Lisa King is a London based print designer but was born and raised in Bangkok. Her work is highly influenced by the natural world and you can see from her work that she takes much influence from her varied cultural upbringing. Her work is bold, colourful and dynamic and plays with juxtaposition as well as deconstruction of objects from the natural world.
We visited Lisa in her East London studio on an autumnal afternoon and drank tea whilst talking about her recent collaborations and projects, what inspires her work and how she managed to take the leap from textile designer to pastures new, including art direction, interiors, costume design and so much more.
You studied Textile Design At Central St. Martins – did you always know you wanted to work in print?
I grew up thinking I would be a painter or a fashion designer, because those were the people we learnt about at school; Coco Chanel, Christian Dior, Robert Rauscheberg and Lucian Freud. It wasn’t until I went to St Martins and learnt about people like Celia Birtwell, Eley Kishimoto, Timney Fowler, Timourous Beastie, Annie Albers and Alexander McQueen that I began to fall in love with textiles over fashion.
How has your career shifted to working in creative sectors other than print?
I think firstly it’s been thanks to people who have looked at my work and thought, ‘that would look great on a sofa, or cushion’ or asking if I’d ever thought about designing costume. My projects have slowly grown in size and ambition over time, I think that’s natural and I always wanted print and the label to act as a platform for collaborating with other people and projects.
Are there any creatives that you take inspiration from?
I recently went to Bath and was so excited to visit the the Francis Gallery -I’ve been following them on instagram for a while and the gallery did not disappoint. I love markets for inspiration – Fosberg and Soane have the most amazing pieces at Herne Hill market in London. I once bought a whole collection of vintage tiny shell specimens from them. I was also lucky enough to meet the flower master, Azumamakoto recently in Bangkok during the launch of his collaboration with Sorayama for Siwilai Bangkok which was very inspiring.
I always get excited to see what Kim Jones and his team have done each season for Dior Mens – I particularly loved the collaboration with artist, Daniel Arsham. Similarly, I think JW Anderson is a genius and I love how he reinvents and celebrates craft with his work with Loewe too.
What is your biggest career achievement to date?
I think the exhibition I did this year with the London Flower School, In Perfect Process. We collaborated on an exhibition that explored beauty and imperfection in nature and humanity through the medium of print and floristry. The exhibition was open for a week during London Design Festival within a 400 sq. metre disused church in Peckham. It was a beautiful space and the prints looked amazing in such a large format.
What items on your desk can you not work without?
My speakers – I always have to work to music – the quiet just doesn’t feel right in my studio. I couldn’t live without my notebook either – it holds all the good ideas (and the bad ones!).
Are you currently reading anything?
I’m about to spend two weeks in Japan, it’s the first proper holiday I’ve had all year. I’m going to trek the Kumano Kodo (an ancient pilgrimage trail) so the book i’ve taken is inspired by that.
It’s by Rebecca Solnit and is called ‘A field guide to getting lost.’ It’s about journeying, loss, finding yourself, discovering, finding inspiration – all things that resonate with me.
Do you practice any sustainability values within your work?
We are trying to eliminate all single use plastic, especially with our packaging of scarves and swimwear. I’ve replaced my swimwear fabrics with recycled fabrics, and am doing limited edition products to use up surplus factory stock that would otherwise go into landfill. I want to say that we’re winning but there are still so many obstacles when it comes to sustainability. Saying that, I think doing something is better than not doing anything at all.
What is your favourite Evermore scent and why?
Light is my favourite. I was drawn to the colour of the box immediately – the bright orange is really striking and a colour I really like at the moment and I love the citrusy smell of the candle too. It’s very fresh and I can imagine burning it in my studio over the winter to remind me of summer.
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