1) WHEN DID YOU START WRITING?
My motivation to direct my creativity into words sparked in Primary School. Having been a devoted reader for years, the majority of my emotions were kept under the lock and key of a book: an alternate world in which I could mentally escape. Of course this excludes typical tantrums, which looking back today I see as a puerile way of expressing emotion compared to the true beauty of unmasking it raw in literary form. I began as an independent creative: forming small gems of poems in the spaces of my school breaks, but as my friendship with whom I can only describe as my childhood soulmate grew, we spent increasing time together and decided to become a duo of sorts. Every free moment we could grasp would be spent sitting in a section of hollow shrubbery, away from the innocent ruckus of peak-time playground, writing song lyrics. I must break it to you that the end results were far from masterpieces – yet I am under the conviction that you are born an artist, and despite whether we choose to be outright creatives as working adults, we remain artists throughout time.
2) WHAT MOTIVATES YOU TO WRITE?
Currently, my writing is centred predominantly around the art of poetry. Despite putting all effort I possessed into sketching in my childhood prime – somewhere along the road of shading facial features and frantically erasing endless mistakes I realised, somewhat begrudgingly, that art in literary form was naturally my talent, and thankfully also my best passion.
3) DESCRIBE YOUR FAVOURITE SONG AND WHY YOU LIKE IT.
I would say this is a difficult question for me to respond to – but I have such an array of favourites when it comes to musical listening. Although the band that stimulates emotion for me the most is the blessed Ruby Haunt, a duo who describe their sound as ‘soft punk’ and come from Los Angeles, the song that has had the largest impact on me throughout my teenage experience is 11th Dimension // Julian Casablancas:
When I stumbled across Casablancas’ album ‘Phrazes for the Young’ this song continued to aid me in my self-understanding and independent growth. One line specifically inspired me in my daily experiences, in which he sings ‘Your faith has got to be greater than your fear‘. With my personal life in a state of flux, soon this song developed into the metaphorical equivalent of a hand to hold. My first viewing of the music video confused me, to say the least. Yet frequent watches before proudly deciding to acquire Spotify premium developed my personal understanding of it. The 3 eras found within the video oscillate numerous times, playing with ideas relating to the subconscious and emphasising the way in which deep in our hearts, we naturally know what to do for ourselves. Within my movement through adolescence I am constantly exposing myself to new artists and genres, but if I need an emotional strength boost, this is the song I always find myself falling back upon.
4) DO YOU ENJOY SCHOOL?
Not always. Learning and school are two very different things – despite being incorporated into each other in various ways, they will forever be different. Many people, including myself, have a passion for learning which is fuelled by interest in the personally unknown. But I often think that passion for learning is too fluid to be tied down to the structured workings of the education system. The abandonment for artistry and general creation is also an element to many schools that I cannot have patience with. Thankfully, I have found a subject in which I highly understand educationally and adore personally – that being English Literature – but unfortunately that is not the case for many youths entering the education system.
5) FAVOURITE SEASON?
Winter. For some reason, the atmosphere of it inspires my poetic release. It’s also the best time to dig out a Daphne Du Maurier novel, as the majority of the time, you are already immersed in a similar atmosphere of a chilled, gothic style.
6) FAVOURITE POEM?
I have read a countless number of poems during my growth and I cannot pin down a single poem that beats the rest. The beauty in poetry is that it is so diverse, that one poem may reflect my emotions during one point of the day, and another may shape my emotions during another. But if I were to include examples, Rupi Kaur and Carol Ann Duffy would be prominent in my comfort reading, but also important names when it comes to inspiration for my own creative outlet.
7) FAVOURITE AUTHOR?
Daphne Du Maurier. I can wholeheartedly say that my reading of ‘Jamaica Inn’ lead me through a winding path to literary enlightenment. Romantic literature, feminist and gothic themes, and powerful settings combined with strong character development: what more could you ask for?
8) WHAT’S YOUR GO-TO LOOK?
Anything with my black Dr. Marten boots, which are potentially the most comfortable things I have ever worn. Overall, I wouldn’t say I have a go-to look, but I never go a day without wearing my 2 most prized rings. Both are silver – one thin with a small diamanté pattern, and one that used to be my mother’s when she was young and declares the symbol for the star sign we share (Aries).
9) WHERE DO YOU WANT TO TRAVEL TO IN THE FUTURE?
First of all, I want to go back to New York, and fall in love with it all over again. I have only spent a mere 3 days there but I’m convinced I will live there – as I’ve never felt more at home than I did in those 72 hours. Following, my desires to submerge myself in culture cause me to wish for travels through India, and my historical interest directs my future travels to the heart of Germany: Berlin.
Absorbed in our History studies, Camila and I are journeying to Moscow and Petrograd with a couple of friends in the summer of 2017. Although Russia has not been a long-term travel plan of mine, our excitement cannot be contained, and planning is already being conducted!
10) IF YOU WERE TO CREATE A PIECE OF ART, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT AND WHY?
The first thing that came to my mind was ‘growth’. This is a topic that fascinates me, not only in physical terms but emotional. I think that experiences throughout a person’s lifetime build them in a fascinating way, and my own practice in this has lead me to believe in the importance of human growth. A piece of art that conveyed the message of strength from experience would, I hope, not only inspire others to continue through times of difficulty, but also bring comfort to myself.
11) WHO’S YOUR INSPIRATION?
Daily, I am inspired by so many things. My inspirations are not a who or a what, but they consist of happenings around me, and strangers that I meet in passing. They range from a worker that serves me in a coffee shop and beams me up, to a wonderfully delicate change in weather. It would be hypocritical of me to profess a single name, yet treasure each inspiration as I am met with it.
– Words by Emily Jane Helen Stephens