interview with emma jane palin

Photo of Emma Jane Palin

Hey Emma! Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.

Hey Laura, thanks so much for chinwagging with me! Right, moi? I’m a blogger and freelance writer specialising in all things creative, ranging from illustration and pattern design right through to architecture and interiors. I’ve been blogging for 4 years now and made the move to freelance life in October. In March I moved to Margate (after 12 years of living in central London) and have been absolutely loving the slower pace of life as the creative vibe created by the locals.

What’s the best thing about what you do?

The reason I ventured into this career path is because I wanted to showcase creatives, specifically young graduates. Now that I’ve built a platform, I’m regularly able to feature independent designers and businesses and actually have an effect on them in some small ways. It brings me so much joy when one of my followers purchases something from a designer I’ve shared or links up with them to collaborate or even just to chat. Meeting people that are following their dreams is always a plus – that’s what it’s all about for me.

Has there been a transition from being a blogger to being a writer? Did one come from the other, or is writing something you’ve always been interested in?

I studied graphic design and illustration at university and while I loved, and still do love, the physical creation side of things, I also really enjoyed the theory sections of my degree. I was the gal who loved every moment of writing her dissertation! I started the blog as I really wanted to have a physical output for my writing and I’ve always looked at it with a slightly editorial point of view. I think it’s really important to write well but add personality too – that’s the kind of styles that I enjoy reading. I guess at some point other people started to take notice and asked me to write for them. I realised I could make a career out of it and started to pitch myself for features. I now regularly write for the likes of Hunker and Virgin as well as copywriting for some pretty major brands!

Hand holding postcard that says 'LOVE'

In terms of finding work (in whatever form), has living in Margate presented any challenges compared to living in London? Or living in this increasingly digital world does it not make much of a difference?

It’s not made a difference for me personally. My work is all remote so I didn’t have to leave the house in London either – pyjama working all the way! I pop into London once a week to keep up with things culturally but I don’t think I would necessarily need to, there’s nothing a skype call won’t solve these days. That being said, I put in the legwork with networking in London, so lots of my work comes from word of mouth and the connections I’ve nurtured over the years, Margate is its own creative hub, so I’m looking forward to making new relationships here and working on some local initiatives.

Would you be interested in pursuing any career(s) outside of blogging/writing? You obviously love colour and have a keen eye for interiors.

I definitely have plans to move back into the physical side of creating this year. I love interior styling and definitely see myself working on more projects for companies and homeowners. In fact, I have a couple in the pipeline so watch this space. I’ve always dreamed of owning a shop but I think the landscape has changed so much that you really need to have a unique point of view and a whole lot of marketing savvy to make it work. It’s definitely something I’ve banked for the future as would love to create something special that could stand the test of time.

Photo of orange bathroom with white tiles and retro furniture

Are there any projects you’ve particularly enjoyed working on? Any brands/businesses you’d love to work with in the future? As a side note, totally jealous of your visit to the Caran d’Ache factory – what a dream opportunity!

The Caran d’Ache project was an absolute dream! To be honest, invite me to any factory and I’m there; I love to see the process and craft behind a brand. Working with Apple last year on the launch of the colourful iPhone XR was pretty great and they were so open to ideas – Natasha and I ended up taking a group on a colourful Christmas walk to show off the phone. Oh, I’m also an ambassador for Earthborn paint this year and it has been SO much fun getting creative with colour and playing with my interiors. In the future I’m hoping to work with more brands that focus on the rental market and perhaps some charities that support homelessness or aided living – I think that your living environment is SO important and places don’t really take that into consideration for the working class or those with disabilities.

Finally, are there any Insta accounts/blogs/sites that you love and would like to share with my readers?

Gosh, far too many! My best friend Natasha Nuttall who I just mentioned is definitely worth a follow if you’re a colour lover, as is Gem Morson of The Mothercooker who manages to turn food into works of art while also keeping it very real and talking about motherhood and gardening. Gina Martin, the lady that made up-skirting illegal, has had a really positive effect on me in the past year and Sarah Akwisombe continues to inspire me with everything she does! Some of my favourite indie businesses are The Completist, Mean Mail, Shoopy Studio, W.A.Green, Milk Tooth and Lois O’Hara. I’m sure I’m missing so many of my favourites but you can follow me if you want to regularly hear about wonderful creatives!

All photos courtesy of Emma Jane Palin

PS. I will be sharing past newsletter interviews publicly here on the blog, starting from the beginning. If you want to check those out, you can do so here.

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