Monday, 9 April 2012

My Space Monday : Hayley Wright of Bornrestless

Hayley Wright is the skilled embroider from Born Restless and has let us take a sneak peak into her studio.

Where is this workspace that you call home?

Hello, and welcome to my tiny but much loved workspace which also doubles up as my bedroom in a lovely little flat in South Manchester.

This is the place I collapse into when I get home from my day job, the place from which I spy on the neighbours across the way, and the place where I spend hours drawing, sewing, listening to radio drama and generally making a gluey, thready mess.

I moved here with friends in the summer of 2010 and have since managed to fashion my little box room into a space that works for me. While it would be great to have a bigger room, the size limitations my current space imposes have inadvertently had a positive impact on my practice and guided me to the small scale work I currently make.

What makes this space a perfect working environment for you?

When I finished Uni and moved back home to Derby, I didn’t have the big studio spaces to mess about with paint in at my disposal any more. I had to think about how I could keep making stuff in a way that fitted in with full time work and in a way that wouldn’t ruin my mum’s carpets.

Three years on, further up north, and I'm busy with a full time job in a Uni I finally feel like I’ve managed to find a way of working that fits in with my lifestyle and that keeps me interested and excited about my practice.

I’ve always worked best when alone, and one of the things that is perfect about my workspace is that it is peaceful, familiar and comfortable. I cycle home, shut the door, pull down the blind and I’m surrounded by photos of the people I love, ideas and drawings on the walls, and everything I could need within arms reach (literally!).

What object in your workspace could you not live without and why?

An object I couldn’t live without would be a pen. I forget everything important and only remember useless things so have to write everything down on bits of paper and the back of my arm.
I get a lot of ideas for new embroideries from things I overhear, as well as from strange dreams and articles I read online, and without a pen I think I would just forget it all and end up watching tv all night instead of making anything.

Explain to us a typical day in your studio.

A typical day for me involves work, speed cycling home so I can get started on fun stuff, getting straight into my dressing gown, pouring a big g&t and looking around me for inspiration. I try and put in a good couple of hours most evenings. At the moment I’ve a few commissions on so have been trying to make the most of my limited time by planning what I need to do each evening or week.

If there was a fire in the building, what would be the 3 items/objects that you would instantly grab?

If there was a fire i’d probably be a typical technology reliant child of the 21st century and grab my phone and my laptop. Depending on how much of an inferno the flat was i might try and grab the big drawer full of embroideries that i keep in the lounge. If that was too risky i’d take my little house plant that i bought when we moved in. Its the only plant i’ve had that hasn’t died on me, and i feel a sense of duty towards it.

Any tips on maintaining a workspace and how to ensure a productive day in the studio?

For me, I find that creating structure to my day is really important. It’s very easy to get distracted or just faff about for a bit before realising its 11pm and you’ve done nothing with your night, so i try to build in time, say 8-10pm where i’m sitting at my desk and i’m not answering my phone or procrastinating on Facebook or reading about paranormal experiences on Wikipedia.

Generally speaking though, if you genuinely love what you do then you want to spend your time doing it, so it isn’t a chore. It's important to remember that everyone has rubbish days and phases where they feel like everything they make is terrible. Take a break, make a brew, go to bed, there's always tomorrow!

Thank you beautiful Hayley, we agree - a good plan, always keeping a pen nearby and trying not to procrastinate is how we tend to think too! It seems all the artists we have featured on our My Space Monday posts all share the same thought that a good cup of tea and some space away from your work when you need to is really important.

Thank you Hayley, hope your plant is still ok!

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