Meet the maker
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I was born in Reading, England, and moved with my family to the heart of the Yorkshire Dales when I was five. My parents chose to make this move to take over my Mum’s family business, a small department store. I was never interested in being involved with the shop until a few years ago, when it occurred to me how passionate about fashion I actually was. Since then, I’ve played a small role in business development, and gone on buying trips with my Mum to companies such as Seasalt, White Stuff and Great Plains. I suppose unconsciously I’ve become drawn to the industry as it’s what I’ve been brought up alongside!
When did you start creating? What has made you want to pursue it?
It’s not been a particularly smooth journey! I’ve always known deep down that I belong in a creative industry, however after achieving As and A+s in my exams when I was 16, I tried to force myself down an academic route. Looking back, that obviously wasn’t right for me. Following burning myself out in my first year of A levels, I dropped out of college and took the rest of the year off to try and overcome some mental health issues. It was amongst the chaos of my life that I started to experiment with art and fashion, and eventually ended up combining the two! From there, people started noticing my designs and actually asking to buy them! My brand was born from a combination of unfortunate circumstances and a ton of accidents, but it ended up being the thing that kept me going! Realizing how happy creating made me is what encouraged me to pursue it more than anything else.
Do you have a favorite project or piece that you’ve created?
While my personal favorite design is my ‘Dino Mother Mary’ tee, my ‘Banana Boob’ design is the gift that keeps on giving. When people see it, their reaction is always the same:
1) ‘Oh wow bananas as boobs, that so creative!
2) ‘Wait… is that a snail as a nipple?!’
3) ‘OMG it has a little nipple piercing on it!! I love it!’
It’s this reaction that always makes it worth it for me! It’s all about the details. Besides that, I’ve become increasingly obsessed with Catholic iconography, and how designers such as Dolce and Gabbana, Jean Paul Gaultier and Christian Lacroix have been inspired by Catholic artwork. I thought I’d put my own spin on it. That’s how Dino Mary was born.
Can you share with us a few artists or makers that inspire you or your work?
I don’t think I have any particular artists that inspire me, however I am constantly being inspired by other creatives I come into contact with! I’m love how everyone I’ve met is so keen to support one another and exchange knowledge!
What is your creative process like?
Super disorganised and ever evolving! I’m always trying to better my work, and my creative process along with it.
What is the hardest part about what you do?
Keeping all of the balls in the air, and keeping track of the boring stuff which unfortunately is quite an important part of running a small business.
Do you have any advice you’d give a young artist hoping to embark on a creative path?
Don’t think about it too much, just go for it! If it’s what you really want, you’ll slowly but surely find a way to make things work. Don’t be afraid to get things wrong too. It happens to me every single day but I know now it’s a necessary part of the learning process.
What is your workspace like?
A shed. Literally, a glorified potting shed, and sometimes my Mum’s kitchen too.
What are you working on right now?
I have a few more designs in the pipeline which I hopefully will have done in time for Christmas (presents!!)
If or when you find yourself in a creative rut, how do you get yourself out of it?
It really depends on my mood. If I’m in a terrible mood then I can’t try to be creative, because whatever I do will just remind me of how bad I was feeling and I won’t be able to be proud of it. When I’m all out of ideas I talk to my creative friends, and most importantly I do the things that have been piling up and putting pressure on me (which is usually what lands me in the rut.) What probably helps the most is looking to other creatives for inspiration. Pinterest, Instagram, or sometimes children’s books can do the trick!