Illustration by Fabio Vermelho

Esme Patterson is a singer songwriter from Denver, Colorado with three solo albums under her belt, and one with the band Paper Bird. We first discovered her when a friend of ours gave us a copy of Woman to Woman, her 2014 album which gives voice to the women immortalised in well known songs, songs such as Billie Jean by Michael Jackson and Jolene by Dolly Parton. We played the shit out of that album in the car driving around LA all summer, singing along to every word we’d learned and loving it. Her new album, We Were Wild, came out last year and you can listen to all three of her beautiful albums on Spotify. Here is her brain map interview.

1. Do you actively do anything to keep your brain healthy, and if so what? I smoke a lot of weed.

2. What or who mentally stimulates your growth the most? pain and learning from it.

3. If you could add or take away anything from your brain what would it be? I would take away the ability to lie, I would add a much better memory.

Frontal Lobe

4. Are you more emotion or reason based when making decisions? It’s equal.

5. In what situations have you learned the most about yourself? In difficult ones.

6. Do you think you have to learn good judgement? (Are people inherently self destructive?) No, I think it’s innate, but can be improved.

7. Do you have any daily or annual rituals? Are they personal to you or your family or are they related to your culture or religion? Ritual is a big part of my life. I see every movement and moment as holy.

8. Can you speak any other languages, and if so why that language? Spanish, learned it in school.

9. If you could live inside of a book, which one would it be? Dune by Frank Herbert

10. Are there particular books you find yourself buying for or lending to people close to you? Just loved Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki by Haruki Murakami.

11. Is it more important for you to speak or to be heard? To be heard.

12. Do you think a time exists that is easiest to create? For instance, do you strike the muse or does the muse strike you? I think that one can be tuned to better receive inspiration, and that takes work.

14. Are there certain elements that you employ to set up the perfect mental space for creating? For example: Music/Food/Smells/Locations That is like inviting a ghost to a banquet. It never comes when invited.

15. Do you think you have to have an elevated ego to be an artist? I think that everyone processes their experience in different ways and the ones that choose to share their experience and their process must have a capacity of empathy and awareness of “self” to the degree that they trust the capacity in one another to receive, hear and connect to one’s creation.

Parietal Lobe

16. What smells do you most associate with your childhood? Lilac, mint, my mother’s perfume, my grandmother’s perfume.

17. If you could only live on five ingredients for the rest of your life, what would they be? Coconut, Red Chile, fresh fish, any reens, any grains.

18. Do you have spiritual needs and if so how do you nourish them? Doesn’t everyone? I sing.

19. Do you have a place you go to, either physically or mentally, where you feel the most at peace? The mountains near where I was born.

20. Do you think that people need some form of discomfort to make art? I don’t think it’s necessary, but it does often act as a catalyst.

21. Are you more motivated by the promise of reward or the threat of punishment? Punishment.

22. How much does your conscience/morals come into play when making decisions? 100%

23. Do you ever experience your emotions in physical ways? If so, how? Yes, sex.

23. What is your least favorite physical sensation? Bikini wax

24. What is your favorite physical sensation? When a kitty lays on your chest and falls asleep.

Temporal Lobe

25. Do you think a person has to understand art in order to be able to appreciate it? No.

26. What is your earliest memory? I remember looking at my mother holding me in the hospital room, before my soul entered my body.

27. If you got alzheimers or dementia what memory or memories would you be saddest to lose – or – which ones would cause the biggest loss of your personal identity? Those of my family and closest friends.

28. Do you expect happiness in your life? Happiness is not the destination, but the road.

29. Do you feel like falling in love is a spiritual or chemical process? Both spiritual and chemical. They are the same.

30.Do you try and avoid feeling negative emotions or do you feel it is more constructive to experience your emotions fully? I always embrace my feelings and move through them to the other side.

31.What flaws do you think you have when it comes to communicating with other people? I can be too reserved and forgiving.

32.How do you deal with situations or individuals that fail to stimulate you creatively or emotionally? Do you avoid this situations/have a set of tools in which to navigate them? I wish them peace and keep moving forward, patience and belief in oneself are good tools.

33. What do you think your ex partners would say the hardest thing about loving you was? How hard it was to say goodbye to this butt.

34. What are your biggest fears? Snakes.

Occipital Lobe

35. Do you have any recurring dreams or nightmares? If so, what do you think they mean? I smoke too much weed to remember my dreams.

36. If you have ever taken psychedelic drugs, did you have any interesting hallucinations on them? Do you feel changed from having taken them? Yes, yes.

37. Do you find your mood affected by different colour palettes? Yes, in plants and flowers especially.

38. If you could live in a world where the aesthetic was controlled by a particular visual artist or film director, who would you choose? Georgia O’Keefe.

39. What’s the most unbelievable thing you’ve ever seen? The northern lights in Iceland in February.

40. Have you ever seen something which you feel has directly resulted in certain elements of your personality today? Yes

41.Would you rather lose your sight or your hearing? My sight.

42. Do you feel like you surround yourself with the people who see you for who you really are? I hope so.

Check out Esme’s website here

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