Last year we teamed up with mental health anti-stigma campaign Time to Change to bring you a capsule collection designed by artists around the world. A cause really close to our hearts, the collaboration aimed to raise awareness, change attitudes and encourage speaking up about mental health through various forms of creative expression. With your support we raised over £20,000 towards Time to Change’s campaign.
This year we have collaborated with one of our all time favourite creatives Becky Sloan to bring you an extra special, exclusive design just in time for UK’s Mental Health Awareness Week.
Becky is an artist, filmmaker and co-creator of cult series and previous LO collaborator ‘Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared’. She is on a mission to make the world more fun, armed with an adventurous hand-made approach and a leather briefcase full of googly eyes.
We caught up with Becky from her South London home turned studio with all her puppet pals keeping her company. Find out how she’s keeping creative and staying entertained during lockdown, whether she’s sculpting with Jesmonite, avoiding bread making or sleeping on Chonky the Seal.
"I have the attention span of a flea."
Describe your quarantine experience so far in three words?
Procrastination, FOOD, scary
What’s your WFH set up, how’s it going for you?
My WFH setup is chaotic...lots of half-finished projects and puppets everywhere. Just before the lockdown I panicked and brought all of my art materials and puppets home... Sometimes I prop the puppets up around the dinner table when I need company. Lockdown has been strange. I’m very lucky to have the space to work from home but I definitely miss my studio and interaction with other people....looking forward to getting back to the studio one day!
How have you managed to keep creative / inspired in this time?
At first I put a lot of pressure on myself to be super productive and set myself unrealistic daily goals which I immediately failed at. I had a bit of a creative block the first 2 weeks, I just couldn’t focus on anything and felt so guilty for not being productive. I decided to take the pressure off and just do what I felt like doing- go for a long walk, cooking, gardening ...sometimes nothing! It has been such a surreal and scary time I think I needed time for it to sink in and adjust. It seemed like everyone else was being super productive and I struggled to get anything done at all, one day I saw a post about how Isaac Newton invented gravity during quarantine and how Shakespeare wrote his best works during the plague....it was too much! Eventually I got the urge to create again and I have since found this time quite productive. I’ve tried to use this time to try out new things that I’ve always wanted to do ....I’m currently making a Jesmonite sculpture face thing and doing a lot of punch needle work and tufting...and writing for an exciting new project! It helps to have a few things on the go as have the attention span of a flea.
We think creativity and good mental health can be a super power combo, what do you think?
Yes creativity is definitely a form of therapy for me...although that can quickly change if I am working to a strict deadline or if it is for a job. I’m very lucky to be doing a creative job I love but it is really important to keep a healthy balance with work and free time.
How are you managing to stay in touch with everyone, have you got any pen pals at the moment?
Houseparty and Zoom seem to be the main form of communication at the moment! I had big pen pal plans but that soon went out the window with my daily exercise plan...oops silly potato!
Any craft related disasters going on for you at the moment?
I bent my thumb back closing a drawer and now everything takes a long time to make....I have a new appreciation for my thumb. Very important for crafting...respect your thumbs!
What are your tips for keeping it sane?
Be kind to yourself....Do what you feel like doing ! Set realistic goals and don’t put too much pressure on yourself to do them because there is a world pandemic going on and it’s a bit scary.
How has downtime been?
Pigs (peaks) and troughs!
What’s getting on your last nerve?
Top 5 things right now?
- Chonky the seal pillow - he is a seal pillow that the internet tricked me into buying, not quite as advertised in the pics but he has been a great isolation companion.
- Daisy May Cooper - her Instagram and watching her tv series ‘This Country” I love it so much and it has been a comforting comedy hug during lockdown.
- Diane Chorley - teaching us that some days it’s ok to have a bar of Dairy Milk and a bottle of Baileys whilst watching Homes Under the Hammer. Go follow her on Instagram you won’t regret it.
- Not baking bread
Best lockdown dinner?
Got any gossip?
The aliens are coming!