Hello. I'm Bonny Snowdon, ex-corporate person, a mother and successful artist entrepreneur. It wasn't that long ago though, that I lacked the confidence, vision and support network to focus on growing my dream business. Fast-forward past many life curveballs, waves of self-doubt and so many lessons learned, and you'll see Ignite my thriving online colored pencil, artist’s community, a community that changes members' lives for the better. It gives me freedom to live abundantly whilst doing what I love and spending quality time with my beloved family and dogs all whilst creating my best artwork with coloured pencils and mentoring others to do the same. But this life wasn't always how it was for me. It used to only exist in my imagination.
I've created the It's a Bonny Old Life podcast to help increase people's confidence, share mine and my community's experience and hope through fascinating personal stories, champion the other amazing humans in my personal professional and membership community and create another channel through which I can support others to realize their dreams. If you're a passionate color pencil artist or an aspiring one, who's looking to create their best work and a joyful life you love - you're in the right place. Grab a cuppa and Acosta cream. Let's get cracking. Welcome to my first ever episode of it's a Bonny old life. As many of you who already know me are aware. Family is very important to me and I class anyone in my community as family, whether they are related to me or a part of my tribe,
My close family have always been incredibly supportive. And over the last few years, they've done many ups and quite a few downs with my family. Always there to help pick up the pieces. My two older sisters have been over and beyond supportive, and I'm absolutely delighted to be talking to one of them today. What better way to start my podcast off than talking to the person who first put the idea of becoming a full-time artist into my head.
Now I have to be very careful here. Introducing her as we both have very strong what we call great grandpa genes in which anything we say that has any emotional connotation. We both start weeping, wonderful supportive wife and mother of three, owner of a thriving family business. A huge support to me and my little family and host a fabulous Christmas kazoo concerts - Annabel my big sister.
Hello. Hello. How are you? So it feels very strange because, well, it doesn't feel very strange at all, actually, because we were going to do this over zoom, Which I think would have been a bit strange. It would have been a bit strange and I'm really rubbish on zoom. Yes. Well, I'm not so bad but I think it's quite nice. So Annabel is now sitting in my studio with me. She's on the, I think you kind of Notice the subtle, the Subtle stool, Which is lovely, which is swively. Yes. Yes. And I'm in my big, Whatever dentist chair, somebody called just quite dentistry. So it's nice to have you.
It was absolutely definite that I wanted you as my first guest because, , we've got a huge family and we're all very close and they're all hugely supportive and you and Tanya, my oldest sisters, and you have, you have been absolutely amazing this port.
I've got to be careful that I don't start weeping. Oh gosh. My, my, the people in my academy used to be weeping. I'm always burst. And, but yeah, so he'd been hugely, hugely supportive, but I wanted to bring, I wanted to talk to you because you were the absolute instigator of me becoming a full-time artist. Yes.
Well, I remember you starting doing all the painting stuff, you started with your mindfulness coloring in. And I remember thinking, oh, that'd be quite interesting, but I kind of a bit more flibbertigibbet as to the new, and I think I'd, I think I'd have got bored halfway through, but you persevered and it would, that was great. And then I think you,
it, it might've been one of the first things you did. I don't. And if I know, I keep seeing the horses, the first thing he did, but I don't think it was, I think you did lots of other things. Yeah. Sarah's dog That's right. Because our other sister was going to do it and couldn't so you said,
“oh, I'll do it then because it was a friend of ours father's birthday, special birthday. And you did it and it was really good and it was funny because I, I was too scared to do it in color so I was only doing coloring books at that point.
And I said, I'll do it in black and white. Cause I was just terrified of doing an animal in color, but yes, that was the first, the first one that I did. And then it kind of went from there, but we just did you do sort of, because that horse that comes up as the here, here,
I think Sarah's was around April, April time. And the horse was sort of probably around May time before you still, you were still working full time and week some weekends. He was so much better than that. And I remember when you, when you did one of your paintings and I've been talking to Charlie about it and he just said “she's got such a talent, so it was one of those things where life social art that you clearly had an, and then, I mean, looking back at it now, it looks, , it's nothing to what you are now, but then we was, we were, we were blown away by how good it was. And you've always drawn horses.”
So at 17, I started working for an advertising agency as a tea girl, which was, well, do you remember not useless? So we used to live in Petly bridge or just outside Peter bridge, which is a really lovely Dale's town. And I worked in Harrogate, which is probably about half an hour’s drive away and I was 17. So working in the advertising agency, then working in graphic design. And so I did learn a huge amount of color and, all of that, that type of thing. So I think that's been hugely helpful. And then of course, into management and getting into coaching, and then I think coaching was the big thing for you.
I really do. I, you went through a dark time. You weren't happy in yourself. And I think the coaching really, Oh, it changed everything. Yeah. I mean, it just absolutely changed.
I think it made me look inward and it made me see how I was coming across to other people. And that's quite, that's quite hard to do. That's really Hard, , and then actually address what I had to do. Cause I was, I think I was on my way out of the company. The problem is when you become a manager for an organization, you kind of follow suit and you kind of, you don't really get any training or anything And you did have a very awful manager After I did that. When I say his name, I think you did. Yes, you did.
But looking inwards and, kind of, kind of seeing how you were. And I think the coaching side of stuff really, really did. And then of course, when I took the degree course and everything that had a huge impact on me because I was learning all of these things. I mean, I left school at 15,
Well, I had two years at college, which was just a complete waste of time.
I think we should all do coaching and a lot of it. You feel that, oh, yes. “That's common sense’. Oh, I know that now that I know it, but when you don't know you don’t know.. And now bringing all of that side of stuff into my teaching now has had a huge impact.
All of that sort of confidence stuff or the coaching I can, and I love it. I absolutely love it. And I love what it does and how it helps people. Well, you can tell you love it because it kind of is, is it kind of, , you're so enthusiastic with it and it kind of shines out of you that this whole enthusiasm with it,
Which is, I think it's absolutely brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. And it's really, and it's made you a happy person and that's, what's lovely. I know. That's what it's like now is always saying, Despite my flipping knee, that's Latin dancing for your listeners. Don't do Latin dancing when you have big fat knees. It's not. So, yeah.
So that day when I was working in Harrogate in the art gallery, white wall gallery, which to be fair, I absolutely loved. And they had some fantastic training, brilliant training, but, and you thought that I was, I was really loving it. I think. So you haven't kind of broached the subject of bonding. I think you should go full time. I didn't quite realize what you had to do. I don't think when I found that out, it was quite shocking. Well, not shocking, but it was just like really? Yeah. Yeah. So w it wasn't, it wasn't shocking, but it's basically a sales job, so you'd have to do sales, but then, but it was like cold calling, which some people are really good at that and I'm just, I'm better at talking to people and I, and I did do really well I got quite a few sales and everything, and actually it was, it was a job I really enjoyed it.
We've got some lovely artists. I mean, some fantastic pictures. That training was fantastic. I really enjoyed working there. And I loved meeting the people and the artists. Yeah. But it was that it was the sales bit where you had to get on the telephone,which some people are fine with. And it just, it just, I just didn't enjoy it. Really. Yeah. And we were going to Leeds, I think we were meeting Tanya and Nikki and Debbie and Debbie, I think. And we were having an Indian in Leeds. Yeah. So I think we were on the, I was meeting you in Harrogate and we were jumping on the train to Leeds and I think I had to paint it or a painting to give to Tanya.
Yes. But she'd bought for Peter's 21st or something or 18th. And we were on the train. And that's when you said, I think you should go full time with your art. And I was like, well…. and, and after that, and it kind of really, sowed the seed, and then you and Charlie were just so supportive.
Charlie with all of his business knowledge, I remember you taking me to go, and it sounds ridiculous now because I'm very capable, but you and Charlie took me to open a bank account. This is a 47 year old, 46 year old woman marched off to open a business bank account. But I had no idea! I had no idea what I was doing. And Charlie really helped me with all of the forecasting, he helped me create an 18 month forecast and the budget and everything, and honestly, so, so, so supportive. And that, that's what you need, somebody to kind of cheer you on and everything. Yes. Well, he was, he was, he just saw the potential and just, and also, I think what you saw when you, you, he asked you to do a business plan and he was really impressed with your business plan. Oh Yeah. He said, because you didn't just go, oh, I'm just going to paint pictures.
You had a plan set out because you knew that you weren't going to be able to just draw all the time because there was only you. So unless you're going to replicate yourself, that was going to be really hard to just do that and pay the mortgage and do everything else. So you, you needed, you needed to have a proper business plan and he was really, really impressed. He said she’s a natural business woman.
Oh, that's very nice. Thank you for Charlie. But, but having that fantastic support behind you is just brilliant and that belief and I haven't always been confident have I?
No, No. And you weren't, when you were very little, when you were telling me when you were sort of two and you were, you were quite, but then I think as you got older,
I think life can't, teenage and stuff, I think. And he didn't really like School. No, no, I really Did quite rebel. Oh, you were, Well, we weren't going to that. Oh, honestly, honestly. Yes, no, I was, oh, well, but not in a not so horrible way - just to sort of this is boring. I'm going to, I'm going to do something different!
But I think as you got older, I think it just kind of, yeah. These things happen though, don't they? But I think as getting up and standing and talking in front of people, you probably weren't that confident, but, but maybe that's because of the whole family dynamic that that's what you do. That's what you do.
And actually, what, and we've always been brought up to believe that we can do whatever we want to do, I Still believe I could be a supermodel, but I remember actually when we used to do speech and drama and, and occlusion lessons, oh my goodness when you and Tanya were amazing,
And speaking in front of people now, I still feel, I think everybody feels a little bit nervous.
And I haven't, I don't think I've actually asked you a question, but when I was thinking about the questions to ask you, I was thinking, well, gosh, what can I, what can I ask about?
She lived in London, She's sung at the Royal Albert Hall. She was on a flipping video with Freddie Mercury. You were on Amideo Coronation street. Tell me about your singing.
Well, I do always, Always love singing. Yeah. And we've all we've already had like a little bit of Arnold ticks. Oh, I was good. You can all tell me now that I'm a really good singer.
I, well, I've always loved singing and I wanted to be an actress and then I didn't want to be an actress because I went to an, I went to audition when I was 17 and it was all very, I dunno, - I didn't like it, I think I was sheltered and it was, it was not, not, it was a very strange audition.
So then I thought, oh no, what am I going to do? Oh, I know I'll do singing. So I auditioned for Trinity College of Music in London. And by some amazing chance I got in. So then I had four years on a singing performance course in London, which was fantastic. It didn't set me up for anything else in life but I had a lovely four years and made some lovely friends and had a good time. And yeah, had a nice time in London. I then did lots of auditions. It's really hard in the, in the singing because you, you have to stand up on stage and do you have to, if you've got an instrument you're singing your, your through your instrument and it's less personal but when it's, when it's your voice, it's you. You've really got to get quite a, quite a thick skin. And it's like anything - especially in the arts,
It is hard because it’s very personal, isn't it, it's very personal. And also the falls or the ups, The downsides are more than the outside. So you have to really, you have to really keep your enthusiasm for it going. And so I did. I did enough singing because in singing, you could get a contract. So if I did a wedding, I'd just get a contract written up. And when you had enough contracts, you could get in those days to have to have an equity card to go on TV. I don't think you do now.
And then that was just the way of, of the, the sort of, it was like a union. So because I didn't get many jobs singing, I thought, well, I'll just sort of keep the wolf from the door and I'll, I'll do some extra work. So I was living back at home in Yorkshire and then I'd go over to Manchester, to Granada studios, a couple of three times a week and just do extra work. And I did that for a couple of years and looking back on it, it was exciting. I was in the Rover's return with all the lynching. I was there at that time, but just sitting in the background in my jeans and a jumper and yeah, the Freddie Mercury thing is quite cool now. Cause I can say to my kids, Still looks like me and just Dancing on it. I was there at seven o'clock in the morning and the dominion theater and then we were there for 12 hours and we got paid 20 quid.
Oh Gosh. Yeah. Well that was a lot of money then really? I suppose, 1986 Back in the twenties. She's That old, Really old.
Yeah. So yeah, I did lots of singing. I love singing. I think singing for me is probably what art is for you. And it just is its way of expressing. It can get your anger out. You can get passionate and get your sadness out and you can just sing and I can sing when I'm walking.
As long as no one is around, sometimes there are people around and then I have to be quiet quickly, but it's a real, What's the word I'm looking for? Release. It is it's so it is it's, it's a, an emotional release, the original emotional releaser.
I loved my graphic design and the type setting because everything was exactly the right place. The only time I had order. It's really interesting.
Darcy, our brother has the most amazing voice. I know he's my brother, but I still think he's got one of the best voices. It's got a beautiful Such there's so much. It's just a beautiful voice. If anyone gets a chance to listen to it, just listen. I don't see them to be honest. He has charisma Passion and he throws himself into it. And it's just, just amazing. Absolutely amazing. And we'll have to get him to come on the podcast and start singing. We'll have to,
Yes, we'll do a singing one, but yeah. Oh gosh, family, his family. It's just, it's been so hard these few Years. It has been tricky not being able to see people properly and everything. And we've got such a lovely family and, and we're very close to our cousins and everything as well, which is great - Hopefully we'll be able to start getting together a bit more, Which would be good.
When it comes to confidence, What is your number one tip?
So see, I find this really tricky because, because I've always, I'm not saying, gosh, I'm so confident. It's not that, but because I've always, since I was very little, I've always, either gone on stage, had to sing in front of people and everything else. And that kind of goes on. So I would say, I mean, I know there's, this thing goes around. People saying, just imagine everyone naked, which I don't know. I don't, I think that might put me off and that might move me worse. But I think somebody once said to me, just pretend that they’re all cabbages - whatever works for you
Oh yeah. But also I think confidence-wise, I think just try and be yourself and know that anyone else in this situation will be feeling exactly the same. Nobody's immune. Everyone will feel this. And actually knowing that I think that, I think there's a comfort in knowing that you're feeling what everyone else feels as well.
It's not just you, you're not alone in feeling like, is this just me? This is awful. I'm feeling horrible about this. Everybody feels that everyone just has better ways of hiding it.
Yes. I think, no, I think you're, you're absolutely right. , when we see these like confident people that sort of stand there and they can do anything, they may well have a strategy beforehand. And I know we've talked before about, it's almost like some people can do it naturally. It's almost like you take a deep breath and you become, Annabel the performer on the stage. And here I am and a big smile. And then you're, you're a fabulous, confident person who's going to sing and everything. I mean, honestly, singing on stage is something that, yeah.
I find it terrifying That I suck on stage. It's quite terrifying when you forget your lines, that's quite terrifying. Yeah. But then just imagine the little cabbages and you'll be fine!
The worst thing is when you actually (I mean, this is nothing to do with confidence) but we were doing a panto and my best friend at the time - now I was the princess - I think she was the prince - and we had to do 16 going on 17 there from some music and I happened to look down and as I looked down, the guy who was playing the piano, he and the guitarist who were basically our orchestra and had both put on costumes and a bit of performance. And they were just there big with smiling faces. Beatifically, , just these. And I was just like, oh, I can no longer sing. It was the most and, and I couldn't, I couldn't not laugh. And I was crying on stage trying to get my words out and everyone had to try and cover up for me. And that was, I mean, at that point, I mean, that was just, I had to then come out of character and apologize, but it was just, honestly, it was one of those things.
That was very fun. It was just the funniest thing. But yeah, I think, I think everybody, if anyone's feeling not confident, I think a really good, good way. I mean, I know with art and everything like that, but also joining a choir because there's something about singing with other people. And it's real , especially after these last two years. Actually, everyone's been very isolated and it doesn't matter what sort of singing it is. Doesn't matter what music, I mean, I happened to go to one that is proper choral stuff, but it doesn't matter its about being with other people. And I think that the confidence you get from everyone around you and being part of something as well, I think, I think there are a lot of, there are lots of injured people from the last couple of years, and I think everyone needs to take a lot of care of themselves and some real, so I know your drawing helps in that whole, when you're all drawing together. Yes. It's lovely. And it aboutt singing together with everyone - making music together,
Just so human actually. And I really think we need to do everything. We can, anything that makes anyone feel wanted, needed as part of something. I think that's just what being human is about.
Gosh, I love that. Brilliant. Well, on that note, thank you very much. That was lovely. Really hope you enjoyed listening to this episode of my it's a Bonny old life podcast.
If you did. I’d so grateful to you for emailing or texting a link to the show or sharing it on social media with those who might like it too. My mission with this podcast is all about sharing mine and my community's experience and hope by telling your fascinating, personal stories champion in the other amazing humans, in my personal professional and membership community and to create another channel through which I can support you to realize your colored pencil in life dreams, if you haven't done so yet, please help me on my mission to spread positivity and joy throughout the color pencil world. By following me on my socials. I truly believe if I can live the life of my dreams, doing what I love, then you can too, we just need to keep championing and supporting each other along the way in order to make it happen till next time.