Today I'm really excited to be sharing an interview that I did recently with the very talented and colourful designer maker, Roslyn Mitchell. I hope you enjoy!
View From Largs
Hi Roslyn, to begin with, will you tell us a bit about yourself?
I live in Largs, on the Ayrshire coast, with my husband & three sons aged 13, 4 & 18months. I've always loved art & design, and studied Interior Design at Glasgow College of Building & Printing.
After the birth of my first son I was self-employed as a glass-painter which was ideal as it fit in well with having a new baby. However, I eventually had to get a 'proper job' to help buy myself a home but over the last few years, the pull towards doing something creative has been too hard to ignore and I decided to jump in with both feet & start my own business. I've only been trading since November but I'm really excited by how things have taken off. At the moment I do this part time as I still work 2 days in my other job & look after the kiddywinkles during the day, but hopefully in the not too distant future I can make Roslyn Mitchell Designs my full-time job!
Boat Notice Board
When did you first become interested in working with textiles?
I kind of fell into it by accident! At college, my friends & I used to get really annoyed when we were asked if we made curtains and cushions after being told we were studying Interior Design!! ... Oh the irony that I spend most of my time making cushions now! I was a bit of a rock-chick then (I even had a motorbike!) so didn't want to be associated with such things! lol! When my first son was born I made a personalised quilt for his big pram & a few things for his nursery but it was years before I went near a sewing machine again! A couple of years ago, a family friend gave me her old Singer Slant-O-Matic sewing machine (what a great name!) that she no longer used. It was the first one of that model in Scotland & she bought it in 1958... it's a real workhorse & sews like a dream! That inspired me to sew more & I've just kind of taught myself as I've gone along!
What kind of fabric/materials do you work with?
I work mostly with cotton, denim, linen... that sort of thing. I really love anything bright & cheery! I could spend hours in the fabric shop but I've usually got 2 boys in tow so it's easier said than done!
How are you inspired/what inspires you?
I LOVE the great outdoors though I've yet to incorporate elements of it in my work. I feel my most alive when I pull on my wellies & traipse outside, or jump on my bike with the boys! I'm lucky to live with the seaside in one direction & the countryside on the other.
Will you share some of your favourite artist/craftspeople on the interweb with us please?
When I first started sewing again, I bought one of Tone Finnager's books & started sewing house angels... I just love her work, so bright & cheery! Even her website is gorgeous... http://www.tildasworld.com/
I've also very recently stumbled across an artist who sums up all the things I love... http://www.katiedaisy.net/ Her work is also bright & cheery, and she uses a lot of inspirational words & sayings in her work. Plus she loves the simple things in life which is what I'm striving for!
I also love Alison Willoughy's skirts & would love to have a go at making one from her book '49 Sensational Skirts'... this is a future project... http://www.alisonwilloughby.com/#!__pleat/photostackergallery0=0 ! x
Facebook has been brilliant for 'meeting' lots of creative people! There's such a supportive creative community out there that I knew nothing about... when I first started I thought I was all on my own & that everyone would be fiercly competetive... how wrong I was!
Where do you work? Home/studio/attic etc?
My workspace is in the upstairs hall, out of the way with my own window... unfortunately I'm extremely messy (oh to be tidy one day!) & my work tends to spread itself all over the house! In the Summer I'm hoping to buy a more portable sewing machine (the Slant-O-Matic is housed in its own table) so that I can work outside in the garden!
7. How do you deal with creative block?
A walk usually helps, or even just doing something other than stressing about what you should be doing! I usually get ideas when I really shoudn't... I get lots during my meditation class when my mind should be empty!
A Bespoke Order
What's your favourite product that you have created?
I get new favourites all the time! At the moment it's a Christening Cushion that I made for my friend to give to her neice for her Christening, I just love it! It has her name in the clouds & the time of the Christening on the church clock tower!
Are there any other crafts or mediums that you enjoy working with?
I love to paint on glass... that was my first love! When I did glass-painting full time I mostly painted my personalised photo frames... I don't do enough of those these days so would love to start doing more. I also love to paint tealights.
Glass Painted Tealight Holders and Frame
Tell us where we can find your lovely work :)
I have a website - www.roslynmitchelldesigns.co.uk - but Im working on a Proper Website with a shop which Im hoping to get up and running soon. I also have a Facebook Page and a Folksy Shop.
I'll be doing some craft fairs in Glasgow & I have a pop-up shop (within a shop!) in the West End of Glasgow for a week in June which I'm really excited about!
I also do 'party plan' so if anyone in West Central Scotland would like to host one please get in touch! (roslynmitchelldesigns(at)hotmail.co.uk)
Thank you SO much Roslyn for a brilliant interview, I've really enjoyed getting to know a bit more about you and your beautifully colourful work. I hope you all feel as inspired as I am by Roslyn; I love discovering people who chase their dreams, and I love to follow their journeys as they make them real.
Next week, I will be sharing a little bit of colourful hooky lovliness with you here. I feel a Ta~Dahhh moment coming on...brace yourself people, for a Ta~Dah of the stripiest, hookiest, most wearable kind...
Til then, sending you arm loads of bright red tulips, sunshine and happy moments.