Sometimes people ask me how I became an artist? It’s not really something I think about very often, I suppose I grew into the role. I always loved making, drawing and imagining for as long as I can remember and it just never went away. I tried to suppress it for awhile thinking it was for the best and perhaps it was time to grow up. This just made me deeply unhappy. I hardly earn a living and instead rely on my carers allowance I get for caring for my disabled son, teaching workshops and getting involved in arts education and outreach.
If someone buys a piece of my work like a toy or painting I have learn’t that instead of feeling grateful you should feel proud. Don’t brow beat yourself for wanting to do this more than anything in the world, stop feeling guilty and realise that without artists, makers and creatives the world would be utterly dull. You are contributing more to this ball of rock than you will ever know!
My top tips for being an artist are:
- Wake up early. Missing out on half the day is not good for the mind, early morning light is beautiful to work by. If it’s winter and still dark outside invest in a good light that warms and inspires you.
- Create a ‘work’ area. The smallest corner can be transformed, for many years I worked at a tiny writing desk with postcards, clippings and ephemera taped to the wall in front of me because I had no window to gaze out of.
- Turn your day job into art. If you’re currently working in another field like retail, office work etc there is no reason why this cannot become part of your art. Collect scraps of paper, note down things people say and set yourself a creative task for the evening/weekend.
- Experiment. You don’t have to spend lots of money on equipment and supplies. Try dying scraps of paper or fabric in tea. Look in skips and dumps (I have found some awesome things in rubbish piles) re-use pieces of wood, damaged books. Oh the possibilities are endless.
- Funding. Amazingly you can apply for funding to aid you in research and solo projects. Also check out Artist Residencies, a chance to travel, work and meet other artists on a low budget.
- Be bold. People might laugh, family members will probably disapprove because it’s not a proper job. Just remind them their favourite item of clothing, picture and even the chair that their sat on was ‘created’ by someone. Now see them act a little sheepish. The world needs you and your creative brain!
Happy New Year folks! I hope everyone had an enjoyable Christmas too?
My first post is going to be about our wonderful little adventure to Amsterdam we had in December. We travelled by Eurostar and stayed for four nights at the Lloyd Hotel + Cultural Embassy which was fantastic. We strolled up and down canals, ate wonderful food ( fav food places include La Perla and Los Pilones), visited pretty boutiques (All The Luck in the World and Hear Hear) markets and drunk the best coffee at Screaming Beans.
My main mission was to buy some super cute kitsch pieces from Kitsch Kitchen and visit the Lapjesmarkt.
Every Monday morning, the Westerstraat is home to the weekly ‘Lapjesmarkt’ or fabric market. As the name suggests, you’ll find stall after stall filled with assorted fabrics sold by the metre. In addition, you’ll find a variety of clothes – both new and vintage. The lapjesmarkt runs into the Noordermarkt just around the corner. Here you’ll find more fabric, plus some antiques and second-hand books.
To be honest I was a bit underwhelmed by the fabric stall selection, most were just your run of the mill cheap bolts of fabric and didn’t excite me. However a handful of traders were selling quirky and pretty fat quarters, vintage ribbons, trims, appliqué and amazing buttons. This kept me pretty busy and I had to be careful not to buy too much.
Next on my list was the cathedral of colour that is Kitsch Kitchen! I defy you not to go there and come away with something fabulous! It’s selection of oilcloth is legendary and the home wares are out of this world. In fact I visited twice whilst we were on holiday and blew most of spending money, oops.
We had such a wonderful time and a well earned rest from parenting our severely disabled son, there is just too much to fit into this post so here are some more pics. Thanks Amsterdam see you again soon!
Last week I attended the Heals press party for Spring 2014 and got to have a peak at beautiful fabrics, design and interior pieces. I will be writing a full account in January with lots of fab photos of gorgeous things, in the meantime here are some pics from our day there. After Heals we went to Liberty and then onto Byron for a yummy burger lunch!
Last week my partner dropped by my studio space at Neon Studios and took some photos. It made me happy that I am now able to give you a little tour of where I make my toys and art.
Sometimes it can be a bit lonely but I find that helps me focus. The view from my window is of the busy commercial port with ships being unloaded daily, always changing weather and the sea.
Apples in my garden.
Cobnuts in the kitchen.
Cute cup from the charity shop.
Brooch in the post from my pen friend Donna.
The gorgeous Frankie magazine.
I am so in love with instagram, it really is the best way of keeping a visual diary of all your daily goings on.
Here are some of my latest adventures…
On location doing a toy shoot in the woods.
Date night at our local funfair.
My little dachshund Margot.
I visited the Cartoon Museum in Holborn, London last week.
Pistachio Macaroon at Salon Paul in London.
My vintage cat ornament collection.
Cafe garden at Casa de Castro
Eggs and asparagus lunch.
Finishing off Mr Lumberjack in the studio.
Beautiful Southsea boutique Flo & Stan have moved a short distance for Albert Rd to the corner of Exmouth Rd. Lorna and Del the owners have been longtime supporters of my art work and stock my handmade toys. They also stock the most wonderful range of vintage, handmade, design and curios.
It makes me so happy to see my work alongside the likes of Rob Ryan and Phoebe Richardson!
The new shop is small, cute and very bijoux. Here are some pics I took on Saturday of the new space.
Im so so thrilled to at last have a studio space again! Its been over a year since I last had a work space to make in.
Our little dog Margot is settling in so well, she sleeps by my feet under the desk as I sew and embroider.
We have faced so many hardships over the past year as a family and I can at last try and have some peace, quiet and space to think and relax in. I don’t underestimate what a special thing this is.
British Sea Birds will be available next week exclusively from Southsea Coffee!
This week we got a miniature Dachshund puppy and called her Margot. The sun has been shining and the house is coming together too. I love my little owl ornament my friend Sarah gave me for my birthday and have been hanging out in the Southsea Coffee Co for the best coffee and pan au raisin in Portsmouth.
I also made a yummy roast vegetable and goats cheese pizza and teamed it with a colourful summer salad. Summer eating is so good and so is a great read like The Simple Things magazine. The article on the London Underground was wonderful and I really want to get hold of some of the prints of poster to display in my home. The London Transport Museum shop has a wonderful selection of posters and other deign pieces.
Hello there! So we have moved house, I turned 30 and today we get a puppy!
It’s all happening and I don’t have my Internet yet so here is quick update in photos. More bigger and better posts to come soon…