Art. It can be obscure, divine, abstract, colourful and truly unique, which can make it difficult to fit into a rooms’ interior. I interviewed Amelia Bowman, an artist from Norfolk to find out about her art, how she developed her technique and the rooms she think her art suits best.
Part 2 will be a discussion with Jo Ridout, interior designer from A Passion for Homes, who will recommend how to use each Amelia’s art in different rooms and interiors…
How did you develop your artistic style?
I trained as textile designer but quickly found my way into illustration and then digital illustration. It was purely by chance that I discovered the process of printmaking but it happened at a time in my life when I was spending increasing amounts of time at the coast and so the sketches from those visits became the subject of the collagraph plates that I print with.
My style is simple but precise taking the most important elements, often squashing the perspective in order to incorporate as much as possible and maximize both the impact and distinguishing features of the place represented. The pattern designs developed as a byproduct of the printmaking as it needed colour and something unusual to set it apart. I began by using wrapping paper and craft papers but soon decided I had to try pattern design for myself. It took some time and patience but it has added another string to my bow and given me the chance to incorporate my digital illustration skills too.
Obviously, you can see your art is influenced by flowers and the local area. Where is your favourite place to visit for inspiration?
The coast – always the coast! It’s so full of life and colour and is a naturally creative environment not to mention being very cathartic. Inland scenes are beginning to fascinate me too though and I am very excited about getting out there and putting my stamp on many an iconic viewpoint! Britain is absolutely bursting with the most fantastic landscapes whether they are natural, manmade or a combination of the two. I have an ever-growing list of places I plan to visit and work with but very often inspiration just presents itself to me out of the blue – for that reason I rarely let myself out without a camera, sketchbook and pencil!
Where do you see your collagraphs/posters in a home? What room do you think they suit best?
I don’t think there’s a simple answer to that question because every time someone buys a print from me and tells me where they’re going to put it it’s always different and it always seems appropriate. I suppose I probably feel that the original prints are more suited to living spaces whereas the posters work well in hallways, stairwells and bathrooms but anything goes really. I sometimes have people sheepishly telling me they are going to put a piece in their downstairs loo and my response is, “At least it’s somewhere where people will be able to sit and admire it!”
Have you made your patterns into wallpaper?
Not yet! I absolutely love the pattern designs and long to see them as wallpaper and fabrics and I am often asked if they are available to buy in these forms. One day I hope to be able to say yes but for now I am keenly seeking licensing agreements with companies that can use my designs on products such as wallpaper. Fingers crossed Amelia Bowman interior decorations will be available one day!
What is your favourite piece you have created?
It changes regularly with the addition of new pattern designs and editions created using different colour schemes. Right now I love Cley Windmill (Passion Lily) the most!
I have noticed your art doesn’t have any people. What is your reasoning behind this?
I suppose it’s the idea of experiencing a place or a space uninterrupted as if you are the only person there. It’s like being somewhere in the early morning on a summer’s day when no one else is up yet or being in the middle of nowhere and having the surroundings and the wildlife all to yourself. I think there’s something magical about that. I haven’t ruled the inclusion of figures in my work out altogether but for now in terms of living creatures it’s just the animal kingdom!
Read the part 2 of this 3 part series here.