How did you get into drawing/creating artwork? Have you always been creative?
I’m not sure I can pinpoint exactly when I got into drawing, but I do come from a very creative family. My grandad always draws and paints - he’s a bit of an illustrator to be honest! He draws these funny little characters with big noses and swirly hair so there’s a strong chance he brought out my illustrative side! My oldest brother is and has always been very talented at drawing as well, he’s now a board game designer for ‘play for keeps’ and my other brother is a musician in the band Koyo, so I’ve just always had creativity surrounding me growing up. Because of that, I guess It felt normal and natural for me to study art through school and then my degree was an organic extension of that, which inevitably lead to where I am now!
What inspires your aesthetic?
So many things. I’m heavily inspired by fashion in all its forms - textiles, drag, runways, weird and fantastical beauty editorials. I think a lot of my inspiration just comes from being attentive to my surroundings. I’m always taking photos, saving posts, buying odd things from secondhand shops because I like the picture or the print on it. Although, I used to be very regimented in what I drew actually! I’d always have a reference image and know exactly what I wanted t draw, but now I feel much more comfortable just doodling until I see something with potential and then going back and developing it. It takes a lot of pressure off the process for me.
Did you always know you’d make a future out of your art?
Absolutely not! Despite studying art throughout school, I spent a good year during my AS levels wanting to be a midwife! Very odd. However, when I chose to do my art foundation year before uni, it was largely because I knew I’d regret not dipping my toe into something creative after I finished school. I am so very glad I did because that year and my time at uni were the most affirming years for me in terms of understanding what I love to do and finding the kind of people I want to surround myself with, who are all either super creative or really interested in the arts. As far as making a future out of it…that’s a work in progress!
You’ve recently started hand poke tattoos - how are you finding that? And do you prefer tattooing over your other artwork?
I’ve actually had tattooing on my mind for the past year but couldn’t really put any dreams into action as I was doing a PGCE. As soon as I finished and had the time to really throw myself into it, I became completely fixated on making it happen and I genuinely love it. I love my illustrations don’t get me wrong, but there’s just something so much more fun and freeing about drawing flash because there’s just less pressure on it being this lavish, cohesive, perfectly finished piece of art. On top of that, the act of tattooing is so satisfying, and I feel like I get much more happiness out of the social exchange it involves - especially when it goes well, and they love it! It definitely feels a lot less lonely than drawing at my desk alone.
Do you have a favourite piece of yours?
If we’re talking illustration, I’d have to say my portrait of Rolly Robinson or my ‘In Bloom’ print. If we’re talking tattoos, I have a feeling it’ll be one I’m doing quite soon…so keep your eyes peeled over on my Instagram at @isobel.bronwyn !
What can we expect to see from you in the future? Anything we need to keep an eye out for?
If all goes to plan, I’m hoping you’ll see me start doing tattoo guest spots and tattooing my designs full time! Perhaps doing the odd illustration commission too, who knows. Fingers crossed - wish me luck!
POETRY BY MADDIE RINGER
i think both i and the earth are in love with you
my cheeks are pink and white
a blushing blend of sunscreen and the sun’s rays
you stroke them anyway
my hands are muddy from making daisy chains
you hold them anyway
my lips are salty from my old flame;
the sea and her waves
you kiss them anyway
What encouraged you to start making pottery?
All the time at home the past year made me rediscover my love for arts and crafts again. When I was younger, I was very inquisitive about different materials and what you could create out of them. Then growing up, I started prioritizing other things in my life, and didn’t spend any time on fostering my creativity. The pandemic has taught me to slow down again and think about what I really enjoy doing in life. Then I started browsing the shelves in my local craft store and randomly found some air-dry clay one day. I had no idea such thing even existed and thought it was so cool that I could just create something in the comfort of my own home with tools that are already in my kitchen. It’s a very easy and non-intimidating way to get into pottery, and I started making so much stuff, because I just enjoyed the process of moulding shapes with my hands. My home started overflowing, so after a while I thought I’d give selling a shot, and that is how shitformillennials was born.
What is the inspiration behind your aesthetic?
I moved to Stockholm last year, and I am very inspired by the way people furnish their homes here. In my opinion, it’s a lot more playful, eccentric, and colourful than Scandinavian design it is often depicted, which is rather minimal and muted. Another big influence of mine are the design aesthetics that can often only be found in East Asia. To give you some background, I am a child of Chinese immigrants, and I grew up in Germany most of my life. When I spent the summers in China, I would often bring different knickknacks backs, which designs were often seen as “tacky” and “childish” by the other kids. I got bullied for it, so I started distancing myself from anything that came even close to this look, and everything became very minimal in my life. Today, the art I create is just a small part of my journey in learning how to embrace my heritage and deal with the negative experiences from my childhood. I realized that “childish” is not a bad thing, in fact it just shows you don’t take yourself too seriously, and that’s exactly how my designs are.
How did you decide on a brand name and a target audience?
The name shitformillennials came to my mind spontaneously when I was creating my account. I wasn’t thinking about building a brand or anything like that in the beginning, but my friends and I often joke about us being millennials and all the stereotypes that come along with it, especially the one about our generation not being able to afford housing because we spend our money on useless gimmicks. You could say that the things I create are part useful and part gimmick, so I thought the name just fitted perfectly. Obviously, it’s all a bit tongue in cheek and not so serious!
Finally, what is your favourite piece that you create and sell?
I just recently added them to the collection, but the wiggly mirrors would have to be my favourite. They’re so colourful and fun and just add a nice element of quirkiness to any room. I decided to keep one to myself and it’s hanging in my living room right now. Every time I look at it, it just makes me happy!