Louisa Schmolke: How A Digital Detox Ignited My Creativity

Scottish artist, Louisa Schmolke, on how going off-grid and offline can inspire creativity.

Louisa Schmolke: How A Digital Detox Ignited My Creativity
Chapter 5 of the Unplugged Residency welcomes Louisa (@artsyschmolke); a Scottish artist, architectural designer and lifestyle influencer based in London. Louisa has a passion for travel sketching, capturing places she visits in her unique style. She recently went full time as a freelance artist, selling abstract prints, travel sketches and architectural art.
We spoke to Louisa about how she finally unlocked her dream job of drawing for a living and how her 3 night digital detox at Marley, North Wales ignited her creativity.

When and why did you start your business?

In 2020, I was moving to New York to continue my architecture journey when the embassy shut down and I ended up unemployed during the first lockdown. This is when I decided that there was nothing to lose by trying to sell my artwork on social media. We are now 4 years on and I have decided to focus fully on my art and leave the traditional architecture route.
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How does your location inspire you?

I am heavily inspired by the architecture around me; the repetition, patterns and textures. Living in London is an amazing sensory experience - living amongst it's unique urban fabric - but sometimes it's important to switch off from such an overwhelming place.
“I wish someone had told me I could live both in the city and the countryside simultaneously by taking regular breaks away as often as possible.”
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Do you have any quirky creating rituals?

I need to have a specific pen for some of my illustrations. It’s absolutely not fancy and you can find it inside any of my bags as I rotate them! I also love to work in repetition and I find drawing straight lines very calming.

You create a lot of city focused art, how did it feel to create artwork in nature?

Because I draw most days as a full time artist, it was so refreshing to be able to switch off from commissions. I was able to focus more on my architectural analysis of the cabin which aligns far more with my style of thinking. It was a joy to be able to sit and study the space, distraction-free.
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How was your Unplugged experience?

This is my first digital detox! As a creator, I am editing content a lot more than consuming it. My boyfriend and I thrive on checking out new places and try not to go to the same places multiple times because the world is so big, so this was great to also get a chance to check out Llangollen where we took your suggestion of the Beaded Men Adventures where we went white water rafting down the River Dee. We also ate locally and met fellow artists at the Dory Art Gallery in the village and had some lovely chats.
“I physically hold a phone for longer than I should be per day.”

What was the highlight from your escape?

We absolutely loved our experience. Instead of the London traffic when you looked out the window, it was sheep traffic and there were LOADS of them. We watched them fight and play and it was lambing season which was extra special.
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What is a quote that you live by?

I do love saying to people that 'no one cares as much about you as you do'. It sounds harsh, but what I mean is: there is no point overthinking someone's opinion on what you are getting up to, and vice versa. There is no point in worrying about what other people are doing and comparing yourself. It means to just live for yourself and do what pleases you and makes you happy. Just begin. Just do it.
You can check out Louisa’s beautiful work via her website or via Instagram @artsyschmolke

Fancy time away from the screen?

Recharge your batteries by going off-grid for 3 days. Backed by science - you will feel more calm, relaxed and creative after your digital detox.

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