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International Women’s Day 2017: Women of Thought

international women's day 2017

For International Women’s Day 2017, we are celebrating some of the incredible women that work here at Thought HQ. Put faces to names. Get to know their hidden talents. Their passions. And inspirations.

International Women’s Day 2017: Celebrating the Women of Thought

international women's day 2017

Becky, Graphic Designer & Illustrator

Maybe you’ve decided you’re going to try or do something new / change something this year? What is it?

Styling & photography – still life and lifestyle in particular. It’s a topic I’m getting increasingly passionate about; the more I research, the more I feel inspired to create my own set-ups. It also lends itself to the fact that I’ve got a secret love for DIY, foraging, collecting and making. So to be able to combine the two passions is something I want to delve into this year. I’d like to take a road trip to France or Belgium and find some beautiful pottery and small furniture to bring home and photograph. It will be a personal project and an excuse to explore…

What made you decide?

Not only would it help me in my Graphic Design role, but it’s a something I often think I could improve on outside of work. I’ve always really enjoyed photography, but I’ve never been fully confident in it because I taught myself, not really knowing the technical details of a camera. I definitely want to do a course in either styling or still-life photography. If I feel that I don’t know enough about something, it pushes me into wanting to know more. Also so I can share the skill further and inspire other people.

Who inspired you to do it?

I was inspired on a workshop I went on last year taught by the lovely Emma Harris of A Quiet Style. She taught us the skills in composition and styling in order for us to gain confidence and take beautiful photographs. There are a collection of photographers that I follow, including Deborah of Ollie and Sebs Haus – I love the calmness and space that she creates in her photos. I also love the blog “Local Milk” – the depth that Beth creates with the lighting is amazing, as is the styling and composition of the recipes she photographs. Now that I’m inspired, it’s just about me exploring the camera, and just practicing!

 

international women's day 2017

Laura, Womenswear Designer

Tell us something about you that we don’t already know.

I’ve been painting and keeping sketchbooks for over ten years now, as well as facilitating and co-leading creativity and meditation retreats. This year I’m concentrating on my painting practice and running mindfulness and drawing retreats in particular.

What are the best things about it?

I’m passionate about developing creativity – my own and other peoples. When I’m painting that means being in my studio or out exploring the natural world and when I’m on retreat it’s about helping creativity grow and unfold in others. Picasso once said: “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up” and he was right! Seeing people get back in touch with that child, having fun and finding their own way to painting and drawing is just the best.

What inspires you?  How does it make you feel?

I’m constantly inspired by the landscape, especially now I live in Somerset, and by the calmness and groundedness I find in meditation. And I love the messiness of paint, the alchemical magic of mixing colours and creating a whole world out of a bit of pigment and some water!

Plus I’ve met and worked with some brilliant people, who constantly inspire and energise me.

 

international women's day 2017

Clare, Copywriter

Tell us something about you that we don’t already know.

I volunteer for Little Green Pig, a children’s creative writing charity that’s supported by Ministry of Stories.

What are the best things about it?

I’m there to help the kids get their imagination down on paper. It’s not about spelling or grammar – it’s all about having fun. And usually we have an illustrator drawing the stories as they unfold.

Sometimes, like recently, we do school workshops where the kids kick-start their stories with us. They then continue to develop them back in class. The idea is that when the stories are complete, they’re put together to make a book.

What inspires you / inspired you to do it?

I got involved after going to a fund raising quiz for the charity and discovering the amazing work they do. Even when it’s been a busy week it’s always worth getting up early on weekends to volunteer. I’m always reminded how incredible our imaginations are (and what a shame it is to lose such vividness as an adult!).

How does it make you feel?

Even if it’s only one child I can help come out of their shell, have a bit of fun, and a creative experience. That’s the bit that’s so rewarding.

 

international women's day 2017

Rachel, Creative Director

Tell us something about you that we don’t already know.

I meditate for 20 minutes every day.

What are the best things about it?

It brings me back into the present and connects me back to myself. It allows my mind to calm and centre and focus on myself rather than my “busy” brain overtaking everything.

What inspires you / inspired you to do it?

I’ve always been interested in meditation as a tool you can use in our modern, busy lives. I notice and am inspired by people that seem really at peace with themselves, they have a genuine stillness and quiet confidence that often feels magnetic. It’s an element I’m actively trying to introduce into my life and which I think will be a lifelong journey.

How does it make you feel?

It makes me feel fresh and energised and gives me the ability to press reset on my day and how I’m feeling. The first 2 months were hard to begin when I started out but after I got through that hurdle it’s become a part of my day that I couldn’t be without.

  

international women's day 2017

Emma, Marketing Director

Tell us something about you that we don’t already know.

As a working mum with two young children I find it really challenging to make time for myself.

So last April I started to think about what I could do that would start making me feel more me again and give me something independent, away from family life. I wanted it to be enjoyable as well as sociable, and something that I could realistically commit to on a weekly basis.

In my searching I discovered a newly formed contemporary choir that met every week in a room above a pub – which was also very close to my house – so no excuses.

I’m not a singer, and hadn’t sung since I was at school – over 20 years ago – but I knew this was something I would enjoy and something that would enable me to totally forget all the day to day practicalities of managing two small children and a part-time job.

international women's day 2017

What are the best things about it?

Now almost a year on, I’m still going every week, I’ve managed to rope three of my friends in too. We have sung at a few local festivals, raised money for charity, are about to perform our 1st anniversary concert and have even turned down a TV show.

We have an amazing choir master – if that’s what you call him – he’s worked with some of the UK leading artists, and we sing everything from Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Diana Ross to George Michael and Justin Bieber – which I must admit, I was a little sceptical about when I first heard. And most of the time we’re singing unique harmonies in our range group so it makes everything a bit of a healthy challenge too.

How does it make you feel?

I really love my Tuesday nights as everyone in the office knows, as I’m usually singing to myself throughout Wednesday! And I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone looking for something to really lose themselves in.

 

international women's day 2017

We would love to hear about your hidden talents, passions and inspirations. Share them in the comments below.

You might also love reading about our chat with Liz Grove, a Stylist at Smart Works.

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