This week we will get to know Yvonne from Lemon Doll Illustrations and her gorgeous caravan studio, Dolly.
Read on to find out what makes her creatively tick.
Hello Yvonne, and thanks so much for sharing your thoughts with us today.
Firstly I'm curious to know.
Were you creative as a child?
I recall keeping a day to day Diary as a child and always wanting to draw little depictions of my very important or hugely dramatic day! Mum gave me this Diary on a recent visit from Ireland and I couldn't believe she had looked after it all these years. My amazing Mum x
I enjoyed Art at school but never pursued it. Instead I chose secretarial studies, however, when I had my first little girl we began drawing pictures on her chalkboard and low and behold my love for drawing was pretty much reignited.
Do you come from a creative family?
Definitely. They never sit still for a second. Mum is always rummaging around looking for her next project to upcycle/paint/wallpaper.
Dad has practically built their beachside cottage from scratch and my brother is a very talented hair colourist (proud sis here).
How would you describe your work?
My hobby is my work and I am genuinely delighted to be doing what I love most and making a living from it.
I have a passion for everything and anything with a connection to the past. I seek out vintage crockery and hand draw a variety of illustrations directly onto the plates, cups, and vases.
They can feature cute little buildings from my local village Sandgate, vintage suitcases, old world quirky characters and gorgeous plush antique household items and furniture.
I also love to draw illustrations on paper and create little characters who while away the hours frolicking with friends. Each character has his or her own quirky personality.
How has your work evolved since you started?
I took the transitional step from drawing on chalkboard to drawing on paper. Although, I have been known to improvise and draw on whatever is close at hand i.e. chocolate boxes, paper plates, receipts and planks of wood!
I love the sheer simplicity of drawing on paper with pencil. I have recently begun creating digital images from my hand drawn illustrations and applying clean crisp lines. My favourite part is the colouring in. Bliss!
How did you start selling online? I went along to an Etsy market a few years ago after having my first bambino and was really impressed by the quality and professionalism on display.
I was an Etsy virgin if it’s okay to say that!! I walked away hugely inspired with a head full of dreams and possibilities and that general feeling of “Wow there are other people besides me that enjoy sitting down and doing something creative.
Who or what inspires you?
My illustrations have been inspired by a ridiculous amount of both personal and awe inspiring memories in my life.
♥ watching old world movies with my cousins
♥ being mesmerized by the beautiful, glamorous and glitzy stage costumes
♥ inhaling the elegant and jaw dropping vintage fashions of the day or as my Nan would say the ‘rig outs’
♥ being fascinated by the neat as a pin and not a hair out of place vintage hairstyles. I have truly unruly hair!
♥ I am smitten when I see beautiful hand crafted antique furniture and gorgeous Georgian/Victorian round silk cushions, and last but not least;
♥ My heart skips a beat when I see some of the beautiful ornate colonial buildings in Sandgate and Brisbane surrounds.
Do you reduce, reuse, and recycle as part of your creative process?
The three R’s are most definitely the way to go.
How is your art eco-friendly?
By Recycling and reusing vintage crockery and injecting them with a little extra personality whilst not completely taking away from the integrity of the piece.
Saving these beautiful treasured pieces from landfill is paramount to me.
Can you tell us a bit about Dolly
My Art Studio is my 1954 Vintage Caravan “Dolly”. I found her on gumtree and it was love at first sight. Dolly is my Art and Craft sanctuary! Originally grey and white in colour she is now a combination of colours and textures. Think Kath Kidston meets Laura Ashley meets Retro!
I miraculously house pretty much most of my stock in Dolly. My pencils, watercolour paints, brushes, ink pens, paper, cardstock, jewellery pieces, and crockery. I have even managed to squeeze in my supersized Printer!
It took me a while to organise a place for everything. I now know where most of my stuff is which a miracle in itself for me! Plus I had to clean her up for photos for this interview!
What is your favourite thing to make?
Of late my favourite thing to make is patterns. What a wonderful feeling it would be for me to see one of my patterned designs on fabric. I have that one on my list of goals to achieve.
How did your business name Lemon Doll come about?
I had been trying to come up with a name for ages and just couldn't seem to find anything that made me reach that va va voom moment until one day I heard someone ask for a label in a shop called Living Doll and the name “Lemon Doll” sprung to mind. I felt it had a vintage twist (pardon the pun!)
Where do you see your creative journey taking you in the next 12 months?
I would ideally love to see Lemon Doll Illustrations holding a really strong market and retail presence over the next 12 months.
It would be a huge sense of fulfilment to see my stock selling well at the Markets, at the gorgeous local Hand Made Artisan stores in Brisbane, and last but not lease selling wonderfully Online over the next 12 months. How good would that be? Must put that down on my Vision Board!!
What’s your top tip to others wanting to break into the handmade/creative market?
Keep an Ideas notepad on you at all times!
Open an Online Shop. It’s extremely easy to set up…it really is! This will push you to create what you want to create because you will feel that your Online Shop’s shelves are in desperate need of stock. This will hopefully push you even more.
Focus on one thing at a time! I tell myself that day in and day out.
What is a typical creative day for you?
7.00amI love my sleep so I really have to push myself to get up & walk zombified to the coffee machine!! All good to go now! I keep on top of the kids to get ready for school etc.
8.15 Drop off kids – do a little happy dance…No of course I don’t do that!!!
9.00Come home – Clean my topsy turvy house
10:00Pick job at hand for the morning – i.e. Draw a custom Vintage Plate Design, Create pencil illustration, Watercolour completed illustrations, Create digital illustration, Print Final illustrations on my Printer etc.2.00pmPackage finished Brooches and store
2.30Pick up my little angels
3.30Have snack – Catch up on all our day’s events
4:30Get everything organised for the next day
11.00 Sleep J zzzz
Do you have a Favourite quote?“Be yourself, everyone else is already taken”
And "If the mountain won’t come to Muhammed then Muhammed must go to the Mountain”
Do you have a favourite movie or CD you love to listen or watch while creating?
Caro Emerald, Ellie Golding, Lily Allen, and Eliza Doolittle. Generally anything upbeat that keeps me motivated.
What is your favourite handmade item that you have bought?”
A cute aqua coloured crochet Beret from a local lady who is just starting up her own little business.
Where can we find you online/stockists?
How long have you been a member of BrisStyle?2 months now – Yippee!
And How did you find out about BrisStyle?
Instagram and the Markets. I went onto the BrisStyle Instagram account and followed their page. I attended a Workshop and spoke to one of the Events Co-ordinators and it peaked my interest from thereon in.
Why did you become a member Yvonne?
I wanted to create as many opportunities to get Lemon Doll Illustrations widely known in the Handmade and Artisan world. My head and my heart advised me to jump on board with BrisStyle to promote my small Business and learn from other well respected and highly regarded creatives in this industry. BrisStyle also have an excellent reputation in the Handmade and Creative world. I also love how they have a passion for supporting small businesses.
Last but not least, Why do you craft?
For the pure LOVE of it x
Thanks so much Yvonne and Dolly for sharing a little bit of yourself with us all.
We look forward to seeing you very soon debuting at the next Brisstyle market.
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