Ever wondered what the inner workings of an artist’s studio really look like? Well luckily for you, our new blog series allows us to have a little snoop around the creative spaces of our Makers to see where the all magic happens.
When we approached Abi & Rupert of RUDE, it came as no surprise to find that the colourful works of this creative duo are made within a converted chocolate factory. Home to all manner of Willy Wonka-type creatives from artists, illustrators, printmakers, painters, photographers, and filmmakers.
We asked Rupert what makes for a happy work environment and discovered that it’s a mix of the energy that London brings, cups of tea and Mcvities Jamaican Ginger Cake. Sounds like our cup of tea too!
Where is your studio and what do you love most about the area?
Our studio is close to where we live in Stoke Newington. We have lived around here for 20 years, and seen the area change. It’s an area of London where a lot happens and has a great mix of people… young and old. We have a small studio in our house and then a bigger studio for drawing and screen printing and they are 15 minutes apart, on foot.
Being partners in work and life, plus having two kids must make for an interesting dynamic. Has this shaped how you’ve set up your place of work in comparison to your home life? Is it similar or different?
Yes, it does. We make sure the boys are happy and once they are off at school we get on with our work, we often work in the evening or weekends if things need to be done. Our time is our own so we can take days off or take longer holidays in the summer.
The plan when the boys have finished their schooling is to do more travelling, we have been to Japan twice and we would love to take Billy and Herbie there. Abi has spoken to the boys about taking over the family business!
In regards to home/work spaces, it’s all the same really. So sometimes we work from home, sometimes in the studio. The boys come to the studio too if they have creative work they need to do for school.
Illustrators can spend a lot of time sitting indoors. Is surrounding your workspace with things you love important to you? Does this energise you or can it distract you?
You have to be happy with your studio and your working environment. We have always said that we need to work in a city to feed off the buzz and city vibe. Our work is quite urban and is reflected in the city we live in. Our studio is full of reference and printing tests that we have worked on.
What is your most favourite thing or feature of your workspace?
We have a mezzanine area where our computers are, which is clean. You can look out the window at the rooftops. The lower main area is more messy and experimental and is full of printing presses.
What studio essential could you not live without?
Our plan chests, we now have two. The old ones now are quite hard to come by!
What do you listen to while working?
We listen to BBC Radio’s 6 Music in the studio, it’s on the whole time.
Tell us the last 3 songs you’ve listened to on Spotify (if you dare!)
Nora Jones - Flipside
Beck - Up All Night
Radiohead - Man of War
What makes for a well-stocked office kitchen – any favourite snacks that help you during the mid-afternoon slump?
We have an addiction to Mcvities Jamaican Ginger Cake, it’s so good with a cup of tea!
What helps you to get out of a creative funk if you can’t leave the studio?
We have about 30 scrapbooks of things we have collected over the years. From scrap bits of paper, flyers, tear sheets from magazines etc. If we need inspiration we just look through them and they seem to do the trick.
And lastly, what would your dream studio look like (if you don’t have it already!)
I think we have it, although a sea view would be the ideal!
Photography courtesy of Lou Liddiard-Imeson and David Ralph.