So I've recently set a goal to experiment as much as I can this year, and get back to my roots as an artist. I used to paint and draw like a boss, as I went to art school for four years before my university degree in graphic Design. I feel that turning to digital art, I lost a sense of playfulness and perhaps that is what led me to starting my own brand again. I was missing the tangible pleasure of creating something physical. I haven't drawn in a while, and I have to say, it's like riding a bicycle, you may be shaky at first but you need to get back on the saddle and peddle.
I found a block printing workshop was being held in London by an independent designer whose work I absolutely adore. Ren London is an American inde designer, based in London, who creates beautiful minimalistic homewares and clothing with natural linens, block printed with muted geometric tones. When I saw she was hosting another workshop, I was super excited and joined the workshop almost as soon as it was announced.
I went to Ren's workshop on a rainy Saturday afternoon, to be greeted by a petite pretty American and her cute doggy Otis, in East London.
The tables were prepared for 4 participants, and we were 4 girls from the south! Me from South Africa, 2 girls from Sydney and one from New Zealand.
Ren laid out some books of artists she liked for inspiration. Jokingly, she said we could always do something Matisse inspired and I immediately I loved the idea and wanted to do something with the female form. The linen fabric tea towels that Ren had prepared for us to print on were a lovely natural grey colour and I didn't want to do a repetitive pattern. I wanted to create one large print, so naturally I was drawn to the potential of Matisse's minimalist face.
I felt it was a bit like Aphrodite, who is my eternal muse, for Love From Cyprus. You can see from my final print that I chose a muted colour palette to compliment the soft grey linen provided for us. Ren advises to alway add some white to a block print and add it on top of the other colours because it helps the pattern pop.
I am so pleased with my tea towel, although I'm not sure if she will ever be used as a towel. Right now she has a special place reserved for her on our reading armchair, so that I can admire her daily and she reminds me of how much fun I've had getting my hands full of paint again. I also printed the little test cloth as an extra face, alongside my final tea towel.
On a side note, Instagram has deleted my profile (why, you devils?!) and now I have had to start a new profile. You can read more about the whole traumatic ordeal at this link. So I am hosting this little giveaway, and giving one lucky lady my extra little face print from my workshop. You can now follow me on instagram.com/alasia.lifestyle to stay updated with new collections and products, and also follow my personal profile on instagram.com/alasia.life where I share my personal journeys, hobbies, travels and products I like.
As I am starting from zero followers, this giveaway is open to any new follower that chooses to follow my one or both of my pages between now and the end of February. Winner will be announced on the 27th February.
I know it may sound strange, but I was going to rebrand Love From Cyprus at the end of 2018, and choose a name which better represents the changes I am making to the brand. I took the deletion of my profile on instagram as a sign to start anew now and not delay it any longer.
As you are now part of the rebrand, you will be able to help decide on some basics and tell me what you like. Follow me on instagram where I'll be sharing fabrics, colours, material and even new logo designs for you to be part of the process and the evolution of the brand.
Love From Cyprus as a brand, has reached a turning point, very much like my life, and I wanted a name and image which better represents the new direction my work is taking. I chose a name, which has no root to any specific culture or language, but is still the name of a woman, because I feel Aphrodite has guided me and inspired me this far, so it's only fitting that my muse continues to be a woman.
Alasia is a beautiful name, which still sounds Greek to me, although it does not have any Greek reference. The focus of my brand is slow fashion from sustainable materials, and long lasting and artisanal craftsmanship. Less is more, Quality over quantity.
I am focusing on the modern woman's need, for simplicity, and staple pieces which are made to last. My life has taken a turn toward slowing down instead of trying to keep up, and as a slow fashion brand, it's important to focus on the WHY I do what I do and not WHAT Fashion and the media dictates I should be doing. I am more interested in the stories and the lifestyles of people who wear my products as opposed to ever changing trends. I hope you will join me on my journey, if you are in the same place as me in your life.
Love & Light