Welcome to our first ever blog post! At Maison Margot we are very lucky and honoured to work with some incredibly talented artists and designers. As our lovely customers don’t often get to go behind the scenes of how a product is made and where it comes from, we thought we’d put some of our designers under the spotlight and find out for you! This week, we have got the lovely Katie Victoria Brown, designer and maker of our fabulous Silk Leopard Cushions.
MM: Hi Katie, let’s start with you telling us a little bit about yourself and where you’re from.
Katie: I live in the beautiful county of Hampshire. I love nature and going out for walks in the beautiful countryside. I was born to a Canadian father, and Indian British mother. There's a real mix of nationalities in my family. I'm Canadian, Indian, Irish, French, Scandinavian and English, with dual-nationality - Canadian and British.
MM: How did you get involved with painting and creating art?
Katie: Painting and art was my favourite hobby as a child. I loved using colour and being spontaneous with the brush. My mum was always buying us lots of paints and things to make things with. My grandmother once told my mother: "you're buying them so much paint; they're going to start painting the walls!" My mother didn't take any notice! She always wanted a child who was an artist, and that's what she got.
MM: Is your Mum arty too?
Katie: She is arty and creative. I always admired that about her when I was growing up. I would watch her doodling drawings on paper and she'd always be moving all the decor round in the house. She's still at it! She also owns a lot of my cushions and lampshades! She's very much a free-spirit, always doing her own thing. I'm probably quite similar to her!
MM: So, how did you progress?
Katie: Art has always been a part of my life. I've continued with it my whole life. I did my degree in Fashion and Textile Design (specialising in Printed Textiles) at Winchester School of Art, and felt very much at home there. It was a quiet, peaceful place. It felt relaxed being there, like my second home really. I did a lot of screen printing at Winchester School of Art and experimental work with different techniques and dying fabric. It was all a lot of fun.
MM: So you started with screen printing?
Katie: Yes, the screen printing was for the one-off pieces, which were more like a piece of art. I specialised in printed textiles for fashion then. All my designs, I paint by hand, and then they go into the computer, and are printed digitally onto fabric. That way I can use many colours and more blending. In the industry, screen printed fabric is printed in blocks/layers. Each screen with it's own colour. With digital printing, you can use as many colours as you want, all at once!
MM: How long did it take you to paint our gorgeous Silk Leopard products?
Katie: It takes me hours to paint my designs. That's what I love about working on my own. I can be creative and take my own time, with no pressure. I can do what I want, that's when I produce my best work.
MM: What is your favourite medium?
Katie: I use a lot of gouache. In the future, I'll be using more oil paints for other paintings that will be one-off pieces of art (which will probably be separate from textiles).
MM: What inspires you? And what inspired you to create the Leopard print?
Katie: I'm inspired most by nature, because it's so beautiful. I've always loved the tropical theme. I first did a tropical themed collection at university, years back. It's something I've always kept in my heart! I've also been very much inspired by my travels to tropical destinations; these odysseys began in 2010.
MM: So how do you go about designing a new piece of art? What would be your process?
Katie: I just start painting things and then I scan them into photoshop for digital printing. I just do whatever I like, whatever comes to my mind. It's all very spontaneous.
MM: What tools could you not work without?
Katie: Paint brushes, paint, pencils and good quality paper.
MM: What is next for you in 2019?
Katie: I'll be extending my product range, so there will be wallpaper, fabric and scarves added to the collection.
MM: Wallpaper and fabric, yay! And we'll definitely be needing a scarf or two...
Katie: Ha ha ha!
MM: And what do you love most about what you do?
Katie: The painting really, and just being creative with it. We all have unique talents and we have to use those unique talents that we have - that sets us apart from others. If we do what we love, then others will love it too. Be free, unique and creative!
MM: And last but not least, what’s your favourite tipple?
Katie: Probably a nice glass of French red wine - maybe a Burgundy!
Sophisticated, just like her beautiful designs and products. Shop the whole range from Katie Victoria Brown here, and watch this space for later in the year when we will definitely be adding her wallpaper & fabric to our collection.