top of page

Q&A: Artist Charlie Wooley

Updated: Jul 1, 2023


Continuing our series of interviews with creatives navigating a post-Covid world, Tess O’Bamber, Content Manager for Emerging Voices, talks with poet and designer Charlie Wooley about how the pandemic affected her creative process.



What inspired you to launch ‘The Hidden Pearl Studio’?

I was going through a long period of chronic sickness during which my capacity for doing anything had been very limited. I was encouraged to start painting and be creative again. And as I started creating, the work became greeting cards and prints. I’ve always been a lover of greeting cards and have been profoundly impacted by brave loving words written in them by people in my life. That is how The Hidden Pearl Studio was born. As I healed and my capacity grew, the business grew alongside me.



How did you find the lockdowns affected your creative process? Were you living with others at the time?

Lockdown wasn't anything dramatically new for me. I was very familiar with staying at home during my years of sickness. Not that I found it easy by any means, but I'd had practice. I found creativity flourished during lockdown as life was so slow. There was frustration and boredom, which can be a recipe for creating. I wrote a lot of poetry and painted much more than I usually had time for. The poetry and painting were part of how I escaped from hearing the 'bad news' and how I processed all that was going on. I was living with my mum, and my brother had gotten 'locked down' with us. He lived in another country but couldn't fly home. Strangely, it was a time of togetherness, living slower, and making memories. It was also messy and totally imperfect.

The poetry and painting were part of how I escaped from hearing the 'bad news' and how I processed all that was going on.

I had also just launched my first poetry book which occurred during the first month of lockdown. People received the words of hope with hungry hearts, and ended up sending them to their friends who sent them to their friends, and so on. It was really beautiful and a privilege to be able to offer hope and peace through The Moon & Her Friend.



I think artists, poets and musicians have a significant role to play in these difficult times. Do you have a vision for how The Hidden Pearl Studio can influence your local community and beyond as we recover from the pandemic and look towards the future?

I totally agree with that statement. Art is so powerful for affecting the worlds of our hearts. My hope is that whether through my greeting cards and the words people are inspired to write inside, through my art and wall prints, or through my poetry books, that inner worlds will be made more whole. I'm passionate and fascinated by the notion of a Kind Creator. We are alive to love and be loved, and that is no small thing.


What is your advice for creatives who’ve struggled to keep going over the past few years?

My advice is: take the pressure off, and play. When we were little children, most of us walked in creativity like breathing. It comes very naturally to humans. But often pain and fear cloud it. And there's pressure and performance.

When we were little children, most of us walked in creativity like breathing. It comes very naturally to humans. But often pain and fear cloud it.

But go find some art supplies you've never used or used as a kid, or go to a workshop for fun, start a scrap book or sketchbook. Make a mess. It's so integral to our human experience to play, and that's what creativity is.




Follow Charlie on Instagram: @thehiddenpearlstudio

Comments


Join our Community

Join our email list and receive regular newsletters from our editors.

Thanks for submitting!

bottom of page