A note from John…

Welcome to the fourth blog! I hope that you’ll enjoy this takeover as much as I have. I met Caitlín when she was living with one of my oldest friends – back when I was first coming up with the idea for Wildfire. She was incredibly supportive and probably one of the first artists I ever told, back then it didn’t even have a name. Her words of encouragement, her engagement with the concepts I was talking about, really opened my mind to a wider perspective. Conversations I had with her, and others, in those early days have really helped shape what Wildfire has become today, and for that I will be forever grateful to Caitlín. I’m so happy that she is involved with the project, she is a truly fantastic artist, and I hope you enjoy her addition to the blog. Do check out her website http://www.soodlestreet.co.uk/ for more details about her work, commissions and the fantastic workshops that she runs as well!

Hello! My name is Caitlín and I am the artist behind Soodle Street Illustration. Soodle Street is a brand I started in 2016 with the intention to build an eco-conscious creative platform to showcase my illustrations. Originally from Hertfordshire, I moved to Norwich after completing an undergraduate degree in Fine Art and Art History at Plymouth University. I then completed a Masters degree in History of Art at the University of East Anglia in 2013. After a spell of post-university career struggles, worries about not getting that job I felt I should be doing, and feelings of dramatic underachievement, Soodle Street helped me fall back in love with creating again and encouraged me to believe that independently making a career as an artist isn’t just a ‘pie in the sky’ idea.
Since moving to Norwich, I fell for it’s small city/big town vibe and have been here ever since. Norwich is different to anywhere I have lived before and has a very creative community that thrives to inspire independents in every medium and business, I feel very lucky to have been encouraged in what I do to be able to have turned a small hobby into a fledgling career.
Soodle Street is an eco-conscious illustration brand that produces original artwork, digital prints, greetings cards, postcards, tea towels and wedding stationery. Each illustration is a handmade collage of unwanted and found paper using imagination to reinvent single-use material, highlighting it’s visual potential. I work in this way because I love the process of collaging and I choose unwanted and discarded paper because I value the practice of transforming forgotten material into something new and appreciated. We have so much printed material in our everyday circulation; some mundane official forms, some junk mail, some magazines we flick through once and pile in the recycling. Our single-use lifestyle means the colours and patterns and the visual value of these materials are wasted. I like to give these unconsidered beautiful materials a second chance. I am also very keen to take what measurements I can to ensure that any artwork I output to the world make as little damaging impact to the environment as possible, this includes my products, packaging, and methods. My ethos is to reuse, remake and recycle.
My biggest influence is the urban environment and my illustrations focus on architecture, as I am fascinated and excited by how a building can tell a story. Through its visual appearance, a building can often tell us its age, location and history. I love the way some architecture can be immediately recognisable, whether it is a world-famous landmark or a particular style that captures a moment in time. What I try to achieve with my illustrations is a connection for my audience to either have a fond memory reignited or their sense or wanderlust enhanced.
My process is simple and small-scale. All my illustrations start life as a blank recycled board and a selection of discarded magazines, junk mail, advertising leaflets, ruined books and any other type of unwanted paper. Working from a photograph or imagination, I will then hand collage my image, building carefully sized pieces of paper up in layers. My simple but vital tools are a cutting board, scalpel knife, ruler, small scissors and glue stick.
I spend my time split between commission-based work and creating collections to be sold as prints and on products. Buildings that have sentimental value to the client inspire the commission requests I receive, such as old/new homes or wedding venues. House Portrait commissions are very popular and I have run workshops guiding people to try their hand at creating their own. I am also in the process of launching a wedding stationery collection with a very talented friend…watch this space!
My latest collection is inspired by a recent trip to New York, a city I have always had an obsession with. I describe New York as an architectural banquet laid out before you; every building is unique and fighting for space amongst its towering competition. I am enjoying pushing my practice and expanding my studies outside of Norwich. This is one of the reasons why I wanted to be involved with the Wildfire project. I am always keen to explore new places and investigate their visual identity. I am interested in looking at the hidden or forgotten places of these British cities and perhaps re-igniting an old memory or inspiring the creation of a new one. I am interested in the journey of the Wildfire project, perhaps finding something to connect each location or to gain a better understanding of the similarities and differences across the UK. I think that Wildfire is an exciting new project that has heaps of potential for upcoming artists and art-admirers. I am happy to be challenging myself to be making new work for each pop-up and looking forward to seeing what this opportunity brings.

Soodle Street Illustration – Caitlín Law

INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/soodlestreet_illustration/
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/soodlestreet/