Tuesday, 12 January 2010

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 Gillian Kyle, who's wonderful products hit the Red Door shelves in 2009. They continue to hit our shelves both in store and online in to 2010 as folk can't seem to get enough of them! So when Gillian agreed to be our first interviewee of the New Year for our designer/artist feature we were over the silvery moon! Thanks for giving us a great fun read Gillian!....

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

A - I design fashion, accessories, gifts and home wares, all screen printed with my own hand drawn illustrations. I love to draw using pen and ink, markers and brushes, then usually mess about for a bit on the computer to get things just right.Q - Where do you live? How does it feed your art?

I live in Glasgow's leafy Southside with my partner Tom. We have just moved from a rougher area to lovely Shawlands, I love it! Its peaceful and quiet here but still a stone's throw from the heart and soul of town. Our old place was great because there was always something going on (usually a fight!), and lots of people kicking about their stories etched on their faces, which gave me lots to think about creatively.

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

My studio is at home in a spare bedroom (pictured below). Its lovely and big with great natural light, a massive desk and lots and lots of good storage, which is great because I can't seem to be creative at all if I'm surrounded by clutter! I'm looking forward to some quality studio time in the next wee while.

Q - What name do you work under?

Haha, well this is an easy one isn't it? It's my own name! I decided to go with that because when I started out earlier this year I wasn't really sure where things were going creatively - I would love to do some interior and more fashion stuff at some point soon, as well as other things - and I didn't want to choose a name that would be out of context in a few years. Plus, it worked for Arnold Clark and Cath Kidston didn't it?Q - Have you always been a designer? How did you end up doing what you do now?

A - My first degree was International Business and Modern Languages at Strathclyde Uni. I graduated and went into management consultancy, but quic
kly realized that it wasn't the life for me and made a massive decision to completely change tack and do something creative. I went to Cardonald College to study fashion design and then got into Glasgow School of Art to do textiles. I graduated in 2008 and after a bit of faffing around, decided to go for it and set up in business.

Q - What inspires you?

The beauty of lines and mark-making, the colours in nature, and the inherent humour in the world around us.
Q - Is there anyone or any style that you're influenced by?

Zandra Rhodes and Celia Birtwell (pictured above) for their love of colour and fabric, and their beautiful, original styles of drawing. Cath Kidston, Orla Kiely and Lulu Guiness for their clear, strategic brand building and clarity of design and purpose, Timorous Beasties for their uncompromising vision and humour. All the small-scale designers and makers I've encountered in the last year for getting their stuff out there and daring to give it a go.

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

Pens of all descriptions, and my PC and scanner.

Q - Besides the bags and tea-towels you sell at The Red Door is there anything else that you make?

Yes! In the same range I also do aprons, t-shirt and baby wear, with cards and cushions in the pipeline. And I've recently done some freelance design for ASOS - a wee range of tees for their 'Artisans at ASOS' range (designs from the range pictured below).

Q - What are you working on at the moment?

New designs for my core product range, as well as completely new products!

Q - What do you do when you are not working? Can you switch off? How do you unwind? What's your favourite pastime?

Hmmmmmm, difficult. After my hols last year with Tom, my best mate and her husband I decided that work/life balance should be more of a priority, and I'm pleased to say that I've been sticking to that goal. I love running, training at the gym, drinking cocktails and just hanging out with my pals. Rummaging through junk shops and vintage clothes is always fun too. My newest loves are the architectural salvage yard and massive vintage furniture warehouse at South Street in Glasgow - Tom and I have been spending a lot of time hanging out there hunting out bits and bobs for our new place.

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

Nah - it's all good really isn't it? The pressure of being one's own boss can be intense at times and sometimes it would be lovely to have the security of a salary cheque that comes every month no matter what. But I guess no-one has that security in the current climate.

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

The freedom to do what I want to do. The amazing feeling when I see someone in the street with one of my products. The fact that I can read great fashion and design magazines and say it's work!

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

Oh God, that is such a hard one! Maybe my vintage Elephant pendant necklace that I picked up in a flea market? Maybe my Ipod that blasts out happy hardcore when I'm running? The ring my partner gave me when he proposed? My favourite cowboy boots? My health? Er- take your pick!

Q - What advice would you offer to other creatives?

If you're stuck, just do something (anything!) and see where it takes you. Obsessing about the value of what you're doing or trying to see too much of the 'big picture' will just put a major spanner in the creative works. Wish I'd realized that at art school.

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










Thank you so much Gillian! Hope 2010 is a great year for you!

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