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My Studio Dariolina mural

My Studio Dariolina Mural | Hello! Hooray!

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.

Drawing the Studio Dariolina mural

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.

Mural ready to paint

Drawing the Studio Dariolina mural

Starting to paint the mural

Painting the Studio Dariolina mural

Painting the mural

Painting the mural 2

Daria painting the mural

Daria painting the mural

Late night mural finish

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.

Mural banner in progress

Stitched mural banner

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!

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  1. Tobia | craftaliciousme on October 1, 2023 at 3:06 pm

    Oh Clare. I can feel the joy you and your friends had when creating the mural. It is a wonderful piece of art and so you. I also very much understand how tough it must have been to paint it over. I guess it felt official then. It was really happening. But how wonderful that you kept the design and do something personal with it. What a great way to remember that time of life.

    • Clare Albans on January 30, 2024 at 3:09 pm

      Thank you, Tobia! You’re absolutely right, it was the thing that made it feel official. It’s actually so lovely to look back on these photos now, and I feel like I’ve processed it even more than I had when I wrote this post. The design is wonderful and we’ll always have that! x

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