Oh Creative Lady - Oh Creative Day

Through blogging and Instagramming, I’ve been introduced to an amazing Virtual Sisterhood of Creative Ladies.

The Oh Creative Lady series is your chance to meet these incredible, kind-hearted, inspiring <insert ALL the happy, positive adjectives HERE> women.

Melinda from Stella + Ink is a free-spiritied, kind-hearted creative soul. Words just flow out of her and she has the awesome talent of being able to hand-letter and arrange those words in the loveliest of ways. A while back, Melinda created a free printable for Oh Creative Day readers reminding us to “just do you.” It’s still the wallpaper on my mobile and makes me pause every time I see it. Melinda is one of the loveliest gypsy, Nanna-types out there. I’m so chuffed to have her on the blog today. (Make sure you check out her Bright Sparks eBook for more soul-firing, inspirational creative goodness.)

I am… Forever trying to find a way to describe who I am without sounding like a total dork! I’m a mother to two, one of those cringe-worthy people who is totally obsessed with her husband and still working on calling myself a ‘creative’ without feeling like a total fraud. I dabble in graphic design and hand-lettering, and occasionally crank out a blog post or two.

I find it impossible to sit still, my hands or my head always moving and whirring, leaving a trail of chaos behind (my OCD husband has learned to live with the mess that is my desk!) I’ve also got a total Nana-vibe going on – my favourite way to relax is in bed with a cup of tea, Netflix and a crochet project.

JUST_DO_YOU_A4 Free Printable

I find inspiration… in words, whether they be song lyrics or novels or poetry. The rest of my inspiration comes from the fear of getting boxed into one creative style. I like to try different mediums, whether it be painting or crochet or digital art. It’s that constant question of ‘what can I do differently?’ that inspires me to keep moving and progressing.

Perhaps it’s because I’ve spent most of my adult like moving every two to three years, or maybe I was just born with a gypsy heart but the idea of getting stuck – in any aspect of life – scares me quite a lot! What better way to turn fear into something productive than to let it inspire you and propel you forward?

I am excited about … Some collaborations I’ve got coming up in the next few months and just the future in general. 2017 is going to be a huge year of change for me (if you let yourself be excited about change, it’s a whole lot easier to ignore how freaking scary it is!) Up until this point, I’ve always had small children at home with me but my youngest is off to school next year (which to be completely honest, I’m pretty upset about!) giving me the time to really explore what’s next for me and my creative streak.

Oh Creative Lady: Melinda Cooper from Stella + Ink

When I’m in a creative slump, I…  Take a break. Disconnect from the iDevices. Create with my kids, read, jump on the trampoline, bake, do uncoordinated cartwheels along the beach. I tend to get a bit loopy when I stop creating but I don’t know if there’s anyway to avoid slumps completely. Most of the time I think my creative slumps come from fear of being vulnerable or feeling snowed under by technology. The best way out is to keep moving and working and see where we end up.

Oh Creative Lady: Melinda Cooper from Stella + Ink

I’m really proud of… Gosh, isn’t this a tough one? I think one of the things I’m most proud of is also the thing that makes me doubt myself so much: I’m very much self-taught. Everything I know about graphic design comes from hours of practice and Googling and just fumbling in the dark trying to end up with the result I’m after.

I’m also pretty proud of my eBook, Bright Sparks. Putting it together, I really had no clue what I was doing and the thought of releasing words that sit so close to my heart was really, really scary. But, I took the leap, hoped that at least two people would buy it, and guess what? They did! I’m a big advocate of simply getting in there and getting it done. Don’t put off all your great ideas for tomorrow. You can start today, whether that be with a giant leap or with heartfelt tip toes.

Someone once told me… “You get 100% of what you don’t ask for.” My Year 11 Biology teacher told me that (he’d probably be shocked I’m quoting him. I wasn’t exactly a studious teenager!) and it’s always stuck with me. There’s a real simple truth behind it. So often us humans find it hard to ask for help or advice, and it just puts us in the way of our own happiness.

My advice to you is … Following the thought train from above, there’s a scribble in one of my sketchbooks that says ‘Start with an honest heart and go from there.’ Once do you that, you can be on your way to everything that makes you happy. Simple advice but I suppose most things in life are simple. We just have a habit for over-thinking and over-complicating things.

Oh Creative Lady: Melinda Cooper from Stella + Ink

You can find me at …
Stella + Ink
Snapchat – is anyone still using Snapchat thanks to Instagram stories? @bymelindacooper
Facebook – rarely!