Thursday, May 21, 2009

Q&A: Emma of Showpony

Apologies for not posting yesterday. The second day of the road trip (Tuesday) wasn't as much fun as the first and due to traffic, we got to Des Moines much later than we'd planned. And yesterday was dedicated to getting my stuff into my new place, which is going to be a work in progress for a while, but I'm esctatic that everything seems to have arrived in one piece. (And downright gleeful to have a full sized stove!) That said, I'm very excited to get back on the blog-track with a Q&A from Emma of Showpony today. You may have seen her work on other blogs over the last week, but here's a bit more about who she is and what she does.

Where do you live?
I live in Glasgow in Scotland, I love this city, its got a great cultural and arts scene but its also known for its wicked sense of humour and fantastic architecture

Tell me a little bit about what you make.
I make fun, interesting accessories for you and your home. These are predominantly screen printed textiles.

How did you decide to start the line?

I studied product design at Art School but it was almost a year after graduation that I took a screen printing night class. One of the first things I printed there was an early prototype of my hidden patterns range. Off the back of this I was selected for the Scottish Show 2007 - a national exhibition highlighting the work of 30 Scottish designers. This proved a great launch pad for Showpony and I haven't stopped since.

I love the attitude in your products- where did the inspiration for items like the "do the dishes" tea towel come from?
I really want to create products that people will find fun, and perhaps a little silly. I like to think about what the item will be used for and try to imagine how people will interact with it.

Did you have any teachers who became mentors along the way?

Unfortunately not. I didn't really get on very well with my tutors at art school and I have no idea what they'd think of what I do now. I try not to let it bother me but I guess in a way it does, its almost made me more determined to succeed.

Is this your full time work?
Yes. I'm in the studio Monday to Friday, and never stop thinking about it.

Why do you enjoy printing on fabric?
I love textiles, I've always had a sewing machine and even used to make my own clothes (not terribly successfully) but I have always loved fabric shops and finding vintage materials in charity shops. When it comes to printing on fabric I really like how immediate it is, from the moment I make that first print I know if I've got a good product or if its a total disaster. I like that an idea or design that you've drawn up on the computer really seems to come to life once its printed on fabric.

How does your creation process work- do you sketch one design at a time, or do you create a few at once?
I tend to design collections or think of concepts that I want to make into a few related products. For example with the tea towels I started with the idea of 'Kitchen Commandments' I.e. rules to be obeyed in the home, this translated into the 'do the dishes' and 'keep it clean' tea towels, I'm working on more which will be added to the series soon. I don't really sketch out my designs until I've spent a lot of time thinking about them. I prefer to 'day dream' my designs only sketching them towards the end of the process.

Where do you find your inspiration?
Inspiration is everywhere, it's in those silly little things you think about throughout the day, the little daydreams and conversations that take place.It's also in observing interactions with people and the things around them.

Is this your full time work?
Yes. I'm in the studio Monday to Friday, and never stop thinking about it.

What's the best part of your day?
I always enjoy my walk to the studio, a great time to let my mind wander, plan my day, think about new designs and get excited by the possibilities that might be waiting for me at the studio.

What do you like to do when you're not working on Showpony?
I love seeing my friends and taking the dog for long walks with my husband

Thanks Emma!

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