A month has slipped by since my England trip and I’ve barely written a word about it. I’ve barely looked at the images. I’ve moved on to one thing or another, my recent obsession taking up my brain space and creativity. And I need to spend some time on the trip to England, because it was a marker of sorts. A milestone with teaching my first in-person workshops, but a trip of creative connections too.
In fact, the creative connections are the reason I went in the first place. I had met so many lovely people in the UK, online and in person, that I felt drawn back. I wanted to renew these connections and deepen the friendships. The only way to do that is with time. So I plan to share a few stories here, of the people I connected with and the places we visited together. The things I learned from each of them.
First up, the Hebden Bridge crew: Fiona Pattison, Hannah Nunn and Rhiannon Connelly. I met all of these lovely ladies at the Do What You Love Retreat in May 2011. Fiona and Hannah both live in Hebden Bridge, and Rhiannon came to visit from Holland via Scotland. I spent most of my time in Hebden Bridge with them in some combination, and we took a walk together in the woods one morning of my visit. All of the photos in this post are from that lovely walk in the hills around Hebden Bridge.
Fiona was my host in Hebden Bridge, sharing her flat with me and my workshop. While I met Fiona at the retreat, I started working directly with her last fall on Public Relations. I was thinking she could help me get the word out on Kat Eye Studio, but it turned out she does so much more – business coaching and mentoring. Through our working together we have become great friends, so it was wonderful to deepen the connection in person, talking non-stop over a bottle of wine (or two!), great dinners and walks in the woods. She has so much wisdom and enthusiasm for living a creative life. She has a special gift; her art is helping creative people develop businesses that thrive. I have been lucky to be on the receiving end of her talents.
Hannah is an amazing artist, bringing beautiful light to the world. She creates handmade lamps with simple yet gorgeous flower motifs that cast beautiful and subtle light. She loves lighting of all kinds, so her shop, Radiance, showcases beautiful lights from different designers. Walking into her shop you just smile from the warmth of the lights. Or maybe it’s the warmth of Hannah! Being around her seems to bring a smile to my face and a sense of calm to my soul. It was so much fun to see more of her lamps in person and spend time with her. I’ve been dying for one of her lamps since I saw them at the retreat, even looked more than once online, so I was excited to finally buy one directly from her shop to have sent home. Now I have two beautiful pieces of Hannah’s art, bringing cheerful light to my house through the gray Oregon days. Is there anything better than having art you love, made by a friend, gracing your home? I don’t think so.
Last, but certainly not least, is my lovely friend and fellow photographer Rhiannon. I was so excited when she said she’d be able to make it down to Yorkshire for my visit. Her life is a bit crazy, splitting time between her permanent home in Scotland and her temporary home in Holland, so getting a few days with her was fantastic. She and I spent much time wandering Hebden Bridge with our cameras, discussing art, life and our respective creative journeys. I have always loved her painterly photographs created from Polaroids, and enjoyed watching her capture images with her iPhone while we were together. Now that I look back at it, I’m pretty sure our time together had a strong influence on my sudden adoption of mobile photography and editing. Seeing Rhiannon work and hearing her talk about her process planted a seed that burst free a week or two later.
And that, truly, is the beauty of creative connections. They plant seeds. They nurture growth. They encourage us and influence us, maybe sending us in new directions than we otherwise would have gone. I am glad that I heeded the call of my soul and spent the time to renew these connections. My heart is full and my journey is better as a result.