Thursday, April 14, 2011

Interviews with People We Love: Andrea from Cinnamon Joe

In our first week dedicated to the wonderful world of children's prints, we shared with you the joyful work of Cinnamon Joe Studio. We were fortunate enough to get an interview with the woman behind the name, Andrea Turk, who took time out of her busy schedule to partake in an interview. It was so fascinating to learn about her background and what makes her the designer she is today.

This image was created by Cinnamon Joe and is copyrighted
This image was created by Cinnamon Joe and is copyrighted
This image was created by Cinnamon Joe and is copyrighted
This image was created by Cinnamon Joe and is copyrighted

Tell us a but about yourself and how you got started with your work.

I trained as a fashion designer and worked in the fashion industry in the children's wear market in London for more than 12 years. Part of those years I doodled, and part I had the opportunity to do freelance designing for a girl's wear range for a popular UK children's retailer and start designing a collection of artwork to sell.

My professional background has been varied, at one point as a freelancer, I was designing children's wear for the Philippine Government Textile Board out in Metro Manila, at another point I was researching trend in Tokyo. I found the most beneficial trips were the factory visits to China, Hong Kong and India. It is then that you truly get a grasp of possibilities within the textile market, the capabilities of the factories, the reason why problems occur, a look at new techniques, but best of all, by designing on site in the factory, you have everything you need around you.

I can't tell you the excitement I used to feel, when I could spend a whole day in Sham Shui Po in Hong Kong, collecting samples of various fabrics and trimmings and then taking them back to the office and to design, and within a week or so, right in front of me, would be my samples. It really opens up your eyes to how other countries work within your area of expertise and makes you appreciate what processes the factories have to go through to get you the sample. All my experiences make me the person I am today.

Do you have a favorite artist/designer/photographer?

I am currently into the work of Anthony Pack. He is a great artist who uses flea market finds to create the most comical and humorous works of art. As someone who designs character art on a regular basis I really appreciate the way Anthony creates very individual works of art whereby every one is completely different and unique.

What's your favorite place to go to get inspired?

I love going to London. I'm fortunate to have travelled to many interesting places with work, but there really isn't anywhere quite like it. It's sprawling streets of flea markets, that go seems forever. You can easily lose all sense of time as you rummage through bric-a-brac boxes, search stalls of handmade crafts, meander down small shop pathways to get to amazing finds at the back. It's not only the wealth of product from all over the world, it's the atmosphere, the people lost in their own busy little worlds rushing around like worker ants, and I'm one of them too! London really has it all. The designer shops, great museums, interesting specialist stores, wonderful main stream stores where you can find really unusual bits and pieces, fantastic stationery shops, and great places to eat!!

What would you be doing if it wasn't for Cinnamon Joe Studio?

HMMM! If I didn't have Cinnamon Joe Studio, I think that I would probably still be working in the fashion trade. It's an amazing business to have been part of and I'm very thankful for it, as, without it I wouldn't be creating artwork today.

Where can people learn more about Cinnamon Joe?

If anyone would like to know more about Cinnamon Joe Studio, they can visit our blog, or we will be showing at Surtex from the 15th to the 17th of May at the Jacob Javits Center in New York, where we will be showing not only my artwork, but the work of some really talented designers who contribute to the collection.

Go here to learn more about Surtex

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