Take Five with Shannon Reed
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. 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?!).