom.

Whatever strange circumstances

led these beautific creatures to share her world,

she has risen to the challenge of host,

protector and guardian

with the best skills she has:

painting smiles on their faces

building confidence and hope in their souls

washing away regret,

reviewing endless plans.

Unforeseen events may demand a change in course

but she paints on, builds on

her vision and love

holding strong.


by Suzy Rigg

I give you words like I give you gold



A new (ad) venture! EverywordCopywriting


Everyword Copywriting  - open for business

Everyword Copywriting – open for business

It’s here, it’s here!! EverywordCopywriting is alive and ready to sprinkle moon dust into darkest crevices of your marketing campaigns. After deep analysis of my personal brand and USP, re-reads and re-writes, we pressed the ‘go live’ button. Please welcome my new addition – feel free to peruse this sunny orange/ grey ‘word cloud’ I’ve spent the past few months creating.

You will see a snapshot of my professional endeavours, window-dressed to showcase what I offer potential clients and associates. Everyword CopywritingA devotee of the written word, an avid reader and a marketing communications professional for my entire career, I deciding to specialise in copywriting. For me it’s one of the most satisfying and intellectually challenging aspects of the marketing mix. The relationship between the written word and design fascinates me. Gazing at nature, architecture, visiting London’s art galleries and museums; I soak up inspiration for whatever project I’m working on. To drip some of my enthusiasm into a campaign’s creative platforms, is both a responsibility and an honour. On top of the packet of Frosties in my kitchen are the words: “It all begins with sunshine & grains”  in a neat 1940’s font, next to a child-like golden yellow sun icon. Simplicity and brilliance. It’s what I strive for.

Here’s to you if like me, you are following your dreams, honing your talents and doing what makes you happy. by Suzy Rigg @EveryWordWriter

A big ‘thank you’ to for immense patience and professionalism.

International Women’s Day, more than a gimmick

Being an entrepreneur is not just about financial or career freedom for me…it’s about me being a woman in the fullest sense. I’m also a mother and sometimes the incompatibility between corporate work and motherhood can place a high strain on women and their families. For me setting up as a freelancer was the riskier than employed security, but overall a more rewarding direction for me.

Conversation Between Friends

It’s not for every woman, but for me entrepreneurship and emancipation are partners. The level of personal investment is in direct proportion to the level of personal gain and satisfaction. I think about women who do not have the freedoms that I enjoy, and I feel inspired to continue to work hard, not taking anything for granted.

I think of the women, the ancients or ancestors who have gone before me and endured lives of terrible separation or loss. Separated from families, raped and abused in response to the slightest acts of defiance. Contemporary women, who are confined and enslaved for other reasons. There are women whose voices have brought pleasure to many, whilst their inner turmoil eventually led them to destroy themselves with drink or drugs.

Conversation Between Friends

I think of women who have become emotionally unstable in the face of great difficulties.

I think of every woman on the planet today and know that we are all on a spiritual journey; at various stages, with great challenges and prizes strewn in our paths. Wherever you are on your journey, hold out your hand and feel the love and support of a woman who is just a few steps ahead of you, whilst doing so stretch your own hand behind you and another will fall into it, a woman who is a few steps behind you. Help her along. This way, we all progress. Men and Women.

“To be a woman is to feel safety, freedom & powerfully feminine, joyful, emotion-ful, strong, maternal, loving!”


Suzy Rigg

Fifty Shades of Red

What did you think of the cringe-inducing exchange between Dakota Johnson and her mother Melanie Griffiths at the Oscars?

Conversation Between Friends

Star and Starlet, Mother & Daughter, Dakota Johnson & Melanie Griffith

It’s a very common scenario – conversations between mother and daughter can include bickering, but this is generally not witnessed in such a public forum. This is an award’s ceremony, der! Typical mother daughter arguments usually occur in the privacy of your home, with family members collectively rolling their eyes, running for cover  – or both!

It’s no different in my household; now I’m ‘big mama’ and even when I was the ‘irksome daughter’ it was just the same routine. Frustration, raised voices, slamming doors, wild gesticulation and spiteful words. It’s all about boundaries, being top ‘bitch’, respect and approval. A complex, emotional cocktail, not to be consumed by those with a weak disposition.

It was amusing and embarrassing to witness, Dakota’s frustration with her mom for refusing to see her arguably ‘finest’ hour on the big screen. I understood her mum’s point of view, and to be fair, you don’t need to see the film to imagine what the scenes might look like. We can assume that Mel flicked through the book when Dakota was offered the part. Her mother graciously remarked that she knows her daughter is a great actress. Dakota’s response, was pure teenage indignation and a demand for approval. “I’m a woman too!” she said without saying it!

This should be in the National Portrait Gallery – it’s a masterpiece

So, mothers and daughters of the world, do not despair – your bickering is normal and natural (assuming you have breaks in between where you are friends and can laugh at yourselves). It’s not easy being a mother whose daughter doesn’t or will not hear you. It’s equally distressing being apparently ‘brushed off’ by your mum. You both have an opinion and they are equally valid.

Keep smiling ladies, you’re in stellar company :)


Suzy Rigg

Conversation Between Friends loves Mask Girl

Need a little Lego magic? Tune into Lyrics 4 Lyrics!

Welcome to the Interview Paul Allimadi, Creative Director/Designer at Lyrics 4 Lyrics!
Your Twitter handle is @bwoywonder, that sounds a bit like a cartoon or comic book hero! Are you into graphic novels?

*Laughs* Not really no, I took it from Batman side kick Robin The Boywonder. He does everything, a lot like myself.

Your profile pic on Twitter features a futuristic piece of LEGO headgear; (pictured below) what is it and how did you go about making it?

Bwoy Wonder - The names says it all!

Bwoy Wonder poses with his eye-grabbing mask – The names says it all!

The lego mask in my profile pic is inspired by Transformers. It started off as just Lego visors, but I just kept building on top of it until it covered the whole head!

Have you ever broken a really crazy LEGO design that you’d spent hours on?

Yes! It was a baseball cap for a corporate client and the lego brim gave way which led to the bottom section breaking off. I was frustrated to say the least!

Conversation Between Friends loves Mask Girl

Conversation Between Friends loves Mask Girl

Who are your design heroes?

Philip Stark and Nigo.
Contrasting designers but I like almost all of their work.

Have you seen the LEGO exhibition? What do you think of it?

I was invited to the preview opening and loved every single room of lego art!
Everyone should go see the Art Of The Brick exhibition and I guarantee it’ll make you want to stop by the Lego shop and start creating!

You sell LEGO inspired clothing on your website Lyrics4Lyrics, how did you make the leap from creating things with LEGO to putting LEGO designs on clothing?

I always ran a clothing line and so it was inevitable that my lego creation was going to be integrated into our clothing.
It’s all very practical garment pieces. Apart from the Lego shoulder pad jacket we made for Will.I.Am of course!

Wil.I. Am sporting Lyrics 4 Lyrics Lego design

Wil.I.Am sporting Lyrics 4 Lyrics Lego design

LEGO is going to be around forever, what is your favourite Lego design or LEGO genre?

Lego recently got voted the world’s most popular toy so the legacy it has will carry on well into the future. My favourite Lego design is anything they do with Star Wars. It’s so intricate!

Who is your favourite LEGO SuperHero?

Batman! Has to be Batman.

I spotted your Twitter photo in the Metro, promoting ‘Creative Pioneers’ can you tell me a bit more about this project?

It’s an apprenticeship scheme that aims to recruit young under graduates into the creative industry. Be it digital media, marketing or other. I won their Creative Heads competition which was to design a range of creative ‘heads’ using any medium for their advertising campaign.

What are your hopes and dreams for the future?
I want to integrate Lego into the education sector. It’s a brilliant learning tool for wannabe engineers mathematicians and even autistic children.

Do you see yourself building a clothing empire or is there something else that you would like to turn your attention to?

I want to do everything and anything creatively possible. Why do you think they call me Bwoywonder? :)

If you want to find out more about Lyrics 4 Lyrics clothing, check out for more show-stopping Lego designs!
You  can follow @bwoywonder on Twitter or ‘like’ his Facebook page: ‘Follow The LEGO Brick Road’

If you’re a budding talent or small business owner and wish to be featured on this blog, please email or follow @radiantlady on Twitter for your chance to be featured in ‘The Interview’

© Suzy Rigg

Writing every word

Time for change?

My in-box is flooded with recruiting emails for new jobs, new improved body, new hair, new lifestyle – “ALL ABOARD THE CHANGE TRAIN!”. Many of you will be helping your children to make the change from primary school to secondary school, or supporting your grown up child as they start a new job, after years of study.  Some of you may be adjusting to a new year without beloved mothers, fathers or friends.

Change, is a fact of life and according to the Buddhist teachings, one of the few things in life that is constant.

Transformational change

Transformational change

Here are some tips that might help you to cope with change:

1. Think of change in terms of a process –  a series of consecutive events rather one big scary thing – it’s much easier for the brain to cope with.

2. If the change is major (death, divorce, moving house, new job) write down all of the anxieties you are worried about..

3. On the same piece of paper, write down some solutions to each anxiety, they can be simple things like, do online research, go to the doctor, talk to a friend you trust. Write down in detail what is worrying you and come back to this after a few days to see if the same things are on the list. A few days away from a problem can change your perspective on it

4. Break the big change into smaller ‘changlets’  on a large sheet of paper. If the change is a new job, each ‘changlet’ could be something like ‘managing new technology’ ‘understanding a new boss’ ‘becoming a line manager’. Deal with each changlet separately and over time the magnitude of the major change will have diminished into smaller, hopefully more manageable issues you can pick off.

5. If the change is creating a high level of instability or turbulence in your life, you may need to make ‘one small step’ towards dealing with the BIG problem. If the change is a family bereavement or loss of income due to divorce or redundancy, that ‘one small step’ might be deciding to seek professional help. It’s a simple phone call, but sometimes dealing with a big change of circumstance, can create in you a kind of inertia – you feel like a rabbit in the headlights. But taking that one small step can be the equivalent of taking a huge gulp of air after holding your nose under water for a very long time. A huge relief.

Conversation about change

Conversation about change

Taking the step towards the next phase in your life can be scary, a step into the unknown. But remember this: every other human being shares this same anxiety, the same powerlessness against change, the same fears as you, take comfort in our shared situation. We are social beings and we can help each other on our unique journey of life.

S0 – Step out, breath deeply and EMBRACE the changes that await you with courage, love and immense positivity!

Suzy Rigg