Guest Blog Post by Daniela Cocchiarella
. Daniela writes about textiles and all things handmade and can be found at The Printed Square.
is an illustrator and embroiderer whose work is inspired by mystical folklore, Indian animal tales and a love of vegetables.
How would you describe your work?
My work as is a celebration of all things gentle and small.
Is your focus on illustration or embroidery?
Illustration and embroidery go hand in hand for me, but I tend to turn to embroidery to spark new ideas. I think it is important to have lots of mediums to play with to keep your work evolving and to learn something unexpected. I don’t plan what I’m going to embroider so it’s a little more spontaneous and free. My focus is on colour and detail.
Where did you complete your training?
I studied illustration at Falmouth University and graduated in 2015. It was an idyllic place to study and live. The campus was set in a botanical garden five minutes from the sea.
When did you learn to embroider?
I taught myself to embroider in my second year of university. I had written a book about worry dolls and decided to make embroidered dolls to go with it. As soon as I started I felt all anxieties of ‘the blank white page’ fade away. The patience and focus it requires is very meditative and calming and it can be done in my favourite place, the beach! The threads provide hundreds of beautiful colour combinations to play around with which I then use to inspire my illustrations.
Are you inspired by fairytales and ‘the mystical’?
Growing up I always had my head buried in fairytale books. My favourite was (and still is) Cinderella by Erol Le Cain. There is a beautiful richness and magical detail in every one of the paintings. It reminds me of the real magic you see in nature. I love folklore and myths from around the world, especially Indian tales of animals and Cornish tales of Mermaids and storms.
I grew up in a cottage in the countryside which was crammed full of my mum’s illustrations (she was an incredible children’s illustrator) books, paint, fabric and other curiosities. I try to convey themes of home and comfort in my work. As a keen vegetarian I am rather obsessed with vegetables and the seasons. If I am stuck for something to draw or paint I pick a vegetable to study, nature has already done the hard part of creating something extraordinary.
Today is the day of our Merchant's Fair
but do not fear if you've already made plans for your Saturday – visit Megan
, along with a carefully chosen collection of others at our Maker’s Fair
St Augustine’s Church Hall, Highgate, London N6 5BB