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This Blog is a personal record and an honest illustration of my life as a full time embroidery artist. I hope that you find it entertaining and inspiring.

shown here are the Copyright of Louise Gardiner 2012.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Death by florals

I have done something I rarely do today and it was fabulous!  
There is a lido in Bristol with a lovely long glass fronted cafe next to the pool.  
I sat and treated myself to lunch and watched the swimmers outside in the rain, all shapes and sizes, different strokes and speeds.  It was really great.

I wrote several cards and letters and then tried to formulate some ideas about the commercial potential in my figurative work.   I would like to produce a range of bespoke products on the same lines as the Louise Gardiner 'Woodmansterne' greetings cards range ' In Stitches' which is coming out soon.  

Yesterday, I did a couple of hours research and visited the Bristol Guild and the Cath Kidston Shop on Park street.   There was a feeling of flowery mass production and sickly sweet, totally branded, assembly line products with expensive frilly price tags. 
This was all very 'sweet' and ' feminine' but I actually felt really rather nauseous.  After looking right around the shop looking at the endless pink, green and blue flowery and patterned products I wanted to drink a bottle of vodka, shoot up and listen to Marilyn Manson which is an urge I have never had before! 
(For those of you that don't know me the only one of those three I am likely to do is drink vodka!!! Just in case anyone is taking me literally!!)

Individually, some of the items are lovely and I do own  a lovely Kidstone purse to which people remark ' Oooh, is that a Cath wotsit's Purse?  I love her designs!'  I get a mixed feeling of regret for ever buying it mixed with a weird *****ed up sense of pride.

However, it's been done to death; spotty, pink, stripey, flowery paraphernalia to make us all feel that little more wholesome, feminine and old fashioned.  The shops cleverly bursting at the hand sewn seams with it.  I had the feeling that a lot of people, like me, would just walk straight out again for some well -needed fresh air having purchased nothing.  

What kind of women buy Cath Kidstone I wonder?  Am I their target market? If it wasn't for this new shop in Bristol I think I would possibly still like her designs.  What's different about my work? Could I overkill like Cath?  Could my work on a grander scale make people feel sick? Is that how far you need to go to make a brand work and become successful? At what point are you no longer a worthy designer? Does it matter anyway?  What's wrong with producing a brand on such a massive scale  and freeing your designs to a huge audience if they want to buy it and it earns you a good living?  At what point should you start and then stop?




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