Meet Emma Kate: Hand-letterer, illustrator, perpetual adventurer, and all-round creative wayfarer

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Meet Emma!

I’m a designer, writer, hand-letterer, illustrator, perpetual adventurer, and all-round creative wayfarer. I divide my time up between running my little stationery brand, living adventures and writing about them.

I sell my products online and to a growing stockist base around the world - and when I’m not doing that, I’m collaborating with brands on travel and lifestyle based campaigns, and travelling at every chance possible.

I was born in the sleepy city of Adelaide, known for its vineyard-dotted hills that spill into the sea. I’ve had coloured pencils in my hand as long as I can remember and studied design at uni - but my path to making a brand out of my art, photos and words is much more recent! Currently I call the coffee mecca of Richmond in (Melbourne, Australia) home - and I absolutely love it here!

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Q&A with Emma Kate

How would you describe your creative style?
My world and my creative style is everything ethereal, punctuated with coffee.

My purpose with anything I create is to bring joy. To make days. To craft delight. To inspire adventure. More than just making pretty things, I want to stir meaning, and weave conscious, considered, generous details into every little thing I make.

For me, this goes far beyond designing exquisite products - it’s about designing entire experiences. I look for ways I can weave in hidden details and for touchpoints of daily life I can gently intersect - that might stop someone short with delight and think, “How did you know - that’s exactly what I needed?”

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What inspired you to start your own line of art and stationery?
I had been working as a designer in London for a publishing house - a life of coffee to go, rush hour madness, Europe-hopping most weekends and travelling every single chance I had outside of the 9-5. It was my semi-long-term plan, but when my sponsored visa didn’t work out, my life in London came to an abrupt halt. Plucked out of one reality and thrown into another, I found myself on a one-way plane back home with no plan B. It was a new beginning in every sense - a rare and perfect chance to take a leap to do what I’d always dreamed of.

So I did, full tilt! I spent six months burrowed away in my creative cave, and launched my first collection, Wild Hearts.

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In honour of this week’s creative challenge theme ‘wanderlust’, tell us about one of your favourite adventures:
Turkey would have to be my pick. It’s such an exquisite country of colour, texture, kindness and contrast - a place where beauty and ruin coexist. Turkey is a total assault on the senses. I travelled there solo a very pivotal time of transition, between my life in London and relocating to Australia and I remember Turkey with such gratitude and importance.

Turkey made me feel vividly uncomfortable - every morning I woke in darkness to the prayer calls, with the most unsettling yet calming melody drifting through the sky. I covered myself in layers of clothing, yet felt more stripped back and vulnerable than ever. I miss feeling uncomfortable, and think there are more lessons waiting for me, when I next return.

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What are a couple of your favourite pieces that you have created and tell us why you love them?

I think that The Dreamer’s Manifesto is my favourite piece in my collection. It’s the most personal piece of writing I have put into my range - it’s the words I really need to read on a daily basis and remember, myself.

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I also love the greeting card “You. X” - it’s been a best seller ever since I put it into the collection. It comes from a special place - my partner Charles sent me this message, after our first date. It was so simple and yet, so meaningful. My heart still does somersaults, remembering when I picked up my phone and read: You. X

What will you be looking for when you judge this week’s challenge entries?
I will be looking for something that captures the magic of wanderlust - the image that makes me want to buy a ticket, and jump on a plane most.

You can get social with Emma on Instagram @emmakateco and Facebook and shop her collection at her online store emmakate.com