I've loved seeing all these colourful shutters popping up all over Tottenham during lockdown so I was really pleased when I was asked by BudSudio and Haringey Council to take part in the scheme.
I was matched with OMG Fashion - a great match because I love colours and patterns, and Yilmaz's shop is packed full with them!
Luckily, as we'd recently come out of lockdown, I was able to go into the shop and sit and draw, this is always a good starting point for me when coming up with ideas.
As I sat there drawing I noticed how people were touching and holding the clothes to get a sense of whether they wanted to buy them or not. Seeing this reminded me that a lot of what is important about choosing clothes is their texture and this is lost when shopping online. I knew then that I wanted to base my design on that.
Back in the studio I started working on a design which combined the patterns and colours of the clothing with a close up image of two women shopping. I looked back through some sketchbooks and came across a small sketch of two women at an airport. I liked their closeness, they are obviously sharing a moment, and so I decided to base my characters on this image.
I developed the rough sketch further and added a headscarf to one lady and white hair to the other to represent greater cultural and age diversity. I completed the artwork on my iPad using Procreate and during that process I started to think in terms of what would work in spray-paint. Procreate has some 'spray-paint' brushes and I had fun playing around with where I could add interest and depth with gradients and fades.
The week of the install was rainy but we were lucky with a clear evening. I've painted at large scale before but not for a long time and never with spray-paint. It was a great experience. Albert from BudStudio showed me the ropes, it was so much fun to learn from him! Initially I found it hard to control the spray but I got better over the evening, and with the help of an extra ladder from the shop next door we were able to finish just as it got dark.
Thank you Haringey Council and BudStudio for the opportunity to be part to this amazing project!