Tuesday, 30 June 2009

A Budding Young Rapper

Rap hasn't really been my kind of music. I'm from a different generation and as I grow older and my hearing grows dimmer I find the only way I can hear anyone speak is if I look at them closely and lipread... but a very talented young man has helped me to see and hear things very differently. It may be that I am slightly biased, I've known the lad since he was born. I was his mother's birthing partner and was with her the day he arrived into this lovely world of ours. She called him Shasa after her friend Rolf Harris and Rolf became Shasa's godfather and 'grandfather' of sorts.

Shasa has turned out to be a very talented young rapper who goes under the name BB Manik. He acquired his interest in music from his father Michael and like all young musicians these days his hero was the great pop legend Michael Jackson.

Shasa is a very confident young man and has a real passion for music, he raps as though rap music was made for him and his dance routines are as fluid as his great hero Michael Jackson.

Shasa played at Glastonbury this year with Rolf Harris to some fantastic reviews from NME and the Sunday Mail. After a hearty intro of 'I say Rolf you say Harris', they did a rap rendition of 'Pavlova' together.

I am really really proud of the lad and prouder still of his mother, my friend Seiwa Cunningham who encouraged him all the way. Being Ghanaian by birth, we come from a very different culture where success is measured by the level of academic qualifications you have, where everything else is frowned upon and considered less successful.

I am looking forward to a very long and bright future for the young man who goes by the name BB Manik whom I will always call Shasa.

To use his own language - I say Big Up!! BB Manik!

Monday, 15 June 2009

Experienced people need not apply

I have shamelessly caught both the blogging and twitter bugs and spent most of this weekend writing and following and learning (who says you can't learn from social networking sites). Anyway, I emailed all my friends and demanded they follow me or I would cut them out of my birthday list and then received this reply from my mentor Rachel - I think it's really good advice for first time bloggers and twitters. If you know all this stuff already you can fast forward and go straight to the comments section.



Use the little 'chain' tool to link keywords to other people/sites in your blog posts, that way the authors of those sites get alerts and will come to your Blog and make their comment eg 'In looking into this I came across an interesting blog on alcoholism.' The more links you include and the more people that link to you the bigger your following will grow- Set up Google Alerts on all topics you are interested in. This sends you an email every time an article is published on that subject; you can then comment on it and link to it. Tip: make sure you use a specific search term or you will be inundated! eg I set up an alert for Dragons Den which provided lots of useful fodder for comments about the show.- Cover as many topics as possible and BE CONTROVERSIAL! eg my Obama & Bush Blog post was my most successful ever - it attracted something like 200 comments- That said, if the intention behind the Blog is purely commercial, I would suggest you focus purely on your art/art topics - look at what Hani O'Keefe is doing at http://wwwhaniokeeffeartistcouk.blogspot.com/- Shameless plug now... Get hold of the Marketing Magicians DVD and you can hear the story of Thomas Mahon from the horses mouth about how he went from not being able to afford a chinese takeaway to establishing himself as an international tailor with royalty as clientele simply through his blog English Cut Amazing stuff!


I learnt this tip at Mark Attwood's SEO & Internet Marketing Clinic last Friday... Find people in your space (ie artists) and look at their followers - then follow them all! You will find many will reciprocate. I did this with 250 of Peter Jones' list of followers on Saturday and immediately picked up over 50 new followers. The downside is of course you get flooded with tweets !!! But you can then unfollow ones which aren't on topic.The great thing about getting a big Twitter following is when your book is published you have an instant market to buy itHope this helpsRegardsRachel

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Not happy with the lad!

Got a call last night to fetch my 15 year old son from a barbecue he attended yesterday - they called me because he was completely drunk and his friends were concerned about him. I have very mixed feelings about this ranging from am I a bad mother to WTH were they doing serving him alcohol? The barbecue was part of their football presentation evening and the bar was open?! To 15 years olds?!

As we drove home he spewed all over the car - completely without warning! We had to finish the journey with the windows wound down. Thank God it was a warm evening.

This morning after a strong lecture about teenage drinking and the dangers of liver poisoning and cirrhosis of the liver (yes he has heard the whole lot) - he was quiet and I hope suitably contrite but I suspect his head was banging so it was probably better to sit very still. He has been cleaning the car, both inside and out (including all the s***t the birds left on the bonnet). His one big concern - was his mate Luke in the car when he threw up? Yes Luke was there, Luke kindly phoned me and kept his mobile phone so he would not lose it, and Luke saw to it that he got home safely.

So thanks Luke - George isn't in bad company after all - and he is worried you are going to tell everyone how he was sick in my car. Spread the news, Luke, make posters (I'll help you with that) and tell everyone about it!! Let's hope it will help him see the folly of his ways and not bring him additional kudos.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Phew - Glad it's all over!

It was good to hear on Radio 4 this morning that the recession has bottomed out and we are on the road to recovery.
Having talked up the storm of the recession it's good to hear the media speaking of a recovery - hopefully they will talk it up in the same way - with good stories of companies in recovery mode. Then we can all go back to the business of running our business.

My world in pictures

I am getting used to blogging and have to admit I am rather enjoying it. It helps me with my routince and gives me yet another good reason to wake up early in the morning to get my day going.

I mentioned I trained as an artist and I recently got an honourable mention in the Art-Interview online competition. I forgot to do two things and have discovered you can't edit your blog once it has been posted (or if someone knows how - please let me know).

So here they are - 1. The image of my winning picure and 2. A link to my paintings website

Oh and 3 - I still paint under my maiden name - Anne Blankson-Hemans

Your comments (be kind to me) as usual...
A very proud artist

I am really pleased to have received an honourable mention in the Art Interview 16th Online Art Competition which ran from January 1st to March 31st 2009. My painting 'The Fish Sorters' was one of six that received an official recognition of merit. 633 works were submitted from 209 different artists.

The Art Interview - International Online Artist Competition is a quarterly, international, juried exhibition of paintings, drawings and sculptures in any medium. It is open to all living artists worldwide aged 16 and up.

The competition is run completely over the Internet, which eliminates the need to send slides or arrange for physical transportation of artworks. Artists have the opportunity to gain international recognition for any artwork submitted.
To find out more about the exhibition, please visit

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Also known as Anne Herbert

Hello and welcome to my blog

My name is Anne Herbert, I am 48 years old and I live in Northampton UK with my family.
I run a small business creating bespoke fine art prints for artists and photographers. We provide these prints on a variety of mounts including canvas, acrylic perspex and aluminium. We try to provide some new and unique that differentiates our customers from their competitors.

Lately, we have entered the world of interior decoration and provide fine art prints encapsulated in Perspex which we design into furniture. My mentor Rachel Elnaugh has a picture of one of my desks on her http://racheleelnaugh.blogspot.com/2008/08/million-desk.html blog.

I am also an artist, I paint loads of figurative pictures based mostly on scenes captured from my native Ghana - you can find out more about these on my other website www.annesimages.com

I will be posting here on all aspects of life that interest me; the arts, politics, culture, business and children.

I would welcome your comments.