Monday, 31 August 2009

The Edinburgh Fringe festival finishes today - sob sob. The crowds are packing up which means we are listening to a constant stream of suitcase wheels navigating the cobbles outside our shop. High Point - we will be able to move around the city a lot easier shortly. Low Point - it will be a whole year till all the performers and fun return!

If you haven't yet discovered the gem of a blog which is What Katie Wore......take a peek! The wonderful site is updated daily by couple Joe and Katie (pictured above by another fetching red door!). Joe writes the words (very smile-and-giggle-worthy) and Katie wears the clothes, a different outfit for every day of the year, and looks fabulous.

What started as a challenge to see how many outfits Katie could put together has now generated a cult following. Joe, who takes the images of Katie everyday, sees the blog as "something akin to a year-long love letter" to his girlfriend.

...Well we love it! Thanks Joe and Katie!

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Get yourself down to the The Red Door Gallery tonight 6-8pm to spy the wonderful Alice's Aviary exhibition.

Alice's Aviary presents for the first time a new collection of ornithologically themed screen prints from Illustrator and designer Alice Melvin. Continuing our new designer/artist feature we were able to grab an interview with the very talented Alice....

Q - We would love to know what typical day in the life of Alice Melvin is all about, any chance of a brief snippet? 

A - I always try to start a workday with a swim, which I find is the best way to wake up my body and head. So, thoroughly refreshed – if somewhat rosy cheeked – I then make my way to either my studio or if I’m in the middle of a print project to the print workshop. If it’s a studio day then I always start by wading through the morning admin which always takes up a depressingly large amount of time, before getting down to whatever illustration project I have in hand.

Q - Describe your studio. Where is it? How often do you use it and do you work alone?

A - After working from home for a number of years I now share a studio with another illustrator at St Margaret’s House on London Road in Edinburgh. Whilst the studio building is never going to win any beauty contests it’s great to have a working space that is outside of home. I work there Monday to Friday and often at the weekend too though I try to maintain something like a regular working week – a big challenge when self-employed!

Q - Do you always have a clear idea about how a finished piece will look or do you find ' developing ideas as you go? 

A - Both. I generally start off with a fairly strong idea of what I am working towards but as time goes on and the project develops I find myself constantly amending my images and ideas. On projects with a much longer time span - such as a children's book - this can be quite hard as you often find yourself having to work with drawings you created two years ago, by which time your style has evolved and developed.

Q - What piece of machinery or tool could you not live without?

A - It would have to be my iMac and the internet, I am lost without them! I would also struggle without access to a Pilot G-Tec-C4 pen which is what I do all my drawing with – I generally have about 6 on the go at any one time, and of course a screen printing facilities.

Q - You must have a huge list of inspirations as an artist, want to share any with us?

A - Like many artists I am an inveterate hoarder and a whole project can evolve from the smallest of starting points: a magazine cutting, an old postcard, an overheard conversation. At the moment I am obsessed with old bird books, vintage crockery and repeat patterns.

Q - You studied Illustration here in Edinburgh and have continued to live in Edinburgh since, how do you feel that Edinburgh as a city feeds you art?

A - I love Edinburgh - it’s such a great city. It has so many resources such as the wonderful Edinburgh Printmakers and of course galleries such as Red Door, which have been a great support. I’ve also got lots of friends in the creative industries who are based here and their advice and feedback really helps inform my work. The city is also endowed with some great public swimming baths – and I find nothing helps ease any creative block like a few hard lengths of the pool!

Q - In your eyes, has you work changed much over the last few years? 

A - Yes I think it is constantly evolving. I’m gradually becoming more comfortable and confident with my work and I consciously try to keep developing my style. Though I find one of the challenges of being self-employed is allowing yourself time to experiment with your work.

Q - You have impressively had 2 books published by the Tate as well as a number of accompanying products. Is this something you would like to continue alongside your print work? 

A - Yes, working with Tate has been a fantastic experience. My first book An A to Z Treasure Hunt was published by them when I was still relatively fresh form college and I really appreciated the time and support they gave me when I had so much to learn. I think the creative freedom I get with Tate Publishing is also pretty unique and it makes them a joy to work with. We have begun discussions about book three so watch this space!

Q - What is your favourite a) pastime b) possession and c) holiday destination?

A - Very hard – there are so many things I love doing it’s impossible to choose just one. It’s hard to beat a lazy Sunday morning with the papers and a good pot of tea though! I find it hard to choose a favourite possession too! I’m a terrible hoarder and enjoy have nice things in the flat, some of which have a lot of sentimental value, I couldn’t pick out just one as a favourite though! And holiday destination… a week in Paris please!

Q - For the last few years you have successfully worked solely as an illustrator. Do you have any advice for other creatives out there considering taking the plunge as a full time freelance artist/illustrator?

A - Just to realise that there will inevitably be lots of troughs as well as peaks but to keep persevering, it really is worth it. Also, brush up on business and admin skills – they may be boring but alas are essential to running a successful business.

Q - What does the future hold for Alice Melvin? Any exciting projects you are working on?

I’m getting taken out to Japan in October to promote my work at a British Fair in Osaka which is very exciting – I’ve not left the UK in about 3 years and have never travelled so far. I’ve also just launched my first greetings card range and I have a head full of ideas for new ranges and exciting projects – as ever it’s just finding those extra hours to get it all done in!

Monday, 24 August 2009

If only we had huge books we could fall asleep under. Hmmmm. Love these shots (and the sofa) by photographer Rebecca Miller - via awesome website booooooom!

Friday, 21 August 2009

This play quilt made me smile from ear to ear whilst checking out ohdeedoh over a cuppa earlier. Made by a super cool Mum who wanted something fun for her kids to play with at festivals, it even includes a set of good old smores (and who doesnt like those). Now all we need to know, is how to get our little mits on one of these beauties!

We are getting super excited about the up and coming Red Door exhibition, Alice's Aviary, which opens next Thursday evening. Alice's Aviary presents for the first time a new collection of ornithologically themed screenprints from Illustrator and designer Alice Melvin. An eclectic flock of British birds nestle in this new portfolio of prints, from a tiny plover to an imperious barn owl. Screenprinted by hand in limited editions the prints are characteristic of Alice's illustrative style combining simple flat colours with a love of pattern. In addition to the portfolio of screenprints, Alice's Aviary will also showcase a range of new bird themed merchandise from the designer, including a limited edition poster and hand printed stationary.

It almost sounds too good to be true, so jot down next Thursday evening from 6-8pm in your diaries as we would love to have you all along for a spy at this amazing show!

Thursday, 20 August 2009

We are really excited to be exhibiting Richard Strachan's latest works - a series of four digital prints that have progressed from his structured paintings derived from interior space and the interaction of planes, light and colour within them. The series comprises of four different colours, red (as shown above), blue, green and yellow. Only £270 each or £980 for the set. A great piece to own from this up and coming Scottish artist!

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

Fresh in our browers this week are a set of 4 gorgeous woodland themed letterpress prints from our favourite stationer, Hello Lucky. Their collaboration with artists Julia Rothman, Kate Sutton (both above), and Lab Partners makes for some stunning prints. Each one retails at £38 or you can nab the whole set for just £135!

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

A little sneak peak of some wonderful things to come - we open a brand new show of work by Edinburgh based Alice Melvin next Thursday. More to come on the exciting 'Alice's Aviary' shortly.....

I fell in love with the wemakewords blog today after I received an email from one of its creators Amy. What better way to cheer yourself up than by creating words from fun objects. Above are two of my favourites. Nice indeed!

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Loving all things colourful and fun from Present and Correct. A brilliant way to brighten up any room.

Back by popular demand are the wonderful porcelain goodies from Chinnychinchin. Both white and coloured this time so get in quick.

Saturday, 8 August 2009

The Red Door Gallery would simply not be the same if it wasn't for the wonderful support of independent and emerging designers and artists dedicated to presenting original, inspirational and affordable artwork.

In amongst all of these talented folk is the very lovely Gemma Correll. Based in Norwich, Gemma Correll is a freelance illustrator producing prints, zines and quirky accessories (including the ever popular 'bean brooches'....we can't get enough!). Gemma's works and her blog about her daily creative adventures always make us smile from ear to ear. Gemma adores drawing, making things, cuddling kittens and drinking coffee....sometimes all at once. Her work is a mixture of character design, pattern, typography and doodles. So when Gemma agreed to be our first interviewee for our monthly designer/artist feature we were over the silvery moon! Thanks for giving us a great fun read Gemma!....

Q - Please describe what you do. What materials/techniques do you use?

A - I'm an illustrator stroke crafts person (crafts girl?). I generally use pen, pencil, printmaking processes, collage and a bit of paint for my illustrations. Oh and trusty photoshop. I also make plushies and brooches out of felt and calico and hand-paint ceramics, among other things!

Q - Where do you live? How does it feed your art?

A - I live in Norwich at the moment, although I'm hoping to move somewhere warmer next year. I get a lot of inspiration from the people in Norwich, especially the ones that I see in the city at weekends who have probably never travelled any further than Great Yarmouth.

Q - Describe your studio. Where is it? How often do you use it? Do you work alone?

A - My studio is the spare room in the apartment that I share with my boyfriend Anthony, who is also an artist. He works in the living room (if you can call it that, our apartment is basically one big studio with a bedroom, bathroom and kitchen attached). I spend the majority of my time there, listening to music and drawing or sewing or packing orders....etc.

Q - What name do you work under?

A - It's just Gemma Correll. Very boring. Although I am under the impression that I am the only person called Gemma Correll in the world, which is pretty cool. There have been reports of a Gemma Correll in Australia but those have yet to be confirmed.

Q - Have you always been a designer? How did you end up doing what you do now?

A - After graduating I worked at Topshop for a short time, which was awful and then as a Teaching Assistant which was lovely but tiring. I was still doing my illustration work on the side. Now I'm financially able to survive as a full-time freelance illustrator, which is great - I'm really lucky.

Q - Where did you study?

A - I studied here in Norwich at the School of Art & Design. I graduated with a first class BA in Graphic Design, specializing in Illustration.

Q - What inspires you?

A - People and animals, things I overhear, old stuff that I find at car boot sales, Americana, kitsch from the 50s, vintage screen prints, music, breakfast cereals......pretty much anything.

Q - Is there anyone or any style that you're influenced by?

A - I think I started to develop my 'style' when I was young. I have wanted to be an illustrator since I was a little girl (it sounds cliched but it's true!) and I used to be quite obsessed with illustrators like Posey Simmonds and the cartoonist Giles. So they were definite influences on my developing style. I try not to be too influenced by other artists now and just concentrate on refining my own style. It's easy to look at someone like Lizzy Stewart and wish I could draw as well as her and want to emulate her style....but I don't draw like her. I draw like me.

Q - What piece of machinery or tool could you not live without?

A - Pens. Not the most sophisticated of tools, but if I was stuck on a desert island I'd have to have my pens. And my Macbook....

Q - Besides the products you sell at The Red Door is there anything else that you make?

A - I sometimes make jewellery but that's just for me....It's far too shabby to be sold in any shop, it tends to fall apart quickly.

Q - What are you working on at the moment?

A - I'm designing a tea towel for To Dry For, which I'm really excited about. That and a couple of editorial commissions.

Q - What do you do when you are not working? Can you switch off? How do you unwind?

A - I do find it really difficult to switch off. Even if I sit down to watch a movie I'm sewing bean brooches at the same time. The one thing that helps me to unwind is yoga. I go to a class once a week which isn't really enough but I don't have time to go to any more that that!Q - What's your favourite pastime?

A - Eating nice food and drinking coffee. And coveting other people's pets. We're not allowed animals in our apartment but I really, really want a cat and a pug.

Q - What do you like least about being a designer? Any occupational hazards?

A - It's very easy to procrastinate, especially if you're working from home. Also it's pretty hard work. I don't have a lot of free time. I work every day, including weekends and evenings. Sometimes I do think it might be easier to just go and get a 'real' job.....but I couldn't do it.

Q - What do you like most about being a designer?

A - I like that I can decide when I work. I don't have to ask anyone's permission to take a holiday or go and buy a coffee. As a freelancer, I can travel and take my work with me, which is awesome. I love being a designer and I realise that I am very lucky!

Q - What's your favourite possession? This can be absolutely anything!

A - I don't know really. I have a pair of shoes that I really like but to be honest, it's all material....I'd rather have a pug!

Q - What advice would you offer to other creatives?

A - Persevere! When you're starting out, it may seem like you're working really hard for no real gain....but it will be worth it eventually....honest.

LINK LIST. Who's work do you love? Any artists/makers/friends/galleries/websites you'd like to share.

Bjorn Run Lie
Anke Weckmann
Max Estes
Camilla Engman
Lizzy Stewart
Anthony Zinonos
Lizz Lunney

There are loads more but I can't list everyone. I publish a blog about my favourite artists:

Thanks Gemma! You are definitely one of our favourites....

Pictures top to bottom, left to right: Bean Brooches, Cat Mart, Gemma's studio at home, Mickey Bouncer, Good Hair, I Like You, We Are Robots, I Love Coffee, My Idea of a Good Party, Favourite Print.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Here at the gallery the festival buzz is growing, with so much to do and see we are really pleased to say that Kirsty Whiten, one of our very talented artists who has recently delivered some limited edition giclee prints, is also part of an exciting exhibition at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery 'Rough Cut Nation'. This 120 year old institution, currently closed for rennovations, will open for 3 weeks of the festival to draw together a group of urban and graffiti artists from Scotland to create a dramatic collabarative installation. Opening tomorrow we can't wait to check it out!

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

We are very much in love with our latest addition to The Red Door Gallery bricks and mortar shop. VerĂ³nica from depeapa makes these adorable brooches. Each one unique and definitely something to treasure. Thank you VerĂ³nica!

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Two new fabulous prints called 'Stand Out in a Crowd' from the very talented Emily Hogarth just in. Emily has also produced a new version of her ever popular 'Calendonia' print in a lovely blue. Grab a peek in store....