Having created her own business to fulfil her passion for design and handcrafting, we linked up with Ali Goodman for the day to explore the Francli workshop and discover how closeness to the sea inspires and fuels her creative practice.
Ali Goodman: Creative Everyday
How have you positioned yourself and navigated life to make creativity the central part of what you do?
To position myself and what I do around creativity has always felt very intuitive. Working artistically and building things by hand is where my enjoyment, skills and curiosity all intersect. Where I most easily connect to myself, other people and the wider natural world.
So at those forks in the road of life - where to live, how to earn a living, what and who to spend my time with - I’ve taken what I see as the easiest route. The one that brings me closest to working artistically and building things by hand.
I feel the most connected and inspired by the sea and wild landscapes, so I chose to live in Cornwall. There weren’t roles available that included both design and handcraft, so I created my own practice.
These decisions were all very natural. Navigating a way to stay on it, not so much...
I’ve never experienced the security of a full-time, salaried job. In some ways this put me in good stead for the turbulent waters of being self-employed. I’m very used to a lot of unknowns. But I do wonder if I’d had more industry experience, would the learning curve of setting up and nurturing a business been less arduous?
Maybe not. Either way, I do know that I'm stoked to live by the sea and make things everyday.
What sacrifices have you had to make in your life to achieve your creative ambitions?
My biggest challenge and threat to achieve my creative ambitions is burnout. There’s an addictive element to the way I work that, if left unchecked, becomes very unhealthy. There’s been too many times I’ve really punished my mind and body, hyper-focused on one unachievable solution, and too stubborn and unaware to take the break that would solve it all. Entirely emptying the tank.
I’ve had to listen and learn a lot about myself over the years to reimagine how I approach work. Essentially it’s prioritising the little things that help the most - daily breath work and stretching, long coastal stomps, jumping in the sea, calling a soul friend.
How does your relationship with the sea inspire and feed your creativity?
Getting in the sea has never failed to be an epic event. The cold shocks me out of my head and back into my body. The size and movement of it reminds me how small I am. It’s impossible not to be present. I believe that’s a vital access point for creativity - where it’s easier to connect with your intuition and change up perspectives.
I'm actually really scared of going into the deeper ocean. Before every surf or long swim, sometimes during, I have to really push myself past fear. I don’t know why, because I’m a strong swimmer. But doing it anyway, and overcoming that anxiety, is a really good medicine for me.
It’s a relationship with complex feelings. Joy and vitality, and also awe and powerlessness. I think we can all do with a regular dose of that.