Interview with author and artist, Charlotte Reed

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I’m very excited about this month’s interviewee on For Good Times’ Sake, as this lovely lady has brightened up my Facebook feed for a long while now! I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Charlotte over the past year and always pop by her stall to say hello when I’m around Portobello Road. Meet Charlotte Reed, London-based artist and author of May the Thoughts Be With You.

What inspired you to start drawing your thoughts, and how did they lead you to your life today?

Back in 2008 I suffered with depression. There were many things I did to get better and one of them was to write my own positive thoughts each day to try and improve my mindset. It was hard to have even one positive thought back then but I tried nonetheless. I started to share my thoughts on Facebook and friends would say I should turn them into a book. I loved the idea and had always dreamt of being a writer but I simply didn’t have the confidence to do it. It wasn’t until a few years later when I developed RSI from my office job and had to resign that I took that as a sign from the universe that I should follow my dream!

The day after I resigned I set to work creating my book. Because the RSI meant I could no longer use a computer I wrote up my thoughts by hand and also illustrated them with friendly and fun cartoon drawings. I then self published the book and sold 5,000 copies from the famous Portobello market stall in Notting Hill. My book then attracted the attention of Hay House and since signing a publishing deal with them I haven’t looked back!

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What tips would you give to anyone trying to live a happier, more balanced lifestyle?

I do feel it’s important to follow your dreams. It’s made me really happy and fulfilled. Even if you just start taking small steps each day it can bring a richness to your life that you didn’t know existed. It makes you feel alive and it’s exciting as you’re in the flow and anything could happen.

What are your own non-negotiable wellness practices?

I have to eat well and get plenty of sleep. I used to be a party animal who lived off microwave meals but I’ve now become someone who cooks fresh food for every meal and goes to bed at 10pm every night!! I love living life like this. I hardly ever get sick, my moods are more balanced and I generally feel happier. I also love drinking herbal tea and taking a bath every single night. Gosh I sound so exciting don’t I?!! I love how much I’ve changed. Following my dreams meant I became who I really wanted to be and the unhealthy aspects of my old life simply fell away.

Who or what inspires you the most?

I’ve been hugely inspired by Beatrix Potter. I was astounded to find out that in the beginning no one wanted to publish Peter Rabbit so she had to self publish it. She was so ahead of her time, a pioneer and a true business woman!

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What do you eat to kickstart the day and stay energised throughout?

I’m on a zero sugar diet at the moment to try and cure my allergies so I make buckwheat porridge and mix in coconut oil, roasted hazelnuts and ground almonds. It looks a bit like wallpaper paste but it has a nice flavour and I’ve got used to it now. I’d even go so far as to say I really enjoy it despite it not being remotely sweet!

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If you had to pick one of your thoughts to live by, which would it be?

When I resigned from my job and started the book I drew an illustration called ‘The Leap of Faith’ to represent how I was feeling. There’s a little man who’s come from his comfort zone to stand on the edge of a cliff. Below the cliff is the sea of dreams and he just has to get through his fear and take the leap before he can swim in the sea of dreams. I now live by this drawing. We have to challenge our fear so we can be rewarded with the life we want to lead.

What’s in store for you this year?

Well I’m kept pretty busy on my market stall so no doubt it’ll be more of the same. I’d also love to look into possibly animating some of the characters in my book and maybe even bringing out some merchandise too. I’ve got loads I’d like to do!

Thank you, Charlotte! To see more of Charlotte’s positive thoughts, look at her Facebook page for daily inspiration or visit her website for more information about her work.
All images credited to Charlotte Reed
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