Hello all, and how are you today?
We recently discovered the beautiful blog From China Village. An American now based in Dublin’s fair city, Emily Westbrooks shares her creative finds and thoughts. AND we have the great privilege to have her here today!!
Emily Westbrooks is a Dublin-based creative and travel writer, artist and blogger. Raised and educated in Maine, Emily married an Irishman and moved to Dublin in 2008. She lives with her husband, Michael, on the northside of Dublin. Originally planning only to stay for a year, she now calls Dublin home. She loves exploring Dublin, adventuring through the hills of Ireland, and traveling around Europe,. And she really loves to write about her adventures, which she shares over on From China Village. She lives with her husband, Michael, and one feisty kitty!
How and where are you today?
At this very moment, I’m writing from the comfort of my couch. Although it is made somewhat less comfortable by the cat that has plopped himself between me and my laptop! I’m based in Dublin, but my heart is always a little torn between here and Maine, where I grew up. I’ve lived in Dublin for nearly four years now. I work part time as the communications officer for a large non profit, and the rest of the time I write and create.
Nearly four years ago, my husband and I decided to move back to his home town of Dublin for one year. The first year was a struggle; I had left my career and family and was trying to find myself in a new country with a new husband. I worked for years on political campaigns but knew when I moved to Dublin that I wanted to find something that could help more people more directly. I find my current work as a communications officer allows me to do that, but I’m always really gravitated to telling the world about great things happening around me. Luckily, I’ve found a great avenue for doing that through my blog and freelance work.
Do you have a process to ensure you are in the right frame of mind to create?
I hate to say it, but my house has to be clean before I can create. Of course, then usually I make a huge mess all over again, but to start I need a clean slate. I have my best ideas for projects or features while I’m out running, and I’m often scrambling in the door to find my phone and make a note of my ideas before I forget. I also love lists, so I make to-do lists for myself constantly. It helps me feel like I’m making progress through my barrage of ideas!
How do you think your background and culture influences your creations?
I enjoy how often I go back to things my mother taught me when I was younger – or even things she created before me. I grew up in a 1820’s farm house that my parents DIY’d back to health and sometimes I joke that I was raised on paint fumes. My parents were constantly creating and teaching my siblings and I how to make things. I think that’s why I enjoy projects that bring my family or culture or history into them. That said, I’ve really taken on some of this new culture I’m in. I’m really proud of the DIY door mats I made with big blue Failte written on them.
I find things and people and projects beautiful when I can understand the story behind them. I love finding out the history behind why a designer creates certain images, or why someone has a certain aesthetic. I love when I can see beauty because I understand the heart behind a creation.
If we had interviewed you when you were 11, what would you have told us you wanted to be when you grew up?
I probably would have said an artist or an author. I’ve always loved to write, but only recently realized how important it is for my soul. And I’ve always been “artsy”. When I think back on the classes my parents enrolled me in when I was younger, I’m so envious of my younger self! I’d love to go back and take them all over again!
(photo: Love Article in Powerscourt Shopping Centre, Dublin)
What advice have you received that you want everyone to benefit from?
What a tough question! I’m not sure where the advice has come from over the years, but I try to remember to be kind, no matter what. This world’s too small not to be warm and kind and generous whenever possible. My mother has also always told me to be kind to myself; I have a tendency to be hard on myself. I think that advice would help everyone!
Thank you so very, very much Emily. What a lovely treat to have you here. Welcome to the Handsome and Pretty family!
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