Saturday, August 28, 2010

House Calls with Colleen from Dear Colleen

When I first discovered the work of Dear Colleen I felt this instant jolt of kinship with her work. Like someone had been reading my mind and decided to put together a body of work just for me! It just spoke to me on so many different levels...typographical prints? Check. Foxes? Check. Clever word play? Check. Lived in and loved my home town of Edinburgh? Check. As a result I have featured many Dear Colleen pieces on Apothecary Fox in the past. I seriously can't get enough of her work!

Anyway, it seems that many other people felt the same way, as Dear Colleen has the craft world all abuzz after being in business for just over 6 months, and I see the handiwork of Colleen (originally from Bristol, UK) everywhere I turn. So naturally I begged her to fit time into her insanely busy schedule to give more insight into the talent behind the title, and here it is....

"My name is Colleen and I’m the girl behind Dear Colleen a fairly new etsy shop selling a range of prints and items mostly based around word play. I live in Wellington New Zealand at the moment but am really a bit of a nomad at the moment as I left my job and home around a year ago to go see the world."

Home Is Where The Art Is Print

Describe the work that you do? "I’m trained in Graphic design and have been working in this area for a number of years now. When I stumbled across etsy I thought it would a good way to do graphic design work for myself rather than clients. Most of my work is built on the idea of sayings, either taking old ones and giving them a twist or making new ones."

What was the career/education path you took to get to this point? "School – College – Art College – Year out working then back to Art College for my Masters."

The Past Is Like An Anchor Poster

Where do you get your inspirations? "Life. I come up with lots of ideas when I walking in and out of work and when I talk with friend or colleagues."

I Would Rather Have Champagne Print

Good Night John Boy Poster

Describe the creative process in designing and constructing a particular piece. "Ideas first, always, then I think about the best ways to make that idea a reality."

Where do you create your work? "I’m travelling at the moment so I work from my laptop most of the time and us printers to do my printing for me. I do spend a lot of time these days day-dreaming about having a workspace."

When Life Hands You Lemons Print

Would you share with us some of your favourite artisans whose work you most admire?

Gemma Correll
Cat Mart Print

Boston Tea Party Tote

Sensitive Boyfriend...

Honeymooner Pillowcases

Teamwork Plates (Wash & Dry)

Dominic Wilcox...

"By A Thread" Walking Cane

Where can we get our hands on your work? Online: Etsy & Foxes (a New Zealand store with so many wonderful artists' work on offer).

The Quick Brown Fox Print for Foxes

What/who are the things you love most in your life? "Oh bad question for today I’ve just given up coffee and it’s the only thing on mind… I guess I should be saying spending time with friends and family but really I’d sell my granny right now for a cup of coffee."

God Bless Print

What would you do “in your wildest dreams”, if there were no restrictions (like money, or responsibilities!)? "This, but from a nicer office with a few helpers."

What is your greatest professional achievement? "Quitting a job that made me unhappy and moving to the other side of the world… rather than being scared and not chasing my dream."

Crafty Foxes Print

What is new with you and your work? "Tea towel and totes it’s great to get my work off of paper and onto fabric."

Skills To Pay The Bills Tote

Dishes I'd Rather Be Doing Tea Towel

When Life Hands You Lemons Tea Towel

Do you have a motto for life? "Karma's only a bitch if you are."

I have so much admiration for Colleen's drive and determination to go it alone and follow her passion. She is so inspiring to me. Added to that, she is a charitable soul who has designed a tote bag to raise money for the Gulf Oil Spill recovery operation. Read more about it here. Keep up with Dear Colleen on her adventures by following her blog. I promise you that this is only just the beginning of a her stellar new career and I can't to see what happens next.


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