Stephanie Croydon describes herself as an Interdisciplinary artist, her work combines natural textures with art and inspired designs. Based in Cornwall and having graduated from Plymouth University with a BA(hows) in Contemporary Creative Practice in 2015 Stephanie has developed her artwork and is now a thriving member of The Craft Collective in Redruth, Cornwall.
Here we meet Stephanie as she chats to us about her journey and inspirations.
Describe your typical working day.
I’m working from home at the moment having recently left a studio space and I never start anything without a big coffee and my Spotify playlist. Depending on the day, I might listen to something fairly mellow; a bit of background music and other days I will listen to heavy metal! I’m always surrounded by paint, fabric, sketchbooks, art books, stuff I’ve collected and sometimes I’ll have my Pinterest page open where I have a few secret inspiration boards. I often sit down just to write down some ideas but I relish the time to get cracking with on with them before school run time!
What inspires you?
Working part time in St Ives for the past 3 years has given me inspiration, even though I don’t specialise in coastal paintings. I have found myself more drawn to painting abstract and looking at the work of artists, past and present. My work is mostly landscape with the quote in mind ‘to make visual how the world touches us’ (Merleau-Ponty, 1993). However I am interested in doing something different to the work I have been producing; something bright, funky, a bit tongue in cheek, a fun little side project to get my teeth into.
I enjoy having the time to visit galleries and museums; I love cabinets of curiosity which I would like to explore within my work one day.
How did you get started with art/craft?
I have childhood memories of making in primary school with cardboard boxes and plastic lids then painting the outside with powder paint, I loved the smell of it. I always painted and sketched at home which evolved in to card making for a while.
What made you start your own business?
Whilst I was studying I had some success with exhibitions and straight from graduating I won a yearlong residency at krowji Studios, Redruth. With the opportunity to take part in Open Studio events I registered self-employed and started selling from there and from Etsy.
What is the biggest lesson you have learnt?
It’s not just making pretty pictures all day; in fact the working day can seem to have no end it! There is accounting to do (which I am really rubbish at doing and prioritising), tweaking the website and making sure the information matches with all my social media accounts, responding to emails or flagging ones to read later (which turns into a long list), looking for and responding to opportunities, visiting galleries and private views/networking which also doubles as research; keeping up to date with what’s going on in the creative industry and what people are buying, it can leave little time to actually create!
What three things would you go back and tell yourself?
Persevere, enjoy it and make the most of your time.
What has been your biggest achievement in your business?
It’s hard to pick just one but selling a piece of art through my Etsy shop to a customer in Australia and having customers coming back to purchase again are both up there. Compliments on my work always make feel I have achieved something and I will never take that for granted.
What is your favourite thing to create?
I’ve never been able to stick to just one thing; I paint small cotton reels, large canvas, stitch fabric, surface pattern design, sketch in the woods; everything is my favourite! At the moment I am enjoying painting with oils and challenging myself to go bigger.
Where do you see the future of your business going?
It’s really hard to say as I have reached a point of change in my life and depending on what happens next will determine how much time I will have to keep being creative. Ideally I will have more exhibitions and would love to collaborate with others, I know I will always want and need a small creative space of my own and hopefully that will be a proper studio space again.