Friday, 15 November 2013

Etsy shop find... a chat with Flora Waycott!

You may remember my chat recently with Jo Chambers of Studio Legohead...
Well, I've got my next etsy shop owner lined up for you.
This time its the turn of Flora Waycott

So, grab a cuppa and have a read while we get to know her...

1. Can you tell us a bit about you and your background...

I am from the UK but went to school in Japan as my mother is Japanese. 
During this time I would spend so much of my time drawing, collecting stickers, making things and went to art classes every Wednesday. 
I always loved to be creative but these years really cemented that and when we returned to the U.K. all I wanted to do was draw and make. 
I would make little things like bags and pin cushions with my Mum and English Granny who are so extremely skilled with sewing and would spend Saturdays tie dyeing T-shirts with my Dad! 
I studied textiles at sixth form college and then went on to do a Textile Design degree at Winchester School of Art. 
I also went back to Japan to study at Kawashima Textile School in Kyoto for a summer term which was endlessly inspiring. 
After graduating I worked freelance and then eventually in-house in a design studio in London designing embroideries, prints and graphics, mainly for childrenswear before moving to New Zealand in 2008. 
Here I work freelance, designing surface patterns and illustrations, mostly for baby/children's apparel, and have a little range of tea towels, cards and prints which I sell in my Etsy shop. 
My range started off quite casually, making things for Christmas markets here and there until I decided to sell my products on Etsy last year. 
I am doing more and more illustrations and I love that I get to work on my own designs too instead of just working for clients and it's a great creative outlet. 
I am also a part time tutor in the Textile Design department at Massey University in Wellington.

2. Who are your design heroes and what inspires you?

Marimekko has been a favourite of mine for a long long time. 
I love the simplicity of their graphics which are always so captivating and I am really inspired by Scandinavian design. 

I have been a fan of Shinzi Katoh for years - his work is so playful and cute. 

A couple of illustrators I am loving at the moment are Masako Kubo and Teagan White, they both have so much personality in their work. 
I am inspired by nature, colour palettes, shapes, a trip to Japan once a year and any other travel, sweet little patterns, paper products, 
packaging and simply what is around me day to day.

3. Tell us about a typical day for you...

My days are quite varied which I love. 
Typically the first thing I do is check my emails whilst having a cuppa - I need my tea before anything important happens! 
Some days I need to screen print my products depending on if I have orders or not, so I may pop in to my studio (garage!) and spend a bit of time there. 
If I'm not printing, I will spend a bit of time researching for my freelance work, choosing colour palettes, drawing and then designing. 
I try to draw everyday, even if it's a doodle. 
If I am not too busy with work, I like to play around with my drawings on the computer, seeing if a design will emerge; I find I do my best work when I am free to play. 
I may also spend part of the day putting orders together, going for a walk by the sea and playing with our cat Shima! 
I try to stop working around 6pm so that I can spend time with Nick. 
I am a bit of a night owl so I sometimes stay up really late, working on whatever I may not have got done during the day. 
I love that everyone is asleep and it's quiet; I feel like I can concentrate and make plans; I am usually most productive at night.

4. How would you describe your work/style?

Hand drawn, whimsical and charming…
I like to layer up lots of fine line drawings, solid colours, cute patterns and texture. 
I admire people who can do clean graphics but I never seem to be able to create anything 'perfect' - I like the more organic look of hand drawn icons. 
I love the odd cat and cute flower and all of my work has a quite a young feel to it. 

5. What are your top 3 blogs?

Hello Sandwich - I love these doses of Tokyo life and creative projects from Ebony Bizys.

Holly Berry Weave Blog - I studied weave at university and love reading about Holly Berry's projects. Her colour palettes are fab and all of her products look so luxurious.

Design Love Fest - The styling and photography of this blog is wonderful and there is constant inspiration. I particularly like the DIY posts!

6. What art do you have on your walls?

I have lots of art on my wall but my favourites are a print of a girl walking through the rain by Blanca Gomez which I purchased a few years ago from Etsy and a print by my very good friend Louise Boulter Illustration, of some incredible hand drawn animals which are quirky and bizarre and really shows Louise's imagination.  
I also have lots of postcards dotted around my workspace, many of which are old paintings of Japanese ladies by an amazing artist called Takehisa Yumeji. 
One of my favourite pieces of art on my wall is a Japanese calligraphy done by my Mum for me a few years ago which reads "Welcome". 
It will always come with me everywhere.

7. What makes you laugh?

So many things! I never fail to laugh when I am with my sister. 
I think it is something about sharing memories from forever with someone who has always known you and grew up with you. 
And watching re-runs of 'Who's Line is it Anyway' - hilarious!!

8. My happy place is...

On my way to the airport about to go on an adventure, hanging out with Nick, cooking, and when my parents, sister and I get together. 
We all live apart in different countries (my parents in the U.K, my sister in Japan and me in N.Z) and we havn't all been in the same room as each other for 4 years now. 
When we do get together it is always wonderful, lots of food, wine and talk of adventures we had years ago. 
It is one of my happy places for sure. 
Oh and drawing of course! x x 

Thanks so much to Flora for shating a little bit of her world with us!
You can find and follow Flora in various places detailed below...

(all of the above images are taken from Floras website or etsy shop
and all copyright belongs to Flora Waycott)

x x x

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