Lockdown has affected everyone and all our brands, designers and colleagues have dealt with it differently. We sat down to talk to some of our favourite designers on lockdown and discover how they’ve been coping over the past few months. To begin with, we caught up with textile artist Beatrice Larkin.
Hi Beatrice, tell us a little bit about yourself…
I’m normally based in East London where I design all my fabrics there. Each design is based on my ink and line drawings. Then I work with a mill in Lancashire to get them all woven. There they turn my weaves into throws, cushions and fabrics.
How is lockdown treating you?
I’m usually based in East London but since lockdown I’ve been in Whitstable with my family by the sea. I feel incredibly lucky to have been able to spend the time here. It has given me such great headspace.
How has lockdown shifted the way you design?
Lockdown hasn’t really shifted the way I design. In fact, it’s just meant I can design more because I feel like I have so much more time than usual. I’ve suddenly realised how fast-paced my lifestyle was in London. It feels so good to be out of that for the time being, even though I miss my life there too. But, I get to see the sea every day and the last few weeks the weather has been beautiful. It’s the best place I could be right now.
How has your business adapted to social distancing?
Not too much has changed because I work alone anyway and I manage my business on my own. Obviously when I’m shipping anything out I’m conscious of guidelines. But I’m still using couriers and queuing up at the post office from a safe distance so not much has changed.
How have you stayed motivated when working from home?
I’ve been keeping motivated more so than I was in London. I have so many more ideas now and I feel like the headspace has inspired me. There isn’t anything specific that’s inspiring me, just the space to think. I’ve been designing a lot of new fabrics, thinking of other products to make and new ways to apply my designs.
The weaving process is quite a slow one with lots of different parts involved in manufacturing. At the moment, all of these processes are taking a little bit longer. So, I’m thinking of other ways to create products. For example, I’m looking into print and applying my designs to many different surfaces. I’ve also been getting back into hand-making, hand-drawing and I’ve started lino-cutting. It’s shown me how much I miss hand-weaving and that zen-flow state you get into when working with your hands.
Have you picked up any new hobbies or interests during lockdown?
I’ve actually been spending so much time on my business. But, every day I try to walk along the sea front for an hour or so and listen to a podcast or audio book. I can’t seem to concentrate on reading a book but when I listen to it, I’m addicted. It also means I can listen whilst designing.
What has inspired you most during lockdown?
As I’ve been taking this time to focus on my business, I’ve been watching a lot of webinars. There have been lots of free webinars online that wouldn’t have been available pre-lockdown. They mainly focus on growing your business but also managing your business in these times and how your business can adapt. That’s been really beneficial to me.
This time has also given me more direction. You can live such a busy, crazy lifestyle in London and it’s sometimes difficult to get that headspace and clarity. I feel very inspired for where I’m going to take my work in the future. Watch this space.