Lola Spinks

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Lola Spinks, a name we’d love to introduce to you. Currently finishing her Foundation year, she is looking to study at Central Saint Martins come September. With her website/blog, including her email address: lolaspinks@gmail.com, to hand and an Instagram account to hand, welcome Lola – who are you and what/who are your inspirations?

I’m Lola, I’m 19, I have blue hair and I’m a textile designer! I am  inspired mostly by contrasting elements – looking at how opposing visual, textural and conceptual qualities can work together in harmony and question people’s ideas and expectations. I aspire to make a difference within the fashion and textile industry and make others aware of the ethical and environmental impact it has on our people and our planet. I’m constantly inspired by the work of Comme des Garcons, Iris Van Herpen and Alexander McQueen to name a few.

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How and what sparked your interest in textile design?

I love fabrics and have sewn since I was young. My grandma taught me to sew and knit and since then I haven’t really been able to stop. I studied textiles at GCSE and A Level and specialised in Fashion/Textiles on my Art Foundation. I think there is a real importance for the world of textile design today, since the industry is the second most wasteful in the world after oil. Everyone buys clothes and everyone wears clothes. I believe that it is everyone’s responsibility to know how and where their clothes were made. Moving forward, I am excited to start exploring more sustainable, ethical and environmental fabrics and textiles processes.

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What material haven’t you used, which you’d be interested in using during Central Saint Martins?

There is a company called Biocouture, whose founder; Suzanne Lee, developed a process with a biologist of ‘brewing sustainable fabrics’ growing them in containers using yeast and bacteria. I think this direction into the future of fashion and textiles is so interesting and I’d love to explore something like this one day. I also can’t wait to use more industrial machinery like knitting and weaving machines as I’ve only ever done these techniques by hand.

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Tell us a little about your project ‘ScrapYarn’ and how it came about…

ScrapYarn was my final major project of my Art Foundation. My initial idea was based around raising awareness of the vast amount of waste produced in the textile industry. I began working from any secondhand materials I could get my hand on – towels, bed sheets, used plastic, coffee cups, carpets, clothing, packaging. These materials really lead the first half of my project as I explored textiles techniques such as weaving, knitting, stitching into etc.

Then my project took a turn as I made the decision to create rubbish bags out of coloured plastic. I wanted to make my work more accessible for everyone. I did this was by making rubbish look pretty, creating large sheets of collaged coloured ‘plastic fabric’ by ironing them together and then embroidering and beading imagery of landfill sites onto them before turning them into small bags and filling them with rubbish.

Ultimately, I want people to see my work and make a change within themselves. I am not asking everyone to go zero-waste, but just to consider next time they are hungry and go out to buy a snack, to choose an apple over a packet of crisps. Not only is it healthier for you, you are contributing less to the 484,000,000 odd tonnes of waste that go to landfill each year in the UK. Just as health can be a deciding factor when shopping for food or the right style/fit can be when shopping for clothes, where that product (or it’s by-product) will end up when you are finished with it should be just as important a factor to consider.

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Describe yourself and your work in five words…

Abstract, Experimental, Intricate, Dynamic, Conceptual

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What excites you the most about studying in London and why?

I currently live in Brighton, which is a city that is constantly buzzing. There is always so much going on and everyone is creative. I can’t wait to study in London because it is full of energy and like Brighton, there is always so much going on. I look forward to the people I’ll meet, the independence I’ll have and the creative scene I’ll be part of.

Pick three items around your studio and explain their story behind them…

The first one would have to be a poster I made. On it, I copied down the 10 lessons from the book Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon. They are incredibly valuable lessons and help me to see clearly when I feel unsatisfied, under confident or under pressure with my work.
Secondly, my sewing machines. I have 4 sewing machines, one is a Singer from the sixties that was my grandmas, one is a Janome, only a year old and I use it all the time and the other two were found at markets in London when I was 15. One is a very old Singer and the last one is probably my favourite. It’s called a ‘Darling Special‘ and I believe it was made in Switzerland in the 1950s. It’s a pale greenyblue colour and even though I don’t use it much, it is just the cutest sewing machine in the world!
The last item(s) I will talk about are my various trinkets and objects dotted around that I was given by my grandma. For example, the 4 porcelain ducks that sit on my window, the pyrographic drawings of a zebra and a gazelle from her and my granddad’s travels in Australia or the clay shapes she used to make in her art class when I was younger that she would give me to paint. She was such an important person to me as I began to find my creative voice and was always so amazed by my work. It helps keep me going knowing that parts of her life are around me when I work.
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