a creative journey- interview with Emma Block


This week we are talking to EMMA BLOCK. I met Emma last year at the Mollie Makes Award ceremony in London and we got to chat straight away. Her illustration is timeless with a touch of vintage clothes, the 1950s and 1930s jazz! Pastel colours are very dominant as well as elegant women. Her first book, a guide to painting with watercolours, will be out in the summer.

image credit: Emma Block

Enjoy and comment below sharing your thoughts.

Hello Emma!

When did your creative journey start?

I've always loved drawing and had an cupboard packed with glitter and pom-poms as a child. I've always known I wanted a career in art, and when I was 16 I decided I wanted to be an illustrator. I did a national diploma in art and design instead of A-levels which was wonderful. Instead of doing coursework and sitting exams I was messing around with clay and learning to sew. I then went to university to study illustration, and I have been working full time as a Illustrator since I graduated six years ago. Throughout university I worked on my own personal projects and took on professional illustration jobs.

image credit: Emma Block

Can you pick three words that describe how you feel when you are being creative?

In the moment, at peace, inspired As a creative where do you find your inspirations?

Most of the work I do is commercial projects for clients, but I find I can put my personal spin on things and share my inspirations through the colour palette and the way I use patterns in my work. I'm always on the look out for beautiful colour palettes, whether it's in old photos, tiles on the tube, a stranger's outfit. Travel inspires me a lot, and I always seem to travel to colourful places. To be honest everything inspires me; books, documentaries, exhibitions, the way things are displayed in shops, plants.

image credit: Emma Block

What’s the most valuable tip you would give to an aspiring maker starting their own creative business?

Value yourself, if you don't nobody else will. When I first started illustrating I completely undercharged, and I think it's something that every artist and Illustrator does when you start out. Confidence and charging what you are worth go hand-in-hand, so make sure you value yourself and the work that you do.

Also I have learnt again and again to always trust my instincts. So many times when something hasn't felt right a project has gone wrong or things haven't worked out. Trust your instincts about what is a good opportunity and who are the right people to work with. When I first started freelancing I assumed that every opportunity was a good opportunity but sometimes that just isn't case. In fact any email that starts with the word 'great opportunity' is usually a request for you to work for free! One of the things I love about freelancing is that I don't have to say yes to everything.

If you were not an illustrator, what would you love to be instead?

I really love the world of social media and PR, and creativity that comes with it. If I wasn’t an illustrator I would love to be handling PR and social media for an incredible brand. It would be amazing to organise beautiful events and campaigns, and have the chance to work with lots of inspiring creatives.

image credit: Emma Block

Could you share three IG accounts that inspire you?


Jennifer’s endless creativity and dedicated sketchbook practice inspires me, as well as a beautiful work.


I find the way Sabine sees the world and finds humour in the every day inspiring.

@ accidentallywesanderson

Accidentally Wes Anderson is such a beautiful account, and inspires you to see the world differently

image credit: Emma Block

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