We’re properly into autumn now, and let me tell you I am in my element. I feel like I was waiting all summer for the leaves to start falling and for the temperature to drop, and now it’s finally happened I haven’t been disappointed.

I absolutely love autumn (and winter and spring) and I want to tell you why, because I know there are some people out there who’ll be sad that it isn’t hot anymore and I don’t want you to miss out on the glory of the season.

First, autumn always feels like a fresh start for me. I think it’s something to do with the school year still, even though I haven’t been at a school that started in September for over 5 years now. I’m not the only one who gets the desire to hit reset as soon as autumn hits, in France the end of August marks the start of the most optimistic time of year:

“And unlike January 1st and the attendant realisation that there’s little to look forward to until spring, la rentrée is full of optimistic possibility. Autumn colours, fall and winter produce, new openings, and a more favorable market for job and house hunters. It’s not about resolutions, it’s about starting a new season with a bit more bounce in your step.” – Lindsey Tramuta

Autumn feels like so much of a better time to start a project or just to refresh. Unlike January, the world is filled with warm colours, rather than the darkest days of the year. Plus, you’re not recovering from the rush of Christmas and new year, instead quite often you’re coming back from summer holidays or slower work periods.

To accompany fresh starts in Autumn, we’re also graced with fresh cool air. Nothing wakes me up as well as a cold breeze as I step out of the house, pulling my coat across my body and taking a quick breath before bracing myself for the walk ahead. I don’t know if it’s just because it’s what I’m used to (#northerner) but I think walking is most enjoyable when it’s cool out. It keeps you alert, and it keeps you from overheating. Then, once you come back inside you appreciate the warmth. You appreciate shrugging your coat and boots off and wiggling your toes into your slippers. You appreciate your cup of tea, held between two hands, warming you right through to your bones.

You slow down and you appreciate in autumn in a way that you don’t in the heady days of summer.

Cool weather means the best clothes of the year. I’m talking soft jumpers, fluffy socks, big coats, and scarves, and mittens not to mention all of the best pyjamas. I would always much rather be bundled up, snug as a bug as my Mother would say, than having to expose more pale sweaty flesh than anyone wants to see.

While you’re inside, all wrapped up in your slippers and blanket you get to enjoy the best selection of TV. Whether you’re into Strictly or superheroes, home design or detectives, the best shows all come back again in the autumn.

If you’re still not convinced of the wonders of autumn here are some ideas to get you enjoying the season:

  • GO ON A WALK – make sure you wrap up warm then head out, it doesn’t have to be for very long. I love going to the park or just walking around the houses when it’s dark an everyone’s living room lights are glowing in the street
  • HAVE A BIG MOVIE NIGHT – I feel like movie nights are some of the best ways to embrace the cosiness, so pick something new or an old favourite and make an occasion of it
  • COOK SOMETHING NEW – while summer is all about salads and barbeques, autumn is the time for busting out warming comfort foods. I’m absolutely loving The Roasting Tin ***LINK*** cook book, everything is simple and easy and super tasty
  • GET CRAFTY – embrace those back to school vibes and get making!
  • SPRUCE UP YOUR JUMPER/COLD WEATHER CLOTHING – new threads, especially soft woollen ones, are sure to put a little pep in your step
  • HAVE A DIGITAL DETOX – hit pause and refresh by tearing yourself away from as much digital media as possible for a day (or two if you can manage it) and reap the benefits all season long

So, settle down, get cosy, pick up a mug of tea and put the telly on while the leaves fall and the wind howls outside – now tell me you don’t like autumn!

I’ve been thinking a lot about comparison recently, mainly because I’ve been comparing myself to people on social media way more than is healthy. I know that what I see on social media isn’t the whole story, and I know that everyone is on their own path, but I still compare myself (99.9999% of the time negatively) to the images I see in an even more extreme way than I do irl. And it’s making me sad.

But comparison isn’t really something you can quit in the way you can quit eating coco pops for breakfast. We all compare ourselves to other people. We might compare ourselves more or less. We might compare different things. But we all do it. We all also know that comparing ourselves to others isn’t the most beneficial habit too. So, I don’t quite get the shaming that’s starting to come with comparing yourself. It’s like the shaming that comes from not “choosing” to be happy, or loving your body. Sure, I’d love to be happy, decide I look great, and never look at someone else’s Instagram and go damn I wish I’d made that. But I’m human. You can’t just turn off those feelings all of the time.

Instead of trying to stop comparing myself to others, I am recognising the fact that other people are quite often my frame of reference and I am never going to be comparison free. So, I’m trying out some techniques to mean that comparing myself to someone else doesn’t always have to be a negative experience.


I’m trying this thing where whenever I compare myself to someone else, I also try and compare myself to my past self. It’s been a good way of reminding me I’m growing no matter where I am compared to someone else, and how the difference in life stage/experience/opportunity can make such a big difference to where you’re at. If you’ve just finished your A-level in biology you’re not going to have as much knowledge as someone who’s just finished their PHD, but that doesn’t mean you won’t or can’t or don’t know way more about something else. The only person who’s at exactly the same stage as you, who’s had the same opportunities, is you so you’re the main person you should be comparing yourself to.


Every time you see someone do something so good and you compare yourself and feel a little bad, tell them. Well, don’t tell them you feel awful but do tell them you like what they’re doing and it’s impressed you. Pick out what in particular it is that’s caught your eye and let them know. That way you’re turning your negative feeling into a positive and sharing it. As well as just sharing compliments, reach out to start a conversation where appropriate (don’t ask anyone to share their trade secrets etc. etc. etc.). Befriend that person, become their supporter. You’ll feel good. They’ll feel good. And perhaps, you’ll even be able to inspire and learn from each other.


This is the “don’t get mad, get even” approach. If you’re consistently comparing yourself to someone who’s making something awesome – don’t feel bad that you’re not doing something, make something flipping awesome yourself. Channel that negative energy into creating and use it to drive you to make the best things you can.


I spoke about this a while ago in my goals post but it is so important to measure your success by metrics that you can control. So, while it makes perfect sense to care about and check your Instagram followers for example, measuring how successful you are by how many followers you have isn’t healthy. As much as what you post and what hashtags you use etc. can have an effect you are relying on the algorithm shining on you favourably and, ultimately, someone else performing an action. Other people shouldn’t be in charge of your success, you should be. Instead make your goals about creating content consistently or improving what you make.


When we compare ourselves we’re ultimately making life a competition, and it’s often presented that way so it makes sense that’s how we think. But life’s not a competition. We don’t all start at the same point, we don’t all stop at the same point, there is no points based system. There’s just however much fun you’re having right now. You don’t get a trophy you just get memories. So try not to forget that even if someone is “ahead” of you in some aspect, whatever that may be, you’re not competing (unless you’re in a literal race in which case ignore all of this)


Do you have any top tips for getting over comparison? I’d love to know what they are/please help me!

Two of the things I love the most are books and creative thinking, so it should come as no surprise that very few things (bar puppy kisses and ice cream) make me happier than when the two are combined. There are so many great books out there on creativity, that are guaranteed to leave you feeling inspired and more confident in your ability to make things. Here are just 5 of my favourites. All of them are gorgeous. All of them are really fun reads. All of them are worth reading, rereading, and treasuring.


These are two of my favourite books, perhaps ever. They’re (big) pocket sized guides that I come back to again and again and again. They’re the books I wish I had written. I love everything about them from Austin’s easy tone, to the digestible sections, to the practical advice, to the illustrations, to the uplifted feeling I always have after reading them. They’re really easy just to dip into if you’re having a low day, or are looking for a little nudge in a creative direction. These books aren’t just for “artists” they’re for anyone wanting to be a bit more creative, which I think deep down is everyone. So, if you haven’t read them yet get on it, or, if you have, now is the perfect time to pick them back up and refresh your memory.


I only picked this one up recently but I loved it, and I think if you enjoy(ed) Steal Like An Artist you’ll like it too. It’s part pep talk, part practical guide to getting over yourself and creating, and it’s great. Danielle is a wonderful writer, but what I loved most about it is the insights and snippets she’s drawn from other artists talking about their fears/their inner critics being big jerks. The pages on sketchbooks really helped me get over one of my big creative anxieties. It also has one of my favourite covers. I don’t know what it is about Martina Rich’s painting of a donkey, but I love it. It’s worth noting her illustrations are dotted through the book too and really add to the fun of the reading experience.


Graphic design genius Anthony Burrill describes his own book as “some approaches for thinking, communicating and creativity. An upbeat guide that anyone can use to help with the big and small challenges we face every day” and I couldn’t say it any better. The book is filled with Burrill’s bold typographic designs which can’t help but to act as a kick up the butt when you’re lacking motivation. Unfortunately, I am still yet to own a copy of it (I just drool over the one at work) but it would make the perfect desk companion, both aesthetically and inspirationally.


Adam JK is one of my favourite artists/biggest inspirations, so it should come as no surprise that Pick Me Up is on this list. Generally I don’t like books I have to fill in (it’s something about the paper I think) but I absolutely love this. It really makes you think about the things that are holding you back then helps you cut ties with them so you can move forward. It’s light hearted but also helpful, and damn fun to doodle in. Adam is also about to publish Things Are What You Make of Them, which I am sure as soon as I read it will be on this list too. As you wait for a copy check out his articles in Design*Sponge to get a flavour of the kind of delights, warm fuzzies, oh yeah I needed to hear thats, and me toos, you’re in for.


This might seem like a cop out. It might seem like I couldn’t think of 5 titles. But it isn’t, check that double whammy at number 1. If you’re in need of inspiration steal like an artist from past you. Flicking through old work, especially old rough work offers you the opportunity to revisit ideas from the past and try to rework them. It can also be a great way to remind yourself of your own abilities, growth, and the things that have inspired you before. So, don’t forget your own books when you’re on the hunt for printed motivation!

One of the major things I’ve learned over the course of my grad scheme so far is how big of a difference one person can make in your career development. Whether that’s the one person who champions you at an interview, the one person who invites you to lunch and makes you feel welcome, or the one person who takes it upon themselves to show you the ropes. Today I want to talk a little bit about finding the last person on that list, a mentor.

A mentor is a completely invaluable resource when you’re just starting, and throughout your career. Having someone you can go to for guidance, and who will help steer you in the right direction can give you so much confidence and really help you develop. You will never know everything, especially if you’ve just started, which is why having a mentor who can either share their experience or act as a sounding board to help you find an answer is so so important.

I’ve had a few mentors through my rotations, some have worked better for me than others. I’ve learned that a good mentor has to be someone you can trust and speak openly with, who you get on with, who actively wants to be involved in helping you develop, and who has enough life and business experience that they can help you grow in more than one way. Now what that person looks like for everyone will be different, and perhaps some of the mentors I’ve loved wouldn’t be right for you and vice versa. It might take a little bit of time, and maybes finding what doesn’t work, until you find someone to guide you, but that’s pretty normal.

So how do you find this mentor?

In some cases, you might be assigned a mentor, which can be a great thing. But even if you’re assigned a mentor, you’re not limited to only turning to that person for advice. What has worked for me is looking to the people who are a few rungs higher than me in jobs I would like to be doing. If you’ve worked with them on a project, and like their style, even better. Then I’ve asked to pick their brains on something, often over coffee, and seen how we get on. I will say that this has been made much easy by the fact that I’m on a grad scheme and I’m kind of expected to reach out to people and try and learn about what they do. The best mentors I’ve had this discussion has happened pretty much unprompted though, once we’ve got chatting, and I’ve asked a few questions, they’ve been more than happy to share their wisdom. Look for people who want to get you involved in projects (or lunch) and are excited about their job and you can’t go far wrong.

Once you’ve found your mentor, here are a few ideas of things you should be working with them on or asking about:

  • Most importantly, how can you improve? What does good look like in your industry?
  • Where can you skill up?
  • Where do they see your business going (if they’re high up enough) or where they see the industry going? It’s useful to know what the future might hold so you can be ready for it
  • What projects can you get involved in?
  • How should you approach salaries and negotiations?
  • How did they deal with any problems you’re facing now when they were starting?
  • How to branch out and make yourself more employable and rounded
  • Any advice they have for dealing with certain people, or ways of working in your office
  • What has their career path been like?
  • Help with working on your soft skills like people management
  • Ask them to take you along to meetings that are a little above your grade where possible to see what those higher-level conversations sound like
  • How can you help them? Make sure you’re giving back too

So, in short, find yourself a mentor and make the most of them by asking all of the questions. Do you have any mentorship advice? Have you had any great mentors? Awful ones?

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?