Helen Bullock - splash of optimism and scribbles that works

Helen Bullock

- Shortly describe yourself.
- Designer/printer/illustrator I guess!

- Name if there is any difference between you as a designer and you as a person.
- One is a little more frustrated than the other.
- What kind of role art and design plays in your life?
- A BIG PART. It’s what keeps me moving.

- Why so many people, including you, are interested in fashion and everything what is related with it?
- Whether you like it or not it’s an unavoidable entity. Whether you see it or not it’s an external expression of who you are.

- What inspires you the most?
- Every day finds. Marks on the ground, angles and juxtapositions. Natural colour compositions that happen by chance – a door with a car parked outside and mixed with some blossom. That was yesterdays find. But also art, books, movies. I’m slowly educating myself with films. I’m VERY behind and am frequently shocking people by what I’ve not seen.

- What was your first created item? Do you still have it?
- I found these trousers the other day when I was at my parent’s house, that I had cut down to shorts and embroidered all over them. God knows why I’ve kept them as they’re bloody awful. In fact is my mom reads this she’ll go up in the attic and remove them immediately.

- What is the process from idea to final outcome? What part is hardest and why?
- It often involves going round and round in circles, until eventually I come up with some illustrations, that often have nothing to do with the final outcome, but somehow open the door for me to the next step. I guess the hardest part is when you loose the faith and the even the Rescue Remedy won’t help you!

- Maybe you have special rituals before you start to create?

- Your clothes are rich in colours and illustrations. Do you think that illustration is starting to be more popular nowadays?
- I feel like I’m noticing a revival…but that might just be optimism, as I’m trying to get mine out there.

- What are your values (both creativity and life)?
- To be true to yourself. Follow what feels right. But to find that and commit to it is the battle.

- Best advice you ever had regarding your expression?
- My Foundation tutor commented that I had good mark making skills, and had I considered Print. I had definitely not even been aware of it as an option. SO yes. That was rather helpful!! Life changing in fact! Another fabulous person told me, at a time when I really didn’t think I could, that I could do better.
OH! And another not so fabulous person told me that ‘I can’t draw, I scribble’. That’s, probably my favourite. They meant it as an insult, but I rather liked it. Scribbling is always my fall back mark, but always so enjoyable. Anyway, by being told that I couldn’t draw really made me move to make it work for me.

- You are based in London. How does it influence your creation?
- There’s a rawness that is appealing. It’s also a city full of contrasts, and diversity, which is definitely influential. There’s room for whatever you’re planning to do. Creatively… perhaps not literally!!

- Do you still feel that you need to march and fight to get public attention?
- OH. I love that phrase. I’m keeping that as my motto. Thank you! But yes. I have to make a bit of noise to be heard. But, I’m naturally loud!

- Future plans, hopes and dreams?
- To be able to maintain the standard of creativity that I felt I had when I was on the MA. I was so immersed in my work and was in this seemingly exclusive creative bubble, and I really felt like I was doing something that I truly believed in. It’s difficult when you’re not surrounded by all these amazingly creative people (both tutors and friends) to get back in to that zone, with that same determination and focus. You weren’t thinking about whether it was practical, whether it could be reproduced, or the fact that you had to go to another job the next day. It was an amazing feeling, and something I strive for.
ALSO… I need a permanent studio space… which is kind of hard when you have a lot of printing equipment requirements. But yes. My dream would be some kind of communal space, large, concrete floors, friends near by, and a lot of room to make a mess.

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