For our very first edition of Campfire, meet Sara Erasmo, freelance photographer, visual artist and nature advocate. Every artist has a muse and for Sara, it's nature. This is evident in her works and also through contributing her talent in raising funds to support nature rehabilitation initiatives.
Hello, kindly introduce yourself.
I'm Sara, a 29-year-old freelance photographer, graphic designer, and visual artist.
What does a day in the life of Sara Erasmo look like?
My daily routine changes depending on my mood (but not that much, because let's be honest, there's not a lot to do during the pandemic).
After struggling for a while, I get out of bed between 9 to 10:30 AM. I get a cup of coffee in the kitchen then go back to my room to journal for an hour or so. If I'm in no particular hurry to get to work, I read a little, sometimes draw or collage. Otherwise I do a short workout and meditation before finally having the first meal of the day—lunch.
I feed my dog, of course, then bathe and dress up. One thing I've learned freelancing over the years is dressing up as if you're going out makes such a big difference. I even wear makeup sometimes. When you feel cute, you feel good, and when you feel good, you're more confident about getting things done.
The afternoon is client work time! These days that's creating social media content and editing videos. Honestly, I can only do real focused productive work for 3 to 4 hours before giving up. Unless I'm editing a video because that takes way longer. If the weather's nice, I take the dogs out for a walk. Or I walk with my camera. Or I paint stuff in the backyard. Or go for a short bike ride in the village.
The rest is dinner, an occasional call with friends or my boyfriend, a load of YouTube binge-watching, and finally sleeping between 12 to 2AM.
2020 was a challenge for everyone. As we found ourselves spending more time indoors, how did this affect your work and your creative process, or even life in general?
I was actually surprised by (and grateful for) how well I adjusted to the pandemic. Sure, the nature of my freelance work changed. Since I couldn't do shoots outside, I focused on creating content for Instagram and YouTube for clients. For my personal practice that meant more still life photography and self portraits. It forced me to experiment with more mixed media, too.
The biggest change was moving back with my parents after living alone for a year. I considered that condo a sacred creative space so I went through a grieving process. Luckily my parents let me use a spare room and I turned it into a little studio.
How did inspiration take its form during the past months of limited movement and personal interaction?
My personal work has always been about the mundane and in-between. Nature, or whatever form of it I could experience, continued to inspire me. I spent a lot of time in my mom's garden. A space I don't think I ever fully appreciated until 2020. I walked around my neighborhood and paid attention to the little things.
Like everybody else I got into new films and books. I revisited old favorites like Studio Ghibli's Whisper of the Heart.
Thankfully the local creative community's still alive and kicking. One online event that made a huge difference was Tarzeer Pictures' portfolio reviews and if there's one thing I'd recommend anyone this pandemic, it's the Artist's Way. Total gamechanger!
What is the one thing in your workspace that you get a hold of first when you start your day and something you definitely can't live without?
Definitely my journal. I've been journaling since high school so it's a practice close to my heart. Now that I think about it, journaling was probably my first consistent creative outlet.
Tell us about something that you got to do during the past year because of the pandemic that you haven't done before.
If it weren't for the pandemic, I wouldn't have considered living with my parents again. I have such a complicated relationship with my family. I mean, who doesn't? I was so anxious leading up to the move that I even had a panic attack, but since that one incident, things have been alright. I'm actually grateful for this weird time we're living in one house again (minus my eldest sister who's abroad). My brother who's also been living on his own moved back with us. Who knows if this'll ever happen again when things are back to normal.
Do you keep rituals in your daily routine and how does this affect you and your work?
Rituals and routines are the only things I confidently rely on these days. I worry a lot about the future, but circumstances have forced me to focus on the present. My rituals keep me feeling sane and grounded no matter what's happening.
Out with the old, in with the new. Name 1 thing you let go from 2020 and 1 thing you hope to achieve this year.
Letting go of fear so I can hopefully achieve clarity.
If you lived another life in another world, describe to us, in the most whimsical way possible, what you would do for a living.
I'm all about that cottagecore aesthetic these days. If I lived another life I'd like to be in a Ghibli film like Kiki's Delivery Service. The funny thing is I even dreamt about it the other day! I dreamt of flying on a broom to chase down a dog... but yeah, I'd love to live in nature. Make art and whatever I feel like without having to worry about ~money and all the ~adult responsibilities.
Sara is on Instagram as @sara.erasmo