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1 February 2012

Blog Gem - from the imagination of ladysnail

Hello everyone and welcome to Blog Gems! This month I'm very proud to introduce from the imagination of ladysnail. I came across this lovely, creative lady's blog in a competition to win one of her raincloud purses 
and guess what? I won!! 



Not only do I love this raincloud purse but all her other designs too, especially Sneaky Fox!


Right enough from me! Lets say hello and find out about the face behind from the imagination of lady snail.....Hello!


Hello there. My name is Debbie. I am an illustrator and printmaker - recently returned to working full time at home which means lots of radio, drawing time, making mess and trying not to distract myself from work by cleaning or baking. I live in my hometown of Huddersfield.


What's your design space/studio/work area like?
At the moment there are two desks and a table that I use. One is one of them computer/scanner/printer/
magnetic board/bookshelf desks, the other is a huge flat regular desk (2012 goal is to keep it clear as often as possible). This is used for printing, drawing, sewing and that. The table is used for cutting, packing, playing, organising and also doubles up as a print drying area and general 'dump it there' table. More often than not, I use every other surface available - this includes the floor. I have tried to take some photos of it to share with you but they are bit rubbish. My camera is very old and cannot cope unless there is a load of natural light.


If you had to take only one of your crafts to a desert island, what would it be and why?
Printing. I could print loads of beautiful 'Message in a Bottle' notes and pictures using the island as inspiration. Imagine the scenery, animals and colour you could draw inspiration from.


How do you work and/or get inspired?
Never one of my favourite questions but I will try to answer it best I can without rambling on. I try and start by drawing things I like as I have found it easier to make work this way - if you like what you are working on then you tend to create more. But then it is very good to draw something challenging. Something you may not want to draw as you may find a happy accident occurs if you keep at it and work through it. This is what I am trying to do now - draw people more and work with more colour. I also find observational drawing helps best or drawing from reference - makes it easier during while developing ideas - books, telly, magazines, models, animals, photographs, outside, still-life - just sketching at what you can actually see. Sometimes you need to look at things to draw them as drawing from memory doesn't always help.


What top tips would you give to any novice bloggers and/or those thinking of selling their designs/crafts?
I have never been asked to give tips before - bit scary doing so. For bloggers, first off I would say keep your blog template/layout clean and simple as best you can. Make it easy for people to see what you are about and also maybe keep to a theme. For example, if it is is about your work - keep it that way and add personal posts but not too many - keep it professional as you never know who may be reading. Try to update your blog once a week to start with maybe twice a week. Next up photos - keep practising and practising as with your blog and online shops - nice natural light photos often work the best. Start selling on Etsy and Folksy (if you are UK based). These websites are very easy to use. You can also try joining local crafting groups to find out more about the handmade scene in your area and start visiting local handmade fairs. Gather information and talk to the stall holders before giving it a go yourself. From past experiences all markets are different, even the same market but on a different day can be different. There is a lot to learn but all you can do if you want to try is research them, see if they would be right for your type of work and give it a go. If possible, find someone to share a table/stall with as firstly, this helps keep costs low and you can help each other out if it gets busy but also have someone to talk to when it's quiet.


Is there a story behind the name from the imagination of ladysnail?
There is - when I was at college a few people had 'pen names' and I thought 'Oh I would like one of them' but I didn't know what it would be. I came up with snail as I drew and still do - draw slow and I liked drawing snails and taking photos of them. The lady bit was added as I am a girl/woman/female and ladysnail together sounded good. Then when I started my blog in 2006, the other bit just popped in to my head as it was going to be about my work, work from the imagination of ladysnail.


If you could be given an award for your designs by any person/fictional character (dead or alive), who would it be?
It would be amazing if Oliver Jeffers or Raymond Briggs or Rolf Harris could present me with an award.


And finally...book & tea or film & wine? 
All and both! I am useless at choosing. Book and tea I think if I really had to pick.

Thanks so much Debbie! It's been fascinating getting to know how you tick creatively, the processes you go through, and of course meeting the face behind the blog! Thanks also for sharing those blogging and selling tips, so that we can all have a go at making gems of our blogs and craft businesses. I'm totally with you on the practice, practice, practice front and balancing this with happy accidents. I think those two go hand-in-hand. Thanks again! 


For those of you that want to find out more about Debbie and keep up-to-date with her latest designs, here are a few links to keep you in the loop:

Social media sites
website - www.debbiegreenaway.com
blog - www.theimaginationofladysnail.
blogspot.com
flickr - http://www.flickr.com/photos/
debtheladysnail/
twitter - http://twitter.com/#!/
debtheladysnail

Online shops
ladysnail
folksy - http://www.folksy.com/shops/
ladysnail


Current Stockists.
The Bowery - Leeds
Comma - Oxford
Grundy Art Gallery - Blackpool
Cooper Gallery - Barnsley

I hope you all enjoyed this month's Blog Gem. Stay tuned for more faces behind the blogs and until then, keeeep blogging! :-)





All of the images used in this interview are the copyright of Debbie Greenaway. Please do not use without seeking permission first. Thank you.

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