Supporter Snapshot: Four Questions With Emma Cloke

Emma­­­ Cloke is an inspiring artist from the UK who has found her passion during times of adversity. Not only does Emma produce beautiful pieces of art (see Malala above), she transcends an important message I think everyone can take inspiration from: What do you do when faced with adversity? For someone like Emma, who has suffered from horrific depression for 12 years while being stuck in limbo with medical professionals regarding her disability, she chooses to face her adversity with courage. Instead of letting her disability beat her, she uses it as an opportunity to show her 10-year-old daughter how to be a striver and survivor with humour. For Emma, everyday is a blessing and a reason to live.
How did you find your passion for art? Was there an ah ha! moment when it just clicked with you?
Art is something that I have always done and turned to, even as a child. I believed art to be a hobby until my health declined and I felt invisible and incapable to provide for my family. My confidence has always been a problem over the years and recognising a value in myself a struggle. My family and friends saw my work and encourage me to sell some, so I jumped in at the deep end in September 2014 when I was accepted to be part of the City of Colour Festival held at The Custard Factory Birmingham England. This was the first time I had ever had to submit work to see if it was good enough to be included and, luckily, I was accepted! I sold my first print and was so excited.
Who is your biggest inspiration?
In general, people who try to face adversity inspire me; if I had to choose well known figures of inspiration then they include The Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela and in more recent years, Malala. If you face adversity in life and try to find a way to inspire and be inspired, progression within yourself and society can happen… that’s my mantra anyway! What a wonderful Tea party I would have if these people dropped by, tea, cake and good conversation!
What is the most important thing you have learnt from your journey?
The most important thing that I have learnt on my journey is to carry on regardless! To smile daily, to laugh at yourself and to inspire your children.Children are also affected when a parent becomes disabled; you need to keep their lives light and free. Onwards and upwards is the most constructive thing that I have embraced as I have realised tomorrow is another day, things you can change for the better do and the stuff that you can’t change accept and move forward.
I also asked Emma to ask her 10-year-old daughter what she thinks the most important part of getting an education is… (I love her reply!)
The most important part of getting an education is being able to have any job in the world. I can be a scientist like Marie Curie AND a writer like Jaqueline Wilson. Education must be important as girls are kidnapped to stop them going to school and Malala was shot. This makes me sad and makes me work harder. One day I would like to meet Malala and thank her for helping girls all around the world- Love Summer- Lili Cloke, Author and Scientist want to be!
You can check out more pieces of her incredible art on her Facebook. Thanks for being such an inspiration Emma!

Author: Lauren Shuttleworth

Founder and Director of Words With Heart. Passionate about conservation, women’s and girls’ education, and really good gelato.