When Emma Cleine started crafting items from home and selling them at markets a few years ago, she had no idea what a coveted collection she would produce in the coming years.
Emma lives and works in the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria with her husband and two children. She is the talented woman behind the Lumiere Art + Co brand. Yes, those gorgeous pieces of hand printed art that we all drool over in the beautiful interior design shops and glossy magazines. I was lucky enough to catch Emma in between her busy schedule and ask her a few questions.
Not only are you a talented artist and business woman, but you also have a family. How do you juggle everything?
It’s lovely to hear someone say they think I’m a talented artist and business women! Thank you.
It’s funny ‘juggling’ is mentioned because what I do really is juggling. My one year old, Beau, comes with me to work and he just potters along with me. I drive a lot and work at nights, I switch days with my husband and he plays with Beau if I have my hands full at the studio. We share a studio which is handy. Lenny, my four year old starts school next year so we may have a little more time on our hands. It can be very hard but, its not forever, our little boys wont be little for long and we really do enjoy the chaos of our work. It’s more of a lifestyle than a job.
You started out hand crafting small items for your local markets and grew from there, where do you find inspiration to keep changing and evolving your range?
I fully change my art and textile ranges every 6 months and love this opportunity to try new techniques and experiment with different artforms. It’s like playing! I usually make what I would like for myself and just repeat it on a mass scale.
You use lots of traditional techniques in your range, for instance the Art House range has woodblock relief prints, shibori textiles and gold leaf details. Do you enjoy experimenting with these types of techniques?
My background is Fine Arts, Sculpture. I think about production as an artist and traditional processes come naturally to me.
Your pieces have been a huge hit with interior decorators, retailers and personal buyers, were you prepared for such a positive response?
I need to have a positive response with my work or it wouldn’t motivate me to make more and keep evolving! I think my artworks and textiles work well with designers because when I design a range, I think of each piece in a setting or ‘in situ’. I think of its relationship with other objects in terms of colour, texture and style.
When did you know you had ‘made it’?
I didn’t know I had ‘made it!’ Its really hard to analyse people’s response to your work when you are so close to it. Of course I can look at numbers and so forth but, to really gauge popularity I’ve realised takes time. Usually a response to a new artwork range takes at least 6-10 months to catch on.
OK, We have to talk about your Lace Mandala Collection, because … well, I am slightly obsessed with them. Tell me about the process of printing a a mandala.
I named my printed Mandala range ‘Lace Mandalas’ because I wanted to transform the representation of the common doily to be a beautiful intricate focal point. People like what they buy to have meaning and by giving an artwork or cushion or print a little story behind it, it gives the piece purpose. I first printed my Mandalas not really thinking they would as popular as they are. 4 years later they are still requested and sought after. I’m proud of this print series and quietly surprised they are still very popular.
Each one is still hand rolled, hand printed and each has its own individual look.
Do you have any advice for readers out there that aspire to turn their passion into a career?
Advice for readers about turning their passion into a career- learn from your mistakes, learn the history of what you are doing and consistently change and evolve.
Lumiere Art + Co has grown from graphically brilliant art pieces to a textile range of bedding, cushions and linens, and also some fabulous decorator items. I want one of everything!
Emma is currently working on a range of clothing, you can have a sneaky peek on her Instagram account here.
I hope you’ve got your credit card handy, Pop over to Lumiere Art + Co and … Happy Shopping!
All photo’s from Lumiere Art + Co with permission.
PS. For those of you that are Mornington locals, or within driving range – Lumiere Art + Co are having a warehouse sale on Saturday the 20th June from 10am to 12pm at The Nook Gallery, 18 Progress St, Mornington. They will also be joined by Keep Resin, Arrow Devine, Spider + Lily, Pooccio Life and The Sale Shed.
PPS. If you go and pick yourself up a beautiful piece of art, keep it to yourself, don’t tell me, I just might cry!