The Creative Zone

Age of Reason scarf designer Ali explains how she arrives at a finished piece, from concept to complete article. 

A blank piece of paper can be a really intimidating thing. But I love that I have to get over that fear. Sometimes I spend hours just arranging my drawing table. It probably looks like I’m not doing anything at all, but it’s all about getting into the head space, creating a zone for my ideas. I’ll be thinking about everything from the print to the cloth. Everything has to work together to create the best possible scarf.  Once I’ve done that I’ll often head out for inspiration. I’m based in Brighton so finding a creative spark is not hard.

 I usually start by walking along the beach or heading to the National Gallery in London, I don’t know why but it draws me back again and again.  I also like to go to the British Museum or walk around Brighton or London (Soho, Shordich or Camden)  just looking at people. Then I’ll go back to the studio.   I try to keep it fresh with pictures and objects that relate to the current collection in my mind. 

Sometimes I will listen to the same piece of music repeatedly. That might sound insane,  but it really helps me to concentrate and maintain a drawing mood. For Bondage Dolls I listened to lots of Patti Smith,  M.I.A and Dark Horses.  I love female vocalists who tread their own path. I’m not too genre specific though. 

I usually draw about 20 drawings before I get to anything I’m happy with. My tools are a fountain pen, inks, brushes and loads of watercolour paper.  I use my i-phone to take pictures and splice them together roughly.  My favorite designs are the ones where I get to make a mess, like the Union Jack series. There’s a punk spirt that comes through if you just chuck paint around.  I’ve destroyed a wall or two with red paint, it was a bit Hitchcock. 

 The printers are based in East Sussex too, which is great because we don’t send anything out of the UK. We are really into Made in England so our sewing is done here as well. It’s great for me to be able to talk about thread choices and the finish with our seamstress Nicola.   

Every day when I finish my work in the studio I turn to a blank page and leave it for tomorrow, that way I have to make myself  have a fresh idea in the morning. Or just throw some paint around. 

Leave a Reply

search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close