Cute Scottie Dog - Card illustration
Q. How did you decide to become a maker?
I think it’s always been in my blood – perhaps it’s because I grew up with Mums and Grans (editors note: Grans = Grandmothers) who made everything from Christmas decorations to toffee apples.
Q. What made you choose the materials that you work with?
I work very intuitively and get quite involved with a project and materials that relate to it and then I’ll take up something new that my mind’s been mulling over for a long time. I think a lot before I do any work and then I leave it to my intuition.
Kirsty Cat - Fun Card Illustration
Q. Crafts in the 21st Century – what does this mean to you?
I’ll begin by saying I’d like to be an optimist about there being a resurgence towards applied arts. In some of the art colleges crafts / applied arts, I feel, have not been given the gravitas behind them that other disciplines get. For example, ceramics, furniture and certain forms of textiles are being ‘rationalised’ within the art college syllabus whether it’s for health & safety reasons, costs or lack of uptake. But you won’t get an uptake if there is a lack of facilities and opportunities at school level. If it’s not recognised then the need for crafts and applied arts becomes an ever-decreasing circle that’s self-perpetuating. It’s a bit sad really, if there’s less and less engagement to develop these skills at an early age and there’s less and less places available to progress to … well the rest is as we see it today.
My final observation is the lack of inheriting craft skills from previous generations. It was a natural process – people (mostly women) made things whether out of necessity or cost factors and children learned from their mothers and grandmothers. This doesn’t happen as much now - the average person now lives in a cheap quick mass produced world or uses their free time with gadgets (and I’m thinking TV, computers etc) that take them away from the need to create. I understand why this is so, as we know, women’s roles have changed dramatically in the last 20/30/40 years. Most are in some form of employment so it’s difficult to free up the time or have the mental energy or the money to be a maker let alone a professional one.
However, I do see a development from small pockets of creatives (whether trained or self taught) who are pulling together, not unlike a cooperative, and are beginning to make head roads into establishing coordinated events that may drive people into taking up the need to make and create. We need to have environments like Greenwich Market in the cities and major towns of Scotland. I shall now take a deep breath and get off my soapbox! Long live the makers!
The Outsider – Mixed Media Collage
Q. How do you sell your work?
I sell work through various sources as I have only just begun to ‘do it for myself’ so I use Etsy, http://www.etsy.com/shop/ziggyandfriends as well as http://www.etsy.com/shop/sunshinescot. I’m building some connections with independent shops in Glasgow, Edinburgh and locally in Fife and am about to embark on my first craft fair in Edinburgh through The Spider and The Fly
Q. What is your working style?
It changes all the time. I’ve done some commissions where I’ve created expressionist/abstract works of art and then I’m using the finest fine line pen to work on great detail. At the moment I’m enjoying clean illustrations with limited colours as well as deciding to make a rabbit and finish off my stencil artwork based on a Russian bear and Communism. Working style hmmmm… a bit mixed really!
Moon 3 – Mixed Media Collage
Q. 3 words of advice for an aspiring Craft maker...
Believe in what you do
Don’t wait for tomorrow
Be true to yourself
Strawberry Textile Design – Gouache & Cartridge Paper
Q. What inspires you?
That’s a hard one to answer because it’s so eclectic. The last exhibition that inspired me was the Charles Avery at Scottish Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh. I love Andrew Joyce’s work at the moment. I love seeing my friends’ work. Loving Swoon at the moment too. But it can be a photograph or a texture or a conversation …….
Q. Who is your favourite artist/maker?
Too many to list … I’ve already mentioned Swoon but I find it very hard to name one or two.
Take Me – Silk Screen Print on Silk Fabric Using
Q. You walk into your bathroom and see a crocodile in the bath tub....what would you do?
How do you know I have a crocodile in my bathroom????! I say ‘good morning’ of course!!!