I stumbled upon yet another fabulous blog this week, atelier455. Have you heard of it? If not, you’re about to learn all about the blog + the cool artist, Joanna Tidball, behind it. Joanna and I had a good chat, so grab a cup of tea, relax, and take a peek at our conversation below.
decor8: Hello and thank you so much for letting decor8 readers into a little bit of your life. We’re excited to get to know you and your blog, Joanna. Can you tell us where you live and whether you’re a native or transplant there?
a455: Sure, and thanks for having me. I live in Sevenoaks which is located in Kent, England. I guess I’m a returnee native – I grew up here and recently moved back following several years in London, and before that I was at University in Manchester.
decor8: A London girl… I should have known. I’m always drawn in by all things British. So, what do you like about Kent?
a455: I’m surrounded by beautiful countryside – there’s a lovely stately home with a deer park close to my house – but I’m still within easy reach of London for work and shopping. Moving into the countryside has given me more time and space to pursue my interest in design and art.
decor8: Many find that moving to the country can provide much inspiration. Let’s chat about your amazing blog. Why did you call it atelier455?
a455: atelier455 is the name of my small business where I make artworks from vintage materials. The ‘atelier’ is taken from the lovely ateliers I’ve seen in Paris and Amsterdam. There’s no real rhyme or reason behind the ‘455’ – I just liked the sound of it! On my blog, I write about designs and designers I like as well as the work I produce myself.
decor8: Lovely connection to your travels, I like that. Why and when did you start blogging?
a455: I wanted to connect with other bloggers and share my thoughts on design – the obvious way to do this was to start a blog myself, which I did in March of this year.
decor8: What are some of your favorite blogs?
a455: As well as decor8 I read Karin’s Style Blog, design*sponge, Little Birds, Oh Joy! and many more – my blogroll has more links. I’m also a fan of Dooce and Go Fug Yourself.
decor8: Oh gosh, isn’t Go Fug Yourself the funniest ever? My friend and I read it together and burst into tears every single time. I’ve not heard of Little Birds, I must check that one out. So, with so many blogs out there, what kind of blog would you love to stumble upon that you’ve not yet seen?
a455: Anything vintage makes me happy, so I’d love to find more blogs which concentrate on vintage design and vintage finds.
decor8: With such a nice blog, I’m dying to know… What do you do for a living?
a455: I’m a freelance website consultant, currently working for a charity in London. The atelier455 work is mainly an evening and weekend project for now.
decor8: What would you rather do for a living?
a455: My dream job would involve travelling the world to source interesting vintage art, furniture and other interesting objects.
decor8: Yes, that would be an amazing gig to land, huh? Just imagine what you’d find. Perhaps you’ll get there someday! Tell us a bit more about your background…
a455: Sure. I’m 26 years old and I’m half Greek and half English. After secondary school I studied at art school for a year and then completed a degree in English. I worked in PR after university, before specialising in online communications which led me into website consultancy. I got married in summer 2004.
decor8: Wow, for 26, you have accomplished a lot in life, you even found the love of your life. :) I can’t wait to see what you accomplish before you’re 30 at this rate! Let’s chat about your home for a moment, what do you love about it and do you have a favorite room?
a455: I’ve only been a homeowner for a few months so I love everything about my home. My favourite room is probably the dining room, where we’ve combined old features, like a 16th century woodcut print, with modern features like bright pink chairs from Purves + Purves. The eclectic style works really well.
decor8: Sounds nice. Where do you get your inspiration?
a455: My work focuses on vintage objects and designs, so I find a lot of inspiration rifling through dusty corners of antique shops and thrift stores. I like to find unusual or overlooked items that could become interesting artworks.
decor8: Ah, so you try to find the mundane to transform into something lovely. What objects do you find yourself going back to?
a455: I think small, everyday items like stamps and buttons can be really beautiful.
decor8: Who are some of your favorite designers/artists and why?
a455: Svenskt Tenn, Orla Kiely and Cath Kidston for their wonderful prints. Karin Eriksson creates wonderfully simple and stylish ceramics and CJ O’Neill is another ceramic designer who produces beautiful work.
decor8: Kiely and Kidston are up there on my list, too. I’m not too familiar with Tenn or O’Neill, I’ll have to look them up – I’m glad you mentioned them. Okay, let’s wrap up our interview. I always love to ask about travel first, and then the top 10 things you just can’t live without. Ready?
decor8: Okay, Top 5 travel destinations that you’ve either visited or would like to visit someday…
a455: I’ve wanted to visit Australia and New Zealand for ages and my husband and I are finally making the trip at the end of this year – I can’t wait! Stockholm and New York are two cities I’d love to visit. Italy is probably my top travel destination overall.
decor8: Nice picks! And finally, what are the top ten things that you just can’t live without?
a455: In no particular order…white chocolate, the internet, molton brown bath oils, Jeanette Winterson’s books, weekends, Liberty’s in London, sunshine, a digital camera, my VW Polo and my garden shed (my studio!).
Thank you Joanna for introducing yourself, and your blog, to all of us here at decor8. We look forward to following your blog and hope to hear all about your upcoming vacation to Australia and New Zealand in the months to come.
If you’re interested in viewing Joanna’s work (it’s for sale!), click here.
If you have a blog about art or design, and you’d like to spread the word to decor8 readers, please email me, Holly Becker, at decor8[at]yahoo[dot]com. Include your blog link, too!
(image from joanna tidball)