Hi it’s Lou here from Ooh la Lapin, I have a big announcement to make. Due to increased love for my toys I have welcomed Emily Neale to become part of Ooh la Lapin. You have probably seen that recently Emily has accompanied me to lots of events and adventures and it just seemed right that now she has graduated with first in Illustration that I snap her up!
I never imagined how successful Ooh la Lapin would become and in the past year it has surpassed my dreams. Having a solo exhibition, working on wonderful community arts projects, making beautiful creatures for lovely customers, getting my first London stockist at Tusch and Egon in Boxpark and of course being given the opportunity at Liberty of London at the end of August.
I would like to thank everybody who has supported my work in one way or another (you know who you are).
On Sunday Emily and I went to visit Liberty of London as I have been selected to give a presentation about my work on August 30th. Fingers and toes crossed they might like me enough to stock me. Along with my wonderful friend Riella (a film maker for The School of Life) we wandered around Liberty wide eyed at all the many wondrous beautiful things. I came away with some fabric, trim and some pretty dachshund cards from the stationary section. I also feel a bit more confident about going back at the end of the month with my toys!!!
Emily and I visited my favourite label Lazy Oaf.
After Liberty I was really excited about visiting Boxpark in Shoreditch and delivering some work to my first London stockist Tusch & Egon. This was beyond exciting as I now have an outlet for my creatures in such a beautiful, contemporary space as Boxpark. It was all a bit overwhelming so we went for a drink down Brick Lane before returning to Southsea.
My toys safely arrived at Tusch and Egon.
Yesterday Emily Neale and I visited the charming historic city of Chichester. The main attraction for us is that there is a huge fabric and craft shop there called Eternal Maker. Emily hadn’t been before and I couldn’t wait to show her the sheer array of fabric, haberdashery, notions and other tempting crafty bits.
After fabric heaven we decided to visit cake heaven and made our way to bakery ‘Whipped and Baked’ which lies in the north of the city on the edge of the gorgeous Priory Park. I’d heard so many good things about the hand baked breads and especially the decadent oreo chocolate brownie. We plumped for a fat squidgy cinnamon roll, an oreo chocolate brownie and a gorgeous garlic, sun-dried tomato and mozzarella focaccia. Clutching our paper bags of baked goodies we sat in the sun soaked park and watched the world go by. Sadly soon it was time to return home but we will definitely be making our way back for more!
Delicious and delightful record cafe Pie & Vinyl have now taken delivery of some new little friends! Fear not if you don’t live near by they are also in my Folksy shop.
However I thoroughly recommend a visit to P and V as it is one of the most magical shops ever dreamt up. Where else can you eat pie, ice cream sundaes and drink ginger bear out of tea pots and buy records?
This is me and my lovely friend, collaborator and artistic pal Emily Neale. We sometimes sell our stuff together like at Crafty Fox (pictured above) and we hang out lots, walk our dogs together and dream up lots of creative plans! You should check out her work, its great!
Some of mine and Emily’s toys.
Photo by Josh Knill
I still can’t believe how amazing this year has been so far! Ive moved studio twice!!! I’ve just been offered another work space which is top secret at the moment and i’ll reveal all soon. I’ve had some fabulous commissions too.
My next big project is working for Portsmouth City Council and with the residents of Somerstown to create public art work for their new community hub. Im so happy they liked our idea and that we get to work in a part of our city that deserves wonderful aspirational creative work.
I have been very lazy in updating my blog recently. Oh so much has happened including trips to London, selling at Crafty Fox, meeting my idol Julie Arkell at Ray Stitch, having my first solo exhibition at Pie & Vinyl and taking part in the fab Castle Road Fete/Record Store Day.I had a pop-up shop with Sweetie Pie Bakery, I think a bakery/toy shop has to be the happiest shop in the world. I’ve also sent some work off to a brand new travelling gallery called The Rusty Alexander, do check them out, it’s a double decker bus and totally awesome.
There is currently a sale on in my shop to make way for Summer things, lots of lovely happy bright things. Im working on some special painted animal dolls (you can see one below).
In other news I am moving studio next month where I will be sharing with toymaker and illustrator Emily Neale where we will be collaborating lots and building a little puppet theatre plus puppets!!! I can tell you how excited I am. Well hopefully I will update this blog more often so I can share all the happy goings on.
All the best! x
Hurrah! I made the cut to become a trader at the Crafty Fox Spring Market, it will be held at the Bussey Building in Peckham on the 12th-13th April. I will be trading on Sunday 13th April so do come say howdy!
I have recently moved into a new shared studio space and I am surrounded by graphic designers, app designers and other very clever and creative people. I felt a little self conscious at first but feel settled in now and I am happy that my toys get lots of positive attention from my co-workers.
This week I have designed a new character and have nearly finished a wonderful owl like character!
Im pleased as punch to announce that Sweetie Pie, Gluten-Free and Vegan Bakery of Southsea will be supplying some delicious Banana Cream Pies especially created for my exhibition ‘Dear Little Menagerie’.
I am obsessed with banana flavoured things and I can tell you the taste testing process with Lucy and Dan has been wonderful!
This exhibition is more than just a chance for me to share my work with you, it’s a celebration of all that is good about this wonderful little seaside community. So I hope that everyone who attends the private view gets a chance to try a lovely banana cream pie and smile at some happy toys. What could be nicer?
Preparation has begun in earnest for my first ever solo exhibition which opens on the 7th March at Pie and Vinyl and runs until the end of April. If you have ever visited Pie + Vinyl you’ll understand why I chose it as my venue.
Image of Pie and Vinyl: Joe Watson www.visionincision.co.uk
I am working with talented illustrator Stuart Linfield to produce a book to accompany the show which tells the story of each toy/character. Stu is also designing a poster for the show which resembles a Victorian book cover, can’t wait to show you!
My partner Josh shot the image of one of my bunnies and hand painted sign, so cute!
I will keep you updated with any developments and some little pictures here and there.