What’s Been Inspiring me Lately?

What’s Been Inspiring me Lately?

I don’t know about you, but if I’m feeling creative – my work is so much better – it’s sharper, more original and more daring.  Which is why I think it’s important to expose myself to good books, films, workshops and exhibitions. Here’s a few of the things that have been inspiring me in the last month:

1. Instacake number two

I didn’t think it could be as good as my first Instacake, but it totally was.

Instacake, for those who don’t know about it, is a chatty meet up for Instagram enthusiasts (over cake), followed by a photo walk around Manchester to capture some nice Instagram shots.

We met in Rapha cafe – which is cyclist’s dream – with cycling memorabilia, trinkets and maps all over the place – it’s well worth a visit – it’s a very quirky and unique venue.  I particularly love the mysterious bright pink staircase that leads up to the cafe from the street.

From our arrival at 10am, the group of 8 of us didn’t pause for breath.  We had so much to talk about – Instagram, our businesses, our lives. It’s a total dream for me to be surrounded by so many creative, like minded people.

By 12 o’clock we’d exhausted ourselves with all our excited chatter so we started our photo walk at Manchester Art Gallery.  We spent a lot of time in front of a beautiful and very instagrammable bright blue wall posing for photos.  We enjoyed soaking up the art too.

The Peveril of the Peak pub prooved to be another joyful location for our cameras.  The colours on that building are just spectacular.

And of course my instacakers were an inspiration themselves – what a lively, lovely bunch of creative souls!

inspiring instacake event.
Instacakers at Peveril of the Peak

4. Nordic Design exhibition at Manchester Gallery

Rainbow coloured drawers, crazy chair designs, and some lovely monochrome dresses.  This exhibition is worth a visit.  A good combination of beautiful design and a sense of fun.

5. The Path, Amazon Prime

A series about a fictional religious movement called Meyerism (the drama is said to be inspired by Scientology).  It stars Aaron Paul from Breaking Bad and The Path is just as gripping.  For the past week I haven’t wanted to go to bed because I want to watch more and more. There’s a lot of sex, drugs (part of the religion), bad behaviour and hypocrisy by pretty much everyone.

6. McQueen film

I found this film fascinating.  Lee Alexander McQueen was a sparky, energetic character and so talented.  But as he got older the trappings of fame, combined with losing his best friend (and muse) Isabella Blow and then his mother, and not being able to shake some demons from his past, tipped him over the edge and led him to committing suicide in 2010.  There’s a lot of footage of him putting together his collections over the years.  I didn’t realise what he was like before I watched this film.  And his sheer energy, crazy imagination and rebellious desire to provoke an uptight industry really shine through.

7. Viv Albertine

I saw Viv Albertine speak at Green Man Festival in summer.  Viv was raw and funny throughout and I hung off her every word for the entire 45 minutes. She spoke very honestly about her experience of being a woman. In particular about being one of the first female punks in the 70s which was actually a scary and dangerous position to be in at the time. Viv also talked about her complicated, warped and loving relationship with her mother. I was so impressed that I immediately purchased both Viv’s autiobiographical books To Throw Away Unopened and Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music.  Boys, Boys, Boys. I wasn’t disappointed – in true punk style – Viv is happy to deal with painful and ugly truths with inspiring fiestiness and humour.

8. Fiona Barrows Brand Story Telling Workshop, Somerset

Four hours is quite a long way to drive for a workshop.  And even though my car broke down on the way and had to be scrapped – I had an awesome time.  I’ve been listening to Fiona’s pocast ‘There Are Other Ways’ for a good few months now, so I was confident that the course would be ‘my vibe’.  Five of us gathered at the very gorgeous Oak Tree Barn in Burrington and spent the day digging into what is the why, and the story, behind our businesses and how to articulate that.  There was a photographer, two interior designers and a nordic walker.  I loved hearing everybody’s stories, and the groups’ interest in me and their feedback helped me understand how to tell my business story in a more meaningful way.  Fiona really knows her stuff and guided us brilliantly through the day – and I loved her insistence that we go for a post lunch walk – which re-energised us all.  And Vanessa who runs Oak Tree Barn was the best host – providing us with beautiful food and coffee all day long – and she made us feel so welcome.

9. Going for walks

In the last two weeks I’ve gone for strolls to Tegg’s Nose Country Park, Lyme Park and Albany Park Hall.  Sometimes I forget that I have such stunning scenery at my finger tips. It always perks me up to get out in nature.

Lyme Park at twilight
Gorgeous Lyme Park at twilight

10. Stockport

A couple of weeks ago I assisted my photographer friend Jill Jennings when she was doing a photoshoot in Stockport.  We went to SK1 Records, Rare Mags, The Plant Shop and WTLGI restaurant.  I felt very lucky to see Jill at work as she’s a brilliant photographer and to get a behind the scenes insight into these very cool and interesting independents in Stockport.  If you haven’t been to Stockport recently, go and check it out – it’s going through a bit of a revolution at the moment and there’s some really arty, stylish shops and restaurants popping up there.

Hipsters at vinyl shop
SK1 Records
Stockport Old Town
Stockport Old Town

What’s been inspiring you recently? I’d love to hear! Head over to my Instagram and let me know.

If you enjoyed reading this, you might like to read 10 Tips for Finding Your Photography Mojo

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