I wear many hats.
And since the beginning of lockdown I have been wearing more than usual. But in a way, although it can be exhausting, there are times when pushing my own boundaries is thrilling, exciting even.
I started out as a print and textile designer, then added fashion design and now I design just about anything, from ideas to products.
To be able to work on ideas and products I need inspiration, collaborations, people and the odd muse or two or three…
Let me introduce the two living with me;
Snoesje hoping for one of her pumpkins to turn into a golden carriage and waiting patiently for me to come out of my studio to feed her.
She may just look like a cat to you, but to me she is a muse, always impeccably dressed in black with a touch of white, Coco Chanel would be proud of her. Snoesje is Dutch for cute, which she is to everybody. She’s super cute to me when she wants food but if I’m not fast enough, she becomes a demanding drama queen and a nag. Although she treats me like staff, I adore her, she has taught me that a good sleep can solve most issues, finding a nice warm sunny spot is the nearest thing to heaven and if you have a timeless unique style and look after it, it’ll last to become a classic 😺.
As I am writing this, Snoesje has just turned 15! She’d be celebrating with lots of her favourite food, if only her staff spoke her language.
The wearer of many hats and headdresses.
Dot….my mannequin, and no, she’s no dummy!
She stands stylishly and patiently in my hallway with her red lips and classically bobbed hairstyle, everything looks fabulous on her, plus she has a wicked sense of humour.
I adopted and adapted her, upcycled her from Plain-Jane status in a photo studio, where she had been treated badly, by giving her a makeover. She now literally lights up my home, (with the help of a few battery-operated lights). She shows me the importance of statement accessories, upcycling and fun.
She’s motivated me to see the various ways in which thoughtful design, art and upcycling can impact our lives and world, and to hopefully shape a better future.
Ok, so how do we get from Snoesje and Dot to the latest project I’ve been working on?
Have a look at these lampshades, they were inspired by Snoesje’s black and white fur on her lovely red embroidered “vision cushion”, and Dot’s red lips of course!
I have lots more muses, here are a few more;
Because I try to be as sustainable as possible, my environmental muse…. Lucy Siegle, through her book “To Die For: Is Fashion Wearing Out the World?” which inspired me to become a slow fashion brand.
My wonderful customers, because you are important to me. I listen to your feedback and I share my journey with you, so you can see all the exciting steps I take to expand my collections.
My family, friends and some fabulous mentors, my role-models.
Fellow designers, artists and entrepreneurs who have helped, supported and encouraged me over the years.
The manufacturers I work with, they inspired me to start using the term " Created in Britain" instead of “Made in Britain”, because I believe that the relationship between designer/artist and manufacturer is what makes a product super special.
Ok ok, yes, I’ll stop now, I’m beginning to sound like somebody who’s won an Oscar!
So, how many muses does a designer and/or artist need?
How long is a piece of string?
An interesting article if you are thinking of becoming a muse;
Could you be a muse? (A musing on the modern muse)
There’s no 'Muse' category on Linked-In but it’s certainly a varied career. It’s a fascinating idea that simply by being ‘you’, you can inspire others to creative heights.
If you think your looks, presence or spirit could help define an artist’s career, then read on and see if you could make the cut.
Have a look here