We want to share with you some inspiring people we have come across on our own creative journey and share an insight into their creative practices, inspirations and projects.
This month’s creative is Flora Waycott.
We love everything about Flora’s work. Her detailed and colourful compositions, her patterns, and the way she represents everyday scenarios. Originally from South England, Flora is now based in Australia, and her creative practice contemplates book illustrations, publications, exhibitions and art in various forms which she sells through her online platforms. On her website shop you can find illustrated calendars, prints, notebooks, original artworks, and a very beautiful instructional step-by-step drawing and painting book.
Want to know more about Flora’s life and work? Here’s what she told us:
Can you please describe your art practice and what materials do you work with?
I am an illustrator and painter - I work between illustrating art for clients around the world, and making art for myself and for my online store. The art I make for myself is where I can really have fun and create what I like - it is an extremely satisfying and necessary outlet. I love dreaming up new paintings and have a lot of fun playing. I paint using gouache and acrylic gouache as I enjoy the vibrancy these paints give. Recently I have been enjoying using different brush techniques to create texture and layer colouring pencils on top to add depth. I am also starting to play with oil paints which is something I want to explore further.
You started drawing and painting when you were around 7 years old. What has kept you persevering in that activity until now?
I always remember drawing as a small child and my parents bought me a paint set when I was 7. We were living in Japan at the time and they enrolled me in after-school art classes where I would make collages, sculptures and paint still life with the kids from the neighbourhood. Many of my classmates at school were creative and I found it very inspiring to be around them, delving into the arts and crafts of Japan. As I got older, art and making was encouraged at home: my Mum taught me how to sew and knit whilst my granny showed me how to quilt and embroider. My Dad took me to Paris when I was 11 to visit the Louvre and would tell me all about famous painters. Art as a career always felt like an option for me - having creativity encouraged from early on helped me to explore where I wanted to take it.
I studied textile design at university but my love for drawing and painting was always present. When I worked as a textile designer after I graduated, my job was to draw florals / geometrics / etc and translate those drawings into a textile print. The two practices live side by side, quite harmoniously together within me and I am grateful to have both of these worlds as an influence.
In your paintings you depict mostly everyday objects and spaces, but at the same time they are kind of oneiric landscapes, with an altered perspective and bright colours. And there’s also other works that refer to elements of nature like plants and animals. Where do you get your inspiration from, when starting a new painting? And what do you enjoy painting the most?
I love to have fun with my paintings and add a dream-like quality to them; I enjoy creating little worlds to escape into. Not necessarily because I want to escape real life, but I am a daydreamer and have always let my mind wander. Inspiration comes in many forms, but it is also a feeling that I can't quite describe. It is very emotional for me...if I have an idea and my heart says yes then I know it is something to explore! I love looking through old books of paintings, photographs, patterns, architecture, textiles. I am also inspired by personal experiences and things I have seen on a walk or travel. A trip somewhere new is always exciting, with the prospect of a full sketchbook and potential new colour palettes to play with.
I think most of all, I love to paint flowers and plants. I could surround myself with them every day and study their shapes and colours. I share a studio with a florist and I feel so lucky to be in such close proximity to flowers on a regular basis.
How do you take your work out to the world?
I have a wonderful illustration agent in the USA and this helps my illustration work to be seen around the world. Social media such as Instagram has been a huge part of being able to show my work to a wider audience too. I struggle with always having the confidence to put my work out there and I often feel the pressure to do so, but I think this is a common theme and I know I am not the only one. I love the community I have on Instagram and the friendships I have made and maintained - for that I am so grateful.
I recently started a newsletter and I feel it is a much more personalised letter to people around the world, compared with just an image on social media. It is another outlet to share my work and things I am enjoying.
Are you working on any upcoming project at the moment?
I am taking part in a group show in December called Side by Side with a handful of dear friends and local creatives. We curate a pop-up shop in a gallery space twice a year and right now we are organising and planning our next one which will be before Christmas. I have a couple of collaborations with friends coming up and I am working on a series of moth original paintings for people who have requested them. And lastly, I have an upcoming book project for next year which I am looking forward to starting.
If you’d like to find more about Flora Waycott, visit her website
Check out her online store here
And grab a copy of her wonderful book here