Resources

Interview: Mairi Helena, textile designer/ photographer

 

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR CREATIVE BACKGROUND

I am a textiles and wallpaper designer, offering a high-end contemporary Scottish inspired print range for interiors. I create my designs through taking elements of my photographic portfolio of Scotland’s landscapes to produce abstract surface prints. The collections include velvet cushions, wallpapers and lampshades as well as velvet and linen fabrics by the metre. I design at my studio base in Edinburgh and print all my products within the UK.


CAN YOU GIVE US AN INSIGHT INTO YOUR PRACTICE AND WHAT YOU DO?

I love exploring Scotland’s landscapes either by foot or by canoe exploring the open waters - both are great ways in which to seek inspiration for my fabric and wallpaper designs. My first collection ‘Scottish Flora’ (thistle inspired designs!) are a fusion of my photographs of surrounding landscapes and textures and my love for pattern and print. Following this I then brought out my new 'Homelands' collection at the Scottish Interior Showcase earlier this year which takes inspiration from my travels along Scotland's West Coast as well as the Lothians. I love providing a novel print label for interiors and very much enjoy working within the trade industry with designers across both commercial interiors as well as high end residential, looking for statement print. 


DO YOU HAVE ANY EXCITING PROJECTS OR EVENTS ON THE HORIZON?

I’m delighted that Scottish paint company ‘Craig & Rose,’ who have a showroom here in Stockbridge, are a stockist of my collection. I’m going to be having a little pop up at their showroom on Sunday 28th October 11-5pm where I will have my fabrics and wallpapers on display and I’d be delighted if you’d like to come along and see my collection in person! Perfect opportunity if you’re planning an autumn interior revamp!


WHAT MAKES EDINBURGH A GOOD BASE FOR CREATIVES?

There are so many supportive networks within the city for creative businesses in particular, which is important for small businesses like me where it’s an ideal opportunity and platform to share experiences, skills and ideas. There’s also a great number of studios and workshops in which to develop your skills and plenty of opportunity for events to take part in and open up your business to new audiences.


WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO PEOPLE THINKING OF PURSUING A CAREER IN THE CREATIVE INDUSTRIES?

Develop your own style - be aware of the trends but make sure you carve a path doing something you love with your own signature style!


WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT CREATIVE EDINBURGH?

It’s large network of similar minded creative entrepreneurs - great scope for collaborations and skill swaps!

 

Follow Mairi's latest work via her website here