A good few weeks ago I went on my second colourful photo walk in London with the wonderful ‘In Colourful Company’. This time we hunted out colour in Camden. This creative community of colour lovers was started by Toni Bee and is now 2 years old! Toni’s inspiration behind it was simply to meet other fellow creatives and colour lovers.
Previously, these walks have been organised for free with members of the community donating their handmade wares for goody bags. This one was the first ticketed event at £25 and it was so worth the money! Instead of a goody bag we each received a mini zine and an illustrated map of our route for the day. The zine included lots of discount codes to members’ creative biz shops. A great way to share the love in a mutual fashion!
My first taste of being a part of a creative community was when I attented Blogtacular 2016. This was my first time of going on a photo walk in London, not knowing a single soul! I wrote about it here, where I talk about being a babbling fool in front of Rachel of Oh No! Rachio and Kim Lawler! (I had no clue who these people were at the time! Later, a friend and fellow Etsy seller reacted with ‘you met Rachel? Wow!’). You can read more about Blogtacular here.
I loved it so much I attended again in 2017 and 2018! I’ve built some good connections with fellow bloggers that have been invaluable to my indie biz journey. I also found out about ICC from Blogtacular too! From Joanne Hodgson who runs Blue Bear Bakery. There is a nice crossover with members often being a part of Blogtacular, Leona’s Indie Roller group and ICC. Not surprising really as we are all in the same creative niche!
Here is the lovely Jodi of Redhouse Photography standing in front of wall art by Studio Flop. The rainbow balloon was brought along by Kali from the untypical woman. I had so much fun with this prop! I got bored of carrying it at one point and put the stick down my back. I got some weird looks walking about with a rainbow halo!!
I got weird looks on the train to London anyway which may’ve been due to my purple liquid lipstick! I was feeling a little grumpy at the start of the day and thought I’d paint my lips to match my mood! A little bit goth. It was pretty beneficial though as no one dared to sit next to me on a crowded train!
Whilst on the walk, one chap whom happened to walk through us looked at us with a look of horror on his face and said ‘you’re all too happy for me!’. To which I took offence! Just because we love colour doesn’t mean we’re like this all the time! From an ill mental health sufferer, it’s certainly not all rainbows and unicorns! However, as usual, this is just me thinking too deeply. It’s all about context. And he was reacting to what he saw in that moment. Which is fair enough!
Another observation I found funny was walking into the pub at the end of the walk, everyone staring at us. One lady commented on the balloons attached to Daisy’s bike ‘oh it’s a birthday bike’. Because why else would you have balloons attached to your bike? Surely not just for fun?! I love how people try to justify this stuff!
I felt a little manic on the day and very much enjoyed getting excitable and just being silly! I cannot describe the joy to be had in getting together with fellow creatives whom just ‘get’ you. If you’re a blogger or designer/maker, sometimes, friends and family just don’t understand it. Or fail to see it’s a ‘proper’ job. So when you get together with people whom know the struggle of running an indie biz and share the same passion for colour and creativity, it just feels so comfortable!
I had a really lovely convo with Hayley of the mediocre explorer. She is also a fellow Christian! I think I made some throwaway comment about millennials (apparently I am in that category at 34 but totally do not identify with it!). Then realised I was probably talking to one! Which led to my favourite kind of deep convo about social media vs reality and how the lines are becoming increasingly blurred. I just can’t imagine growing up with the pressure of social media. I didn’t join Facebook until 2007. When I was 23! When I asked Hayley how she felt being a teenager when FB came out, she said she just found it fun. That it was great finding out more about people online. I suppose it was a bit different to how social media is now. Eveything is so much more visual.
One thing that was telling however is that she also mentioned how her peers have two separate FB accounts. One that is just for public and purveys a completey different persona. And another that is private and only shared with close friends. In a way, this actually seems quite sensible. To discern what to share with who. Everyone knows that social media only shows the highlights. And to be fair, it makes sense we would only post the best bits. The smiling faces, the happy memories. These are the things we want to remember.
I read a short snippet in Happiful magazine about the way people are requesting cosmetic surgery. The trend used to be clients asking to look like celebrities. But now, they are asking to be made to look like filtered versions of themselves. It did not surprise me one bit! This is why I refuse to post a filtered selfie of myself on social media. Because it doesn’t help with these blurred lines. The striving for perfection. It’s just so fake! Why would we want to all look the same anyway? I refuse to feed into that.
On a lighter note, we were looking at this mural by James Chuter and I was saying I didn’t like it because they looked a bit creepy, like monster ice-cream. Then Hayley mentioned that the dripping mouths looked like tasty sauce. And she said ‘a bit like, I’m tasty and I know it’. To which point I burst out laughing and it prompted this boomerang where we were trying to be all seductive! 💋 😂
For me it’s always a big dilemma what to wear on the day. I remember for Blogtacular 2016 I just wore a colourful logo t-shirt and skinny jeans. Colourful but comfy/practical. For some reason, the more events I attend, the more paranoid I get with what to wear! It’s that self conscious feeling of wanting to express myself, represent my brand as a business but also I don’t want to feel like the poor kid with old or bobbly clothes! This time around I was stressing about the fact I wanted to wear a colourful Primark jumper. After some comments in the groups about not feeding into fast fashion, I got paranoid that I’d be judged for doing just that! I was also planning to wear a maxi shiny pleated skirt but it was forecast to rain and this would not have been practical!
I spoke to Emma May Pearce and she was great at reassuring me and putting things into context. That, as much as we don’t want to feed fast fashion, we don’t all have the money to buy 100% indie biz. And as much as we can make the choice not to buy into it, at the end of the day, it’s a mass market. It would take a lot of people not buying into it to bring it down completely. There will always be a market for it. I had tried to balance my outfit by wearing my Yuk Fun t-shirt. I bought it at Blogtacular this year as they had a stall there so I took advantage of the pre-order discount. Below, wall art by Plim.
We finished the tour with some pastel houses, my fave! We were lucky enough that the rain had held off up until this point. (I always pray that God will move the rain away from us whilst on these walks. That if it rains it will pass us by! And my prayer was mostly answered!). So it’s starting to look a little gloomy on these last pics. But still so pretty 😍
I do believe these particular houses were in the Paddington movie!
When the walk was finished, we headed to the Lion and Unicorn pub for some grub. After the buzz of the walk, it was nice to get cosy in the pub and settle down for a chat. I had a yummy burger and orgasmic salted caramel brownie dessert. A perfect end to a perfect day!
I'm Julia, Just Creative Julia, jolly pleased to meet you!
Welcome to my creative lifestyle blog, established 2014. My creative journey in discovering my authentic self as a neurodivergent woman.
Embracing the Neuro Spicy! Here you will find many different topics centring around creativity, deep thoughts, mental health, food and more.