Flora Waycott is an artist and illustrator. Originally from England she now lives in Perth, Australia. Raised in Japan as a child; (her mother is Japanese). When Flora was 7 years old her parents bought her a paint set and enrolled her into after-school art classes where she embarked on her creative journey.
She works for clients needing illustrations, but also on personal projects just for her, with the sunlight streaming in through the window. “I always have a pot of tea nearby and lots of paint tubes scattered everywhere…and most days I take a walk down to the lake to say hello to the birds”.
“I live in a sweet little house in a leafy neighbourhood, very close to a lake which hosts a number of interesting birdlife and plants. Most of my art is inspired by nature and my surroundings, so I feel I am in the perfect place for new ideas!”
I’m captivated by the way Flora finds inspiration in her everyday life. She sees the beauty in the ordinary and expresses it in her whimsical style with paint on paper. I caught up with Flora to chat about being at home and how she’s adapting to the new rhythms of life.
Tell us what home is for you?
My home is where I feel most peaceful. We moved into our house a few months ago and it’s an extremely cute one-story house in a quiet, leafy neighbourhood. I am not quite sure why, but from the beginning, I have had good feelings about this house. As if it wanted us to live here and had been waiting for us. Our houseplants started to thrive as soon as we moved in and one plant which I thought had died put on seven new leaves in the first couple of weeks we were here! I take that as a very good sign.
How do you feel when you do less?
I notice more. I am enjoying all of the little joys in my day: how smoke from incense curls through the air; small flowers which are stuck to my cat’s fur when she comes in from the garden; how the worms in my worm farm seem to enjoy cucumber. I hope that I have always noticed these things, but sometimes little joys are overlooked when I am busy. I have been reminded recently to stop and notice as much as possible; I know my days are better when I do.
What do you care more about now?
Keeping in touch with family and friends. I had a trip home to the UK planned for May this year but I had to cancel it which was very sad, but necessary. Initially, this made me feel very lonely as the option of just hopping on a plane was taken away and I felt so far away from everyone. But it forced me to become much more diligent about staying in touch; my best girlfriends from home send me music to listen to when I wake up most mornings and I have got back in touch with a good friend from university. It has made me realise how precious these people are and I can’t wait to see them when we are able to again.
What are you most grateful for?
My health. It has been such a difficult time for many and it has made me feel even more grateful to be healthy and safe. I am grateful to every healthcare worker / people working in supermarkets / delivery drivers who have put their lives at risk. I also feel grateful for my friends and neighbours here in WA. Without family here, our friends become our family and the community here is wonderful. I feel like I am surrounded by good people.
Is there anything you have more time for now?
Making clothes. The slow pace of life has meant I have found time to work on unfinished projects and to really commit to them. So far I have finished knitting a sage green pullover which I started a year ago and last weekend I made a dress! Other projects include mending clothes and fixing buttons which again, I meant to do long ago.
What’s the meal you love making the most right now?
The meal I love making the most right now is … mushroom risotto. I find the warmth and creaminess of risotto very comforting - like a big hug! We have had quite a few lemons from our tree drop to the ground recently so I have been adding a bit of lemon zest and juice just before serving. I like to roast little tomatoes on the vine while making the risotto and serve with a splash of balsamic vinegar on the side. I've also been enjoying making a new discovery: buckwheat porridge with sweet potato and miso from the Beauty Chef book. It's warm and wholesome in the morning, brightened up with pomegranate seeds, pistachio and berries, with a dollop of coconut yoghurt on the side. It is also glorious to look at - almost too good to eat! - and sits beautifully in my Winterwares lagom bowl