Me & Margot: Happy Place Festival

I am a big fan of Fearne Cotton so when Not On The Highstreet asked if I would like to host one of their creative workshops at her Happy Place festival last month I jumped at the chance. Well when I say jumped, it was more of a small hop, as I was terrified, but this year I set myself the challenge of doing things that take me out of my comfort zone and this definitely ticked that box.

I often hide behind my paints [and Margot] and avoid public speaking, so teaching is something I have never explored, but I am so glad that I pushed myself to do it, as it was a wonderful experience which I want to share with you.

The festival was held over the weekend of August 3rd and 4th at Chiswick Park, it was a beautiful setting and upon entering I immediately felt a sense of calm, which really helped as the butterflies in my stomach were going crazy. I was hosting two workshops across the weekend my first on the Saturday wasn’t until the afternoon so once I had set up, I took myself off to Bryony Gordon’s ‘You Got This’ talk where she shared crucial life lessons and the art of self-respect, this really helped to steady my nerves and mentally prepare, I left feeling as though I was ready to take on the world, let alone host my first workshop.

To fit in with the festival I focused my sessions on bringing joy and creating a sense of calm through painting, craft, plants and yoga.

I was immediately transported back to my school days, as people entered the teepee and took their seats at the table all enthusiastic eager eyes on me, but this time I was the teacher and they were the students! After a few deep breaths I began, I started off by explaining that they would be creating their own nature-inspired yoga illustrations using watercolours and coloured pencils, inspired by my own ‘Yogi Wannabe’ print. The first part of the workshop focused on painting techniques and allowed all participants to hand-paint their own leaf artwork, everyone found this really therapeutic, as drawing is my profession I rarely use it as a form of relaxation but it was a great reminder that I should definitely be drawing more for fun in my free time. Once painting was complete, I had prepared cut outs of my Yogi Wannabe ladies so the second part of the workshop was focused around cutting shapes out of their leaf prints and dressing the yogis; there was some really beautiful creations.

Once all finished I went into a bit of a trance, overwhelmed by the positive energy of the room and the gorgeous feedback, I was also immensely proud of what I had just achieved. I sat myself on the bank overlooking the water, to wash my brushes and had the pleasure of listening to Russell Brand’s ‘Recover The Person You Were Born To Be’ his words of wisdom were the ideal way to unwind and reflect on what had just happened.

I got back to Chiswick Park on the Sunday bright and early, my second workshop was first of the day, I was feeling more confident and ready to embrace what was ahead of me. I had the pleasure of teaching another fantastic bunch of beings, all there for the same escapism reason and more stunning artwork was created. Prior to the festival I created a bespoke Happy Place Yogi Wannabe print so when the lovely Fearne popped her head into the teepee during the session, I took the opportunity to give her the print personally, which she loved.

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Being first up meant that I had the rest of the day to enjoy the festival and I made the most of this. I listen to the Happy Place podcast whilst doodling away in my studio and the festival was just a live version of this with all of Fearne’s favourite people and things to do which coincidentally are all my favourites too!

First stop was energy healing, something I have been very intrigued by and wanting to try. The idea behind it is to teach you how to harness the power of your own human energy through chanting, movement and meditation, to recharge the body and calm the mind. The key benefits are to re-energise, de-stress, detoxify and release tension and pain, so I thought the perfect activity after all the work and stress of the workshop. Apparently I responded extremely well and I felt on top of the world when finished.

I felt so good that I then headed for an alfresco ‘Live Healthy, Live Happy’ workout with everyone’s favourite Joe Wicks The Bodycoach. The atmosphere was electric, so many people coming together to release energy and feel good, it was such a good workout.

After all the physical activities I was ready for downtime so took myself off to listen to some of the talks. I went along to Jasmine Hemsley's ‘Living La Vida Veda’ where I learnt all about how to infuse Ayurveda into everyday life and different ways to listen and understand your body type and how to nourish from the inside out, being gluten free I make sure to always try and learn about new ways to keep myself healthy. I also popped along to Lauren Mahon’s ‘Curtains Up How Cancer Made Me The Leading Lady.’ I am a big fan of this lady, so much so that I dedicated a tiny tee print to her Girl vs Cancer t-shirt collection. I have so much admiration for her determination and how you can always find a positive in even the darkest of times and situations, it was the perfect inspirational talk to end my Happy Place experience on.

I left on such a high, the feeling was like nothing I have every experienced before. A big thank you to Not On The Highstreet, my amazing students and Fearne for the opportunity and my wonderful friend Katie for all her support and help over the weekend, I am definitely exploring the idea of hosting more workshops so watch this space!

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Me & Margot: My Top Five Cards

Today I am celebrating 32 years on this earth. Receiving a card means everything to me and I have been lucky enough to be sent some gorgeous ones this year. Whilst popping them up round my living room it got me thinking back to some of the card collections I have created so I went back through my archive and picked out my top 5 to share with you.

“Love The Little Things Collection”

I love drawing food especially delicious cakes so I had to include this one. I ate a lot of cake as inspiration whilst drawing this card!

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When a brief comes through where I get to experiment with different textures and materials I get really excited, using gold foil is a personal fav.

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“Dream Little Dreams”

I love the words on this card. To me sending a card shows someone just how much you care and it doesn’t always have to be for a special occasion it can be just because.

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“Love The Little Things Collection”

Simplicity is key sometimes, I love this card so much that I sent to my own mum on her birthday this year.

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“Six Tea”

This is a particularly special card, I created it as a one-off for the queen to celebrate her jubilee on behalf of UKGreetings.

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If you like what you see you can find my cards in Paperchase, Sainsbury’s and WHSmith.

Culture Corner: Love Is In The Air

This month I have surrounded myself with all things love. Like the rest of the nation, I have been hooked by Love Island, I am team Ovie all the way and am not quite sure what I'll do at 9pm each night after it ends next week - any tips to get past this grieving period are very much welcomed! I’ve been listening to Deliciously Ella’s podcast ‘Who, Why & How We Love' with Laura Mucha and I launched ‘Love Stories’ the latest addition to my illustrated map collection.

I have also been reading Dr Gary Chapman’s ‘The 5 Love Languages,’ a guide to identifying, understanding and speaking love languages. 

I don’t know about you, but I didn’t know there was one let alone five, so wanted to share some of what I learnt. 

The five languages of love are:

Physical touch

Words of affirmation

Quality time

Acts of service. 

Receiving gifts

It was such an interesting read, learning how each individual speaks a different language, I discovered that I'm special and have a bilingual love language as I speak both physical touch and words of affirmation. It also delves into the difference between the obsession of the natural high ‘in love’ you experience within the first two years of a relationship (also known as the honeymoon period) compared to the emotional need to feel loved and the wish for security, self-worth and significance, after this time.

A lot of what the book covers seems simple, but it’s not until someone else points things out that you think of course I should be doing that, for example it suggestions that you should try and give your loved one a compliment a day. Everyone loves a compliment, it makes you feel so good about yourself, especially coming from someone closest to you. The book also talks about acts of kindness and how we should make a list of four small things that you’d like each other to do, to show how much you love. We all want our partners to be mind readers but lets face it, no one is, so setting out intentions makes for a happier relationship.

As well as reading the book, I also recommend taking their 5 Languages of Love Test - don’t panic it's nothing to do with compatibility, I found the results helped to spark great and positive conversations perfect for a date night.

Over the past couple of weeks I have been re-working my portfolio and it highlighted that a lot of my work is inspired by love, my personalised wedding and anniversary illustrations, even my Egg & Solider print, so having a deeper understanding of the emotion, makes each individual art piece that bit more meaningful.

Culture Corner: A Night With Dolly Alderton & Sara Tasker

Being a one woman band business I feel it is important to enrich both my personal and work life with the inspiration, knowledge and support of other creatives within the industry, be that through a podcast, book or exhibition, to keep myself, business and work growing.

In honour of International Women’s Day it seemed only apt that this month’s source of inspiration were to come from two ultimate boss women that I admire very much, Sara Tasker and Dolly Alderton. I was lucky enough to be invited along to their ‘Hashtag Authentic’ an evening with, where over the hour they pondered all things social media, modern careers and using the internet as a springboard to help make creative dreams a reality.

If you are yet to stumble across Sara Tasker and Dolly Alderton I highly recommend that you do so!

The evenings discussion centred around success and how we should not be afraid from celebrating it and not be shying away from what we work hard for. People wanting to share their successes is so important to my business, I rely on clients old and new wanting to celebrate personal achievements and milestones. When a brief comes through for a ‘New Born Baby’ or ‘1st Anniversary’ print I can’t help but smile and get pleasure out of illustrating these accomplishments. I then got thinking about how I celebrate my own success particularly within work. After the ladies delved a lot deeper into the world of social media I realised my answer was instagram. I use the social channel to showcase my works and achievements and it is a powerful tool that I am grateful is helping to keep my creative dreams a reality.

The night was throughly inspiring and very entertaining trust me when I say you need to visit Dolly’s twitter page for the best one liner, laugh out loud tweets! I also learnt that you cannot take negative reviews to heart, a vulnerability hangover is the perfect way to describe the feelings you experience the day a night on the town and Mirabeau Rose is one beautifully drinkable wine!

If you don’t follow me on instagram yet please give my page a little visit and I hope you like what you see @bryonyfrippillustration.