Here's a little bit about our creative process. In May of this year things really seemed to take off for Beautifully Frank, so Frankie invited me into the business. I was stoked and got started on setting up my own home studio right away. You see, Frankie and I are both mums and still have preschool kids at home so it's handy to have a creative space set up.
It's kind of like a retreat and a brilliant place to get on with our creative process.
Frankie has her studio situated in the room next to her kitchen. Super handy. She sits at her desk surrounded by windows and dreams of her next big idea. There are jackets hanging, ready to be adourned by something beautifully handmade and shelves filled with paints. Hanging above, on the wall is a rack full of colourful embroidery thread. This space truly belongs to a maker.
The studio space at my house is outside. It is a converted garage that sits beneath a yellow bottlebrush tree. I like to keep the door open so I can hear the bees buzzing and Teri the Tui clicking and cackling up in the tree. I have my sewing machine set up so that I can quickly sew labels and crochet squares into jackets. There is an easel in the corner with a jacket tied onto it ready for the painting stage in the process.
So now that you have the low down about where we work, I can explain our process. It basically happens in three parts. First, when our commission orders come in we get to work investigating the flowers or design the client is interested in. Once we have that sorted we sketch onto the jacket. We photograph the sketch, send it through to the client to get confirmation that they are happy with the design and then we begin the second step, painting.
All of the steps are enjoyable and sometimes you just feel like sketching or stitching. But I like painting the best. I love mixing the colours and plonking them onto the jacket. It's exhilarating because there's no turning back. It's starting to come together now. Once the layers of paint are on the jacket it's time for it to be heat-set. This can be done with an iron or by simply chucking the dry, painted jacket into the dryer.
The final step is like putting icing on the cake.
The embroidery layer takes the longest but really delivers. The design comes alive with this last layer. Depending on the style of the painting it can look more like a blob than a flower, but once the hand stitched details on are there, it really pops.
So this completes the process! Once the jacket is finished and labeled, Frankie and I head to the mountain or the farm or the trees at the part to do the final photos of the commission so that we can keep track of all the designs we create.
I hope you have enjoyed reading about our creative process. It's something that Frankie and I love getting stuck into. The combination of art, fashion and sustainability means that we can fulfil our passion for visual arts as well as doing our bit for the planet. So satisfying.
If you'd like to get your hands on your own Beautifully Frank Commission, click here.
Thanks for reading,