What To Do… Meet Heather Moore {Skinny LaMinx}

April 28, 2008

I can’t believe we’ve finally reached the end of our discussion, What To Do When You Don’t Know What To Do. I hoped that it helped our dear friend Nathalie over at Design Undercover, the inspiration behind this series, along with Marisa at Creative Thursday and our friend Erin at Design For Mankind and of course, readers out there that may have wondered how creative types find their calling in the design world. It’s a tricky topic and there’s no easy answer. It’s been a lot of fun for me to read all of the submissions from creative types who so willingly offered to help build this series. So a big thanks to everyone for participating!

What To Do... Meet Heather Moore {Skinny LaMinx}
To conclude the What To Do… series, I’ve asked Heather Moore, a surface pattern designer and writer from South Africa who also goes by the name Skinny LaMinx to offer her insights. This lady has a huge fan base from all over the world, people really seem to respond to her handmade designs that she sells on etsy and many flock to her blog daily to see what she has to talk about next. She also blogs for Elle Decoration South Africa. So with that, let’s chat quickly with Ms. Moore, shall we?

How do you think a person can find their spot in the world of design — your true calling?

I think the first thing to do is to find out what you like and why you like it. This is quite fun because it’s like window shopping, but with a degree of self-awareness. So take note of your own reactions, seeing what it is that attracts you, and start to understand this. By doing this, you’ll get a sense of where you belong in the world of design, and the kinds of other people who will like your things. When I was very attracted to comics, I used to often copy the work of artists that I liked. It was just for my own amusement, but often helped me understand what it was about their lines and shapes that I liked so much, and it improved my own practice enormously. Copying is not encouraged in a professional capacity (obviously), but it can help you grow.

Any other tips?

The next thing is to trust yourself and the things you make, and to stop second-guessing your own decisions. I used to do this, but the point at which I gained the confidence to make my own way was when my husband told me that my first ideas were usually my best. This passing comment made me realise I could trust my decisions and my own sensibility, and through this, my confidence in my own designs grew. Confidence builds on confidence, and the more positive reaction I get to the things I make help me feel like I can take more risks with my designs. It’s a very exciting feeling! Oh, and the other thing is to take risks. I was too scared to spend money on making things happen at first, but when I broke that barrier, it was fantastic, and immediately led to more exciting things.

What To Do... Meet Heather Moore {Skinny LaMinx}
Do you feel that you found your calling and if so, how did you get there?

I spent so many years doing illustrations for schoolbooks, feeling desperately unhappy about the work I was doing, largely because the final product was almost always cut-rate and shoddy (in my humble view!). Now that I’m able to spend my time making things that I know to be high quality and pleasingly made, I feel a lot more fulfilled, and happy with what I do all day. It’s so hard to answer this question about design being a “true calling”. My Protestant upbringing and living in Africa makes it hard for me to think of this fairly frivolous occupation having such a lofty title! Nonetheless, it is true that my own design work gives me loads of satisfaction and seems to make other people happy, so maybe it is my true calling (although I do still dream of starting a community veggie garden!)

Add any other thoughts that you think may help others?

Finding your spot in the world of design will involve helping others do the same. I have found the experience of others to be so useful to learn from, and am always happy to share my small experience with others. Blogs are one of the most generous media I’ve ever experienced, both in terms of friendliness, helpfulness, and also in the way people share their process and discoveries.

Thank you, Heather!

If anyone would like to ask Heather any questions, please do so by commenting below.

{If you’d like to read words of wisdom from our creative panel, you can click here — I can assure you that the time will be well spent because if you’re searching for your creative calling I think you’ll have a better idea as to how to find it after reading the What To Do… series. I’ll follow up later on with a quick summary highlighting some tips collected from everyone’s entries in case you’d like to hang onto it for your own self-discovery.}

(image top: altered by me, original photo by Ez at Creature Comforts, bottom image from skinny laminx)


  • Reply Nathalie April 28, 2008 at 9:29 pm

    Hi Holly
    i have just sent you an email as a response to this last series, but here i just want leave a short comment to say thank you an thanks to all the kind decor8 readers who left comments and have stopped by at my blog with advises on how to find my calling
    it really means so much to me and has helped me indeed. I am truly grateful,

    a million trillion of thank you’s

  • Reply Shalom April 28, 2008 at 10:19 pm

    This series on What To Do.. couldn’t have come at a better time. I am at a point in my life where I feel I have suppressed my creativity long enough but I have so many interests and talents that I feel stuck. Thanks to all the artists and to you for sharing. The posts have definitely been an inspiration for the hour and a half that I sat to read through them.


  • Reply Anonymous April 29, 2008 at 1:57 am


  • Reply Samantha April 29, 2008 at 2:17 am

    What a great series Holly. I loved reading Heather’s thoughts.

  • Reply nina April 29, 2008 at 2:49 am

    This was an awesome series…thanks Holly!

  • Reply Kelly Lynn Jones April 29, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    this is a great series! i think its important to see how other creative people are able to support themselves in what they love to do. :)

  • Reply mariss April 29, 2008 at 8:20 pm

    Holly, thank you for sharing your wisdom and that of your friends! I really enjoyed reading it, and am feeling quite inspired. Thanks again!

  • Reply MarianK April 30, 2008 at 9:22 am

    I agree with fellow readers that these series are really inspiring and come in a moment that works as a great encouragement.

    I am an interior designer and have moved in recently from Athens,capital of Greece to a smaller city where design is nothing more than adding curtains and cushions to the scene.
    I opened a studio (and not say my studio cause I don’t feel like it yet)and try to ‘educate’ possible clients. People here tend to be very suspicioius and narrow minded

    Fortunately I still keep some contacts and taking up projects in Athens(used to work as an int designer for about 6 years)but don’t really know whereI am up to.
    I sometimes feel that I shouldn’t do this job here feel like I have no subject.

    Or just fantasising of sth that has to do with interior design, has its base here(where my husband is)but has clients from anywhere else but..here

    Any ideas?

  • Reply risamay April 30, 2008 at 6:55 pm

    This is a great series. Happened upon it via Etsy. As an artist who struggles at times with confidence and other issues around being “self-taught,” it is serendipitous to have discovered this series. Really inspirational to read other artists’ stories.

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