Updated March 2020
The Curious Cave….where I head on in with a cuppa, find a cosy corner and switch off from everyday life.
I’m inspired daily by these creative geniuses already out in the world – I hope they inspire you too.
This will be an ever-evolving list (newest updates listed first) and as I get through more and more books, and discover other creatives through social media and podcasts, I’ll be posting reviews too, so keep popping in now and again.
Update: for a review of my favourite resources in 2019, click here for the blog post all about it!
Update: Here is my Blog post all about my top podcast recommendations
And if you’ve found other great reads or listens out there, please do share either on @curiouscreativeclub Instagram page or email me via the contact form below – sharing is caring after all and the beauty of this page is for us all to learn together and discover the magic makers out there that can help or inspire us further.
Local Creative Groups (in the Huddersfield Area)
So lets begin with local creative workshops to really put some action into getting started! These are the one’s I belong to or have tried and really enjoy.
Plus of course there are my own writing workshops that I deliver, click here for further details!
Yorkshire Writers Lunch – Meet once a week at The Cafe Society in Huddersfield, Tuesday lunchtime from 12pm onwards, upstairs in the cafe. Mixed abilities meet to discuss all things writing, do some collaborations and each member takes it in turns to contribute to their weekly Blog too – friendly and very supportive group – here is their website YWL Blog
Gale Barker’s Creative Writing Group – We meet weekly at Gale’s house (I go on a Tuesday (10am – 12pm) but other sessions are available – Weds – 7-9pm and Thursday 10am-12. Gale is a retired creative writing teacher from Kirklees college and now delivers her expertise through tasks and prompts to get you thinking creatively – and her husband Andrew delivers the tea and biscuits! – £8 per session. Great for sparking new ideas in a small comfortable group.
Shelley Art Group – Tuesday evenings, 8-10pm at Shelley Village Hall – £2.50 per session. Again another very supportive local group with a wide range of talents in all kinds of art work. They also have artists in to demo which is brilliant to learn new stles and skills, plus a yearly Exhibition at the Village Hall, usually in March and the opportunity to join in the prestigious Holmfirth Art Week too. Click here for further information.
Calder Graphics Art Supplies – Byram Arcade, Huddersfield Town Centre
Not only does this business provide top quality art supplies and great advice for novices like me, but they also do many artist events and demos, some of which are free – what better way to learn a new technique? Click here for more information
Sarah Mason Photography Retreats and classes – Hebden Bridge – several options available, here is the link to her website. Great for a treat to yourself or as a gift for anyone wanting to learn more about photography in the beautiful setting of just outside Hebden Bridge. I loved it!
Next, we go in to the library…In newest order first, the following books are well-worth your time.
Hegarty on Creativity
I learned about John Hegarty via the Conversations of Inspiration podcast (see the podcast section further down) and his views on creativity are so interesting. At his agency BBH (one of the most awarded advertising agencies) him and his team devised the Levis Campaign for black jeans, featuring a black sheep going the opposite way in a herd of white sheep and a strap-line 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.
There are many more quotes and advice in this book. It’s easily digestible and small enough to carry in your bag when you need to dip into some inspiration.
Collecting Conversations – 100 women sharing everyday thoughts – Sam Bunch
Read (my local bookshop) popped this book on their Insta page and I knew instantly that I’d love it, the illustrations alone are gorgeous. I spent a Saturday evening getting stuck in and so far it’s a moving tale about Sam’s experience of losing both her parents quite close together. After her mother’s death, she finds 30 year’s worth of daily diaries in the loft, simple short sentences that together sum up life as a whole.
Sam then has an idea to interview 100 women, of all ages and backgrounds, about all kinds of common life topics in memory of her Mum; it’s an incredible insight into normal life, and I know I’m going to find it fascinating and also useful as a writer too, for examples of different dialogue and voices. Here’s a link to Sam’s Insta if you want to find out more
Hashtag Authetic – Sara Tasker (Of @me_and_orla on Instagram)
This is a brilliant much-needed book in the crazy creative world of Instagram. It draws on Sara’s experience of creating a huge account that has to date 213k followers and breaks it all down into the four simple sections of: Storytelling, Making Pictures, Archiving Your Life and Sharing Your World. A must for anyone who is captivated by creating those little squares.
Big Magic – Creative Living Beyond Fear – Elizabeth Gilbert
This book is an absolute must for all creatives! I absolutely love it so far. You’ll find yourself nodding a lot as Elizabeth almost takes us on a spiritual journey to discover the myths, process and absolutely necessity of creativity in human’s lives – if we want to live a great one that is.
Write Yourself Happy – The art of Positive Journalling – Megan C Hayes PhD
This is looking at journaling not just as a cathartic way to download a bad week or experience but to actually help shift your mindset too to one of seeking out the positive moments, no matter how big or small, that do happen in every day life, even on a really rubbish day.
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 go and tap into that curiosity and create in a way you may have never thought of before. It’s been flying off the shelves and for good reason
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 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 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 really good 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!
Now on to Magazines:
Writers News – a bible for all wannabe writers, so many good articles, tips, stories and competitions – they also provide the Writers Online website that gives you regular prompts and news about competitions etc
Psychologies – My favourite magazine, focuses on well-being and life in general but often has interesting articles around creativity. I’m also one of the 25 Real Eco panel members for the magazine, testing environmentally friendly products. They also have resource pages including a new recent one on podcasts.
Breathe Magazine – still a relative newbie but looks at all areas of well-being, often including creative sections
Simple Things Magazine – similar to above but works with the seasons
Country Living – often showcases crafters, artists and people who work from home on country makes.
Podcasts – This is a really great time-saving way to learn whilst doing other things such as cleaning or walking the dog! Best of all, they are free! Just use your podcast provide on your phone, such as Apple podcast or download a free Ap such as Stitcher, Spotify etc.
Update – Here is my recent Blog post all about my top podcast recommendations
There are lots of podcasts out there for creatives, I’ve yet to find them all but here are the ones I’ve been enjoying so far:
Two Northern Lasses – This is a new podcast put together by 2 of my WOW Wednesday ladies – Michelle Cowan and Jayne Adamson
The Midlife Manifesto – Lesley Ellis – a friend of mine who has just launched this and I know I’m biased but t’s brilliant!
Conversations of Inspiration – Holly Tucker (co-founder of Not on the Highstreet)
Rachel Hollis – Rise
Ctrl Alt Delete – Emma Gannon (Writer of the Multi-Hyphen Method)
Dream and Do – Nicole Rae-Wickman
Exciting Emails – Vix Meldrew
The One Girl Band Podcast – Lola Hoad
Creatively Human – Ruth Poundwhite
Dreaming and Doing – Nicky Raby
Grow with Soul – Kayte Ferris
The Creative Introvert – Cat Rose
Hashtag Authentic – Sarah Tasker
Magic Lessons – Elizabeth Gilbert
Make it happen – Jen Carrington
Letters from a hopeful creative – Jen Carrington and Sarah Tasker
On the Make – Josephine Brooks
The Creative Leap – Cat Byrne
What she said – Lucy Lucraft
And the more well-being or entertaining ones:
Feel Better, Live More – Dr Chatterjee
Pressing Pause – Gabrielle Treanor
Happy Place – Fearne Cotton
Psychologies Podcast Channel
Table Manners – Jessie Ware
Oprah’s Super soul Conversatrions
The Great Indoors – Sophie Robinson and Mad about the House
The High Low – Dolly Alderton and Pandora Sykes
Happier – Gretchin Rubin
And finally….on to Social Media! There are so many creatives and interesting people I follow it’s ridiculous so it’s impossible to list them all, so here are a few of my favourites:
Creative Instagram accounts:
My own accounts of course:
hollytucker; holly.co; cornucopia_clay; josephinepbrooks; happinessauthor;
me_and_orla; hollytucker; justacard; thestepupclub; lolahoad_;
thesimplicitystrategist; asocialnature; adelewatercolours; read.holmfirth;
arnoldandbird; nickyraby; creativeintro; onegirlband_; happinessauthor;
simpleandseason; graceandflora ; lucyludreams; seaside_kate;
covingtoncollections; kentandwillow; holmemadewithlove; littlebirdyhere:
lucylucraft; karen.j.tickner; emilybrooksuk; k.louiseart; herinternest
hillandhedgerows; makewalkread; hbontoftart; connectedcreativity
sam.jackman.textiles; kirstiemallsopp; 5ftinf; silverpebble2; simpleandseason
ciderwithrosie; laurenastondesigns; snapdragonstudiouk; jennifercockcroft
Author Accounts: There are my top 3 fiction writers that I love so depends if you like that kind of thing!
lucyclarke_author; claremackwrites; lisajeweluk
Plus the wellbeing authors I like too:
gabrielletreanor; elizabeth_gilbert_writer; megan.c.hayes; fearnecotton: drchatterjee
Women Power accounts (as I like to call them)
womenreadyblog; therebelwomansclub; allison_sadler_
a_yorkshire_girl; davinagetsmindful; sheflourished_; bryonygordon; suzyreading
onegirlband_ ; nickyraby; thesimplicitystrategist; lizwinden; alifemoreinspired
myhousecandy; mad_about_the_house; sophierobinsoninteriors
Useful Facebook Groups
Psychologies Connected Community
Quietly Ambitious Business Owners – Ruth Poundwhite
Worry Less and Enjoy Life More – Gabrielle Treanor
Shelley Art Group
30 Day Sketchbook Challenge
Huddersfield Creative Workshops
And of course My own Facebook – The Curious Creative Club
Finally, if you’re a creative and want to expand your Social Media presence but are not sure how, I have a friend who may be able to help, her business is called A Social Nature and you can find her at www.asocialnature.co.uk
If you would like any further information on anything from this page or just a general query, please fill in the contact form below.
Juliet, aka The Curious Creative