Brighton artist's new book wants to help us stop and connect with our creativity

'˜Conscious Creativity' the art of finding what is buried beneath our everyday concerns to bring a spark back to life.

Wednesday, 21st November 2018, 11:26 am
Updated Wednesday, 21st November 2018, 12:31 pm
Picture: Alun Callender

How often do you stop and take in your surroundings? Take note of the different shapes and colours that surround you?

Brighton-based artist Philippa Stanton is the author of ‘Conscious Creativity: Look, Connect, Create’ it is an essential toolbox packed full of exercises and tips to help you connect the observations you make to creative practices.She said: “It’s about building your creative foundation through process, experimentation and time; leading you to observe the beauty of ordinary things and make connections with your true creative centre.”

The book has chapters on texture, light and shadow and composition. It features tasks for you to complete such as a daily practice of doing nothing, which includes sitting in a comfortable chair for 15 minutes and taking in your surroundings or making a hot drink focussing on the steam from the drink and drinking it at the perfect temperature.“I had created a plan of what each chapter was going to be, which I was able to follow whilst compiling,” she explained.“It was really interesting to compile, and was completely all consuming.”

Conscious Creativity book

From start to finish, the book took Philippa about 18 months but with ‘four solid months putting it all together’.“I enjoyed some bits more than others which I suppose is normal,” she added.“But I can say that I loved the process of allowing myself to be utterly involved and to really live each chapter of the book as I wrote it. “It almost felt like a luxury.”

On why she did the book she said: “I think I realised that I wanted to give something back that my art teacher had given me. My images on Instagram are really popular but I never really wanted to do a coffee table book; I wanted to talk about the enjoyment of the creative process itself.”

Philippa’s beautiful imagery has attracted more than 400,000 followers on her Instagram page @5ftinf.She said about joining the social media picture sharing app: “I had a blog years ago which was just for me really, but I had always wanted it to be image heavy. “I followed a couple of image-based blogs and followed people on Flickr, and then in 2011 a few people started talking about this new app called Instagram. “I downloaded it and that was the accidental start.”

Philippa has been based in Brighton for 17 years but grew up in Warwickshire and says that she always knew that she wanted to train as an actor.“However, I always made and sold things in my teens too; mostly hand embroidered espadrilles which I sold to local shops,” she explained.“When I got to sixth form I felt really torn as I had an art teacher who completely ignited my artistic side during my art A-Level.”“I went on to study history of design at Manchester Poly but dropped out after a term. I then went on to train at RADA and have managed to combine acting and painting for nearly 20 years.”

One of Philippa's images

She is a professional artist and photographer and has more than 20 years experience of creating and teaching art.

Philippa is also taking part in Brighton Artists Open Houses and will be opening her house over the weekends of November 17-18 and 24-25 from 11am–5pm. “It will be full of paintings, ceramics, textiles and jewellery by local artists and is a perfect place to shop local for Christmas – you can find more details at my Open House account @64sandgate on Instagram,” she said.

Philippa’s book ‘Conscious Creativity: Look, Connect, Create’ is £14.99 and was released on November 15.

Phillippa's Instagram is @5ftinf