November 21, 2018

The Art of Getting Lost | When carelessness leads to creativity

Coffee at Elephant West White City London

Elephant West, White City

I’m writing this from a gallery space that I’ve just stumbled into after going the wrong way on the tube. Something that I often do when my mind is on other things. Something that I know when it happens, I need to check myself. Why am I distracted? Where is life leading me to? Is this all part of the plan? Rather than getting stressed about life’s regular hiccups, I try to embrace them instead.

When you live in London, the rat race is real and often when you’re rushing in between meetings, texting on the move and lunching on the go, you’re not really living. I take a huge amount of pride in the fact that I notice things. But, sometimes, I too am caught out.

Maisie Cousins x Elephant West collaboration

Exhibition: Elephant x Maisie Cousins

We decide whether or not we are too busy. We decide on how we run our lives. But, what if the universe really is intervening when it sends us on a wayward path, telling us there is something nearby worth getting lost for? Adjustment bureau style, everything is set out in a game of snakes and ladders, and perhaps our destiny is defined by those choices that we make. Connections can go under the radar, just from ignoring an instinct.

Part of my mission as a content creator, is to challenge people to live their lives more. Not to be defined by work or friendships; but instead to help people enjoy spending time on their own and reflecting on the things they personally enjoy. Alone time is good for the soul, and in certain instances, it really does lead to opportunity. How do you make time for you? What do you enjoy doing most? Are you guilty of rushing in your spare time? So many people ask me how I find the content I do, and simply put, I let it come to me. I keep my eyes open and I let my feet do the walking. I’m not defined by an itinerary or the suggested route.

Reflection at Maisie Cousins Exhibition

Elephant West Gallery and Cafe

Get lost in your own reflection, the artwork or the well-designed petrol station toilets of Elephant West

As I sit here in this gallery, I feel real gratitude for life. These are the moments that fill me with joy and I feel at my most creative. The fact that I’ve just written down a stream of thoughts that I wouldn’t have otherwise, is extremely fulfilling to me – and all in the space of 45 minutes. In fact, I very nearly didn’t walk in here. I didn’t really know what it was. I walked past it twice and my brain was telling me to go back to it. So I did. And, as I explored the space, I realised that this is in fact somewhere I’ve visited and posted about before – just while it was in another life of its own. Who remembers this colourful petrol station? Well, it’s now a gallery space-come-coffee shop named Elephant West and it’s pretty bloody beautiful.

Elephant West Magazine Events Space

Fuel your creative needs at Elephant West, White City.

Elephant Magazine has taken over the disused petrol station on Wood Lane to create the new project space – Elephant West. Designed by London architecture practise, Liddicoat & Goldhill, perhaps this shows that White City is the next creative hub of London.The magazine is pioneering a new structure for art publications, combining print, digital and physical incarnations and using all three outlets to “create dynamic, cutting-edge content that can be shared across the Elephant platforms”. The first exhibition in the space, as seen in the accompanying images comes from photographer Maisie Cousins and it’s visually striking to say the least. Check it out. Just remember to get lost in the area, preferably not in Westfield.

Heading back to the topic of this blog post and summarising at least a little; getting lost is a perhaps a godsend, not a hinderance, You never know where ideas come from, even this specific space. It might even have been an idea from stumbling aimlessly into an area that you thought could be used for something else. Or meeting someone unexpectedly. Or simply from just emptying the mind. Something to consider, and something I’ll continue to champion.

For more interior inspiration, colour clashing and general life admin, check out the rest of my blog. Follow me on Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter for more of the EJP in your life. 


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Emma Jane Palin is a freelance art consultant, interior stylist and multi-award-winning blogger residing in Margate, UK. She has worked with various home and lifestyle brands not limited to West Elm, Apple, John Lewis, Habitat, MADE, Caran D'Ache + No.3 Gin. Emma is also a regular contributor to Hunker where she writes about design trends and interior advice.

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