Welcome to the newly styled blog!
Each Monday I'll be featuring a designer/maker or vintage guru who is truly MARVELLOUS.
Way back in January I featured the work of a fellow Bedfordshire resident Lisa Tilley. Lisa creates truly stunning one off pieces of “functional art”. Using vintage materials Lisa has created an amazing collection of accessories and homeware which you can find in a variety of exciting shops (see the list at the end of the interview). Lisa’s work caught the eye of the Fashion World too, with her bags being stocked in Paul Smith stores to tie in with the
Paris and fashion weeks. In fact her bags ended up being featured in Paul Smith’s international stores for around 18 months! Milan
Lisa has very graciously taken the time to answer some questions so we can all find out more about her incredible work.
1. Do you have a bag or suitcase that you are especially proud of?
I like all of my work so it’s quite difficult to choose one. I normally like my newest works the most as they’re fresher to me, which is why I think I like the intricately detailed bird suitcases that I made recently, they are very gorgeous and I put a lot of work into them. I also love the tea cosy handbags that I make, especially the ginger cat one.
I recently made a wonder woman suitcase to commission, it was for a client who is an artist and has quite an out there style, she loves colour and crazy stuff like me. The bag I made for her was really great and I was wishing after I’d made it that it was for me but I’m always happy for my products to go to homes where they’ll be loved as much as I love them. I think I’m a good people person and am very good at designing for a person in mind, I never seem to fail at this which is something I’m very proud of.
2. When you are creating a piece, do you find that the item decides the images used or the images decide the item to be decorated?
|Tea Cosy Handbag by uoldbag!|
|Wonder Woman Suitcase by uoldbag!|
|Another lovely suitcase by uoldbag!|
5. Name three things that influence your work
My Materials, Lisbon (Portugal) and going to exhibitions.
6. What are the challenges/benefits of being based in
Bedford rather than a hub like ?
The challenges can be that your not always in the loop and I imagine that London has more opportunities for getting out there, mixing with like minded people and being inspired, but I find that with social networking now and from doing regular fairs in London and other places that I am building up a good network of peers, clients and connections.
-The main benefits of living in Bedford are space and calm! I am lucky enough to have a big studio with more than enough space for me all to myself and I’m certain that I wouldn’t get that for the same price in London. My studio is in a great area as well, it’s close to Castle rd, it’s a great arty area and I visit the shops along there as part of my work scouting in the junk shop for treasures and in the book shop for great illustrated books. People often ask me if I feel isolated working alone, but in my studio I never do as I just pop to the shops when I need a break and see a whole host of people.
Bedford’s great for the fact, that it’s affordable, a peaceful place to live with lovely countryside and is short train ride to London for everything else you need.
7. Do you ever suffer from inspiration drought? If so how do you get motivated again?
I never lack inspiration with my creative work, I could make forever, I always have ideas that I don’t get time to do, I suppose I keep myself inspired by constantly collecting materials to use for my work, which inspire me the most and by traveling and going to exhibitions. The problem is that unfortunately as a maker, you don’t get to just make, there’s so much more involved and that’s where I sometimes get de-motivated. You have to also be a business person and be constantly thinking of new ways to get out there, promote yourself and reach your customers. There’s always so much to do but when I get things done and see the results I find it gives me a boost, which in return motivates me to do more.
8. Is there a part of your creative process that you particularly enjoy?
I love creating new work and knowing that I’ve got it right and that it really works. I love it when I make a product, stand back to see what I think and get a big buzz when I think to myself ‘yes!’
9. Have you ever created a piece that you couldn't bear to part with?
No, I often make products that I like so much that I think I’ll keep them myself, but then other people like them and I end up selling them as that’s what I’m suppose to be doing, making a living. I normally like the new products the most though so when I make more I have new favorites to replace them.
I’m in the planning stages at the moment for the rest of year, but I’m looking to do some different fairs, I did Vintage at Southbank last year by the Hemingways and it worked really well with my work, so I’m planning on trying out some other vintage fairs this year and have a few in mind. I’m also aiming to get my products into more stores this year and have ranges in mind to work with certain shops, so watch this space. Of course I have many product ideas too and want to expand the range so I will be working on that and getting them out there, so keep your eye’s peeled.