wer bin ich? woher komme ich und wohin will ich? diese fragen beschäftigen sicherlich nicht nur uns, sondern auch unsere freunde der pixel, stifte und buchstaben. deshalb möchten wir unter der rubrik VISUAL VIBRATIONS in unregelmäßigem abstand gestalter- und/oder shopfreunden von uns ein paar neugierige fragen stellen und euch unsere freunde mit ihren antworten vorstellen. und weiter geht’s heute mit helen musselwhite. sie zaubert aus papier kleine kunstwerke, sowohl im freien als auch im angewandten bereich. doch schaut selbst,… have a look!


who: helen musselwhite
where: a little south of manchester, uk

where do you create your art?

i work from a studio in my home, where i have my mac, a table, plenty of reference books and drawers full of paper. oh, and loads of discarded scalpel blades, of course. the studio was originally a dining room, but now it’s filled to the brim with my material, artwork and works in progress (much to the disgruntlement of my gent, who is allocated a couple of shelves and occasionally allowed on the mac!) our dog is definitely NOT allowed in as he likes the taste of paper a bit too much and is liable to run off with a mouthful of offcuts… in fact i have to create a sort of chicane near the door to obstruct him as he’s so keen on them. it’s down to him, watching me through the glass door to my studio, that i take a break – otherwise i’d get lost in my work and probably wouldn’t leave the studio all day.


what’s the best thing about doing what you do?

i  think it’s simply that i love doing this so much i can get totally lost in what i’m doing and the time passes by without me noticing. i’m at my happiest when i’ve nearly finished a piece that i’ve been really caught up in – sometimes i feel quite bereft when I’ve finished them!

what is so appealing about paper as a medium to work with?

i think it’s simply that there’s so much that can be done with it; so many ways to manipulate it. the more i work with paper, the more i find i can do with it. essentially, it’s as good a medium as you can make it – as good as your own creativity, and that’s a fantastic challenge.


how long does an artwork take to make?

the truth is i don’t really know – i don’t sit down and time myself to the minute, and as every piece is different it varies wildly! having said that, the smallest size of framed artwork takes around an hour if it’s a repeat design, whereas a larger piece could take up to 40 hours or more. i get very caught up in it when i’m working and quite often lose track of time…

how do you start your work; do you sketch or go straight to paper?
my pieces usually start with some words that are relevant or descriptive and a really quick thumbnail sketch.  i enlarge this and work from it, as i find the first sketch captures a spontaneity that is hard to replicate. next, i use tracing paper to work out the layers and to transfer the line drawing onto the reverse of the paper. i usually know how i want the piece to look before i start, so the process is quite controlled – although a piece will sometimes change and evolve as i work on it. there’s a bank of characters that crop up fairly often in my self-initiated work, so i have templates of those stored away – rabbits, foxes and deer, for instance.

what is your favourite paper stock?
i love all paper! watercolour paper is a particular favourite because of its many textures and weights, and i’ve recently started to paint it in solid colour with a dry brush to add texture and variety. i love an art shop – in fact i find it difficult to walk past one – and am always on the lookout for new paper stocks.

what/who are your influences?
my influences are many and varied; i’m fairly eclectic in my taste and all manner of things catch my eye, perhaps influencing me for a while. but here are some that remain old faithfuls: the british countryside and its flora and fauna, william morris and the arts and crafts movement, edward bawden, robert tavener, andy warhol’s pen and ink drawings, traditional japanese decoration and patterns, 1970s’ textile design, indian miniature paintings

the list could go on and on, but those are my mainstays.


where do you find inspiration?
my inspiration comes from lots of places, walking in the countryside with my dog, second hand book shops, i also love visiting the V&A museum in London.

here are a few of my favourite blogs that also inspire: (their online store is fab too!) fuels my love for little houses! both the online site and the magazine are great. (zum niederknien. anmerk. der red.) another wonderful independent magazine that has a great blog too


1 comment
  1. Anna says: 19. Juni 201318:39

    wow wie schön und filigran ist das denn? <3

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