Hi Emily and Genna. Thanks for chatting with us! How are you both?
Good! Keeping busy, staying positive.
I’m doing well!
Could you tell us a bit about your creative practice?
I run an independent design practice called EC—DP based in Melbourne. We specialise in brand identity, digital design and art direction, combining innovation with play and creativity.
I’m a print designer and illustrator. I design patterns and prints for textiles and products and I illustrate for editorial and advertising projects. My image-making process is varied, but I always try to keep my illustrations organic and fun – finding the perfect colour palette makes me very happy.
How has COVID-19, or 2020 in general, impacted your creativity and mental wellbeing?
More than anything it has gone up and down like never before. One week creativity will be in overdrive and the next it has gone into hiding. Mentally, it’s been battling with those highs and lows in motivation and creativity to sustain some consistency. Sleep, healthy eating and exercise has helped my overall wellbeing too (so boring, I know).
I agree. It’s been quite the roller coaster. I feel lucky to have a creative outlet and feel that having design work to get on with has helped my mental health more than anything, but some days it is hard to find the drive. I also sew for fun, so it’s been helpful to have a creative hobby that is not work.
What have you changed in your life lately to make it more enjoyable?
This very question was the exact concept we explored for the Creative Hope project. The simple things have made life enjoyable during this time like the practice of making a coffee every morning (without spilling it everywhere), baking bread (which everyone and their dog did), looking after too many plants (emphasis on too many) and connecting with friends and family thanks to technology (thanks FaceTime).
I moved to Vancouver from Melbourne at the very end of 2019. We were still settling in when everything shut down. So I make an effort to get out and explore Vancouver on foot and on my bike as much as I can. We’re lucky to live right next to a massive park and the seawall, so we see lots of cute animals and beautiful views of the mountains and ocean. I also try to schedule regular video chats with my friends and family in Australia.
As an industry, how do you think we can better support creatives and their mental health? How do we bring about Collective Hope?
We need to start having conversations around mental health in the creative industry. Tank developed a Creative Industry Mental Health Report that explores the mental health within the creative industry, found here.
Our industry can be difficult to navigate both physically and mentally, which can act as a trigger for mental health issues for so many creatives. During this time, we’ve developed closer connections with other creatives by openly and honestly discussing our challenges. We rely on each other’s support and encouragement to learn and grow, so asking for help and reaching out to other creatives when you need it is invaluable.
It’s been great to see many creatives talking openly about their own mental health through their social media over the past few years. I agree with Emily that we rely on each other’s support and encouragement, but it can be scary to reach out to other creatives or to share your struggles on such a public platform.
I’ve recently signed up to a Slack group called Corvid, which is run for visual artists by The Jacky Winter Group. It’s a great place to check in and share the highs and lows with other creatives.
It would be great to see more groups like that and more collaborative projects like this one. It could help to make connecting with other creatives the norm rather than the exception.
Lastly, what has working on this project meant to you?
As a practice, we always love collaborating with other creatives. Exploring ideas, discussing challenges and building a partnership with Genna has been such a pleasure. Visually celebrating the everyday pleasures of isolation has positively redirected our mindset.
I do love a collaboration! Having supportive feedback always helps to improve a project. It was so great to collaborate with Emily on this, from the outset we both clicked on our appreciation of the simple pleasures (especially our shared love of too many plants in the home studio). It was a great reminder that we are all experiencing this together.