Coastal Ceramics with Katie

ceramic

Hello! Today we have the very lovely and talented Katie Robbins on this edition of the Opinion9 Inspiration series. Her work is just so mesmerizing, and peaceful. Katie makes ceramics inspired by the sea and its beauty. There are shades of azure blues, quiet indigos and serene whites, if you can imagine the colours in your mind. I love the simplicity with which her work really captures the essence of the coast – with just the form, texture and colour speaking volumes. Katie’s photography and her vision with which she creates her designs are also very impeccable and distinctive.

Read on to hear what she has to say.unnamed-3

Please tell me a little bit about yourself.

Hi, I’m Katie from KT Robbins Ceramics. I make a variety of porcelain vessels and accessories for the home as well as individually designed pieces of jewellery, inspired by the coast natural world. I love working with clay to produce mainly functional as well as decorative forms and shapes.

 

I love your minimal and naturally cool style! Do you have a particular theme for each batch  of ceramics you create? Is it planned or more spontaneous?

A lot of my work is influenced by patterns in nature, often relating to the coast and sea, such as the crest of a wave, sea-foam and even the raised circles on a sea urchin. I have done collections relating to the coast, which is a theme that I am still exploring.earthy ceramics with katie robbins

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What was the hardest (and easiest) part while starting your business?

The hardest part of starting a business was having the courage to start and give it a go. But I had (and have) lots of creative ladies in my circle, as well as a supportive partner, who encouraged me to give it a go. I used to work in PR and marketing, and had some interior design clients, but felt that I didn’t want to continue with that after having children. The easiest part of starting this business was having that knowledge and the inside track of knowing the importance of having a strong brand, as well as some of the styling tips I gained on-the-job to create good photography and support material. But ironically I haven’t written a single press release about my ceramics since I have set up on my own.
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What makes you the happiest in your creative process?

I love it when a new idea works. I slip-cast most of my work which means that I build an original shape and then create a mould of it. I can spend several days creating a new shape and it is not until it has come out of the final firing that you can be sure how things are going to turn out.  I also love the chemistry of glazes – which in combination can produce exciting and unexpected results. There is always an element of chance during the final firing, and there is nothing more exciting then unloading the kiln to see if what you had hoped for has happened.

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(Katie’s workspace is just beautiful. Love the wood, white walls and all the little elements that work so well here – the potted plants, the pictures, the storage too!)

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Could you give us a glimpse in a typical day at work?

I must admit that I don’t have a typical day as it really depends on what needs doing. I am normally juggling working around family life. This means that as soon as I get up I am checking emails, and am actively promoting new or existing products on social media. After school drop-off and finishing any household chores then I have around five hours of studio time, which is located next to my house. My priority is to work on shapes that I have cast on a previous day as the clay dries out and there is an optimum time to shape and decorate it. I will also cast up new shapes, sand down my work ready, and glaze work ready for a final firing.

I also have some afternoons where I work in a collective studio as I find it really helps to be able to have a peer group, which you can ask for advice or just be a little sociable with.

I leave the house at 3 to pick up the children from school and in between making them tea and helping with homework I am finishing off any projects from the day, packing up goods, or taking photography for my shop or blog pages.

And after the kids are in bed later in the evening I will quite often spend time writing features, catch up with more admin or join in Twitter chats as a way of self-development. As a sole trader there is always so much to learn about how we can market ourselves and improve our business.

By the way I always make time for lunch in my working day. I can’t concentrate on an empty stomach.

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What qualities are needed to keep up and also enjoy running a creative business?

I think you have to always want to learn and self-improve. I quite often take part in courses, on-line and in person to always be taking myself to the next level. Running your own artisan craft business it’s essential to take good photographs and I’m just about to go on a course to improve this. This term I’m also doing a course in wheel work, as I love the simple shapes of hand-thrown forms.

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Where do you see yourself in a few years?

I would like to see my brand grow in recognition and I would like to be stocked by more art galleries and independent shops. Up until now, I haven’t had a chance to concentrate on building a range specifically for these markets.

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What motivates and inspires you the most?

I find feedback immensely motivating. Also, talking with my friends who are passionate about ceramics – about their projects as well as my own.

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How long has making ceramics been your hobby? How did you think you could convert your hobby into a business?

I have been interested in ceramics since my school days; and often did courses at night school whilst I was working. I thought I could convert my hobby into a business after entering and selling a vase in an open exhibition at the MAC, a local arts centre. I realized then that people would pay money to buy what I could make.

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Just for fun: What is your favourite: colour, food and flower?

My favourite colour is a tricky one. I think it has to be blue – the colour of the sea, the sky and agapanthus which covers off my favourite flower too. And my favourite food has to be crab.

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What are some themes are particularly inspiring you at the moment?

I love the revival that we are seeing in houseplants and macramé. It is so beneficial and beautiful for us to have greenery in our lives and I’m really championing this in my creative work at the moment.

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Thanks, Katie, for this glimpse in your creative process! Wishing you all the best ahead! -Aaria

You can find Katie and her beautiful work over on her website, etsy and on instagram.

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Life and Art with Li Ching

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9

There’s something so lovely about a hobby! It gives you direction, it gives you a better perspective of life- and it helps you enjoy yourself even more! That’s what we’re discussing on the Inspiration feature today.

Li Ching makes some beautiful artwork- and what I especially love about it is, she makes art for herself. It’s rare to find people who do things not to please others, but to make themselves happy. You can see this reflected in all her work- be it her intricate pen work, or her free watercolour style! She incorporates so much art in her life- and that’s uncommon these days. Both her work and her inspiration are priceless.

Read on to hear what she has to say!

Please tell me a little bit about yourself.

I’m Li Ching (Lich or Leach for short) I’m 43. In my last job, I was a Gemologist based in Bangkok, Thailand. I specialised in grading and appraising coloured gems. When my family relocated back to Singapore, I became a SAHM. I’ve always loved art, but it was only this year, with more time on my hands, that I started to draw more productively again.

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9(Love the koi fish!)

I love both your pen work as well as your watercolours! Do you usually practice one type of art for a long period of time, or do you alternate between different art forms regularly?

I am self taught. I’ve had no formal instruction, but because I sat for Art exams at GSCE O and A levels – I’ve had experience in everything from collage to pastels to charcoal…In the end, I keep going back to pen work. What’s new is my newfound love for watercolours!Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9

What makes you happiest in your creative process?

This question is so hard! I like when a piece just grows as I work on it. I’m not the best with planning…sometimes the art develops on its own. When it works out, I’m always amazed (that I didn’t screw up). I also feel glad when people identify with what I draw. Or if they feel something when they look at it. Someone just told me my work made her feel happy. I mean, wow..that was a revelation to me. I was flattered and I was moved.

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9

You seem to be inspired by books and nature, from looking at your work! Can you describe in detail what inspires you as potential drawing topics?

I love books! When I was younger, I would read the classics and poetry. Now, I prefer fantasy and fairytales. I particularly enjoy A.S.Byatt and C.S.Lewis.  I don’t have very much time to read these days. You could say I’m painting from memory…

As an English-speaking Chinese in multiracial Singapore, I think I subconsciously try to compensate for my lack of “Chinese-ness” through art.  I studied under a famous Chinese artist for half a year, but my work still looked too graphic and western. I don’t fight it now! Instead, I incorporate oriental elements, symbols and rebus, into some of my pieces.

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9

(Some of Li’s amazing pen work- inspired by books! Bet you can guess which ones..)

What is your usual process for illustrating a piece?

I don’t have a fixed process when I draw. It’s all rather arbitrary. I decide what size of drawing I’m going to do then simply start. Even if I do a preliminary sketch, I may change my mind mid way. Sometimes I make a plan in my head. But if my gut says something, I tend to listen. I really believe that the key to painting a good piece of art, is knowing when to stop.

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9

How do you balance your creative pursuits as well as your regular life duties?

I’m a full time mom and a part time artist. A lot of articles talk about balance..But I feel it’s a zero sum game. You cannot have more of one without having less of the other. My kids will (usually lol) come first. I set aside my mornings and selected afternoons for myself. It’s an indulgence for me, not a career. Maybe when the kids leave for college…T-T

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9

(I love how Li encourages her children too! Can you guess which one of these three is made by her daughter?)

What are some of your favourite art supplies you use?

I prefer Copic Multiliners for my pen work. I also use Copic color markers, Derwent Coloursoft and Artist color pencils.  For watercolors, I use Daler Rowney Aquafine & Artists, Winsor and Newton Professional and Schmincke Horadam. Most of my paper is Daler Rowney and Arches. While I have several Raphael Kolinsky sable brushes, the majority of my other brushes are just regular brushes.

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9(Li’s lovely creative space. I love the wallpaper there! And of course, the art materials and the art too!)

What inspires you to keep illustrating?

I worked many years in HR, Internal Audit and Gemology. As far as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to draw seriously and I’ve never gotten the chance, not even Art lessons.  That’s why “endorsement” is really important to me. I’m elated when people, especially artists, tell me they like my work. Fundamentally, it’s insecurity, rather than narcissism. I want to believe I can, and that’s why I keep drawing.

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9You have a lovely Etsy shop! What motivated you to start a little creative business?

I just had extra time on my hands and wanted to give it a go. I’m embarrassed to admit that I haven’t been very serious about it…But I’m thinking of really getting down to listing more art.

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9How long have you been drawing? Just out of interest, what was the first thing you remember drawing that made an impact to you?

Oh forever! Since I could remember… 🙂 I recall being so profoundly affected by criticism that I would deliberately leave my paintings unsigned so I could deny responsibility. Once, I brought one particular piece to an established framer to be framed. This was someone who had seen thousands of paintings. When she asked me, “did you paint this?” I wanted to say “NO!”

She said, “You must sign it. It’s important you own it”. She never said if it was good or not. But just like that, she helped me understand that just like everything else, you can’t please everyone. If your work appeals to some people, great. If not, own it anyway. Here’s the artwork in particular. Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9

Do you have any advice for artists out there?

Don’t stop learning!

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9

Just for fun: what’s your favourite food, colour and flower?

Malay satay! No, I don’t have a favorite colour! It’s like asking me which note I prefer. They need to go together right? I love orchids! We’ve always had them at home, planted in pots. I especially like the small varieties.

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9

Life and Art with Li Ching via Opinion9Thanks, Li, for sharing a little glimpse into your creativity! Wishing you all the best ahead! -Aaria 🙂

Find Li’s work on Etsy and keep up with her art journey on Instagram.

 

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An Artistic Vision by Ashley

An Artistic Vision by Ashley

Hello! I’m pleased to have another feature on O9, and this time, it’s about an artist who really makes life as her primary inspiration. Ashley is one of those people who use art as an outlet for positivity. I have always appreciated people who work not for themselves, but for social progress and the community at large! It’s great to talk to someone who puts their time and effort towards helping others and also invests in her own creative progress. Ashley’s art is colourful and frank, and she also uses watercolours (which I absolutely love!) so I contacted her to get some insight on her process.

Read on to hear what she has to say!
An Artistic Vision by Ashley

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Ashley Churbock and I am the creator and artist behind Rock, Paint, Scissors.  By day I am a licensed professional counselor and work in an urban middle school in Baton Rouge, Louisiana running a drop out prevention program.  Besides that, my heart lies with art and being creative.  My work consists mainly of digital prints but I also dabble in painting and paper products.

 

What sparked your interest in art in general? How long have you been practicing?

I have always been into art and took advantage of taking art classes throughout school and into college. I have always been told that I have a natural gift and talent in art and found that it was a great way for me to express myself in a safe and healthy way.  I started out interested in drawing, which turned into a love for painting.  I only recently took up graphics and digital design within the last year.  It helps me create work more quickly, efficiently, and produce affordable work for others.   It is a different type of art that I happen to really enjoy and see a great potential in.

An Artistic Vision by Ashley

How do you interpret the presence and significance of art in your lifestyle?

Being a counselor by trade, I know the importance of self care.  Art has always been an outlet for me to express myself and be creative which is extremely important to me.  I love sharing my passions with others and this is a great way to do so.  I have always created my favorite pieces for those closest to me and proud that I can give them something unique, special, and one of a kind.  Art has been and always will be a vital part of my life to keep me sane, motivated, and inspired!

An Artistic Vision by Ashley

What is your general process while creating an art piece?

First I identify my inspiration and vision for a piece.  I am constantly having ideas pop into my head and I jot these down in my phone to keep a running list of what I want to see transformed into art.  From there I choose which media I want to use (Illustrator, drawing, painting, mixed media, etc).  Then I decide on color palette, font, and dimensions (what size canvas or print).  Next, I gather other materials needed such as paint, paint brushes, canvas, etc. (if needed).  Then I begin!

For digital prints, I typically like to start and finish them within one time frame if possible.  With paintings, I typically grid my paintings and work in layers so that I can blend and make changes as needed.  I usually post my work on Instagram and Etsy at the same time, get feedback, and make necessary changes from there!

An Artistic Vision by Ashley

What keeps you motivated creatively?

Usually it revolves around 3 things: love, work, and humor.  My boyfriend, family, and those that I am close with constantly inspire me.  Relationships are the utmost importance to me. Without them, nothing would be possible.  Work gives me a lot of motivation and drive and purpose in life. Working with kids constantly inspires me.  I work with students who are underprivileged and live in poverty, high crime areas.  These students show me what true resiliency looks like and make me a better person on a daily basis. I know I was put here to do good in the world and help others.  And humor keeps me going.  You have to be able to laugh at yourself and at the world when things are tough.

 

How much time on an average does it take to create a piece?

Typically my paintings take anywhere from 8-10 hours (smaller canvas typically 2-4 hours) and digital prints it varies greatly depending on the amount of detail and layering involved.

An Artistic Vision by Ashley

Just out of interest, what was the first (or your favourite ) piece of art you remember creating?

My favorite piece was a large painting I did for an ex boyfriend of mine.  He had served 2 tours in Afghanistan and there was a picture of him that I thought really captured him and his experience.  I was determined to paint that picture for him to honor him and his service.  I am very humbled and in awe of our military men and women and can never express my appreciation for all that they do.  His tours are a major part of who he is, what he has overcome, and molded him into the great man that he is today and I wanted him to have an original piece to represent that time in his life.

An Artistic Vision by Ashley

Can you share a glimpse of a typical day in your life?

I work full time at a middle school trying to change and mold the youth of America! Typically I attempt to create one digital print a day after I get off of work. I also exercise 5-6 days a week to keep myself in shape.  I like to keep myself mentally and physically healthy and really enjoy my free time to do the things I truly enjoy outside of work.  Spending quality time with my boyfriend is also important and building my relationship with him, as well as my friendships.

An Artistic Vision by Ashley

(Ashley’s black and white gallery wall- her inspiration at the moment)

How do you balance your creative thought while maintaining a business approach when it comes to selling your art?

Honestly, creativity comes first.  I create art because I love it and business comes second to that.  I approach the business aspect as a bonus to doing something I love to do!  I created my Etsy shop to share what I love and allow others the opportunity to purchase and enjoy the art just as I do.  My reward comes from knowing that my art can contribute to a room, office, or home that is special to that person and makes them feel comfortable, cozy, inspired and at peace.

An Artistic Vision by Ashley

Just for fun: what’s your outfit staple and flower and why?

This is a hard one!  I love, love, love my white converse because they are so versatile and classic.  My favorite flower is an orchid.  There is just something beautiful and powerful about an orchid that I love.

An Artistic Vision by Ashley

You have a very watercolour and typography inspired Etsy shop! What motivated you to start a creative business?

I have what I like to call a torn artistic heart.  I love the abstract feel of watercolors and the clean lines of typography.  I think you can appreciate both for what they are and felt that others, like myself, would really appreciate a shop that allows you to download prints and use them as they see fit. The majority of my downloads are $2, which is a very affordable and budget friendly version to buying expensive prints.  I have always lived on a budget and found it was difficult to decorate my apartment the way I wanted.  I have always relied on my own talents to decorate my apartment and thought it would be neat to see my work in others’ homes.  Once I found Illustrator, I realized I could create my own prints in a very cost effective way and felt that others would appreciate this option, as well! Prints can easily be downloaded and printed on a home or office printer or can be sent to your local Walgreens, CVS, or other print stores that can print the JPG for a very low cost.  Pop these into a cute frame and you can make over your room for $10 or less!

An Artistic Vision by Ashley

What are some themes/topics that are inspiring you nowadays?

Change, and the ebbs and flows of life, are really inspiring me lately.  I have had a year full of change that has me feeling very hopeful, grateful, and positive.  Last year (2014) was a very hard year for me and I decided that I really wanted to take control of the things that were in my power.  I wanted to ensure that I was mentally strong and art has helped me cope with life’s stressors and obstacles.  Through building my business, I feel more empowered and encouraged for my future and excited to see where it takes me.  It is never too late to go after your dreams!  I have always dreamed of art being a major component of my life and excited to see where the venture takes me!

An Artistic Vision by Ashley

 

What are some of your favourite art supplies and art media you use?

Adobe Illustrator, acrylic paint and watercolor paint are my top 3 favorite medias.  Illustrator allows for such amazing shapes, lines, textures, and possibilities.  Acrylic paint is great for blending and abstract and watercolor is a beautiful challenge and sharpens my skills.

An Artistic Vision by Ashley

Could you share three tips that make a good, satisfactory piece of art (which the artist feels happy about the end result)?

Art is so subjective and I can be a little perfectionistic!  My three tips would be:

1- Do what feels right to you.  Part of the beauty is feeling the artist through the piece.  Being yourself and creating art that is unique to you and your vision is the most important.

2- Choose your media wisely- do what works for you!  I would love to work with wood but I have no idea how to use a saw properly.  It is important to have goals and try to better yourself artistically.  But, in the meantime, do what you know and do it well.

3- Accept feedback- use the feedback you are given to drive your work.  Trends change so often and you have to change with it.  This does not mean you only do what is popular, this means listening to your audience and allowing outsiders help inspire you!

Thanks Ashley, for a little glimpse into your art at Rock, Paint, Scissors! Wishing you all the best ahead!

You can find more of Ashley’s work on Etsy and Instagram.

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An Artist’s Perspective: Emily Henney

An Artist's Perspective: Emily HenneyLet’s talk about art. Art means different things to different people. Some people like to paint as a hobby and everyone has their own style and their own pace. However, there are some great prolific artists out there, and Emily is definitely one of them. She paints and paints- just look at her amazing feed!

She’s truly inspiring and I love her bright, positive style with which she paints. There’s so much floral goodness and colourful thoughts in her work, and I’m happy to have her on Opinion9, giving some more insight into her creative process.

Read on to get her perspective on art, life and creativity.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself.

Hi! I’m Emily Henney, the name behind HelloHenney. I am a self taught artist, going on two years of trying to give this business a go, learning every day more and more! I create unique, quirky wall art, and I love to work with customers on a personal level to create something beautiful for them.

Artistic Insight from Emily Henney

What are some of your favourite art supplies and art media you use?

I love using Folk Art brand of acrylic paint, it covers well, and is just a good reputable brand. But honestly, I’m not picky about the paint or brushes I use, as long as I can paint with it!

 

What sparked your interest in painting and just art in general? How long have you been practicing?

I got married almost two years ago, and moved to a new city. I’ve always dabbled in painting, doing small pieces for friends and family on the side. Suddenly I had a lot of time on my hands, and with the encouragement of my older sister, I began selling my work.

An Artist's Perspective: Emily Henney

Art is so powerful and can make a large impact in anyone’s life. How do you interpret the presence and significance of art in your lifestyle?

Art encompasses so many aspects of my life. I incorporate them into every piece I do. Music is a huge part of my life as well, and many of my pieces show that. I get little bits and pieces from lyrics, from books, and just little stories in my life as well. Life is beautiful, everyone has a story to remember.

Artistic Insight from Emily Henney

(This art wall is just..wow! Such a motivating place to work in. It’s like a gallery wall and moodboard rolled into one.)

What is your general process while creating an art piece?

I usually have a list of ideas I want to get done in a day, or the week. I start with the words first, if there are letters involved. What do you enjoy the most in your creative process? I love sitting down at my desk, and seeing that blank canvas. The possibilities of what can be done with that blank space, that is the best part. I’m a huge fan of every color of the rainbow, so sometimes it can be hard to choose the color scheme, but it’s fun to see the end result.

 

How much time on an average does it take to create a piece?

Anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour.

An Artist's Perspective: Emily Henney

Just out of interest, what was the first piece of art you remember creating?

A painting of an owl on a branch in the night sky.

 

Can you share a glimpse of a typical day in your life?

I always start with iced coffee after breakfast 🙂 That really gets the brain going, haha! I check my Etsy account to see what orders have come in, or if someone has contacted me for a custom order. I have an ongoing list of ideas, so if I have time, I can knock a few of those out!

An Artist's Perspective: Emily Henney

How do you balance your natural creative thought process while maintaining a business approach when it comes to selling your art?

Well, not everyone shares the same humor and taste, as I do. But that’s kind of the risk you take. You’re going to lose some people, and gain some people, no matter what you do.

An Artist's Perspective: Emily Henney

Just for fun: what’s your favourite animal and flower and why?

I love cats, and dogs. We’ve always had both of those animals growing up, and they’re just the typical fun homey animals 🙂 My favorite flower is the peony. They’re so lush and full.

 

You have a very colourful and pretty Etsy shop! What motivated you to start a creative business?

I want people to have an option for colorful walls, without the hassle of painting. I love the idea of someone coming to me to create something quirky, and custom. Something they cannot find anywhere else, something that means a lot to them.

An Artist's Perspective: Emily Henney

What are some themes/topics that are inspiring you nowadays to pick up the brush?

Oh, floral blooms. I have been obsessed with them for a while now, and can’t seem to stop painting them. I’m really loving cactus art too, they’re so surprising, but add just a little “oomph” to a wall collage.

An Artist's Perspective: Emily Henney

Could you share three tips that make a good, satisfactory piece of art (which the artist feels happy about the end result)?

I always feel really good when I have made good, clean lines. Colors that mesh well, bold or more subdued, make sure they blend, and go with the whole feeling of the piece. If you have any misgivings, or something that is bugging you about the painting, it’s better just to go ahead and redo it. Picture the piece in your own home, would anything about it continue to bug you if you passed it everyday? Just think about the person who is spending money at YOUR shop! It’s worth it.

Thanks, Emily, for a glimpse into your world of HelloHenney. It was great to get to know an artist’s perspective; especially one who creates in such a colourful and vibrant way!

Wishing you all the best ahead!

Aaria

Find more of Emily and her work at HelloHenney on Instagram and maybe get a customized piece of art for your walls from her Etsy? 🙂

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Colourful Inspiration from Charlotte Filshie

Colourful Inspiration from Charlotte Filshie

When it comes to jewellery, you can usually find a lot of predictable stuff in shops. Generic, cliched, pretty, but not with much thought behind it.

Which brings me to this feature in the O9 Inspiration series.

I came across Charlotte Filshie’s website one day, where she sells these really cute and amazing accessories- with different themes like dinosaurs and geometric shapes. Plenty of colour, too. And what’s really distinctive about her creations are- (more distinctive than a Brontosaurus brooch) she makes all of them with materials like vinyl, wall coverings, cork and more; which definitely fall in the unconventional category. I love that she basically changes the purpose of each material, and crafts with an alternative approach! Originality is key, always. I’m loving the cheerful vibes and creative thought behind Charlotte’s work.

Read on to hear what Charlotte has to say.

Colourful Inspiration from Charlotte Filshie

Please tell me a little bit about yourself.

Hi! My name is Charlotte; I am from Australia and have lived in London for 2 years. I studied an Advanced Diploma of Engineering Technology (Jewellery) in Melbourne, and since then, I have made all kinds of jewellery from all kinds of materials. When I was studying I did a subject called Hunter Gatherer where we had to use alternative materials to create jewellery. I loved the subject and began using old interior design samples to make my jewellery, I found the materials to often have very tactile qualities. I now use vinyl wall-covering and vinyl floor tiles to make my jewellery. I have recently started expanding my designs into coasters, tote bags, gift tags, postcards and bunting.

Colourful Inspiration from Charlotte Filshie

Colourful Inspiration from Charlotte Filshie

I love your colourful and dinosaur themed jewellery! Do you plan themes or is the process more spontaneous?

It’s pretty spontaneous. I usually get an idea and just start designing and drawing in Illustrator, and then it all goes from there. I use Illustrator so I can resize and re-colour everything easily.
My new postcards and gift tags actually came from a joke between a friend and I. She ordered some coasters on my Etsy store and made some pretty funny requests for the dinosaurs, toilet trained, proficient in martial arts, cookie making and fetching slippers. She also requested a book about their family history. Naturally, I decided to make little books for each dinosaur and draw them doing all the things she requested. I ended up using some of the drawings and drew some new ones that now feature on the postcards and gift tags.

Colourful Inspiration from Charlotte Filshie

What was the hardest (and easiest) part while starting your business?

I started my business a long time ago in Australia, but it was always a part-time thing. In the beginning the hardest thing was finding the time as I was juggling full-time work. Now I am in London, the hardest part has been finding stockists and getting my name out. Being in a completely new place is tricky, but, the longer I am in London, the easier it’s getting.

Colourful Inspiration from Charlotte Filshie

What makes you the happiest in your creative process?

I love when I finish a design. Seeing the final product is always so gratifying. It’s so great to see the hard work and hours that go into making all the decisions that go into each piece.
Colourful Inspiration from Charlotte Filshie

Colourful Inspiration from Charlotte Filshie

Could you give us a glimpse in a typical day at work?

I usually get up and go for a 3 mile walk, then get home and begin my work day.
I always make sure I get any orders packed first, this gives me time to make anything that I don’t have stock of. I also make extra stock for shops and markets if I have some coming up.
My afternoons are spent doing new designs, uploading new product to online stores, answering emails and doing research. I also go to the Post Office in the afternoon. At 6 I watch the news and sit on my laptop looking things up, checking social media, and watching TV.

Colourful Inspiration from Charlotte Filshie

Colourful Inspiration from Charlotte Filshie

What qualities are needed to keep up and also enjoy running a creative business?

You need to love what you do. If you don’t love it, it will be boring and become like a chore.
You need to be adventurous. Trying new things can be scary, but you need to keep trying new things so it’s still fun and exciting (not only for you, but for your customers as well!).

Colourful Inspiration from Charlotte Filshie

Where do you see yourself in a few years?

I imagine I will still be in London, making jewellery, accessories and homewares, but I will be much, much more successful! Haha! I would also love to have a store of my own, but that’s a long way off!

Colourful Inspiration from Charlotte Filshie

What motivates/inspires you the most?

Seeing how people react to my work is such a great motivator. I get to meet people at markets and hearing their feedback is so great. It can be a bit crazy when someone says they recognize my work from a store or I see someone wearing one of my pieces on the street. The feeling is so great to see people who love something you love.

Colourful Inspiration from Charlotte Filshie

Can you list five things at the top of your head that interest you nowadays when it comes to design?
Geometric shapes & patterns
Dinosaurs
Art Deco
Bright vibrant colours
Spots

Colourful Inspiration from Charlotte Filshie

What tools do you work with to create/ design your products?

To make my jewellery I use scissors and scalpels to cut all the wall covering and vinyl. I don’t use any laser cutters, it’s all hand cut. I file the edges of each piece with a Dremel so they are nice and smooth. I have also attached a tiny drill bit to the handle of a scalpel so I can drill holes in some of the tiny pieces, using an electric drill was dangerous so I had to improvise.

Colourful Inspiration from Charlotte Filshie

Just for fun: What are your favourite flower, animal and book/movie?

My favorite flower is a snapdragon, animal is giraffe and movie is Dirty Dancing….I think. Ugh there are just too many!

Colourful Inspiration from Charlotte Filshie

Colourful Inspiration from Charlotte Filshie

What do you do in your free time?

I love to go to markets, have brunch, explore, travel, and generally just relax.

Could you share three tips for people starting a creative business like yours?

Be original, don’t give up and have fun!

Colourful Inspiration from Charlotte Filshie

Thank you, Charlotte, for a little glimpse into your creative process! Wishing you the very best ahead!

-Aaria

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Find Charlotte and shop her colourful creations here:

Website: charlottefilshie.com

Instagram: @charlottefilshie_jewellery

Twitter: @charlottefil

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