It’s time for another Tap-In. I am over-the-moon with bubbling glee as I present to you our next guest — the beautiful, super-talented, successful, soul-inspiring Susannah Conway! I’ve been an admirer of Susannah’s down-to-earth, raw and real writing and dreamy photography for quite some time, and have recently had the pleasure of meeting/connecting with her via the internet. She really is an amazing soul…What is your favorite mode of self-expression? If you have more than one, do you find that they intermingle and intertwine as you create? If so, tell us about this.
I write and I take photographs. It’s probably a sign that I’ve been blogging for too long that I can’t imagine one without the other! I’ve always been a writer — I started a journal when I was 11 and haven’t stopped since. Photography came into my life as an art form in 1992 when I picked up an SLR camera at art college and discovered a way to translate what was in my head. I love them both equally and will be writing and snapping pics till the day I die.The senses play a large part in the experience of being human, especially when it comes to creativity. Tell us about how you utilize your senses when you create.
My senses are essential to my creativity! When I’m writing I play instrumental music (currently listening to Chihei Hatakeyama) which helps create a neutral space where my ideas can flow. I have about 100+ perfumes and oils that I like to layer and am constantly dabbing onto my pulse points as I write (right now I’m wearing musk, rum and tobacco). Smell is huge for me, actually — it’s as if it connects directly to the creative part of my brain. After reading up on Highly Sensitive People I had my aha moment — suddenly my quirks and neuroses made perfect sense! I’m so easily overstimulated by noise, light, smell and touch, yet it’s also such a source of pleasure and inspiration, too. Tell us about your home decor. Do you have a favorite spot in your home? Describe this place.
One of my greatest joys is living alone. I can surround myself with the things I love most without having to navigate someone’s else’s dirty socks:) I moved back to London at the end of 2012 and as the flat I’m renting is smaller than my previous home in Bath I only brought the things I absolutely needed and adored with me. Plus I finally gave away my TV because I never used it — best decision ever. I’m very drawn to mid-century design and have lots of friends’ art on the walls. My favourite spot is where I am sitting right now on my 50s sofa I had reupholstered. I’m facing my Ercol sofa that’s covered in sheepskins and cushions, with a Flora Bowley painting on the wall above. I have a coffee and my journal by my side and my laptop on my lap. I’ve got everything I need.Tell us about the seeds of your unique, artistic approach to life.
I’ve always been creative but it’s only as I’ve gotten older that it’s become so integral to how I move through the world. In my 20s I was filled with ambition and ideas but was plagued with insecurity and didn’t really know myself at all. In my early 30s I lost the man I loved, and spent the next eight years working through bereavement, healing the past and finally opening up to my true purpose. The combination of being a single independent woman and diving into self-employment has really been the making of me. I work seven days a week but structure my days so I have plenty of breathing space. I always make time for good coffee, a delicious lunch, some journaling and reading. I take photos every day no matter where I am — it’s a compulsion, really. I trust my intuition to help me make decisions. I put my needs first so that I have the energy for everyone else. It hasn’t been a smooth ride to get to this place, but now that I’m here I don’t want to waste a second of it. Life is too short — I know this down to the very roots of my being.Do you prefer to create alone or with others?
I prefer to create alone. Going on photo safaris with other photographers is fun, and I’ve collaborated on projects in the past, but I really do my best work when it’s just me and my laptop figuring out the world. With music playing and perfume hanging in the air, of course.What is your favorite travel destination (even if you haven’t been there yet) and why?
I’ve been all over the world but my absolute favourite place is New York City. I’ve visited three times and on each trip I’ve sunk deeper into the place. When I’m there I feel like I’ve come home, which is odd because I’m so thoroughly English:) But I feel the connection between London and New York, and there’s something about the city’s energy that just fills me up and makes me feel unstoppable. I don’t know if it’s an echo of a past life or a future life calling, but I really can see myself living the LON-NY life one day.What makes you feel most fully engaged with life?
Playing with my nephew. Becoming Noah’s auntie is the best thing that’s ever happened to me.
List five words that best describe you.
Sensualist. Creative. Independent. Aunt. Sister.
Susannah Conway is the author of This I Know: Notes on Unraveling the Heart (SKIRT! Books). A photographer, writer and e-course creator, her classes have been enjoyed by thousands of people from over 40 countries around the world. Co-author of Instant Love: How to Make Magic and Memories with Polaroids (Chronicle Books), Susannah helps others reconnect to their true selves, using creativity as the key to open the door. You can read more about her shenanigans on her blog at SusannahConway.com.
Where to find Susannah:
Susannah is hosting The Big Book Giveaway on her blog, where you can enter for a chance to win an entire bundle of artsy, craftsy publications from a variety of authors. My co-authored book, Photo Craft, will be included in the mix.