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Artist of the Month: Rebecca J Coles

Posted on June 15 2015

Artist of the Month: Rebecca J Coles

Rebecca J Coles, can you tell me a bit more about yourself and why you began designing? I have always been interested in making things and art. I loved art at school and the natural path was to go onto Art School, which I did and that led me to specialize in Woven Textiles. I completed both a BA and MA in the subject still not knowing quite which direction it was going to take me, and after years of just that, not quite knowing, and after I had finished renovating a house I thought I would turn my eye to making things again. This is when I started experimenting with cutting out paper. My ideas developed and I then I thought I must try selling some work, and I succeeded, and it all started then. It really was that simple and that organic for me. I was rather lucky.

Which designers/artists do you admire? Sebastian Cox is a new favourite. My house is filled with different things made from wood, and I am soon to own one of his pieces. He recently collaborated with the kitchen company 'DeVOL' so that is also on my dream wish list. Laura Carlin's illustrations make me smile, and I've started collecting miniature wooden houses by Yukihiro Akama. These are just perfect in my eyes!

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? An accountant when I was really small, because I was the only one I knew who rather enjoyed maths. I didn't even know what an accountant did then! My thoughts on the matter changed all the time, but they were always linked to something creative. I liked the idea of being a stylist, and a florist. The style of fIoristry I love is a real art, which involves such natural talent, and I can tell you that I am so far from having it, it is rather amusing when you see my floral displays.

What do you do when you aren't working? At the moment, garden! My answer would generally be pottering around the house and seeing friends and family.

Where's your favourite place in the world? Home! And my parents home! And Cornwall. I feel very safe in all three places.

What advice do you have for aspiring artists? Just keep working hard. Push forward ideas and approach the right people. It's a difficult one for me to answer, as I believe I have been rather lucky to get to where I have got to. I didn't have a fixed agenda, or an end goal, I just kept working, creating and my work carried me forward.

Which three people (famous or otherwise) would you most like to invite to a dinner party? The landscape designer Piet Oudolf, as I find his work simply beautiful. I've just moved house and the outside space needs a lot of landscaping. Thankfully gardening is becoming a huge interest to me, so I favour plenty of inspiration. Oudolf has just designed the gardens at Hauser and Wirth in Bruton, so it's great to have his work pretty much on our door step. The founders of 'Retrouvius', Adam Hills and Maria Speake. They own an architectural salvage and design business, and I love every project they have been involved in. since my second choice was a couple, and if I was allowed a third, I would have to be cheeky and invite the actor Bradley Cooper. My partner would find this hilarious and I in fact would be far too shy, and wouldn't even be able to be in the same room).

Cats or dogs? Both! I've grown up with animals and find that life and home is pretty empty without them. Primarily I lean more towards dogs.  I have a dog and my partner has a dog, so it would be very much 'catch me if you can' if we had a cat as well.

What life lessons have been most important? Oh I don't really know, be nice and smile a lot!

What is your favourite film? There are too many, and the range of films I like is ridiculous. I'm sure I'm meant to answer with an artistic, intellectual or classic example so to impress, but I am just as happy to watch the likes of 'Wolverine' as much as I am to watch the 'King's Speech'.

Do you have any unusual talents? Not that I'm aware of...

What's your most important possession? My dog Pops, also known as Poppy Coles, or Popsicals! However, she's not really a possession, more of a family member, so I would have to say a piece of art by Wycliffe Stutchbury. I commissioned the piece and it was the first bit of art work I owned. Check out the Rebecca J Coles product page on Seed.