Meet Susan, a fabric designer in her own right, and the woman always at the top of our recommendations list when you're looking for a photographer to make your products look beautiful. We're fairly convinced she has magical powers when it comes to styling, and she's lovely too!
So with that, we thought we'd start our year of 'Meet the Maker's here. As, if like us, you're doing lots of planning for the year ahead, you might want to check Susan out for your photo shoots! You can also find her stunning fabric designs by the meter in the Designer Fabric section of our website.
What is it that draws you to work with fabric and what benefits to your process does Digital Fabric Printing bring?
I love how light catches the creases and folds in fabric, its fluidity and ability to be manipulated. It also allows me to transform 2 dimensional images into something tactile, taking my imagery to another level. As a photographer, light and colour are extremely important, there is no other process that could give me the colour range and accuracy that digital printing provides.
How would you describe your work and what do you see as your greatest career related achievement so far, something you're particularly proud?
I think my work is best described as bold and experimental, with a edge of madness? But It's often described as painterly yet graphic. Greatest career achievement to date. It has to be having the courage to go solo and building a self sustaining business that I love going to everyday. Not many people can say they love what they do but I'm very proud to have created that for myself.
Describe your work space?
Functional! My husband often gets onto me that my floor is a mess or there's paint on the walls (he has a space next door to me) I'm quick to remind him "that's what its for.... it's FUNCTIONAL!"
When do you work best, are you up with the lark or a night owl?
I’m a night owl. It's not that during the day I’m not productive, its just by night fall I’ve established a rhythm and don’t want to stop. Also that's when all my best thinking happens.
Where did your love for art/design originally develop from, what or who, have been your influences?
Ever since I was little I’ve been creative, I have very clear memories of hiding away with paper and pencils and drawing for hours on end. I’d always be making something and trying to copy the demonstrations on programs like Art Attack or Hartbeat. Even now I love to try new things even if its out with my expertise. I’ll go to great lengths to learn new creative skills, some might say I get a bit obsessed. Although I guess it was while I studied Design and Craft at Grays School of Art that I developed a real passion for it. It provided me with a wealth of knowledge that I believe still influences my work today. I still work the same way when creating photographs, research and development with everything recorded in a sketch book . I have hundreds of sketch books.
(Photography for Mimi Hammill)
In terms of procrastination, what are you doing, when you should be doing something else and what, if anything is your 'impossible task'? The thing that you struggle most to motivate yourself to do work wise?
Instagram...come on that has to be everyone's achilles heal these days. And paperwork would hands down be the thing I put off. In the words of my 2yr old son...'YULK!!!'
How do you overcome designers block?
Running is great for motivating new ideas, but if I'm not able to run (it's been a while) Then a good walk and chat with my husband can do the trick.
(Photography for Leanh La)
We like to hear about new and up and coming designer and artists, can you recommend someone new or new to us, that we should know about?
I discovered furniture designers Head and Haft last year when shooting in Cornwall, I love their work it's so beautiful.
What is the best advice, you’ve ever been given, business, creative or both and who gave it to you.
My mum always told me to treat people how you want to be treated. I think that's pretty sound advice.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Be confident, you got this!
What's your favourite thing about working with BeFab BeCreative
Their attention to detail, commitment to the service they provide...oh and that cheeky banter.
(We have no idea what you mean Susan! ha!)
Check out more of Susan Castillo's work here: