A warm welcome to Sarah Manton who will be joining us as Guest Blogger over the next two weeks. Taking her first steps into the whacky world of creative business, Sarah Manton will be fulfilling a life-long dream to create beautiful things and inspire others along the way. We join her at the very beginning…We asked Sarah 10 questions about herself to get to know her a little bit better.
Who are you?
Hello Nottingham, my name is Sarah Manton and I’m doing everything the other way round from the other Creative Nottingham guest bloggers! I’ve worked in industry, textiles, design, marketing and administration for the last 20 years and now I’ve just started to make a business out of what has been my life-long love, being creative and encouraging others to do the same!
What brought you to Nottingham?
Born and bred in Melton Mowbray, I took a job as a ‘jack of all trades’ (office manager / production / designer) at a promotional clothing company and then moved to Nottingham Trent University to work in the commercial area of the School of Art & Design (Fashion & Textiles).
What keeps you in Nottingham?
Rock City (obviously), my totally awesome friends and of course, the fabulous creative enthusiasm in and around Nottingham! There is no doubt in my mind that being a university city gives Nottingham an exciting, ever-changing artistic edge and being immersed in that environment cannot help but spark the creative mind.
What makes you different to other creative people in Nottingham?
Well, at the moment, I’d say that what makes me different in the first place is my age, I’m 41 and just starting out! I’m in the fortunate position of having worked in a wide variety of media from paper and textiles to photography and digital design over the years and I am currently deciding what my specialism will be, so you find me at a very exciting stage in the business! The passions of the moment are scherenschnitte (paper cutting – I regularly wield a scalpel), book binding, rock (music) household goods (intriguing!) and quilting – I’m a bit of butterfly and thrive on stimulating my mind with a variety of projects.
I’ve also spent the last 8 years working with the most wonderful people in the world – teenagers. I know they’re not everyone’s cup of tea, but working at Wheldon School & Sports College in Carlton was inspiring, frustrating, joyous and tear-jerking on a daily basis. I’ll never forget my time there or the fantastic folks I met over the years and I hope to get involved in creative workshops in schools in the future.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
I’m not going to lie to you, much as love the ‘ham, I would like to move out to a more rural environment. Having grown up in leafy Leicestershire and been surrounded by countryside for most of my formative years, I do yearn for birdsong over car alarms.
Business-wise, I’d like to collaborate with as many of the wonderful creative people I have met along the way as possible. I’ve gathered artists, designer/makers, jewellery makers, illustrators, felters, seamstresses and even Nottingham’s premier crochetier into my friendship circle along the way and it would be wonderful to get some crossover projects going on. As anyone who has met me will know, I could talk for England, but I also love to listen. Nothing excites me more than hearing about someone’s dreams and ideas and helping them to make them come true – my ideal would be to become the Secret Millionaire of Nottingham’s creative community – the fundamental flaws in my plan being that a) I am not a millionaire and b) I wouldn’t be able to keep it a secret!
What do you wish you had more time for?
Meeting up with friends for tea and cake – now that I’m a tad more flexible, I’m definitely going to schedule in more cakey-tea-based meetings. Oh, and ironically, blogging and tweeting – I get too involved in the real world and forget to tell everyone in the virtual world about the minutiae of my musings.
What keeps you awake at night?
Ideas wake me up on a regular basis, so I’ve gone for the pen and paper next to the bed option… oh, and how on earth will we pay the mortgage (obviously).
What do you think is Nottingham’s best kept secret?
What worries me is that it wasn’t until I started burrowing into the creative underbelly of Nottingham that I discovered the wealth of wondrous stuff that is going on literally under the noses of wider population, unseen. There must be more ways to share the glorious things that are going on and help the punters to see that there is an alternative to the watered down Primarni, TackyMaxx dross, perhaps using empty shops as showcases, sharing stalls in the seasonal markets, sporting sandwich boards? … /off my soap box
What would you like to see more of in Nottingham?
If my recent investigations have taught me one thing, it’s that there are dozens of ‘pockets’ of creativity going on. I’d dearly love for Nottingham’s creative community to truly come together in one place to communicate about events and opportunities, share details of recommended suppliers and generally pat each other on the back. I know that the Nottingham Craft Mafia have recently undergone a massive overhaul and are endeavouring to facilitate just such a forum.
What Big thing are you currently working on?
You’re in at the beginning, I’m starting my own creative business! During my guest blogs over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be preparing my website, getting my business cards sorted, opening a bank account and moving into a studio – that’s a big enough thing for me in just over a fortnight! Wish me luck!
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