I am delighted to present my interview with fellow Jackie Magpie roving reporter and all round creative lady, Lizzie Donegan. Leeds based Lizzie tells us all about her drawing projects, her creative and literary inspirations, why she loves Pinterest and, most importantly, her favourite sandwich filling.
You do some delightful drawings in your sketchbook. How long have you been drawing in your sketchbook and can you sum up for me why you do it and what you get out of it?
I first got into sketchbooks when I studied art at college. I went on to study Fine Art at university. I made sculptural pieces out of everyday materials. After university, my practice changed when I started drawing a lot, partly due to a lack of materials and the space I needed to make 3D work. I love the immediacy of drawing and I love the disconnect between my head and my hand that means I’m never quite sure what’s going to come out when I put pencil (or pen) to paper. I love how young kids will just draw very freely and quickly and aren’t worried about whether what they’ve drawn is ‘correct’; I am always aiming to try and achieve that kind of freedom when I draw.
Can you tell us about Drawing and Talking?
I got the opportunity to train in Drawing and Talking through my job as a Teaching Assistant at a high school. It’s a low level form of therapy, where I work 1 to 1 with students who are experiencing difficulties. I ask the student to draw a picture – it can be of anything at all, their choice – and I watch the drawing evolve. When the child has finished, I ask them questions about their drawing. It’s a really simple and yet powerful way for children to work through their feelings and have some quiet time. I’d recommend it to anyone who works in education and similar sectors.
Have you read any good books lately?
I am a dedicated member of the library (All those words? For free? I’m in) and my reading matter depends on whatever catches my eye on the bookshelves at the Leeds branch. I recently read ‘Kiss Kiss’, a collection of macabre short stories (for adults) by Roald Dahl, which I found funny and intriguing. Also, I have to mention How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran which is definitely the most memorable book I’ve read so far this year. It’s essential reading for women. I genuinely cried with laughter.
What artists/designers currently working are you most excited about right now?
Hmm there are lots! I interviewed Nicole Lavelle for Jackie Magpie- I love her work and the way she approaches making and doing. My very first JM interview was with Jay Cover whose drawings I adore! Misako Mimoko makes joy-giving objects and Hannah Waldron always has some beautiful project on her blog. I watched a brilliant TV programme about Jeremy Deller, such a cool chap and he’s made a Stone Henge bouncy castle! It doesn’t get better than that. Also anyone who is doing something creative that they enjoy and putting it out there – that’s a brave thing to do and should be encouraged!
Do you have any interesting projects on the go or in the pipeline, you would like to talk about?
I have a blog called New Good Studio where I put lots of my drawings, plus some photographs and writing too. When I started it I didn’t know exactly what I wanted it to be about; the only theme was ‘stuff I’ve made or done and stuff I like’, and it turns out this is quite a broad range of things! I plan to make a little shop some time soon. SO watch this space!
I see you are an avid user of Pinterest (as am I). What is it you like so much about this particular form of social networking?
I do indeed love Pinterest! I think it’s a really cool idea (and I love good ideas); I love the ease with which I can collect images and categorise them as I please. It has a practical use as a place for storing links to blogs and websites I like, as well as being downright good fun. It’s nice finding other people whose taste you share. I like to call the act of Pinteresting “positive procrastination”!
And finally what is your favourite sandwich filling?
My favourite of all time is probably tuna mayonnaise and spring onion on a crusty bap, but this is a filling that can prove unpopular in confined spaces. So for increased social acceptability, I’d say mozzarella, buffalo tomato and basil on ciabatta. Yum. With butter, I like butter.
Good choice Lizzie, thank you so much!