Day 31 #MarchMeetTheMaker

#marchmeetthemaker

Day 31 • C R E A T I V E • F R I E N D S • 

Over the last couple of months I’ve made so many amazing new creative friends, through face-to-face meet ups and through this challenge and I’m so grateful for all the people I’ve met ❤❤❤ I’m also super grateful to have this one by my side 😍 Having a boyfriend who understands the creative process and understands my frustrations and hurdles is just priceless.🌈… And one who is willing to let me photograph him, cut him out and stick him in my favourite mug 😂😂😂

insta mugs

Days 29-30 #MarchMeetTheMaker

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Day 29  • C O M M U N I T Y • 

Until very recently I had no community and worked home alone, day in day out, with no human contact and no social interaction until my boyfriend arrived home in the evenings. I have friends who I meet every few weeks on a 1-2-1 basis but nothing regular. This led me to being extremely isolated and whilst I love my own company in moderation, I knew that this isolation and loneliness was really unhealthy for me. When Alex pointed out what I already knew I felt motivated to reach out and start a brand new meet up group for local creatives and small businesses who also work from home, alone. The response was overwhelming.

This was only 2 months ago but since then we have met most weeks for Tuesday coffees and more recently, coffee/ work/ lunch meet ups where we each bring a portable project and/ or laptop and work side by side for a few hours. This little group has been my saviour, as pre-Christmas I was literally thinking about jacking the whole art thing in as I couldn’t stand to be alone any more! Real face-to-face meet ups with really lovely, creative people have been amazing for me and I can’t wait to see how the group grows and develops.

In addition to the ‘real’ people I’ve met, a whole new bunch of amazing ‘insta’ friends have been introduced to me over the last month during March Meet the Maker, which has been wonderful! I’m realising that a real life and an online community is fundamental for me and I’m so grateful to now have both😍🌈 *Photo illustration adapted from one I did a while back for The Self-Esteem Team*

meetthemaker community

 

Day 30  • T O P • T I P • A D V I C E 

This advice is totally for myself – stuff I really need to hear every single day!

••• Don’t compare yourself to others – comparison is the thief of joy! I constantly compare my skills and abilities and perceived level of success with other people and I invariably always fall short. I need to focus more on how far I’ve come, not on where I think I ‘should’ be…. and remember I am only ever seeing other peoples’ highlight reels, not their messy ‘behind the scenes’.

••• Social media likes do not define your worth – I can be obsessive with my checking of ‘likes’ and responses to my posts, even though I know in my heart that my worth is not dependent on validation from other people!

••• Keep going – even when it feels like an uphill struggle, remember that perseverance always pays off!

••• Be open to learning, development and growth. It’s inconceivable now how much you will improve and change over the next couple of years. I look back on my work from a short time ago and can’t believe how much better I’ve got!

••• Be grateful – keep on keeping on with the gratitiude lists. They make a big difference!

••• Don’t isolate – even though staying at home for 3 or 4 days straight is massively appealing most of the time, try and get out the house for some fresh air and exercise.

••• Find your people – this is a new one for me. Having just set up a local meet up group for creatives who work alone, I finally see the importance of connecting with other people doing the same as me! The friendship, exchange of ideas and inspiration that have sprung out of this group is amazing and I don’t know how I survived without it!

••• Try and enjoy the process – don’t just focus on the end result and bottom line! When I let go of the results and really focus on what I’m doing, it’s remarkable how much more I enjoy what I’m doing!

insta tips

Days 27-28 #MarchMeetTheMaker

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Day 27  • R E C O M M E N D • A • M A K E R •

This was both extremely difficult and extremely fun! The list of makers I’d recommend is endless so for now I’ve chosen four of the most colourful❤💛💚💙💜🌈 – ones that I’ve recently discovered whose posts make me smile so much!

The Dolly Tub lives in a pink cottage and makes vintage flower tiles and goats milk soap. Her page is just magically beautiful and her life pops off the page! Her soaps are top of my next-to-buy list❤

Maryana Volkova makes the most darling dolls and I’m in love with her makes. The pink haired doll in vintage lace dress is my personal favourite. I’m afraid if I bought one I’d have to buy a whole collection 😂

‘The Happy Debbie’ I think is a sister from another mister! Her love of colour and vivid imagination just makes my heart sing. I fell in love with her incredible creation The Wild Nest Studio which is where I’d be hanging out every day, if I lived in Dallas. Rainbow land meets Alice in Wonderland meets a Berlin fleamarket – a magical, fantastical space/ experience that Dallas is super lucky to have ❤

The Paper Rose is a paper genius. She makes exquisite, hyper-realistic flowers out of coloured paper for a unique and remarkable anniversary gift. I love her work!

collage insta

Day 28  • O R G A N I S E D •

*Nearly finished – in progress!* Not surprisingly I am not organised! This is about as organised as I get 😂 My head is cluttered with a chaos of creative ideas, rainbows and often dark thoughts so it’s sometimes a struggle to wade through all that and be organised. To-do lists help massively but time constraints don’t. I live and work out of my bedroom so space is definitely an issue. I’m a bit of a hoarder/ collector and until last week had shelves and shelves and shelves of CDs and DVDS. The contents are now residing in thin plastic sleeves in a couple of shoe boxes, the jewel cases and plastic boxes gone, and I have a shit tonne more space to play with!!🙆 This feels GOOD!! Now I am in the process of tidying all my bits and pieces and sorting out my receipts from the last 3 months. I am definitely trying to be more organised, but I do think chaos lives in my bones. After a tidy up, things literally only stay tidy for a matter of hours, if I’m lucky. As if by magic, I manufacture mess out of nothing!

insta mandala organisation4

 

Days 25-26 #MarchMeetTheMaker

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Day 25  • B E I N G • A •  M A K E R •  M E A N S . . . .

• Endless to-do lists
• Never being able to switch off from work
• Carving my own path
• Always thinking about what I can create next
• Changing the colour of leaves in photoshop just for fun!
• Living a truly colourful life
• Having a very unreliable income (hoping that will change!)
• Being my own boss
• Being able to take holidays and day trips WHENEVER I LIKE!!
• Being asked to do the most amazing commissions eg. 10 year anniversary gifts and then receiving the most beautiful feedback
• Needing to be self-motivated
• Spending too many days alone in my own head (so I recently started a meet up group for local creatives!)
• And much much more! No doubt I will keep editing this list. 📷 Me

insta tulips2

 

Day 26  • B O O K S • B L O G S • & • P O D C A S T S 

I used to be a voracious reader and the smell of old books is still one of my favourite smells! However, in this depressingly digital age my concentration span has diminished to that of a gnat and I find it so hard to concentrate on reading an actual book. Having said, I am currently really enjoying @mattzhaig‘s “How to Stop Time” and I’m hoping this will spur me into reading more again.

I also make time every morning to read some spiritual or psychology literature to guide my thinking onto more ‘healthy’ lines – current books on the go are Brene Brown’s “The Gifts of Imperfection” and Kristen Neff’s “Self -Compassion”. Eckhart Tolle is always lurking around somewhere but I have yet to integrate his teachings!

Regarding work-related books/ blogs/ podcasts I don’t read or listen to any! I get my inspiration from instagram and you tube and most recently, meet ups with real people (local creatives & small business owners) that I set up a couple months back to combat my loneliness!

rainbow books insta fin2

Days 22-23 #MarchMeetTheMaker

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Day 23  • H A N D S • A T • W O R K •

One of my favourite things to do is flick paint randomly over my paintings and see how seemingly random flicks and splatters add texture, depth and delicious colour contrasts to my work. A painting without splatters just doesn’t look complete to me! Here’s me flicking the final flecks of paint to my first ever butterfly painting (on a 12″ vinyl record).

fb hands

 

Day 24  • A C H I E V E M E N T S • 

Wow, another challenging prompt for me! The very notion of achievements kind of makes me shudder. I’ve spent a lot of my life feeling inadequate because I haven’t achieved ‘enough’. I didn’t get straight As at school and I missed out on a 1st at uni by 2%, which led me to conclude I was a failure. My distorted perception basically led me to avoid striving for anything as I believed I would fail, so I spent a lot of years literally doing and achieving nothing, until I got into recovery – recovery from self-harm and many other destructive behaviours.

8.5 yrs down the line (how did that happen?!) and I can look at my recovery as my greatest achievement – breaking patterns of deeply addictive behaviour – however, at the same time, I can’t take full credit for it as I believe my recovery is a gift. All I’ve done is hold on to that gift!

Whilst my attitude towards so many things has changed, I still have a troubled relationship with achievement. I pin way too much of my self-worth on it so when I don’t achieve greatness/ accolades/ financial security I feel shit about myself. I also know it is fleeting and any satisfaction derived from it is transient, so my compulsion to ‘achieve’ is actually minimal.

fb flamingo card

What I try and do, and I emphasise try, is to take each day as it comes and not get too hung up on externals. I’m on a mission to recognise my own intrinsic self-worth, regardless of achievements, and focus on gratitude rather than pride. Anything I do ‘achieve’ has happened because of all the help and support from those around me.

Having said that, I am delighted to have ‘achieved’ creating my first range of greeting cards. To have my artwork on real cards, with rustic brown envelopes and encased in cellophane (I really need to get the biodegradable stuff!) is really rewarding. Additionally, I also now have my art on the wall in a very special public space, which feels wonderful. Photos of that soon.

If you got to this point, thank you so much for reading❤