Moyo is a resource for creatives by creatives, and recently we have had the pleasure of collaborating with some seriously talented image makers to create new content for our growing library.
Current members may have already seen The Emma Collection in our library, and so as part of our new contributor series we wanted to introduce you to the wonderful creator it was named after: Emma Lavelle. Based in the UK, Emma documents and creates content for her lifestyle blog Field & Nest. With posts centred around slow living, conscious consumerism and sustainable travel, we were immediately drawn to Emma’s values complemented by her beautiful, nature driven photography.
We were absolutely delighted to welcome Emma our first ever contributor and we caught up her to find out her journey as a freelance creative.
For those who might not know, please describe what you do at Field & Nest?
Field + Nest is the name of my lifestyle blog, but also the moniker under which I carry out my freelance writing and photography work. My blog, and most of my work, focuses around slow living. I love to write about embracing a slower pace of life, touching upon such subjects as slow travel, sustainable living, ethical fashion and simple interiors. In regards to my photography, I love to include elements of nature within my work, both indoors and outdoors.
What inspired you to create Field and Nest?
Honestly, I’d drank two espresso martinis one night and couldn’t sleep! I was lying in bed with thoughts bouncing through my brain and had to get up, open my laptop and create a brand new website. I’d been blogging since 2008 under a different name, but the content on this old blog was focused on fashion and felt stale and no longer what I was interested in. I’d recently begun freelancing and wanted to create a new site where I could write about what interested me, but that would also work as a portfolio for my work.
How has Field and Nest evolved since you launched it in 2015?
Definitely! Looking back, I think I had vague ideas of what I wanted it to be, but it has naturally evolved to focus on slow living, slow travel and sustainability. The initial idea for the name was the combination of the outdoors (field) + indoors (nest), and that combination remains to date. My content back when I begun the website was more focused around what I thought others would want to read and was much less personal than what I post today.
What does a typical day look like?
No day is the same! Three days a week, I work for an interiors company where I act as their Creative Manager, looking after everything from content + social media to buying collections and planning photo shoots. The rest of the week, I focus on taking things slow and allowing my work to fit in with my life. I usually carry out a little admin and write in the mornings, walk my dog at lunch time and take photos and work on my blog in the afternoons. I love the flexibility of working for myself, and occasionally allow myself weekdays off, catching up on work in the evenings or at weekends.
Where do you find your sources of inspiration?
I love Instagram and Pinterest for inspiration and spend plenty of time devouring the content on both. I also find inspiration in nature, and always take my camera with me when going for a walk. We moved to the countryside last year, and I’m always feeling inspired by the view from my window or the landscape that surrounds me.
As a slow living advocate yourself, how do you find balance between life and working as a freelance creative?
As mentioned earlier, I allow my work to fit around my life, and don’t work by a 9-5 schedule. If I want a lie-in, fancy a long morning dog walk or simply want to take a day off to enjoy the sunshine, I don’t beat myself up about it. The thing about working in creative fields is that you don’t always feel inspired. Some days the light is terrible and I don’t want to shoot, or I have a brain fog and feel no inspiration to write. I’ve learnt over the years that its ok to step away when I’m feeling uninspired or distracted. If I give myself an afternoon off, I’ll just fit my work into an evening or weekend day instead.
What are the biggest lessons you’ve learned as a freelance creative and do you have any advice for those wishing to take the leap?
Definitely to slow down, and not to take on more than I can handle. When I was first starting out as freelance, I’d say yes to any job, no matter how terrible (or non existent) the pay and without considering whether it was right for me. I do think that some of the work I initially did for little or no pay was worthwhile, but ultimately, when you’re freelance you literally do not have the time to work for free.
As a lover of travel, what are your favourite places you have visited and where’s next on your list of places you’d like to visit?
I love this question! My favourite summer destination is Mallorca, and I hope to find my way back there this summer to discover more hidden coves and crystal clear waters. My road trip around Iceland was one of my favourite ever trips, and I always love visiting the Nordic countries. My winter trips to Norway and Finland were particularly memorable. My bucket list is always evolving, but the destinations currently on my mind are Bali, Alaska and Canada. I’m also excited to visit Sweden for the first time later this month.
Portrait photo by Lucy Ridges