Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your work?
Hello, I'm Gemma Hampton from Gemimalou. I am an illustrator living in Bristol. Fuelled by a passion for drawing and painting along with a penchant for stationery, I began selling my work last year. I design a range of goodies including greeting cards, prints and accessories. My playful designs explore shape, negative space and the use of colour.
Apart from creating things what else do you do?
I enjoy gardening and taking long walks in the countryside, harvesting inspiration from the natural world. I also spend a lot of time cooking and baking, recently attempting to perfect my bread skills.
When did you know you were an artist/maker?
I've had a huge love for arts and crafts since childhood. I have such fond memories of painting on my little red easel, donning a pair of wellies and one of my Dad's old shirts, letting my imagination run wild. Twenty-something years on, not much has changed! Having studied Drama at university, I decided that the acting path wasn't for me and began to focus on my artwork again, finally plucking up the courage to share my creations.
What do you love most about working in your chosen discipline?
My illustrations are often created using multiple methods. I enjoy combining the traditional with the contemporary; drawing, painting in watercolour and working digitally.
Where does your inspiration come from?
A fascination with nature, a sense of nostalgia and a fondness for simplicity. I also like bold colours.
Describe your studio or workspace?
I work from home and tend to hop between various rooms throughout the day. If I'm painting or packaging up stock I like to spread my materials out across the dining table. A lot of my time is spent using the computer at my desk - which is located in the corner of the front room. I really enjoy being free to roam around and use space effectively for different tasks.
If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman (dead or alive), who would it be?
Without a doubt, Salvador Dalí's studio - an enchanted, surreal world full of curiosity.
How would you describe your creative process?
I tend to have sudden brainwaves and like to carry a sketchbook and notebook with me for jotting down initial thoughts and collating ideas. It helps me to feel organised during the design process, I find that creativity flows more easily. I experiment with ideas until I get a spark and can envisage roughly how I would like a final piece to turn out. Then I get to work, and usually aim to finish a piece within a few days. A lot of my work involves creating a drawing or painting using traditional methods and then transforming this image using the computer. I scan these in and work into them using digital software, often adding colourful backgrounds, which enables me to create the desired effect of the final design.
What handmade possession do you most cherish?
A handcrafted wooden solitaire puzzle. My Dad made it for me as a child and it's provided endless amounts of joy and frustration - I still haven't managed to solve it to this day!
What do you when you are stuck in a creative rut?
I like to have a wander and mull over ideas in my head for a while. Sometimes, if I'm really stuck, I find it beneficial to have a break and do something else entirely and then refocus with a fresh perspective.
Which is your favourite local independent shop or eatery in Bristol & why?
There are lots to choose from, making Bristol a really exciting place to live. I've particularly enjoyed my visits to Assilah Bistro, a Moroccan restaurant in Totterdown. Such delicious food and a lovely relaxed atmosphere.
Where would you like to be in ten years?
Still happily creating and learning new processes, with lots of new stockists! One of my aims is to start work on a children's book in the future.
Thank you Gemma - we love a nature inspired greetings card. You can find Gemma's work in our Paper Scissors Stone shop.
Paper Scissors Stone
Mon - Sat: 10am - 6pm
Sun: 11am - 5pm