Interview: Erica Southey


Name: Erica Southey

Where do you live:
Gauteng, South Africa. I’m a born Capetonian (Western Cape, South Africa).

Known for:
Amateur poetry and some opinion articles in printed and online media.

Currently actual with:
Writing amateur material and a beginner painter (art).

When did you realize that you were going to work with this?
Writing has mostly been part of my life and I pursued it more in a freelance environment.

If you could choose one place only to live, where would that be and why?
At the foot of Mt Etna volcano in Catania area, Italy. I love volcanoes and also the connection to some history related to ancient Rome. It also connects me to the other Italian volcanoes: Stromboli, Vesuvius and Campi Flegrei.

How would you describe your creativity?
Creativity for me sometimes is sparked by looking at stars or planets. Sometimes it is triggered by a simple occurrence which will then translate into a poem. I recently started painting as well and I combined a vision that translated into a poem and a painting. Profound Transition is such an example. I often find that my analytical and creative sides clash which sometimes hijacks a good poem and takes longer to pen it down.

How and when did you start to work with this in a serious manner?
Poetry was more for relaxation until I found a local poetry class presented by an ex Professor of Literature – Ian Raper. His teachings and also speaking to him – inspired me to write good material to be published in my own book. This is still a work in progress. He suggested I get acquainted with the poet Theodore Roethke that further sparked my creativity. I was challenged to write in Afrikaans (one of South Africa’s official languages) as well. I’ve started to do this and hope to publish both a book in English and Afrikaans.

What do you do at the moment?
Project Manager in IT Industry.

A recommendation for those who think about starting and running a creative business?
It is important to get the financials right, do good market research and also see what you can bring to the table that sets you above your competitors.

Tell us how it all started.
Writing always played a part in my life and I was usually the one who wrote others’ essays for them. I even pursued drama which at the time of my growing up was not seen as an actual career. 🙂

What is the most important thing in a workplace/studio for you?
Allowing for each individual’s creativity and thoughts to flow and drawing on the strengths to make the end result the best.

What is your favorite film?

Who would you like to invite for a dinner and why?
If he was alive – Theodore Roethke to find out more about what inspired him to write the poems he did.

How do you like to spoil yourself?
It ranges from a hot stone massage to visiting a volcano. The latter when time and resources allow for it.

What is luxury for you?
Luxury to me are items we take for granted such as flowing water, electricity and free time.

What is the nicest compliment you’ve received for your creative work, and from whom? 
My friend and ex-colleague – Johan Snyman who said that my poetry should be shared as it inspires him and others. He and other friends urged me to put my poems on Facebook.

What do you fear most?
Not living my full purpose and potential.

What is a happy life to you?
Spending time with like-minded individuals and loved ones discussing interesting topics or doing something simple that makes a difference in another’s life. There is nothing as rewarding as the genuine smile and thanks from someone who appreciates what you did for them.

What does a regular day look like for you?
Fast-paced that ranges from and early morning meeting to dealing with clients. Penning the odd poem during lunch or heading to art class after work.

Tell us about your dream project.
To start a school for local non-native English students so that when they enter tertiary institutions and the workplace they are on par with others. Sadly there are brilliant candidates out there, but due to them not being well versed in English; they struggle to pass tertiary educational programs or fail to get the top job that should clearly have been awarded to them.

Who is your professional role model/inspiration?
Prof. Ian Raper for his capacity to communicate at all levels and encouraging his students to do the best they can.

How would you describe your work style (academic field or fashion style, or both, or something entirely different)?
My work style is a life-style. I encourage individuals to bring their opinions and ideas to the table. They get recognition and I love thinking outside the box. Integrity is key in every endeavor.

Which is the one thing you can’t live without?
I think humans are so resilient and can do without even the basic item they thought they could never go without. However, for me it would be hard to let go of my journal.

What inspires you?
People who despite their circumstances rise above their challenges and then go on to inspire others.

A book that has changed/made the most impression in your life?
The Bible.


Follow Erica on Twitter @EricaSouth
Connect with her on Facebook  & via LinkedIn
Visit her blog

ProfoundTransitionPainting AstroTherapyPPT PaintingAndI PaintingClassicTuscan1 PoemIamLife PoemVolcanicPower

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