I live in South East England with my husband, and daughters. I have always had a creative project of some sort on the go for as long as I can remember, but jobwise, I followed a more academic path and often felt like “a square peg in a round hole”. However, I have been lucky enough to have had a wonderfully arty time over the past few years, after deciding that it was now or never! I took time out from work to go back to college and do a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design. It was an amazing opportunity and included exploring textiles, printing, ceramics and graphics .
After I finished the course I wanted to carry on designing so I then took the Art & Business of Surface Pattern Design online courses. It was a brilliant time and I learnt so much and got to know many designers from around the world.
Due to starting a new job last September, I just haven’t taken it as far as I would like to – yet, it’s a slow process for me. To keep myself challenged and learning I am currently working my way through Louise Gale’s Colour Energy Workshop, which is fascinating and I signed up for the Postcard Swop. I loved the idea of making something for someone else and having a deadline meant I actually did it! Thank you to Rumi, Sue and Stephanie for the beautiful postcards you created for me!
1. What was the inspiration behind the postcards you created for the “heART exchange”?
I know wet weather in England is a bit of a cliché but it actually has been the wettest winter on record. This has made it the most colourless one I can remember as we just didn’t have any sun or blue sky for months! When I started thinking about the postcards the first few spring flowers were just beginning to show and it was a sign that there was hope for more colour to come! I wanted my postcards to reflect the energy of spring flower colours and the excitement of sunshine after so much rain!
I played around with water colours and acrylic paints until I got the shades I was looking for. I’m always buying paper and things “to use one day” and had some Indian paper made from recycled cotton rags. It turned out to be perfect for painting as it soaked up the paint really well and meant I could paint two colours near to each other without them merging. The hearts were an obvious motif choice! Making three postcards was great because I could try different ideas out on each one. Using buttons was a contrast in texture and to add another burst of colour.
2. What other creative activities do you love to take part in on a regular basis?
Last year I joined a local community based art group. The twice monthly meetings have meant I’ve been to workshops including felt making, soap making and crocheting and I had the opportunity to teach some beginners calligraphy workshops. I love words and lettering, whether it’s printing, writing or painting.
3. What do you think is the most satisfying part of creating what you create?
I enjoy the whole process from coming up with initial ideas and then following through different options until I produce the finished piece. The excitement is that I never know quite what I’ll produce in the end and it’s usually nothing like the original idea!
4. If you could create anything everyday, what would it be?
That’s a great question, being able to create something every day would be a dream come true! I would like to print and do mixed media collages that could then be adapted into surface pattern designs. I think I have an obsession with repeat patterns!
5. What do you think it is about creating something that can make a difference in someones life
I’m not sure I can put it into words adequately, but for me, I think I “need” to create and it just makes me feel like “me”! Although I’m a bit of a perfectionist so I’m rarely satisfied!
I now work as an Activities Coordinator at a Care Home for the Elderly and feel very strongly that creating can be fun and rewarding. Many people are adamant they are “not good at art” so don’t want to do anything. I can totally understand and my challenge is to overcome this and residents are often surprised at what they can do and how much they enjoy it!
Connect with me here: http://www.pinterest.com/patternenergy/