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Interview: Elly Maddock

Wednesday 08 April 2015

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Spindle interview British artist and Queen of Pattern, Elly Maddock.

Tell us about yourself Elly?

After completing an FdA and BA in Surface Design at London College of Communication and exhibiting at New Designers 2014, I decided to leave London for a few months to explore the creative scenes in Bristol. Through out this time I collaborated with and created contacts in a number of screen printing studios across both Bristol and London.

I create because I can’t not create, it’s who I am, it’s what I do, it’s how I see the world and it’s what I love. I find inspiration all over the place, sometimes by simply squinting at something and just seeing what my blurry eyes make up. I love to laugh, and to be able to make other people laugh is a truly great feeling. My work is where my humour truly comes to life; it seems to be my natural style now, to combine humour with bold colours and patterns.


I often stumble across piles of wood off-cut in the streets, and I can’t resist taking some of them home. I’ve now started to paint my designs on them. Once each one is finished I take it back to the streets and leave it in a random location, for any passers by to take.

Creatively, over the past few months I’ve been refining my personal style and building a strong portfolio of designs. Which has actually caught the eye of a record label and over the next six months you should be seeing some fun collaborative pieces.


How would you describe your style of work?

My work is bright and playful. When designing I don’t usually have an end game in mind, I go where ever it takes me, following my daydreams and inspirations. It’s always a very spontaneous process. This spontaneity results in a lot of humour and bold repeat patterns. I love that my work brings a smile to people’s faces.


What inspires you?

I surround myself with creativity to ensure that I’m constantly surrounded by inspiration. I follow an amazing selection of artists on Instagram, paint on anything wooden I find or own, cover my room in art, daydream a lot, draw a lot, laugh a lot. I guess in a way my life inspires me purely because I fill it with art.


What makes you happy?

Blue skies, creativity and laughter. The longer the days and the bluer the skies, the more I create, the more I feel alive, the more I laugh. It’s a happy little circle.


My long-term plan is to build my own business and work for myself. I want to buy a van and convert it into a mobile printing studio, allowing me to go to festivals and events, holding screen printing workshops and selling other artist’s work along with mine. Screen printing and illustration are both passions of mine, so to be able to combine these two and share it with many people sounds dreamy.


What would be your dream commission?

My dream commission would be to design a pattern for some manhole covers. Back in 2013 I based my entire degree show on the designs of manhole covers, producing 54 one of a kind multiple layered screen prints. The combination of beautiful design and practicality are a great love of mine. Making the everyday, that bit more special.


What can we see from you this year?

A hell of a lot more art drops, paintings and larger scaled pieces.

I’m constantly producing designs so this year I’m aiming to take them to the next step by applying them to a range of products/clothing. I want to wear and use my patterns in my day to day life more and I know that others that follow my work do to.

Currently, before the grand van plan, I’m focusing my efforts on creating a collection of designs to be applied onto clothes. Watch this space.