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February 2017

Home  |  2017  |  February

Women Who Create / Ami Lou Sharpe. This fortnight we welcome Ami Lou aka sosoyoyo to the women who create series. Bringing us bright and playful illustrations and designs sosoyoyo combines a love of the slightly cheeky with colourful and modern designs to create prints, soft toys, greetings cards and pins.

Tell us a little about your background…

I grew up in Derby. Then did my degree in Theatre Acting at Bretton Hall, after that I studied Graphic Design at Shillington College, Melbourne, Australia. I’ve been working as a designer for the past 12 years and have managed to incorporate my love of children’s illustration into my career too. I started Sosoyoyo because I wanted to turn my illustrations into products. Sosoyoyo has been on the back burner for about 5 years but after having my daughter in 2015 I realised it was now or never, I had to bring my ideas into fruition.

 

Do you have creative habits or rituals within your work that help you stay focused and happy?

I’m an avid list maker and try to stay on track by giving myself specific tasks to achieve. To stay happy while I work, I listen to creative Podcasts, like Blogtacular or Design Sponge’s ‘After the Jump’; they inspire me and provide good company when working alone.

What two things can’t you live without?

Obviously the first one has to be my family. They’re my world. Creatively though, a good fine liner pen is a definite ‘must-have’.

What is your biggest source of inspiration?

Seeing other people make and create something with passion inspires me no end. It gives me the energy to believe in what I’m doing and keep going.

What is the meaning of ‘creative’ to you?

To me, it means putting your imagination into action. Some people say they’re ‘not creative’ but I believe everyone is. Creativity is a wide spectrum of being able to paint a gallery-worthy masterpiece to finding a clever way to get your kids to eat veg. They all require imagination and effort.

If you could collaborate on a creative project or idea with anyone… who would it be & why?

I adore the work of Camilla Prada. I’d love to collaborate with her on designing a new plate.

Do you have a favourite piece of equipment that inspires your day-to-day process?

A simple blank piece of paper, the possibilities are endless.

What is the best thing about running your working for yourself?

After having my daughter I wanted to be able to work from home, running Sosoyoyo as well as my design business allows me to do that. I also love the buzz of selling something I’ve made.

What is your proudest creative moment in your journey so far?

I produced and directed a play whilst living in Australia. It was probably the biggest thing I’ve done and the most out of my comfort zone. I’d love to do it again, but it’s harder now I have a child.

What one piece of advice would you share with fellow women who create to help them on their business journey ?

Connect with other like-minded people. Working on your own can be tough, you need to get out there and realise you’re not on your own. I joined Studio NL’s “Hustle” group last summer, hearing inspiring stories from other creatives has spurred me on no end.

Follow Ami over on FB here and brows her collection of hand made items over on Etsy here! x

Women Who Create /  Ebonie Allard. Today I have the pleasure of welcoming Ebonie to the blog to add a punch of power to the start of your week with her infectious energy and entrepreneur enabling skills. Read on to hear the totally inspiring story of how she turned her life on its head to become the business maven she is today and how she helps misfits like many of us to get to where they want to be in their creative business lives!

Tell us a little about your background…

I’ve never had a proper job. I started out in the film / tv and events industry. I have a degree in scenic art. After working hard and partying harder I would burnout and then take myself off on yoga or fasting retreats around the world. I swung on that pendulum for a while, then in 2009 I started a business called My Girl Friday. A series of unfortunate events meant that I ended up in five figures of debt and living out of my car while bootstrapping a startup. Through pure determination and a willingness to do whatever it took I made the business a success. In 2011 I had 17 freelancers working for me, and while on the outside it all looked great, it wasn’t. A longish story shorter, I jacked it all in and moved to Bali and when I came back I started my current business as an Entrepreneur Enabler.

Do you have creative habits or rituals within your work that help you stay focused and happy?

I’m really clear on my WHY, and what my version of success looks and feels like. I check in with my Value Filter™ every day. I schedule my week to include fun things; getting out in nature & seeing the people that matter to me first and foremost.

What two things can’t you live without?

My iphone (I run my whole business from it) and real conversations, the kind where you see & hear the other person completely.

What is your biggest source of inspiration?

Nature and being in silence. I absolutely love people and stories and the bubbling of creativity, but it starts with a pause which I really connect to alone, out in nature.

What is the meaning of ‘creative’ to you?

To me, ‘creative’ is using my imagination, staying curious and becoming aware in new or different ways.

If you could collaborate on a creative project or idea with anyone… who would it be & why?

I’d love to write a story of maybe a chapter each with all sorts of creative people like Amanda Palmer, Neil Gaiman, Caitlin Moran, Vivienne Westwood, helena bonham carter, Tim Burton, Emma Watson – oh gosh, I could go on forever with people I’d love to have involved in this… oops

Do you have a favourite piece of equipment that inspires your day to day process?

Not really, I do like a good notebook and pen.

What is the best thing about running your business?

The freedom, and the woman I’ve had to become in order to make it work.

What is your proudest creative moment in your journey so far?

Opening the box to the first order of books fresh from the printers…

What one piece of advice would you share with fellow women who create to help them on their business journey

Endeavour to know yourself, to make peace with all of who you are, and then choose to become someone that you are proud of.

Thank you Ebonie! Find loads more over on Ebonie’s blog here or check out her super active facebook page here for daily prompts and offerings x