Today I am really excited to share with you something I have had in the works for a while. Living in Hastings has always been an inspiration to me, there are so many clever and talented people living here and through this feature on my blog I hope to share them and their work with you. I hope for this to become a regular feature and to include artists, makers, designers and boutique owners.
So for my first interview I’m pleased to introduce Melissa White and her beautiful colour filled studio, based in Hastings Old Town.
What did you have for breakfast today?
Homemade smoothie and muesli with cayenne pepper (v. good for you and wakes up the system). Then a slice of homemade sourdough bread.
How long have you lived in Hastings?
I’m Hastings born and bred. I’ve always lived here apart from 4 years studying in Birmingham and France. Hastings is a great place to live!
What are you currently working on?
A gigantic fresco secco commission for a house in Nottinghill. It’s 5m high by 9m wide made up of 24 square panels. The scene is a gorgeous Roman garden filled with birds, fruit trees and leaves…..lots of leaves!
At the same time I’m working on my third fabric collection for Rowan, Westminster Fibers. They produce cottons for quilting and sewing. You can see my first 2 collections on my Blog.
What’s your favourite thing to do when you are not in the studio?
I enjoy baking and bread making as it keeps me away from the computer. I also love heading out into the countryside for long walks. The countryside around Hastings is spectacular for feeding the mind, body and soul.
What is your favourite or most inspirational place?
I never tire of Paris (I’m half French) and try to go at least once a year for the art, the atmosphere and the chocolatiers. I was there in May to see an exhibition by Odilon Redon. I’m obsessed by his colours which are extraordinary. My 3rd Rowan collection is strongly influenced by his style.
Where is the best place to eat out locally?
On the beach with a picnic from the deli at Trinity Wholefoods.
Do you have a favourite shop to buy things in Hastings?
For stuff you never knew you needed it’s got to be Robert’s Rummage in the High Street. I covet practically everything in Odd (Butlers Emporium) in George Street and Mao at Shimizu florist in the High Street has a genius eye for display.
What was the last book you read?
Naked by David Sedaris – darkly funny
Digital Textile Design by Melanie Bowles for Photoshop tutorials
Plus a perpetual pile of art books and interiors magazines for inspiration.
If you are leaving town for the day where is you preferred destination?
A mad dash around London on my own steam: The V&A and Liberty for textiles and some glamour, Paul A Young for gourmet chocolate, Cornelissen for pigments and brushes, Anthropologie for the latest trends, Wholefoods for a picnic on the train home.
What is the best piece of advice you have been given?
Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one. (Albert Einstein)
If you could have had another trade what would you have chosen?
A gardener so I could grow food and be self sufficient whilst marvelling at the intricacies of nature – I’m always thinking in patterns.
How would you spend an ideal day here in Hastings?
Veggie brunch with my fella at Smiths cafe. A browse around the shops and galleries in Norman road, St Leonards. A stroll along the prom prom prom bumping into friends and family along the way. Rock n Ore for some fish and a G&T at the Dragon Bar then home for a trashy movie and a foot rub!
I hope you enjoyed Melissa’s studio and getting to know here a little better, have a happy midweek.