Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with Suzie Scott: Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion featured artist.

Lipstick Faces Suzie Scott
Surface designer Suzie Scott was first spotted at New Designers a few years back. After a few years break she is now pursuing a burgeoning career based back in her hometown of Coventry. Suzie is featured in Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion, contributing a rich double page spread inspired by the works of Henri Rousseau.

suzie scott studio photo
Where did you study and what happened immediately after graduation?
I graduated in 2011 with a BA in Surface Design from the University of the Arts London. My degree show was followed by my exhibition at New Designers, where I was spotted by the drinks company Malibu. I was contacted by the drinks company and commissioned to create a concept for a limited edition bottle jacket for their summer bottle 2012. Unfortunately I didn’t win the final commission, but it was a great experience working with the brand especially so fresh out of University. I also invited Amelia to my show, but we missed each other! Never the less she still featured me on her blog!

Suzie Scott Lashes G16
Suzie Scott pexmas
What have you done since then work wise?
When I graduated I actually felt a bit burnt out from studying and wanted to take a brake from designing. I signed up with Artstemps, the university’s in house temping agency, and got a job in the 4D department at Central Saint Martins. Whilst I was working there I came across a local ad by Pexmas looking for creative stallholders and decided to try and make some extra cash around Christmas time. My style of illustration is colourful and bold but perhaps not what you would expect to find printed on wrapping paper. I thought this would be a great challenge so I applied for a stall. At the time I was still working a 9-5 so I had to be really disciplined with myself so that I could squeeze in time to design. At one point I felt like I was actually living at CSM!

Suzie Scott lipsticksG1
How has your work developed in the following years and what is your favourite process to create surface pattern nowadays?
Any down time I had whilst working at CSM, I began to spend drawing doodles and creating patterns in Photoshop. Because I was always in front of a computer, my work developed into a much more digital style than I had while studying. Around this time I was contacted by Customly, a design marketplace where you can buy, create and sell art, photography and designs on unique products. They had seen my work online and commissioned me to create some pattern designs for some products on their website. Applying the colour to a design or illustration is always my favourite part of the design process. I have a big collection of TRIA markers with a colour guide that I have stuck to my wall next to my computer. I use this to choose colours, often referencing back to my original sketch and sometimes-even colouring in sections to see what works. I also find coloured paper really inspiring. The flat matt colour of a fresh sheet of coloured paper seems to send infinite possibilities into my brain.

Suzie Scott desk space
Can you describe your studio space?
After 7 fantastic years studying and then working in the capital, I decided to move back home to Coventry, so that I could focus on designing full time. At the moment I work from a desk at home surrounded by books, magazines and colourful curiosities, which influence and inspire my work. I try to keep my desk space tidy but I find I create my best work when it’s a bit of a mess.

Suzie Scott 60s b&w
What is the art scene like in Coventry?
Coventry has an emerging art scene, and a number of contemporary art venues that include, the Warwick Arts Centre, Fargo Village and the Herbert Art Gallery. Fargo Village is a new development with a gallery, studio space and independent shops. It’s really great to see something like this open up in Coventry because it showcases the talent and potential the city has to offer.

Suzie Scott  dps
Why did you decide to enter artwork for this colouring book, what inspired your piece and how was it created?
Alongside freelance work I’m always on the look out for competitions and open briefs. There’s nothing quite like having the freedom to create whatever you want without the idea being subject to critique or change. Being featured in colourful colouring companion is a big deal for me right now. It’s my first illustration to be printed in a book, which is really exciting! I can’t wait to hold a copy in hands! My illustration ‘Midnight Jungle’ is a digital collage of illustrations and for this, I referenced imagery of plants from Google, tropical textiles from eBay and colour palletes from music posters found on Pinterest. I really admire the work of Henri Rousseau, and his famous jungle paintings inspired my own tropical piece. I like to start every illustration with a pencil sketch, and then import the sketch into Photoshop. I will then manually trace the lines using the paintbrush tool. I like the slight wobble to the lines you get using this tool, I think its gives them a bit more personality. I find that using the illustrator paintbrush tool makes everything look too perfect.

Suzie Scott NorthernSoulG17
What do you like to do to relax and how does it inform your art?
Whatever I’m doing there will always be music playing. I love northern soul and disco and there’s definitely a retro theme that runs through my work. My favorite way to relax is to listen to Eddie Piller’s eclectic soul show. In fact this show led me to research northern soul patches, which inspired my northern soul patch print.

DOLLY by Suzie Scott
What inspires you most?
I try to create designs that feel retro or nostalgic but look modern for today – you could say I have one foot in the past and one in the present. I love 70s and 80s textile design, and have a collection of silk scarves and dresses from these decades. If I am ever stuck for inspiration I look at my own collection of vintage pieces. Another great source of inspiration I find are vintage garments on eBay and Etsy. I look for the items with interesting print designs. These items can often be one offs, so I will screen gab the images and put them in my inspiration folder on my desktop.

Suzie Scott flamingo
What have you got lined up in 2016?
2016 is shaping up to be a pretty exciting year. I recently won a competition by Textile Federation, who support and promote emerging textile designers. The competition was to design a silk scarf and the prize was to have it produced and sold in Topshop, Urban Outfitters and on their own website The theme for this design was bohemia and I named my scarf Janis after the late great Janis Joplin. This should be out early next year so keep an eye out! My latest project is ‘The Sketchbook Project’ which is a Brooklyn based collaborative art project in New York. This project has been going for years, and anyone can get involved. Up until now I have never had the time, but I am determined to complete it before the year is out. Once it’s complete, it will be available to view online at the sketchbook project’s digital library. So keep your eyes peeled on my website for a link! I have recently been planning a working holiday trip to Australia and hope to leave in the New Year. I’m sure I will return with some fantastic new ideas, and I feel that some great stuff is yet to come! I am available for commissions & collaborations so please do get in touch!

I’ve run out of pre Christmas copies of Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion but make sure you pre-order your very own colouring book to arrive in January 2016, just click here.

Categories ,#ameliasccc, ,Adult Colouring, ,Amelia’s Colourful Colouring Companion, ,Artstemps, ,Central Saint Martins, ,Coloring, ,Colouring Book, ,Coventry, ,Customly, ,Eddie Piller, ,Fargo Village, ,Herbert Art Gallery, ,interview, ,Janis, ,Janis Joplin, ,Midnight Jungle, ,Pexmas, ,surface design, ,Suzie Scott, ,Textile Federation, ,The Sketchbook Project, ,topshop, ,TRIA markers, ,University of the Arts London, ,Urban Outfitters, ,Warwick Arts Centre

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with Stylusboy

Stylusboy by Giles Mead
Stylusboy by Giles Mead.

Sometimes I get contacted by wonderful musicians out of the blue, find and so it was with Steve Jones of Coventry. An email, a link to a website: sometimes that is all it takes. His new EP Whole Picture is out now: meet the beautiful sounds of Stylusboy...


What kind of bands did you play in before your Stylusboy creation?
I played in a few bands before starting to perform as Stylusboy. I was in a punk pop band at school which did pretty well and got played on Radio 1. I was in a three piece rock band, kind of Muse/Foos-ish and then a 7 piece trip hop style band. All great fun and I am in touch with them all! 

Stylusboy by Faye West
Stylusboy by Faye West.

Why the name Stylusboy?
The name came about a number of years ago when I was trying to create an email address. With a name like Steve Jones I was going to end up with a load of numbers in my address if I used my name. I wanted something easy to remember and at the time I was sat in front of a well known printer and thought ‘stylus’ sounded cool. I stuck boy on the end and created my email. Then when I started writing solo acoustic stuff I thought it would be more distinctive and memorable to perform as Stylusboy

StylusBoy by Jessie Potter
Stylusboy by Jessie Potter.

How has being from Coventry informed the way you create music?
Coventry has a great musical history, with bands like The Specials and The Selecter coming from here, and also more recently The Enemy. Plus there is a wonderful music scene with brilliant bands like Wes Finch and the Dirty Band, Shackletons and Shockparade playing around town. There is also a big acoustic scene with a great choice of nights to play at. Some very talented people who play regularly include Emma McGann, Al Britten and Atlum Schema to name just a few. I often play gigs around Coventry and have been playing house shows recently. 

StylusBoy by Sam Parr
Stylusboy by Sam Parr.

Who plays with you on the EP? Is it pretty much a solo affair, in which case what instruments do you play?
Tim Bowes, who is a good friend, plays the drums and percussion. Chris Smith, who recorded the EP, plays the keys. Rachel sings the harmonies. I played all the guitars, bass, glockenspiel and banjo on one song.

Stylusboy camera photo
Beyond the Flags

How did you hook up with singer Rachel Grisedale? Does she have other projects she is working on?
I met Rachel through mutual friends and we played together at various church events. When I recorded my first EP Fingerprint I asked if she would sing on it. She kindly agreed and it went from there. We sometimes perform live together and collaborate on a few songs. Rachel does sometimes write her own songs but she rarely performs them! 
Left to Hide

What was the process of creating this EP?
The process was alot of hard work but also alot of fun. I recorded the songs in my friend Chris’ studio in his garage in the evenings over several months. We recorded all the drum tracks with my friend Tim and then played all the bass, guitar, glockenspiel and banjo parts before Rachel and I recorded the vocals. Dave’s song was recorded live in one take as I really wanted to capture the vibe of the song. Chris (who recorded the EP) played the keys parts. Chris and I spent a long time mixing the songs, listening to the mixes in our cars and different places before we were happy.

Stylusboy hipstamatic photo
Something Worth Keeping

In terms of the song writing every song was different really. Whole Picture was written quite a while ago. Beyond the Flags was a song I wrote with Rachel. We played the first version live a few times and weren’t happy with it so we cut it up and changed sections until it is the song you hear today. Something Worth Keeping is a simple song where I wrote the verse and Rachel and I wrote the chorus. Left to Hide is reworked from a song I used to sing in my louder rock band. Gunfight is a cover of a song by my friend Andy Mort and Dave’s Song was a song I wrote in one hour late one night. So all very different processes.

Gunfight at the OK Corral

What inspired the lyrics? How do you sit down and write them?
All sorts of different things have inspired the lyrics. Whole Picture is inspired by a day I went swimming with my little girl. She spent the whole time holding on to a football which eventually slipped out from under her and she got a little bit worried but then found out she would float. The lyrics talk about how I want to be able to guide her in her life but also let her find her own way and become her own person. Beyond the Flags is inspired by a story of an Australian open water swimmer who was part of a club where the leaders always told him to stay inside the flags. After a while he started to question why he needed to do this and eventually left the club and started swimming beyond the flags and when he did he found more freedom. So the lyrics talk about the idea of doing things differently and not always doing things the way they have always been done. 

Stylusboy photo
Dave’s Song

Left to Hide is a song about forgiveness and moving on from mistakes that have been made. Something Worth Keeping is inspired by having my house in chaos after my neighbour had a flood last Christmas. Gunfight at the OK Corral is a cover and the song is about keeping going in hard times and the fact that as humans we are all the same when we loose everything. Dave’s Song is about a friend of mine who past away. I wrote it when I had the message he only had hours to live. 

YouTube Preview Image

What was the idea behind the video for Whole Picture and who helped you make it?
My good friend Andy Mort (the man is very talented) made it with me. The idea of the video was that I am trying to find the answer to something. I start by looking in books and then find envelopes scattered around where I find pieces of something. It is the idea of finding pieces and then having to place them altogether to make the Whole Picture.

Stylusboy whole picture cover_image

You can download or order the limited edition hand made EP from the very comprehensive Stylusboy website for a pay what you want price. Each EP sports a hand made cover by Steve and with each bought copy you’ll get a second copy to pass on to a friend. Follow Stylusboy on Twitter and Like him on Facebook.

Categories ,Al Britten, ,Andy Mort, ,Atlum Schema, ,Beyond the Flags, ,Chris Smith, ,Coventry, ,Dave’s Song, ,Emma McGann, ,Facebook, ,Faye West, ,Fingerprint, ,Giles Mead, ,Gunfight, ,Jessie Potter, ,Left to Hide, ,Rachel Grisedale, ,Sam Parr, ,Shackletons, ,Shockparade, ,Something Worth Keeping, ,Steve Jones, ,Stylusboy, ,The Enemy, ,The Selecter, ,The Specials, ,Tim Bowes, ,twitter, ,Wes Finch and the Dirty Band, ,Whole Picture

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