Interviews

Rosie O’Neill | Creative & Professional Daydreamer

07.02.18

Rosie O'Neill Creativity Keep Growing print interview

Rosie O’Neill is a maker who believes in exploring our creativity to its fullest, whilst also adding a sprinkle of magic.  From her positive prints to encouraging pins, Rosie describes herself as a ‘professional daydreamer’ – if that’s not enough to have you falling in love with her designs & philosophy, what is?  After following her beautiful Instagram for some time & reading her blog posts on creativity, I was thrilled when Rosie agreed to be interviewed for inspire & enjoy.

Below, Rosie shares her tips on getting more creative; her magical inspirations & her budding new career….  

Rosie O'Neill Constellation print interview inspireandenjoy.com

Hi! Please can you introduce yourself & your work?

I’m Rosie, 27 year old illustrator and writer based in Nottinghamshire, UK.

I design a range of beautiful stationery, accessories and home decor for likeminded creative souls. Each product is designed to empower and inspire; providing creative encouragement in your home, as part of your workspace or even for you to wear.

I also write a regular blog where I share tips for building sustained and consistent creativity into your life, along with posts on how to grow and develop those skills, and advice on living with more intention and contentment.

Most recently, I started the hashtag #My_Creative_Soul on Instagram, where I’m building a community of support and encouragement – a place to share creative process and messy work-in-progress shots.

I do all of this from my {either unbearably hot, or freezing cold} conservatory home studio. It’s usually sunny, full of houseplants, and currently very tidy thanks to a recent reorganisation. It’s definitely my happy space – somewhere clean, bright and pretty that means I can really get down to work.

Rosie O'Neill interview Always Dreaming print inspireandenjoy.com

Your prints & pins are all so magical, what inspires you when coming up with new designs?

Thank you! I’m hugely inspired by nature, magic and the night sky, and my work mostly draws on these themes in order to keep things cohesive and consistent in the shop.

I usually dive into vintage books for references {the old Observer’s books are brilliant for this}, and use Pinterest and physical moodboarding to help me gather and curate inspiration.

It’s very important to me that I’m putting work into the world that supports my values and ethos; so where I use text and typography in my designs, I like the message to be encouraging and inspiring. I’m personally very influenced by beautiful language, so if a phrase catches my eye, I’ll often save this for the future!

Rosie O'Neill interview Creativity Make

You’re a huge champion of discovering your own creativity. Can you share your own journey with creativity & what it means to you?

I have always been drawn to making things, and would plan very elaborate creative projects at home – cardboard houses for different toys, or imaginative games with my sister.

However, at school I was also pretty academic, and tended to cling to the more practical Design and Technology subjects over Art because I truly believed I was rubbish at drawing. It’s a tricky self-deprecation to shake, and unfortunately the older I got, the worse it got. It got to the point where I didn’t draw at all for fun for years.

In spite of this, I still loved coming up with ideas and making things with my hands, and ended up studying a degree in Architecture. I was so out of my depth at university. Like a lot of high achievers, I went from finding things fairly easy at school, to being really, really average at university. It felt like everyone on my course was a fine artist, while I {having not drawn properly in years} could barely sketch. After coming very close to dropping out twice, I eventually found a couple of amazing tutors in my third year {and through the end of second year}.

I ended my final year with the support of a lovely tutor who really helped me to embrace all the things that made my work stand out. I made beautiful models, dived back into sewing instead of sketching, wrote wonderful research-led manifesto’s and found a sense of confidence in my own creativity.

Since then, I’ve been slowly but steadily building on that confidence with the help of my creative business. Having the space and motivation to keep working at your craft is really useful for developing creativity. I’ve returned to sketching and painting for enjoyment, no longer hate the sight of my own handwriting {I’m even using it in my latest branding update!}, and am currently finding so much joy in taking creative photographs for Instagram.

In the last few years I’ve also discovered fiction writing, something I was completely new to, and rapidly fell in love with. It’s so amazing what adding a new string to your creative bow can do. It’s been really invaluable for my confidence because it’s helped me to see how you can love something simply for the process, and that you don’t have to be brilliant when you’re just starting out.

Interview with Rosie O'Neill creativity & magic Make Your Own Magic inspireandenjoy.com

What are your top tips for people looking to get more creative?

I truly believe that everyone has a little bit of magic waiting inside them, their own path to creative expression that can be nurtured and encouraged to bloom. It might take a little longer to find sometimes, but it’s so worth it when you get there!

If you want to invite a little more creativity into your life my best advice would be to start with a little bit of play. Trying out new crafts and experimenting with different styles and mediums is a great way to find something you really enjoy.

Take the pressure off yourself while you do this, and let yourself enjoy the process without worrying about the end result or being good at something right away.

If you’re looking to commit to more regular creativity, I’d strongly suggest setting yourself a simple, thirty day challenge. Thirty days is just long enough for you to form a habit, without being so long that it becomes overwhelming or boring. You could try committing to spending an hour a day working on your challenge {whether it’s for a writing project, a photography collection, or maybe just filling up a sketchbook}, or set yourself a specific thing to get done {500 words a day, for example}.

You’d be surprised at how quickly you come to look forward to working on your challenge rather than worrying about getting it done, and just as the thirty days builds good habits, it also builds skills as you clock up hours of regular practise.

Rosie O'Neill creativity Let's Do This list

What are you most proud of accomplishing so far?

I am so proud of how far my confidence has come since I started my business. I’m no longer introducing myself with my part time day job title, but instead am happy to declare that I run a creative business; even to my grandma, who truly has no idea what I do but seems happy about it anyway!

My biggest achievement this year has been the successful launch and completion of my first Kickstarter campaign. I had no idea what to expect, was very nervous before taking the leap – but ended up fully funding the production of my favourite design ever for the shop {the ‘Head In The Clouds’ enamel pin}. I’m so pleased with how it turned out, and very proud of myself for following through with what was one of my 2018 goals.

Rosie O'Neill Creativity Head in the Clouds Kickstarter pin interview inspireandenjoy.com

You describe yourself as a ‘professional daydreamer’ which I love! What’s your biggest daydream for the future, personally & professionally?

Thank you! It’s always so hard to write bio’s and introductions as a self-employed creative because we tend to have such varied work, but ‘professional daydreamer’ pretty much covers it!

Professionally, I would love to grow my business to the point where it’s able to support me completely. My big dream is to be able to really help people connect with and develop their creativity, and I’m excited to be looking into lots of different avenues to make that come to life, including courses, workshops and new product offerings.

Probably my biggest personal daydream however, would be to have one of my novels published. I’m currently working away at honing my fiction craft, and preparing to make the big brave leap into submitting for literary agency representation soon.

Rosie O'Neill Creativity High Five pin interview on inspireandenjoy.com

What do you most enjoy doing?

My favourite working days are usually the ones where I’m planning out content for the week and writing some fresh blog posts on my favourite topic – creativity! I also love the end of a photography day – where I can flick through and see all of the lovely images that I’ve created! I haven’t made enough time for it lately, but a few hours coming up with random new product ideas is always so rewarding too.

Basically – writing, image styling or making – as long as I’m creating, I’m happy!

When I’m not working, I’m an avid reader. After a brief spell of not reading that much, I’m now back to eating up maybe three or four books a month. It’s almost always fiction, usually young adult, and I also find a huge amount of joy in rereading my favourites.

Rosie O'Neill creativity stars interview on inspireandenjoy.com

Finally, what does an independent life mean to you?

Independence for me means that I get to choose how to direct my creativity every day. It means living a life where I’m excited to start work in a morning and buzzing with ideas when I go to bed. It also means having the opportunity and the means to really get to know myself; what excites me, what motivates me – and to pursue the hell out of it.


You can discover more of Rosie’s tips on creativity & shop her gorgeous prints, pins & stationery by heading to rosieoneill.com or head over to her magical Instagram account to keep updated. For more interviews with inspiring creatives, check out another magical interview here.

What do you do to grow your creativity?

How to grow your creativity

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