London-based artist Emma Thistleton’s is devotedly creating a new piece of artwork to post every day for 333 days. A dedicated painter and illustrator, Emma’s latest fascination with water has led to a series of textural, calming paintings in stunning blue hues, as she draws inspiration from memories of a trip across the Atlantic. Her delightful watercolour illustrations feature motifs such as miniature characters, starry skies and balloons. Alongside her creative work, Emma is also a Mum, wife and even a masseuse! We had a catch up with Emma to chat about what inspires her work, staying creative and how she juggles everything on a day-to-day basis...
"My work is very much a reflection of me, my energy and is continually evolving. I use many layers and various mediums to create the texture I am after, followed by bold sweeping strokes of colour. I then take the work back and introduce splashes of brighter and lighter colours, containing enough water to get just the right movement with the paint that I am after."Emma Thistleton Artist
What inspires you the most?
People mostly, especially my children, the weather and nature.
How do you manage to keep creativity levels up – any tips?
By being active. I am blessed to have a very lovely, busy life that presents so much inspiration for me. My tips are to get out there, walk and talk to people. Follow people that inspire you on Instagram. Not just artists, but fashion, food or whatever your passions are. Build mood boards on Pinterest – again, not always art. I find my colour boards give me a lot of inspiration.
Do you have any particular hobbies, interests, or goals you’d like to share?
I love swimming in the sea, water sports and playing card games with my children. I'm a keen cook and have just started dynamic yoga, boy it's tough! My goals are to have my paintings in a gallery, illustrate a song for Coldplay and have one of my designs on a Hermes tie and on some lovely silk scarves.
What does a normal day of work for you look like?
I'm up at 5.55am to practice yoga, then I make my kids’ lunches, take them to school, complete some home chores and then set off to my studio on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. First I'll check my emails and Instagram. I'll enter orders, interests and so on into my work document and then plan and prioritise my day. I set up my work station with paints, inks, water, paper, etc. so that I am ready for however my mood takes me! I'll dove tail with client orders, commissions and my piece for my 333 day challenge! I am posting an original piece of art every day on Instagram for 333 days and selling each one for £33. It's a brilliant way to build followers, keep my regular practice up and give so many people the opportunity to own an original artwork that they perhaps wouldn't normally buy. I get additional work and commissions from it and I'm loving doing it. On Mondays and Thursdays I massage - I’ve been doing that for 16 years! After the 'work' day, I get my kids from school, go to clubs, get home, make supper and then get back to finishing off any illustrations and get orders ready for the post.
What are your favourite places to visit in / around London that you’d recommend?
The Tate Modern, St James Park, Wisley Gardens and my old hood all round Portobello Road.
Do you have any home styling tips ?
I'm a fan of colour, oranges and reds and all those turquoises… My kitchen has lots of orange. The sitting room has red and golds, and same goes for my bedroom - it has plenty of colour.
What have been some defining experiences in terms of gaining inspiration for your work?
Sailing across the Atlantic and doing a short course at Putney School of Art & Design and Central St Martins. Short courses are great! Personal training and development also really shifted everything for me and got me in action!
Do you have any tips for success in the industry?
Keep at it and believe in yourself. Don't give yourself a hard time when it's not going so well. Walk, talk and use social media (it works)!