Jessica Brinton from the Sunday Times Style contacted me about a piece she was writing called "Liquid Living" and how its possible to ride the wave of the recession by sharing skills. I'm obsessed with bringing all my friends together in a creative hippy commune kind of way so I was an ideal candidate to interview. Here are snaps of the accompanying shoot at my studio to go with the article and the page from today's paper........... featuring my close collaborators Teo Connor, Ella Dror, Alex Cunningham and Rosy Nicholas. Here is an edited version of the article which was put together from a conversation I had with Jessie talking thru my views:
"I've always liked the idea of communal living. When I moved into my studio, I tried to get lots of other people to move in, too. I work all the time, so it doubles up as my social life.
Most of my work ends up being traded. If people want something Ive made, I don't charge by the hour, I ask them to return the favour. For example, one of my friends in this picture, Teo, is a graphic designer and she does my lookbook for free. In return, Ill make her something special, like a headpiece for a wedding. Or I'll help her with the W Project, a charity she cofounded to promote women in the creative industries. I did a film-screening night and I did a workshop for Hackney schoolgirls with another of my friends, CocknBullKid. Also in this picture is Rosy, who came to assist me just to be involved in what I was doing. We became friends and now I get her involved in any jobs I have coming in. I was at college with Alex, and she was my first stylist. And finally there's Ella Dror. She has her own PR agency and only works with the people she believes in. If everything did go very wrong, I doubt that our working life would change much . We'd still all work together.
I prefer collaborating. If you need stuff done, you get it done together. Competitiveness is being insecure, isn't it? You're wasting time looking at everyone else. Im very free with information. I keep a broad network, and people are always contacting me to find out what's good for this or that, and Im happy to help them. That's why I started my blog. I feature people so that others can see thier pieces and get in touch to work together. The surprise is that this is now my main source of income.
Funnily enough, in the village where I grew up, everyone's moved back. My dad now employs my uncle, my brother and his girlfriend. My nan lives with my mum and dadd, and my sister lives next door, so she can just drop off the kids. I like that process of give and take.
(Snaps of photographer Michael Leckie, makeup artist Caroline Sims and my PR Ashley Smith)