Louann Sidon of Lulu Rose strives to find the ultimate balance between creativity and work. Alongside working three days a week in an art supply shop, she runs her small business from home creating original handmade goods. She sells online, in selected stores through out New Zealand and at the occasional market. One day she hopes to create from home full time, or open her own studio/store – and maybe even offer screen-printing classes!
What do you make?
I design and make hand-printed homewares. I use environmentally friendly inks and print onto 100% natural fabrics like linen and cotton. My product range includes tea towels, cushions, journals and t-shirts and I am always adding new things to my collection.
How did you get into your craft?
I wanted to do some form of printmaking from home but couldn’t afford a printing press! That’s how I got into screen-printing. The equipment you need is very basic, and it offers so much as you’re not just limited to printing on paper.
Do you have formal training or qualifications in your craft?
I have a Bachelor of Design in Visual Arts. I studied at Christchurch Polytechnic where I focused on printmaking and textile sculpture. I also studied interior design so my work is a blend of two of my favourite interests.
Your favourite materials, tools and processes?
It’s really hard to choose just one! I enjoy drawing and coming up with new designs. It’s a great feeling seeing your ideas come to life and turned into a finished product that can be used in multiple ways. My favourite things to draw with are pigment liners, Faber Pitt brush pens and Indian ink.
I also enjoy the tactile quality of working with fabrics, and mixing inks to create new colour combinations.
What inspires you?
Most of my inspiration comes from nature and animals. I also love current interior design trends and Scandinavian design. Needless to say I spend a lot of time on Pinterest!
Is there a philosophy behind your work?
Not specifically, but a couple of years ago I developed rheumatoid arthritis that affects all of my joints – crafting became so painful I was unsure if I would be able to continue doing what I loved! I soon realised art was too big a part of my life to just quit, so my philosophy is to never give up doing what you love if it makes you happy!
Describe your workspace:
I have a love-hate relationship with my studio. It’s where I draw, print and sew but I don’t like being shut off from the rest of the house so I usually end up dragging all my things out onto the kitchen table!
Five words that describe your mind:
Wishful, imaginative, wandering, obsessive, daydreaming.
Your favourite feedback from a customer:
It’s not feedback as such, but I always love hearing when someone has bought something to send overseas. It’s a very cool feeling knowing a pug cushion is making its way to a couch in London!
I also hear a lot about other people’s pugs, which is awesome!
What are you currently listening to?
King by Years & Years
Recommend an album:
If You Wait by London Grammar. I could listen to it all day!
What’s your favourite childhood book and why?
The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton. I could really imagine all the things she wrote about, fairies, magical lands and enchanted forests. I even remember writing a letter to Moonface because I thought he was real!
What are you reading now?
I have just finished reading The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton. It’s about a young woman who receives a miniature replica of her house as a wedding gift. If I ever have time for a hobby I think it would be creating period houses to scale! I love creating tiny worlds.
A favourite quote:
“It always seems impossible until its done.” – Nelson Mandela. I have a postcard with this quote up on my pinup board. When ever I’m feeling overwhelmed or stressed out reading this calms me down.
Do you have any pets?
I have a cheeky but very adorable pug called Delilah and two tabby cats, Meiko and Pedro.
Who is your hero/heroine?
My Mum! She is an artist and has always encouraged creativity. I grew up doing all sorts of art projects with her. She was the one who taught me how to sew. We still love to get together for craft days – sometimes we do batik dyeing or patchwork quilts.
If you were a crafty superhero, what would your name and superpower be?
Hmmm, maybe The Incredible Procrastinator? I can procrastinate on a super human level!
What was the last handmade item you bought and what attracted you to it?
I think it was a felt acorn necklace. It was so cute and whimsical and I liked that it was made entirely from natural materials, it even had a real acorn cap!
What’s in store for 2015?
I have a stall coming up at the First Thursdays night market (Thursday 4 June) in Sydenham, Christchurch. I am also hoping to have some new products and designs out in time for Christmas.
To see more of Louann’s gorgeous screenprinted art, homewares and stationery, visit her Felt shop.
Louann has very kindly offered a prize for one lucky Felt blog reader: a beautiful limited edition A3 gold succulent print (worth $40), pictured above. This striking print has been hand screen printed in metallic gold onto 310 gsm archival paper, and is signed and dated. To win this lovely prize, leave a comment telling us what you like about Louann’s story and her work. The draw will be made on Friday 22 May and is open to New Zealand residents only.