Amelia’s Magazine | Tent London 2013 Review: Best Soft Furnishings and Homewares

plate by Louise Wilkinson
Bone china plate by Louise Wilkinson.

As usual there was a plethora of new and exciting designers to discover at Tent London 2013, showing alongside some familiar favourites that I look forward to catching up with each year. Here is my round up of the best soft furnishings and homewares brands I found. Wall art, furniture and lighting will follow in my next blog, though this delineation is pretty arbitrary since many brands happily encompass all aspects of interior design.

Tent London Cushions Melanie Porter
This outrageous outsize knitted cushion is by Melanie Porter, who was trained at Central Saint Martins and turned her hand to soft furnishing design after ten years working as a designer for international fashion brands. Melanie became a mum in July, so good on her for staying up to speed and putting on such a great show at Tent this year. Those of us running our own brands don’t get much time off!

Chocolate creative cushions Tent
Geometric prints were everywhere at Tent London this year. I love these cushions by Chocolate Creative.

Tent London Melody Rose plate boxing
Tent London Melody Rose plates
I spent some time chatting with Melanie Roseveare of Melody Rose ceramics whilst Snarfle marvelled at her new collection of printed plates. Melody started out upcycling vintage fine china – adding her own designs on top of vintage ones such as the blue plate above (which features a picture of her dad, an amateur boxing champion). Now she has launched her own bespoke range that includes this artfully placed classical nude. I love the way she has arranged these plates to make the most of the design.

Honeycomb geometric print cushions from Room 39
These honeycomb geometric print cushions are by Petra Green of Room 39, a Slovenian designer now settled in the UK who excels in the use of bright colours and eye catching prints on unusually shaped cushions. Some of her designs are made up in a family run factory in Slovenia, some are made up by the Working Well Trust (which provides opportunities for those with mental health difficulties) and some are manufactured in her East London studio space. She aims to marry craft techniques and modern technology in as sustainable a way as possible – I like her production style!

Tent London Sian Elin Thomas abstract cushions
Tent London Sian Elin Thomas cushions
I first admired work by Sian Elin at New Designers this year, but didn’t cover it at the time because my photographs did not do the collection justice. Her wonderful cushions feature abstract designs (and the fab peacock patterned design above) in a range of luscious colour combinations.

elephant print cushion Rachel powell
Since I discovered her at New Designers in 2011 Rachel Powell has gone from strength to strength, and it’s so nice to see a recent graduate doing well commercially within a few years. My favourite thing in her new collection is this bold retro inspired elephant print that would look lush in a kid’s room. The design also comes on fabric that can be purchased by the metre – what a brilliant idea for all those crafters out there!

Magnetic porcelain train - Reiko Kaneko
What fun – this magnetic porcelain train for eggy soldiers is by the Japanese born designer Reiko Kaneko. Having graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2007 she set up her own studio in London’s east end, but has since relocated to Stoke-on-Trent in order to integrate design and production in the home town of English bone china.

The Staffordshire University Flux ceramics
Speaking of fine bone china, the Staffordshire University student collaboration Flux Stoke-on-Trent continues to impress with beautiful ceramic designs. This project is an example of collaboration between a teaching establishment and industry – forging new bonds that will lead to viable careers in an industry which can be notoriously difficult to infiltrate successfully.

Brushes by Swedish brand Lofstrom
These beautiful brushes by Mikael Lofstrom of Lofstrom skilfully make use of the natural shape of tree branches, which are paired with upcycled thistles.

Etelka Meixner of Hungary; pearl embellished chinaware
Etelka Meixner of Hungary has tapped into a very current theme with her luxuriously decorative pearl embellished chinaware.

Townscape design by Maxine Sutton
I had a long chat about the joys of living in Thanet with Ramsgate based designer Maxine Sutton, who has recently overhauled her shop in the centre of the newly vibrant Margate to become a stand alone store for her homewares range. This graphic townscape design perfectly showcases her style.

Kristine Five Melvaer -Norwegian design showcase
Over at the Norwegian design showcase I was most taken by these jewel coloured stripe pots from Kristine Five Melvær. Kristine works in glass and china to produce objects of exquisite beauty.

Fine china by Louise Wilkinson
Ceramic jug by Louise Wilkinson
Finally, I am just a little bit in love with fine china by Louise Wilkinson, an illustrator and fashion textile designer turned homewares designer who is inspired by Japanese design. I think her unique creations also owe a slight debt to the cute animals so often featured in 40s and 50s children’s book design: no wonder I find them so delightful. In fact we promptly bought a jug and matching mugs for some soon to be married friends and I am just a little bit envious.

You can share my discoveries as I find them by following me on instagram here.

Categories ,2013, ,Bone China, ,Central Saint Martins, ,Chocolate Creative, ,Etelka Meixner, ,Flux Stoke-on-Trent, ,Homewares, ,Hungary, ,japanese, ,Kristine Five Melvær, ,Lofstrom, ,Louise Wilkinson, ,Margate, ,Maxine Sutton, ,Melanie Porter, ,Melanie Roseveare, ,Melody Rose, ,Mikael Lofstrom, ,New Designers, ,Norwegian, ,Pearls, ,Petra Green, ,Porcelain, ,Rachel Powell, ,Ramsgate, ,Reiko Kaneko, ,review, ,Room 39, ,Sian Elin, ,Slovenia, ,Snarfle, ,Soft Furnishings, ,Staffordshire University, ,Stoke-on-Trent, ,Tent London, ,textiles, ,Thanet, ,Upcycled, ,Working Well Trust

Similar Posts:






Amelia’s Magazine | What to do in Margate and Broadstairs (whilst wearing Chatham Marine Deck Shoes)

sparkle boat margate photography by Amelia Gregory
This weekend we went down to the seaside in Kent: my partner’s dad lives in Ramsgate and when we go down to Thanet we always go for a pootle around Margate and Broadstairs.

sparkle boat margate photography by Amelia Gregory
Maria Nepomuceno margate photography by Amelia Gregory
In Margate American artist Alex Katz is showing Give Me Tomorrow at the Turner Contemporary, which has just the right amount of space to put on the perfectly sized exhibition for a sociable stroll with the family. He’s not a painter I’ve heard of but I really enjoyed his work: particularly rolling abstract waves and epic seascapes inspired by his home in Maine. That and his work from the 70s and 80s, often featuring his friends and family but put together to imitate glamourous magazine shoots and stills from films. Also on show was a massive interactive beaded installation – Tempo para Respirar (Breathing Time) – by Brazilian artist Maria Nepomuceno.

margate photography by Amelia Gregory
margate photography by Amelia Gregory
Margate has become a haven for artists and there are some great places to discover in the old town: piles of old boxes, a random collection of knitted dolls in a tree… there are plenty of junk shops and second hand book stores to peruse.

victoria browne pushing print margate photography by Amelia Gregory
Victoria Browne

pushing print margate nikki davidson-bowman photography by Amelia Gregory
Nikki Davidson-Bowman

And then we came across some really fabulous work as part of Pushing Print Festival at the Margate Gallery (on now until 27th October) Here are just two of the artists on show: beautiful screenprinted monoliths by Victoria Browne and Nikki Davidson-Bowman‘s sculptural laser print wall hanging.

oscars broadstairs photography by Amelia Gregory
oscars festival cafe  broadstairs photography by Amelia Gregory
Broadstairs is great for little eateries: we like visiting the old fashioned Morelli’s Gelato seaside ice-creamery if only for the amazing intact 50s decor, but this time we opted for Oscar’s Festival Cafe… a beautifully appointed shack that is manned by someone called Graham (not Oscar).

snarfle festival cafe oscars festival cafe  broadstairs photography by Amelia Gregory
The impeccable decor did not disappoint: we had the best ever scrambled egg and bacon, on top of a Kentish delicacy known as a Huffkin: part muffin, part bagel. Visit it if you are ever down that way.

Chatham Marine deck shoes beach  broadstairs photography by Amelia Gregory
Then we took Snarfle down for a windy jaunt along the beach. I wore my new pink Chatham Marine Alcyone deck shoes, which were a recent gift: they are the first pair of deck shoes I’ve owned and I must say I rather like them! Particularly worn with a pair of natty socks (always).

Chatham Marine deck shoes beach  broadstairs photography by Amelia Gregory
A bit about Chatham Marine:
Chatham Marine are a British family run business who are specialists in boating wear, and their shoes and boots are available in over 500 independent stores and chandleries across the UK, as well as John Lewis, Jones the Bootmaker, and Debenhams stores. They sell in over 200 stockists across Europe.

Chatham Marine deck shoes beach  broadstairs photography by Amelia Gregory
Chatham Marine‘s mocacassin constructed boat shoes involve hand stitching the leather uppers through the grippy rubber sole with rot proof waxed cable thread so that the leather will wrap around the shape of the foot. The shoes are unlined for the utmost comfort, and they can be worn sockless without worrying about breathability. In a boating situation water is able to permeate between the spaces created by the waxed cable: in effect the shoes are designed to let the water in and out.

Handy that: even if I didn’t go any further than the old concrete tidal pool on Broadstairs beach.

All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Categories ,Alcyone, ,Alex Katz, ,Boating, ,british, ,Broadstairs, ,Chatham Marine, ,Debenhams, ,Deck Shoes, ,Give Me Tomorrow, ,Huffkin, ,John Lewis, ,Jones the Bootmaker, ,kent, ,maine, ,Margate, ,Margate Gallery, ,Maria Nepomuceno, ,Mocacassin, ,Morelli’s Gelato, ,Nikki Davidson-Bowman, ,Oscar’s Festival Cafe, ,pink, ,Pushing Print Festival, ,Ramsgate, ,Snarfle, ,Tempo para Respirar (Breathing Time), ,Thanet, ,Turner Contemporary, ,Victoria Browne

Similar Posts:






Amelia’s Magazine | What to do in Margate and Broadstairs (whilst wearing Chatham Marine Deck Shoes)

sparkle boat margate photography by Amelia Gregory
This weekend we went down to the seaside in Kent: my partner’s dad lives in Ramsgate and when we go down to Thanet we always go for a pootle around Margate and Broadstairs.

sparkle boat margate photography by Amelia Gregory
Maria Nepomuceno margate photography by Amelia Gregory
In Margate American artist Alex Katz is showing Give Me Tomorrow at the Turner Contemporary, which has just the right amount of space to put on the perfectly sized exhibition for a sociable stroll with the family. He’s not a painter I’ve heard of but I really enjoyed his work: particularly rolling abstract waves and epic seascapes inspired by his home in Maine. That and his work from the 70s and 80s, often featuring his friends and family but put together to imitate glamourous magazine shoots and stills from films. Also on show was a massive interactive beaded installation – Tempo para Respirar (Breathing Time) – by Brazilian artist Maria Nepomuceno.

margate photography by Amelia Gregory
margate photography by Amelia Gregory
Margate has become a haven for artists and there are some great places to discover in the old town: piles of old boxes, a random collection of knitted dolls in a tree… there are plenty of junk shops and second hand book stores to peruse.

victoria browne pushing print margate photography by Amelia Gregory
Victoria Browne

pushing print margate nikki davidson-bowman photography by Amelia Gregory
Nikki Davidson-Bowman

And then we came across some really fabulous work as part of Pushing Print Festival at the Margate Gallery (on now until 27th October) Here are just two of the artists on show: beautiful screenprinted monoliths by Victoria Browne and Nikki Davidson-Bowman‘s sculptural laser print wall hanging.

oscars broadstairs photography by Amelia Gregory
oscars festival cafe  broadstairs photography by Amelia Gregory
Broadstairs is great for little eateries: we like visiting the old fashioned Morelli’s Gelato seaside ice-creamery if only for the amazing intact 50s decor, but this time we opted for Oscar’s Festival Cafe… a beautifully appointed shack that is manned by someone called Graham (not Oscar).

snarfle festival cafe oscars festival cafe  broadstairs photography by Amelia Gregory
The impeccable decor did not disappoint: we had the best ever scrambled egg and bacon, on top of a Kentish delicacy known as a Huffkin: part muffin, part bagel. Visit it if you are ever down that way.

Chatham Marine deck shoes beach  broadstairs photography by Amelia Gregory
Then we took Snarfle down for a windy jaunt along the beach. I wore my new pink Chatham Marine Alcyone deck shoes, which were a recent gift: they are the first pair of deck shoes I’ve owned and I must say I rather like them! Particularly worn with a pair of natty socks (always).

Chatham Marine deck shoes beach  broadstairs photography by Amelia Gregory
A bit about Chatham Marine:
Chatham Marine are a British family run business who are specialists in boating wear, and their shoes and boots are available in over 500 independent stores and chandleries across the UK, as well as John Lewis, Jones the Bootmaker, and Debenhams stores. They sell in over 200 stockists across Europe.

Chatham Marine deck shoes beach  broadstairs photography by Amelia Gregory
Chatham Marine‘s mocacassin constructed boat shoes involve hand stitching the leather uppers through the grippy rubber sole with rot proof waxed cable thread so that the leather will wrap around the shape of the foot. The shoes are unlined for the utmost comfort, and they can be worn sockless without worrying about breathability. In a boating situation water is able to permeate between the spaces created by the waxed cable: in effect the shoes are designed to let the water in and out.

Handy that: even if I didn’t go any further than the old concrete tidal pool on Broadstairs beach.

All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Categories ,Alcyone, ,Alex Katz, ,Boating, ,british, ,Broadstairs, ,Chatham Marine, ,Debenhams, ,Deck Shoes, ,Give Me Tomorrow, ,Huffkin, ,John Lewis, ,Jones the Bootmaker, ,kent, ,maine, ,Margate, ,Margate Gallery, ,Maria Nepomuceno, ,Mocacassin, ,Morelli’s Gelato, ,Nikki Davidson-Bowman, ,Oscar’s Festival Cafe, ,pink, ,Pushing Print Festival, ,Ramsgate, ,Snarfle, ,Tempo para Respirar (Breathing Time), ,Thanet, ,Turner Contemporary, ,Victoria Browne

Similar Posts:






Amelia’s Magazine | Tent London 2013 Review: Best Soft Furnishings and Homewares

plate by Louise Wilkinson
Bone china plate by Louise Wilkinson.

As usual there was a plethora of new and exciting designers to discover at Tent London 2013, showing alongside some familiar favourites that I look forward to catching up with each year. Here is my round up of the best soft furnishings and homewares brands I found. Wall art, furniture and lighting will follow in my next blog, though this delineation is pretty arbitrary since many brands happily encompass all aspects of interior design.

Tent London Cushions Melanie Porter
This outrageous outsize knitted cushion is by Melanie Porter, who was trained at Central Saint Martins and turned her hand to soft furnishing design after ten years working as a designer for international fashion brands. Melanie became a mum in July, so good on her for staying up to speed and putting on such a great show at Tent this year. Those of us running our own brands don’t get much time off!

Chocolate creative cushions Tent
Geometric prints were everywhere at Tent London this year. I love these cushions by Chocolate Creative.

Tent London Melody Rose plate boxing
Tent London Melody Rose plates
I spent some time chatting with Melanie Roseveare of Melody Rose ceramics whilst Snarfle marvelled at her new collection of printed plates. Melody started out upcycling vintage fine china – adding her own designs on top of vintage ones such as the blue plate above (which features a picture of her dad, an amateur boxing champion). Now she has launched her own bespoke range that includes this artfully placed classical nude. I love the way she has arranged these plates to make the most of the design.

Honeycomb geometric print cushions from Room 39
These honeycomb geometric print cushions are by Petra Green of Room 39, a Slovenian designer now settled in the UK who excels in the use of bright colours and eye catching prints on unusually shaped cushions. Some of her designs are made up in a family run factory in Slovenia, some are made up by the Working Well Trust (which provides opportunities for those with mental health difficulties) and some are manufactured in her East London studio space. She aims to marry craft techniques and modern technology in as sustainable a way as possible – I like her production style!

Tent London Sian Elin Thomas abstract cushions
Tent London Sian Elin Thomas cushions
I first admired work by Sian Elin at New Designers this year, but didn’t cover it at the time because my photographs did not do the collection justice. Her wonderful cushions feature abstract designs (and the fab peacock patterned design above) in a range of luscious colour combinations.

elephant print cushion Rachel powell
Since I discovered her at New Designers in 2011 Rachel Powell has gone from strength to strength, and it’s so nice to see a recent graduate doing well commercially within a few years. My favourite thing in her new collection is this bold retro inspired elephant print that would look lush in a kid’s room. The design also comes on fabric that can be purchased by the metre – what a brilliant idea for all those crafters out there!

Magnetic porcelain train - Reiko Kaneko
What fun – this magnetic porcelain train for eggy soldiers is by the Japanese born designer Reiko Kaneko. Having graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2007 she set up her own studio in London’s east end, but has since relocated to Stoke-on-Trent in order to integrate design and production in the home town of English bone china.

The Staffordshire University Flux ceramics
Speaking of fine bone china, the Staffordshire University student collaboration Flux Stoke-on-Trent continues to impress with beautiful ceramic designs. This project is an example of collaboration between a teaching establishment and industry – forging new bonds that will lead to viable careers in an industry which can be notoriously difficult to infiltrate successfully.

Brushes by Swedish brand Lofstrom
These beautiful brushes by Mikael Lofstrom of Lofstrom skilfully make use of the natural shape of tree branches, which are paired with upcycled thistles.

Etelka Meixner of Hungary; pearl embellished chinaware
Etelka Meixner of Hungary has tapped into a very current theme with her luxuriously decorative pearl embellished chinaware.

Townscape design by Maxine Sutton
I had a long chat about the joys of living in Thanet with Ramsgate based designer Maxine Sutton, who has recently overhauled her shop in the centre of the newly vibrant Margate to become a stand alone store for her homewares range. This graphic townscape design perfectly showcases her style.

Kristine Five Melvaer -Norwegian design showcase
Over at the Norwegian design showcase I was most taken by these jewel coloured stripe pots from Kristine Five Melvær. Kristine works in glass and china to produce objects of exquisite beauty.

Fine china by Louise Wilkinson
Ceramic jug by Louise Wilkinson
Finally, I am just a little bit in love with fine china by Louise Wilkinson, an illustrator and fashion textile designer turned homewares designer who is inspired by Japanese design. I think her unique creations also owe a slight debt to the cute animals so often featured in 40s and 50s children’s book design: no wonder I find them so delightful. In fact we promptly bought a jug and matching mugs for some soon to be married friends and I am just a little bit envious.

You can share my discoveries as I find them by following me on instagram here.

Categories ,2013, ,Bone China, ,Central Saint Martins, ,Chocolate Creative, ,Etelka Meixner, ,Flux Stoke-on-Trent, ,Homewares, ,Hungary, ,japanese, ,Kristine Five Melvær, ,Lofstrom, ,Louise Wilkinson, ,Margate, ,Maxine Sutton, ,Melanie Porter, ,Melanie Roseveare, ,Melody Rose, ,Mikael Lofstrom, ,New Designers, ,Norwegian, ,Pearls, ,Petra Green, ,Porcelain, ,Rachel Powell, ,Ramsgate, ,Reiko Kaneko, ,review, ,Room 39, ,Sian Elin, ,Slovenia, ,Snarfle, ,Soft Furnishings, ,Staffordshire University, ,Stoke-on-Trent, ,Tent London, ,textiles, ,Thanet, ,Upcycled, ,Working Well Trust

Similar Posts:






Amelia’s Magazine | New Designers 2013 Illustration Review: The Best Graduate Illustrators

EdieOP Jonah the Fish cat
I’ve brought you my New Designers part one reviews, my review of New Blood and multiple blogs covering the Free Range Art and Design shows… so now it’s time to finish my coverage of the graduate group shows with New Designers part two (in two sections, naturally). This first blog will cover the best of the illustration I discovered.

EdieOP Jonah the Fish cover
Jonah the Goldfish by edie op
UCA Maidstone took a stand at the show at the last minute, so I was excited to see work by Amelia’s Magazine contributor Edie OP, full name Edie Owczarek-Palfreyman. She had created a wonderful story called Jonah the Goldfish which follows a little girl who wins a fish at a fairground and forgets to feed it, resulting in drastic consequences.

Joanna Keys at uca maidstone
Joanna Keys naturists
I loved the incredibly fun work from her fellow student Joanna Keys, who lifted the lid on the strange world of naturism. Who can resist this cheeky image of naturists at the hairdressers!

Rochester High Street on fabric by Lucy Parris at uca maidstone
This lovely depiction of Rochester High Street was created on fabric by Lucy Parris.

Georgia Elliott Thanet uca maidstone
Georgia Elliott chose Thanet as the theme of her beautifully bound book, which you can buy from etsy here. Since Snarfle‘s grandad lives in Thanet I have become very well acquainted with this beautiful and idiosyncratic part of the Kent coast, so it’s lovely to see it immortalised in this way: above are some famous shopfronts from oyster loving Whistable.

Moths by Natalie Faith Turner
Natalie Faith Turner investigated the beauty of insects, including moths and bees.

bird by Bea Forshall at falmouth uni
Falmouth University always has a strong selection of work, which was on show at both D&AD New Blood and New Designers; I’ll be covering all my favourites on here. This delightful bird is by Bea Forshall, whose work is informed by a lifelong love of animals.

young audience by Michelle Beech
Michelle Beech Falmouth
This delightful outdoor scene and delicate reclining lady are by Michelle Beech.

Lara Hawthorne - the Python Wife
Lara Hawthorne - the Python Wife
Stylised animals such as cats were prevalent in decorative illustrations by Lara Hawthorne. These fab images are from a project called The Python Wife.

Hannah Tolson - La Fiesta Gracia
Hannah Tolson swanpool reserve
I love the lush orange colours of this book cover design by Hannah Tolson. She also documented the changing seasons of locations in Falmouth to create beautiful images such as the one above.

New Blood design show 2013-patrick atkins
Bold monochrome illustrations by Patrick Atkins caught my eye at both exhibitions. His Vessel project – part of which can be seen above – documents the idea of rebirth in graphic novel style.

Lily Louise Scott at falmouthuni
Lily Louise Scott
There were some really sweet narrative characters in designs by Lily Louise Scott. I particularly like this close up of a scene with a bear.

karma sutra action by Martha Anne
karma sutra by Martha Anne at falmouth uni
This fab rendition of the Karma Sutra is by Martha Anne, whose decorative style of narrative illustration is just my kind of thing.

Where Does My Cat Go? By Emily Knight at cambridge schoolofart
Also by Emily Knight at cambridge schoolofart pottery cat plant pots
This was part of a series titled Where Does My Cat Go? by Emily Knight at Cambridge School of Art, who also made these lovely pottery cat plant pots.

Olivia Rose at cambridge school of art girl
Olivia Rose at cambridge school of art
These beautiful but slightly spooky girls are part art nouveau, part anime, by Olivia Rose of Lalasdreambox.

Fashion editorial collage by Sophie Wilcox at nottingham trent
Fashion editorial collage by Sophie Wilcox at Nottingham Trent University is smart and alluring – it’s a shame I can’t find her anywhere on the web.

Mask by Jake Pardoe
This mask by Jake Pardoe is from a project called The Box of Changing Faces, based on an investigation of how people recognise the human face.

Honeysuckle linoprint by Katie Beavis northbrook college
Lastly, a love of William Morris is evident in this graphic honeysuckle linoprint by Kate Beavis at Northbrook College, intended as cover art for Cider with Rosie.

Categories ,2013, ,Bea Forshall, ,Cambridge School of Art, ,Cider with Rosie, ,Edie OP, ,Edie Owczarek-Palfreyman, ,Emily Knight, ,Falmouth University, ,Free Range Art and Design, ,Georgia Elliott, ,Hannah Tolson, ,illustration, ,Jake Pardoe, ,Joanna Keys, ,Jonah the Goldfish, ,Karma Sutra, ,Kate Beavis, ,kent, ,Lalasdreambox, ,Lara Hawthorne, ,Lily Louise Scott, ,Linoprint, ,Lucy Parris, ,Martha Anne, ,Michelle Beech, ,Natalie Faith Turner, ,New Blood, ,New Designers, ,Northbrook College, ,Nottingham Trent University, ,Olivia Rose, ,Patrick Atkins, ,review, ,Rochester High Street, ,Snarfle, ,Sophie Wilcox, ,Thanet, ,The Box of Changing Faces, ,The Python Wife, ,UCA Maidstone, ,Vessel, ,Where Does My Cat Go?, ,Whistable

Similar Posts:






Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with Margo McDaid: Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion featured artist.

Margo McDaid
Artist Margo McDaid captured my heart with her gorgeous sailors on instagram and has produced a wonderful double page spread for Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion featuring her highly decorative portraits of men and women. Here she talks about her move to the coastal town of Ramsgate, and how motherhood as fostered a renewed energy for creating pictures.

Margo McDaid
Where did you study and what happened after graduation? 
I studied at Camberwell College of Art. I exhibited at the New Designers show in Islington and was approached by a company called Babylon Design. I was incredibly naive about the business side of design but so pleased to have been approached by a really well known design company. My designs were produced and sold in The Conran Shop in London and in Paris. When I saw the product I designed in the shop I felt an enormous sense of disappointment. I had laboured over this design in my final year, months spent working on the milling machine, ensuring the product was as beautifully made as possible. The product in the shop was crudely made and lacked the integrity of design. It was a huge revelation and it really quickly made me realize, that I was not prepared to be part of this.

Margo McDaid
How did you get away from mass production and what did you do next?
I started volunteering in an adventure playground in South London. It was so vibrant and fresh and the children were so full of energy and life. It felt like a complete fresh break away form the corporate design world. I started to really love this creative journey. I wasn’t ready for the design world. I just wanted to continue a creative process. I ended up running art workshops in Islington and South London and eventually became a teacher.

Margo McDaid
When did you start drawing and creating for yourself again and who or what has inspired you?
Having a baby was life changing. I became a mother and it felt like a fresh start, a creative start. I had always kept a sketch book and would produce drawings purely for pleasure and make birthday cards for friends. One day I saw my boy drawing and I saw this amazing artist at work. He would come to me and say “I need to draw”. He needed to draw and it completely awoke a long buried need in me too.

Margo McDaid
Can you tell us more about your draw a picture a day project?
It was the daily rituals in my life that led to #drawapictureaday. I believed that if I wanted to make a difference to my artistic journey, then I would have to really invest in skill building. I would need to rid myself of preconceived ideas and just get on with it. Losing a fear of failure is essential. I wanted to discover more about me as an artist.

Margo McDaid colouring
Who did you draw for my colouring book and how did you create your artworks?
I drew two sailors for the colouring book. The sailors are together and are relaxed, they are about to sail away. You can see a boat in the back ground and lots of sea patterns adorn the page. They leave behind the dull aches of life and any expectations others have of them. They have escape. The three women standing in a forest are huddled together in solidarity but there is sadness and fear, both in their expression and body language. They look despondent and detached. They wear clothes that are rich in pattern and their heads are covered in scarves. I think the sub text is about feminism and have we as a society really made progress for women?

Margo McDaid
Where do you draw and how do you integrate your creativity with family life?
I have several tables in different spots where I draw. I tend to move around to be with my children. I set up my drawing table in a playroom/studio. I also have a table in my bedroom/family room. I read a quote recently, by Tracey Emin and she said that mothers couldn’t be successful artists. I felt really angry by that remark but having discussed it with friends I think she made a valid point. To be successful takes a lot of work and focus and as parent, it is almost impossible to give that time to ambition. So that is why I draw everywhere. I draw on the train to work, at football practice, in front of the TV. Any chance I get – I draw.

Margo McDaid
Why did you move to Ramsgate and in what way has it inspired you?
We were living in a tiny flat in Islington, North London and I felt so imprisoned by the physical space. I grew up on a small holding in the North West of Ireland, so I just could not face the thought of my children not having access to the outdoors. Ramsgate was cheap and cheerful, and we fell in love immediately. I have always wanted to live beside the sea, to wake up and just walk to the waters edge. Ramsgate is a varied and really interesting town. The overtly ornate architecture of a once golden age are beginning to be rescued one by one from decay, and even though I am a DFL (Down From London) I have a natural love for this place. Ramsgate has a long history of attracting creative people and has a vibrant art scene. I really feel at home here.

Margo McDaid
What are you currently working on?
I am working on drawings of sailors. I feel that there is a rediscovering of the golden age of seaside life. Dreamland in Margate is a really fun and inspiring place. I want to explore more about seaside aesthetics and develop them in my work. Sea.

Margo McDaid
What imagery and ideas have inspired your range of postcards?
I love the sea. I love the grey textured sea and the clouds. The Thanet skies are really incredible, so much pattern and texture. I make postcards from recycled envelopes. I was opening the water bill one day and thought of the sea. I love patterns, I see them everywhere and I like to combine the way patterns can compliment or contrast. The British Gas cross hatch looks like the November sky in East Kent with rain very softly coming in from the sea.

I have sold out of the first batch of Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion featuring the work of Margo McDaid and 43 other artists, but you can preorder a copy to receive in mid January here. Make sure you don’t miss out!

Categories ,#drawapictureaday, ,Adult Colouring Book, ,Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion, ,Babylon Design, ,British Gas, ,Camberwell College of Art, ,Colouring Book, ,Down From London, ,Dreamland, ,interview, ,kent, ,Margate, ,Margo McDaid, ,New Designers, ,Ramsgate, ,Thanet, ,The Conran Shop, ,Tracey Emin

Similar Posts: