The Fri-YAY Surprise presents… Em Makes and Bakes

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Posted on 14th March 2018

I’m Emma, by day I work in Publishing, and Em Makes and Bakes has been my side-hustle for three years now. Originally starting out as a blog, I’ve expanded to sell my own products.

Why do you create? What positives does it bring to your life? How has it challenged you?

I’ve always been creative, but after studying Art at A-Level, I chose not to take it any further. I got back into making when I moved into my own home, and then when I got married. In the run-up to the wedding I became unwell and in the months afterwards, being creative gave me something positive to focus on. It didn’t matter that I looked rubbish, or that I could barely walk up the stairs, I could still focus what little energy I had into making something beautiful.

Which piece of work are you most proud of and why?

Probably all of the decorations I made for the wedding. I tried to handmake as much as possible, including the table decorations, 100(!) meters of bunting, and my own bouquet! I put so much work in to get it all done, and on the day the venue looked great!

If you could change one thing about your creativity what would it be?

Probably the time I get to do it, I work full-time but I’m currently on maternity leave. I had grand plans of stitching away during nap times, but my daughter has decided that sleeping in my arms is much more preferable to her cot!

Favourite material and why?

I’m going to keep it simple and say a permanent marker. The possibilities are endless, and some of my best ideas come from doodles on random scraps of paper I find around the house.

What tips would you give someone aspiring to lead a more creative life?

You don’t need to start big, but it helps to do something regularly. I love a good Instagram challenge for helping me to get inspired. I also had a go at a 100 day challenge last year, where I decided to do a small piece of handlettering each day on my iPad, for 100 days. It only took about twenty minutes of my day, but I found my work improving so much.

What’s the one thing in your workshop/craft room/creative space you can’t live without?

Tea. It’s an obvious one, but the ritual of taking a break to make a quick cuppa can really help when you’re struggling to find inspiration. Admittedly, if I’m in the middle of a mammoth sewing session, I’ll usually ask my husband to make me a cup!

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