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Deborah Henry-Pollard: Creative Coaching

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Take Five with Jessica Mogridge

Posted on 17 April, 2019 at 4:15 Comments comments (0)



Jessica Mogridge is a musician, playing the oboe and cor anglais with many of the leading orchestras both in the UK and internationally. She has played for leading West End musiclals, in prisons and with a cutting edge trio, Pipers 3. She is a teacher and through her work in that area, has focussed on preparing for performance. This led her to train as a coach, working with performers of all disciplines to help them combat nerves and performance anxiety, allowing them to realise their potential.


In your professional life, what is the single best thing about what you do?


The SINGLE best thing about what I do is the variety. As a self-employed person I find all sorts of opportunities come my way. Playing the oboe has opened up the world for me in a way that I didn’t forsee. I’d never have considered going to Hong Kong, let alone the possibility of living there for 3 years which I did in my 20s. I’ve done tours to China, Japan, Qatar, even Siberia, AND I’ve been part of a production of the Tempest at the St Magnus Festival in Orkney, wearing full costume and body make up. I love the fact that I’m able to make a living in such an unusual way, particularly unusual in that instance!


Do you have a creative hero/ heroine, and if so, why?


Yes. Kate Bush. She’s a one off. She has her own style and her voice is extraordinary. She has artistic integrity, she uses literature as inspiration, always putting herself in other people’s shoes because “other people are more interesting than me” (her words). She experiments with sound, collaborating amongst others with a Bulgarian singing trio, Nigel Kennedy and a viol consort: nothing is off limits to her. I saw her in concert a few years ago. She imitated bird song live on stage. Convincingly. There aren’t many artists who could carry that off. The only thing that bothers me is that it’s so difficult to sing along with her because her voice is so extraordinary and mine isn’t.


What piece of advice do you wish you had been given at the beginning of your career?


I suppose what might have been (and still would be) useful is Rule no 3) of the rules for life from “Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination” by Helen Fielding - “no-one is thinking about you, they’re thinking about themselves, just like you”. That would have been useful to have heard. I’m not sure though, that that really counts as advice, as I think advice is someone telling you to do something. And I’m not sure I’d have taken any advice! Someone said to me just as I was leaving music college and starting to establish myself in the music profession to work out how much money I need to survive and only take on enough work to cover my bills, so that I still have time to practise. I’ve really stuck to that. All the stuff I’ve learnt as a musician, all the resilience to keep going in spite of inevitable rejections, how to be employable, how to find work etc, I’ve learnt as I’ve gone along. I’ve always been someone who learns by doing: I typically do very little research and discover by feeling my way. But that bit of advice has stood me in good stead. It’s kept me prioritising my playing.


If you hit a creative block, what is your top tip for getting through it?


Keep going. If it feels pointless, do the smallest amount that you need to do, a “snapshot” amount of work. Then you’re maintaining the discipline of creativity, and the spark will re-emerge when it’s ready. Also, take time off! I find if I have time off and am at home with time to potter about doing everyday stuff I start having more and more ideas, and if I’m busy working my brain is too cluttered with logistics so there’s no room for anything else.


If you were a shoe, what type of shoe would you be and why?


I actually think I own the shoe that is me - or very similar anyway... Suede. Almost a court shoe, but softer and a wedge. Comfortable, but not too comfortable. Elegant, yet casual. And blue-grey or blue-green. A colour you might not think twice about, but when you look again you’re drawn in by it. Why? Understated. You might miss me unless you’re looking for me, you might pass me by. But there’s substance and style there. And an ease about me, but balanced by a certain amount of questioning.


Links:

http://www.jessicamogridge.co.uk/index.html

Take Five with Shannon Reed

Posted on 14 March, 2019 at 4:25 Comments comments (0)



Shannon Reed lives in East Dulwich, South London, and is the owner of Mockingbird Makes and is an inspiring speaker on Creativity for Wellness with over 15 years experience in creative innovation and personal development. She is also trained in Neuro-Linguistic Programming and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, and is a mum of two boys. Her passion is re-connecting people with their outsourced creativity so creates mostly bespoke items designed by her customers. She also teaches crochet, knitting and pompom making and offers unicorn decorating and pompom making parties. Her whimsical crochet cactus and key rings can be found in Pearspring Shop, Lordship Lane, and Home, Grove Vale, SE22. (She will also be at the Green Rooms Botanical Market March 30th 11-4pm at Peckham Springs selling her unkillable cactus, keyrings and Sophie Howard Jones pots.) If you aren't in south London, but would still love to have Shannon create something you for, contact her via her links at the foot of the blog.


In your professional life, what is the single best thing about what you do?

Re-connecting people (including myself!) with their creativity. My soap box is that we all too often out-source our creativity to others and that can be a huge detriment to our health. I love seeing the spark of joy in a customer, student or audience's eye when they get that creative muscle working - whether that be through designing something that I make for them, mastering a new stitch, or connecting with something I’ve said at a talk I’m giving. We give away so much of our agency when we delegate our creativity by blindly following trends and ideologies. Never mind missing out on all the opportunities our creativity gives us to understand who we really are and therefore uncovering the treasure that we have to offer the world.

 

Do you have a creative hero / heroine and if so, why? 

For my personal development my current is Elizabeth Gilbert after attending her Big Magic workshop nearly a year ago. As well as 'Eat Pray Love' being a touching and inspiring read, the depth that Liz goes to in her self-exploration is really connecting. A friend and I meet once a month to practice the Big Magic writing exercise and it is so helpful in uncovering unconscious feelings and checking in with where we are and where we want to be. For more “professional” inspiration I’ve recently discovered Vanessa Barragao a textile artist based in Portugal and her coral tapestries www.vanessabarragao.com - phenomenal!


What piece of advice do you wish you had been given at the beginning of your career?

I was lucky to have people support me right from the beginning by encouraging me to follow my intuition. That voice told me to go slow and follow what feels good. I don’t think, for me, I’d have done it any other way. Actually I do have one thing, build your email list!


If you hit a creative block, what is your top tip for getting through it?

Step away, file the “wrong” answer away for when it is the right time, and make room for the “right” answer to take its place. Physically moving in nature is always helpful.


And finally, for fun, if you were a shoe, what type of shoe would you be and why?

Ideally at my best an Ugg boot! Soft, cosy, casual and nurturing. But otherwise more of a supportive trainer (oh where is the glamour?!).


Links:

https://mockingbirdmakes.business.site

https://www.instagram.com/mockingbird_makes/

https://www.facebook.com/mockingbirdmakes/

Take Five with Marcus McAllister

Posted on 21 February, 2019 at 4:55 Comments comments (0)


Marcus McAllister is a French-American artist managing his international career from his atelier in Paris which he shares with Grom, his adorable dog. His works combine detailed draughtsmanship with dreamlike layers and elements to create fascinating and beautifully atmospheric paintings. Alongside his larger works, he also has a strict sketchbook practice which is the backbone of everything he does. (Indeed, it is no coincidence that in every reference to this practice below, Marcus uses a capital S on sketchbook.) Using exactly the same type of sketchbook every time (he is currently on number 112), the sketchbook is with him always,  with a special binder which is attached to his wrist when he is out and about.


As well as his artistic practice, Marcus is also an Artist Coach through the Be Smart About Art 121 Creative Specialists programme, providing insight from his own perspective as a working artist.    


In your professional life, what is the single best thing about what you do?

The freedom and luxury of being in my studio. Of course it’s great when I’m there actually getting work done on new paintings, but sometimes it’s more about simply hanging out in my space, looking at my images, reading and listening to music. Maybe I’ll just put on a pot of tea and play with the dog—it doesn’t really matter, what is important to me is being here, in the studio, in my own creative world, as much as possible.


Do you have a creative hero / heroine and if so, why?

That’s really really hard to answer. I’ve been inspired by so many artists, whether through art history or personal interaction. Hmm. If I had to answer with one name, I’d have to say that the artist who inspires me the most of late is Peter Doig. I’m currently intrigued by the way his work combines figurative, narrative elements with painterly abstraction. But to tell you the truth, the real reason his name comes to mind is the resonance I’ve felt from interviews about his work process. He talks about the importance of being in the studio, even when not in productive mode, and the time it takes him to resolve a painting. A painting might have only two weeks of actual labour—actual physical painting—but that work is perhaps spread over a several years. I have gained so much insight and confidence in my own creative work through his interviews.


What piece of advice do you wish you had been given at the beginning of your career?

Nothing ever works out like you expect it to, and that’s just fine (even better). It seems like I’m forever learning to let go and let things happen, both in the art-making and networking. Anytime I think I know how things are “supposed” to play out, life throws a curveball. And invariably the result is so much more interesting!


If you hit a creative block, what is your top tip for getting through it?

Just to do something, anything—some small activity with no pressure for results or utility. For me this is facilitated by the constant presence of my Sketchbook. It’s always in the vicinity, so I try do just do some small doodle or take some notes from a book or internet or whatever might be on hand. My Sketchbook really is my lifeline when my energy gets snarled.


In the worst cases of creative block I’ll take out older Sketchbooks and just turn pages until something pops out at me. Once there the slightest spark of desire it’s so much easier to get things moving again, instead of just staring at a blank page waiting for inspiration.


And finally, for fun, if you were a shoe, what type of shoe would you be and why?

That’s easy enough! I’d be the only kind of shoe I really care about: a black leather, rubber-soled work shoe. Solid and ready for anything!


LINKS:

http://www.marcusmcallister.com

https://www.facebook.com/Atelier.Marcus/

https://www.besmartaboutart.com/1to1programme#provider-31


Take Five with Zoe Whishaw

Posted on 23 January, 2019 at 7:00 Comments comments (0)



Zoe Whishaw is a Commercial Photography Consultant & Mentor who works one-to-one with photographers at all stages in their careers, across all genre, providing bespoke advice, strategic guidance and on-going mentoring support to help take their business to the next level. She has worked with and commissioned photographers for over 25 years analysing, developing and critiquing ideas and photography intended for commercial and editorial use across a broad spectrum of subject areas and genre.

Zoe comes from a family of artists and musicians enabling her to understand how creative minds cope and adapt to the trials and tribulations that are an inevitable part of their lives. She graduated as a scientist alongside developing a love for black and white photography and the magic of the darkroom. Her career then spanned 17 years at Getty Images from its earliest beginnings through to it becoming the global media content agency that it is today, before taking on senior creative positions at Image Source and Gallery Stock before concentrating on her work as a mentor to photographers.


In your professional life, what is the single best thing about what you do?

I help people gain confidence about their work. Specifically, it is probably the ‘ah-ha’ moment I get during a consultation with a photographer (during which we explore in detail their work and practice) when the jigsaw falls into place and the delight I see in their face as they see clarity in expressing their motivations and ideas behind their work.


Do you have a creative hero / heroine and if so, why?

It would have to be my father, the painter Anthony Whishaw RA, who is so utterly dedicated to the difficult process of expressing his ideas and experiences through his paintings. His motivation, unswerving focus, independence, humility and need to understand himself through his work is an inspiration.


What piece of advice do you wish you had been given at the beginning of your career?

After graduation, it would have been helpful to know that the quest to find my dream career would take many unexpected twists and turns with bumps and knocks along the way, but as a consequences I would become more robust and insightful… and ultimately more content.


I also wish I had not been so fearful of the term ‘networking’ and wished someone had just told me that being yourself and showing some vulnerability in a social situation was more important than any pretense at being someone you’re not.


If you hit a creative block, what is your top tip for getting through it?

Do something different: it might be the place you usually think up ideas – go somewhere completely different; a place you have no association with, and give yourself a tight timeframe to think. Indeed, consider doing something opposite to what you usually do to see what happens. Getting out of the creative doldrums can often come from unexpected maverick behaviours so allow yourself to be playful and less focused on what you expect the outcome to be.


And finally, for fun, if you were a shoe, what type of shoe would you be and why?

I’d be a wellington boot; durable, reliable, unpretentious, wonderfully practical and not afraid to get stuck in!


Links:

http://www.zoewhishaw.com

Take Five with Kim Youdan

Posted on 12 December, 2018 at 6:10 Comments comments (0)


Kim Youdan is an artist who uses her need for travelling around the world to photograph her temporary environments. She then takes these black and white photos and adds dynamic and bold splashes of colour which capture the atmosphere of each place. Minimalist but very striking, the images are of people, architecture, landscapes, textures which most represent the places to which Kim travels. Beautiful as artworks in themselves, they could also serve as superb reminders of your own travels when you are back home.



In your professional life, what is the single best thing about what you do?

The way I structure my process allows me to live nomadically and work remotely, being free to travel and explore new places is definitely the best! It gives me so many opportunities to see new things, be introduced to different ways of life and experience culture at a deeper level. Having the freedom to travel ensures I have a constant source of inspiration for my art practise. To be inspired on such a regular basis is a huge part of my creative life, something that I try not take for granted!


Do you have a creative hero / heroine and if so, why?

I have many! When I was developing my technique a few years ago, Fabienne Rivory and Gerhard Richter really gave me a lot to think about. I also love the work of Sven Pfrommer. These three artists have been a constant inspiration for my work. They have all used photography in such different ways throughout their careers and they continue to be a go-to resource when I’m in need of eye-candy and inspiration!


In the last couple of years I'm beginning to become more and more influenced by the cultures and places I travel to, rather than specific creative people. I always explore the history and colour culture when I'm immersed in that country. These experiences have a big effect on me, something I want to capture in my work.


What piece of advice do you wish you had been given at the beginning of your career?

‘Don’t be precious’. I am still learning this. I grew up in a frugal household and find myself wanting to make the most of every piece of paper and photograph, not wanting to waste a scrap. I believe it’s a great value, but within my art practise I need to let go!


I have recently found a great way to help me discard mediocre work…”if it’s not a big YES then it’s a NO and it has to go”. From choosing imagery to print, and what pieces make the final series of works, this tag line has really helped me be decisive and progress with more flow, rather than fighting to keep everything on the table.


If you hit a creative block, what is your top tip for getting through it?

Change your state. Two things I tend to navigate towards are exercise and dipping into a creative book.

Exercise is an obvious one, it helps clear my head and such a great way to generate ideas. If I don’t have time for a gym session or to go out for a run -and I need something a little more immediate- I find flicking through a book really helps. I have a few in my studio that are great to dip in and out of when I’m a little stuck. Sir John Hegarty’s ‘Hegarty on Creativity. There are no rules’, Elizabeths Gilbert’s ‘Big Magic’ and ‘Show Your Work’ by Austin Kleon, are all to hand when I’m working and I need a little push to keep going.


And finally, for fun, if you were a shoe, what type of shoe would you be and why?

Great question! I love shoes but with our current lifestyle (living out of a bag) it’s not conducive to having a big choice of footwear. I would be one of those high heeled Nike trainer shoes! What an invention…a sporty look with the feminine touch and if you ask me they actually look pretty comfy!



Links

https://www.kimyoudan.com

https://www.instagram.com/kimyoudan.art/


Take Five with Charlotte Zalepa

Posted on 22 November, 2018 at 9:55 Comments comments (0)


Charlotte Zalepa is the award winning jeweller behind Chalk Designs. Much of her work is inspired by nature, both in subject and in the slow and unhurried process of the wax carving which is the starting point for creating her beautiful pieces. Also inspired by her commitment to the world around us, Charlotte uses recycled silver as her material of choice. She has also joined forces with ethical fashion designer Gung Ho to handcraft three of Britain's most endangered insects, the Stag Beetle, Tiger Moth and Bumble Bee. Each sale of these insects gives a £5 donation to Friends of the Earth.

In your professional life, what is the single best thing about what you do?

It is going to sound pretty cliché, but the best thing for me is being my own boss. In simple terms this gives me freedom and responsibility, and this authority over my life is the path to happiness. For most of us we work more hours than we don’t, and so it’s really important that if you have the opportunity to choose the work that suits your needs, then surely it is a no brainer. At the beginning I found that working for others was a way for me to learn, meet people in my industry, and get paid at the same time, and so it was a very important stepping stone to get me where I am today. However, during my previous jobs after a certain amount of time I would loose interest in the repetitiveness of my role, feel generally unfulfilled day to day, and having learnt what I felt I needed to I would search for the next step in my career. It’s worth mentioning that of course this isn’t the easy route, especially in terms of making money it can be quite a strain working for yourself. After years of grafting I am starting to see my hard work paying off, and it just makes me so much happier to know that I have achieved even this much off my own back. Frankly you can’t buy happiness, you make it.


Do you have a creative hero / heroine and if so, why?

I am quite in awe of most creatives I meet who work for themselves, I know how difficult it is, and when they give off this excited energy about their work I can’t help but feed off it. There is one person who stands out for me personally and has influenced my more recent endeavours, which I would describe as ‘more me’. Charlotte De Syllas is a renowned Artist Jeweller who works with gemstone, carving it into beautiful fluid forms. I actually took a week gemstone carving class with her in 2014, (gosh I can’t believe it was that long ago), in which I persuaded her to take this class, and I am so glad I did. From when I have met her, read about her as a person and her work, seen her work in the flesh, I have always taken away this sense of contentment and passion she has for what she does. She may say I’ve got that totally wrong and it may have taken her years to feel that way, but for me it is an ongoing reminder that I don’t need to constantly be on top of everything and should take a step back from time to time and enjoy myself, otherwise what is the point of it all. Not only this, I find her work to be magnificent, it oozes this simplistic skilful manipulation of a material I hope I too can one day achieve in my own work. Check her work out at the link below.


What piece of advice do you wish you had been given at the beginning of your career?

Set out your goals every year, month, week and day, if I’m totally honest I was probably told this but only now have started to get to grips with what it actually entails. This is something I have slowly learnt to do over the years out of necessity, and I think will carry on developing as my life inevitably changes. The years before this realisation look like a complete shambles to me. I would rely on my brain to remember everything, with the odd little list here and there but nothing substantial. So now at the end of the day, week, month, and year, I can look back on my goals and see what I have achieved, what can be changed and what still needs to be done. It sounds so simple but my goals and interests can develop so frequently that the only way to keep up is to write it down!

My advice to anyone working for themselves would be to set aside a few hours or a whole day (if you can spare it), and try to get to grips with all your goals for the rest of the year, then break it into your current priorities and anything that has a deadline. I promise you, even if it doesn’t sit right with you at first, you will develop a strategy for goal keeping all of your own. In time you should find that this will deduce the crazed moments of overwhelming, help you take the wheel, and give you a better overall understanding of what you’re doing and why you’re doing it.


If you hit a creative block, what is your top tip for getting through it?

In that moment I find the best way to work through the block is by creating a massive diagram on A2 paper (or bigger if you can), then scribbling down everything on my mind, work and personal. It helps me to get to grips with what it is that is stopping me and what my goals and priorities are, getting me back on track. I don’t tend to have moments where I have nothing to do and twiddle my thumbs, but I can have moments where I don’t know which thing on my list to do and can procrastinate on tasks that should take minutes but end up taking hours, or focusing on tasks that I don’t need to do. I talk to other creatives about this problem and it is surprising how many of us suffer with this overload = procrastination block. For me this creative block is usually caused by a ‘crazed moment of overwhelming’ (as mentioned in my previous answer), and so this diagram is actually an important goal strategising moment where you often readjust or recall your goals.


And finally, for fun, if you were a shoe, what type of shoe would you be and why?

I’d probably be a Dr Martens boot; well worn (of course), practical, and chunky, all the things I like in a shoe. The history of the Dr Marten boot speaks of a creative self expression that challenges society, and I might not be the most out spoken person, but my values and creative expression is becoming more and more driven by this need have a say in conversations that really matter to me.


Links:

Take Five with Annette Peppis

Posted on 15 October, 2018 at 9:45 Comments comments (0)



Annette Peppis is a graphic designer of many years standing who has worked for clients large and small, ranging from the BBC and NHS to small companies and solitary freelancers. She understand the challenges that businesses face and with every job, brings her common sense, imagination and excellent organisation. Annette is the designer of the What's Your Excuse books, bringing a cohesive smart and elegant design across the brand, whilst giving each book an individuality through the glorious colours of each cover. (As it is my favourite colour, and part of my branding, I asked Annette for an orange cover and she did not disappoint!)


In your professional life, what is the single best thing about what you do?

Being able to solve clients problems creatively. It pleases them and I get great job satisfaction.


Do you have a creative hero / heroine and if so, why?

Herb Lubalin was one of the original ‘Mad Men’, an art director / graphic designer / typographer who ran his own advertising agency in New York in the 60s and 70s. He learned calligraphy at the Cooper Union in New York, and drew all his lettering by hand. His most well-known typeface is Avant Garde, still well-regarded.


Herb had fun with lettering, as his clever Mother and Child logo demonstrates (see link below). I think this playfulness with type was his most important contribution to graphic design; he opened up and allowed himself to experiment, creating work significantly different from the Swiss Modernism of the time. Herb was unfashionable for a while, but is currently very much in vogue.


What piece of advice do you wish you had been given at the beginning of your career?

I wish I had known the importance of networking and making good connections. For decades, I focused on creating beautiful, functional designs and ignored the commercial side of my business. My work was greatly appreciated by my clients, but in retrospect, if I’d had more connections I could have helped many more businesses and publishers. Deborah talks about the importance of networking on page 83 of her book, in the section entitled ‘I don’t know the right people’.


If you hit a creative block, what is your top tip for getting through it?

I have a change of scene, either going out for a walk to nearby Bushy Park or down to the river, or by going swimming. Something about swimming lengths clears the mind, and enables fresh ideas to populate it.


And finally, for fun, if you were a shoe, what type of shoe would you be and why?

I’d be a walking boot – I love being outdoors and discovering new places and I go stir-crazy if I don’t get my fix!


Links:

https://graphic-designer-richmond.co.uk

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ITC_Avant_Garde

http://logolog.co/herb-lubalin/

http://www.whatsyourexcuse.co.uk

Take Five with Bridget Davies

Posted on 3 October, 2018 at 4:10 Comments comments (0)



Bridget Davies is an artist whose work I came across by chance when, if I remember correctly, someone retweeted a piece of her work on Twitter.  From the moment I saw that image, I was hooked!  Bridget creates beautiful women in gorgeous frocks in glamorous settings.  I adore the wit and stylishness of the paintings which feel to me like a continuation of the wonderfully elegant sketches you find in 1940s Vogue, or an evocation of the Golden Age of Hollywood.  They manage to be both a hark back to more glamorous times and right on the button contemporary. Bridget exhibits at art fairs internationally - check on her website (link below) for details.

 

In your professional life, what is the single best thing about what you do?

There is no one thing, but an accumulation of lots of wonderful things. Creating and painting, and I like working by myself for myself. I also have a very varied routine, so I am never bored. I either have art fairs to prepare for, illustrations commissions to produce. I also work with interior designers. It is also good to be able to go off for a run or take part in a yoga class when I fancy. 


Do you have a creative hero / heroine and if so, why?

I love the work of Christian Dior in the 50s. He also worked with Roger Vivier the shoes designer, and used Rene Gruau to illustrate his fabulous opulent creations. The three came together like a dream! What beautiful illustrations, dresses and shoes!


What piece of advice do you wish you had been given at the beginning of your career?

Try to surround yourself with positive people and positive energy, and don’t be put off by some people not understanding what you are about or what you are trying to achieve…. There are plenty that will. There are so many ways of promoting one’s work these days, and if your work is good and you believe in yourself and your work you will be successful.


If you hit a creative block, what is your top tip for getting through it?

I guess creating a bit of distance for a while.

I don’t really have creative blocks… as soon as I wake up I start getting ideas. My head sometimes becomes over stimulated by new ideas or/and the development of existing ones, and this can slow my work down and cause me to be very ineffective with my time. I haven’t found an answer to controlling this yet!

 

And finally, for fun, if you were a shoe, what type of shoe would you be and why?

How funny…. I’m illustrating a book on shoes at the moment. Although I paint lots of fancy looking shoes I keep the heels for ‘taxi’ nights only. I like my comfort. Probably a trainer!


Links:

http://www.bridgetdaviesart.co.uk

Take Five with Rod McIntosh

Posted on 3 October, 2018 at 3:55 Comments comments (0)


Rod McIntosh is an artist who works between Kent and London as an exhibiting artist and consultant to the creative industries. He maintains a dynamic arts practice alongside a successful Arts Management career.  His works have minimal subject other than material, processes and an exploration of a visual language of marks.  Through this, he creates seemingly simple, but incredibly effective works of art.  He is also creative facilitator providing bespoke training across educational and business environments, he lectures and writes about artists professional practice. He is a regular exhibitor at major art fairs internationally.

 

In your professional life, what is the single best thing about what you do?

To have gotten to a place whether through age or experience but definitely my choices! To do more of what makes me happy. That enables me to lead an integrated and authentic creative life. My studio is at home in rural Kent, and my day begins with physical and creative rituals that enable the walk across the drive to the studio to be the start of a great day.

 

Do you have a creative hero / heroine and if so, why?

Oh gosh.. So many people who have inspired me or challenged me, within and outside of the art world. However, I think I am grateful and connect with the finger tips and minds of our predecessors. That across the ancient world picked up a charred piece of wood or rock of exquisite ochre and discovered mark making and in turn a language to express and transcend themselves. 

 

What piece of advice do you wish you had been given at the beginning of your career?

You are the sum of your parts! Acceptance. And to breathe my way through a challenge.


If you hit a creative block, what is your top tip for getting through it?

Be active. I push myself through a fear or my procrastination by engaging myself in an activity that is part of a process. To not sit in front of a blank sheet of paper, waiting. I find preparing materials or following a methodical and repetitive process liberates me from a judgemental mind and ideas begin to formulate and flow. Always have note book at hand.


And finally, for fun, if you were a shoe, what type of shoe would you be and why?

A pair of walking boots. I love to hike and trek up things. I love the feeling of experiencing an unobstructed horizon from a mountain and regaining a sense of perspective. So if I could not be the one wearing them, then at least I would share the adventure.


Links:

http://www.rodmcintosh.co.uk

Take Five with Joanne Henson

Posted on 27 September, 2018 at 7:15 Comments comments (0)


Joanne Henson is a health, fitness and wellness coach who works with you to find the best way to alter your mindset around food and exercise. She has written two excellent books covering all the reasons we give ourselves for why we "can't" get fit or eat well which are both filled with great advice and good sense. Joanne doesn't force you into squat thrusts or endless lettuce, just shows you how to get healthier on your terms, changing the way you view food and exercise. Out of these books, she has also created the very popular 'What's Your Excuse' series of books, designed to tackle all of the reasons you’re not achieving what you’d love to achieve. Each book takes a fresh and practical approach, suggesting new angles from which to approach your sticking points and offering inspiration to help you change your behaviours so that you can move on and succeed. I am delighted to be one of the WYE Authors.


In your professional life, what is the single best thing about what you do?

Hearing the happiness in my clients’ voices when they tell me they’ve reached their goals – they always thank me but really they’ve done all the work!


Do you have a creative hero / heroine and if so, why?

Tracy Emin.  I believe that what you do should be an expression of who you are, and Tracey Emin is a brilliant example of this.  If you look at a single piece of her work you might not be particularly impressed, but if you look at her work as a whole it’s a wonderful, multi-layered, multi-media, multi-dimensional autobiographical experience.  Every time I go to an exhibition of her work I feel totally moved by the authenticity and honesty of it.


What piece of advice do you wish you had been given at the beginning of your career?

That it’s totally fine to be myself and that it is possible to earn money doing your own thing.  For way too long I believed that work was something to be endured simply to earn money, and wasted way too much energy trying to mould myself into what I believed the corporate world wanted me to be. Being self-employed has been a truly liberating experience, I no longer have to pretend to be someone I’m not.


If you hit a creative block, what is your top tip for getting through it?

I create a deadline for myself.  For instance, when I was struggling to finish my first book, I started telling people when I intended to publish it.  I was then so concerned about being seen as all talk and no action and simply got on with it.


And finally, for fun, if you were a shoe, what type of shoe would you be and why?

Can I be a different shoe for each foot?!  On one foot I’d be an elegant mock-croc pointy kitten heeled court shoe (the shoe I imagine myself wearing if I were dressed up) – stylish, interesting, but still practical and not a victim of fashion.   But on the other foot I’d have to be a worn-out Converse trainer (my real-life go-to shoe for all occasions) – reliable, easy, versatile and (hopefully) ageless. 


Links:

http://www.joannehenson.co.uk/

http://www.whatsyourexcuse.co.uk/