Hello! Hope you have had a good week and are enjoying getting through the next milestone of lockdown, and being back inside for a coffee at least, which is just as well in this weather! What is going on? Where is the sun?!
Anyway, meanwhile I’m back for Part 2 of my top 100 list of all sorts to do with creativity and wellbeing! And thank you for all the lovely feedback on my first one, many of you said it was useful which is great as that is always my aim!
This week I’m focussing on the following Top 10:
Favourite creative books
Favourite creative things I love to do
Favourite creative entrepreneurs / hobbyists
Creative achievements I’m most proud of
Creative ambitions I still have
1) – Top 10 creative books
Big Magic – Elizabeth Gilbert – the bible of creativity an absolute MUST read for everyone! This book gave me the shivers and is THE one I’d take to a desert island!
Collecting Conversations – Sam Bunch – everything about this book is beautiful, part memoir, part extraordinary insight into the seemingly ordinary conversations we all have – fascinating
Hashtag Authentic – Sara Tasker – The font of all knowledge of insights into Instagram and how to create beautiful photography, Sara was the first to write about the complexities of this platform to help us all get our heads around it.
Conscious Creativity, Look, Connect, Create – Phillipa Stanton (of 5ftinf on Instagram), This is such a beautiful book and will appeal to literally everyone, bursting with colour and inspirational prompts to encourage you to tap into your curiosity and create in a way you may have never thought of before.
The Wild Remedy – How Nature Mends Us – A diary – Emma Mitchell, I’ve come across Emma in various magazines admiring her beautiful sketches, capturing the seasons for Country Living and Breathe Magazine, among others. Here she delves deep into the seasons, explaining how nature can heal us and help our mental well-being – a woman after my own heart as that’s what I champion via my Insta account @soothedbynature. Plus, as you’d expect, it is beautifully illustrated.
The Artists Way – Julia Cameron (New Edition), Since its first publication, The Artist’s Way has inspired many people on their creative journeys, Julia guides readers in uncovering problems and pressure points that may be restricting their creative flow and offers techniques to open up opportunities for self-growth and self-discovery. A revolutionary programme for personal renewal, The Artist’s Way will help get you back on track, and rediscover your passions.
The Joy of Watercolour – 40 happy lessons for Painting the World Around You – Emma Block,. For those at the start of their painting with watercolour journey, this is such a simple, modern, step by step book that’s really easy to follow. This is what I used to create my cactus picture!
The Self-Care Revolution – Suzy Reading. This is more of a self-care book but important none the less for the likes of us creatives who work from home and often get so engrossed we forget that occasionally we need to look after ourselves! It’s a brilliantly written book, split into different sections, using the vitality wheel as a focus so you can work out where your attention needs to be. It’s easy to get through and just makes total sense! She’s recently released one about Self Care in tough times too, following the pandemic.
Hegarty on Creativity – John Hegarty. At his agency BBH (one of the most awarded advertising agencies) John and his team devised the Levi’s Campaign for black jeans, featuring a black sheep going the opposite way in a herd of white sheep and a strapline saying, ‘When the world zigs, zag’ i.e., always seek to be unique and a message as creatives, I think we can all identify with.
The Lost Words – Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris. If you love words, beautiful art, and nature then this book is for you – simple and exquisite poetry that leaves you feeling nourished and soothed.
2) My 10 top creative things I love to do….
Daily Nature Walks – These are the fundamental, most important part of the creative process for me and where it all started with my photography account @soothedbynature, I’m a total nature geek, and it feeds into everything I do
Create the prompts for my Creative Writing Groups – I find inspiration for these everywhere, and I love seeing them play out with my participants.
My own creative writing – from prompts that I follow at a local group, to coming up with pieces for the Yorkshire Writers Lunch Blog that I belong to, and of course that ‘still in draft’ novel, I relish the challenge! Click on the link to see my latest YWL post last week
Photography – there aren’t many days where I don’t take a photo, I’m only sad that my children no longer allow it! The dog happily obliges though. It’s become such a creative habit that I look at things often with a photographical eye and a frame in mind, it’s a genuine passion.
Ink drawing, Line and Wash paintings and typographical art – I love the preciseness of black ink, there’s no room for mistakes and it takes high levels of concentration
Painting with different paints – I’m still learning and understanding how different paints work, from acrylic, to watercolour and brusho – I’ve never tried oil yet though!
Canva! This is a new creative addiction– from creating graphic prompts for our WOW Accountability Membership or designing new quote graphics for feedback I’ve had, like above. Canva is so addictive so be warned, you can easily lose an afternoon playing!
Doodling, list making, mind-mapping and vision boarding – even just this simple but physical act of using a pen, day in day out, making marks, I realise gives me a buzz, there’s something very therapeutic about it. And sticking bits together to create the perfect vision board to inspire you throughout the year is so much fun!
Needle felting – a relatively new skill but I love trying to improve it and enjoy putting the different colours together to make a scenic landscape with character. I now sell these creations on here too, so have a look if you fancy some unique artwork
Writing my none- fiction book which I started in lockdown and is part memoir – about my own personal journey with creativity from childhood to now AND part practical tips for those who want to get started, and inspired by the 100 Blogs I’ve done!
3) – Top 10 Creative Entrepreneurs or Hobbyists, these are obviously just my personal favourite on Instagram, but if you love browsing creative accounts for inspiration, I’m sure you’ll like these too.
Shannon @mockingbird_makes amazing crocheting talent (see her yogis collections!) PLUS a creative and wellbeing ambassador, sharing her warm guiding light with fellow creatives, and building a community of meaningful connections
Emma @emmawarrenskies Emma creates the most beautiful pieces of memory artwork for those who have lost people close to them, and Emma has an amazing resilience story too, as told on Emma Isaacs ‘Creative Ways’ podcast (search the episode) – very special indeed
John @johnharrison my art club hero! I learned the line and wash style from him via Shelley Art Group, when he did a demo there. He shares his process often and via YouTube too – amazing if you want to develop your own skill or try something new
Cheryl @wellbeingauthor Cheryl is a really inspiring author who has written many well-being books and thoroughly understands how important creativity is in your life
Verity @panzaandfink a new account I’ve discovered who is doing a collaboration with my friend @myhousecandy and what an inspiring woman Verity is!
4) – Top 10 Creative achievements I’m most proud of
Practicing my art skills (whilst thoroughly enjoying it) so that I became good enough to sell my art to real people via exhibitions and now local retailers, I’ve still a long way to go in developing my skills but it makes me feel warm and fuzzy when I see my cards or pieces in shops
Daring to put together my first writing workshop at Miriam’s Kitchen Table and it receiving great feedback, this has continued into the Creative Writing Club that I now run online, which I love doing
Sue Walker (Editor in Chief of Psychologies) believing in me and asking me to be interviewed, live, whilst still on Chemo and then creating content for the Instagram Lives that followed, which received really lovely feedback 😀
The collection of tens of thousands of photos for my @soothedbynature account, it’s given me an even higher appreciation of nature and the seasons, and I get lovely feedback from my followers – people enjoying my images, feeling encouraged to go out and explore on walks, is what it’s all about
Publishing my creative writing short stories on the Yorkshire Writers Lunch Blog, it feels a privilege to be among such talented writers!
Taking the seed of an idea in the middle of the night, to creating our accountability membership WOW Wednesdays, growing our support through lockdown, and helping our members to move forwards with their own big dreams
Taking my passion for creativity from writing about it in here, to getting braver and more visible, sharing my story and enthusiasm via the podcasts; Two Northern Lasses, The Midlife Manifesto, interview with Eleanor Snare and the latest one with Emma Isaacs on Creative Ways
Creating my website from absolute scratch and teaching myself WordPress – I am not technologically gifted, but I did enjoy designing the branding and content!
Styling the Cabin! For once it was ALL my decisions, and I LOVED making it my own, plus of course it being shown off in Prima magazine this month!
Receiving the highest mark in Uni for a writing piece I did on a personal experience. I chose my parents divorce, and all the drama that surrounded it! It had to be marked by 3 tutors because it was the highest, and they all made a real fuss of me over it! It gave me the self-belief that I could write and evoke emotion, and I’ve not stopped since.
And finally….10 Creative ambitions I still have;
To learn how to do abstract paintings (I’ve signed up to an @thisisartify course ready to give this a go)
To finish the none-fiction book….and publish it!
To help others on a 1-2-1 basis by becoming a Creative Coach and Mentor
To help host a collaborative creative event and a new idea of bringing creative parties to your own home
To continue to learn all different art techniques – I like to give anything a go, crocheting however is my nemesis!
To exhibit at Staithes Art Festival and Holmfirth Art Festival, one day!
To eventually run creative retreats, in the UK by the sea, somewhere like Staithes would be ideal!
To then run creative retreats, abroad, at a beautiful venue like Elena of @elenapellecchia58 ’s Villa in Tuscany OR have our own Italian villa one day, if we win the lottery, but how cool would that be?!
To still have a go at completing a novel
To never stop being creatively curious and continue writing this Blog!
So, that’s the end of this big 100 list, which has been a celebration of getting this far! If you haven’t read the first part you can find that here, and it has many links back to previous subject posts that you may find helpful.
Soon I’ll be back with more of the ‘normal’ stuff but also, if there is anything at all that you would like me to look into or write about more, please do get in touch in the comments below or on social media, because as you know, I want to help support you to a more creatively enriched way of living!
And if you would like more regular doses of inspiration, don’t forget to follow me on socials:
Until next time, keep playing, creating and dreaming big…
Juliet, The Curious Creative x
PS, I still have a few places left in my Creative Writing Club, if you fancy trying something different, using your imagination and ideas in a super friendly and fun group, then why not give it a try, see here for more details