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I was creative from a really young age. I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember, and often found myself drawn to bold and vibrant colours. I used to play with everything I could find and see in front of me, and that’s never really changed.
My style combines British humour and eccentricity with a touch of French ‘je ne sais quoi’. There’s also a whole lot of Portuguese sunshine and light in there – I live in Lisbon now. I’d say I probably started developing my own style when I was 18 and preparing to go to art school. At the time, I was passionate about the human body – and I painted a lot of nudes. Those characters were very much mine and truly unique.
Many artists have inspired me along the way. The one who had a particularly big impact on me is Hylton Nel. I had the chance to meet him during one of my trips to South Africa, and I started working on ceramics as soon as I came back.
I am most inspired by the people I meet every day. Nature can also be a great source of inspiration, as can travelling. Visiting other countries with different cultures can open your mind in so many unexpected ways and give you lots of new ideas. But most importantly, I think being inspired is a state of mind – and to be inspired, you need to stay curious, go beyond your comfort zone and listen to the signs. Sometimes a silly little detail can be all you need to put you on a new path and start a new project.
I used to be a fashion designer but I started to feel restless and wanted to explore other paths. That’s when I decided to start selling my paintings and ceramics. Initially I thought it would be just for a few months, but I soon saw I could make a living out of my passion. That’s when I decided to pursue it full time and I’ve never looked back.
I really enjoy going to Menorca, where my brother has a house. I love the energy on the island, and the landscape is beautiful. I’m very drawn to small towns and villages, where you can find inspiration from everything – be it the tiles or just the architectural details on old houses.
I like to collect memories – and objects are their vessels. I’m very attached to certain pieces because of the story they tell, and the story I'm telling myself through them. I like to meet artisans and artists from all over the world and keep a souvenir of any special time spent in their studio. I also buy a lot of old objects or furniture on the second-hand market and enjoy giving them a new lease of life. My biggest collection is probably ceramics, as this is a big passion of mine, and I love to support other ceramicists. Each object reminds me of a certain time in my life.
One of my favourite books when I was younger was The Zebra by Alexandre Jardin. I read it a very long time ago, but I loved the freedom of the character and his ability to believe in and create his own reality. Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne is next on my shopping list. It is a classic and I would like to read it with a fresh pair of eyes and a different perspective from when I studied it at school.
I always listen to music while I am painting or drawing. I feel it’s important to be in a certain mood and I often find silence too overwhelming. I like music from South Africa or South America, which is brimming with happiness and great energy.
Even though I am probably not the best cook, I’d say my favourite dish is a gratin dauphinois with an entrecôte, cheese board and some colourful salad leaves on the side. I am a huge fan of dessert as well – my signature is a passion fruit and mango crumble.
I really enjoy going to Mazi, a Greek restaurant in Notting Hill. The food is delicious, and there’s a great pub nearby, if you want to have a couple of drinks beforehand. I also love going to the theatre; it offers a unique and unexpected experience each time you visit. However, in my everyday life, I tend to watch more films as it’s easier and more convenient. My taste in movies is eclectic to say the least – I also really enjoy documentaries.
There are many creators out there that I admire. If I have to name a few, I would say Hylton Nel for his ceramics, David Shrigley for his cheeky drawings and Grayson Perry for his beautiful tapestries and ceramics.