Saturday, 21 July 2012

Artist of the Week - Diane Rogers

Diane Rogers is based in Brighton and produces beautiful hand painted or printed silk embroidered textiles. Diane will be exhibiting at the Brighton Art Fair.

Where did you train? What did training teach you and what do you wish it had taught you?
Foundation Art at Rochdale College of Art & Design. Great fun loved it. Loughborough College of Art & Design – before it joined the University of Loughborough it was then the largest independent Art College in the country. I have fond memories of the print department, as I studied a degree in Fashion/Textiles. I wished they had taught me more of the business side to Art, which would have been very useful. I know it is taught as part of courses these days.

Is being an artist your only job, or do you have other employment?  I first started work as a fashion printed textile designer and over the years my textile artwork developed out of my design work. My textile design work has lapsed over the last few years, and I am now more a textile artist than a designer. I still do a little freelancing but I need to up my skills on Photoshop and learn to use Illustrator.
I work with a friend, Julie Angel, developing art products. We had a joint project Learn to Paint – watercolour a few years ago with Winsor & Newton, which had a little success and for which Julie won a BIFFIN Award. Now we work on our own art products, which we are proud to say are developed, designed and made in the UK. We have been unable to get any help financially and are trying to get that first big order for Young Fashion Designer, which would mean we can progress with the production of two further painting products for children. I also have a part time retail job in Brighton (small but regular, reliable income!)

Last but not least I am also wife to Brian and mother to two sons Jack and Adam (23 and 19 – still at home) so am also a cook, cleaner and bottle washer!

One favourite living artist? David Hockney. He is fellow Northerner, although from the wrong side of the Pennines.
One favourite historical artist?
Georgia O’Keefe. I like her close up images of flowers. 

What is the most interesting / fun job you have had? Developing art products with Julie Angel.  It continues to be challenging and rather a steep learning curve but we have lots of laughs, especially doing sales promotions together.
If you could collaborate with anyone living or dead, who would it be and what would you do? Not sure I would enjoy collaborating on a piece of textile art. I wouldn’t mind if someone wanted to take a finished piece and then do something else with it.
At age 16 who most influenced your style?
My father.

Last book / film that blew your mind?
Pulp Fiction. Didn’t blow my mind, but quite enjoyed reading The Descendants recently. (Better than the film)

What music are you currently listening to?
Listen to Radio 4 when working. Have also been listening to Edith Piaff, Seasick Steve and Ella Fitzgerald. 

How many hours do you waste on the Internet each day? Too many catching up with emails!

If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?
The Greek Islands. I have many fond, memories of beautiful beaches with crystal clear water and sunny skies - carefree holidays with my husband Brian (pre kids!)

Where and what is your studio?
It’s at the bottom of my garden. My studio/shed was originally a broken down conservatory, which had 3 breezeblock walls, concrete floor and a wooden framed glass roof and frontage, which had long since fallen in and smashed. A wooden front was added, also double, glazed doors and a polycarbonate roof. I insulated and dry lined the interior walls, laid a wooden floor and moved in! I do have to share the space however, with the lawn mower, DIY tools, paint pots and the overflow fridge freezer!

Do you have a good work/life balance?
No, there’s never enough time, or I’m too tired to do everything I want to or need to do.

What one word would describe your feeling of doing your work?

What would your dream commission be?
An extremely lucrative one, which would create lots of interest in my work.

If you could exhibit in any gallery in the world, which would it be?
If possible, The Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice - what a private view you could have in the garden overlooking the Grand Canal!

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