Interview with Filmmaker, Artist, Illustrator & Life Coach, Lou Hamilton
Lou Hamilton is an award-winning filmmaker, artist, author and life coach.
She has two grown up children Sol and Ruby & she lives with her partner on an Island surrounded by water in London.
She has a rowing boat & an allotment, cycles everywhere & swims outside all year round. She is addicted to books & loves shopping, travelling, movies, art exhibitions, drawing, painting, writing & working with women worldwide to fear less & be more.
Describe a typical day for you?
Being creative & freelance, I need structure! I start writing half asleep in bed when the alarm goes at 6.30am. In semi-sleep my critical head isn’t switched on enough to sabotage my creative flow, so I crack on for a couple of hours by which time I have achieved more in that short space of time than I would in the rest of the day being bombarded by the outside world.
It’s a monk-like moment and I love the peace and quiet.
Then the day kicks in with a daily inspirational image that I’ve drawn or photographed the day before, which I post across social media.
By 9am I feel I’m ahead of the game and bounce into the bluster of emails and admin, chores, breakfast.
Then I’m up and painting for the morning before cycling off for a swim in a local outdoor pool, to the shops to pick up food (healthy food features heavily in my day), and a stop off at a café to draw Brave New Girl.
I feel like I’m just a birthing channel for her as she pops out of my pencil on whatever adventure she happens to be on that day. Then meetings.
Around 4-5pm I’m at my lowest ebb energy-wise so I slow down completely and use that time to read and research, day-dream and mull over painting, writing, ideas etc.
That’s probably the most useful hour of the day. Every company should build it in. It’s generally when the a-ha moments happen. (And in the shower, but that’s not really practical in the office).
The day ends with food, wine and the Channel 4 news and preferably Grand Designs, which is usually on somewhere.
Weekends are a time for friends, family, eating out and play-time.
What do you feel are your biggest achievements?
Most definitely raising my children through to adulthood, being there for them, loving them, but knowing when to back off.
Surviving as a freelancer.
Sticking to my guns and persisting in doing what I love against all the odds.
Getting to 50 with enough energy to go woohoo here we go, the next phase of life!
Swapping all sugars for healthy fats (mostly).
Supporting and being supported by my friends through think and thin.
Being loved by my kids and not being too much of an embarrassment – mostly…
What’s in your handbag/ satchel?
Red lipstick, always. Debit card, business cards, loose change, a Brave New girl pencil, a 0.05mm drawing pen, a block of 2” x 2” white cards for drawing on, a doodle pad and a scribble journal. There’s also usually the odd tampon for when the merry menopause decides to throw an ad-hoc u-turn.
What are your ambitions in life?
To be represented by an international gallery, to keep writing and drawing books, to make BNG the Movie, to make people smile and help women everywhere fulfil their potential. To be there for my kids when they need me. To have one over on my inner Fear/bully. To keep loving and seeing the positive.
What advice do you know now, you wish you had pre-kids?
I wish I had really understood what my core values were early on. It was only when I was able to create a sort of Big ‘Why’ that I finally found my direction. That became my foundation stone; helping people through creativity. Once I knew that I was much more ready to go through hell and high water to stand up for what I believed in. Fortunately the kids were quite little when I worked it all out and that got me through the ups and downs of raising kids and now they’ve flown the coop I’m ready to fly too.
What do you wish you’d known at the start of your career you now know?
Not to give a Flying F***; just go for it. I wish I’d been brave enough to take risks, fail lots, play, experiment, meet new people, gather moss, experience, wreckage and learning. As it turned out the worse things that happened often turn out to have been for the best. I wish there had been a Brave New Girl book for me to have at my side from a young age. I guess that’s why I created her.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
More of the same, writing, drawing, painting, coaching, filming, being a mum, maybe not quite yet a granny, travelling, learning, laughing, playing… What advice would you give a budding author/illustrator?
Do what you love, but know WHY it’s important to you, why it fits with what you believe in. If it’s right, you’ll happily do it for nothing. Do it happily but don’t do it for nothing.
Finally, happiness is…
Knowing what I love and believe in, and living by that. And Hygge, which I translate as Huggy.
Brave New Girl: How To Be Fearless by Lou Hamilton is published by Orion Spring in hardback in all major bookshops and on amazon,http://amzn.to/29H3cwK
Lou’s paintings are being exhibited at The Other Art Fair during London Art week 6th-9th October.
On 11th October Lou is running a workshop at The School of Life in London on “Becoming Fearless”.
On 12th October there will be an In Conversation with Lou Hamilton & booking signing at Waterstones bookshop in Islington London.