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Q&A: Emma Farraron, Being Present

Posted: by Mantra Tuesday, 29 August 2017 @ 13:15

We caught up with Emma Farron, Illustrator of 'Art of Mindfulness' about being present:


1.What inspires you to be #mybestself?

People I admire inspire me. Whether it is my illustrator circle of friends, multi-tasking parents I've met, someone I read about, my family. I would say that each influence a different facet of #mybestself.

2.What does being present mean to you?

My two year old reminds me daily about the goodness of being present. On the way to the playground, he brings my attention to what surrounds me, whether it’s a falling leaf, a puddle of water to splash the feet in, a tickling breeze, a dog running after a ball, an airplane as small as a dot in the sky or the sound of a bee.

3.Where did your interest in art come from?

I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember. With a pencil case about to burst and white sheets of paper, I would spend hours lost in drawing. Until now, illustration speak most to me out of any art form. 

4.How does art help you to relax?

When I draw, I find that I often experience mindfulness. Thoughts come to a halt, and I find myself in the present focusing on the act of drawing. My favourite work come from the state of pure relaxation

5.Why do you think drawing is so good for promoting mindfulness?

I think that drawing and colouring is for everyone regardless of age. Like mindfulness, you can do it anywhere. In a time when fingers are getting more accustomed to keypads, there is something special about the tactility of drawing, sharpening a pencil, creating shades of colour and lines.

6.Where does your inspiration for your patterns come from in your books?

My inspiration for the patterns that I create in my books comes from everywhere. I’ve sourced inspiration from the weaving of a native Filipino woven basket, the shape of the leaves of a Chinese money plant, uneven Copenhagen roof tops, fields of bluebells in Kew Gardens, the penne pasta on my plate or what I've seen through a kaleidoscope. I see patterns everywhere. To record them, I carry a small sketchbook in my pocket wherever I go. If I see a pattern or shape that inspires me, I capture it with my pencil.

7.What’s your favourite mantra to live by to stay present?

Carpe Diem

8.What are your top tips for living more mindfully?

If you are new to mindfulness, I would say how about giving it a go today. See if you can bring it into your every day life in the form of a mindful exercise, drawing, starting a sport or a hobby.

9.How can practising mindfulness help you in your day to day life?

I find that one's head can overflow with thoughts. Mindfulness can help us remember to stop, breathe and seize the day.


Illustrations from Art of Mindfulness: Draw, Colour and Create Your Way to a Stress-Free Day by Emma Farrarons, published January 2018 by Boxtree.

Headshot: Asger Bruun Jakobsen


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