Today our Words of Wisdom artwork comes from Rhonda Drakeford…enjoy!
Describe a bit about yourself and your work?
I studied and worked as a Graphic Designer and Art Director for many years within my consultancy Multistorey [with partner Harry Woodrow], but have always had a natural leaning towards interior design and textiles. I was brought up to make things [by frugal parents], and this has carried forward to my adult life, so I’ve usually got a sewing or knitting or DIY project on the go. This urge to make things was a big part of my wanting to start the project with Lulu that became Darkroom.
Design wise, I think my graphic background is evident in most of what I do — I respond to, and enjoy creating things that are bold. What I really relish about designing pieces for Darkroom is that I can be really self indulgent… After so many years designing for clients, I now just make things that I want. Another thing I enjoy about designing for Darkroom, is developing ideas with Lulu, who has a really different perspective to Harry, who I work with in Multistorey. I think working with someone on design projects brings an interesting evolution to the work that would never happen if working solo.
What are your words of wisdom and why?
‘Ride Your Bike’. As an art student when I first moved to London [almost 20 years ago… gulp], I rode to college to save money — perhaps the bravado of youth meant the London traffic never intimidated me, but it’s just been my main mode of transport ever since. The bikes have changed over the years, depending on where I lived; from the proper, high spec road bike I used to ride from Forest Hill, complete with full lycra, to the old lady Pashley bike I ride now, with heels and skirts. I pride myself on my bike-handling skills — I’ve managed to carry my sewing machine home on my bike, and even once a full pint of cider without losing a drop. Aside from these more obscure plus-points, over the years, other benefits of cycling have become more apparent to me…
- It’s cheap, almost free — just bike maintenance
- it keeps you fit
- it’s one less car on the roads
- it’s usually the fastest way to get around London
Who is your role-model?
I’ve always admired Dorothy Parker for her dry wit, and also Lee Miller for her achievements in a mans world [she was a documentary photographer in the Normandy landings of WW2], whilst retaining a sense of fun, and most of all, amazing style and elegance.
Darkroom wise, we are really excited to be developing our first collection of knitted accessories that will be launched as part of the London Design Festival in September.
Multistorey wise, we’re designing the exhibition graphics for a new show about crystals at the Design Museum, London, and also the interior and branding of a really exciting new shop/cafe/bar in Hackney.