Blog Gem - Amy Blackwell

Isn't the the world of blogging and social media a wonderful thing?! Without it I wouldn't have come across my August Blog Gem. This month's gem is one super, talented artist and I just LOVE her work! Her art work is creative, colourful, characterful and so unique. As a fan, I just had to find out more about what inspires her to create and of course, who she would invite to the Blog Award dinner! So, lets find out more! 

Hello there! Who be the face behind the paintings?

My name’s Amy and I’m an artist based in the middle of the UK. I work part time at a cinema as a projectionist and spend the rest of my time drawing, knitting, painting, sewing and making work which I sell in my online shop. I have a cat called Illya Kuryakin and my favourite colour is yellow.

What's your creative space/studio like? 
Not-quite-as-organised-as-it-should-be chaos. It’s a room in my home that looks out into the garden with a desk covered in stuff and things. It’s probably the coldest room in the house (which makes it my favourite, because I’m a winter person through and through). I’ve managed to fill it with everything I could possibly need and then some.

If you had to take only one of your creative tools to a desert island, what would it be and why? 
Probably my crochet hook because I reckon I could make some very functional things out of big leaves. I could draw in the sand with it and they always come in handy doing fiddly jobs.

How do you work and get inspired? 
I work from my imagination. I fill it up with colours and shapes from the world around me and then sift through it until I find something nice to put on the page. I do a lot of knitting and crochet and that’s a perfect time to reflect and assess what’s going on and plan new projects. I now own an ever growing collection of blankets.

Are there stories behind your illustrations?
I listen to the radio a lot while I work, especially the dramas. So, I always seem to have stories going round my head while I work but I can’t say for certain if that inspires the people and characters I draw. If they do have stories they haven’t told me them yet, but I’m eagerly awaiting the day they do...

What top tips would you give to any novice bloggers and those thinking of selling their designs?
I’ve had a big run in recently with people stealing my work, it’s still going on. So, an important message to pass on would be don’t let things like that get you down (or put you off), but be careful how you display your work online. I always used to just slap low-res pictures up on my blog without much thought. Now I carefully sign or watermark my pictures. I try to take more care by taking smart photos of the work in and around my home - it’s a learning curve but it’s actually inspiring me to be a bit more creative in the home and on the blog (plus my living room has never been tidier!).

If you could go to a Creative Blog Award dinner with any 5 people/fictional characters (dead or alive), who would you choose? 
(Warning I haven’t picked very art related people) 
This is something I’ve thought about A LOT recently and when I was reeling off my list of guests to my friend, he pointed out, “Amy, none of these things talk!?”, quickly followed by, “You can’t invite a triffid!”(Can’t you just picture a triffid trying to sip soup?? Holding a spoon in one of it’s branches...? no?). Here are my more sensible options. Miss Marple because she’d enjoy the food and Poirot probably wouldn’t. Victor from the french TV series The Returned (because I’m allowed at least one slightly creepy quiet person, right?). My friend Fuz because she’d find the whole thing hilarious. Alan Rickman - because this would make Fuz very happy. And finally Philip Glass because he’s wonderful.

And & tea or film & wine?
Definitely a place in my heart for both! But if I had to pick , tonight I'll curl up with my book...

Thank you Amy, it's been an absolute pleasure hearing all about your creative world! Ha ha, I love the idea of a triffid coming to the Blog Award dinner! That would certainly provide a lengthy conversation topic at the dinner table. What wise, wise words about both protecting your work and also how to approach it psychologically. Thanks again, Amy!

I hope you've all enjoyed this month's Blog Gem. If you want to find out more about Amy, head over to her gorgeous website here. Next month takes a different thread....ooh, is that a clue? Hee hee, maybe it is but my lips are sealed! ;-)

Happy blogging folks!

All of the images and interview answers are the copyright of Amy Blackwell.  Please do not use without seeking permission first. Thank you.