“Sorry for the late reply. I ran away to a monastery to clear my smog filled head…had to climb a mini mountain to reach it, but it was so worth it… such an incredible atmosphere and the friendliest monks!”
You know when you have your favourite song of the moment and you can’t help but play it on repeat? Or when you fall in love with something and you just want to scream it from the mountaintops? Well I haven’t fallen in love and I’m not on top of a mountain – but an illustrator friend most certainly is – on both accounts. And it is the product of her love affair with the Nepalise mountains that I want to play on repeat and tell everyone about. The results of this love affair are truly beautiful, the focus and drive she has is evident in her meticulous detail. A once fading passion for illustration and art is now totally and utterly in full bloom and Emily Sams is brimming with brilliance. You heard it here first!
“I always liked the saying that our art is a reflection of how we see life. Right now, I’m seeing everything through new eyes with a lot of love for the world!”
I spoke to Emily after she had just got back from her first visit to Nepal – OK I thought…cool place to go and see and do some volunteer work but now you’re back – you can get on with finding work in the UK…or not.
“I’m going to go back – I love it! It’s the most amazing place,” she tells me.
“What?! Really? What about work, being an illustrator – you should go freelance etc.”
“Yeah maybe one day…but for now I just want to be out there, I just love it!”
I foolishly thought it was a shame, as I wanted to see Emily thrive in her chosen field. I felt it was a bad move, too risky – she should be sensibly getting experience in agencies and trying to get her work published.
Oh how wrong I was – in Nepal Emily has gained an incredible amount of experience. Not just in the work she has found, but also in terms of smells, sights, atmosphere, taste, moods, feelings and general enrichment and enlightenment that you would never find in an office. The beauty of being a creative freelancer is that people will probably need your services wherever you go as long as you can adapt and meet new people.
“People are so keen to help each other out here that friends and friends of friends, and word of mouth has been enough to find work. And what helps is that over here, everyone is pretty fond of decoration! If it’s possible to jazz it up or paint it – it shall be done!”
Emily has been inspired by local myth and legend, vast landscapes, religion, the friendliest people, harsh realities and as such has gained perspective far beyond her hopes. All of this when it’s channeled in the right way looks rather spectacular when pen is put to paper. A plethora of mental images, colours, textures all goes into the mental clipboard and contributes to wonderful work I just want everyone to know about.
“The city is a chaotic bustle of different senses exploding all the time and being on top of a mountain (or giant hill as they’d say here) is always inspiring”
It has also improved her in terms of skill and ability. Resources are so low that people sometimes scratch dirt away in order to draw. I myself love to keep things simple and this lack of materials has forced Emily to do the same with her work. She must very carefully consider the outcome before commencing, in order to use ink efficiently. She has also had to tackle issues like how to gain access to high walls with no scaffolding. I imagine after enjoying the experience of painting street walls whilst dangling from very old ropes in the streets of Kathmandu, one does not wish to return home to sit and photoshop in an office.
“My ‘usual’ cycle home from work was halted firstly for a wedding (more carnival than wedding), then two cows who refused to move, and finally the parade of the living goddess down the street! I should have gone a quieter route I guess…”
So there you have it. Look around you – be enriched, be appreciative, be inspired, be happy and your work will be wonderful. And do what Emily did….don’t listen to me…I clearly know nothing!
I am fortunate enough to have Emily on-board and can call upon her talents whenever necessary along with a group of other illustrators.
CLICK HERE to find out more
If you’d like to talk about Emily, her work or a commission please do get in touch.
To find out about volunteering in Nepal contact: https://www.facebook.com/cminepal