My Studio Dariolina mural
The hardest thing about leaving my studio by far was having to paint over my Studio Dariolina mural that was the main feature of the workshop room. Designed by my wonderful friend and partner-in-craft, Daria, it is something that means so much to us. We were absolutely heartbroken to be honest! But at the same time, we know that the design will STILL continue to mean so much to us. It’s a symbol of our friendship, how we’ve worked together creatively and everything that we will do in the future too 💖 It’s not the end, just a new beginning!
You can read more about the process of leaving my old studio here, but in this post I want to document some of the wonderful photos that I took of the time we painted the mural.
The design stage
When I first asked Daria if she would design a mural for the workshop room in my studio, her initial reaction was that I must be crazy! She had never painted a mural before, and wasn’t sure if she felt confident in giving it a go. But I knew that if there was to be a mural, it had to be a Studio Dariolina mural! I was thrilled when she said that she would have a go at putting some ideas down on (digital) paper.
We decided pretty early on that the phrase ‘take time out to be creative’ should be included. It’s something that’s really important to us, as I wrote about in my first book Colourful Fun Embroidery, and it just felt right for it to be part of the design. After a few emails and conversations in person, she sent me the first draft and I was in love! We decided on a couple of tweaks and then it was ready to go.
Painting my Studio Dariolina mural
We began painting on 11th October 2021, and I think it’s fair to say that we were the most nervous about actually transferring the design onto the wall. Armed with a laptop and borrowed projector (thanks, Keith!) we got our pencils out and went for it. Having anticipated that this would be the most difficult part, we were actually pleasantly surprised at how quickly we transferred it.
Once the design was on the wall (and we’d had a cuppa, obviously), we started painting. It was so fun to match the colours, and painting was hard work but really fun. Lots of bits needed a really steady hand, and having never done this before we realised that this was another challenge! Our dear friend Louise also joined us to paint some of it too, and we had a brilliant few days. That time shared together creating this wonderful artwork is something that I’ll never forget.
Seeing the mural in the space just made it complete, and it was a real talking point when people came to the shop. The light in the room was amazing, and the mural really set it all off. It was an inspiring place to be, and I’m grateful for all the time that I had there.
All good things come to an end
When it came to moving out, the mural (very sadly) had to go. A few people have asked why I didn’t leave it there, and the answer to that is that I had to paint over it before moving out for two main reasons. Firstly, I didn’t want to leave the artwork there for future tenants to adapt, and Daria agreed that we didn’t want it to be altered in any way. Secondly, I knew the next tenant would probably redecorate too, and if I had left it underneath I think I would have felt so incredibly sad knowing it was still there. Passing by it to get to the shops would have been hard for me I think. It felt right to paint over it together, just as we had when we first painted it.
The Studio Dariolina mural lives on!
A few weeks before I closed the shop, I had the idea to stitch a fabric version of it. I had the design printed onto some fabric so it’s about 1m wide, and I’m absolutely thrilled with it! It took me about a year to finally start stitching it, mainly due to needing to processing it all really. But now I’m finally stitching it, it feels right and I’m so pleased.
This will be a long-term project for me, something that’s a personal project for me to work around everything else that’s going on. Here are a few photos so far! You can follow along with my stitching on Instagram and Facebook too, as I’ll be posting photos there when I’ve made more progress.
I just wanted to say a huge thank you to Daria for creating this mural for me. Although things didn’t work out as I’d hoped with my studio and shop, we always have this to treasure and I’m so grateful for your time and your love that you put into this. The design will live on and is still a symbol of so much for us, and I’m so thankful for you!
Newsletter sign up
Sign up to my newsletter, 'Take time out to be creative' - it only drops in your inbox once or twice a month, and is packed full of creative inspiration.