Happy 2021. XO, M.E.

My Philosophy...

My philosophy.   As an artist, designer, creator and curator, I often think about these things when I work. 

How will you (the collector, customer, client) feel?  

As an artist and designer, I find myself thinking lately of what the end use of what I’m creating will be. If it’s a painting, how will it make you feel when it’s on the wall? If it’s a piece of clothing, how do you feel when you wear it? If it’s a soft pillow or blanket, will you feel happy when surrounded by it? Is it functional AND uplifting at the same time? Can you live with it?  

Slowing down…

Having worked in fashion and retail for many years, my nonstop desire to create and work has been ingrained in me. But as I have crossed over into midlife, I find myself taking the slow route. I mix my days up with school runs for our daughter, lap swims at the pool, a walk of the dog, a call to a friend, and a look at the rainbows that often appear across the Thames River after a rainstorm in London. 

Connection is key…

I started out the old school way in retail and customer service. I opened up my own retails stores (Philadelphia then Venice, CA) as well and this is the one thing that I know for sure. Getting to know clients, collectors, customers and other creatives has been my favorite part of having my own business. After I closed my Venice brick and mortar boutique in 2015, I struggled without that connection and turned full time to making my art. I’m thankful for social media and technology, but nothing beats face to face real life interactions.   Someday again I’ll have my own retail space, and I’m always working to get that feeling when I communicate on my online selling platforms.

My love of vintage…

I started thrifting as a teenager and the idea of beautiful clothing and textiles from days gone by has been a consistent theme in my life. In my retail stores, I mixed in vintage finds and often upcycled vintage indian cotton skirts to create one of a kind dresses. Back then it wasn’t as much about the sustainability aspect as about the idea of something unique that I could mix into my collections. And to be honest, I made a decent margin on the sales.  Nowadays it’s more and more a focus for me and I question sustainability in my art as well as my designs. Can I use up this ink or extra paper? What can I do with the tiny scraps of cashmere that fall to the floor when I’m at the sewing machine? I’m a work in progress in the sustainability sector for sure.

Scratching a new itch…

Trying new things has been a consistent focus of my work. I often wonder why I didn’t stay at my loft store space in Philadelphia. But it was time to move on. It meant letting go of things that had been played out and trying something new. It was one of the scariest and hardest things that I have ever done. But a new, uncertain future was calling for me on the west coast. Same thing when I left LA. And moving to London was a leap, but me and my family were ready for a change. I grew up moving around, and I work in a similar way. That’s why I do a few mediums – painting, screen printing, art journaling, sewing, hand dying, and more. I can feel my heart pound when I walk into an art supply shop, or a huge trim store or into an art studio buzzing with activity. I believe that there’s an endless way to create. And that we all can create our own mark in the world with our own style. 

Imperfections...

I remember feeling ashamed as a young girl that my handwriting was considered only satisfactory.  We were all taught to fit into this beautiful perfect cursive filled world, and my work just wasn't cutting it.  Ironically, I get complimented on my handwriting now from others - usually people from the UK.  It's different I guess.  So here's the thing - I am not a neat worker.  I feel stifled and boxed in.  So I work loose which often leads to imperfections, but to happy mistakes and to things that I wouldn't have created if I had held the reigns tight.  What imperfections can you celebrate?  

Art is for everyone...

I guess that's why I love street art.  You don't have to get permission to show it or go to a fancy gallery to check it out.  It's for all to enjoy.   I strive to make my art affordable and within reach and to have a range of price points.  I believe that my daughter's art can look perfectly at home on a wall next to a more known artist.  It's all about perception.  And art is for everyone.  There are no lesser or better thans, there is no contest.  The contest is within yourself to keep creating.  And for the viewer and collector to cheer us on, hopefully being inspired to push their own creativity in ways they didn't know existed.  

That's it for now!  I'm sure there will be more philosophical chat to come.  Thanks for reading.  XO, M.E.