• Ben Haynes is a professional music producer, he dared to take the leap from his safe job in the NHS 11 years ago and hasn’t looked back!
    Haynes Music production does two things, Music Production for Solo Artists & Composition for Media.

    Ben has produced songs for a large huge range of genres, including global giant Formula 1, award winning Country singer Kezia Gill and the critical acclaimed musical ‘Poppy Fields’

    Ben openly talks about the fear of leaving a safe job in the NHS when his daughter was only 12 months old and the transition of what setting up a business really looked like in those first few years.

    What it was like as a teenage boy at school and the importance of teachers in those formative years of growing up.

    Ben also talks openly about his battle with depression and what he’s done in his business to help with this going forward.

    Bens Takeaways-

    1.If people tell you not to do the thing you want to dive into, it’s their fear they're projecting!

    2.Putting yourself out there is being vulnerable.

    3.The real magic in producing music is how you make people feel with the finished track!

    4.Don’t labour too long over a piece, remember you lose the intuitive feelings and the initial creative vision in the piece.

    5.Learn which part of the day you are most productive.

    6.SEO is so important for your website, invest in the time.

    7.If this is a side hustle or your main business, remember no one went with that builder or joiner who said he just likes doing it as a hobby! Go all in with both feet, that energy works. People appreciate it! Enthusiasm is attractive.

    8.Depression or dark thought patterns can happen at any stage in life, seek it out with a doctor or professional but even if you feel ‘better’ note the times of year, circumstances etc as it’s important to seek patterns that can be a trigger. However also understand that if you do ‘the work’ meaning reading great books, seeking support, changing areas like stressful jobs, giving up bad habits maybe or changing to healthier practices, then this ‘dark dog’ as many name it, may not come back at all.

    9.There’s no two depressions the same as there’s no two people the same, log and note what it looks like for you.

    10.We aren’t going to be for everyone, you might experience a time where you work with an artist and you don’t gel, that’s fine it’s not about you, we have no idea where that other person is in their head or indeed life or it could just be a personality clash.

    You can find Ben's work at


    Here are a few of Ben's library tracks -



  • Gillian Flint is a children's books illustrator, this hasn't always been the case though, Gill has been a successful illustrator for 17 years now but after 10, Gillian felt slightly, very almost, nearly ready, to reach out to book agents. We talk about this and what persistence and determination really look like for a mum of two.

    Her clients include CBeebies, Rodale Kids, Penguin Random House, Charlesbridge, Alfred A Knopf, Penguin Random House, Hardie Grant Egmont, Little Bee Books, Worthy Kids, Five Mile Press, Bonnier, Oxford University Press, Highlights Magazine, Highlights High Five, UK Greetings, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Tesco, Clintons, and many more.

    Gills takeaways

    1.If you're freelancing for a come company you’ve got relationship with offer to go in and help if they aren’t too far away, those connects and relationships go along way!

    2.If you’re wanting to get into another area of illustration like books, then trade shows are great way to connect with the right agents. Of course, Covid changed this but there is still linked in or twitter!

    3.Make sure you plan in enough research time for big briefs

    4.You don’t need a fancy studio to start, create a corner with a portable trolley with your materials in or hide away in your tv cabinet. Don’t wait for all the gear to start the thing

    5.Getting up earlier each morning to work is far more productive than staying too late. You are giving yourself the freshest awake empty part of your new day rather than the tired end of the day part.

    6.Having a side project helps with your creative flow when you have to be creative for your day work

    7.Remember, this isn’t to sell or show just for your own joy

    8.It doesn't have to be creative, a hobby could be learning a language, fishing, dissent matter what it helps feel. It can put Control if your life rather than work life and family juggles



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  • What does Black Lives Matter actually stand for in the UK?

    Spoken word artist and fashion label True colours explains what it's really like growing up in U.K as a second-generation Nigerian.

    Prior to Nigeria's independence from Britain, gained in 1960, many Nigerians studied in the UK. This doesn't mean everything has been rosy. True Colours dives deep into the mindsets and ignorance he and of course most has had to endure all of his life.

    We of course talk about True colours poetry and fashion labels but I also wanted him to come on and tell us his experiences and point of view at this time in history here In the U.K.

    True Colours Takeaways

    1.You Could be the inspiration or huge influence to a young person, that might be a neighbour or your child’s friend, never underestimate the power of your words of actions.

    2.Its about being different and celebrating this not being the same!

    3.BLM is about respect to every human not one community!

    4.Get uncomfortable, watch those documentaries or tackle that Acquaintance who’s rolling her eyes about another protest during a pandemic.

    5.Writing is freedom. We have a responsibility to keep this going if it’s within us and we have the freedom to express it.

    6.Don’t be afraid of asking your friends and love ones their views and feelings at this time. These conversations need to be kept going; we can’t let them be swept away again.

    7.Step into your individuality and show your uniqueness.

    8.You be you and be the best version you can be!

    Go check out True colours on Instagram and YouTube a-



    True Colours Dad Book

    Biafra's Struggle for Survival by Christopher Chukwuemeka Ejiofor


  • One of the biggest struggles many creative entrepreneurs face is pricing. Many find it difficult to reach their desired income because they haven’t got an idea of how much is needed to earn each week to get to their end of year goal.

    This week I chat to business coach Debbiedoodah.

    In this episode Debbie shares a simple tool she created for her clients to help them make more money!

    Debbie is a 6 times award winning business coach, strategist, and all things supportive for creative entrepreneurs.

    As well as coaching, she lectures digital marketing at universities, she also runs a fantastic group ‘The blue stockings society’ which is a weekly meet-up in Nottingham for inspiring business owners wanting to connect! Debbie also has a Membership group called ‘Freedom Seekers’.

    If that’s not enough, Debbie has a fantastic weekly podcast with her friend Amy called ‘Women Who Create’ which was named top 5 in the U.K for women in business!

    Debbie’s been named ‘U.K’s digital Woman of this Year’, and ‘MarketEd Live top 30 marketers that Inspire’ plus Top 50 Twitter Influencer for Gender Inequality to name but a few!

    So of course, Debbie has been published in Forbes, the Guardian, f: Entrepreneur, NatWest business, the ecologist, and so much more including radio and local Television

    Debbie's story is a big one, she talks about being a young single mum and finding out just months into motherhood that she had Cancer. We talk about Debbies experience and how important she thinks a positive and resourceful mindset is key.

    I know you’re going to love her is she’s so much fun and generous you will instantly feel inspired creatively, which I know many artists don’t feel like in conversations around business strategies.

    Find Debbie gifts here -


    Check out her great freebies! https://debbiedooodah.co.uk/freebies

    Debbie’s also launched a fantastic new Facebook & Insta Ads mini-course: https://debbiedooodah.co.uk/fb-insta-ads-mini-course

    (Many of these photos are by Ursula Kelly)

  • My guest this week is Australian artist Tracy Verdugo.

    Tracy is a teacher, online course creator and best-selling author.

    Tracy’s work has been exhibited internationally and she has built a business around teaching others to connect with their creative side, she’s held amazing art retreats all over the world!

    What I love mostly about Tracy’s courses and style, is her intuitive mixed media painting which of course requires the students to truly let go and loosen up and break down pre conceptions and maybe bad habits that we can all be guilty of it we don’t mindfully notice our creative perfections.

    We chat about the fact that Tracy didn’t think of herself as an artist until late 30’s, in fact her first art class wasn’t until this decade! Which I love, as this must inspire so many people who are frankly in their own way!

    I mean guys Elizabeth Gilbert has read this book and been one of her students!

    So of course, we talk about their friendship over the years and the retreat Elizabeth ran in Bali this February which Tracy got asked to be part of! Of course, Elizabeth then took her classes at this retreat!

    Tracy's takeaways

    1.Tracy didn’t start this creative chapter until after a career in teaching and raising a family. She didn’t try an art class until she was in her 30’s so there’s always a good time to try something and if you’re in love with it can grow into a whole new life for you!

    2.Being strong in your craft is the same as any skill; it’s not a mythical talent you are born with, it takes hours and hours of practise. And the want and need to develop!

    3.Holding a creative space is sacred.

    4.Doing the inner work is so important, successful business owners have to have the right healthy mindset.

    5.Running on a high inspired place without switching off is damaging! Stress can happen from being in an excited elevated joyful space too. Just because you’re living your best life you still need to practice self care and healthy habits. Boundaries need to be marked.

    6.Keep up with your Monograms and her second opinions and as Tracy advises to be your own advocate.

    7. If you’ve missed ‘your ship’ there will be more and more and mostly better ones when you’re ready to grab them!

    8.If you’re a seeker and an explorer you can absolutely carve this into your creative journey so the two passions go hand in hand.

    9.We really don’t know anything beyond this moment.

    Tracy also has a new fantastic course out this week actually with an early bird offer about how to tell your story through your art, it looks amazing so check it out!!

    You can find Tracy here -



    Get Tracy’s book here!

    Paint Mojo by Tracy Verdugo


    Books discussed -



  • This week we are joined by podcaster Elliott Clifton! Elliot’s podcast ‘Plain ordinary Dragon’ is philosophy driven, Elliot and his family live a life that truly is driven by this and with heaps of empathy and self discovery.

    Elliot is one of those dudes that is just the most interesting guy.

    He Studied music under Steve Earl for goodness sake!

    Elliot and his wife have lived a plant based life for years and of course his children which is part of the reason why they are home schooled. We talk about this, and of course his time in music. I think you’re going to love our friend from Alabama!

    Elliot’s Takeaways -

    1.Keeping promises to ourselves is crucial for self belief and confidence.

    2. Focusing on how we are treating ourselves is vital

    3.It’s not fair to over commit to yourself either

    you will never be crossing off your list if you’re not being realistic

    4.There is no destination, it really is a journey

    5.Time is truly is the most precious resource we have

    6. Golden handcuffs can be dangerous, if you’re in this place at work, try to pick up a hobby to light you back up!

    7. Art is an extension of who you are. You don’t have to be suffering in your art. Raising your hand in this just know you are not alone! Art is the super power. We are all artists and creatives in some way

    Connect with Elliot -





    The successful speaker -Jeff Goin's http://bakerpublishinggroup.com/books/the-successful-speaker/394092

    The big leap - Gay Hendricks https://www.amazon.co.uk/Big-Leap-Conquer-Hidden-Level/dp/0061735361

    7 habits of highly effective people -Stephen Covey https://www.worldofbooks.com/en-gb/books/stephen-r-covey/7-habits-of-highly-effective-people/9780684858395

  • Tiff Manuell paints her bright edgy bright edgy abstract pieces onto large canvases sourced from India which then they get cut up sent off to a talented team who make them Into the most amazing one off bags!!

    The way Tiff runs her business is equally as magical, her shop is also her huge studio which means customers can go and see her paint and create her latest pieces, and actually speak to her and tell her which bit you would like her to cut or just have a real intimate experience seeing where these pieces were created!

    So of course it makes sense Tate Modern London would approach and stock these stunning pieces of art!

    Tiff’s takeaways 💥✨

    1.If a studio or shop isn’t speaking to you what about a warehouse or a large space where your customers can visit👌

    2.Show your children your day to day work, get them involved. It's great for them to see how hard we have to work and how serious we have to be. Plus they will see the wins and highs💪

    3.Giving college pupils work experience is a great way for them to meet possibly their first successful creative and it’s rewarding for you too! 💚

    4.If your business is just reacting or treading water or feeling stuck, schedule in a few days for playing and creating again. ✨

    5.If you’re spinning all of the plates and you’re feeling it’s not working as you could have spread yourself too thinly with wholesalers, customers or licences follow your gut, you know really if it’s not working and it’s ok to move from that to make an even wilder business! 💥

    6.Having your studio as your shop means customers feel they’ve got something more intimate and there’s a story now with each piece💫

    7.Meditation doesn’t have to be in the morning, or a quite building, being consistent is more important, find 15 minutes in bed or another room in the house in the evenings even🌙

    8.If you're a curious soul and travel is important try and combine this with your business. It can be a blast! 🌍



  • "Being In between” is an acclaimed photographic series of portraits with recorded interviews of girls aged between ten and twelve, exploring the complex transition between childhood and young adulthood. Carolyn Mendelsohn has been working on the evolving project for over six years and it arises from her own memories of being this age and the desire to give a voice and faces to the young women who inevitably must pass through these mysterious hinterlands on their journey towards adulthood. During this time Carolyn has completed over ninety portraits and interviews to produce a legacy project that is representative portrait of our time.

    One of the awards Carolyn won for this exhibition was a gold medal of her picture of 11 year old Alice Ackroyd in royal photographic society’s international print exhibition! This one out of 57 countries and 5,500 entries and is one of 100 selected to tour and two of her other portraits from this collection were shortlisted too!

    That’s not the only reason Carolyn spoke to us though.

    ‘Through Our Lens’ is Carolyn’s latest project with is amazing! Carolyn has been mentoring groups of young people aged 13-18 documenting Covid 19 in the Bradford area.

    Take a look enjoy and please please support!!






  • Neil Clark is a children’s book illustrator, he’s just this month completed his 12th book! Neil used to be a designer at Hallmark's Tigerprint studio, but when his first book which was a passion project for his friend's app took off, he got approached by an agent and it sold thousands internationally!

    Neil decided to ask to drop a day in his full time day job, which led to two days and now he and his illustrator wife both took the leap to go freelance with a small baby in tow!

    We talk about his character designs process, his need for side hustles and the importance of this.

    His clients include Crayola publishes, Quartoe publishing, Oxford university press, Usbourne publishing, Walker books igloo publishing and Marks and Spencer

    Neil’s Takeaways -

    1.If you have a strong desire for change, asking your day job if you can drop one day a week is a great first step.

    2. If you learn Better from people and end your freelance maybe a shared studio space would help.

    3. It’s great to take on work that you like but it’s important to keep on with self directed briefs to show your agent of boss what other styles, you can do

    4. Setting the time for an art date each week which isn’t your working day to try new skills and styles

    5. Doodling random ideas in your sketchbook each day really does

    6. your ideas come from the doing and keeping on sketching, creating each day.

    7. If you have a side project at home you can handle a knock at work if you’ve have another creative outlet. It’s a great coping mechanism. It can give you confidence that you aren’t just relaying on

    8. Childhood Stories stay with us forever, so remember the magic and power you have as an illustrator you’re needing motivation

    You can find Neil’s book rusty robot and others on Amazon and all good books shops.

    Check out him out at-


    Instagram: @neilkiddclarkdesign

    Dalia Clark - Instagram @daliaclarkdesign

    Books -

    The Lion Inside by Rachel Bright and Jim Field

    Mini Rabbit Not Lost (Mini Rabbit) by John bond

    Fanatical About Frogs (Owen Davey Animals Series)

  • This week we are joined by the super talented Holly Booth and her new business partner Pete! Although not a stranger, Holly and Pete have been together 13 years, so of course working together is a huge and exciting leap!

    For those of you who don’t know Holly booth studio (although I doubt that) For over 10 years now they have built a strong reputation got producing contemporary photography for independent makers, designers and shops across the globe!

    We talk about the steep learning curve for Pete leaving a full time job in media as a producer for the BBC to working at home with his partner and then of course Covid happened. This was recorded in week 3 so at a really scary time. So it’s interesting to hear how we were at that time too!

    But even at the worst time of lock down we talking about the way the business was already set up to work remotely and what their plans are for future.

    Holly experienced a big loss in her life a few years ago so she quickly had to free her dairy and schedules and learned how to set boundaries on her business and avoid burnout as much as they can and how this has help change the business for the future.

    Holly and Pete’s takeaways -

    1.Going from one man band to working with your partner is a massive change so it’s important to tap into each other’s strengths and to have those clear separations

    2.leaving a full time role in large company to working freelance is a big Change, be strategic about your days with lists and set sections of jobs or areas of the house to work to separate work to down time

    3.It’s important to take the time to invest in your business with new ways to move your brand

    4.It’s important to keep trying new ways and not be afraid, if it doesn’t work you move on.

    5.Downtime helps to get inspired again

    6.Whatever you’re feeling this time is not insignificant, it's worth paying attention.

    7.Getting into the right headspace is so important, play some music, take the dogs for a walk, whatever you need but note what works for you and make it the most important part of setting up your day

    You can find Holly and Pete at



  • Sheree joins us this week to talk about her brand Whimsy Kaleidoscope.

    You will love to see her colourful, fun and sparkly brand, but you will also love to hear Sheree's story too, not only is her wonderful brand just under 4 years old, but she also has a day job too. Students and creatives I coach often say they don’t feel successful or like they can make it work at all fully if they keep their day job for another year. So I know you’re going to love hearing how Sheree navigates it all.

    Sheree is Australian too so we talk about how strong the design market is over there and why that is. We talk about licensing and collaborations, and how to not feel overwhelmed and how to keep in your lane, free from the evil comparison gods!

    Sheree's takeaways -

    1.Having a day job alongside your business can work really well, there are so many benefits to this!

    2.Collaborations are brilliant, try to approach product labels or makers to work with. Especially local!

    3.Stop worrying about what others are doing!

    4.Things don’t happen overnight.

    5.Run your own race and stay focus and in your lane

    6.Imposter syndrome is something we should be feeling

    7.We don’t have a lot of time here so make it count

    8.Be ethical and be proud of what you’re doing.



  • Donald Jenkins is a fantastic spoken word artist, he’s performed at lots festivals, theatres and won poetry slams in the northeast and spoken in colleges, schools and given workshops for students and youth centres.

    Donald is the founder of Born lippy which is a regular night in Newcastle 2 nights each month With a collective of spoken word trail blazers in all of its manifestations! A true eclectic range of poetry/comedy/slam battle/ rap acapella and storytelling. His first event sold out within 20 mins of opening back in 2018!

    Donald’s always worked in youth centres and he’s been a teacher and a DJ and he also splits his time freelancing and working with a theatre, so it’s fair to say he’s great with communities and bringing out the best in people.

    Donald was raised by his dad and his gay mum and her partner growing up in the 80’s as a lad with working class friends in the north east! So his take on life and experiences are of course really interesting but so sad to think still an issue with many others now 35 plus years on.

    But many still wouldn’t have shined a light on an issue and brought it out and used it with art which I believe is where the real power is!

    Donald’s takeaways-

    1.Keep following your curiosity

    2.It’s ok to have things on a back burner, I believe it will keep popping back up like a floating cork until you act on it.

    3.Do try something you love - whatever that may be and it can help you in a dark time.

    4.When you find the thing, remember you will just keep getting better at it the more you keep working at it.

    5.As we are seeing currently with black life matters and of course the end of pride month, Art truly has the power to open up these important discussions

    6.If you are struggling to find an event to perform in why not try and create one of your own!

    7.Connection and community’s are so important.

    8.Keep editing and mastering your pieces to be published, they take time and it's a competitively different process and art form to it bring performed.

    You can find a Donald -




    Stay locked down -Donald Jenkins over a hiphop track from Https://www.facebook.com/AnabolicBeatz/

  • Chris Chinnock specialises in Social enterprise, he goes across the U.K supporting and advising new businesses, community startups and organisations.

    Chris has worked for over 20 years both for the public sector and the last few years presenting strategies and support with his own success business.

    So initially - literally a couple of weeks before Covid 19 I wanted Chris on because he’s multi passionate!

    Chris thrives in this game, and you can tell it’s his passion, he’s a wealth of knowledge and inspiration however, like many creatives he also has another passion which is his photography business.

    So I wanted him initially to speak about that and what that can mean as a multi passionate.

    But of course then all of this Covid hit and credit to how much of a pro Chris is, he intimately connected me and said creatives will want advice on long term strategies with diversifying business offers going forward for the next 18 months which is brilliant! And of course so needed for us all.

    Chris’s Takeaways

    1.Treat covid 19 as a permanent change for your business

    2.There are so many positives for our communities going forward.

    3.Diversify your business offers.

    4.Building trust, building relationships, building connections is key.

    5. If you’re genuine people acknowledge that.

    6.Use your creativity to see ways to diversify.

    7.Inspiration doesn’t just stick, you have to create it!

    8.Be intentional!

    9.Look at this as a business owner and think what could be more meaningful with how I show up for my audience for a permanent business.

    10.There will be times when it’s just not fun!

    11.Treat it as work, show up on every level, or hire people to do it.

    12.What would be meaningfully long term with your offer, and make that permanent.

    You can find Chris across socials at

    Chris Chinnock photography and check out his stunning work at


  • What does confidence really look like? How do we change the beliefs we were told growing up?

    Susie Moore chats this week about how to be ok with not being liked by everyone. And that people just aren’t even thinking about you as much as you think they are.

    Susie was earning half a million dollars a year for Silicon Valley at just age 30! hello? Susie is queen of media she's an author, her first book ‘what if it doesn’t work out’ was named by Entrepreneur as one of the 8 must reads to dominate your industry! She's now a columnist, and life coach. Susie has been featured on the Today Show, published by Oprah, Business Insider, Forbes, The Huffington post, Marie Claire and she’s a resident life columnist for Greatest. Susie's work has been shared by Ariana Huffinton, Paulo Coelho, Kris Jenner!

    Oh and if you think ‘oh it’s ok for her, this beautiful young lady in Miami, then think again, Susie's childhood growing up in the UK was filled With family addiction, growing up as a little girl living in women’s refuges and on social government funding from school to school with vouchers from church’s. Susie created her life literally from the ground up! I think it’s safe to say She knows what she’s talking about with a mindset and living in the best Truest part of yourself. Susie is a true hustler!

    Susie’s Takeaways

    1.Don’t keep on to Shame and your hiding truth. Hiding your truth is a disservice to others.

    2.We hold on to Inner beliefs because one person told us it’s that way? Investigate them!

    3. Reality is just one interpretation.

    4.The best thing we can do is be the example and to forget other people’s opinions .

    5.It’s important to create and live in your bubble.

    6.Manage your focus.

    7.You can’t spot something that’s not within you.

    8.A confident person is willing to experience bad things and do it anyway.

    9.Whatever we need to adapt to, we get used too quickly, of course then we reach further, watch out it’s not more and more with reminding yourself of your core values.

    10.Find appreciation, every single day!

    11.Imposter syndrome is a sign of growth. Always seek to level up and to be a little uncomfortable.

    12.Keep doing the work on yourself daily!

    13.You’re in charge of your mindset.

    You can find Susie’s Moore’s books on amazon, indie bound and Barnes& Nobel

    And Check her fantastic courses and work out at


  • Ruth Rose is a successful fashion photographer and content creator based in London. Ruth's worked with celebrities and brands such as Jodi Kidd, Pixie Lott, Sarah Harding, Brian McFadden, Gemma Cairney, band Madness, lots of ‘Made in Chelsea's' celebs, Love Island, Spencer Mathews.

    Ruth's worked with many beauty brands, amazing swimwear ones such as Lime Blond, she's worked with Rayban, Accessorize, Oakley, Martini, George, Fisher-price, Ok magazine and Cosmopolitan, the list goes on.

    Ruth is so generous, she tells us her favourite lenses, tips on how to be on big shoots.

    And of course she shares her thoughts on content creation and social media.

    Ruth’s takeaways

    1.Don’t over think what could go wrong.

    2.Internships are so so valuable.

    3.At first take up all opportunities.

    4.You don’t have to have a huge loud personality, in fact models relax and warm if you are gentler and more considered. It can feel for the model more of two way project then.

    5.Use Mood Boards for each shoot.

    6.Try to do light tests alone at the shoot.

    7.Keep on with your personal projects.

    8.Give yourself pep talks and try to talk and sound out and have regular Brain Dumps with other creatives.

    9.Look after your fitness for later life. Yoga- body strength workouts are great.

    10.Keeping a routine through this new normal, it really does help.

    You can find Ruth’s stunning work -




  • With over 20 years experience in the industry, Ian Dutton of Hello Munki has been both an in house graphic designer, design manager, freelancer, children's book illustrator and now has his own successful greeting card brand Hello Munki.

    Ian talks honestly about the juggling act running a greeting card brand, freelancing plus spinning the plates with being a hands on parent.

    Ian's designs have sold in Next, Mammas and Papas,M&S, Sainsbury’s, Boots, CBeebies, Early Learning, Moon pig, Card factory, Tigerprint, Asda, Morrison’s, Tesco’s and more besides!

    Ian's Takeaways -

    1.Try a new creative process for designing characters, step away from the computer to see how your characters change!

    2.Push yourself to promote yourself to studios and contacts.

    3.Remember the Freelance fear and try to push past it.

    4.Don’t take quiet spells personally, try another contact.

    5. Join a local or online network group.

    6.It doesn’t matter where you live these days for your creative career.

    7. If you don't feel creative don’t force it, do something else.

    8. You should always still get excited when you see your designs on products, if you don’t then maybe it’s time to change?

    9.Make friends and get to know linked in!!

    You can find more of Ian's work at -




  • Katie Abey is an illustrator, she has a successful empire, spreading shear joy for others ‘creating positive things for other proud weirdos’

    Using her adorable fun characters and empowering messages through her books, fashion such as cute fun skirts, T's, Pins, funny cards, and mugs, she has a cup of kindness mug which is just literally happiness in a cup

    I say empire because not only has Katie and her gorgeous husband Jeff got a successful online store, they have a brick and mortar shop too, running a team of people plus Katie illustrate books, all the while being true to herself and sharing her vulnerability, and growth through her business and products.

    I asked Katie to chat about how important mindset is as a Creative and I asked her to talk about the Circle of influence and concern theory which is a habit we can all do and keep to each week to feel more in control.

    Katie’s Take aways-

    1.Don’t be afraid to try lots of things with your business and see what works.

    2.Different income streams helps relieve stress around money.

    3.You can be confident and introverted!

    4.Watch how busy you are and if it’s a regular unhealthy pattern to avoid feeling things.

    5.Work out and only concentrate on what you do have control over.

    6.Protect your energy!

    7.You can learn how to Use your bad day to help others through your art. This action can help you no end.

    8.Learn and try to change your perception of a situation.

    9.Talking about mental health makes it a friend rather than a beast and you will feel empowered. Bring it out into the light!

    10.Showing your vulnerability helps others.

    11.Shine your own weird light!

    12.We are a work in progress, we are never finished!

    You can find all of Katie’s gorgeous products on Etsy


    They also offer a gorgeous box of happiness with lots of her products packed inside and sent out to your loved one or of course if you’re like me you’ll have ordered one for yourself too!


    Books -

    7 Habits of highly effective people with Stephen R Covey

    Alan watts - Become what you are

    Podcast Oprah Winfrey - Supersoul Sunday’s

  • Beverly Hopwood was head of print design for George (Wallmart UK) for along time, before creating a life of freelance designing from her beautiful home studio. Bev designs directly with the retailer rather than selling her own work through online shop’s or agents. Bev’s designs range across homeware, fashion and greetings so her 25 years experience is invaluable.

    Her designs can be found in Waitrose, Marks & Spencer’s, Tesco’s, George, Sainsbury’s, Matalan, Peacocks, lilly & Sid, Card Factory, Hallmark, Paperchase.

    So here are Bev’s takeaways -

    1. Appreciate the beauty around you in where you are right now.

    2.Have an ‘It will be alright attitude!’ this might need practice for some of us so keep trying.

    3.Don’t let on to clients you don’t know how to do the thing, you learn as you go. That’s not fake it tell you make it. It’s confidence! And a can do attitude.

    4. Be proactive and consistent, Send a newsletter out to studios, and customers

    5.End product is surplus to some extent so, concentrate on your ranges, and looks rather than the end product. Scale and colour tweaks can be made later. Illustrations can be put on to anything!

    6. Learn to be flexible. It’s a muscle so keep trying!

    7. Adapt and set yourself new styles

    8. Frankenstein it! I won’t forget that term ha!

    9. If you love variety in briefs, then strive to work for different markets, tailor designs for those companies to keep you inspired.

    You can find Bev’s stunning work



  • Karl Bradshaw was just 18 when he was brave enough to approach a huge international design studio, which landed him his first full time design job!

    He’s since designed for Uk Greetings Disney Team, Clinton’s, Sainsbury’s and now Card Factory.

    Karl's also had designs sold in Primark, Toys R Us and a full license gifting and stationary range in Saudi Arabia!

    Karl designed the first famous LGBT cards on the U.K high Street for Card factory which is year on year praised across the media by customers (err of course!)

    Karl goes deep and shares with us what it was like 'coming out' to his parents and in his work place, stepping into his true authentic self and what that meant for his creative journey too.

    There’s also something else Karl’s been involved in I want to mention, he’s designed for Card factory the world's largest thank you card for the NHS!




    Karls book recommendation - The daily Stoic https://dailystoic.com/

  • Sarah Ward (GingerBred)shares her valuable experience of how to pivot into a new design market, the world of Children’s Books.

    Sarah’s been a successful illustrator for over 15 years, but even with an impressive portfolio of designs published for Hallmark, Ukgreetings, Sainsbury’s, Asda, Clinton’s, Pigment, Partisan Products & Philips AVENT to name a few, Sarah still felt nervous approaching a new industry. Sarah shares with us the steps she took to become a successful children’s book illustrator.

    Sarah's Takeaways:

    1.If you’re giving up your day job or trying pivot, take a part time job or job that’s not too taxing so you can transition as smoothly as possible.

    2. Say yes to work that isn’t quite what you’re after as you just don’t know what else is on offer there.

    3 Try to have a creative support network, this can be virtual or a meet up. It’s important to be with like minded people.

    4. Having different styles is good! Don’t be told otherwise!

    5.If there’s a part of your business you’re struggling with, it’s ok to outsource!

    6. If you’re pitching to a new industry, send a variety of styles tailored to this market.

    7. Do your research with book agencies to see if your style would fit.

    8. Self doubt is normal!

    9. Keep your brain free for your bigger creative goal!