Holly V Maslen – Artist, Designer, Illustrator » CHARLOTTE TAYLOR


Holly V Maslen - Charlotte TaylorMay has been an incredibly exciting month for me with lots of whizzing around London and a Big project, with a capital B. I nearly fell off my chair when I received an email from the fashion designer Charlotte Taylor inviting me to design and paint a mural on the wall inside her pop up shop in Sloane Square. The deadline was very tight and I had to work quickly but the brief was clear and, already being familiar with Charlotte’s work, it wasn’t too tricky to come up with a good design.

Charlotte asked me to use some of the key images from her current collection (and include her famous penguin) working them into a design which would fit the wall at the back end of the shop, we also agreed that it would be a nice idea to use the initial drawing as invitations for the press launch (which was held on the 7th of May).

So, with my bag packed for a 6 night stay in the big smoke, and my materials packed too, I headed off just before the bank holiday weekend. Although I had reproduced the original drawings to scale I felt anxious that the whole design might not translate to the wall but everything fitted in perfectly. Once I’d got everything placed, in pencil, I felt much more relaxed and excited about executing the next stage in paint.

I worked flat out for four days whilst the shop was open, so customers could see me at work and watch the wall progress in time. Some days it felt as though I’d be finished in good time, and at other moments I worried that it would never be finished but, on Bank Holiday Monday, at around 6pm I put my paint brush down and sighed with relief; I’d finished!!!

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Aside from being delighted to work on such a challenging large scale project I found that the whole experience was great in so many ways. I got to know Charlotte better in those few days than I had done over the years that we’ve known each other through mutual friends on the IOW. We sat and painted together one afternoon when the shop was quiet and Charlotte warned me that she’d get covered in paint….I didn’t see how as the work was slow and detailed but, true to her word, within minutes she had black paint on her jeans, her hands and chin!? I then managed to smear the wall (a wall which definitely wasn’t supposed to be painted) with a big splodge as I had the brush between my teeth whilst moving pictures around. Most evenings I left the shop to go and stay with various friends in different parts of town only to return in the morning and tell tales of how I’d caught the RIGHT bus on the WRONG side of the street yet again and spent hours getting hopelessly lost. It was a really enjoyable week and such a pleasure to work with someone who has followed their dream and to see that dream starting to come to fruition.

With the wall finished and a sunny day off lounging on Clapham Common I was ready and relaxed for the press launch on Tuesday evening. Charlotte’s boyfriend, Humphrey, performed with his fellow band members from Blake once the evening was in full swing. The room was buzzing with models, many of them wearing Charlotte’s clothes!

After a few well deserved gin and tonics I jumped on the bus (the right one this time) with my friend and fellow artist Ben Mellor and headed off to Stoke Newington for a late supper and a much needed sleep!






Posted: May 22nd, 2013
Categories: Holly Maslen News
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