Q So who is Anne Doble?
I am a self-taught designer-maker, running my own business, Artinkulate, from home. I have arrived at this place in my life via the long way round, you could say. Having gone straight to Boots the Chemist from school, I was a Dispenser there for several years, and then worked my way up to Sales Manager. Having spent about 24 years with them I was suddenly made redundant. With 12 weeks to find a new job I ended up working in Operating Theatres, initially washing, sterilising & packing the surgical instruments, then going to Uni & doing a Diploma of Higher Education in Operating Department Practice, which was mainly working as an anaesthetic assistant.
The next part of the master-plan was that I should have a nervous breakdown in 2007, after which I found that the only thing I was able to do was to work for myself doing something in which I had some natural ability. Enter Artinkulate!
Abstract Bar: Layered melted plastic.
Q Where in the world are you?
I live in Portknockie, a picturesque former fishing village in NE Scotland. I was born in Ealing, West London to a Scottish mother & an Irish father, so I’ve always considered myself to have well & truly Celtic blood coursing through my veins. My mother’s immediate family, the roots of which are in the Rothes / Mulben / Cabrach areas, were from Elgin. Though brought up in London, I always felt as if I was just treading water & fully intended to move myself up here as soon as I had the opportunity. I now feel at home. About 2 years ago I decided to try & make a living from my natural aptitudes instead of trying to reshape myself to suit the conventional employer.
Q What made you choose the materials that you work with?
I mainly use a product called ‘Stampbord’ on which to create the designs. The designs themselves are created using any combination of: pigment & dye inks; acrylic & watercolour paints; mica pigments; melted plastic; fibres & anything else I can think of to create the effect I’m looking for. I make it up as I go along, so no one can tell me I’m doing it wrong!
I chose Stampbord because it has a chalk surface, which is perfectly smooth & accepts the inks & paints I use beautifully. The chalk also allows for greater versatility than plain paper or canvas, in that, once the ink is dry I can etch it off again to create white highlights or patterns within the design.
The melted plastic is another medium I love to use. It’s so versatile & the colour possibilities are endless. I find I can convey the mood or message I intended surprisingly well with this medium.
Q What other materials would you like to work in?
I think that Polymer Clay will be the next addition to my creative portfolio. I never fail to be amazed by what it can produce in the right hands. From what I’ve seen & read about it I feel it would suit my creative style perfectly. I can’t wait to get some tuition & get started!
Q Where do you get your inspiration from?
My somewhat twisted thought processes come into their own in this area! I’m a very visually inspired person. My mind tends to convert emotions & other intangibles into
images & colours.I’m constantly inspired by the ever-changing sea & skyscapes with which I am surrounded up here. As I’m walking Elsie, my little Westie, along the coastal paths, I’m converting what I see into melted plastic or inks! I use words a lot too; to title my work; for words & phrases that are an intrinsic part of a
design; for children’s poems which I incorporate into the Name Plaques I make for them.I love words, etymology, quotations etc.
My brain doesn’t seem to simply accept a word as it was intended; rather it hears many permutations of that word simultaneously & creates a new meaning for it or twists into another word entirely. For example, I was working with the radio on in the background & a song called ‘Red Sails in the Sunset’ came on. Without even trying, my brain presented it to me as ‘Red Snails in the Sunset’ & a whole series of new designs was born! It can be a subtle nuance that someone places on a word which leads me off down another path, a song, an advert, an overheard conversation, a mispronunciation, anything that I can hear or read really. I just love the unexpected nature of this process, the not knowing when or where my
next glimmer of inspiration will come from.
Q Do you create your work in a studio base or a home base?
Both! I have a home studio, with a sea view, which is always inspiring.
Q Crafts in the 21st Century – what does this mean to you?
The increased emergence of artwork from people like me, who are naturally creative, but not necessarily professionally trained. The possibilities & opportunities for us seem to be increasing all the time, & may I say, thanks in no small part to the type of work that Tash Goswami is doing here with her Blog. (Thanks Anne!)
Q How do you sell and promote your work?
I have my own website (www.artinkuklate.co.uk), but I primarily use Craft Fairs, House parties & word of mouth. I also have albums of work on my, Artinkulate Keepsakes Face Book page, LinkedIn, & on sites like Central Station.
Q What is your typical working day look like?
If I’ve got quite a few orders to complete, I would start mid morning & complete most of the initial stages, break for lunch (if I remember!) or at least have a cup of tea & a biscuit, then resume work, to either continue the groundwork or complete the finishing touches to the morning’s work. If it’s a warm, sunny day I might even stop for a break out in the garden with an ice cream! When I decide I’ve done enough for the day, or am at a convenient stage to stop, I’ll pack any unnecessary equipment away & take little Elsie, who has been waiting patiently ( or otherwise!) under my workbench, for a walk. Then I go indoors for the evening & think about what I might be able to find to eat.
Q What is your working style?
Relaxed yet organised! I have to use planning lists to survive. If it’s not on a list it’s probably doomed!
Q 3 words of advice for an aspiring Craft artist/maker...
Self-belief against the odds
Keep an open mind
Coastal Rocks: inks & watercolours which have been etched into.
Q Who is/are your favourite artist(s)/maker(s)?
I like Jo Heckett’s work in porcelain keepsakes & trinkets & Alita Porter’s (Doric Dragons) imaginative polymer clay creations.
Q What music do you listen to?
My passion is for vintage reggae music, from the 70’s & 80’s: Dennis Brown; Gregory Isaacs; some Bob Marley. The music is so all encompassing & hypnotic, especially if you lie down near the speakers & feel the music through the floor! I also like ‘old’ soul music: Marvin Gaye; Stevie Wonder; Sam Cook, that sort of era.
Portsoy Harbour: one of a set made for a local Café (behind the red door!)
Made from a watercolour drawing which I’ve cut out & applied to the background.
Q 3 likes and dislikes?
I like to be made to laugh, to be in the company of dogs (I just love them to bits!), & I am also quite partial to Galaxy chocolate.
I detest smoking, liver & celery.
Q What do you do to relax?
My relaxation activities include: listening to my music; losing myself in a good period drama & meeting friends for coffee, cake & catch-ups
Seahorse Fossil: A melted plastic design, using an inked up charm
This is the kind of serendipity that I get very excited about!