I'm no stranger to a creative community or two. If you've read any of my previous blogs, I've met some lovely, like minded people in the form of fellow colour lovers from In Colourful Company. And, how can we forget, my first foray into the creative bloggers world, Blogtacular. There is a third creative community that has been in my life since the middle of last year. Around August 2018, I became a paid member of the Indie Rollercoaster, Make it Happen group. There are no words to say how much of a positive impact this little group has had on me and my business. I just cannot express the love and gratitude I have for my involvement in all these communities. They hold such a special place in my heart.
I've been battling with my mental health again lately, which is a whole other blog post right there! I'm currently seeing psychiatrists to try to get a proper diagnosis but as you may've guessed, the NHS is rubbish for mental health. So it's a very slow process and in the meantime, I have to just roll with it! So most of January I was on a downer and am still struggling to get motivated. It was pretty apt to be going for a business networking event on Monday 21st January, apparently billed as the saddest day of the year, 'blue Monday'. It was just the thing I needed to kick start me into 2019!
The event was held at Dreamland Margate, in the ballroom. I didn't actually take any pics of the building as I was too nervous to just get there and get settled! However, as soon as I stepped off the train and saw the sea, I immediately felt at home! Living in Southend-on-Sea, my very own seaside town, it was just really comforting to be by the sea! As much as I love my creative communities and always have so much fun, it doesn't mean my anxiety levels are low. Far from it. I stress about what to wear, always overthinking about stuff such as being colourful and 'on brand' but still wanting to feel comfy and wear practical/weather appropriate clothing! And the fact of wanting to look my 'best self' as the youngsters say, because I know I will be photographed! If the meet up is in London, which, mostly, they are, as it's the closest, most central town for meet ups for me, then I'm usually on extra alert on what to wear. The reason being is that I see London as the trendy capital and so I worry even more about what people might think of me and wanting to fit in with this trendy persona I seem to build up in my head. It's so stupid and I hate caring what people think, but, hey, I'm only human I guess.
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!
With Blogtacular 2018 just around the corner, I don’t know why it's taken me a year to get the proper write up of last year's conference on this here old blog. I think it's a combination of a few things. One is that Blogtacular gives me so many pearls of wisdom that it was a lot of information to collate and gather into some valuable topics. That combined with it being a tough year of looking after my now 4 year old boy. My focus has been on him and, if you are a parent, you will relate to this, simply surviving through the demanding routines. He starts school in September so I am very much looking forward to getting a bit more me time back and dedicating more time to my blog and handmade items to sell.
Blogtacular 2016 (write up of that one here) was my first time. I returned again last year, filled up a whole notebook, wrote a blog about Finding Your Community and another one where the photo walk I attended in 2016 inspired me to create a new hashtag #localphotowalk. Which I haven't done very well in 'blowing it up' as it has a pitiful 7 posts on Insta! So please do fill it up! To find out more on what it means to do your own local photo walk, read here.
Blogtacular 2018 is just days away and I am so excited to be attending again, my third year in a row! My favourite thing about it is the creative community. As a creative lifestyle blogger and part time designer maker, it is so nice to find people on the same journey as you. I have made friends with creative lifestyle bloggers who do it as a hobby, those who blog for money and designer makers who sell their creative wares. Wherever you fall in these categories, there will be something for you.
7 months later and it's safe to say that I needed that long to process the sheer force of information received at last year's Blogtacular! Going back through my notes, I'd managed to fill nearly a whole notebook this time round! So much wisdom to be gathered up and made into some coherent blogs. Rather than a load of waffle and introvert ramblings!
Having attended the year before for 2016 - read my takeaways on that one here: http://www.justcreativejulia.co.uk/blog/the-future-of-creativity-my-takeaways-from-blogtacular-2016. This year was about building my creative community.
If you don't know what Blogtacular is, firstly, where have you been? I am yet to write up about this year's conference but you can still check out last year here: http://www.justcreativejulia.co.uk/blog/the-future-of-creativity-my-takeaways-from-blogtacular-2016. The long and short of it is that Blogtacular is an annual event for me. It's a blogging conference and my chance to be a part of a community of passionate creatives.
One of the things that is included in your ticket is a photowalk around London. Where street graffiti or pretty pastel houses are the focus point. I went on the one with graffiti. The photo below is one of over 100 photos taken on last year's walk!
The deadline is Midnight tonight. It is currently 10:20pm as I sit down to write this! Ever the last minute queen, but better last minute than not at all! What am I going on about? Well, excitement people! If you didn't know already, I am off to Blogtacular again, Saturday 10th June. Less than one week away! Excuse all the exclamation marks but I just cannot contain my jubilation at attending again for my second time! I pityingly only wrote one blog post about my time last year which you can read about here: http://www.justcreativejulia.co.uk/blog/the-future-of-creativity-my-takeaways-from-blogtacular-2016
Last year, one of the collaborators and sponsors, Sudo, held a cash giveaway competition. I remember filling out the entry form, thinking 'I never win anything. Can't see I'll win this'. And whaddya know, I did! I was so surprised! But the whole event was just such a blessed time. Put a bunch of creatives together and watch the sparks fly! Anyway, the point of this post, is that there is another giveaway this year. Run by West Elm, where the Friday Night partay is happening (ticket holders only, no gatecrashers please!). The prize is £2k of West Elm gorgeousness to furnish a dream makeover for one room in your home.
Back in June this year, I went to the amazing blogging conference that is 'Blogtacular' and am still processing everything that I learnt there. I feel a bit guilty I haven't posted a single blog since then but I have my reasons. Which I will explain another time.
Going to Blogtacular was so affirming for me in more ways than one. Not only that I felt so at home with fellow creatives and makers that just 'got' me. But also what I'd been seeing and feeling in terms of where the world is heading.
I'm Julia, Just Creative Julia, jolly pleased to meet you!
Welcome to my creative lifestyle blog, established 2014. My main sections are: creativity including crafting, poetry and interior design; well being including mental health, recipes and my faith in God; personal including parenting and my general introvert deep thoughts. You can also have a browse in my shop and Etsy shop.