Laura Lees is a renowned Scottish textiles and embroidery artist. Her unique and thoughtful approach to the medium has been applied to everything, from interiors to guitar straps. Having collaborated with us on our Spring Summer 2021 season collection, including custom hand-embroidered detailing on selected ready-to-wear styles, here she speaks about her creative processes.
JMD: What is your favourite part of being a maker and creative person?
LL: My. favourite part of being a creative is that my brain is unconsciously programmed to problem solving and translating things into beauty, be it areas, materials, furniture, clothes, interiors etc. I look at something and instantly my thoughts go towards understanding its origins and how or whether it can be improved. Even as fleeting as that can be. If something exudes perfection, then I'm genuinely thrilled by its design and if it's completely hideous I also find there's a sense of joy in its embodiment of repulsion.
JMD: When do you know something is finished? What does that feel like?
LL: I know when something is finished when the piece in front of me replicates the image that was initially in my mind's eye.
JMD: Describe the space where you work? Was it something that you have built up gradually or did you design it with a specific layout in mind?
LL: My workspace is very orderly and streamlined for maximum efficiency. My motto - "A place for everything and everything in its place". I like to prep each job with all that is needed and laid out prior to starting. I then create a total shambles as I'm working, frequent intervals of sweeping up, to keep the blood moving and mentally tackling unresolved problems with the commission. At the end, there is a joy of clearing everything back into its orderly and designated place.
JMD: How do you keep, catalogue and find inspirations?
LL: I have an extensive art book library and take so many photos daily. I then spend hours looking over them, processing the imagery in tandem with books I'm referencing and exhibitions. Never a day goes by without something I see triggering an idea.
JMD: How would you like people to reference your work?
LL: I would like people to reference my work with intrigue.