Anyone who lives in a big city knows how the fast pace and busy lifestyle can quickly take its toll. It means taking the time to escape for a long weekend of rest in the countryside is essential.
That’s particularly true for creatives, who can use the more peaceful surroundings as a means to truly focus their minds. There’s a reason that iconic bands such as Queen were shipped off by record execs to the British countryside to work on new music, giving them time and space to cultivate fresh ideas and ultimately create groundbreaking material.
In partnership with cottages.com, GAY TIMES gave three different creatives the opportunity to retreat to a holiday home in the UK to reflect on ideas and plan their next creative projects.
The first in our series is Jake Kuit; an artist and event florist whose calendar app is never empty. “There’s constantly something happening in my life,” he tells us. “In floristry as well there’s a need and a timeframe for all these big installations and big parties.
“It’s not always sunshine and daisies! There’s a lot of effort that goes into creating it, booking it, into conditioning and preparation – people don’t realise how many hours and how much physical labour – and also mental labour – get put into these creations for one night only.”
And recently it’s not only events and parties Jake has been preparing for. “I’m also incorporating my floristry into my new exhibition that I’m going to be working on that’s going to be happening towards the end of this year,” he explains.
For Jake, the hustle and bustle of big city life was a huge culture shock when he decided to move from the slower pace he grew up with.
“It was very difficult when I first moved to the UK,” he says. “I came from a country town in Australia on the beach. I had the rainforest as my backyard and the ocean as my front. It was a big culture shock for me, and also [affected] how I deal with stress. When I got stressed back home I would’ve gone for a swim or gone for a hike in the mountains, and I couldn’t do that in London. I had to travel to get to those destinations, so I’d go outside of London to switch off.
“It’s where I can just have a moment to breathe and relax and take that deep breath, meditate, and then realign my focus on what I want to create. I get the opportunity to see the stars again, and the horizon line. In London you can’t see the horizon line because there’s always a building in front of your face, so being the countryside I get to experience that again. It’s something that people take for granted.”