As you may or may not be aware, I am Millie and I have been the driving force behind these newsletters since 2019. In recent months I have become increasingly thankful for these bulletins that allow Creative Connex to illuminate, educate and initiate through updates, opportunities and recommendations. They also provide a voice, not just for our team, but for those marginalised people who you continue to inspire me every day. Without need to state the obvious, 2020 was a profound moment in history. As someone who was on the tip of transitioning from an emerging to an early-career creative, those already unclear guidelines became illegible and my identity startled to unravel. But rather than looking back and detailing how I started the pick all those pieces of myself back up again in 2020, I think this space would be more beneficial to provide a platform for those who helped me through it and into 2021!
(I wrote a blog piece for Creative Youth Networks ‘We The 33%’ after hosting their event in June – ‘Where’s the Representation? Emerging Creatives during Covid 19’ can be read on my website here.)
1. Jessica HL aka @jessicainthekitchen
Jessica’s vegan, mostly GF, and 100% delicious recipes have helped feed my body and my soul.
2. Chidera Eggerue author of What A Time To Be Alone aka @theslumflower
This book was given to me by a friend and came into my possession not to long before lockdown. Whilst many of us are feeling isolated, Chidera shows you that you can make you’re own narrative, and thrive being on your own, even during a national lockdown. I highly recommend it!
3. Bernardine Evaristo author of Girl, Woman, Other
This one has had many a feature amongst our mail-outs but, shamefully, I have only just finished it! It is, as I have been told time and time again, incredible. Just. Read. It.
Bernardine started Spread The Word Writers, a publishing platform that selected my poem ‘The Paradise of Normal’ for their campaign #SayYourPeace. Check it out here.
4. Ciara Madden aka @ciaralondon/@bodybyciara Oh yes – the obsessive workouts have started again. But this time led by Ciara, who is without a doubt the best trainer I’ve ever had (even if I have never met her!) She celebrates growing muscle, not loosing weight, and her positive energy sets me up for a much better day. If this isn’t your thing, then maybe her background DJ mixes are! Their are some great Carnival Special workouts hosted by Celeste-Louise & Arianna Natalie Give it a go for free on her Instagram account here.
5. My own poetry aka @milliewooddownie Like Roger, writing is what keeps me sane. It is my outlet and there is no other feeling quite like performing my own poetry. I was lucky enough to be selected as a commissioned artist as part of the BBC New Creative’s, and though I haven’t been able to perform live (if you don’t count Zoom!) I was able to record my piece pictured above. If you want to write, but are feeling a bit stuck or in need of inspiration try Anthony Anaxagorou’s new pocket guidebook ‘How To Write It’ published by Strormzy’s publisher #MerkyBooks.