It’s enough to look at her website or Instagram account to fall in love with her creations. But she has won my heart with the way she inspires others and is inspired by others. Her “It’s Friday, I’m in love” blog articles, in which she presents the artists whom she adores, is simply fantastic. Georgie St Clair, a designer and illustrator living in Brighton, UK agreed to answer my questions about her work, her creative process and her love for retro movies.
Barbara: Georgie, thank you very much for doing this. When did you start working on floral design and illustration? Who or what was your biggest inspiration?
Georgie: My floral design and illustration began when I started playing with compositions and posting them on Instagram. My background is in digital marketing and graphic design but after the birth of my 3rd child, Daisy, it was time to put down my ‘tools’ and concentrate on my family. When my daughter was about 18 months old, I started using Instagram. It was my excuse to enjoy 10 minutes of creativity everyday. I’m inspired by so much it’s hard to pinpoint one source of inspiration in one blog post! Flowers were my inspiration – you can always make something beautiful from a simple flower or leaf. They are nature’s art materials.
B: Can you tell us more about your art and the materials you work with?
G: I use real flowers and leaves to create compositions and illustrations,. I’ve always enjoyed drawing faces, using pencil and watercolours, so I started adding real flowers to create floral crowns. I found the real flowers added a beautiful depth to the images I was creating. In addition I have always secretly wanted to be a fashion designer too! So I started creating petal dresses and my character ‘Sassy Du Fleur’ was born who has become very popular in Instagram.
B: You’re from London and you live in Brighton. In your ‘About’ page you write: „One day I’d love to experience living and working in Paris doing something wonderfully glamorous.” What would be your ideal „wonderfully glamorous” experience?
G: Ahh Paris! I’ve been lucky to visit many of the major European cities but Paris is still at the top of my list for pure beauty and creative inspiration. In my dreams, I’m there working with a fashion designer, creating the ‘Sassy Du Fleur’ collection of haute couture dresses. Or installing a Sassy inspired window display with thousands of flowers. It’s good to dream don’t you think?
B: Absolutely! How would you describe your life now?
G: I think I’m your classic unconfident, dissatisfied creative person. I was putting so much pressure on my creative work; to earn money from it. This ultimately killed my creativity. So, I took a part-time job which became full-time for a while, was very exciting but quite stressful. I had no choice but to put my creative work on the backburner except for my occasional postings on Instagram. But this job gave me a huge confidence boost because I knew I could make money whatever my situation. I work in digital marketing so my skills are very transferrable. Having this job left me free to create in my spare time (once I had looked after my 3 children and husband!). Thanks to these small moments of creative time, I have recently been able to quit that job, take on a part-time consultancy position and devote 2 full days to my creative work.
B: You are very popular on Instagram. You gave a talk for Brighton Etsy team on the merits of an Instagram account. Can you tell us a bit more about how you use Instagram and the benefits of this social medium for you and the businesses like yours?
G: Instagram has made so much possible for me but it takes a lot of work. Especially now, after the algorithm changes. For me, Instagram, is a place to express my creativity and love of florals. I think as an artist, it’s great place to showcase your art and work, your creative process. I don’t use it as a sales tool. I think it’s a perfect place for people to get to know my love for florals and what I do. Sales and commissions come as a result of my activity on Instagram, but also my blog, my shops etc.
B: What are your favourite Instagram accounts?
G: What a difficult question – there are so many! My favourites are still some of the very first I followed. Definitely at number one is @caroline_south. Her beautiful compositions, eye for colour… she wows me with every posting. For photography @humphreyandgrace and @hannahargyle. Their imagery is magical. For florals it has to be @c_colli. Cristina has a beautiful style and is a thoroughly lovely person. She inspires me in art and in life.
B: Just like me, you’re a fan of old movies and the jazz age. If you were to make a dress for Ginger Rogers, which flowers would you use?
G: Ginger Rogers would definitely wear classic pink rose petals. Not only would they be easy to dance in, pink roses represent grace and gentility, everything I associate with Ginger and Fred when they dance.
B: What are your plans and projects for the year 2017?
G: For 2017, I’m continuing to create more botanical and floral artwork. I’ll also be offering Sassy style bridal portraits (after popular demand!), plus, wedding stationery and hen party workshops, creating floral compositions. It’s going to be a good year 🙂
B: Thank you, and I hope all your plans and dreams will come true.