Morning everyone – hope your week is going well. Today we are meeting Gabriella – I met the lovely lady I am about to introduce you to over on Twitter, and am so glad I did – I find her work bright and cheery without being saccharine sweet – just the right balance for me. So, read on to find out more….
1. Whats yer name and where d’ya come from?!
My name is Gabriella Buckingham which is much better than my maiden name let me tell you!
2. How long have you been doing what you do, and how did you get into it?
I’ve been self employed since 1998 when I left my job as a greeting card product manager to go back to freelance illustration. It wasn’t until both my children were toddlers that I set up Moobaacluck – my personalised decorations and stationery business in 2008.
3. What is the hardest part of your work?
The physical amount of time fulfilling orders takes up at busy times, it can feel relentless in November and December – it usually is! Even when it is not like that I find it all too easy to work every day and into the evening with no weekends off simply because I work from home. I am a bit like a carp – I seem to expand my work to fill the time available! Everything I make is painted and packed by me so it is extremely time consuming.
4. And what is the most rewarding?
The most rewarding thing has to be when someone sees my work among others and chooses to order from me and then let’s me know how pleased they are with what I send them.
5. What do you class yourself as – artist, designer/maker, crafter, creative?
Anyone who’s ever read my blogs ( I’ve recently moved to inkpaintpaper.com) will know I struggle with this one. I’d say primarily a painter who became a designer maker in the last few years. Although having said that I don’t cut the wood for my creations myself. They are hand cut by someone to my specifications. Painter, illustrator, designer is about right.
6. Who from the creative world do you admire?
Where to start.. there are painters whose work I love : Mary Newcomb; Elaine Pamphilon; Jo Self; creative business owners I admire too : Emma Bridgewater- very much a business woman; Donna Wilson – extremely creative personally yet internationally successful; Jan Constantine – cleverly expanding her brand with licensing deals; Lucie Loveheart a fellow Norfolk based illusrator with a beautiful distinctive magical style; Twitter friends Jane Lindsey from Snapdragon and Becky Peabody from Dots and Spots both of whom are incredibly consistent and strategic growing their businesses. I could go on…
7. Where does your inspiration come from?
Initially I suppose it came from my small children , I started Moobaacluck by making presents for their friends. Now it comes from thinking about childhood – the things children love; as well as thinking about what a customer wants to buy my work for. Not everything I make is for children for example my ‘Just Married’ hearts. There is a cute or whimsical slant to some of my work of course but much is also about the hand painted text which can say whatever a customer wants it to. ‘For Children and the young at heart’ is one of my bylines (recently a customer said just that on Feefo about my work) – along with handmade happiness which is what I am aiming to send to people. Like most creative types I love looking at blogs and pinterest but I can’t honestly say that I’ve seen something and thought – right I must create something like that! It’s much more subtle. I might be influenced by the feel of an illustrative composition – a touching tableau of children with their toys might spark off an idea for a new shape to cut for example. Or a gorgeous colourful photograph might inspire a colour way for something. I’m a member of ACID ( Anti- copying – in – Design) so I hope I am never ‘influenced’ by someone else’s work. I find just getting out for the day into Norwich or looking at art books in the great library there uplifts and inspires me.
8. Do you listen to music/watch TV whilst you are working, and if so, what?
I’m very unexciting. In my summerhouse studio I listen to radio 4 most of the time; very very occasionally Steve Wright on R2 and sometimes 6 Music in the house where we have a digital radio. Recently though I’ve been watching/listening to Monica Lee’s video interviews on SmartCreativeWomen.com which I really enjoy, and I can just about get the signal in my summerhouse!
9. Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
I would really like to crack this one. Ideally exhibiting paintings,selling my art for cards and licensing my painting and illustration both as Moobaacluck brand and a second brand – whether that be ‘Gabriella Buckingham’ or ‘Inkpaintpaper’. I’ve always been resistant to making Moobaacluck into a wholesale brand of purely wooden items and struggled as to why this was. At last it is much clearer to me. I enjoy making physical items to commission that people can decorate their home with and I imagine I will still be doing so – just less of it in 5 years.
10. What sacrifices have you made for your art?!
If I had stayed in full time employment I could have been earning a good salary now. I gave that up with only £750 to my name , left work and set up as an illustrator. A month or so later I won my first Ladybird book to illustrate.
Spending time with family and friends is really the only sacrifice I’ve made. I’ve always been a work first kind of person, people don’t have to nag me to get on. The reverse is true. It’s hard on people that love me or would if only they actually got to know me!
And you will ned to visit the following websites to really appreciate the full variety of work this talented lady produces…..
So loads of stuff for you to have a look at – enjoy!
Have a fab weekend and see you next week – oh, and don’t forget, for a chance to win a set of Christmas Cards, check out my blog post from Monday.