1. What’s your story? Where are you from?
Hello! I am Amy and I am a Textile Design graduate beginning the exciting journey into the creative industry. I am living in Leeds at the moment after finishing my degree, but I will be moving back to my hometown of Sheffield very soon to begin working for a design company near Nottingham.
2. Tell us about your aesthetic.
My work presents semi abstract interpretations of my experiences. I create paintings that are often then translated into fabric prints through an innovative take on traditional textile processes such as dying, screen printing, embellishment or digital print.
3. What is your favourite medium and why?
Paint! It is always my starting point, from taking initial recordings of my surroundings in a sketchbook to creating larger scale paintings. I think it is the most unrestrictive medium and really allows for spontaneity, something that is a key part of my practice. Its funny really because in my everyday life I’m very much a neat and organised person but I love nothing more than just throwing myself into my work and playing around. Sometimes literally…my friends at uni used to laugh at me because I would get covered in paint, binder and all sorts of dyes.
4. What is your artistic process like?
I guess the main point about my process is that I never plan, always going with my gut and seeing what happens. I am inspired by unpredictability and experimentation drives my work.
I work with fabric as if it were a canvas adding in elements as I feel like it and following my intuition. Many of my textile designs have been hand dyed and screen printed and I love the idea that I am creating one off, wearable art pieces. I tend to work a lot with stencils and hand painted mark using my own mixed dye pastes.
Careful colour consideration underpins all of my work, it is key in translating my concepts and where my love really lies. By adapting a more playful approach to mixing dye pigments I look to find alternative ways of creating colour. I experiment a lot with natural dyes and I will often mix pigments when immersed within the land to record colour references to recreate in the lab.
5. Who and/or what inspires your work?
Anything and everything. I am particularly interested in the back and forth relationship between humans and their environment. By responding to my own experiences and encounters with people and places and I aim to tell the story of this relationship within my work. I am definitely drawn to nature though, the organic shapes, textures and the transient quality of the countryside provide an endless source of inspiration.
6. What role does art play in your life? How does it change the way you view the world?
I now see the world as a design – a landscape becomes broken down into colours and textural elements that can be built up into a pattern. Even technical information that I have learned whilst studying comes up in my everyday life. Whenever I look at an item of clothing, for example, I find that I’m working out what kind of repeat the pattern is or what type of fabric it is.
7. Where did you study?
For the last three years I have been at Leeds College of Art studying Printed Textile and Surface Pattern Design. I loved it! We had a fantastic studio that was full of plants and inspiration. It was always a buzz with excitement, and being able to study with other like minded, passionate designers meant that we would always bounce ideas off one another.
8. Where do you see yourself in five years?
I plan to soak up as much knowledge from the Art and Design world as possible! I’ll hopefully still be working somewhere that I can continue to be creative whether its in design, styling, forecasting or researching.
9. What about in ten?
I would love to have had the opportunity to live and work abroad. I’m so inspired by changes in culture and environments that truly experiencing somewhere new would be great for me. Eventually I can see myself having my own brand where I would be able to sell the story behind my work. My younger sister, Ellie (who is a 3D artist) and I have always talked about doing this together.
10. What do you hope to achieve with your art?
It’s simple really, I just want to make work that people can connect with. This connection could be to the way the work looks, the story behind it or the feelings that it evokes. Within our current culture of throwaway design I think it’s really important that work still possesses that humanity.
11. Now, tell us a little more about you as a person: what is your favourite food?
This is a really tricky one…I’m really lucky that my boyfriend is an amazing cook so I’m kind of spoiled for choice here!
12. Favourite book?
I recently watched the TV series ‘The Hand Maid’s Tale’ on Channel 4 and since have started reading the book by Margaret Atwood and I’m really enjoying it so far!
13. Favourite genre of music?
Everyone always hates this answer, but a bit of everything. The last gig I went to was Warpaint which was great and my favourite album this year has definitely got to be the Roosevelt self-titled. But my usual Spotify playlists include a variety of music from Mac Demarco, Homeshake and Lucy Rose to a rekindled love of Mogwai.
14. What are your hobbies?
The crazy thing about what I do to earn a living is that I get to practice my main hobby everyday! Other than that, I love being around people- going for lunch with my friends or seeing my sister. I am also really interested in Fashion and Interior trends and reading through VOGUE or Elle Dec with a cup of coffee is definitely my ‘me time’.
15. If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
If I’m being honest, I have always known I wanted to pursue an artistic career. In school I would always look forward to my Art lessons and be constantly drawing and making at home.
I was lucky enough to grow up with parents who encouraged my creativity and from a really early age my dad put a pencil in my hand and we would spend hours in a morning drawing together. When I was 9 I told everyone I wanted to be a ‘Dress Designer’ and I guess Textile Design is pretty close to that, right?