For our “X Questions With” series, we’re speaking with talented individuals from around the world who have inspired us with their creativity and passion. If you have a story to tell or someone you’d like to see profiled, let us know in the comments or on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter!
Today, we’re chatting with Emma Tildesley, an up-and-coming writer and extremely creative art journaller. To see more of Emma’s work, visit her blog (Emma Tildesley Art), check her out on Facebook and Instagram or watch one of her tutorial videos on YouTube!
1) Please tell us a little about yourself
Name: Emma Tildesley
City: Worcestershire, UK
Places: I have lived in the UK and have travelled to Spain, France, Greece and Egypt.
Passions: My biggest passions are books and art products. There is nothing I love more than getting a delivery of art goodies and books from the postman and just looking through all the lovely items. “Boxes of happiness” I call them.
Education/Training: I am currently studying for an Art and Design Foundation diploma.
Favourite Quote: “Quitters never prosper.”
2) We found you on Instagram when you posted the first page of artwork for your new story in one of our journals. It is amazing!! How long does it take you to create something like that? Will each page of the story be as ornate?
It takes me around 6-7 hours in total to do a double page spread like that, depending on how much detailed pencil work there is. If a spread is more mixed media than pencil it may only take around 4 hours. I am a bit of a perfectionist though and like to take my time. I am planning that every illustration will be as ornate as the first one. In the story the main character Lusio carries a journal with him to document his adventures, and I wanted to recreate that journal as a visual guide to his quest.
3) Your blog and social media feeds are a colourful blend of visual art and written stories. When creating a work like the one we mentioned above, what comes first? The story or the sketch?
The idea for the story comes first and then, as I am writing, I also create the illustrations at the same time. If there is a point in the story that I feel requires a visual I like to produce it while I am in the moment and really feeling what I am writing about. If I have a vision of how I think I want something to look, I have to get it down there and then, because I find it turns out more authentic than if I leave it and go back to it at a later date. For me, both writing and art are about creating with feeling; I have to get whatever it is down while I am in that zone.
4) Your story “No Children For Tea” has been chosen as a finalist in a children’s story competition (congratulations!). Are children your favourite audience to write for?
Yes, definitely. Children’s imaginations are wonderful and I remember when I was little, I loved reading a book and being transported to a fictional place in my head, where I could see all the characters and watch their journeys unfold. I don’t think there is anything more powerful than an author whose words can capture your mind and make you visualise a whole new world, its pure escapism, and for children that’s just magical.
5) Has anyone, or anything, in particular inspired your creativity and artistic passion?
I have always loved reading and drawing, ever since I can remember, but a few years ago I was fixated on art being hyper-realistic – every picture I did I wanted it to look like a photograph. I decided to go to art college and get some formal training, and I was lucky enough to have a wonderful tutor who opened my eyes and showed me that other styles of art are just as appealing, and actually more fun to make. She really inspired me to start creating like a child again, with passion and feeling and to not be so bogged down with the process that I started to lose the enjoyment of creating. Other than that, my biggest influences are Joe Fenton and Ed Org. I love art that tells a story, and that you can look at time and time again, and always see some new little detail that you haven’t picked up on before.
6) We love the multimedia collages you create. Where do you find the materials for them?
Some bits and pieces I buy, mainly from eBay or Amazon, but the majority comes from raiding people’s trinkets. I ask everyone to save old watches and jewellery etc for me. I have never been a hoarder, but I now have a cupboard full of old bits and bobs ready to be glued to projects.
7) How did you get into creating multimedia collages?
I love nosing at other people’s art journals and sketchbooks, and I happened to come across a lady called Marta Lapkowska on Pinterest. Her journals were unlike any I had seen before, and I loved the beautiful, colourful textures she created on the page. I started watching her videos and had a go myself and that was it – I was hooked.
8) Why keep an art journal?
It is a wonderful way of expressing emotion. You can look back and get a real sense of what you were feeling at the time that you created a certain page. You can vent and write things down that you don’t necessarily want to say out loud or to be read, and you can then cover it all up with paints and collage and doodling and nobody but you will ever know it was there. You can be bold, you can be loud, you can be whatever you want to be in your journal and if you don’t want to share it you don’t have to. I find art journaling very therapeutic and I couldn’t live without it now.
9) Any advice you would like to share with aspiring artists?
Just simply do what you love and enjoy it. There are no mistakes in art, and it took me a long time to learn that. If it feels good, and it makes YOU happy, that’s all that matters.
About Paperblanks®: At Paperblanks®, we believe that art should have a place in all aspects of life. That’s why we follow the artist’s way in everything we do – creating, crafting and releasing designs we believe have the power to touch people. For more about Paperblanks®, go to our website at paperblanks.com.