Friday, 8 June 2012

Designer Interview: Mythillogical

This week's interview is with Jenny - I'm going to hand you straight over because I think her words and pictures will say much more than I ever can!

Who are you and where can we find out more about you?
I’m Jenny Egerton, also known as Mythillogical and can be found blogging here: http://mythillogical.blogspot.co.uk/ and on twitter as @Mythillogical

What do you make?
I’m trained as an illustrator but specialised in making three dimensional mixed media models and photographing them for illustration. My current work includes one of a kind art dolls, and various needle felted and mixed media items such as brooches and embellished notebooks. I’m also currently working with local business ‘Gorgeously Wrapped’ (http://www.facebook.com/GWrapped) devising their branding and creating bespoke handmade items for their hampers, gift baskets and nappy cakes. I really do love doing a bit of everything!


Where does your inspiration come from?
I have a real love of word play, so a lot of what I do comes from ideas I get from idioms and metaphors. I also have a passion for creating characters and an obsession for carrying a concept through in virtually every detail so most of my work combines these three elements.


What tips do you have for generating ideas for designs?
 I think the best way to generate ideas is first to work out what makes you tick as an artist, what you personally respond to, and what you just really enjoy doing. Once you’ve worked all that out you can use virtually anything around you to spark ideas. I also think it’s important to not look at everything with a view to it being a finished project- sometimes a little experimentation without being worried about the outcome can be the start of something great.
How do you record your ideas?
 We always had it drilled into us at school and Uni about how completely vital a sketchbook is, but I struggled to really connect with my sketchbook in the early days- probably because there was always a three dimensional artist struggling to get out. I finally clicked with my sketchbook when my tutor suggested I work backwards for a while; first make the models and then draw them so I could work out how to translate my model style into 2D form. I now know how to sketch for a concept I have for a model and can record my ideas that way- which is a good thing as I have far more ideas than time to realise them! Because word play is so important to my work I also keep notes in sketchbooks and notebooks about words and phrases that take my fancy, or an idea I have for a story, as well as what material I intend to use to make a piece.


What tips do you have for motivating yourself?
I tend to get on a roll with things and burn myself out and then have enormous dry spells when I do virtually nothing. I struggle with maintaining balance! I think the best thing to do in a dry spell is to just try to make something small and simple. It rekindles the enjoyment again and whets my appetite for more ambitious projects and gives me confidence to tackle them. Looking at work that really inspires me is usually a good kick-start too. I also have to try to remember not to get too dismayed that I can’t do everything I want to, I work part-time and have a young daughter so time is a precious commodity. I’ve learnt to scale down designs and get a bit clever with what I make and how I go about making it so that I can fit it in and around my normal life.


Do you have any time management tips?
Again I think the answer to this is finding out who you are as an artist and playing to your personal strengths. If you work well in the mornings try to organize yourself so you have time to crack on with things as soon as you get up. If you are a night-owl try to structure your day to give yourself space at the end of the day to work when you are most productive. Lists are good- not just of things ‘to do’ but to keep track of what you have done, to give yourself a boost when you can see how hard you’ve worked! My husband and I have also agreed to have a wall calendar and we record set days in the week that I will be working on my art and set days for outings and other things- that way we all know where we’re at, and we can work around each others’ needs better.


What’s your workspace like?  Can we have a sneak peek?


We don’t have any spare rooms at all in our little terrace, and even have a through-room for our living room and dining room. I usually work on my lap on the sofa if felting; at the dining table if working on a mixed media model; set myself up in the bay window or next to the patio doors for photography; and sit in bed if sketching! I have a set of drawers full of materials- vaguely categorised but I’m not the most ordered or organised of people! I also have a box under the bed for all of my fabric, and all my toxic and sharp items are padlocked away in a toolbox at the back of the wardrobe so that my daughter can’t get hold of them. Finished work and little bits of kit that I need close at hand are kept out of my daughter’s reach on top of our bookshelf.

Where can we find your designs for sale?
My little crafted items can be found on my Etsy store: http://www.etsy.com/shop/Mythillogical  and anyone wishing to commission a one of a kind art doll can contact me via the enquiry form on my blog: http://mythillogical.blogspot.co.uk/p/commission-enquiries.html


Do you have any top tips for other designer makers?
 Half the battle is just working out who you are as an artist and a person, how you like to work and trying to slot that puzzle piece into the rest of your life. There’s a lot to be said for just having a go and enjoying the learning process instead of being discouraged by your mistakes.

Thanks so much for taking the time out for this interview, Jenny.  I adore your felted brooches and your dolls are something else! I like your idea of lists for things you've done (achievements) and also planning your time (outings and treats as well as work).


8 comments:

Free Spirit Designs said...

great interview!

its really interesting to hear more about your work Jenny, i love your individual style and i am taking inspiration from your wise words about trying things without worrying about making mistakes!

What you say about how half the battle is working out who you are as an artist and a person makes a lot of sense too, i think you're right, and i look forward to having this worked out for myself!

good luck with all your endeavours :)

LittleGreenGuy said...

What a great interview! Again you have such talent :) And I love seeing others work spaces!

Mythillogical said...

Thanks for this Wendy!

FSD and LGG- Glad you enjoyed the interview! My work space is very very limited, but it just goes to show you don't have to have a studio set up!

Ali said...

I had a peep at Jenny's blog the other day and her work is lovely. Great interview with lots of useful tips. So many people seem to struggle with the issue of space but Jenny proves you can produce amazing crafts even in a small space. Thanks Ali x

CHRISTMAS PIE CRAFTS said...

You work is lovely, Jenny, very fresh and original. I love to find out more about fellow crafters, always very interesting. Many thanks.

Highland Monkey's said...

Nice to see how you go about your craft work. I like the idea of a sketch book, that would be really nice to look back on in years to come.

Love Maisy Lee said...

Such a lovely interveiw, and i love your work Jenny.
Your brooches are so original.

Donna x

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