I think one of my favourite things about getting into blogging is the number of badass ladies I have come across. Honestly, there is nothing more empowering, for me at least, than having so many of the people I admire professionally be women who have defined their careers on their own terms. There are so many women in my various social feeds just absolutely killing it right now, and really inspiring me to do better and to believe that I can, I will and I deserve to achieve the things I work my butt off for. They’re not all designers or makers but they are all “beautiful, talented, brilliant, powerful, musk-oxes” (compliment credit: Leslie Knope). Here’s a short list of just a few of those women and little bit on why they’re inspiring me:
If you read my favourite newsletters post (which of course you have) you will know that I’m a little bit in love with Anne’s writing. Okay, so, it’s more than a little bit. I look forward to her weekly emails like it’s my birthday every Tuesday, and my inbox is filled with birthday peach flan. It makes me smile. It makes me feel better. It inspires me to be better. Anne has made me want to write better, and to have a bolder more distinct voice. She has also helped inspire me to own the bits of pop culture I love, and not be ashamed of being the person that gets the Kardashians questions right in a pub quiz – all points are important points guys!
You know I love Emma’s podcast. I love her book too. She’s a great writer and has really made something wonderful about the shared experience many of us had as the first generation to really grow up online. But for me, what’s most inspiring about Emma is the way she seems to have built such a supportive and collaborative community of ace women around her, turning what could have been a solo freelance project in the form of her book into a community based on sharing and inspiring through her podcast. She comes across as the kind of lady you’d want to be friends with, that you know would cheerlead for you but also give you some straight-talking advice. She’s inspired me to build better networks, reach out a little more, and, yes, attempt to be a bit more upbeat.
Tallulah Fontaine is one of my biggest illustration inspirations, so I couldn’t write this list without including her. While my style, visually, is quite different to hers, I’m really striving to incorporate more of the sensitivity, emotion, and storytelling her work exudes. Her characters are so simple, but I feel like I know them and can relate to and feel for them after just seeing one frame. I also love how distinctive the details in her style are, whether she’s working commercially or on her own stuff you can always tell that it can come from her.
I mentioned Work Work Work in my recent rundown of my favourite blogs. It’s an anti-perfectionism platform which Katherine launched “to talk about the graft it takes to make it and the strife that even the most glamorous women encounter along the way”. It’s about being real and realising that we’re all human and that we shouldn’t attach moral judgements on how we look in selfies or whether we really want a new pair of shoes. I love what she has done with it, and the way that it never preaches. There’s no real women don’t wear make-up or falsehoods around the fact that people, including Katherine herself, still like to post glossy pictures on Instagram. It’s properly real. I love her frankness, I love her writing, and I love that she’s a (fellow) short girl who rocks so many amazing outfits on Instagram.
Sophie Davies of The Private Life of a Girl has inspired me to be more minimalist in my approach not just to buying but to work. I’m more selective in the things I take in and carry around with me whether that’s clothes or jobs, or worries and that’s in part due to reading her blog. As well as being a great advocate for living a simpler life in a way that is actually achievable because it’s personal, Sophie is also a badass business woman and jewellery maker. Her commitment to making quality pieces is so admirable, and I can personally account for how lovely her arch earrings are – I wish I hadn’t lost one of mine. As someone who has been thinking about starting to sell some of my work, I’m hoping to take a leaf out of her book and just make good work and aim to create a business that represents the values I hold dearest.
Man Repeller is one of my favourite places on the internet, without a doubt. It’s the sassy home of all things bright and fun and female centred that I need in my life so often. The way that Leandra had something to say, and realised that it would resonate with a whole bunch of other badass ladies, and then turned it into a hugely popular platform filled with colour and humour and real feelings and the occasional lobster earrings is why she’s such a hero. She also has the most incredible sense of her own style. While I probably can’t rock many of her outfits to the office, she has inspired me to be a little more unashamedly myself and to express the brighter (and more sarcastic) parts of my identity in what I wear and I what I do.
Not only do I love Ella’s work, I also love her honesty. In a world of super slick lifestyle and fashion blogs, she produces incredible content that still feels real and that’s such a rarity, and it’s definitely something that inspires me. As I said, her work is amazing. Her recent product launches, have really given me a push to actually make more. Her vases were stunning and heartfelt, and probably a little bit of a risk (that paid off hugely). Her commitment to making what she wants to make, and doing it so well, is definitely going to be guiding me through the next few months, if not years.
Ruby Tandoh is up there with Nigel Slater on my list of favourite foodies, who just get it. I love eating and cooking, but food is about so much more than just what’s on your plate. Her books really reflect the way that feeding your body is an emotional and personal act, and that you should eat what makes you feel good. She says what she believes, and she puts that into action, and I have so much respect for that. She also recently co-created a zine called Do What You Want all about mental health, filled with stories and advice from a vast and incredible array of people. It’s currently on my bedside table and it’s the perfect companion for dipping in and out of, and obviously, the recipes are delicious. It’s such a great project that gives a voice to so many people with stories to share and says so many much-needed things on a topic that’s only just starting to get the time it deserves.
Who is inspiring you right now?