I’m so excited to be taking part in the very first 5ftinf Consciously Creative course with abstract artist, and instagram queen, Philippa Stanton (aka 5ftinf on Instagram, with a colossal 400K+ followers). We only met for the first time a couple of weeks ago but we got on like a house on fire (you can read the blog about the day we spent together at her studio – and in her shed – here). I came away feeling inspired and delighted by the time we’d spent together. So I was really happy when Philippa invited me to take part in her Consciously Creative course. Each week I’ll share the story of my week and how I got on.
Highlights of what I did week 1
The course kicks off with some really well put together course notes as well as techie tips and editing app suggestions that Philippa has found useful herself. I downloaded Photoshopfix (for taking out bits and pieces you don’t want in your image) and Snapseed (great for adding text to images).
For me, the best recommendation of all, though, was to try Steller as a place for anchoring images. It’s basically an app for creating beautiful photo albums as ‘stories’. I am not the quickest at picking up new technology but I found it simple to install and start using. I already love it. I’d never heard of Steller before but Philippa suggested it as one place to anchor our work and to record the process. It feels so creative and I’ve been astonished by the amount of likes I’ve had already.
One of the exercises was to go for a walk, but without our phones or cameras. The idea was to look at what you’d like to photograph and why. It wasn’t easy going without. But for me this really increased how much I actually saw. Not sure why. It just freed things up. I took my camera the next day and did photograph some of the places I’d wanted to the previous day. But not all. The light was different. Other images presented themselves and others didn’t really work any more. I got thinking about the busy pace I tend to set for myself every day. And how much less stressed I felt after slowing down to walk and take everything in. Sights, sounds, smells. The moments. There were stormy skies, flashes of bright sunshine, lichen, fallen leaves, chestnuts and puddles. And the smell of autumn. It took me straight back to first weeks of term at school. Stiff new school collars, new pencil case and the lovely feeling of brand new socks in new shoes. I liked connecting with those memories and thinking about how the seasons come and go throughout our lives. It feels important to really take those seasons in as they unfold, to see beyond the daily routine.
Here’s a selection of some of my images from the week’s walks. You can also see my first attempt at creating a Steller story from these images here
Philippa has put so much of herself into this course – not least the live weekly instagram sessions where she discusses the ideas for the week and also creates something wonderful to inspire us, live. I could watch her at work all day. I love that she has purple seaweed purely because ‘purple is like gold dust.’ She has vivid green matcha tea powder for similar reasons. I love that. The way Philippa works with objects, light and colour is magical. What’s also lovely is that my fellow course students are from all around the world. I really like how we’re all connected live, commenting as we’re watching Philippa create.
Just one week in, it’s clear that Philippa has put a lot of time and love into creating this course. She has pulled together so much inspiring material to get us really thinking and looking. Finding a little time to explore my creativity each day has already done me so much good. I feel less guilty about taking time to ‘be’ rather than ‘do’. And I find that the ‘doing’ is actually all the better for it.
Homework for the week was to pick a piece of abstract art and explore ways to ‘match’ this. Looking at shape, colour and texture in particular.
I’ll post again after the end of week 2. It’s all about texture and the Japanese concept of wabi sabi. I’m really looking forward to it!
If you think you’d like to sign up for Philippa’s next course, I’d advise joining her mailing list here (there’s more details on the course too ). This course sold out very quickly, so I’d advise you to act fast!