A colourful fashion blog supporting independents & sustainable fashion in Bristol and beyond since 2011

Thursday, 4 February 2021

How looking outside the box can inspire creativity

No Debutante blogger and journalist


My goodness, why is everything so hard at the moment???

I started the day so positively, I had planned today's vlog and was mentally ready to smash it! Then the first of many home distractions and interruptions happened (watch the vlog to find out some of them), right in the middle of my 'record in one take' weekly vlog! 

Despite the chaos of home-life, I really want to keep posting a weekly vlog and blog as I actually enjoy it, so I refuse to be beaten by a few home distractions! 

By the time I did finally get back to recording the vlog, I was stressed out but wired and decided to just go for it and you know what? I think I got away with it! Find the link at the end of this post and make your own mind up! 

This week's topic is actually about looking outside the box to inspire creativity, so let's ignore the lockdown home-life madness for now and get stuff done! 

A rare, calm family moment! 

Adapting to change

The main inspiration that led to this weeks topic was actually stock, or a lack of it.

For the past month I have been having problems trying to get stock (beautiful pastel beanies for Fruit Salad) in from my local suppliers due to a mix of both Brexit and covid issues. It's been super frustrating and, to be honest, as a new business, I hadn't really given a thought to how Brexit may personally affect my business. 

In hindsight, I wished I had ordered lots more beanies in, not just because of Brexit, it's also the best time of year to sell beanies so there's a little note to myself for next winter! But hey! You live and learn.

On a positive note it has actually made me reconsider other ideas that I had in the pipeline for the future of a more sustainable Fruit Salad Beanie, that may now come into plan. Which can only be a good thing! 

However, I am now also getting very low on my stockpile of pre-loved garments and fabrics that I use to create my Fruit Salad REWORK collections, despite doing a massive charity shop haul back in October.

I long to be back in the charity shops sourcing new fabrics to rework but, due to current lockdown rules, that will have to wait until at least March! 

It's time to scrape the barrel and see what I can create with what I currently have in stock, which is also pretty sustainable too! It's a challenge, but I'm up for it. 

Repurposed jewellery by Elin Horgan
Repurposed Shapes and Spheres jewellery collection
by Elin Horgan

Repurposing and Recycling

Inspired by many of the amazing designers that I interviewed in my Indies in Lockdown blog series, I have learnt that working with what you already have IS possible!

During lockdown one, I spoke to jewellery designer Elin Horgan who found herself in a similar situation. Unable to get the components she needed from her suppliers, Elin decided to challenge herself and work with the stock she already had. 

By repurposing and recycling her scrap silver, Elin created a bold and beautiful collection of one off pieces named Shapes and Spheres, a totally unique way to keep her productivity and creativity flowing through a difficult time. Which I think is just amazing and super inspiring! 

Another creative who completely smashed lockdown one and adapted to the new change to her work and homelife was artist Emotional Waterfall, who, after realising she couldn't get to her studio, ended up turning a corner of her kitchen into her new creative space. 

By embracing her new set up Emotional Waterfall (aka Jemma Burnsnell) was posting daily inspirations and creations, even encouraging us to adorn glass jars and tins (basically the recycling) with amazing prints and colours. It was truly a joy to see her latest creations pop up on instagram

These two (of many) brilliant creatives have inspired me to rethink the way I work when life throws us (an albeit massive) curveball, to not dwell on what I can't do and focus on what I can accomplish. It's actually a really exciting thought! I literally want to start creating right now! Lets get the blog finished first...

Upcycled recycling by Emotional Waterfall
Amazing upcycled tins and jars
by Emotional Waterfall

Using media outlets to share your creativity

You may not realise it but, if you used lockdown as a creative window and turned your hobby into a side-hustle or a small business you have already started to look outside the box! You are selling on your own little online platform and for many of you  - due to bricks and mortar shops not being open right now - you have created your own little shop! Well done you! 

We are not just talking about creative makers here...As a multi-disciplinary creative, I am also a musician and a DJ. The music industry has suffered so much this past year and I have (we all have) completely missed experiencing live music as performers, creators and music lovers. 

I'm also saddened that my club night Bang turns 18 years old (I know, 18!!) this month and we cannot throw a big banging party to celebrate! 

However, I am really grateful to have been able to continue sharing music that I love via my radio show - This is Radio Bang. It has been a perfect (and the only) outlet for me to continue with Bang in one guise or another. I am also hoping to do an insta live DJ set too. 

Up until now I have been reluctant to DJ (or speak) on an insta live, despite presenting my own radio show and putting on club nights, ridiculous really! It's the same with performing with my band, I will stand up in front of a crowd of people at a gig and absolutely love it.

Bang DJs by Ania Shrimpton for Nitelife Magazine
DJing at Bang and loving life 
 Photo credit Ania Shrimpton for Nitelife

So, why does an insta live performance somehow seem to expose us more? 

Well, quite frankly, it doesn't! If anything people get to see the real, completely natural, endearing and lovable you! So just do it! 

Stepping out of your comfort zone is another way to look outside of that box and try something new. I completely encourage it! 

As I've said before it's all about video on social media right now and we need to be confident to use it. Never before has there been such exposure, so pick your medium, find out what works best for you and go with it. 

Since covid hit, we have all now become experts at adapting to change so let's use this new super ability to benefit ourselves, promote and inspire creativity! 

Whether it's looking outside the box to create something new from old or stepping outside your comfort zone and performing on insta live, I really hope I have inspired you to keep your creativity flowing! It takes some muscle but I promise you it will be worth it. 

Blogger and journalist No Debutante

In my next blog post I shall be encouraging us all to Share the love! With a look into how we can support each other more, in life as well as on instagram and in business. 

I am really interested in hearing from anyone who has any tips or stories on any of the topics discussed in todays blog post, so please do get in touch, get involved and share the love! 

Watch the IGTV Vlog that goes with this blog post and covers literally everything and more in-between in 11 minutes! Have a great week x 

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