This time two weeks ago, I was frantically getting through my extremely long to-do list, feeling anxious and excited and exhausted, as it was my second Creatival within a month, after Manchester at the beginning of September. It was also my second Creatival in Exeter, having previously held my inaugaral one in 2018 - so how would it compare??!
I really wanted to get this blog up before the Exeter Creatival as I wanted to capture this event before the next one arrived...!
It's a strange place, being between the two events... I'm part comedown and part excited build up and if I've learnt anything from it, I'll probably leave a little bit more of a gap in the future!! This middle bit is totally exhausting but on the other hand, so valuable as I can take what I've learnt from the first event through to the second.
But if you've got NO idea what I'm talking about - then I apologise! Two weeks ago I hosted an event in Manchester, and this week I'm hosting the same event in Exeter (albeit with different speakers.)
Creatival is a creative business event aimed at start ups and those already running an independent business. My inaugural Creatival was last year and this year I'm doing two! Yes. Bonkers!
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I am in a period of huge personal development at the moment. It’s been going on behind the scenes for a while now, but I’ve only just started bringing it into my business arena. Initially I wanted to keep the two separate because I didn’t think it was relevant to my business to share what I’m learning on a personal level. But that’s just not true. Everything I’m reading, researching, responding to – if it has an impact on me, it’s got to have an impact on how I approach my business. And therefore, I have to share it.
I’m not sure what it means for the development of my business, but I do know that inevitably it can’t stay the same - everything that I’m learning is changing my perspectives on things and that is bound to have some influence on how I approach my work.
It’s the start of a New Year - 2019 already!! What are you feeling right now?? Are you feeling inspired and ready to nail it? Are you feeling rested and calm? Are you already asking yourself how you can make this year work for you? Are you worried? Excited?
Me? I’m excited for the year ahead but also I know it’s one of huge change and I’m entering it with caution. My husband has left his job as an early years teacher to become self-employed, and as you know, I’m also self-employed. We now do not have a regular wage coming into our household, and that is always going to bring about a little bit of worry – especially as none of us know what this coming year holds with regards to Brexit. But luckily, I’ve never been particularly materialistic (or at least, that’s what I keep telling myself!!) and I know he will make a huge success of his business (as will I.) The flexibility and freedom to create our own paths that we now have far outweighs the money he was bringing in.
So I’m cautious but I also CANNOT WAIT to get going this year! What about you?
I want to start 2019 with a post that has a few cold hard truths. Unfortunately, it’s not all butterflies and roses in the creative business world. We all know it – I’ve spent the morning reading this Just A Card post and wow – there are a lot of you that are unsure, tired, concerned, overwhelmed and really needing some help. So many valid points in there about the Instagram Algorithm, unable to get traffic to your website, having no confidence in promoting yourself – it’s all so true and so REAL for all of us.
With just over two weeks to go until Christmas, how are you doing? It's a big question isn't it? Are you crazy and run ragged - or are you disappointed with how sales have gone this year? Do you wish you'd done more online promotion or more craft fairs? Are you too busy to even click onto Instagram or are you spending ages scrolling through your feed, wishing you had a bit of what others seem to have? Whatever you're feeling right now, you really aren't on your own. There's not long to go until you can take some time just for yourself, to think about where you want things to go, or what direction you want to take. Make sure that over the festive period you really do stop for a while - it's important to try to forget the highs and lows and just think about you.
Even during this busy time, I'm getting emails from small businesses - start ups and those who have been trading a while - with requests for help. As you know, in the New Year I'm going to be running my day retreats but I will also be running my online workshops again. But I just wanted to talk about something that has been on my mind for a while.
I know, I know - it's been an age (again) since my last blog post, but I promise I've been very busy! What a time of year this is - clients are busy and needing extra help, my new Phoenix workshops have gone down really well, my coffee catchups have been rammed full, I've organised an Artisan Market and I've been planning 2019. It's meant that although I've been so 'on it' with everything, so much else has unfortunately gone by the wayside. Constant ups and downs, but that's how it goes isn't it? I'm sure you're all feeling it too.
(I'm really ashamed it's been so long that I've blogged. Also, I've started this so many times over and don't really know where to begin... so I'm just going to start!!)
Two weeks ago (is it really two weeks already?!!) I held an event. I'd been thinking about this event for about 18 months but in reality only really planning about it for about 8 - as in, last April I talked to a couple of people about wanting to host a creative community event, but I didn't really do anything about the organisation until earlier on this year when I just couldn't ignore myself any longer!
It was a huge success, and I'm still humbled by all of the comments that I've received. The speakers were phenomenal, the workshops so useful and educational and the overall vibe was one of real energy and colour.
I really want to talk about #Marchmeetthemaker*. I’ve been wanting to write a blog about it (MMTM - abbreviated throughout for ease…!) for a while because I think the impact it has had on artists and makers all over the globe is enormous. Just looking at how many posts have been shared on Instagram alone (273,834 at time of writing) let alone the posts shared throughout Facebook and Twitter, as well as the hugely active community group that Joanne Hawker (creator of MMTM) has set up on FB – this campaign has actually made a really positive difference to people.
I took part in the challenge this year as well as actively engaging with a large number of others who were part of it. I’m not even kidding when I say that so many of the post made me laugh, made me cry, made me wistful, envious, proud – so many emotions evoked from a few square images on my phone.
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