So an idea I’ve had for a while now, but as yet failed to do anything about, is start a hashtag on Instagram and Twitter for people to share their creative processes. I want #creativekickstart to be a place where you share a collage (either a photo-collage or a styled ‘collage’ of objects in a scene) of all the things you’ve been doing that have been getting your creative side all a-flutter. So roughly around the turn of the month I’m going to publish my #creativekickstart collage, and then over the next week look through at what everybody else has posted on the hashtag. Then midway through the month (-ish. Am trying not to put myself off doing this by being too deadline obsessed!) I’ll publish a post about some of my favourite posts on the #creativekickstart hashtag and maybe even do a little mini interview with someone to get a bit more background on what they’ve been working on and what inspires them.
The idea is that its a look back over the past month in all it’s creative glory. I want to throw out those guilt-inducing to-do lists and focus on the things that you HAVE done over the month, which is why we are looking back. This idea is kind of nicked from a CBT thing that I did when my back pain was super bad, and I had a book where the exercise was to list everything you’d done in the day, at the end of it, rather than getting up and making a to-do list of things, half of which you might not get done. Instead of getting a ‘gnargh, I still didn’t do everything I thought I’d do’ feeling, this exercise should generate warm glow of ‘look how awesome I am for all the stuff I DID do!’. I think also acknowledging all the things that are revving your engines at the moment is a good way to link together some of the threads of creativity you are working with.
It doesn’t have to be filled with pictures of paintbrushes either – it could be that for you, going for a run is your chance to think or rejuvenates you and that is YOUR creative space. Something I’ve realised as I start to compile my #creativekickstart collage for this month is that I don’t necessarily have a photo e.g. of myself freediving, so I am just going to experiment with ways to convey the things that are inspiring me- maybe using an object that symbolizes my creative pursuit. It can just be a round up photocollage of the creative things you’ve posted on Instagram over the last month. I want it to be a way to share where you are at creatively this month, rather than a big time consuming faff. I think I’ve just realised in the past month or so that I love hearing people’s creative stories, and that this would be a way to connect with others and share the love a little bit. 😀
Here are a couple of useful online photo collage makers:
And an app so you can download your Instagram photos for collage making:
Here is my very first #creativekickstart looking back over the month of March!
The things that I did that were creative, or are inspired me creatively in March:
Freediving, Anything fishy or mermaidy, Spring, especially in my garden as lots of the wildflowers start to come up, dancing, wedding season, glitter, mechanical robot flowers, Permission Party, Seigaiha/fishscales, Etta’s crazily good drawings.
So I think the mermaidy, fishy, glittery, fishscales stuff all sort of goes together – This is what is inspiring me for an upcoming collection that I’m developing. I think it will be an AW15 collection, I am hoping to release it in summer and actually get ahead of the game so that I can do some press releases etc in good time for typical press lead times! I’ve also got a summery (non glittery) fishy collection that I’ve already shared some pieces from and that I really need to get a move on with and start listing soon!
Freediving and dancing also link together in some way – I am trying to get moving! After hurting my back I really lost touch with my body and lost confidence in my ability to move freely and unselfconsciously without causing myself pain. In March I started Freediving with NoTanx Brighton and am loving learning to swim with a monofin. This also feeds into a my dream idea of starting a Body Positive Mermaid’s Playground. As part of my Mermaids Playground ‘research’ and in an effort to be comfortable dancing without drinking I went to a 5Rhythms class called ‘Love Thy Everyone’. This is a moving mediatation or ‘ecstatic dance’ class and was waaaay out of my comfort zone! I was really nervous about going, but it turned out to be a really amazing experience. Somehow being back in touch with, and friends with my body again is filling me with a confidence in who I am in many other areas of my life.
At Upcoaching’s Permission Party I did a writing exercise with Entrepeneur Enabler Ebonie Allard where I wrote a letter from the universe to myself . I found this incredibly cathartic. My letter revealed to me how my experience with hurting my back in 2010 left me feeling like really bad things could happen – to me! I think until that point I always believed that in general everything would be okay, and that even if kind of bad stuff would happen, the universe would catch me. Although of course, it has all worked out in the end in many ways, writing this letter made me realise how much this feeling that it could all easily go wrong at the drop of a ball has been dominating my thoughts and holding me back. So my letter was from The Universe to me, and it was weird, once I started writing it, it just wrote itself. Basically the universe said ‘Don’t worry I’ve got your back again.’! I loved meeting all the coaches at the event, but I felt a real connection with Ebonie who totally bared her soul. The things she talked about also really nudged me about wanting to do more Tarot readings for other people.
What else have we got…Spring, wedding season and robotic gardens of flowers! Spring, spring spring! I had forgotten how much I love it. All the plants are starting to appear, and having a little person (Etta) who is excited by every ant, dandelion and puddle that we come across is making me appreciate it even more. Spring also marks the beginning of wedding season, and I am feeling really pleased with how many wedding orders I’ve had since starting to put more effort into promoting my work again. I love the feeling of playing a small part in somebody’s wedding day. The coming of Spring has reminded me that my love of flowers and the natural world is one of the things that got me into kanzashi making. Seeing two really exciting interactive robotic flower garden here and here made me wonder what it would be like to build one of my own (probably with help from Rob and my Dad who are both into programming and robotics!). I’m not sure if this is a project that will ever become realised as I seem to be fizzing with so many ideas at the moment I couldn’t possibly do all of them, but I think sometimes having these pipe dreams is important for our creativity.
Oh yes, finally, Squidlet’s awesome drawing skills – she is only 2 and (yes shameless parent brag!) I just can’t get over how great her drawings are. I love talking to her about them and discovering more about how she thinks. This one is of people reading, shouting, sliding and dancing. There is also a fence in there (one of her great interests right now!). Her fearlessness and intense concentration on them truly shows that all children are artists at heart.
I would love it SO much if you would join me and take part in the #creativekickstart hashtag! I am really excited about seeing a snapshot of everyone’s month of creativity, and I think it will really interesting to look back on as a long term project as well, as you see how what is inspiring you changes over the course of a year. Do post below if you are thinking of joining in, and I will keep a special eye out for your posts!