Meet the Maker - Emma Garland (Little Red Apple)

Thursday, June 06, 2013
Our Meet the Maker interview today comes from the lovely Emma Garland, aka Little Red Apple.  Over to Emma to tell you more about her work...

Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your work? 
Hello, I’m Emma Garland and I make greetings cards under the name Little Red Apple. They’re hand collaged using images of fabric and some papers that I produce myself along with bright, plain coloured papers & I like to use scanned fabrics to give the appearance of texture.  My designs have a simple, fresh style. 

Apart from creating things what do you do?
I’m a full-time mum, with two children aged 6 and 3. I love cooking, reading, being outside and eating! 
When did you know you were an artist/maker? 
The way things look and good design have always been very important to me but I don’t have an artistic background. For years I have made cards for friends every now and then and made my own Christmas cards. This grew into a small business when my youngest child was a baby.  I started off mainly making kids and new baby cards as I needed lots of these myself. I found many of the choices available quite uninspiring so I started to make my own. 

What do you love most about working in your chosen discipline? 
I love the flexibility and freedom I can do as little or as much as I choose and can fit it around my family life. I also love the variety; it’s not just making but also the associated roles such as social networking, website maintenance, trying to improve my photography, selling etc.  I am learning lots of useful skills!  In fact sometimes it can be hard to get enough time to sit down and create new designs. In terms of working with paper, I love the fact that it’s quick and simple so I get to see the results in a short time… I’m not very patient! 

Where does your inspiration come from? 
It’s difficult to narrow it down. All sorts of things can set off a train of thought leading to a new design – a walk in the woods, watching a bird in the garden, a vase of flowers, a texture or pattern on fabric, an interesting colour combination. Not everything works out at first but I might park the idea and work on it again in future. 

Describe your studio or workspace? 
I dream of having my own little room to work in one day but for now most of my making happens on the kitchen table. There’s plenty of room to spread out but the worst part is having to pack everything away on a regular basis! I have a chest of drawers crammed full with papers, punches, paint and pens and topped with folders full of yet more papers. 

If you could peek inside the studio of any artist, designer or craftsman (dead or alive), who would it be? 
Quentin Blake. His work has so much energy and humour and always makes me smile. 
How would you describe your creative process? 
From coming up with a possible idea, I then play around with papers and fabrics and make a prototype version. Every part of the process is completely handmade and very low tech! I sketch the design, use tracing paper to make the prototype and then once I’m happy with the size and shape I make a template out of thin acetate, so I can reproduce it many times over. The making process is fuelled by plentiful hot drinks and something good to listen to. 
What handmade possession do you most cherish? 
I have two china dogs that one of my best friends bought me as a birthday present years ago. I’ve no idea who made them but they are full of character and live happily on my mantelpiece. 

What do you when you are stuck in a creative rut? 
Going for a run is great thinking time.  Thoughts that have been bubbling away in the recesses of my brain for months can crystallise in to usable ideas and I find I can sometimes resolve issues that have been holding me back. However it’s not always a tempting prospect and I can easily talk myself out of running!  Otherwise something as simple as a rummage through a charity shop looking at fabrics and china can sometimes suggest new design ideas. 

Which is your favourite local independent shop or eatery in Bristol & why? 
The Star and Dove pub in Totterdown. Good drinks, food and décor. And they have a lovely parquet floor which I covet. 

Where would you like to be in ten years? 
I would like to be still creating things as I find it very rewarding and I’m still flattered that people want to buy my cards. Probably moving to printed designs created from handmade originals rather than producing everything by hand as I do at the moment. This will enable me to create more complex time-consuming designs too. And I’d like to be in my own dedicated studio… with a parquet floor!

Emma we LOVE your cards.  That blackbird is just lovely.  Thank you for a great interview too.  You can find Emma's work in our Paper Scissors Stone shop.

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Sun:  11am - 5pm

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