Name: Sarah Louise Boulton
Age: 31
City/Town: Manchester
Country: UK
Places Travelled: Andalusia, Paris, Portugal, Rome, Tuscany, Verona, New York, Boston, Mystic, CT and San Francisco
Places Lived: London and Liverpool
Music: I’m a Soul baby
Important People: My family and close friends

Occupation: Half Marketing Manager, half Photographer
Creative Works: sarahlboulton.wordpress.com
Favourite Books: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom, The Help by Kathryn Stockett and The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Photography: I have many different photography loves and I’m still discovering “the greats” but here’s a small selection of artists whose work inspires me: Henri Cartier-Bresson, Vivian Maier, The Photo League, Perou, Mario Testino, Rankin, Simon Annand, Marianne Taylor, Jesh de Rox, The Beloved Collective
Quote: I’m still learning my photography craft and there are times when I lack confidence and faith in myself but the following quotes always pick me up:
• “Never never never give up.” – Winston Churchill
• “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” – Samuel Beckett
• “The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” – Sylvia Plath

What would one find in the pages of your Paperblanks® journal?

I have four Paperblanks® journals for four different uses: Travel, dreams, fears and photography.

My Charlotte Brontë journal (from the Embellished Manuscripts Collection) contains my photography life. It comes with me to every training course, seminar, meeting and shoot. It contains all my notes, random thoughts and ideas. I also keep little quotes, business cards and cuttings that keep me inspired. And at least I know where everything is! I have a small compass charm in the back of this book. It reminds me to trust my intuition, be myself and enjoy my photography journey.

Do you have any personal philosophies you’ve come to develop about writing, art, creation or culture?

Perfection is in the imperfection. There are lots of my shots where I think “that’s not perfect.” But when I look at other people’s work I never notice or judge if anything is faultless, I only ever think: “what a great picture.” I’ve heard many photographers say they’d rather capture a moment than have something be technically perfect. That’s a philosophy I’m adopting.

Do you have any specific themes you refer to frequently?

As I’m developing my style, my main focus is to create images that are honest. Many photographers are committed to capturing real emotion in their work, particularly when it comes to love and relationships. I think this is something that is becoming a recurring theme as it inspires me greatly. It’s my challenge to bring this to every shoot I undertake no matter the subject.

What or who first inspired you to make art an essential part of your life?

A variety of people have inspired me over the years. I used to dance when I was younger which turned into a love of drama at school and I chose to do a degree in it. My high school drama teacher influenced my creative side and my work ethic today is a reflection of his approach.

My Mum and Dad always inspire me; they are incredibly supportive and encouraging. They’ve taught me that if you want something in life, you have to go out and do it for yourself – nobody else. My Dad also has a far better eye for landscape photography than I do!

How did you find Paperblanks®?

I was at Manchester Airport heading off to America and wanted something to record my travels in. I chose the French Ornate Vert design and it has travelled with me on every trip over the past few years. I’ve only just finished filling it. Although pictures do paint a thousand words, when I read that journal I’ve noticed things that my photography does not capture, such as the people I’ve met and conversations I’ve had.

What sets Paperblanks® apart from other journals you’ve used?

Paperblanks® are gorgeous from their design through to the quality of the paper. I only want to write in them with lovely inky pens as they hold my thoughts, hopes, experiences and life; the things that are precious to me.

A few weeks ago I found some old love letters from my first real love. I smiled reading through them but really I loved the fact that they were letters; not emails, texts, tweets, etc. There is something wonderful about receiving a handwritten letter that someone has taken the time to write.

Ultimately, my view is that writing is something to be treasured and Paperblanks® journals reflect that for me because they are so beautiful.

Do you have a favorite Paperblanks® design?

It’s really difficult to pick just one, but I love the Laurel Burch Ocean Song design. The colours are so vivid and the quote that’s inside always makes me smile. Her story is inspirational and the fact that she was a self-taught artist selling her work in San Francisco during the ’60s also makes it my favourite. I fell in love with the city on my first visit last year so it has that lovely connection to it.

I also love my Amy Winehouse journal. I found a quote by Ernest Hemingway that says “Write hard and clear about what hurts” and that’s what I use the Tears Dry journal for. It’s where I can be wholly honest when I write.

Do you have any advice for other creative people?

Be yourself and be fearless – because that’s all you can be.

I worry about other people’s opinions on my images but everything is subjective. I’ve tried to create a blog that’s honest in my photography and me as a person. I know my style will change and develop the more I learn. That’s the great thing about having any kind of creative outlet; watching your experiences inform your work and seeing where it takes you.

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