Balancing time in the water with his creative ambitions and work at Yallah Coffee, we spent the day with Matty Snelling to explore his commitment to the craft and how the sea inspires his creativity.
Matty Snelling: Creative Everyday
How have you positioned yourself and navigated life to make creativity the central part of what you do?
To be honest, I’ve always done the things in my life that make me happy at that moment.
I've had a lot of jobs in my time, some good and some terrible! I guess after a while you start to know how you want your life to be and what’s important. That usually makes the path a bit clearer to navigate and pick the things you want to do, as well as be in the spot you want to be.
What sacrifices have you had to make in your life to achieve your creative ambitions?
When I was younger I was a competitive sportsman of a few crafts. I made a lot of sacrifices for it all from a young age; to train harder and be better at the sport I was competing in. When I reached my early 20’s I realised I didn’t want that way of life anymore. I just wanted to go with the flow, enjoying what I was doing at the time, and that has been pretty freeing.
Sure, I haven't made the most money in past years, just to carry on with more things that I'm more interested in. But the age old saying "what's the point of all this if you're not gonna be happy doing it" has always been buried in my mind. I don’t feel like much has been a sacrifice the last few years to be fair, it's more just how the journey is supposed to be going.
How has this approach to life brought you closer to the ocean and helped you fit into its rhythms?
This is a funny one. If there is swell around, usually my whole day is based around when and where I can go for a surf, probably ahead of anything else.
Being a surfer, we are pretty selfish creatures. If the waves are on you try and get all your work wrapped up so you can get in when it's good! If the waves are not the best, that is the time to get your head down with some work. I feel like a lot of my friends do that round here, to be honest. I’m lucky to be so flexible with my work, being a filmer/photographer. Unless I'm away or on location I can usually get in when I want, which I feel super lucky for! But to be honest, even if there are no waves it's still a good excuse to get away from what you're supposed to be doing and go look at the sea for a bit. Makes for great thinking time.
How does your relationship with the sea inspire and feed your creativity?
The sea plays a big part, not just in my creative work but in my everyday life. I've left a pretty iconic job before just because I wanted to surf more and spend more time in the sea.
The sea definitely has some magic in it, and it works wonders for my mind. I feel like if I wasn’t close to it I would feel super lost... or maybe I'd just become really good at bowling and get into matching shirts and join a bowling league!
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