Main Image by Oliver Goodrich.
World Art Day happens annually on 15th April and it is a day dedicated to celebrating art! Organised by UNESCO, World Art Day helps us to reflect upon and reinforce the links between artistic creation and society and culture. It is also provides an occasion to highlight the importance of arts education in schools. Their statement says:
"Art nurtures creativity, innovation and cultural diversity for all peoples across the globe and plays an important role in sharing knowledge and encouraging curiosity and dialogue. These are qualities that art has always had, and will always have if we continue to support environments where artists and artistic freedom are promoted and protected. In this way, furthering the development of art also furthers our means to achieve a free and peaceful world."
We wanted to take the opportunity today to celebrate our very own artist and Head of Design, Amy Fleuriot-Reade. Amy is an artist and designer alongside being one of our fabulous co-founders. We sat down with Amy to find out all about her biggest inspirations and how she got started as an artist...
What sort of art do you usually make and what is your favourite medium?
I’m heavily inspired by nature and my travels for Artisans & Adventurers. I started working in pen and ink and still love this medium but in the past two years I have been using watercolour more and more as the small palette is much more transportable. I love exploring new techniques and have recently been experimenting with Lino Cut which helps with the woodblock textiles I design.
How long have you been creating art?
Since I can remember! My Dad is an incredible artist and although he didn’t ultimately follow that path as a career I had a very creative childhood spending evenings Lino cutting, making things out of clay, painting or running around the garden in the incredible fancy dress outfits he’d make for me.
What is your favourite piece you have ever made?
I think it has to be the watercolour painting I did of the Jaipur Kite Festival. I made the piece during lockdown last year for an exhibition I had in London last September. All of our design trips to India had just been cancelled and immersing myself in painting this piece really took me back to when I was last in Jaipur and that fantastic evening on the roof tops of the Pink City watching kites and fireworks go off all around with delicious food and dancing late into the night.
Who is your favourite artist and why?
That’s a really difficult one! I love the botanical art by Marianne North and have been greatly inspired by her travel art but I also love the bold patterns of MC Escher and textile designs of Celia Birtwell and the Bloomsbury Set. As a Textile artist I really like to find the patterns within things and also love Lino-cut and woodblock prints. I have a beautiful piece at home that my husband bought me by a local Kent-based artist that is a hand coloured Lino-cut and I never get bored of looking at it.
Photograph by Ben Broomfield
Where do you find the inspiration for your work?
My work is often inspired by the travel diaries I keep when visiting new places. They are always filled with sketches, notes on colour palettes, postcards and memories of unexpected events. I use these to create imaginary scenes inspired by memories of places I have visited. I love gardening and nature and can spend hours drawing plants in my garden when I need to find some inspiration closer to home!
What has been most challenging thing about being an artist?
I’m very lucky that my role at Artisans & Adventurers and Hiro + Wolf gives me enormous creative fulfilment. Producing my own art and keeping travel diaries is just like the cherry on top and the work that I produce in my spare time often ends up feeding back into the business with Lino cuts becoming the starting point for textile designs or new colour palettes emerging from my watercolours.
What is your proudest moment in your artistic career?
Seeing our new products come into store that I’ve worked on is always an amazing moment. Having my first solo exhibition at The Old Bank Vault in London last September was also a really proud moment for me.
What does art & creativity mean to you?
I think it’s about living consciously - being aware of your surroundings and trying to look for the beauty and inspiration in everything which can lead to a much happier and more fulfilled life. We are born creative, it is the very essence of humanity and can be applied to every part of life.
What advice would you offer someone wanting to start a career in a creative field?
The creative field has such a broad scope and I think people forget this. From advertising to fine art there are so many jobs within the creative sector that can also be extremely well paid. Do what you love and keep at it, collaborate and say yes to any opportunities that come your way especially in the beginning.
Thank you to Amy for taking the time to chat with us today! To see more of Amy's art you can visit her website here. If you want to learn more about World Art Day & get involved, visit the UNESCO website here.