Monday, February 15, 2016

Marianne Wilson Designs - This week's Monday Maker

This week we managed to interview one of our newer members, Marianne Wilson.

Were you creative as a child?

Yes, I was creative as a child and was always drawing or making something. 

I used to sew my doll's clothes when I was 12 years. I found that growing up in South Africa had some advantages as there was no TV in the country until 1975! So we had to make our own entertainment.

How would you describe your work?

Very eclectic. 

I worked as a textile designer in the fashion department for a large cotton mill near Cape Town in South Africa. This was before the age of computers, so we had to be able to create many different types of designs, from watercolour effects to crocodile skin type designs. I work mainly in watercolours or gouache, depending on the type of design.

How has your work evolved since you started?

When I started designing we had to do designs according to what was in fashion at the time. I created all the designs for a shop in South Africa called the Biggie Best shop. It was lots of fun as it was a coordinated range for home decor similar to Laura Ashley (this dates me!) but using Victorian designs. 

Now that I live in Australia I no longer do fashion textiles but am inspired by the Australian flora and want to promote these beautiful images. 

I am also influenced by Oriental designs - my grandparents both grew up in Japan and China.

Who or what inspires you?

I just love indigenous flora and want to reproduce these images on to textiles. I live in The Gap and we are surrounded by beautiful forests.

Is your work eco-friendly?

The only way I suppose I am Eco-friendly is that the printing inks for my textiles are produced in Australia and are water based and environmentally friendly.

Describe your studio/workspace?

I have a large flat desk for doing my watercolour and also another desk on which I have a light box. My husband made this for me years ago and as I do all my artwork from scratch - don't use computers- this is my most important piece of equipment. 

I have beautiful paint brushes (some years old) and loads of watercolours mainly Winsor and Newton. I have a computer in my studio as well and a sewing machine and overlocker. There is also a piano in there. On the walls I have two large notice boards and lots of my own artwork along with other favourites.

What is your favourite thing to make?

I love painting designs for textiles and start from scratch beginning with eg. eucalyptus leaves in a vase, sketching these and eventually it will become the artwork from which the textile will be printed.

 How did your business name come about?

I have always used the name Mimosa but there were quite a few here in Australia so just went for my name, Marianne Wilson.

Where do you see your creative journey taking you in the next 12 months?

The next 12 months  -  I hope to be doing more of the same - will expand my T towel range promoting Australiana especially for the tourist market. I will also be expanding my textile range.

Do you have a top tip to others wanting to break into the handmade/creative market?

As this is my first attempt, I am not really qualified to give advice, but I am starting small...

Describe your typical creative day?

My typical creative day starts with a cup of tea....household chores and then I get to my desk. 

I always have the radio on - Radio National or Classic FM and I have a collection of beautiful inspiring art books collected over many years from which I get inspiration. Depending on what I am drawing I also go onto the internet for different images.

Do you have a Favourite quote?

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. 
So throw off the bowlines. 
Sail away from the safe harbour. 
Catch the trade winds in your sails. 
Explore. Dream. Discover." ~  Mark Twain.  

My daughter put this on my notice board some years ago and I took it to heart. 

My older sister died in Toronto last year, from a brain tumour at the age of 59 and I did not want to get to the end of my life and regret that I did not even TRY.

What is your favourite handmade item that you have bought?

A beautiful felt rose which my neighbour made. It was just exquisite and I still have it in my bedroom.

Where can we find you online?

How long have you been a member of BrisStyle?

I have been a member for about three months.

How did you find out about BrisStyle?

I came across  a Brisbane City Council promotion booklet and the BrisStyle information was on the back of it.

I applied the same day!

Why did you become a member?

I wanted to be part of a group of like minded, creative and exciting people. I have learnt so much already.

Why do you craft?

I just love being creative and am never bored.