Working From Home
Like many artists, I work from home and get the benefit of not losing time or money travelling from A to B on a daily basis. I love it! Just stepping down a set of stairs to my ground level studio, which opens onto my garden is my journey to work every day ... but I am not alone!
One of my two cats follows me into my studio every day, ever keen to be the first through the door. Little BiBi sleeps on a blanket on my desk (a big, Victorian draper's table that I've had for almost 30 years) but at the moment he's feeling the effects of a Spring awakening and is restless. He's taken to emptying my waste paper bin every day, several times a day, which he converts into his day bed.
I draw most days for about 4 hours a day, which means that I need to jump up and down periodically. I actually do this thanks to the help of an app that tells me to get off my butt and shake it every hour on the hour. It also means that I need to find things to do to stretch my muscles, particularly in my shoulder ... have you tried holding a small paint brush for hours on end? I go to yoga classes 2 or 3 times a week, swim and get pummelled and poked by chiropractors and masseurs every other week. I also have to rest my eyes so walking on the beach or promenade is a great way for my eye muscles to relax as they look to the horizon.
I also get stuck in to my garden in Devon, which I can never quite get on top of. There are several veg beds to take care of and fruit trees to climb, prune and pick from. I have lots of flowers in herbaceous borders, which I don't have a clue as to what they are and clip nervously at them hoping that I'm doing the right thing. I weed endlessly but the lower part of my garden is semi wild and at this time of the year it's beautiful ... full of primroses, blue bells and wild garlic.
Hedgehogs come to say hello from time to time and about 30 different species of birds have been spotted in my garden ... not all by me. I'm learning my way around the local birdlife, still a long way to go but I do know my oyster catcher from my avocet, neither of which will ever be seen in my garden, as they are waders and make their home on the nearby Exe estuary.
I grow my own veg when I can and here's some I grew earlier ... :-)
I draw my artwork in layers, one for each colour, which is as a printmaker would do. This makes it easier to screen print, which is the print method used for cotton canvas tote bags, tea towels and T-shirts printed with my artwork. When it's dry I scan it in and send it to my assistant in Essex who digitizes it and pings it back to me for approval. What would we do without the internet, heh?! It then goes off to a customer and once approved it will be printed onto a sustainable and stylish souvenir, which eventually finds its way to shops around the world. Some actually then end up back in my studio as I use glasswear and ceramics each day for my morning coffee and afternoon cup of tea, without which, how would we designers survive? :-)