Launceston-based artist and designer Emma Davis has just embarked on a self-made challenge to hand letter a series of 20 quotes to help overcome fear. The 25 year old started her career trajectory in the field of medical science, securing work as a pathology assistant straight out of uni. It didn’t take long for her to discover, however, that while it was a respectable job, it wasn’t one that was going to fulfill her creative interests.
Emma took a bold move and enrolled in an accelerated Certificate 4 in Graphic Design through Shillington in Sydney. “I’m not naturally a very courageous person but I’ve always liked drawing, it’s always been how I process things,” she says.
“This year’s about making big changes to my perspective on life and employment. I’m going from working in a lab which is a very controlled environment with rigid processes to starting my own business. I feel very exposed.”
Emma’s solution to that feeling of vulnerability is to immerse herself in messages of courage. Before the end of the year she will complete 20 ‘Drawing Courage’ quotes, each taking an average of 20-30 hours to master the intricacies of hand lettering that bring her such joy.
“I’m confronting that feeling of not being good enough or brave enough and reinforcing that it’s ok, it’s one step at a time and in the end it will make sense.”
Emma’s first quote in the series is by C.S. Lewis; “Fear not but take courage dear heart.” It is the same piece that was selected for the Goodtype Book, featuring hand lettering by about 200 artists from around the world. Goodtype has 615,000 followers on Instagram so Emma was understandably elated when she received that particular piece of news.
“I wanted to emphasise courage a lot more than fear. I did this by letting the fear get lost in all the flowers, but making the courage come out into the open. Also, my middle name is Linnea, which is one of the flowers at the top, to symbolise me,” Emma says.
“C.S. Lewis was one of my favourite authors when I was a kid. This line is from his book The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, when they accidentally sail into the Isle of Dreams, which turn out to be nightmares. Just when they think they are trapped, an albatross comes and leads them out of danger and Lucy hears the voice of Aslan saying, “Courage, dear heart,” as they sail to safety and daylight.”
Emma will publish each quote on her website as she completes them - www.emmalinnea.com
By Claire van Ryn. Originally published in Lume Magazine Issue Four.