Our first creator for 2023 is Tai Snaith, an artist and writer discovered by our Brand Director, Marnie Goding, when she bought her daughter, Willow the book "Slow Down World". There is a wonderful choice of books for kids but this one resonated with Marnie for its beautiful artwork and the simple, accessible writing style. "Willow goes back to it time and time again. Finding books like this that cut through with kids is a joy. Willow is a self confessed crafter and someone who loves to fiddle and experiment with art and Tai's style is also easy to understand which helps kids to dream and fuel their desire to play."
We sat down with Tai to learn more about her creative process and where she finds inspiration.
I GREW UP IN:
A state of 80% pure imagination, the rest was full of wild nature.
MY CHILDHOOD IN 5 WORDS:
Horses, frogs, lizards, always drawing.
HOW I DESCRIBE MY CREATIVE PROCESS:
If I am to be completely honest, the creative process is a bit of a mystery even to me - often I get the feeling that I am just the host and the force or driver of the creation is coming from somewhere beyond me.
The physical process of making is part play, part experiment and all intuition. I am generally inspired by one of two inputs; my environment and the people around me or a cause that I feel very strongly about (in the case of my latest book it is the protection of natural habitats), which usually involves research.
Although I am quite inspired by old nostalgic things from other eras like family heirlooms, postcards, old books, etc. From the initial inspiration stage I generally then go on to make visual stories and symbols of these things from paint, paper or clay, sometimes I work with found objects and assemblage which is then photographed.
MY WORKSPACE IN 3 WORDS:
Cosy, full, safe.
IN THE STUDIO I LISTEN TO:
Audio books mainly. I am currently listening to ‘The Body Keeps the Score’ and also my current book for bookclub called ‘Love after Love’ by Ingrid Persaud.
MY TOP 3 DINNER GUESTS:
At the top of my real list is my friend Atong Atem, she’s an amazing artist and photographer and I have been trying for ever to get her over for dinner with her partner Ottilo. Then, if I am allowed people who are maybe a bit aspirational or who no longer exist as live entities, I would love to have Cindy Sherman and Tove Janssen.
MY FAVOURITE MOVIE TO WATCH WITH THE KIDS:
I’m about to re-watch Avatar with them in preparation for the new one - I’m excited.
THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE SOMEONE HAS GIVEN ME:
Be yourself, everyone else is taken. (Oscar Wilde)
Tai’s new book 'Wonders Under the Sun’ published by Thames and Hudson.