Our next interview features hands-on surface pattern designer, Micklyn Le Feuvre, otherwise known simply as micklyn in the Spoonflower Marketplace. Micklyn, her husband and their eleven children reside in beautiful Somerset West, a small town situated along the coast of Cape Town, South Africa. Their bustling home is full-to-the-absolute-brim of imagination, love and inspiration as artistic talent runs in the family: Micklyn’s grandmother had a passion for painting and one of Micklyn’s daughters shares the creative spark as well. We hope you enjoy a bit of inspiration yourself with a dip into her daily life.
My day starts with…
“A cup of Earl Grey or Rooibos tea made for me by one of my lovely children as I snuggle with the baby. Then, I read my Bible and drink more tea. Because we homeschool our eleven children, our mornings are lazy and laid-back affairs, nobody has to rush off anywhere. I love it.”
I fell in love with design when…
“I was still a little girl. Or fell in love with art, anyway. All I ever wanted to be was an artist. I didn’t really know that surface design was a possible career at that stage, or I’m sure I would have set my heart on it, even then.”
What’s in your toolbox?
“Pencils, paper, brushes, ink pens, colored pencils and watercolors, plus Photoshop, my Wacom tablet and my Canon camera.”
When I’m in my studio, I feel…
“Happy, productive and content. I get lost in my own little world. Currently, my “studio” is the corner of my laundry room which is tiny and shared by two! But, happily, we are converting our attic into a lovely, big, light-filled space for my gorgeous colleague (my daughter, known as Tangerine-Tane) and I to work in.”
If I could live in a painting, I would live in….
“A big inspiration of mine is the work of Arthur Rackham, so I’d live in one of his paintings. This one overflows with breath-taking detail and abundant joy.”
I’d love to see my designs turned into…
“A line of beautiful, delicate, vividly patterned ceramics. I have always said that if I didn’t have so many children, I would have collected fine art ceramics instead. The two don’t mix so well! Maybe one day…”
The secret to a strong collection is…
“To be honest, I’m not very good at working in collections, so that’s something I need to learn. I’m quite a ‘once off’ type of designer, always moving on, trying new styles and experimenting. I struggle to work for an extended time in the same style and envy artists who seem to effortlessly produce cohesive, gorgeous collections!”
What advice have you most appreciated?
“The advice that I live by is “Just start!” More poetically put in this quote (I think attributed to Goethe) that my mother used to keep near her mirror when I was small:
“What you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.
Only engage, and then the mind grows heated, —
Begin it, and the work will be completed!”
Who inspires your work and why?
“My grandmother was my first and greatest inspiration. She was a talented artist and her oil paintings and watercolors were truly brilliant. I also love Wayne Thiebaud’s work; his use of light & shadow, his delicious colors… so beautiful! I find inspiration in plant shapes and colors, in animals, my children, children’s book illustrations (especially vintage ones) and in the endless visual feast that is Pinterest. As mentioned above, I am also incredibly inspired by the work of Arthur Rackham.”
What piece of your wardrobe best represents your style?
“Blue jeans. My inner bohemian would happily dress me in long flowing skirts and marvelous prints and patterns but my practical working mom side sees me up and dressed in jeans and a tee shirt, day after day.”
What drew you to Spoonflower?
“My very good friend and constant encourager, artist Ingrid Beddoes suggested that I would enjoy Spoonflower. I will always be grateful to her!”
Browsing through Micklyn’s fabric collections is like stepping into a painting in itself! Check out some of our favorites: Mandalas, Flight of Fancy and Abstract Patterns. Love Micklyn’s designs but have no time for sewing? Check out the Roostery blog to see her fabrics as finished goods.
Are you a maker using Spoonflower fabrics? Don’t forget to tag your Instagram photos with #Spoonflower for the chance to be featured on our feed.