Author: oohlalapin

About oohlalapin

In a city by the sea, a little house filled with children, love, craft and the smell of baking.

New toys!

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I have recently moved into a new shared studio space and I am surrounded by graphic designers, app designers and other very clever and creative people. I felt a little self conscious at first but feel settled in now and I am happy that my toys get lots of positive attention from my co-workers.

This week I have designed a new character and have nearly finished a wonderful owl like character!

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I have been having a lovely time preparing for my exhibition! I have also got round to doing some spiffy paintings of animals wearing sweaters. I’m particularly proud of the badger in the sparkly jumper, I love him a little bit.

A dachshund is being posted off to a customer and I think I enjoy wrapping my toys as much as I do making them.

I was also very happy to receive some fabric donations from London fabric print designer and bag maker Black Cactus. i have promised a drawing/painting in return and look forward to sending her something awesome!

Sweetie Pie

Im pleased as punch to announce that Sweetie Pie, Gluten-Free and Vegan Bakery of Southsea will be supplying some delicious Banana Cream Pies especially created for my exhibition ‘Dear Little Menagerie’.

I am obsessed with banana flavoured things and I can tell you the taste testing process with Lucy and Dan has been wonderful!

This exhibition is more than just a chance for me to share my work with you, it’s a celebration of all that is good about this wonderful little seaside community. So I hope that everyone who attends the private view gets a chance to try a lovely banana cream pie and smile at some happy toys. What could be nicer?

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Dear Little Menagerie: an exhibition

Preparation has begun in earnest for my first ever solo exhibition which opens on the 7th March at Pie and Vinyl and runs until the end of April. If you have ever visited Pie + Vinyl you’ll understand why I chose it as my venue.

Image of Pie and Vinyl: Joe Watson www.visionincision.co.uk

I am working with talented illustrator Stuart Linfield to produce a book to accompany the show which tells the story of each toy/character. Stu is also designing a poster for the show which resembles a Victorian book cover, can’t wait to show you!

My partner Josh shot the image of one of my bunnies and hand painted sign, so cute!

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I will keep you updated with any developments and some little pictures here and there.

How to be an artist.

 

Sometimes people ask me how I became an artist? It’s not really something I think about very often, I suppose I grew into the role. I always loved making, drawing and imagining for as long as I can remember and it just never went away. I tried to suppress it for awhile thinking it was for the best and perhaps it was time to grow up. This just made me deeply unhappy. I hardly earn a living and instead rely on my carers allowance I get for caring for my disabled son, teaching workshops and getting involved in arts education and outreach.

If someone buys a piece of my work like a toy or painting I have learn’t that instead of feeling grateful you should feel proud. Don’t brow beat yourself for wanting to do this more than anything in the world, stop feeling guilty and realise that without artists, makers and creatives the world would be utterly dull. You are contributing more to this ball of rock than you will ever know!

My top tips for being an artist are:

  • Wake up early. Missing out on half the day is not good for the mind, early morning light is beautiful to work by. If it’s winter and still dark outside invest in a good light that warms and inspires you.
  • Create a ‘work’ area. The smallest corner can be transformed, for many years I worked at a tiny writing desk with postcards, clippings and ephemera taped to the wall in front of me because I had no window to gaze out of.
  • Turn your day job into art. If you’re currently working in another field like retail, office work etc there is no reason why this cannot become part of your art. Collect scraps of paper, note down things people say and set yourself a creative task for the evening/weekend.
  • Experiment. You don’t have to spend lots of money on equipment and supplies. Try dying scraps of paper or fabric in tea. Look in skips and dumps (I have found some awesome things in rubbish piles) re-use pieces of wood, damaged books. Oh the possibilities are endless.
  • Funding. Amazingly you can apply for funding to aid you in research and solo projects. Also check out Artist Residencies, a chance to travel, work and meet other artists on a low budget.
  • Be bold. People might laugh, family members will probably disapprove because it’s not a proper job. Just remind them their favourite item of clothing, picture and even the chair that their sat on was ‘created’ by someone. Now see them act a little sheepish. The world needs you and your creative brain!
bunnypaint

Amsterdam: Fabric shopping and Kitsch Kitchen

Happy New Year folks! I hope everyone had an enjoyable Christmas too?

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My first post is going to be about our wonderful little adventure to Amsterdam we had in December. We travelled by Eurostar and stayed for four nights at the Lloyd Hotel + Cultural Embassy which was fantastic. We strolled up and down canals, ate wonderful food ( fav food places include La Perla and Los Pilones), visited pretty boutiques (All The Luck in the World and Hear Hear) markets and drunk the best coffee at Screaming Beans.

My main mission was to buy some super cute kitsch pieces from Kitsch Kitchen and visit the Lapjesmarkt.

Every Monday morning, the Westerstraat is home to the weekly ‘Lapjesmarkt’ or fabric market. As the name suggests, you’ll find stall after stall filled with assorted fabrics sold by the metre. In addition, you’ll find a variety of clothes – both new and vintage. The lapjesmarkt runs into the Noordermarkt just around the corner. Here you’ll find more fabric, plus some antiques and second-hand books.

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To be honest I was a bit underwhelmed by the fabric stall selection, most were just your run of the mill cheap bolts of fabric and didn’t excite me. However a handful of traders were selling quirky and pretty fat quarters, vintage ribbons, trims, appliqué and amazing buttons. This kept me pretty busy and I had to be careful not to buy too much.

Next on my list was the cathedral of colour that is Kitsch Kitchen! I defy you not to go there and come away with something fabulous! It’s selection of oilcloth is legendary and the home wares are out of this world. In fact I visited twice whilst we were on holiday and blew most of spending money, oops.

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We had such a wonderful time and a well earned rest from parenting our severely disabled son, there is just too much to fit into this post so here are some more pics. Thanks Amsterdam see you again soon!

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