Favourite Things is a regular exploration of creative people's top five favourite things. It could be a book, a piece of artwork, a much-loved city, an ornament or a favourite hobby. If you'd like to share your Favourite Things, email email@example.com. Today we welcome Ally Booker, whose in charge of all things creative at Nottingham agency The Media Group where clients have included The FA, Huub, Dame Kelly Holmes Legacy Trust and Nissan GB amongst others.
As soon as I hit 18, I filled my backpack and headed out into the big wide world. My travel obsession began in Australia where I learnt a lot about growing up, met my husband and made some lifelong friends. I lived in Melbourne for eight months and fondly refer to it as my second home. Their inspirational art and design scene is buzzing with talent and was the main catalyst for me studying design. The variety of cultures all in one place excited me too and, as clichéd as it sounds, it was this exposure to different walks of life that sparked my love of travel. I don’t get to disappear for as long as I used to (a mortgage and animal ownership has curbed that), but any chance I get I’m off on a plane to explore somewhere new and exciting.
2. Yummy grub
Food is such a big part of my life. This stems from travel really – if you want to find out more about a place, eating some local food is a great place to start. But the best thing about food is being able to eat something which suits your mood. Yes, some would argue this is comfort eating but let’s face it, good food makes us happy!
Heading up the creative team at The Media Group means spending a lot of time at my computer and a lot less time actually physically making something. Don’t get me wrong, I get a lot of satisfaction out of creating something on screen but it’s great to get back to basics from time to time and make something from scratch.
My idea of a dream day out is rummaging around a reclamation yard, antiques fair or a street market collecting things I love. 1950s design is a favourite of mine with lots of '70s prints and graphics thrown in for good measure. But my all-time treasured object is a cherry blossom painting I got from a street artist in China. It’s a unique but simple piece which I think is the best way to approach design.
5. My dogs
My dogs make me happy – it’s as simple as that really. Dogs give love unconditionally. Whether you leave them for five minutes or five hours, they are so excited to see you. They teach you to appreciate the smaller things in life. Going for a walk or a swim in the sea – my dogs love it and so do I.