Amelia’s Magazine | Tent London 2013 Review: Best Wall Art, Furniture and Lighting

SPW additions lampshade
Lampshade by Parris Wakefield Additions.

I’ve already brought you the best soft furnishings and homewards from Tent London 2013 at the Truman Brewery, and now here is a round up of wall art, furniture and lighting, with a toy and notebooks thrown in for good measure.

Parris Wakefield Additions sofa
Parris Wakefield Additions is a new brand from husband and wife team Howard Wakefield and Sarah Parris, busy graphic designers once based in central London and now living in rural Norfolk, where they have enough space for an in-house studio. They are inspired by a combination of colour palettes found in the natural world and those of favourite paintings (a huge pastel rug design is based on a famous Hockney painting), resulting in eye catching pattern and colour combinations. Their computer generated abstracts appear on lampshades, wallpaper and fabrics. I love the ethical side to the Parris Wakefield Additions business – this upcycled 20′s armchair (above) was reupholstered by Out of the Dark, a charity that trains youth in new skills.

Rebay lighting installation
This super fun lighting installation by Rebay attracted a great deal of attention on instagram, though I still haven’t figured out it’s purpose since all attempts to Google information bring up ebay.

Geometric prints on lampshades by tamasyn gambell
Cockpit Arts based textile designer Tamasyn Gambell has been busy expanding her decorative offering: her geometric prints now appear on fabulous big hanging lampshades.

Blown glass pendant lights - curiousa and curiousa
Once again I was wowed by blown glass pendant lights from Curiousa and Curiousa.

Tent London Furniture Magpie lighting
The Furniture Magpies breathe new life into discarded items. This year they have turned their attention to old lampshade frames to create these pretty knitted lights that come in a range of jewel colours.

Lizzie mcullen at work on a mural
Illustrator Lizzie Mary Cullen was at work on a chalk mural when I walked past. This prolific artist creates bespoke imagery for many big brands.

Designer KSW studio
Kristjana S Williams has launched a new range of wallpapers featuring her instantly recognisable patterns; combinations of bold natural imagery and stark colourings.

Bear wall art by Kosmos Project from Poland
This 3D bear wall art is by Kosmos Project of Poland, a design studio set up by Ewa Bochen and Maciej Jelski.

Fibre glass stool inspired by an apple juice bottle, by Sit furnishings
Snarfle inspects a fibre glass stool that features tactile nobbles inspired by those on an apple juice bottle. Sit Furnishings is a new brand from Katherine Blamire and established designer Timothy Sheward, creating industrially forged products with a distinctly human touch. I was most impressed by their offering.

wood seat by Ruskasa from Taiwan
At the Taiwanese showcase we both loved this super smooth woven wood seat by Ruskasa.

Wooden magazine stand and stool by Moissue of Taiwan
This tactile wooden magazine stand by Moissue was also a winner: it neatly doubles as a stool.

horse shaped toddler stools by tamasine osher
What a clever idea; I so want one of these ergonomic easy-to-mount horse shaped toddler stools for Snarfle when he gets a bit older. Multi talented designer Tamasine Osher trained in architecture before taking an MA in furniture design whilst also working as an art director at a gallery.

Norwegian wooden toy by Permafrost
On the subject of things for children, this wooden toy by industrial designers Permafrost is utterly Norwegian and bloody brilliant: an oil rig with helipad and detachable helicopter: oil tankers also available in this prototype collection.

Sukie recycled books
Rescued paper notebooks made an attractive wall display at the Sukie stationery stand. The designer behind Sukie is a man, which goes somewhat contrary to expectations. Apparently most people expect him to be female and Japanese.

Next up: my review of the Three Four show further up Brick Lane. Read it here. Follow me on instagram for a first sneak peak at the design discoveries I make.

Categories ,2013, ,Brick Lane, ,Cockpit Arts, ,Curiousa and Curiousa, ,Ewa Bochen, ,Furniture, ,Furniture Magpie, ,Howard Wakefield, ,Katherine Blamire, ,Kosmos Project, ,Kristjana S Williams, ,Lighting, ,Lizzie Mary Cullen, ,Maciej Jelski, ,Moissue, ,Norwegian, ,Out of the Dark, ,Parris Wakefield Additions, ,Permafrost, ,poland, ,Rebay, ,review, ,Ruskasa, ,Sarah Parris, ,Sit Furnishings, ,Snarfle, ,stationery, ,Sukie, ,surface design, ,Taiwan, ,Tamasine Osher, ,Tamasyn Gambell, ,Tent London, ,Timothy Sheward, ,Truman Brewery, ,Upcycled, ,Wall Art

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Amelia’s Magazine | A Million Cats: An interview with adult colouring book author Lulu Mayo

A Million Cats front cover by Lulu Mayo
I’ve spoken about my love of A Million Cats in my previous post highlighting my favourite colouring books of 2015, and now I am finally able to bring you an exclusive interview with the artist Lulu Mayo. This is Lulu’s debut book but the reception has been so fantastic that she is set to release another book geared towards dog lovers, called, yes you guessed it, A Million Dogs. Both books feature a plethora of cute animals in ridiculous situations, inspired by a childhood love of the infamous cat bus in cult Japanese animation My Neighbor Totoro. A must have for all the animal loving colorists out there.

A Million Cats by Lulu Mayo in a tree
A Million Cats by Lulu Mayo

I believe your first career involved numbers – what did you do and where?
After graduating from university, I worked as a sales and marketing personnel in a technology company in Taiwan. However, I quickly realised that it was not something I would like to pursue for my future career. So while working, I undertook a product design course to prepare for entry into art school. I was glad I did it and was happy to say it was the best decision I ever took in my life!

qubee-strawberry by lulu mayo
Strawberry by Lulu Mayo

Why did you decide to pursue your passion for illustration?
I had an amazing opportunity to undertake an Erasmus exchange program in France while studying international business. However, I wasn’t inspired by business management courses but arts and amazing architectures there. After I came back from France I decided to purse my love for arts. It wasn’t after a lot of trials and errors did I decide to purse my passion for illustration. Originally I thought I would be a product designer as I loved the idea of creating something practical and artistic. But later on I realised it was drawing that brought me the most joy. I am happy to say I don’t regret it at all now.

A Million Cats by Lulu Mayo adult colouring book
A coloured scene from A Million Cats by Lulu Mayo

Why did you decide to study in the UK and why did you chose Camberwell College of Arts?
I was drawn by hustle and bustle of big cities and London perfectly fit the bill. Tutors at Camberwell always gave us free rein to experiment with new themes and techniques. I have absolute creative license to produce artworks, so it was an obvious choice.

A Million Cats by Lulu Mayo townscape
A Million Cats by Lulu Mayo

How did A Million Cats become published? Did you take the concept to a publisher or did they approach you and if so when and where?
It all started when I received a fountain pen as a gift from my Dad. The pen itself was a gift from his senior officer dating back 40 years. I started to create a lot of hand drawn black and white ink artworks ever since.

A million cats cat mushroom field by Lulu Mayo
A coloured scene from A Million Cats by Lulu Mayo

Then one day I thought,“Why not combine my love of cats and ink?” So I came up with an idea of creating a colouring book, A Million Cats and started to approach to publishers. Luckily, the publishing director at Michael O’ Mara loved the concept and the rest was the history. They got many positive responses from their clients so I was commissioned by them with another project – A Million Dogs. I was very grateful that they took a chance on me.

A Million Cats by Lulu Mayo sofa
A Million Cats by Lulu Mayo

Your book features a lot of Japanese influenced patterns – why did you add this to the mix?
I have a profound interest in Ukiyo-e, pictures of the floating world. It is a genre of art that flourished in Japan from 1680s up until the year 1900. I love its unique characteristics, including its imaginative cropping of figures, exaggerated foreshortening, amazing storytelling and intriguing patterns. My artworks are deeply influenced by it. I think A Million Cats is a marriage of the quirky, the idiosyncratic and Ukiyo-e.

A-Million-Dogs-Cover by Lulu Mayo
When does A Million Dogs come out, and can you share a sneak peak of the artwork with us?
Of course, my pleasure! The publication date of A Million Dogs in UK is 14th of April. Inside are over 30 spreads of funny dogs, decorated with stress-relieving Japanese patterns and motifs, including cherry blossom, waves, hearts, maple leaves, and paisleys in various forms. It features different breeds of dogs in a range of surreal situations; riding a carousel, playing music, sneaking food, and flying a hot air balloon. I hope it can provide readers an escape from hectic modern life to a relaxing world of quirkiness and imagination.

A Million Dogs balloon by Lulu Mayo
A Million Dogs by Lulu Mayo

What do you love most about the craze for adult colouring?
What I love the most is that I can share my imaginative world with others. It’s amazing to see how others interpret my artworks in their own creative way. It is absolutely thrilling!

A Million Dogs 2 by Lulu Mayo
A Million Dogs by Lulu Mayo

What is your favourite animal and why?
My favourite animal is English bulldog and it has appeared on many pages in A Million Dogs. It descended from fighting mastiffs. Today, however, it only slightly resembles his ancestors in appearance. He is not ferocious any more, but of a sweet, and loving disposition. Such a contradictory makes him my favourite. He really inspires me with his goofy look.

Obviously you love cats, when did this interest begin and have you ever had a pet cat that has inspired your work?
When I was five years old, I watched my first Hayao Miyazaki’s film called My Neighbor Totoro. There was a magical cat character. Every time when Totoro summoned him, he transformed into a cat bus and drove people to their destination. As a child, it completely rocked my world and I always dreamt that I could be the passenger one day. Ever since I became an advocate of cats. I want to create whimsical cats that sparks people’s imagination. Unfortunately, in reality there is no such cat that inspires me… it’s absolutely impossible to have a pet as my Mum is a neat freak!

effiel-tower by lulu mayo
Eiffel tower by Lulu Mayo

What else are you working on?
I am working on an animal-themed colouring book. It will feature more than 20 different animals in a range of different circular patterns. I will infuse it with my love for Japanese patterns, flowers, and plants. Unlike A Million Cats and A Million Dogs, this time I will colour it up with readers. So watch out, animal lovers!

St-pancras-station by Lulu Mayo
St Pancras Station by Lulu Mayo

For my personal project, I am working on a rabbit counting book. It’s not just about 1, 2, 3 but a story of having a loving family and friends!

A Million Dogs mandala by Lulu Mayo
Thank you so much for answering my questions Lulu, I love your work! Follow Lulu Mayo on Twitter and Facebook.

Categories ,A Million Cats, ,A Million Dogs, ,Adult Coloring, ,Adult Colouring, ,Animal Colouring Book, ,Camberwell College of Arts, ,Cat Coloring Book, ,Cat Colouring Book, ,Coloring, ,Colouring for Adults, ,Hayao Miyazaki, ,interview, ,japanese, ,Lulu Mayo, ,Michael O’ Mara, ,My Neighbor Totoro, ,pattern, ,review, ,Taiwan, ,Ukiyo-e

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