For our Papergang box this month, we are focusing around mindfulness. This encapsulates the themes of self-care, self-love and self-worth. We know it can be hard to always feel 100%, or even 50% with so many pressures in today's world, so we've created a selection of stationery to always remind you that you are good enough! Obviously for such a theme, we needed the queen of mental-health, Gemma Correll to illustrate the box. Below we talk about Gemma's creative career, share some helpful articles and have our creative team spread some words of advice after reflecting on their own creative self-worth.
My goodness where to begin! You have your fingers in so many pies it’s impossible to keep up. Did you ever think that you would be the huge illustration sensation that is “Gemma Correll” we see today?!
Well, to be honest, I don't feel like an "illustration sensation" - I'm just at home, drawing and eating peanut butter out of the jar most of the time. I never expected to make a career out of art and even now that I have, I'm still amazed that I actually get paid for my doodles.
When did you first start getting into illustration? We don’t mean scribbling on walls as a child, more of when you realised that you could maybe make a career out of it?! Have you always had the creative itch?
I didn't scribble on walls - I was a very well-behaved child (OK, so I did doodle in the margins of ALL of my school work, to the point where my teacher had to buy me a special sketchbook to transfer my doodles into). I made my own comics at school (I photocopied them in the school office, sellotaped penny sweets to the front cover and sold them to my classmates for 20p), and I had a monthly comic page in my church newsletter. I knew that it could be a career, but I didn't really think that it was something I could do - everyone I knew had a practical job, like being a nurse or a teacher, so I thought I would probably do something like that. I still spent all of my time drawing and writing but it was something I felt compelled to do, as a kind of hobby. I ended up at art school almost by default (I dropped out of some other university courses and didn't know where else to go) but even then I didn't think that I could make a career from art - I planned to become a teacher. It wasn't until I was actually getting commissioned for illustration jobs that I finally accepted the fact that I had become "an illustrator".
A simple question! What is the best thing about your job?
Being able to work at home, in my pyjamas.
And as a final note – If you had a chance to go back in time and visit your 10 year old self, what would you say to them?
Hello, 10 year old Gemma! Nice glasses. Keep drawing and writing - you might not believe it right now, but you're actually going to make a career out of it one day. Also, believe it or not- in a few years, you are going to be a DOG PERSON!
Subscribe to Gemma's box! The stationery inside focuses on mindfulness and well-being. For £10.95 you will receive a box full of stationery goodness delivered straight to your door, (it's super cute too!). Click here to head over to papergang.com.
Follow @thepapergang on Instagram. This month our feed is dedicated to self-love & self-care.