Featured Maker: Christine Cunningham - Imagine in Colours
Hi I’m Christine from Imagine in Colours and most days you will find me in my studio with paintbrush or pencil in hand, overlooking the garden with the birds singing, on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia.
With a background in both Interior Design and Fashion, I am never happier than when I am creating unique, imaginative pieces that showcase my artistic experiments with the play between water and the dyes of watercolour, along with my love of colour and its various tones and fine lines and subtle details.
What do you create?
With a love of Watercolour and by incorporating 3Dimensional hand embellishments to each and every piece, I strive to create unique and ‘make you feel good’ designs and Original Artwork. These original designs are not only applied to Archival Prints that replicate the originals exactly but also to more affordable and practical products such as a range of Notebooks, Greeting Cards, and Fashion Accessories including cosmetic bags, pouches, pencil cases, sunglass cases and sleeping masks. Every piece is designed, illustrated, painted, produced, embellished and packaged by hand, singularly by me, in my studio on the Gold Coast.
What inspired you or influenced you to get started in your line of business?
A love for design and illustration, the encouragement of friends and family along with a desire to create beautiful pieces is the foundation behind Imagine in Colours. It has grown from a single idea of just a few original art pieces through exposure in curated artisan markets and within the online store into a label recognised for its colour, beauty and handcrafted embellishments and 3Dimensional details. The initial reaction and encouragement I received really was the force behind the development of Imagine in Colours and the reaction of each and every customer is what continues to inspire me each and every day.
How long have you been making things?
As a child I was taught to sew by my Grandmother (for which I am extremely grateful) and I also remember knitting, doing embroidery etc. As a teenager I designed and made my own clothes and although I worked as a Designer in Creative Industries as an adult, I did not apply any time to the Fine Arts as I never thought of myself as an artist. It was really just a few years ago that I started to experiment and develop that side of my business and now I am happy to say I am ‘an Artist and a Designer’.
Is this a full time gig?
I would say that this is now almost a full time gig. I work on my art, the designs and the products 80% of my time. This is by choice as that’s what I am happy doing. I still do Interior Design work but to be honest, I am now selective over what work I take on as after 25 years+ in the industry, I have been lucky to have worked all over the world and on so many different types of assignments.
What is the best thing about having your own creative business?
Definitely the freedom, the flexibility, the enthusiasm and motivation is the best thing about having your own creative business. It is a lot of work, you have to be devoted and it does take up a great deal of time and focus but it is so worth all the effort you put into it especially when you hear of or see the reaction of people who do you the honour of buying something you have created . One of my favourite quotes by Alice Walker best describes the feeling: “Whenever you are creating beauty around you, you are restoring your own soul”
"My mind never stops…
I am always thinking of new designs…
yes even in my sleep :)"
Tell us about you creative process
My mind never stops…I am always thinking of new designs…yes even in my sleep :)
Obviously I get inspired by ideas and concepts that I see out in the market place or online, one can’t help but be influenced as there is so much out there these days but I do try to stay as unique as possible. So I make a conscious decision to stick to my original platform of the combination of Watercolour Painting and 3Dimensional with all my concepts and designs.
I work on the design first by sketching it out to a point I am content with, then I draw it up and paint it in Watercolour. I find the drawing up stage to take the longest time as I am really fussy about getting it right before I add the colour. The layering of the colour excites me every time as that is when I begin to see the piece really come alive, the way I had imagined it to be. The addition of the 3Dimensional detail is the ‘icing on the cake’ as it were, and that’s the fun part, working out how to enhance the piece to a stage that I happy with and feel it is completed.
Once the original artwork is completed, I then decide whether I will turn it into Giclee Prints and also if to use the image in other formats as well. This naturally involves a great deal more work but it is rewarding to see the designs you have created being available to a wider demographic. To know they get to take home just a little piece of Imagine in Colours that you created, in some form or other is just so worthwhile.
Big Plans for your Brand??
I am always working on new ideas, designs and concepts for both original artwork and that can be transposed into other products, so I can continue to grow and reach more people. Having the exposure through the Makersville Shop/Gallery for my work is a first for me in Australia so I am excited to see that grow. I will also continue building my brand online and through curated artisan markets. Stayed tuned as you never know what I will come up with next …
You can find me online at:
- Website – www.imagineincolours.com
- Facebook – Imagine in Colours
- Instagram – Imagine in Colours
- Etsy – Imagine in Colours
- Makersville Gallery, Montville QLD
I also exhibit at the BrisStyle Twilight Markets in King George Square