Emily Quinton’s Creative Spaces
We are so excited to be interviewing the brilliant Emily Quinton for our new #ourspacetocreate blog. Emily is the founder of the wonderful Makelight community, an author, photographer and mum of four children.
Emily’s passion for creativity and how it can enhance your life totally resonates with us and what we want to champion at Blue Ticking. In this interview Emily tells us about her creative spaces at work and home and why they are so important to her and her family.
Please could you tell us a bit about yourself and what you do?
I am a mother of four and live and work in South London. I am a photographer, author, maker, and the founder of Makelight, an online learning platform and community for creatives. I am passionate about helping and inspiring people to be creative every day.
Why is creativity important to you?
Creativity has always been a central part of my life and I was lucky to find an amazing husband whose mantra is “do something creative every day”, so together we have built a creative family and home.
I think creativity can help people in so many ways, from helping us to think differently and bigger, to helping us to relax and have space in a busy world.
I strongly believe that everyone is creative, people just need to trust that and believe it too.
Could you tell us about one of your creative spaces
About 18 months ago we moved our studio space back into our home when we moved into a bigger house with a lot of beautiful, natural light. I really love working from home because it means I can maximise how much I can achieve in the hours my children are at school and spend more time with them. I was able to reduce my childcare when I moved back to working from home and that felt great.
My favourite creative space in our home is our large kitchen which is flooded with natural light and overlooks our garden. My family are very happy for me to style scenes in here, to display different things throughout the year, to host workshops and gatherings and there’s always some kind of creative clutter in here!
Ever since I first became a mother I have felt a deeper connection to my creativity, so being able to create in a space that is so often filled with my children feels very special. It’s like they leave their energy and inspiration in here for me when they go to school!
What’s your favourite thing in your creative space?
The things my children create are my favourite things, followed closely by the wonderful natural light that we have.
What do you need to create?
I can be creative with whatever is at hand. I used to always answer that question with my camera but I have realised more and more that I can be just as creative with my mind, creating images, feelings and stories, even if I don’t have any tools. I think we can be creative with anything and everything. It is very freeing to realise that.
How do your creative spaces make you feel?
They make me feel happy, inspired, calm and grounded.
Do your children have their own creative spaces? Could you tell us a bit about them?
Yes they have an art and tech room, where they have lots of art supplies, books, computers and creative technology that brings both the art and tech together. My husband and I both have combined art and science backgrounds, so we love to encourage our children to bring both of these worlds together as often as possible. I think our education system still divides it way too much and labels people as either scientific or creative.
The room is next to the kitchen, so they spend a lot of time in there but are also close to where I am….and where I do most of my creative work. I love that it helps them to spend a lot of time together too. They can display they work on the walls in there, which I love to see.
What creative activities do your children like to do?
They like to have a go at everything! We work around our creative projects around the seasons, so often we’ll do the same (or similar) activities every year and they get just as excited each year!
They love painting, drawing, collage, clay, anything with glitter (just like me!) and they are also inspired by photography. My eldest has recently started exploring sculpture which is exciting and she wants to explore more with textiles too. She was awarded an art scholarship at her secondary school a few months ago, so we are excited about what she will bring into the family through that and all that we can share with her.
Why do you think it’s so important that both kids and adults have a creative space?
I think adults often think that they are now too grown up to be creative and that it’s just for children, so finding a space where they can be creative as adults can really help them to be inspired.
Having a space for adults creativity can help children to have respect for that space and leave things alone, especially if they have their own creative space. I think it also inspires children to see the adults in their lives having room for their creativity. For children, I think it’s so empowering and exciting for them to have their own creative space. It doesn’t have to be big, even a small desk can give them so much inspiration.
If someone asked you how they would go about setting up a creative space in their home what would your advice be?
I would start by thinking about how much space you have. It doesn’t have to be a big space but somewhere that is dedicated to creativity is a very special to space to have in a home.
Think about what you are currently creatively attracted to and start by making space for that. For example if you enjoy drawing them gather the pencils and sketchbooks that you know will spark your creativity. You want to use the space and not just make a space that looks pretty! And then grow it from there.
If you are looking to create a creative space for your children think about joyful colours and bring together materials that you are happy for them to use without your help, so this will depend on their age. This means that you are creating a space for them that gives them creative freedom. They can be creative when they want to be rather than it always being on your timeframe. I think that is one of the huge benefits I have seen for all of my children. They know that they can use stickers, scissors, glue, paper, card, pens, pencils and paint whenever they want to. Obviously this has all grown with them and these things weren’t just there for them when they were tiny but it is really wonderful to watch what they independently create.
You can find out more about Emily and her passion for everything creative by following her inspiring instagram feed (@emilyquinton) and checking out her new online journal; All sorts of lovely which launches today.
All photos @emilyquinton