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Ali Foxon - It opened my eyes to what was missing

I think I’ve learned that you just have to try things and you have to be prepared that they won’t all work.” Ali Foxon

In this episode of About The Adventure Podcast, Ali Foxon shares the story of how sketching has transformed her life, from working as a climate change advisor to becoming the founder of the green sketching movement and author of the Green Sketching Handbook.

She talks about the impact of this transformation on her wellbeing, her family life, and also on the people she works with through workshops.

While you listen, you can hopefully hear the wind through the trees and the trickling water in the stream as we sat outside on a windy autumn day. If you listen all the way to the end, Ali asks you a great question to take away and explore on your own.

Choose your favourite app to listen now, or download the audio file.

I think you'll particularly enjoy this episode if you're interested in exploring new ways to connect with nature, to slow down a little, and to take some time out for yourself. It will be hugely valuable to people sitting on the fence about taking the first steps towards a career change, and to anyone who thinks that sketching is just for artists. Ali's interview can help you to discover simple and accessible tools of observation, and encourage you to open up your imagination. You might find yourself joy spotting and sketching after listening.

Here's the full list of questions that I asked Ali:

  • If you had your sketchbook with you now, what would you choose to draw first?

  • When you're sketching, what does it do to you and your state of energy?

  • How do you encourage people to start sketching?

  • Have you seen people break through their worries, barriers or resistance about spending time sketching?

  • Where did green sketching all begin for you?

  • What was your first experience of sketching like?

  • How did you come up with the idea of “green sketching” and how has your career evolved?

  • What has worked really well in terms of engaging people with your work?

  • What will people experience from your book?

  • What was your experience of writing the book like?

  • What does your son think about what you do?

  • Did you take your decision to change your career lightly?

  • How do you feel now about stepping away from your previous career?

  • What’s helped you most along the way?

  • What are some of the skills you’ve learnt?

  • How do you deliver workshops when you’re anxious about public speaking?

  • Where would you like things to go from here?

  • How would you describe your experience of making a living from your work?

  • Do you feel like it’s given you more freedom in terms of how you spend your time?

  • Do you feel like your priorities have changed?

  • What question would you ask somebody who is thinking about a career change that allows them more time to connect with nature?

Tune in to this episode of About The Adventure Podcast on the player below, or click one of these links through to Spotify, Apple Podcasts, in your other favourite apps or click here to download it.


This episode was recorded while sitting in a woodland along the start of the Pennine Way in the Peak District, by Sarah Lister on 7th October 2022.

Take a look at Ali Foxon’s website to find out more about her work, watch her Tedx Talk on YouTube - Drawn to love nature, buy her book, and follow her on Instagram.

About The Adventure has a patreon community where you receive support with your own career change. Sarah is in the process of starting a career change support network to include both online and in-person events. You can support the podcast and get involved with the community for £5 per month.

Visit About The Adventure to email Sarah, the podcast host, with your comments, questions or suggestions for future guests. Subscribe to Sarah's newsletter to receive episodes in your inbox, along with career change interviews and career coaching questions.

Podcast music is by Tsarzi and artwork by Tiffany-Francis Baker.

Thanks for listening!


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