This week the artist interview will be me, in a manner of speaking. It won’t be the same interview as everyone else although I will do that one at some point, but this one is a little last minute as I’ve had to do a small rejig to get some of my favourite artists in in the next few months. So this is an interview I did for another blog a while ago. Next week will be back to the usual artist interviews.
Bear with, bear with.
In March I was asked by the fab Mollie Makes Making Spot blog to do an interview which was rather lovely. Here’s the interview,
Marna Lunt is the talented designer behindwww.marnalunt.co.uk, a treasure trove of handstitched delights. We love Marna’s colourful style and clever personalised designs, so we asked her a little about how she works, what inspires her, and what she’s up to at the moment!
Marna, your online shop is a crafty treasure trove! What inspired you to set up Little a Designs?
Many of us find that life changes greatly after we have children and we have different goals and ideals. Luckily when you’re an artist it often gives you a purpose and talent to use that works well around children and working from home.
I had been made redundant during my pregnancy with my first child Arthur. When he was born he suffered severe brain damage and so I was very limited to what job I’d be able to do around his very specialised and intense care needed. Then I found not only did I need to make money but I needed to have an outlet that would help body and soul and I knew that now was the time to grab the opportunity and do what I really loved at last and paint and create. And Little a was born.
Every morning I’m excited about the day to come and the opportunity to make and create. I am constantly inspired by my greatest loves; the landscapes and colours of my North Yorkshire Moors and my deep love of Itaian Renaissance art. That may sound like an odd combination but they each excite me everyday.
Many of your designs incorporate wonderful personal elements – we especially love the church/venue cushions. Have you ever had any unusual or ambitious requests for stitched scenes or buildings?
I really enjoy making these scenes and always see every request as a bit of an adventure. I’ve not really had anything too weird but many wonderful suggestions. Quite often they are wedding venues or a really special place close to someone’s heart so it’s very important to get the atmosphere right. It’s not really the actual image that’s my main focus, but the story behind it – What’s so special about it, what memories does it evoke? – and with that I try to make sure the textures and fabrics reflect that sentiment.
My work is very textural and colourful, I love uses in layers and adding details that only the client will know or care about; a scrap of wedding dress, a hint at a favourite flower. Some fun commissions have been the Transporter Bridge in Middlesbrough which the locals love and feel very strongly about. Roseberry Topping is another local landmark to me which is much thought of and used by artists and the community. The some great venues from a French chateaux, a Yorkshire Castle and a tiny church found in the deepest depths of the North Yorkshire Moors. The entire London cityscape was interesting to try and get on a cushion too!
What’s next for Little a Designs? Tell us about your latest work!
At the moment I’m working on a new product of fabric personalised photo frames which I’m supply to lots of shops and is great fun developing. I’ve just finished a range of tweed cushion with Liberty fabrics too which I’ll be showcasing at the Country Living Fair in Harrogate at the end of the year. I’m extremely excited about that, because I get to hunt for tonnes of vintage goodies to use and the tweed and Liberty tana lawn fabrics are a perfect texture combination that just makes my heart sing when I use them. Add a stack of vintage buttons and lace and velvet and I’m in heaven!
What advice can you give to crafters who are taking their first steps in stitching?
Find your own way, your own style. That means experimenting with materials and ideas. People love and want originality and fun and the only real way you can get that is being yourself – don’t compare yourself to others and try and be something you’re not.
Create our own techniques and ways of doing them that suit your life and skills. It takes a long time to find your own style and what you love, but once you have found it and have faith in your ability then nothing can stop you.
Love what you do. If you don’t like it or want it why would anyone else? Be proud and show everyone the best part of you, the quality, time, love and talent you have. I make things that many others do, cushions, pictures, rosettes, but I always do it in a way that makes them very ‘me’. People can usually recognise my work because of the way I hand stitch, my colour and material choices and they way is which I draw with the thread and the finish.
Then get yourselves talking to people online, social media has changed the whole crafting community and it’s a wonderful world out there. Xx
Thank you so much, Marna, we’re so inspired by your beautiful stitched work. For more from Marna, click over to www.marnalunt.co.uk. You can browse the shop, check out the gallery and find out what Marna’s up to on her blog!