Around this time last year instead of heading back to work after a Christmas break with planning and accounts to get through, I was madly writing, illustrating and preparing project samples for my second book. Sneaking out to cafes and the library to squeeze extra writing time in around my little one's nap times.
One of the unexpected joys that I found from the process of creating my books has been the actual writing process. I knew I was going to love figuring out how to create the illustrations and technical instructions, but once the book was finished and handed in, I realised I'd really enjoyed getting lost in the pleasure of writing and researching again.
Once upon a time when the bags under my eyes were still just small delicate purses, not Ikea blue beasts, I had hoped to write for theatre and even had a few plays reach the stage at one point. And in a big box covered in dust under the bed in my spare room there’s also many a notebook with a beginning of a children’s book in, or script that was begun with great intentions and hope but left unfinished.
I love writing, but as with lots of things in my life I have a marvellous way of overthinking things until I squeeze all the joy out of the process and then I just pop it in a box somewhere.
So in an attempt to just enjoy writing and not get caught up in overthinking it too much, I’m going to have a bash at writing a blog and I’d love you to come along for the ride. I’m hoping to use this blog as a space to share all the things that are swirling round my head when I’m staring out the window and should be concentrating on getting my invoices sorted.
I read recently that people who write goals down are 48% more likely to make them happen and that rises to 75% when they tell a friend. So here I am, telling you that my goal is to take time to relish in my love of writing this year by committing to a weekly blog and improving along the way. Cripes, I don’t think I’ve shared my goals like that publicly since confirming my ambition to marry Mark Owen on my PE kit bag in year 7.
So what can you expect from my little cul-de-sac of the Internet? I’ve done some initial calculations and it looks like the blog will be approximately 68% creative waffle, 24% shenanigans and 8% ideas that it will be your job to tell me are bonkers.
It will tell you a little more about me, my love of texture, colour, people looking each other in the eye. Sitting in a café at a train station and marvelling at all the little stories that are unfolding in front of me. That I’ll cry at any film or TV shows peppered with a slow thoughtful voiceover and song full of lament played underneath. I enjoy an oat milk latte and the busy city lifestyle that means I can get one at 11pm. But I also long for big open horizons packed with dewy trees and morning mist heavy with magic and possibility.
I’ll be sharing some of my creative inspiration with mood boards, colour inspo and a peek at what's on my desk at the moment. I love seeing what sparks a creative idea and exploring other artists creative studios and sketchbooks so I hope I can share some little creative treasures to fuel your imagination.
Of course there will be a large dollop of lettering. I’ll be building on some of the exercises and techniques in my books alongside sharing project ideas that you can follow along with.
I’ll take you along to some of the exhibitions, performances I go to and share women artists I discover that fill me up with ideas and make me not look at my phone for hours. I’m going to look at why access to arts and culture is so important for all and share ways in which we can all experience and contribute to projects and organisations that are building communities and helping people express themselves through the arts.
Finally, as a small business I’ll tell you about some of the ridiculous things I’ve got wrong in the last four years so you don’t have to, and the brilliant resources I’ve found along the way. As a lover of all things handmade and handwritten I wish I could pop all this into a letter for each of you and delicately spray it with perfume in true Sandy from Grease fashion. But I hope this platform will start some conversations and help me learn a bunch of new fantastic things and stop me talking to myself in the studio so much.
So if you do stick around to have a read over the next few months please do comment, ask questions and tell me about your latest moments of creative joy. I’d love this to be a start of a conversation.
Thanks team, see you next week?
Three links to delight your eyes and heart: