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A blog about creativity, culture and why it matters...


The Month in Mood Board - good, bad & ultra sticky ideas

Helen Davis

May. And ideas were popping up like daisies. Or something...

Yvonne Telford talked the fragility of ideas at the Lucky Things meetup. And, yet these butterfly-delicate things can cause chaos, overturning whole industries, practically overnight.

Why is it that the simplest ideas - the kind of ones you or I have come up with but then dismissed for being too obvious - are often the best?

And, why oh why are some particularly rubbish ideas so often the stickiest? Like my hard to shake idea that drawing - something I’ve loved since I could hold a pencil - is pretty pointless...

Why don’t you cover a big cork bulletin board in bright pink felt, banded with bamboo, and pin with coloured thumb-tacks all your various enthusiasms as your life varies from week to week?
— Diana Vreeland
Mood Board May 2018.jpg

The Butterfly Effect - how one idea changed the face of porn

Imagine if one idea caused your formerly booming sector to tank. Almost overnight. Imagine if that idea meant you couldn’t get a job. Because you weren’t SEO friendly. Or because your CV has one word written all over it: Porn.

Love it or hate it porn adorned the walls of Pompeii and isn’t going away anytime soon. And Jon Ronson’s The Butterfly Effect isn’t about to have that kinda conversation. It simply follows what happened when one guy decided to start posting porn online. For. Free.

Beyond the obvious (and often deeply concerning issues) young, nubile women - previously the bread and butter of the industry - can’t find work because they’re not niche enough. Now people can search for whatever the hell they like. And people like some pretty specific shit.

The result? Custom porn. Where individuals pay for their fantasy films to be made to measure. And it’s not all Stepdaughter Cheerleader Orgy either. Think porn starring the fetishistic burning of an apparently precious, stamp collection. Think porn with a sensitive side, even. As porn gets personal...

Lucky Things Networking - “You are solid gold baby…”

Speaking of ideas Yvonne Telford, owner of the Nigerian-infused Kemi Telford fashion line, says she never shares hers. Not even with her husband.

Why? Because ideas are delicate. And people will often do their damndest to crush them - mostly to protect you from yourself, of course.

I heard Yvonne speak at my first Lucky Things meetup - a networking event created by coach and HR expert Sunita Hartley to help: “[W]omen to feel more confident about their career and wellbeing.”

This is what she had to say.

On Fabulousness: 

Don’t wait for someone else to acknowledge yours. Embrace it yourself. When she saw a Pinterest quote claiming: “You are solid gold baby!” Yvonne did just that, for herself.

On Crap: 

Bad stuff is not happening to you, it’s happening FOR you.  Sharing stories is powerful, so never share personal stories you haven’t sorted yet. Attracting rubbish? Ask yourself what you’re giving off.

On Queen: 

Not the band. The word. Speaking of Kemi Telford’s power slogans Yvonne says it’s all about knowing your value. People will treat you differently if you change the way you think about yourself, she notes.

Breathing New Life into Life Drawing

So, I returned to life drawing after something of a hiatus. When my mum asked me how it went she said: "I bet it was like coming home...". And, she was right. Here is what I wrote on Instagram the following day:

Ever give up on something you really enjoy because you think it’s self indulgent? An the further you get away from it the more the doubt creeps in? Because that’s how I’ve felt about life drawing for the longest time.

Drawing was my go-to mode of self-expression as a kid. I’d planned to go to art school. And, then I gave it all up. Pretty much in every way.

More recently I’ve been rediscovering my creative self through mixed media work and sketchbooking with SEVEN artists. But, I’d largely avoided drawing. Because, I know, I have big expectations. And, it takes practise. Lots of it. And, well, I haven’t put the work in.

But last night (18th May) I went along to a life drawing class facilitated by artist Kerry Doyland - also a fellow SEVEN member - and it was magical. The cobwebs have been lifted - well pulled apart for some Indiana Jones-style excavation. I feel more invigorated. Excited to do more. To explore. To see what I can actually do if I let myself just. Do. It.


I Lost My #100DayProject Groove, But...

Back in April I committed to doing a collage a day as part of the #100DayProject. It sounded doable. And I did do it. Until about day 28 that is.

At that point I went away for the weekend. And, away from my boxes of collaging tricks my aim of a collage-a-day was, well, trickier.

Cue: stealth collage. Collecting bits and bobs on my journeys seemed like a cool creative challenge.

Some Southbank Centre leaflets became the basis for new work. You know what they say: necessity is the mother of invention. And, it seemed to work.

But, once I’d missed a few days in a row my collage-a-day groove was a gonna. I got further and further behind. Until. I. Stopped.

What I learned:

Setting an achievable everyday artistic habit is powerful - my collage-a-day goal got me into a real creative rhythm

Factoring in busy times is key - or, alternatively, just getting over it and getting on with it would have been a good idea…