Meet Your Maker: Laura Amiss

I came across Laura Amiss's work while searching for picks for my April showers post. I immediately fell in love with so many of her pieces that I knew she needed to be reserved for a feature all her own and I am so thrilled that she has also agreed to answer a few of my questions to let us all get to know her a little better.

Laura combines so many things that I love in her work: vintage fashion, cityscapes, fabric, embroidery, bright accent colours, and clean lines. They're incredibly affordable too! If the lovely ladies are too feminine for Mikey J, I have a feeling, after our trip to Amsterdam, a special place on our walls will be reserved for a canal print.

WHO are you? Tell me a bit about yourself and your work.
I'm a Textiles Artist and Illustrator. My work is composed of subtle lines and color combinations produced through layering, piecing and sewing fabrics together. I am originally from the north of England near the Lake District but for the past seven years I have called Amsterdam in the Netherlands home. I live there with my husband and two children aged 2 and 3 years.

WHAT inspires you?
I draw inspiration from my every day environment and hope that the way in which I recapture the landscape or moments of ordinary life allows people to appreciate them with a fresh perspective. I am pretty obsessed with fabric, a piece often begins with color or fabric combinations.

WHERE do you work? Describe your workspace.
I work in my studio at home, although it has kind of spread to all areas of our flat! A lot of my preparation work is done on my computer, which along with my sewing machine is on a very large desk I have (that my husband built for me). I often see pictures of amazing looking studios, all organised and co-ordinated... mine is not like this, although I would like it to be.

WHEN do you feel most happy/successful/frustrated/insecure?
I really enjoy the process of putting a piece together, choosing colors and fabric. It has been amazing to receive such a positive response on Etsy. It's always nice to wake up to a sale; it makes being woken up early by my kids that bit easier!

Not everything goes to plan. I get frustrated when I've worked on something a long time and it just doesn't seem to come together as I had planned. Knowing when to put a piece aside is very important, although, saying that, I am also of the belief that great things can come from mistakes also! Drawing and planning a piece really helps avoid problems, although I am always very eager to dive in to pieces. It is actually my husband that makes sure I've thought it through first!

WHY do you do what you do?
I've always loved textiles and mixed media art work. I did my degree in Textiles at Goldsmiths Collage London. It took a while to find my feet once graduating; I think you have to become confident in your choice of working. I love being able to work for myself and from home.

HOW do you do what you do? Describe your creative process and/or your typical work day.
My pieces always begin with either a photograph or drawing. I make patterns of the image, just as you would making clothing and work from there, cutting fabric and layering the fabric together. My pieces are often made of at least three layers of fabric. I use a sheer muslin or silk for the top layer before adding the stitched detail.

I work in the mornings after I have dropped my two children off at pre-school (on the bike of course, this is Holland). I also begin again when they go to bed at night. I like that my children are growing up in a creative household but it's always a challenge making sure I am fulfilling their needs and doing work. When a lot of your work is based online it's hard to walk away from it with all the technology we carry around with us now. My children are 18 months apart, aged 2 and 3, so they have huge amounts of energy and inquisitiveness.

FINAL WORDS... anything else you would like to add? Advice for new artists or entrepreneurs perhaps?
You have to work very hard, not only physically but also to find your way of working, style and being successful. Most importantly you must have confidence in what you are doing and your work.

Thanks so much for taking the time to share your process with us, Laura. I know it is a great inspiration to me and hopefully to others too.

To find out more about Laura Amiss and her work, visit her...

1 comment

mikey j said...

Surprisingly, I actually like the ladies, they'd probably have to be resigned to your corner of our little world though.

The Amsterdam canal houses straight-on from her Etsy is my fav (the one printed on canvas with the tree's sewn in).

It's really interesting to read how people get started making their art. Great little Q&A