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Meet Our Creatives - Amy Williams Lino Printing

1. So, tell us a little about you.
Hi I'm Amy and I teach lino printing for textiles at M.Y.O! I really love what I do and I hope those I teach feel the same joy from creating too. I'm from Yorkshire originally and love to be outdoors and discovering new places.
I live in South West London with my other half and my son Angus who is 18 months.

2. What’s your story? Tell us a little about your background and what you do.
I have loved creating things for as long as I can remember. We always had plenty of crafty things in the house when I was small and i used to make birthday cards for relatives. At around 12 I became interested in sewing after inheriting my Nana's sewing box. I had no sewing machine so used to sew everything by hand making bags, tops and dresses for myself. I studied Textile Design at Nottingham Trent specialising in embroidery. I also love to try new crafts and I spend my spare time creating cushions, cards, curtains, painting murals, anything really!

3. What artist or artwork inspired you the most growing up?

I loved Charles Renee Macintosh and travelled to Glasgow to see his work.
As a student Donna Wilson was my ultimate inspiration. I saw her as the designer maker I wanted to be. She makes really unique soft toys and homewares. My favourite was Cannibdoll (A cannibal soft toy!)

4. What artist most inspires you now?
My Mum is a huge inspiration. She did a degree in 3D Design Crafts at the age of 52 and started working for herself as a ceramicist making hand coiled and burnished pots and sculptures in sculptured a very traditional way. She was previously unable to work due to depression and since starting to create full time she is happier and so much better. It showed me just how much creativity can do for your mental wellbeing. I know that if you are having a bad day, you can create and feel yourself again. I think that is so important to take that time out, especially with a busy stressful life.

5. What do you create mostly for work and what do you create mostly for fun?
I make cushions to sell and these are lino cut and embellished or bespoke applique cushions with houses on. I am lucky that this to me is fun. The most fun non work thing is making cards for friend and relatives. I have done it for years so it comes second nature and I have never bought card in my life! I don't know whether my stash of fabric or my stash of coloured papers is bigger!

6. What piece of work are you most proud of? Why?
I love this picture I painted for my boyfriend in just an hour. I asked him (someone who thinks he has no creative bone in his body) to tell me which colours to use and got him to make choices of where I added colours. It turned out so well and we have it in our bedroom!

7. Do you think people are just born creative or is it something everyone has, but many don’t explore? 
Absolutely everyone is creative in some way. I love it when at the beginning someone thinks they will make a mess and won't be any good, then, by the end of the class, they are so pleased that they came and created something they are actually proud of! It is often those people that make the most unusual things as they have really thought outside the box.

8. What’s your favourite colour? Why?
Emerald Green is my current favourite. The slight blue tone to it is so beautiful. Not sure why, it's just so yummy. (In the summer I usually obsess over fluorescent coral.)
9. What’s your favourite album to listen to whilst you create and why?
I love to listen to Van Morrison Astral Weeks. I've listened to it a thousand times so don't get distracted by it. I have a CD player in my kitchen with loads of old cds I used to play in my car and they work a treat!
10. If you were stuck on a desert island and had to bring 3 items with you to create with, what would you bring!?
Ooh that's difficult! I would have to bring a pen with lots of different coloured nibs. Some watercolours and paper. I could doodle all day long with bold watercolours and I reckon I'd have a bit more time to work on some illustrations I never have time to do!!

Watercolour at M.Y.O

11. If you could give advice to yourself growing up, with the benefit of hindsight, what would it be?
Don't over analyse yourself and you can do whatever you put your mind to. I was very shy as a child and it wasn't that easy to get where I wanted in life. I made it eventually though!

12. What / who made you decide to become a professional creative, rather than doing it as a hobby?
I tried a few years ago to start designing and making and to not have a proper job and it turned out living in London was too expensive so I had to follow the money. After having my son I made a decision that I wanted to do what makes me happy so I can focus on making him happy too. As I couldn't take a part time role in my previous job to be with my son more I decided to get a part time job and create at home when I can. Then I found M.Y.O on instagram and approached them as they were my dream company to work with!

13. What makes you most happy?
My perfect day would be spending time outdoors, (probably on the beach in East Yorkshire) with my family and getting time to create too. Creating=happy to me.

Lino Printing class at M.Y.O

14. Is there anything exciting coming up that you would like to let people know about? 
The next few Lino printing for textiles classes are online now so please come along and get creative with me!

15. Where can people find out more about what you are up to?
Follow me on Instagram @amywilliamstextiles

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