I have a bit of a special treat for you today. In tomorrow’s podcast I’ll be reviewing the book Maker Spaces, by Emily Quinton. Emily is the very talented photographer who runs Makelight Studios here in London (that’s one of her gorgeous photos above) and I’ve been lucky enough to attend one of her workshops, where she teaches photography to anyone who wants to learn to make beautiful images, using whatever camera or smartphone they already have.
Emily recently brought out her first book, which is focused on the studios and creative spaces of makers. As soon as I got my hands on it I knew I wanted to hear more about how it came into being, and Emily graciously agreed to talk to me about creating Maker Spaces, and the inspiration she found in the process. I’ve put my questions into italics to make it easy to follow along.
Where did the idea for the book come from?
Since becoming a mother 8 years ago I have paid a lot more attention to creativity at home. I have always made things and so has my husband, so when we came parents we wanted to share our love of making and creativity with our children, and create a home environment that could enable them to enjoy art as much as possible. Becoming a mother also made me realise just how much I am affected by the space around me. I have had to put a lot of work into not getting too upset by all the chaos of my four children every single day.
I was really intrigued to find out whether other creatives were so emotionally connected to their spaces. In addition to this I am fascinated by the modern maker movement and the combination of a return to traditional crafts alongside modern techniques like 3D printing and laser cutting.
How did you choose the makers to feature in the book?
This was the hardest task throughout the whole process. There are so many amazing makers out there and there were so many that I wanted to feature. I found most of them through social media, blogs and my online network. They all had to make amazing things and have wonderful homes and studios. They couldn’t be too similar to any of the others in my list and needed to live and work in one of the places on my locations list.
Did you do all the photography for the book?
Sadly not. My publishers decided I couldn’t write and photograph the book by myself. I will argue otherwise for future books!
What inspiration did you take from the makers you featured?
They all inspired me with their incredibly attention to detail in their spaces and their understanding of the importance of letting a space grow, develop and change as you and your work do. All the spaces had a great feeling of flow and positive energy.
Did visiting these amazing makers’ spacers make you want to set up your own Makelight studio?
Definitely! My studio has been a dream for a couple of years now and seeing other makers’ spaces really encouraged me to make it happen. It also made me determined to create a space that other makers can come to help them with their own work.
Any tips to share for setting up a really inspiring maker space that you’ve picked up from doing this project?
Create the space you want and need for your work. Create a space from your heart and not just from a Pinterest board! Make a space that is beautiful and reflects your work. Create a space that feels like an extension of your work and consciously realise how closely connected the two things are.
How long did it take for you to write and photograph the book?
The whole process from signing the contract to delivering the final manuscript was 7 months.
What is next for you? Any more book ideas in the pipeline?
I have a few more book ideas, which I hope to start exploring next year but for the rest of 2015 I am focusing on the Makelight Studio and to my online photography courses.
I’d like to thank Emily so much for coming on the blog and sharing her journey to Maker Spaces with us.
Be sure to tune in for tomorrow’s podcasts for more about the book and info about how you can win a copy for yourself!